Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lizz Truss and family values

Cranmer has been asked to comment upon the attempts of the local Conservative association in SW Norfolk to deselect their newly-adopted candidate, Liz Truss. She was, by all accounts, an excellent choice, lauded and praised universally for her skills, experience and prospects for considerably strengthening the parliamentary party after the next general election.

But during the selection process, it is alleged that she concealed the fact that she had engaged in an extra-marital affair with Conservative backbencher Mark Field, which led to the breakdown of his marriage. One of Cranmer’s communicants has asked him to comment upon the matter in the context of the conservative view of family values.

His Grace likes to oblige.

Family values are utterly, absolutely, completely and irrefutably irrelevant to the case.

His Grace hopes that he has made that clear.

A matter that is all over the ubiquitous Internet is hardly a matter that is concealed. If the local party in SW Norfolk has not bothered to research the candidates before them, the omission is theirs. Whilst much which pollutes the Internet is tittle-tattle, and much of that muchness is distorted, exaggerated and/or quite unjustifiable, untrue or unfair, a Conservative association engaged in something as radical as the election of their prospective parliamentary candidate has a duty to research their candidates thoroughly, and to raise any questions or concerns through the appropriate channels.

However, there are now calls for CCHQ to intervene and prevent the local association from deselecting Ms Truss. Even the arch-defender of Tory grass roots has said that the Conservatives of SW Norfolk ‘are stretching patience to breaking point’.

It is profoundly concerning to hear that the increasingly omnipotent and omniscient CCHQ is being given such high-profile succour as they pursue their power-grab and sideline the local association to the point of irrelevance. Deficient and negligent the Conservatives of SW Norfolk may be, but who is to be the judge of deficiency and negligence?

One cannot on the one hand oppose the imposition of all-women shortlists and on the other defend the right of CCHQ to halt what is perceived to be an unjust deselection. One cannot simultaneously wish to see power returned to local associations only to oppose it when it is exercised in a manner with which one disagrees. Toryism is benign paternalism; not malignant authoritarianism.

The awkward fact is that Liz Truss is one of Mr Cameron’s most highly-favoured women / gay / ethnic candidates, and holds privileged status on the party’s List of Approved Candidates. She is approved despite the party knowing of her affair, and that approval confers an authority which a local association should not be permitted to overturn: ie, a candidate approved centrally may not be unapproved locally, though some may disapprove of him or her. However, when a candidate does something which renders them unapproved in the eyes of the local association, in terms of conduct or character, the central authority should not be empowered to intervene and to impose its will upon the local association.

But that is not the case in the matter of Liz Truss. Had she engaged in a squalid affair after being selected, that may indeed be legitimate grounds for local intervention: Boris Johnson faced more than a little scrutiny in Henley when his personal life was perceived to be hindering his performance as an MP.

But the fact is that it is utterly un-conservative to assert that what one does in the bedroom has any bearing at all on one’s ability to represent one’s constituents in Parliament. One does not need to dwell in a traditional family unit in order to uphold it as the building block of a stable society. And it is highly questionable the extent to which the morals and standards of one should be imposed upon another. Of course, one may have expectations, but the Conservatives of SW Norfolk appear not to have made them sufficiently explicit. None of us can know the personal circumstances which led Ms Truss and Mr Field to pursue their curtain-twitching assignation, but neither is it for us to judge. Whilst an extra-marital affair does indeed reveal something of a person’s character, in the case of Liz Truss there is more than a whiff of sexism: for a man to sleep around is ‘natural’; for a women to do so is whoredom. If Mark Field is acceptable for the Cities of London and Westminster, then Liz Truss should be in SW Norfolk. The hypocrisy is sickening.

But there is no rule within CCHQ’s centralised constitution that local associations may not be hypocritical. If that were the case, CCHQ would find itself subject to its own support status, for they have been known to be guilty of their own brand of hypocrisy in the capricious unapproval of what they have previously approved.

So, what is to be done?

