Friday, March 27, 2009

Act of Settlement reform unites Roman Catholics and Secularists

This is among the strangest of alliances: the union of Dr Evan Harris MP, the Liberal Democrat pro-abortion fundamentalist secularist who wishes to eradicate every expression of Christianity from the public sphere; and Edward Leigh MP, the ‘pro-life’ Roman Catholic Conservative whose ‘faith, flag and family’ is fundamentally antithetical to all that Dr Death Harris stands for.

While unemployment soars at its fastest rate since records began; while repossessions cause thousands of families to lose their homes; while bankruptcies increase and poverty abounds, the Liberal Democrats are obsessing about the Act of Settlement – the 300-year-old law which prevents the Monarch from being or from marrying a Roman Catholic.

Dr Harris is introducing a Private Member’s Bill to end the ‘antiquated’ concept of primogeniture and the Act's 'anti-Catholic' discrimination. Yet the Royal Marriages and Succession to the Crown (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill can only have effect some 60, 70, or – if Prince William lives as long as his great grandmother – 80 years from now. And only then if William's consort gives birth to a girl first, and only then if his first-born decides to marry a Roman Catholic.

This is a curious priority for the Liberal Democrats. It will involve lengthy debate upon and the amendment of nine other constitutional Acts (including the Act of Union), taking up thousands of hours of parliamentary time. It will also require the consent of the legislatures of 15 Commonwealth countries, and is fraught with complexity at every turn.

But 'the PM and Palace' are discussing it.

The Act of Settlement is – as the BBC asserts in its usual anti-Anglican fashion – ‘discriminatory’ and ‘unfair’. It has carried out a survey, and discovered that 89 per cent of the 1000 people questioned believed male and female heirs should have equal rights to succeed to the throne. Some 81 per cent believed that an heir to the throne should be allowed to marry a Roman Catholic and still become monarch. According to the poll, 76 per cent said the monarchy should continue, against 18 per cent who said they would favour Britain becoming a republic. An additional 6 per cent said they did not know.

Cranmer has not seen the questions which were asked in order to yield these statistics, but his readers and communicants will be fully cognisant of the fact that responses are dependent on the precise questions posed.

Of course it is ‘unfair’ and ‘discriminatory’ that the monarch may not be or marry a Roman Catholic, but the very act of choosing a religion manifestly necessitates discrimination against all the others. It is also ‘discriminatory’ that the Pope may not be Protestant, and even more ‘unfair’ that he may not marry at all. But there are sound theological and historical justifications for the restrictions upon both the King of the Vatican and the Queen of the United Kingdom, and none of these amount to a violation of their ‘human rights’. Prince William is perfectly free to marry a Roman Catholic should he so desire: that it is human right. He is not then free to be King and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but to be King is not a human right; it is the gift of Parliament.

It is difficult to view ‘historic injustices’ through the lens of the present, as Dr Harris is intent on doing. It is a realm about which he manifestly knows very little. The Protestant Christian faith is woven into the fabric of this nation’s life; it secured its liberties and forged its identity. But the Constitution is a fragile work of many delicate threads, and the tampering with one – and the Act of Settlement is a very crucial one – risks producing many loose ends and the eventual unravelling of the entire work.

Dr Evan Harris knows this. He is fully aware – though he denies it – that the relationship between the Monarch and the Church rests upon this Act. Once that relationship is fractured, it will lead inexorably to the secular republic which Dr Harris espouses.

So why is Edward Leigh supporting this?

It is strange indeed. For there are very many loyal Roman Catholics who are quite prepared to tolerate a little residual anti-Catholicism within the state if this is the price one pays for sustaining a Christian presence at the heart of Government. His desire to end the discrimination is doubtless sincere, but then he must address those cruel discriminations within his own faith, such as the one which caused Tony Blair to be barred by Cardinal Basil Hume from taking communion at Westminster Cathedral.

Contrary to popular belief, the Monarch is not free to be any religion or marry into any religion except the Roman Catholic one. For the Act of Settlement requires the Monarch and his or her consort to be ‘in communion with’ the Church of England. While Cranmer could write more than a few pages on the meaning of ‘koinonia’ in this context, it must be noted that it is not only Roman Catholics who are prohibited from taking bread and wine in Anglican churches: Dr Harris and Edward Leigh might just consider that Jews and Muslims would also find this unacceptable, and so adherents to many other faiths bar themselves from being ‘in communion with’ the state Church.

