Friday, April 16, 2010

The Leaders’ Debate – and the winner is…

Nick Clegg – and not by a whisker, but an entire head and shoulders.

It pains Cranmer to say it.

But His Grace is neither politically blind nor slavishly fawning to the Conservative Party.

It was not so much what Nick Clegg said (though there was much to commend it – like taking everyone who earns less that £10,000 out of income tax altogether). His sums may not have added up; his policies may have been ill-thought-out and some of his sentences poorly crafted. He may be accused of hypocrisy, acting, and even of lying. But he left the nation with a sense of what he is about.

And the nation has never before experienced a Liberal Democrat epiphany.

Unlike Gordon Brown, Mr Clegg possessed an easy charm and natural ability in front of the camera. In fact, his relaxed charisma often left David Cameron looking uptight. And he skillfully rebuffed every presumption of a Lib-Lab pact: Gordon Brown alluded numerous times to their common ground (on electoral reform, for example) in the hope of a pincer-like movement against Mr Cameron. But an indignant Mr Clegg was having none of it. He did not appear petulant, but sincere in his rebuttals: each time he was able to appeal to the audience about the interminable Tory-Labour conflagration, the more he sounded reasonable, credible, authentic – even prime ministerial.

The problem was that much of it sounded scripted. Of course, the set pieces were – the opening gambit and the closing statements had all the spontaneity of a Neighbours script, and the presentation was just as wooden. But even the responses to many of the undisclosed questions sounded pre-prepared, and it is a bad actor that cannot find the authenticity of reality in repeated performance. The debate sections were better, but often abruptly (even rather rudely) curtailed by Alastair Stewart, who did an appalling job as host. He barked out each leader’s name when he wanted them to speak, irrespective of the current speaker needing just five more words to complete a sentence.

An examination of a few details is revealing: in addition to looking decidedly awkward throughout, Gordon Brown was inaccurate and misleading on so many number levels that it is difficult to credit him with anthing from the night.

On Police numbers, Gordon Brown said: “The one thing I'm absolutely sure of, we have to maintain the number of police we have in this country.”

Fact: Police officer numbers are already being cut by Labour. Thirteen police forces have cut police officer numbers in the last five years (Home Affairs Select Committee, Police Service Strength, Fifth report of Session 2009-10, 19 January 2010). A leaked report for the Home Office, co-written by Mark Rowley, the Chief Constable of Surrey, has raised the prospect of 28,000 police officers being replaced by civilian workers to save money (The Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2010). And just four out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales say they plan to maintain current staffing levels (Home Affairs Select Committee, Police Service Strength, January 2010, Appendix A).

On Crime and the amount of time police spend on the beat, Gordon Brown said: “Police have to spend 80 per cent of their time now on the streets.”

Fact: The Advertising Standards Agency ruled illegal the Home Office advertisement that claimed: “You can now expect your neighbourhood police to spend at least 80 per cent of their time on the beat in your area” (The Guardian, 26 March 2010).

On Immigration exit controls, Gordon Brown said: When the Tories were in power they removed exit controls at the borders and got us into this mess.

Fact: This is simply untrue. The last Conservative Government stopped embarkation controls for EU citizens in 1994, in line with our obligations as an EU member. But in 1998 it was Labour who stopped them for people from the rest of the world, a policy which has resulted in porous borders and a sizeable illegal population.

On Immigration numbers, Gordon Brown said: “Net immigration is falling.”

Fact: The inflow of people coming to the UK actually increased as we went into recession, from 574,000 in 2007 to 590,000 in 2008. News Release: Emigration reaches record high in 2008, 26 November 2009).

On Health visitors, Gordon Brown said: “To help people live at home, to give them the urgent care needs that they have and see them met, for example by home helps and health visitors so that people who want to stay at home don't have to go into institutional care.”

Fact: The number of health visitors has been cut by 18 per cent since 2004 – which means almost 2,500 fewer staff (NHS workforce statistics, 25 March 2010). 29 per cent of health visitors report that caseloads are so large that they are losing track of vulnerable families (Amicus, Survey of Health Visitors, 2007).

On respect for the British military, Gordon Brown said: “Let me say first of all, my pride and my admiration for the armed forces.”

Fact: On 1 October 2007 with planning for a snap General Election at the front of his mind Gordon Brown flew to Iraq announced that 1,000 British troops would be withdrawn by Christmas. The small print later revealed that 500 of these had been announced earlier in the year, and 270 are already back in the UK (Gordon Brown’s Address to Reporters in Baghdad, 1 October 2007).

And Nick Clegg was not much better:

On Government waste, he said: ‘But let's not get obsessed about mythical savings in waste which is the oldest trick in the book.’

Fact: “Get better politics for less. Liberal Democrats would save this country nearly £2 billion by reforms that cut back waste in central government and the Houses of Parliament.” (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, page 88)

Fact: The Lib Dems’ manifesto made big promises about cutting waste in the NHS: ‘So our first priority is to increase spending in some parts of the NHS by cutting waste in others. We have identified specific savings that can be made in management costs, bureaucracy and quangos, and we will reinvest that money back into the health care you need’ (p.40).

Nick Clegg further said: “These two constantly argue about waste as if we can create or fill the black hole in the public finances by saving money on paper clips and pot plants in Whitehall.”

Fact: Liberal Democrat pupil premium plans are based on cutting waste in the DCSF budget £415 million “cut education quangos and administration” and £355 million from “ending top-down education initiatives”. (Lib Dem Manifesto – pp. 100-101).

On Prison sentences, Nick Clegg said: “It's all very well to say these things but if what happens in practice is we produce these, as I say, colleges of crime where we have now, what, about 4,000 people going to e into our prisons or short term prison sentences, they sit around, they learn some extra tricks of the trade from some more experienced criminals and then they go out and nine out of ten of the young men on short term prison sentences just commit more crime.”

Fact: In 2008, the last year for which data is available, 58,076 people were sentenced to a prison term of six months or less (Ministry of Justice, Criminal Statistics 2008, Supplementary table S5Length). Under Liberal Democrat manifesto proposals for a presumption against prison sentences of less than six months, these people could instead receive community sentences. If Nick Clegg believes that the figure is 4,000 he has severely underestimated the number of people who would walk free under his plans.

Cranmer has already said that the worst thing about the debate was Alastair Stewart.