Cranmer is persuaded that this unseemly saga has caused an irretrievable breakdown in the working relationship, as irretrievable as the breakdown Ms Truss’s affair caused Mr Field’s marriage. It has broken down to such an extent that the candidate no longer has the support of the local association, and the local association appear not to want their candidate. One cannot fight a next general election without arms and legs. But it is not for CCHQ to impose a solution or interfere with local democracy: if they were wise, they would refrain from intervention.

If they were wise.

The centralised handling of so many candidate selections and the imposition of the favoured Cameroon has so frequently ended in tears that it ought to be evident that CCHQ interference does more harm to the party than the occasional little local difficulty. And no winner can emerge from this situation.

With regret, Cranmer concludes that Ms Truss ought to do the honourable thing and resign. If she is as talented and as valuable to the party as is reported, she will have no problem finding another seat to contest. The common cry of curs in SW Norfolk appear to want an unsullied saint as their parliamentary candidate and so wish to banish Ms Truss from their rotten fens. She should simply banish them, and tell them there is a world elsewhere.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect, blinkered conservative logic. If it was an MP of a different Party, I can imagine how the logic would be reversed. In situations where there is no plausible excuse, it is best not to attempt to manufacture them, it just stinks of arrogance and hypocrisy. You do your self an injustice here, and the subconscious effects will creep in.

28 October 2009 at 10:01  
Anonymous McFedup said...

For me, there is nothing worse than being force fed rules and regulations by some hussy MP who is on the loose like a bitch on heat.

28 October 2009 at 10:23  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

What a well-written argument,, Your Grace. I hope the local CA will reflect upon the devil they know.

28 October 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

I believe that Your Grace is quite correct.

The case is, in some respects, similar to that of Mr. James Gray, the member for North Wiltshire.

28 October 2009 at 10:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

You put your case with much force. My father used to say that the first advocate seems right until the second advocate comes and cross-examines his case.

‘A matter that is all over the ubiquitous Internet is hardly a matter that is concealed.’

It may be that NW Norfolk new about the adultery – but they waited for Mrs Truss to exercise her honesty voluntarily (revealing humility in her character) and that may have presented NW Norfolk to apply justice combined with mercy. They may, therefore, have been neither deficient nor negligent; but on the contrary, upholding the highest standards that justice and mercy demand. Had she informed them she may have taken another step, painfully, to improve her own moral character (as CS Lewis I think once said ‘Think of this life as training for the next’ and pain is God’s megaphone to arouse a deaf world). A confession might also have reminded her that it is difficult to conceal matters from the community and hence public life. That knowledge would provide her with a good platform to conduct public affairs with honesty, probity and integrity.

Presumably, Mr Field and Mrs Truss upon their respective marriages took vows to the effect that they would be faithful to their respective wife and husband. They would have been witnessed by family and friends. God recorded them.

They, presumably, exchanged wedding rings upon their respective marriages. The wedding ring on their respective fingers would have warned them that each was in an exclusive relationship.

It is said that, ‘But the fact is that it is utterly un-conservative to assert that what one does in the bedroom has any bearing at all on one’s ability to represent one’s constituents in Parliament.’

It is conservative to assert that it does. How can we uphold and teach family values if we neigh after our neighbours’ wives like stallions on fire?

If one were to have multiple partners one’s family and community ought to be concerned. Left unchecked one does not know if one’s daughter is being seduced by a cad who may be infecting her and then dumping her as if she was so much meat that is sent back to the kitchen. It is unacceptable. The community must stigmatise and the local GPs’ practice must advise.

It is said ‘[F]or a man to sleep around is ‘natural’; for a woman to do so is whoredom…’

It is not ‘natural’. It is either fornication or adultery. Both need to be condemned by family and community.

Many communities will support NW Norfolk Conservative Association for upholding values of honesty, integrity, probity, morality. For it is a great thing to be sent by one’s people to serve not only in parliament but to take a seat in government. The eyes of the world are upon you and you carry your constituents upon your shoulders.