The Act was forged during an era of intolerable foreign interference in the governance of England. Edward Leigh would do better if, instead of uniting with the most rabidly pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, anti-Christian member of the House of Commons, he reflected upon the liberties assured by this Act, and asked himself why our forebears insisted that its provisions should be ‘for ever’. Cranmer would also humbly urge him to reflect upon the consequences for the future of the Monarchy of the tampering with that clause which stipulates that should the religious restrictions cease to have effect, that 'in all and every such case and cases the people of these realms shall be and are thereby absolved of their allegiance'.

Evan Harris is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, and is no fool.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

His Grace writes: "The Protestant Christian faith is woven into the fabric of this nation’s life; it secured its liberties and forged its identity".

'This nation', I might add, being fundamentally England. Dissolution of the Act of Settlement would not only lead to the disestablishment of the Church of England, the official de-christianisation of the UK, and a potentially fatal weakening of the bonds of loyalty and mutual service between Christian monarch and Christian subject (as His Grace makes clear), but also would break the organic link between England and the United Kingdom state as effectively the continuation of the Christian Kingdom of England. England would therefore officially cease to be any kind of sovereign nation, or indeed a nation at all. No wonder the idea's got Gordon Brown's backing.

27 March 2009 at 10:21  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Someone should remind Mr Harris MP, what is Sedition!

Sedition is a term of law which refers to conduct, such as speech and organisation, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority.

The lawful authority which enables him to promote his seditious bill in parliament is given to him through the provisions of the Bill of Rights 1689.

“That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;” (”uniquely discriminatory”)

That the Statute now known as the Bill of Rights was enacted in full evidence of the fact that Parliament was then and is now required to abide by the terms of the Declaration of Rights, the text of which was incorporated into the Bill of Rights without amendment or reduction.

The Declaration of Rights is not and never has been a Creature of Parliament, and that the enactment of the Bill of Rights serves to confirm that Parliament holds itself bound by the terms of the Agreement made directly between Crown and People in February 1689, at a time when no lawful parliament existed or could exist for such purpose of agreement.

27 March 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger dominic said...

Your assessment of the odious Harris, and his intentions, are spot on.

Any Catholic who goes along with this is a fool; the move not only threatens the constitutional status of the UK as an (at least nominally, symbolically) Christian state, but also potentially threatens the continuation of the union.

At least, as a PMB, it is solely likely to exist as a talking point, and nothing more; the likelihood of this becoming law soon still has to be fairly minimal.

27 March 2009 at 10:43  
Blogger Wyrdtimes said...

If the Church of England actually stood for England it might have more support.

As it is the CofE deserves the contempt of the English.

It's not too late though - speak out for England.

27 March 2009 at 10:44  
Blogger Theo said...

Your Grace, your assertion that Evan Davis is no fool seems at odds with the evidence. The timing of this issue could not be more convenient for the Nailbiter General. It provides him with a wonderful distraction from the pressing matter of the fact that the nation is going bust!

It is not the issue that is important because, as your Grace points out any effect of legislation will take many years to come to fruition. The important issue seems to be the politics of the timing of this. With Daniel Hennan hot on Brown's heels and the BBC refusing to acknowledge Daniel's speech one wonders how long it took the BBC to dream up and execute the poll in order to rescue their beloved leader. It certainly made it the lead item in today's news and the BBC comes out of this with the appearance of being desperate to retain its licence fee increases.

Those more cynical might also say that it is also a desperate attempt to shore up the Scottish vote with a well aimed stab at the Church of England as well as courting the Catholic and women's vote. Brown is surely as transparently devious as he is insulting to intelligence of the electorate in thinking that we are going to fall for this.

27 March 2009 at 10:49  
Blogger Theo said...

Apolologies to Evan Davis, I did, of course mean Even Harris

27 March 2009 at 10:52  
Blogger Diana said...

This is just another attempt by Gordon Brown to undermine the history of this country! He will use any underhand attempt to do this, especially if it appears there might be votes in it! He should get on with trying to get us out of the mess he has already got us into, and the Queen and Commonwealth should robustly resist this move, as should the British people. It is a purely political ploy, and I am suprised that any Conservative politician would have anything to do with it!