But the second worst thing was having to listen to George Osborne after the programme: he was adamant that David Cameron had won, that his man was relaxed and expert, and that his man looked and sounded prime ministerial. Whoever chose George Osborne to represent the Conservative Party in the post-debate section made a bad decision. Even in the face of the results of a spontaneous poll of 4000 undecided members of the public who declared by a significant majority that Nick Clegg had won, George Osborne was having none of it. He came across as arrogant, disingenuous and out of touch: he undermined the very credibility which David Cameron has spent the previous 90 minutes conveying.

This was a pity.

No doubt the Liberal Democrats will reap a few thousand more votes as a result of this debate, and a hung parliament looks a little more likely: indeed, Mr Clegg made the prospect sound rather attractive.

One must hope and pray that David Cameron performs better in the next.


Blogger David Wheeler said...

Talking of Nick Clegg - "...the more he sounded reasonable, credible, authentic – even prime ministerial."

Who was it who said, "Praise from the critics is like the executioner telling you that you have a pretty neck"?

David Wheeler.

16 April 2010 at 08:18  
Blogger Dippyness. said...

Agree. Trouble is most people watching the debates will be swayed by the spin & not the substance.
It was easy for Clegg to promise stuff.
Let's be honest, Clegg wants to be a "King" maker. The fact his woolly ideas will ruin the Country is beside the point.
Cameron must attack Clegg more on policy, otherwise it's all over bar the shouting.

16 April 2010 at 08:18  
Anonymous pedant said...

Your Grace is a hero to endure that grisly debate. I managed ten minutes before turning over to watch some beetles. Fascinating! - by comparison.

"An inordinate fondness for beetles" was the dominant characteristic of the Almighty, opined Haldane. How one agreed last night!

Policies are the footling part of politics; no wonder politicians love to orate about them. But philosophies on the one hand, and character on the other, are, I humbly suggest, what really count.

Here we have two big state parties and one small state party: big government, high tax, low personal responsibility, nanny state, pitted against small goverment, low tax, high personal responsibility, caveat emptor.

As all British politics is in reality merely pro-Tory or anti-Tory, may one hope that Mr Clegg's epiphany will persuade Labour voters that there is a sane alternative to Mr Brown?

It must be perenially dispiriting to be a Liberal Democrat. A bit of encouragement does no one any harm. I join Your Grace in wishing Mr Clegg much joy of his triumph.

"And so I have seen a rose newly sprung from the clefts of its hood, and at first it was fair as the morning, and full of the dew of heaven as a lamb's fleece ..."

16 April 2010 at 08:19  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Unfortunately none of them took advice from this famous image consultant

Gordon Brown
Problem: Seen as dour, stuffy and uncomfortable with modernity
Solution: Wears a London 2012 Olympic tee shirt and mentions how great the logo is. Takes regular gulps from his Dragonfruit Hi Energy sports drink and uses the phrase “freeze the balls of an Artic Monkey several times. Allows himself to fondle the lectern provocatively while he checks messages on his iPhone, he uses a camp hand down gesture when one of his opponents refers to him.

Dave Cameron
Problem: Seen a Toff with faux street cred despite his desire to hug a hoodie
Solution: Wears a dark three piece suit with a white shirt but no tie (Ray Winston style). Mentions bankers and spread betting but avoids using the rhyming slang alternative Bed Wetting. Reveals that his slag is up the duff but is busy establishing her own free school. As his time comes to an end he rips the lectern from its moorings and thrust it in the air champion style ensuring that the retouched veins on his forearm are visible.

Nick Clegg
Problem: Seen as light weight but sometimes tetchy with an exotic foreign wife and in the shadow of his mentor Vince
Solution: Having not shaved for two days he ambles up to the lectern with his jacket slung over his shoulder. For a moment the audience expects “Set em up Joe” from old blue eyes but is not disappointed when he breaks into that old standard rate of income tax threshold extended to £10,000. Hi demeanour is care worn but strong, He gestures to a member of the audience, “that you George?” he shouts and the camera picks out George (Cluney of course) who grins back.

16 April 2010 at 08:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

YG is i think on the money in his take on the nights event.
It was clear to me halfway through that Clegg was by far the most relaxed and telegenic.
He is made for TV unlike old Bagpuss Brown the the Other one, who's high dome forehead looks as though it has just been freshly botoxed.

Clegg has the added credibility advantage of having the sage wisdom of Vince Cable looking over his shoulder.

Like the word *NEW* in TV adverts, Clegg and his Party have not really been held up to the 'window test'of genuine political presence but there is no doubt they have stepped out of the shadow and may well bring forward the real chance of a hung parliament.

I particularly liked the commitment to stand down the replacement to the Trident missile and spent more on the kit for the troops.

They Boy done good.

16 April 2010 at 08:42  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I thought that Cameron appeared decidedly uncomfortable. It struck me that without all the cronies baying at the back of him, Cameron was left empty and alone. The message from Cameron was loud and clear....there is no message, which does not come as any kind of news to me.

Gordon was the usual twat, and Clegg managed to highlight the lack of substance in both the other two. All in all it was fairly entertaining.

16 April 2010 at 09:04  
Blogger David said...

Brown struggled on Education and became increasingly verbose. He can't help talking over people. Too much aspirational talk and not enough policy and evidence. Outside No.10 when he called the election he related the life lessons his parents intilled in him. One of them was "to tell the truth". Some people have no shame.
Why on earth did neither Clegg nor Cameron drive home the point that Brown said we were the best placed to weather the recession when we were first in and last out, and have the biggest national debt due to years of profligacy, hence cuts in waste signalled by all parties?
I thought Clegg won and Cameron must copy his addressing the nation direct through the camera. He didn't know where to look after speaking and it made him look shifty.
Brown: what can one say? I thought perhaps he had stuck it out against the 'New (Age)' faction that infiltrated Labour years ago, even that perhaps he has been heroically holding back the tide, but seems no different.
Another bullet they should have fired at Brown: the deliberate deferral of the annual spending review until after the election. Has there been a more brazen act of cheating the public? They have no scruples at all this government.
The Tories should be home and hosed but the financial crisis and continued bonus abuse has weakened them as much as Labour's failure to regulate the City has damaged them. To be polling around 36-37% at this stage after all that has happened and after 13 years inopposition is dreadful.
A year or two ago Cameron spoke very forthrightly about the state of things but that has dissipated, along with a big poll lead. Trying to be all things to all men doesn't always work. People want conviction.
I read Coulsdon is on about £475k. One might ask why. The Tories were holed below the waterline by the Cashcroft affair, yet surely they must have known that was coming. They should have come clean and ditched him and his money ages ago but instead stayed silent, feigned ignorance, did nothing and walked right into it weeks before the election. Not big and not clever, but reasonable to assume that this does fairly reflect the Conserevative party as a result...?