28 October 2009 at 11:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace comments:
"But the fact is that it is utterly un-conservative to assert that what one does in the bedroom has any bearing at all on one’s ability to represent one’s constituents in Parliament. One does not need to dwell in a traditional family unit in order to uphold it as the building block of a stable society."
As the one who put this question to Your Grace, I am disppointed at the lack of - yes - Christian principle in Your Grace's words. Perhaps Your Grace has not fully cast off the spell of Henrician sexual politics?
Adultery is dishonest and breaks up marriages and families. Broken families harm society. Christian conservatives should care about vows, families and society's health. We are inclined to be indulgent about our own sins. Sadly that is why there is little difference at the personal level among all the political parties in Britain.
A prophetic voice, please, Your Grace!

28 October 2009 at 11:51  
Blogger English Viking said...

Your Grace,

You are a very strange man indeed, I really can't work you out.

At one time you seem to stand for all that is good and right, all that is Christian, and then on another occasion you will appear to defend the 'rights' of an adulteress to preach family values whilst behaving like an alley cat. You extend the logic to say that if the man is perceived as behaving in a 'natural' fashion she should be accorded the same courtesy.

This all sounds very worldly to me. Not what one would expect from a Christian 'leader'. Surely the Christian position is something along these lines:

Adultery is very grave sin, against God, numerous members of numerous families, against society and obviously against oneself. No room to pursue a career in law-making should be given to anybody who commits such a crime, as this may lessen impact of the awfulness of adultery in the minds of the people and we would then see an increase in it's occurrence. People should be made to suffer the consequences of their sin, in the hope that it would bring about repentance and restoration. They should not be allowed to brazenly continue in a career that involves making laws on marriage and relationships that everybody else is expected to abide by. That the man involved has behaved in a truly shocking fashion is indisputable. His career as a law-maker, judge and divider over the people should be over as well.

If a person is willing to lie, cheat, deceive and so bitterly wound the one to whom they vowed, before witnesses, to Almighty God, that they would never, ever do such a wicked thing, the possibly remains open that they may be willing to do the same to the electorate, as and when required, in order to further their selfish aims.

Defending this dreadful woman, whom the Bible would describe as a thief (she stole another's husband), a liar and indeed, a whore, out of seriously misplaced faith in the Con partie's abilities to right the appalling wrongs of the last 13 years (and even the 17 years before that) does yourself a disservice but, worse than that, it is a poor witness of Christian morality.

28 October 2009 at 12:00  
Blogger Simon said...

Your conclusion is bang on the money, Your Grace. And now to sit back and see what happens...

28 October 2009 at 12:20  
Anonymous Bethel said...

The respective obligations on each side when one of them is seeking some form of public office are for those appointing to make proper checks to ensure the candidate has declared any actual or potential conflicts of interest. Meanwhile the candidate should raise any matters that might cause such a conflict.
It's not unusual for the appointers not to understand what they should be doing, why, or to fail to carry out such checks; and sadly not unknown for those seeking office either to conceal or not bother to declare such matters.
All sides have egg on their face.
If elected, neither of the candidates will have any authority or credibility in family policy issues. That's the high risk factor and where the conflict lies. It's in the perception as much as the actuality.
His Grace must be surely right to say she should withdraw but in fact both candidates should.
And the farmyard behaviour of the couple is not something the public are in a mood to put up with.
Do things go wrong in people's lives and marriages-of course they do. Adultery may be common in many ways, but it's just not the standard of behaviour electors want to see.
Real soapbox stuff today! Better have a lie down...on my own!

28 October 2009 at 12:36  
Anonymous not a machine said...

talent is an unusal gift and invariably means you have more of somthing than others do , affairs in politics are commonplace home secretaries and deputy pms are not immune from them.

I suspect ms Truss had rather hoped GCHQ backing would be enough momentum for forgiveness , yet local selection meetings are often fraught with injustices from previous errors , but a local party is right to probe its candidate for any attitudes it feels are not localy liked , no good being a supermarket builder if everyone cherishes there small shops .

Ms truss is perhaps guilty of not being local enough , or respectfull of her approach into the area she needs votes , wich you could argue GCHQ has enabled in her surprise dropping in .