27 March 2009 at 10:57  
Blogger Dave said...

On Leighs wikipedia page!

A descendant of King Henry VII himself through his Egerton ancestors, his wife is a descendant of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, making his children about 600th in the line of succession to the British throne, although as Catholics currently they would be barred from succession.

27 March 2009 at 11:26  
Anonymous Ian said...

I agree with you Cramner, and I'm a Catholic. But I fear that pointing that the motivation for this is secular republicanism will not be enough to stop it. There are too many people who would like nothing more than to see the end of the monarchy, or of the Christian faith in government, or both, and the argument that politicians have better things to do is at most a plea for a reprieve. If the status quo is to be preserved, only principled arguments in defence of both the Act of Settlement and primogeniture (the abolition of which is at least as much of a threat to the future of the monarchy) will win the day – if there be such.

27 March 2009 at 11:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale

Your Grace; you say that Evan Harris is no fool. The Psalmist David would disagree with you and I must do the same.

Psalm 14:1
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Evan Harris fits David's description.

27 March 2009 at 11:39  
Anonymous the recusant said...

I would repeal the Act of Settlement in an instant, but the idea of having that man champion it on my behalf is so repulsive that the Act itself is preferable. The phrase ‘Not in my Name’ comes to mind.

As for retaining any Christian foundation at the heart of the UK, I am inclined to believe that battle has already been lost. Consequently the remaining Christians in this land need a post Christian ere strategy, not looking back with wistful sighs to a bygone era. We know where we came from; the question is where are we going?

Your Grace the reason Tony Blair was asked to refrain from taking communion at Westminster Cathedral was simply to save his life.

Roman Catholics and other ecclesiastical communities have different ideas about what happens during the consecration. We believe in Transubstantiation, our separated brethren don’t. We believe in the Real Presence where Our Lord is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, our separated brethren don’t. We take the words of Christ on this literally, again our separated brethren don’t. Now bearing in mind St Pauls first Epistle to the Corinthians 11:27-29 which shows an objective connection with the Eucharist,"

11:27 Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.

Note Or drink. . .Here erroneous translators corrupted the text, by putting ‘and drink’ (contrary to the original) instead of ‘or drink’.

Note Guilty of the body, etc., not discerning the body, etc. . .This demonstrates the real presence of the body and blood of Christ, even to the unworthy communicant; who otherwise could not be guilty of the body and blood of Christ, or justly condemned for not discerning the Lord's body.

11:28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice.

Note Drink of the chalice. . .This is not said by way of command, but by way of allowance, viz., where and when it is agreeable to the practice and discipline of the church.

11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

Also the response ‘Amen’ after the priest says ‘The Body of Christ’ or ‘The Blood of Christ’, which was translated from the Hebrew word for "believe" (amam), meaning in faith, surely, truly, of a truth, clearly insists the communicant assents fully to the Roman Catholic teaching and understanding of Holy Communion.

So the question is, being Anglican and not yet consenting to the Roman Catholic faith vis the acceptance of the Real Presence, is it more agreeable, for fellowship’s sake, to let the communicant go ahead and ‘eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself’ (the verse “not discerning the body of the Lord” precludes the excuse ‘I didn’t know’) or to deny such consequence until the communicant understand what he is doing and thereby “let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice.”

I am reminded of that memorable quote of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons

The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!

Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

Alas Your Grace you still take the Kings pleasure in this.

It is not therefore discriminatory to request our separated brethren refrain from taking communion, simply because they are not ‘In Communion’ with the Roman Catholic Church, nor is it right, in justice knowingly to expose them to the consequences of such action. It is in fact an act of mercy and charity to withhold until they are truly in communion with the Roman Catholic Church and cognisant of their actions. In truth to save his life.

The question of whether Mr & Mrs Blair should be present themselves for Communion knowing their history and support for abortion is another matter.

27 March 2009 at 12:01  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

I would attach more weight to the opinions expressed in the poll if I had the slightest faith that those responding had ever been taught the history that gave rise to this legislation in the first place.