16 April 2010 at 09:09  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Incidentally, the only refreshingly honest comment from Cameron was when he lumped China in the same bracket as Iran as being a threat to our nation. The chinks wont be too happy with this news - but oh how refreshingly honest.

16 April 2010 at 09:19  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

Blank canvas plays populist and is, er... popular.

Fine, now turn on the lights of exposure and watch the shamless ones shrivel.

Cameron listened to too many Americans before hand. So many oppurtunities to put both back in their box and instead he ducked behind his tactic of being 'positive'.

The Lib Dem position is as ever the best version of smoke and mirrors they can perform with the policy scraps left over by the others.

16 April 2010 at 09:24  
Blogger David said...

@ Jared Gaites
I agree with you, but why use the term 'Chinks'? Do you also refer to 'Pakis', 'Queers', 'Nig**rs' (can't even bring myself to type the word) and such like?
Rather portrays a lack of respect at the most fundamental, human level.

16 April 2010 at 09:32  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I use the terms - chinks, pakis, queers, but not niggers - I like chineese people and black people but have an aversion for pakis and queers.....hope this helps?

16 April 2010 at 09:36  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Your Grace,

The Power Show.

Starring three shop manikins jostling for space in the window of opportunity,

Clegg-as the overconfident insurance salesman.

Brown-as the curmudgeon, growling and flashing his patronising grin.

Cameron-as the worried and at times alarmed baby bird that has just fallen out of it`s nest.

In this sanitized,well scripted over rehearsed finger pointing contest ,umpired by a shouty man with appalling timing,where the very people who had to vote who was to spend their money, and improve their countrys prospects were kept mute and obedient,Cleggover came out as the least odious!.

16 April 2010 at 09:37  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

The problem with reviewing last nights event is that everyone here is too well informed. The man in the street is likely to draw impressions from it rather than apply a forensic examination to the “facts”.

Everyone agrees that Clegg had the best of it and if he continuous to do so in the next two debates this will encourage people to vote for the LibDems even when there is little chance of them winning a seat. Increasing their share of the vote will give them increased leverage in the hung parliament that we seem to be heading towards.

In the election after this one with PR established it is quite realistic for Clegg to tell his troops to “go back and prepare for government”. The two party dominance is fading, the electorate is rejecting gladiatorial combat and yah boo politics in favour of a sober German style coalition.

16 April 2010 at 09:40  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Thank you most kindly for your article today.

I was disappointed by Cameron: he did not appeal to the conservative values that the majority of people hold. These values are natural to men. They are universal and eternal.

Here was a chance, for Cameron, to project into the environment of this nation the great rhetoric of ages past to lead and teach the people: that is the hallmark of a great leader.

Let us now turn to the great rhetoric delivered by great men and let our hearts listen to the rhythms and cadences.

On the war in Afghanistan he could have borrowed the rhetoric of President Lincoln (1809 – 1865):

‘With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in: to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.’

And for the fallen he could have borrowed from the ancient Greek poet Simonides (556 – 468 BC) who commemorated the 300

‘Go! Tell the Spartans, thou who passest by,
That here obedient to their laws we lie.’

And as to the ugly state of our politics he could have turned to W. B. Yeats (1865 – 1939):

‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.’

As to the terrible state our country is in the 23rd Psalm:

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still
He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His
name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou
anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will
dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The possibilities of crafting great rhetoric are not only endless but also exciting: to lift a wounded nation.

There is no shortage of material to draw from.

16 April 2010 at 09:45  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Your Grace,

I`ve suddenly developed an aversion to Jared Gaites.

16 April 2010 at 09:47  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Five minutes in my BS metre went critical. Five and a half minutes in it exploded. Since my TV was an innocent bystander and didn't deserve to become a proxy target for my anger and loathing, I switched channels.

According to your breakdown of events, Your Grace, I didn't miss an outbreak of anything resembling common sense or joined up government. And these cretins want our votes?

16 April 2010 at 09:50  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

D. Singh said...
I was disappointed by Cameron: he did not appeal to the conservative values that the majority of people hold. These values are natural to men. They are universal and eternal.
Dear Singhy your grip on reality is worryingly slight.

16 April 2010 at 09:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis

I can assure you: even the Chinese peasant loves the work of Shakespeare:

Here is King Henry V’s speech prior to the battle of Agincourt, outnumbered by three to one:

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

16 April 2010 at 09:59  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Dear Mr Singh,

What a wonderful romantic you are! I agree with everything you say - we need leadership of that calibre, but, but, would the press allow such a man to rise? He would doubtless have weaknesses that they would focus on to destroy him if he threatened their hegemony; would not a man who is capable of galvanising the nation despair before he ever got to offer himself at the hustings?

I fear that we are too debauched to accept such a man. With every passing year my hope that we shall pull ourselves out of this diminishes (as I think does the hope of every right thinking man in the kingdom).

16 April 2010 at 10:00  
Anonymous pedant said...

I am sorry to intrude again on Your Grace's meditations, but I see on another blog that, after the debate, Lord Mandelson actually voiced the wonderfully Orwellian opinion that "spin is truth".

There! Doesn't that warm Your Grace's ashes?

16 April 2010 at 10:02  
Anonymous Tony B said...

They are all claiming they one it, still no sign of any honesty from our politicians, even if Your Grace is made of finer stuff.

16 April 2010 at 10:03  
Anonymous Tony B said...

that should have been "won" of course - in a hurry.

16 April 2010 at 10:03  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Walling

The people’s ears long to hear such majestic rhetoric!

The peoples’ hearts beat silently waiting; but where is the man?

For his hour will shortly be upon us.

16 April 2010 at 10:04  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

@ Mr Gaites,

As with many who have an "aversion to pakis" the term is usually generic and encompasses anyone from the middle east and Indian sub continent,is that the case with you?....

16 April 2010 at 10:12  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Televised manefestos. How interesting!

Party politics is the problem. 3 "one-size-fits-all" solutions to a nation of 46 million voters, with barely a rizzler paper of difference between them on many things.

Depressing. Glad I didn't watch it.