Should we hold somthing against someone before they entered public life ?? a prisoner serves a sentence , adultery is alas not so defined .

if so such a position would leave an empty house , but two arrogances dont make a selection .

Your grace is most thoughtfull on delicate matters , a pleasure to read

28 October 2009 at 13:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your conclusion is bang on the money"

See what I mean about blinkered. Add to this, decedant and impotent.

28 October 2009 at 13:42  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

The crucial line in His Grace's post is "But during the selection process, it is alleged that she concealed the fact that she had engaged in an extra-marital affair . . . ."

That is the nub of the matter. Or, to be precise, "Was it the intention of Ms. Truss to mislead or deceive the NW Norfolk Conservative Association during the selection process?"

If she was willing to tell the truth, but was not asked, then the fault lies not with her, but with those who failed to ask. As His Grace says, it was the job of the local party to research the candidates before them.

Committing adultery is a grievous sin, but it does not make a person unfit for public office. Deceiving a selection committee does.

28 October 2009 at 13:46  
Blogger Don't Call Me Dave said...

Young Mr Brown

The situation with Lizz Truss bears no comparison to the odious James Gray - the adulterer who left his wife whilst she was undergoing treatment for cancer and gorged himself at the public trough.

28 October 2009 at 13:53  
Blogger Preacher said...

Your Grace.
I feel that the good people of NW Norfolk feel let down by the blatant immorality being flaunted by both parties in this affair & they'd rather not be represented in Parliament by Ms Truss, which is their right. It seems to me that there has been no remorse or repentance from either party, which is why CCHQ has been involved when Ms Truss has declined to resign.
In whatever capacity we choose to live our lives under public scrutiny we must be prepared to walk the walk having talked the talk or walk away quietly. The public is sick & tired of being led by people whose adenda seems to be "don't do as I do, do as I say". The same rule applies for all in the public eye (including preachers).

28 October 2009 at 14:00  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

It has been said::

‘That is the nub of the matter. Or, to be precise, "Was it the intention of Ms. Truss to mislead or deceive the NW Norfolk Conservative Association during the selection process?"’

Firstly, it is not (or should not be) the task of such a panel to divine between intention and the acts of commission or omission of a candidate. Attempting to discover intention seems to imply that such a panel should seek to establish facts to the criminal standard of proof: beyond reasonable doubt. A fair standard of belief to reach, in my opinion, should be on the balance of probabilities (even that may be considered too high).

In any event, to mislead or deceive is not the end of the matter. Mrs Truss may have concealed. (Just look at the expenses scandal. MPs were concealing matters of public interest.)

It is said:

‘If she was willing to tell the truth, but was not asked, then the fault lies not with her, but with those who failed to ask.’

Again, ‘if she was willing to tell the truth’ that suggests that the panel ought to have been aware that she was willing to tell the truth and therefore inquired (it is the same as trying to divine the intention of the candidate). The panel is not expected to possess the qualities of Mystic Meg.

It is said:

‘As His Grace says, it was the job of the local party to research the candidates before them.’

Matters do not rest there either. The panel may well have known that the candidate had committed adultery but waited patiently for the candidate to speak about how she had learnt from her error of judgment (after all she was on the journey to public office – and in public office your private life will be examined – as it will in the community). ‘Justice’ would have been served (the candidate’s humility would have been revealed) and the burden to show mercy would’ve been on the panel’s shoulders. That would be a ‘win-win’ situation for the panel and the candidate.

It is not about whether adultery should or should not bar one from office. It is about the moral character of those who seek election to presumably serve us. The woman caught in adultery was an interesting case for our LORD. On the one hand he was being tested by the lawyers to see if he would uphold the letter of the law (justice) on the other hand, no doubt, there were others who wanted to see if He could demonstrate ‘Left-liberal social democratic credentials’ (we must not forget that divorce upon any ground was coming into vogue at the time).

Our LORD did neither, in my opinion, he upheld the demands of justice tempered by mercy.