Surely this is all part of the New Labour Project. Detach the people from an understanding of their heritage the better to subvert it

27 March 2009 at 12:22  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

His Grace: "why our forebears insisted that its provisions should be ‘for ever’."

As His Grace has previously noted, no parliament can bind its progeny, for co-equals can never be co-subjects. The Act of Union (1801) also specified that the Established Church of Ireland was to remain established and united with the Church of England 'in perpetuity'. Look how that turned out.

27 March 2009 at 12:54  
Blogger The Heresiarch said...

Theo, your slip notwithstanding, I don't think you or anyone else should ever feel the need to apologise to Evan Davis. Though the BBC ought to apologise for him.

27 March 2009 at 13:33  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

What a charade. I wish that Her Majesty would stand up to these idiots and in particular tell Brown that if this is what he thinks is the priority, then she had better dissolve Parliament and seek another Government.

Instead we have to endure this b*st**d and his cronies for 13-14 months more.

27 March 2009 at 14:13  
Blogger Forlornehope said...

Thank you for clearing up the common misconception that the Act only discriminates against Catholics. This is a small price to pay for maintaining the monarchy and the Christian tradition in England. However, it may be appropriate to ask to what extent a divorced man married to a divorced woman can be considered in communion with any Church that respect Christ's injunction on the sanctity of marriage.

27 March 2009 at 14:14  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Act of Union 1707 is predicated on the Act of Settlement 1701 so we can rid ourselves of Scotland if this is tampered with.

Funnily enough the Act of Settlement 1701 was an attempt to avoid another Civil War. it would be funny if Brown undid the 'ties that bind' Maybe this Scotsman is such a disaster he will bring us back to the battles of the early years of the 1600s.

Civil War should not be discounted, as the institutional meltdown in this country together with the EU role in disintegration of the banking system is certainly giving the notion of Ancien Regime more evidence

27 March 2009 at 14:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought David Starkey was brilliant on the Bebb this morning. Why should we bend over backwards for to accomodate one of the most intolerant unaccomadating institutions in the world?

This is nothing more than a cynical pathetic ploy to buy off a load of West of Scotland, North of England Romanists.

27 March 2009 at 14:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adrian Hilton on Alan Titchmarsh made some good points on the matter your grace.

A lot of interesting overlap between you two...

27 March 2009 at 15:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kissing the Popes ring does not leave the same after taste as kissing Al Gores ring. I assume Gores blessing has been sought?

27 March 2009 at 15:52  
Anonymous bergen said...

Can someone explain why secular Jews such as Harris and Jack Straw(who was "uncomfortable"about the Act of Settlement a few years ago)seem so exercised about this matter.

Some of the most ardent monarchists I know are Catholics,including two of Southern Irish upbringing and I see no demand from them for this change.

Is it merely the chance to weaken the ties that still bind us?I think we are still a Christian country.

27 March 2009 at 16:20  
Blogger Son of boso said...

Your Grace,
You mention the fundamental discriminations within Leigh's faith, one of the most important of which, in this context, is the requirement that children of a mixed marriage be brought up in the RC faith, which would ultimately being any but RCs being disqualified from the throne.

27 March 2009 at 16:50  
Blogger The Half-Blood Welshman said...

If I were an apologist for Dr. Harris (which fortunately for my sanity I am not) I would wonder whether it wasn't a bit pointless trying to make a monarchy "non-discriminatory". It's all in one family. How much more discriminatory can it get? Never mind Asians, Muslims, atheists and others - even I don't have a prayer of getting in on the act, as a white, Protestant natural born male British national (although I was amused to see from Dave's post that Edward Leigh might).

Typical of Harris that he hasn't even the moral courage to say "I'm rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic in a bid to look totally ridiculous and get the monarchy laughed out of court." If he'd had the gumption to propose actually getting rid of the monarchy however...but he never would. This is Evan Harris we're talking about.

Final thought Your Grace: perhaps instead of worrying about abolishing the monarchy we could abolish the useless Nicholas Witchell. Another dreadful blunder in his report was his claim that primogeniture is older than the bar on Catholic monarchs. It was only in the Act of Succession that primogeniture was enshrined, it previously having been a tradition not a law - witness Mary II and Anne preferred to James III.

Where oh where is a politician with courage to suggest we abolish this idiot? The more I see of him the more I sympathize with Prince Charles over him.