16 April 2010 at 10:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go nick cleggggg!!!!!!!!!

16 April 2010 at 10:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...China in the same bracket as Iran as being a threat to our nation....

Iran is a direct threat to Israel and facilitator of terrorism I agree, but China is more of a competitive threat both commercially and economically. It is currently out-buying India in the world bullion race ahead of further developing its gold mines.

Of course the trouble with all this is that the ordinary people of Iran and China just want to get on peacefully with their lives. Totalitarian Government or Totalitarian Regieme; we should be careful to remember not to judge an entire people based on the nature of their politicians.

16 April 2010 at 10:43  
Blogger David said...

@ Jared Gaites
Thanks for clearing that up Jared. I'm sure your God is preparing a place beside Him even as I write.
After all, he didn't make everyone, just some people, right? And how very righteous they are!
No matter that such stuff leads men at times to literally set fire to people or beat, stab or shoot them to death, for they are righteous whilst the objects of their hatred, bourne of aversion, are not. Just wondered, may a mugger who stabs his victim make recourse to the same argument, so long as he is white, Chinese or black, but neither from Pakistan or gay? Indeed if the victim is one of the latter does that matter at all then?
Oh to be a member of the one true faith, whatever that is, for they can do no wrong. Their salvation is assured. Hallelujah!

16 April 2010 at 11:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lib-Lab-Con are all just the same corrupt old party now. It won’t make a jot of difference which one wins or whether there is a hung parliament. Therefore one might as well vote for someone else.

They only touch on topics such as the EU and immigration at election time. After the election they will go silent again and do nothing. They treat us with nothing but contempt.

I’ve voted Tory at every general election. Not this time. Neither will UKIP get my vote. You never hear anything from this party between elections. Then prior to every election the media promotes them. I wonder why?

16 April 2010 at 11:17  
Blogger David said...

@ D. Singh:
Thank you for some marvellous quotations. Keep 'em coming.

@ Dreadnought:
Well said. Never judge a book by its cover, nor an entire people by its leaders.

16 April 2010 at 11:34  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Ouch Mr Singh, and I was just about to trump you with an Girl’s Aloud lyric.

16 April 2010 at 11:38  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Point of order:
'A leaked report for the Home Office, co-written by Mark Rowley, the Chief Constable of Surrey, has raised the prospect of 28,000 police officers being replaced by civilian workers to save money (The Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2010).'

Er, actually the police are civilians. They aren't military. We don't live in a police state yet ... do we?

16 April 2010 at 11:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so... hung parliament it is then.

16 April 2010 at 11:55  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

A little thought experiment for you all to try. It won't be easy, but I'm sure it will be worth the effort:

Imagine if it had not been Cameron, but David Davis as the Tory leader in the debate.

Go on, give it a try.

16 April 2010 at 12:08  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Actually, Mr Singh, I would be very surprised indeed if the people's ears were longing to hear such rhetoric.

I suspect most of the people would blow a loud raspberry and give the rhetorician the bum's rush.

The days of rhetoric have passed. We live in post-modern, ironic, slyly aware times. We are the generation of The Office and The Thick of It. It's a pity, but it's a fact. I'm surprised you haven't noticed.

16 April 2010 at 12:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Anabaptist

What I’ve noticed is that people are attracted to the soaring, magisterial rhetoric of great orators.

People are sick and tired of this shallow, shabby world that the socialists have driven us into.

Men reward the first man to finish the race; applaud the team that wins the cup; the first man to climb Everest; the astronauts that rescue their stricken comrades; the great commander who triumphs against ‘impossible’ odds; the poet who writes verse that men want to commit to memory – and the politician whom God uses to heal and lead to triumph a wounded nation.

16 April 2010 at 12:41  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Mr Sing said-What I’ve noticed is that people are attracted to the soaring, magisterial rhetoric of great orators.

People are sick and tired of this shallow, shabby world that the socialists have driven us into.

Well said ,but inspirational oratory is a very rare quality,requiring several ingredients,the moment in time,the place,the audience and of course the orator.

“This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is God’s, and he will give you into our hand.

16 April 2010 at 13:02  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr The Merry Man

More is needed; beginning with pain. When God wants to thrill a man – he drills a man.

16 April 2010 at 13:07  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Ananbaptist said-The days of rhetoric have passed.

Sir no offence but thats nonsense, as long as there is language there will be rhetoric,even soaring inspirational rhetoric.

@ J Gaites,answer to my question @10:12 please!

16 April 2010 at 13:10  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

Didn't see much of it. From what I could tell, Cameron seemed a bit reluctant to really "stick it" to Brown, which is a bit strange considering he's been virtually in control of domestic policy since 1997 and is therefore largely to blame for doing nothing about our country's problems and creating lots of new ones.

No where near enough banter.

16 April 2010 at 13:12  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Add as you see fit Mr Singh.Love is another.

16 April 2010 at 13:12  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...When God wants to thrill a man – he drills a man.

Oo-er Ducky - that sounds a bit homo-erotic to me, but whatever floats yer boat!

16 April 2010 at 13:30  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Sam Tarran,

A killer blow was available to Cameron, but he didn't seem able to deploy it: every time Brown talked about his intentions for the future, and his methods of putting things right and improving matters, all Cameron needed to do was to ask, 'Excuse me, but who has been the government for the last thirteen years?'

Simple. But I didn't spot it once.

Mr The Merry Man,

If only you and Mr Singh were right. But sadly you are not. Kipling, Shakespeare and the King James Bible no longer resonate with most people.

16 April 2010 at 13:36  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Didn’t see it. Had some paint I wanted to watch drying.

16 April 2010 at 13:37  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Got to agree with Anabaptist.

When such literary pap such as the twilight novels which have as much worth as D.Singh has sanity are considered to be bestsellers it is indeed a sad time we live in.

16 April 2010 at 13:47  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Too right, Mr The Glovner. Good heavens, even Richard Dawkins manages to sell books these days! Literary pap indeed.

16 April 2010 at 13:54  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

@ - Gaites,

Answer to my question @10:12!

16 April 2010 at 15:38  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Despite claims that last night’s leader’s debate was the first of its kind, more than a thousand years earlier a precursor had taken place at the Corfe Galleria in Wessex. It was one of the first political events to be shown live on the new iChronicler a devise that enabled users to see the events unfold even as the ink was drying on the velum.