28 October 2009 at 14:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adultery is always a very sad and serious matter. It must be repented of. Ms Truss can move on by acknowledging the wrong she has done and apologise to the family of Mr Field and the constituency of NW Norfolk. She might even resign and seek another consituency. That would convince me that she is worthy of serving as a MP.

28 October 2009 at 15:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it the opinion of Your Grace, that we should apply this same analysis to the identical events that have befallen the Association and PPC of SOUTH West Norfolk?

28 October 2009 at 15:53  
Blogger Fausty said...

How to the Tories expect to overturn a 10,000 majority with a candidate that the locals don't want?

So much for Cameron's desire to localise politics.

28 October 2009 at 16:52  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Anon @15.53,


His Grace has corrected, and humbly apologises to Mr Bellingham and to the upright Conservatives of NW Norfolk. Their fens is not so rotten.

28 October 2009 at 17:32  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

I'm glad to see your Grace is on the blogging scene again, peddling Christian and conservative nonsense. I kiss your Grace's ring, so to speak.

I find your post baffling, though. You're quite right that this move against Liz Truss is utterly sexist. This would not be happening if she were male, and it reveals what many non-conservatives suspect, that in truth the Tory party includes many people who are obsessed with policing others' lives, and eager to cast the first stone.

How can you see how wrong this treatment of her is, and yet call for her to step down?

With the greatest respect, your Grace (and I mean no offence) that particular via media is so unprincipled as to be worthy of Dr. Williams himself.

28 October 2009 at 17:49  
Blogger Miss Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace
While I entirely agree with your conclusion that this has the mark of sexist thinking all over it, I am finding it difficult to recover from your position that 'it is not for us to judge':

"One does not need to dwell in a traditional family unit in order to uphold it as the building block of a stable society."

WHAT ON EARTH?? Politicians, teachers, doctors, people in business with positions of respect in society, and even pop stars are OBLIGED to behave decently. We are role models for children, and as such, we need to behave in the way that we would like them to behave. We lead by example, in what we say, and most importantly by what we DO.

If one finds such impositions on one's 'personal life' (which is no longer private given one's choice of career), then one had better change one's choice of career. Be a bin man, or a lab technician. Be a banker for all I care! But do not take on a position of authority in society, whether male or female, and then behave in such a way that shames the rest of us.

This woman is no doubt a nice woman. I have nothing against her. But I do permit myself to judge her, just as I permit myself to judge the actions of my children. And when I stand in front of mu children and tell them to be X, I wish to do so in a country led by virtuous people so that I can point to them and say 'Be like them'. If I cannot do this, then by God I have the right to criticise them - and frankly, if I were NOT to do so, I would be the lesser person for keeping quiet about it!

28 October 2009 at 18:21  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

Is this something to do with Lynn Truss of 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' fame?

A Truss is also a hernia support.

Truss this helps.

28 October 2009 at 18:22  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

D. Singh,

I note that you replied to my comment, and I agree with most of what you say.

A few points:

I did not suggest that the panel should seek to establish intention.

In any event, to mislead or deceive is not the end of the matter. Mrs Truss may have concealed.

My understanding is that to conceal something that should be made known is to mislead or deceive. To fail to disclose something that you are not expected to reveal is not deception.

The panel may well have known . . . a ‘win-win’ situation for the panel and the candidate.

That would have been good. But I am under the impression that they did now know.

It is about the moral character of those who seek election to presumably serve us.

The issue of the moral character of those who seek election is a difficult one, and I've jotted down my thoughts here.

28 October 2009 at 18:49  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Gardner,

His Grace recommends that Ms Truss stand down not because she has committed any crime, but because her unconfessed sin appears to have caused an irretrievable breakdown in a crucial working relationship. It is 'for the sake of the party', so to speak, not to mention her own.

Ms Snuffy,

His Grace meant that comment in the sense that a single mother or a homosexual may very well be persuaded and believe that the traditional family unit may be best for a stable society. By believing or advocating such a thing, it is not hypocritical if one's own personal arrangements are not consistent with it.