27 March 2009 at 16:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cardinal Manning raises his voice

"Surely, a soldier's eye and a soldier's heart would choose by intuition this field of England for the warfare of Faith. […] It is the head of Protestantism, the centre of its movements, and the stronghold of its powers. Weakened in England, it is paralysed everywhere; conquered in England, it is conquered throughout the world. Once overthrown here, all is but a war of detail." [Quoted from Jeremiah Crowley: Romanism – A Menace to the Nation, Aurora, no date, p. 165.]

27 March 2009 at 17:11  
Anonymous len said...

Catholicism should fit well with our government!
"The teachings of popes and priests had led men to look upon the character of God, and even of Christ, as stern, gloomy and forbidding.The saviour was represented as so far devoid of sympathy with man in his fallen state that the mediation of priests must be invoked. Those whose minds had been enlightened by the word of God longed to point these souls to Jesus as their compassionate, loving saviour, standing with outstretched arms, inviting all to come to Him with their burden of sin, their care and weariness.They longed to clear away the obstructions which satan had piled up that men might not see the promises, and come directly to God, confessing their sins, and obtaining pardon and peace"
( From the great Controversy)

27 March 2009 at 17:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those that need reminding, I have this to state.

It is in practice virtually impossible to abolish a Monarchy. The last time this was attempted was shortly after The Russian Revolution and even then, in reality it failed.

The only way to do this is to literally murder the entire bloodline. Which of course is virtually impossible because all of the worlds aristocracy is related to each other.

It is very possible that The present Queen of England is also the Queen of Russia.

There is still a King of France for example even though France has been a republic for over two hundred years.


Whether our present Queen remains the not so United Kingdoms head of state or not, she and her family will still be Royal, still be extremely rich, much more powerful then is commonly known, and will always be head of our monarchy.

Now this is the point.

One reason why the establishment wishes to dilute the bloodline is to undermine the British peoples loyalty to the Crown. This is being done for a simple and practical reason.

The UK is to be abolished, as is its parliament, by the powers that control the EU. Therefore corruption within our parliament is being exposed by Papist/Jesuit agitators such as Guido Fawlks and Alex Jones.

This is an infinitely more important matter then it may at first seem. Which of course is the reason why this particular Papal controlled government is so very keen on the issue.

The Jesuit orders are the promoters of revolutions and counter-revolutions, when not simply creating disorder, conflict, division and ultimately chaos.


The second, and most important reason is this. A New World Order needs a new religion and a new figure head of the material and spiritual. This must come through the Royal Bloodlines. This bloodline must spring from the British Royal family, but it must also include elements from the Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu faiths.


The Pope and his mates are thinking/planning long term. To them 80 years is simply a blink of an eye.

However I have evidence to believe that we are closer to this reality then we may think. The present Queen of Englands bloodlines already include elements of 3 major religions, including very much the Jewish one. The only one that seems to be virtually missing is The Muslim bit.

I conclude that the real reason is not to promote the Catholic faith within the Royal Family. This because IMO The Royal Family is already Catholic. The real reason is to somehow get a bit of Muslim in there for good measure.

27 March 2009 at 18:03  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Regarding the thousands of hours of parliamentary time, this argument was challenged by Robert Blackburn, Professor of Constitutional Law at University College London, who wrote:

…this complication would hardly bother the government’s legislative draftsmen, known as ‘parliamentary counsel’. As a constitutional measure, the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, transforming the office of Lord Chancellor and position of the Law Lords, was far more complex. The annual Finance Acts, dealing with the inter-woven minutiae of mind-boggling taxation details, are arguably much worse in terms of detail and comprehension.

However he goes on to argue in the relationship between the protestant succession and the establishment of the Church of England:

There is no doubt that at the crux of the whole debate about reforming the Act of Settlement is whether the country, and the political elite of the country, wishes to maintain the established Church of England. These two issues – reform of the Act of Settlement and disestablishment of the Church of England are – in truth, two sides of the same coin. Reform of the Act of Settlement and its related statutes would set in train an inevitable momentum towards disestablishment; and disestablishing the Church of England would automatically remove the rationale for the religious provisions binding succession to the Crown.