Hosted by Jómsvíkinga Saga (founder of the present day company that bears his name) and sponsored by the Carl S’berg the Danish ale importer the event attracted
much interest.

First to speak was the incumbent Aethelred who spoke confidently about his record and how he had saved the world from the Penningar speculators. He claimed his record on health care had been excellent since the tragic demise of Gunhilde, sister of Sweyn Forkbeard, as death by natural causes had been all but eradicated.

It was at this point that he was interrupted by Edward the Martyr (his half brother and a serious contender for the leadership) who accused Aethelred of being unready to face the uncertain times ahead. This incensed Aethelred whose advisers had anticipated such an intervention and had laced Edward’s glass of Carl S’berg with a poisonous substance whose timely affect left Aethelred with only one debating partner.

Aelfthrith, Edward’s stepmother, was an ambitious politician. Trained as an Alchemist and the first female ealdorman, she grew up in East Anglia. Advised by the monks of Ely her formidable debating skills presented Aethelred with an unwelcome challenge to his authority.

It was the topic of immigration that drew proceedings to a head, Aelfthrith claimed that much of the pillaging was now performed by the Danish and that the indigenous population was suffering as a result. Enraged by this assertion and fearing the financial support that he received from his Scandinavian domiciled backers Aethelred ordered the debate to be at an end. Two days later Aelfthrith was found hanging from a nearby oak tree. It was assumed that she had taken her own life. This event has provided us with a phrase that is familiar to this day; the hung parliament

16 April 2010 at 15:54  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Answer to my question @10:12!.

What's with all this demanding to be answered crap? Maybe Pearly has a job to do - go and have a few pints and get really merry Man!

@TheGlovner - 'chortle'.

16 April 2010 at 15:55  
Anonymous g said...

Blast spelling again "device"

16 April 2010 at 15:56  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Ms Dreadnaught

I am sure your undergraduate humour attracts applause and no doubt your like-minded friends appreciate it. However, I am sure it would be more attractive and raise your undoubted stature if you posted your musings on the Beano site.

16 April 2010 at 16:58  
Blogger The Merry Man said...


16 April 2010 at 17:24  
Anonymous Oswin said...

I really can't be arsed to read the comments on this one; so forgive me if I repeat, ad nauseam:
Brown had nothing to lose, as he's shafted any way; Cleg couldn't lose either way, unless his trousers fell down; whereas Cameron was always going to be the jam in the middle of the sponge, that everyone wanted to get at. A tripartite debate was always going to see him spit-roasted (please forgive the wayward metaphors) and spat-out.

The whole semi-sham debacle was lacklustre and tedious. Cameron was ill-advised. Now he is committed to pulling bunnies from two further hats; and the trouble with 'sleight of hand' is that it is sleight of hand! What ever trick of 'légére de main' he employs, he'll be damned lucky to pull it off!

Apropos of final thoughts: I noted that during the debate, regardless of how much I concentrated upon the Clegg physiognomy, I could not retain his image in my minds-eye. If I had to pick him out from a police 'identity parade' I'd be scuppered. I'd have to choose the guy who looked the least memorable.

For this accident of birth, we must be grateful ...

16 April 2010 at 17:53  
Anonymous len said...

So we put up three contestants and judge them on their individual performances.
The 'X factor' has arrived in politics!
Perhaps we could just have a phone in vote and cut out all the paperwork.

16 April 2010 at 17:55  
Blogger Anglichan said...

'Cleg couldn't lose either way, unless his trousers fell down;'

Ha ha! Priceless.

'regardless of how much I concentrated upon the Clegg physiognomy, I could not retain his image in my minds-eye.'

I bet you could if his trousers HAD fallen down. Perhaps they should all try something. Maybe Brown could try letting rip while Cameron is speaking or Cast-iron could march on like John Cleese?

16 April 2010 at 18:10  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your graces review has some worthwhile insights some of which I have thought myself . I could not work out why the format made such a wooden specatacle , it was as though Gordon Brown physcy dominated the whole proceedeing .
My instant thoughts were that Nick Clegg had somehow found an unchallenged liberal message and caught David Cameron out who was trying to take on Labour .
Gordon Browns agreeing with Nick Clegg may have served to spare him from the toxic history that is truly all of labours . In other words he was using the liberals by agreeing with them to make people unsensative to his own governance/failings as Nick Clegg never really challenges Labour , i think Labour were using the fresh but weak liberal narrative as a sort of human shield of innocence to Labours own misdoings .
This conspired to keep David Cameron caught in a fake argument of state government dialogue , with one seemingly able to solve the problems of the old without any challenging analysis .

Considering how it worked I think David Cameron did better than we may first realise , the questions did not really espouse any building of a coherent view ,which is perhaps the rather nhillist view that seemed to be being blogged about.

having just seen Eddie Izzards Labour campiagn and driven past a unison poster with a blue hatchet , there are clearly a number of other things happening to try and stop the conservative message being taken on board rather than the positive messages being promoted , this suggests that the left are working to try and reframe the conservatives as though labour had not ruled for 13 yrs , as though state socialism (and its EU liberal re imaginaning) hadnt lied and failed .

The next debate is next thursday and includes foreign policy which you might think further aides the liberals standing . wether this conflates into the same gutlessness that they showed with the the Lisbon treaty or immigration or foriegn aid save the world (that is skimmed by corrupt goverments) or global marxism , may mean we yet again being cheated out a real disemmination of the problems and issues , which is what the lib dems have historically been all too good at .

16 April 2010 at 18:21  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

It sickened me to see Prima Minestrone Brown make a joke of the tories bill boards campaign.

How dare he think such serious issues to be a laughing matter!

When Shady Prone Munster Cameron talks of cutting waste, I just know he means pulling the rug from neath the feet of champaign swilling socialist cronies, bleeding the country dry, with ever increasing taxation, penalties, fines and charges, to keep their lavish uselessness on a roll.

Those are job losses we can bare!

That point alone makes me almost vote tory, pity about the other very real issues that will force me to steer clear.

Signed: Yusef Meon

16 April 2010 at 19:05  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Correct, I do have a job, and now I am home.

Answer = depends what mood I am in.

I hope this helps?

16 April 2010 at 19:29  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Mr Gaites,

Thank you for responding to my question,I refer you to his Grace`s readers,a better understanding of his readers can be found on Cluster maps over on the right,perhaps you would like to apologize to some of his readers?...if your in the mood!.