28 October 2009 at 18:51  
Blogger Alfred of Wessex said...

Archbishop Cranmer 0, Miss Snufflepagus 1.

I despair, Your Grace. For David Cameron and his "modernisers" to speak of seeking to mend "Broken Britan" on the one hand, while ignoring behaviour on the part of one of its favoured few that led to the irretrievable breakdown of another's marriage reeks of the very hypocrisy and double standards that have brought the Executive and Legislature of this benighted land to its present nadir.

Word verification: boloc (I kid you not.)

28 October 2009 at 19:01  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

Back to Basics never went away, did it? This affair is a good reason not to vote Tory.

Your Grace, I understand your argument but remain wholly unconvinced. If it's wrong to sack her, it must be wrong to expect her to resign herself - it's much the same as the Jeffrey John case, in which Dr. Williams claimed to stand against prejudice while pressurising the victim of it to stand down "for the good of the party".

She's the wronged party, not these prurient activists - who are they to judge her, unless their private lives are fully exposed to us all first? - and "the good of the party" requires Tories to stand against this nonsense. Otherwise you'll be like the CofE next, bickering endlessly about divorcees and whether gays are practising or not.

28 October 2009 at 19:24  
Blogger Gerv said...

"in the case of Liz Truss there is more than a whiff of sexism: for a man to sleep around is ‘natural’; for a women to do so is whoredom"

Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I think the voters of South West Norfolk have no ability to influence the selection of the candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster. There is no sexism in them not wanting her if they would also not want Mr Field if he were to be their candidate.

I'm afraid I cannot agree with Your Grace on this one. English Viking seems to have hit the nail on the head here. You can't separate someone's private character from their public character.

28 October 2009 at 20:14  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

This photo says to me that the ‘candidate' looks like a rather sly child - too young either to commit adultery or to participate in government. But then again, even an old Anchorite would not necessarily have been a saint before going into seclusion. I like Your Grace's solution from the point of view of the child herself.

Several precedents encourage me to agree with Your Grace, otherwise - - adultery should not be the issue: Christ told us that only those without sin should cast the stones, which fits also with the vernacular tradition of "sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander." And surely we have a parliament (and a society) packed full of adulterers who may either have learned from youthful error and reformed, or have been left free to repeat their ‘peccadillos' ad infinitum because they are men. To say nothing of whatever else is going on that the PC artists will not condemn.

However, we also have a parliament packed full of traitors, terrorist-murderers, liars, swindlers, homosexual strippers, foreigners, takers of illicit drugs, and Your Grace's favorite tokens: one-legged etceteras, etc. Our masters even accord some of them status as ‘nobility.' No wonder the Electorate can't find anyone to vote for!

So perhaps the issue should be whether or not the Electorate approves of any of them? Perhaps we should applaud the People of SW Norfolk for their courage and intelligence in making their voices heard, and bringing this matter before the larger public? Perhaps we should change the system so that the People approve the choices of their local committees; so that the choice is not in the hands of communist bureaucrats who represent only the interests of our foreign ‘superiors'? Perhaps the issue should, once more, be about re-empowerment of the British People.

In fact - perhaps we should hold a whole Pre-Election - in which we get to accept or reject the candidates who have already been foisted upon us!

28 October 2009 at 22:01  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

Courage and intelligence? Rubbish. If it were up to the People, Churchmouse, they certainly wouldn't sack MPs for having had affairs in the past. They might well sack any left who snoop into others' personal lives and glory in judgmentalism.

In truth what's happening here is that the officers of this association are willing instruments of Paul Dacre - he thinks "adultery is a proper cause for public condemnation" and apparently now thinks "adulterers" should be barred from public office.

Can we set up a Victoriana theme park for him and all his Tory supporters to live in?

Anyway, back to the point I made before: before they even consider deselection, the officers of the association - David Hills, Ann Steward and Richard Rockcliffe - should be required to fully disclose in public any matters in their own private or business lives that might, if known, be embarrassing to the Conservative party. That's the way to root out this sort of nonsense.