That the Act requires active participation in the Church of England by the monarch has already been done away with when in 1972 the Church of England’s Admission to Holy Communion Measure, and the [Church of England] Canon (B15A) that followed it, “baptised persons who are communicant members of other churches which subscribe to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and who are in good standing in their own Church” shall without further process be admitted to Holy Communion in C of E churches. This then can be argued already allows Catholics access to the throne, however whether said catholic would remain in good standing with their own Church is questionable.

In that the Act not only discriminates against Catholics but other faiths as well while true is none the less irrelevant. The Act was passed with the sole intention of preventing a Catholic becoming Monarch (by what ever means), other faiths were not the issue only the Catholic faith. One might as well say it discriminates against horses and chickens, still true but just as irrelevant. Section 2 states:

“shall be reconciled to or shall hold communion with the see or church of Rome or shall profess the popish religion or shall marry a papist shall be subject to such incapacities as in such case or cases are by the said recited Act provided enacted and established…”

And so on, no mention of pagans, Mormons, Mohammadans, Sikhs or Holy Jumpers, only papists.

“The Act was forged during an era of intolerable foreign interference in the governance of England.” On this Your Grace we can agree, the treachery by those subjects of King James, to plot against him and enact a treasonous coup, all of whom had had taken the loyal oath and then germinate sedition and insurrection by offering their loyalty to a foreign prince is indeed an act of intolerable foreign interference as you say. Traitors to a man, along with their agents and supporters.

27 March 2009 at 18:09  
Anonymous len said...

The New World order will have to have a state religion which is in league, with the N W O.
This indeed will have to be a universal religion mixing different belief systems( much the same a constantine did)

27 March 2009 at 18:48  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Indeed, this whole debacle smacks of rearranging the deck chairs as the ship goes down. It only serves to demonstrate how useless and clueless many of our elected public figures are.

What a pair of...

27 March 2009 at 19:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Evan Harris is yet another of the South African imports rather like Peter Hain and the other David steel....all of whom grew up outside the cultural norms of this polity and were raised in deformity in Africa far away from the desires and hopes of those raised in England

27 March 2009 at 19:48  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Does she want our Loyalty or not, I'm getting impatient.

27 March 2009 at 21:25  
Blogger Augustine said...

Better a heterodox state Church than a militantly secularist republic. Harris is the kind of man who would seek to ban prayers, scripture and the cross in schools.

27 March 2009 at 22:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friday, 27 March 2009
So who could oppose Royal succession reform? Here's who
Good news that the government is to move on ending Royal primogeniture and the religious discrimination against heirs to the throne marrying Catholics. These modest reforms were recommended in the Fabian Monarchy Commission of 2003, and have widespread support.

Evan Harris is now introducing his private members' Bill in the Commons. While it has no chance of becoming law, he has done well to prompt the government's move forward. A good deal of background, and relevant links to Hansard and other sources, about the recent history of this issue can be found in this earlier post about his Bill. It is good to see progress is being made, having been stalled by the extreme timidity on this issue of former Lord Chancellor Charlie Falcolner, in response to Alf Dubs' Bill and questions.

The Times had an excellent leader on this in December 2004, in support of my Fabian Executive colleague Alf Dubs raising this issue in his own Bill in the Lords:

I am a RC and do not feel that i am descriminated against in any way by laws laid down by my ancestors.
This is an attack on Christianity!

No wonder Blair wanted to elect the HOL also place his Fabian buddies right at the heart of the British establishment.

28 March 2009 at 12:20  
Blogger Dissenter said...

Nothing could be more obvious than that this is a sneaky attack on the establishment of the church of England. I say sneaky, because Harris has the right to openly argue for disestablishment, but here he is using a deceptive stratagem.

You say he is no fool, I beg to differ, for has not the scripture said 'The fool says to himself 'There is (probably?) no God'.

As an Evangelical who is currently wondering about whether to remain in his local Anglican church or if it is a lost cause, I think there mght be a case for disestablishment. But let it be made on an honest prospectus, not a phoney 'anti-discrimination' amendment.

Presumably Harris thinks that God Himself must not be allowed to discriminate, and that on the great and terrible day of Judgment he will be able to call of a human rights lawyer to protect him from the wrath of Him who sits on the throne.

31 March 2009 at 15:58  

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