16 April 2010 at 19:57  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Look chaps, there will be time enough to finish off Mr Gaites.

This is far more important.

We stand together. Whatever this national socialist government confronts us with:

Dear All,
Re Westminster 2010 Declaration of Christian Conscience
Thank you so much for signing the Westminster 2010 Declaration of Christian Conscience.
The response from the Christian public has been overwhelming with over 20,000 people signing the declaration and over 2,000 becoming ‘Facebook fans’ in the first ten days since its launch on Easter Sunday.
Westminster 2010 has also had good coverage in the media with articles in the Sunday Telegraph, Scotland on Sunday, Guardian, Daily Mail ,Times, News of the World and a feature on Radio Four’s Sunday programme on 11 April.
Practical Ways to help
1. Write to candidates - If you haven’t already done so, could you please write to your local candidates to ask them to take the pledge to 'respect, uphold and protect the right of Christians to hold and express Christian beliefs and act according to Christian conscience’. It is very easily done in moments via our candidates’ page.
2. Gather signatures – Please encourage fellow Christians to sign the declaration. Why not ask to have the declaration read out during a church service with members being invited to sign? Forms can be printed easily from the website. Post them in and help us get 100,000 signatures!
3. Follow progress – Keep up-to-date via the website, become a fan on our Facebook page, join our Twitter feed or read our Blog.
4. Vote wisely - We have just published a blog article containing links to information that we hope will help you decide which local candidate to vote for in your constituency on 6 May. Do pass this link around.
5. Pray - that Westminster 2010 will make a positive difference through encouraging ordinary Christians to take a stand, helping them to vote wisely and through making all candidates aware of the importance of the Christian vote in a close-run election where it may, by God’s grace, prove decisive.
With thanks again for your support.
Warmly in Christ Jesus
Peter Saunders
Westminster 2010 Support Team

16 April 2010 at 20:09  
Blogger D. Singh said...

We stand firm.

We resist.

We fight.

Westminster 2010 Declaration of Christian Conscience.

16 April 2010 at 20:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

16 April 2010 at 20:13  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Not in the mood. It's been a bastard of a day.

16 April 2010 at 20:16  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Maybe someone could invent a cluster map for queers?

16 April 2010 at 20:19  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Mr Singh,

I am merely curious how a "christian" can be so blatantly insulting on his Grace`s oasis of good manners,now having had a look at Mr Gaite`s blog I believe I know why.

Mr Gaite`s is an apologist for peodophiles.

16 April 2010 at 20:21  
Blogger len said...

We stand together Mr Singh,20,000 Holy Spirit filled believers could change the world.

16 April 2010 at 20:26  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Where are the Blog's chaplains?

Mr Preacher and Mr Len?

Gentlemen, advise Mr Gaites as to why the King died in his place.

16 April 2010 at 20:32  
Blogger D. Singh said...


We have broken through the 24,000 mark.

We Judaeo-Christians will not be silenced.

Any Judaeo-Christian logging onto this site: you are not alone.

Stand firm!

16 April 2010 at 20:40  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Come on guys, try and stay on topic. All I have done is answered these rude demands, enough already! I have been as forthright and open as possible. All I did was mention chinks, and the abuse came flowing in. Talk about the debate!

16 April 2010 at 20:43  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

What I can't understand is why the Conservatives don't keep making the electorate aware that voting for anyone other than the Conservatives is voting for socialists/communists. There is virtually 100 years of evidence to show what these genetic defectives are capable of doing to normal people. And still no party (makes it perhaps with the exception of the BNP) that warns people of the dangers of a socialist / communist dictatorship. For God's sake, we've had 13 years of the godless shits.

16 April 2010 at 20:45  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Let's have a chat about why David Cameron looked like a Pollock in an aquarium!

16 April 2010 at 20:46  
Blogger D. Singh said...


You and Jackson Pollock are out.

Never, ever betray your brothers.

16 April 2010 at 20:48  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Make it brief tho cos Ashes to Ashes is on in ten minutes!

16 April 2010 at 20:49  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

D Singh

Up until now I have kept this to myself, but for about 85% of the time, I have very little notion of what you are trying to say!

16 April 2010 at 20:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr The Merry Man

You are right.

Well, God have mercy upon his soul.

16 April 2010 at 20:52  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Gaites

It's because you are not one of us.

You are excluded.

16 April 2010 at 20:56  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Your Grace,

Gaite`s is an apologist.

16 April 2010 at 20:56  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Mr Singh,

I shall pray mercy will be having a day off.

@Gaite`s -I have drawn my sword....begone!

16 April 2010 at 21:05  
Blogger Anglichan said...

John in cheshire, 'voting for anyone other than the Conservatives is voting for socialists/communists.'

On this issue, I can do no better than to quote Dr. Richard North, from EU Referendum, who was also citing Christopher Booker from the Telegraph: 'My great concern is that, as the campaign develops, people will get caught up in the drama and, having focused on quite how awful Labour is, turn to Cameron's not-the-Conservative-party as the antidote. What is so desperately needed is the recognition that choosing between disasters still ends up with a disaster.'

16 April 2010 at 21:08  
Anonymous len said...

I would ask Mr Gates and anyone else interested " who`s place did Jesus take on the Cross?

16 April 2010 at 21:18  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Why were they all climbing over each other to announce Upper House reforms? Why was David Cameron being lambasted for not wanting to get rid of hereditary peers? Why were both Labour and Liberals in consensus over an elected upper house?

The Lords exist to protect us from the Commons. If there is to be upper house reform, then I'd say keep the Bishops and the hereditary peers, and boot out the life peers. They're only there to fill the house with commons cronies. I think that it is a crying shame that the real aristocracy is dying, only to be replaced with an upper class that claim that they deserve their station. The Queen should choose, based on suggestions from her advisers, new hereditary peerages taken from respectable families that have contributed to this country culturally and philanthropically.

The Lords are independent and aren't under a party whip. They act according to their conscience and not through a demand from a party leader. An elected upper house would be expensive, ineffective and just as prone to corruption as the Commons. It is important that they aren't 'accountable' because it means that they need not be swayed by what is popular. They do not need to follow gimmicks or moral compromises.

An elected house of Lords would pave the way for a greater centralisation of power to the state/Europe. All under the veil of 'accountability'. Even the Soviets had elections.

It is important to balance democracy and hereditary autocracy. They keep each other in check. On the one hand we have career politicians whose success is based on popularity; on the other hand we have Lords who can make the right decision, whether it is popular or not.