28 October 2009 at 23:02  
Anonymous Morus said...

I am so disappointed by this case.

In being unfairly treated by a sexist and incompetant selection panel, I have been forced to defend a woman whose work with the "Think Tank" (and I use the term in the loosest possible sense) Reform I find horribly similar to the vacuous pseudo-academic detritus of the Blair era.

Every word of hers I have read has convinced me she should not hold public office, and should be kept away from public policy at all costs. Sadly, there is to be no more assessment of her abilities or lack thereof - her future rests in the hands of how harshly we should judge the idiots who first selected her then threw her to the media wolves. They are, in all seriousness, beneath contempt.

29 October 2009 at 00:18  
Anonymous Bethel said...

Consider the Ten Commandments??????

29 October 2009 at 01:06  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

No, Bethel. How about considering what Jesus would do? What he did do, in fact, in the case of the woman caught in adultery.

High heavens! Is this what it's come to? An out and out atheist preaching Christian ethics to the Christians?

29 October 2009 at 01:15  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

"They [the People] might well sack any left who snoop into others' personal lives and glory in judgmentalism." That's what I'd hope for, Carl Gardner.

My experience, however, suggests that such witch-hunts aren't confined to so-called Tories. I see them daily as a Commie tactic, especially suited to bullies and red herring merchants. They're a great tool for intimidating whole communities 'by example' - rather as Caesar cut of the right hands of Gauls who fought against him.

The impetus for the viciousness I see usually arises from some challenge to egos or 'authority,' and a belief that the best form of defence is attack - and preferably the ruin of the victim. The attackers often include atheists, only too keen to illustrate that Christians are not 'immaculate'; or occasionally "Christians" who find it convenient to act as scourges for gods! Your solution would be effective, in all these cases.

I still think, though, that we also need to develop ways of ascertaining that parliamentary candidates qualify to represent the interests of the people - rather than the arcane ideological agenda of any kind of Big Brother.

29 October 2009 at 04:52  
Anonymous Fox in sox said...

it should be up to the local constituency to decide. Indeed the problem would not have arisen if she was known to the local association before applying to be PPC. I feel that local accountability is the root of a representative democracy.

Some public contrition and repentance on her part would do both her soul and her relationship to her prospective constituency a lot of good. It is never too late to beg for forgiveness, or too receive it, provided the repentance includes a vow to sin no more.

29 October 2009 at 07:29  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Gadrner -

Your preaching is indeed flawed as you misunderstand the issues involved in the woman caught in adultery.

The lawyers attempted to impale Jesus upon the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand if he did not condemn the woman ‘caught’ in adultery He would be accused of failing to uphold Old Testament law (and false teaching); on the other hand if He did the penalty would be capital punishment that was abolished for the Jews by the Romans in 30 AD and therefore He would be accused of sedition.

Because adultery was a capital crime there were very strict conditions that had to be fulfilled before it could be proven. The couple had to be caught in the act (and just a compromising situation); both parties that were alleged to have ‘tangoed’ had to be produced (Deut. 22.22) and both parties had to be prosecuted (only one party was produced).

The suggestion is that the woman had been framed. That would mean that those requesting judgment against her were false witnesses, they were perverting the course of justice and therefore were at risk of prosecution and their own condemnation.

John 7:24 states: ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ Jesus would not contradict this saying of His.

So when Jesus says ‘He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’ he is saying that in this specific case he who is without the equivalent guilt, go-ahead, trigger the execution.

Government without judgment in civil and criminal affairs would simply lead to anarchy. This is what the socialist has lost sight of in his self-congratulatory moral superiority.

Jesus does not say sin no more, and then I won’t condemn you; He does not say that the first time you break the law I won’t condemn you; He does not advise anyone that he isn’t responsible for his actions; He does not say that He accepts her apology (she doesn’t issue one).

He says ‘Go and sin no more’.

He knows that He is going to that place of execution where Truth is going to be hung upon the scaffold. It is He that will take her, mine and your wrongdoing upon Himself presenting us with the choice that we either ask Him for forgiveness or reject eternal life and descend into that region where we become creatures that we were never meant to be.