16 April 2010 at 21:26  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

btw, may I ask what Mr. Gaites has done to rile people's anger? I can't quite fathom it from this thread.

16 April 2010 at 21:27  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

My internet commenting career is in ruins!!! My gahst has never been so flabbered. Ashes to Ashes was good anyways, it had Maggie on it winning the election. Such a shame that Pollock face will not be taking a leaf from her book.

16 April 2010 at 22:07  
Blogger Anglichan said...

Jared, I, for one hope you still keep posting. You made me laugh out loud tonight with some of your comments and I'm sure a lot of your more 'controversial' offerings were only said to wind a few people up.

16 April 2010 at 22:22  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

I can't quite believe that there is a rival facebook group asking Christians to not sign the Westminster Declaration. The fact that Catholics endorse it seems a bit too much for some people. I only suppose that those 43 people don't really understand what a Christian is and prefer to resort to petty sectarian squabbles.

17 April 2010 at 00:45  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Anglichan - it's his (Jared's)cherubic, school-boy charm that gets to you in the end (sniggers wildly and leaves the building)...

17 April 2010 at 01:29  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Thank you, Your Grace, for your last two blogs! Noting today's trend among communicants, I must add my appreciation of the way you provide us food for thought: in your daily combination of substance and experience with rhetorical talent and skill.

Why, even some who appeared unconscious now seem to change their style! I forget the terms in which someone dismissed my earlier posting about Archbishop
Wulfstan's Sermo of 1014 - on Viking depredations. Davis today amuses us with a re-inscription of events from that period, however: paralleling our past and present, leaving readers to infer the relevance. I'd remind the writer, btw, that Aethelred was originally 'unready' in the sense of being 'ill-advised,' which is unraed in Old English. The wordplay is lost to our lexicon.

I'd not have expected any amount of rhetorical skill to help the bozos last night,though; if only because they epitomize what the (earlier) Preacher
described: "Vanity of vanities, all is Vanity," (Ecc. 1.2). Neither mis-used rhetoric nor cosmetic correctness can disguise the emptiness these traitors display to the British. Classic post-modern "lack."

I liked the idea YG broached yesterday - of developing political candidature apart from our so-called 'party' system. I'd welcome that kind of 'change.'

Lakestar @00:45 - some people are just addicted to Divide and Conquer? Still, late tonight it's 24,271.

17 April 2010 at 02:47  
Blogger Anglichan said...

Actually, Lakester19 and no nonny, the reason many won't sign the Westminster Declaration is for the sake of the Gospel, not for reasons of division or sectarianism.

The Roman 'church' does not preach the gospel, which is that a man is justified freely, by grace, through faith, apart from works. Ephesians 2 v 8,9.

For many, me included, the Gospel is the issue that divides, not a sectarian spirit. The Gospel- what it is and what it is not- is too important to discard merely for the sake of some temporary political expediency.

17 April 2010 at 06:40  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Ah yes, I see, Anglichan. Thank you.

So, if they ever sin, they get remission through the confession rigmarole; and they're always free to condemn others regardless of faith (or even truth)? I was wondering ...

17 April 2010 at 07:19  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

When it comes to speaking out about communism this man gets my vote!

Gerard Batten MEP

Signed: Greg Aryan

17 April 2010 at 09:04  
Anonymous len said...

I was quite avidly anti-Catholic as a lot of the doctrine is in error.
I suppose you could describe me as Evangelical.
But, The Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me of the parable of the wheat and the tares and the ultimate judgement which belongs to Jesus Christ.I don`t believe God recognizes denominations only His true Church which exists within denominations( and outside them)
Jesus Christ knows who belong to Him.
There are many born-again believers within the Catholic system ,not because of Catholicism but in spite of it.
I would ask those who Judge Catholics can you see into their hearts?.
Preach the true gospel by all means but those who sow division may find themselves fighting the Lord Jesus Christ.

17 April 2010 at 09:22  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Lakester91 said...

The Lords exist to protect us from the Commons. If there is to be upper house reform, then I'd say keep the Bishops and the hereditary peers, and boot out the life peers. They're only there to fill the house with commons cronies. I think that it is a crying shame that the real aristocracy is dying, only to be replaced with an upper class that claim that they deserve their station. The Queen should choose, based on suggestions from her advisers, new hereditary peerages taken from respectable families that have contributed to this country culturally and philanthropically.

It is important to balance democracy and hereditary autocracy. They keep each other in check. On the one hand we have career politicians whose success is based on popularity; on the other hand we have Lords who can make the right decision, whether it is popular or not.

Which century are you living in, real aristocracy and hereditary autocracy?
We are all aware of the shortcomings of the Commons; an elected second chamber is antidote to their limitations. They should be elected by local/regional ballots, all should be independent, no party affiliations. They can come from all walks of life so long as they have demonstrated an commitment to the common good.

What happened to trust in the electorate so beloved of the conservatives? No you want to reintroduce a feudal system that was old fashioned 500 years ago. A bunch of chinless inbreds and religious nutjobs controlling my families destiny, no thanks.

17 April 2010 at 09:52  
Anonymous len said...

Where are you going to find totally independent people of no political leanings,who suddenly become interested in politics, enough to represent people?
Commitment to the common good is a pretty open ended statement.

17 April 2010 at 10:12  
Blogger Anglichan said...

Mr. no nonny, I don't want to appear hectoring but the issue goes beyond the rightness, or otherwise, of RC confession procedures.

The great rallying call of the Reformation, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, justification by grace through faith alone, is still the dividing line today.

Galatians 2 v 6 says, 'knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.....for, by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified'

In contrast, the Roman 'church' states, 'baptism is a sacrament which frees us from original sin, makes us children of God, brethren with Christ and co-heirs with Him of the Kingdom of Heaven, through the observance of the Commandments of God and of the church.' [ the Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine ]

The Council of Trent statement, which has never been revoked by the RC establishment, says that, 'if anyone saith that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the Divine mercy, which remits sin for Christ's sake alone; or that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified, let him be anathema' [cursed]

Through this teaching, the RC 'church' is preaching '...another gospel,... which is no gospel' and is, itself, subject to a curse for so doing. Galatians 1 v 6,7,8.

If the 'world' sees true Christians, saved by grace, through faith, symbolically standing, hand in hand, with that organisation which preaches 'another gospel, which is no gospel', will that not lead to confusion? Will not observers, and Catholics alike, conclude that there is no essential difference between the churches as regards doctrine, and particularly the Gospel?