Perhaps there really is two fundamental classes of men: those who say ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says ‘Thy will be done’.

You would show great wisdom if you desist from commenting upon matters that you, evidently, have little knowledge about.

29 October 2009 at 08:37  
Blogger D. Singh said...


Because adultery was a capital crime there were very strict
conditions that had to be fulfilled before it could be proven. The couple had to be caught in the act (and not just a compromising situation); both parties that were alleged to have ‘tangoed’ had to be produced (Deut. 22.22) and both parties had to be prosecuted (only one party was produced).

29 October 2009 at 08:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT here - but perhaps His Grace amy like to comment on the life sentence today for James Rennie in Scotland for pedophile abuse. Mr Rennie, we are told, was the Chief Executive of "LGBT Youth Scotland", a publicly funded body that received over £1 million in taxpayers' money, incl. £40,000 for Mr Rennie.
Why are the law-abiding taxpayers of this country being screwed to support such people? Where is the accountability?

29 October 2009 at 12:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All people do things that are not good. That's what 'sin' is.

People can repent, or turn away from not doing good.

Showing grace is the bestowing of unwarranted forgiveness on those who 'sin' against oneself or others.

Nothing is unforgiveable, but one does not merit forgiveness for oneself if one won't be gracious to others.

Here, two factors are at play. One, has this lady said 'sorry' for whatever harm she has done and meant it? Two, are those sitting in judgement hypocrites, insofar as they can't see the need to forgive the repentent?

If only the latter, she should go elsewhere regardless, If only the former, they need to consider their position. If both, there is not much hope for either, and they deserve each other.

30 October 2009 at 22:45  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

I'm not aware of any job being available which sets limits on who you can and can't sleep with (married or not) barring certain religious groups granted but that doesn't even really stop them now does it.

Her sexual acts bear absolutely no relevance on her ability to serve the people, however to serve the people you must I suppose represent the people. And if her actions don't reprsent the people then how can she serve them well without having their support.

She shouldn't be fired as this does not impact her ability to do her job, but spot on Cranny I agree 100% that the honourable thing to do is resign if the people she represents do not support her.

2 November 2009 at 13:36  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

It's not about her ability to represent the people, Glovner. I see no uprising among voters Norfolk against this supposedly scarlet woman. It's about her acceptability to a narrow-minded set of Tory activist busybodies who've seen fit to impose on her and the voters their own hidebound, perverted, Daily Mail version of morality.

@D. Singh:

Thanks for the explanation of the story about the woman caught in adultery. Amazing, isn't it, how incredibly complex the teachings of Jesus can suddenly become, once Christians are challenged actually to live up to them. Amazing too that there are Christians willing to use the story of the woman caught in adultery as giving some sort of support to persecution of Liz Truss. Amazing but not surprising. One of the reasons I'm not religious is the extremely unattractive, selective and self-serving use of holy writings by religious conservatives.

Call me a socialist by all means: most who proudly apply that term to themselves wouldn't agree, but I'm unconcerned about that. Do I think I'm "morally superior"? Well, morally superior to the sort of person who calls into question a woman's fitness for public office on the basis of her past sex life - yes, I certainly hope, and thankfully also believe, I am morally superior to that. I would feel ashamed to be on that moral level.

3 November 2009 at 18:07  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Gardner,

'...persecution of Liz Truss'.

Grow up.

4 November 2009 at 08:11  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"I see no uprising among voters Norfolk against this supposedly scarlet woman."

In that case then there is no reason for her to resign. I was under the impression the people she represented had some issues with this, it is only honourable to resign if those you represent call for your resignation.

Her sex life has no real impact on her ability to do her job.

4 November 2009 at 08:48  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

I agree, Glovner - there's no reason whatever for her to resign. The constituency association officers (none of whom I note are disclosing anything about their own past sex lives) are not proposing to consult the public about this, and there is no sign that voters, as opposed to local Tory officers, are at all concerned about her.

@D. Singh: great argument.

4 November 2009 at 11:36  

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