I am not speaking here against human beings united in a common cause against oppression. Nor am I speaking against individual Catholics, who may even be saved, despite their church's teaching.

No, but I am against making public alliances with those who belong to organisations which teach contrary to that which is essential to a man being put in right relationship with Almighty God.

Believing the Gospel is the only means whereby a man is saved. It is that which is at stake in Christians signing this Declaration.

17 April 2010 at 10:14  
Anonymous len said...

Sermons of Martin Luther(page 100) Now this Gospel teaches us how the kingdom of God or Christianity fares in the world, especially on account of its teaching, namely, that we are not to think that only true Christians and the pure doctrine of God are to dwell upon the earth; but that there must be also false Christians and heretics in order that the true Christians may be approved, as St. Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:19. For this parable treats not of false Christians, who are so only outwardly in their lives, but of those who are unchristian in their doctrine and faith under the name Christian, who beautifully play the hypocrite and work harm. It is a matter of the conscience and not of the hand. And they must

be very spiritual servants to be able to identify the tares among the wheat. And the sum of all is that we should not marvel nor be terrified if there spring up among us many different false teachings and false faiths. Satan is constantly among the children of God. (Job 1:6).

4. Again this Gospel teaches how we should conduct ourselves toward these heretics and false teachers. We are not to uproot nor destroy them. Here he says publicly let both grow together. We have to do here with God's Word alone; for in this matter he who errs today may find the truth tomorrow. Who knows when the Word of God may touch his heart? But if he be burned at the stake, or otherwise destroyed, it is thereby assured that he can never find the truth; and thus the Word of God is snatched from him, and he must be lost, who otherwise might have been saved. Hence the Lord says here, that the wheat also will be uprooted if we weed out the tares. That is something awful in the eyes of God and never to be justified

17 April 2010 at 11:11  
Blogger Anglichan said...

Len, I believe you have misapplied the teaching of the parable of the wheat and tares from Matthew 8 v 24-30 and v 37-43 in applying it to relationships between true Christians and the Roman Catholic organisation.

First of all, Jesus taught that the field in the parable is to be understood as referring to 'the world' and not to church denominations. v 38.

Second, the main purpose of this parable is to show that there will be good with bad in the world, God's people with the children of the devil, but that God, who knows everything, will bring everyone to judgement at the end of the age.

Third, that teaching does not negate the duty of the Christian to exercise discernment and to distinguish between truth and error and between true and false teachers. Matthew 7v14.

Martin Luthors commentary is obviously referring to the physical destruction of false teachers, not to refuting their errors. If by not destroying, he means not refuting, then he should not have nailed his 95 theses on the church door at Wittenburg.

Nowhere have I said we should try to read the hearts of other believers regarding whether or not they are right with God. I said only that we should look at what a church teaches, which is available to read in any of their catechisms, and make right decisions according to those teachings regarding with whom we make alliances.

Now, my wife needs my time. Bye, bye.

17 April 2010 at 11:37  
Anonymous len said...

The Apostle Paul preached in Rome the very heart of pagan worship,Jesus taught in the synagogues.
Rather than being contaminated by false doctrine they taught the truth.

17 April 2010 at 12:32  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Anglichan said...
'Actually, Lakester19 and no nonny, the reason many won't sign the Westminster Declaration is for the sake of the Gospel, not for reasons of division or sectarianism.

The Roman 'church' does not preach the gospel, which is that a man is justified freely, by grace, through faith, apart from works. Ephesians 2 v 8,9.'

The Catholic Church preaches exactly what the New Testament preaches. That we are justified by faith alone, but to rely on belief alone to redeem you is to not have faith at all. When you love your wife, do you do anything you want and rely on her forgiveness for the continuation of your relationship? Or do you do anything you can to make her happy? This is similar to the relationship we have with God. Faith and good works are interlinked. Good works are the logical conclusion of faith. This is why faith without good works is dead, because faith without good works is no faith at all.

To decide that the Catholic Church is non-gospel because you can't tell the difference between justification through works and good works as a manifestation of faith is arrogant, ignorant, and incredibly un-Christian.

17 April 2010 at 13:11  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Graham Davis said...
'We are all aware of the shortcomings of the Commons; an elected second chamber is antidote to their limitations. They should be elected by local/regional ballots, all should be independent, no party affiliations. They can come from all walks of life so long as they have demonstrated an commitment to the common good.'

An elected second chamber would double the problems. If it operates in the same way as the lower chamber then it is superfluous. It is naive to think that they would have no party affiliations. They would have the same problem as independent candidates now, in that many people vote for parties and not candidates. You couldn't ban party affiliation, because then only those with enough money to stand could get stand, voiding the whole point of them being elected.

17 April 2010 at 13:18  
Anonymous Media Hype said...

There’s more to talk about than a trio of politicians agreeing with each other:

17 April 2010 at 13:50  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Anglichan - none of my Protestant teachers has ever forced me to believe in justification by works; though I daresay some Puritans are around. I've always understood that, given a Justified Faith and Grace, Works perforce must follow (or else...).

My comment on RCs wasn't based in the present-day fashion for hatred or its propagation. I meant to observe, however, that I have witnessed some RCs practicing those dark arts -- and victimizing other Christians. I thought they should know better, but wondered if they assuaged their consciences through some Directive and Confession.

Anyway, I don't see how an inter-demoninational call...for Christians to join forces in anti-Faith: especially given the advance and ferocity of the perils of our time. How can anyone round here miss them!?!


btw Lakester - I'm so happy to see your arguments for the Lords! I couldn't agree more, though I'm no aristocrat. But how I do deplore self-made the bullies and prigs who are so intent on making dobbins of us all!

17 April 2010 at 15:16  
Blogger Anglichan said...

Lakester91, it is difficult for me to respond to your posting because you use so many mixed metaphors to 'illustrate' your assertions. I might address them later, if I feel it will have some benefit.

Very briefly, I know that 'good works' are a manifestation of being justified but the Roman 'church' does not teach that. The Roman 'church' teaches that 'good works' CONTRIBUTE TO being justified. If you had read my posting properly you would have known that.

In the meantime, are your insulting words in calling me arrogant and ignorant a manifestation of those 'good works' that you were writing about?

17 April 2010 at 15:47  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

I am a Catholic and I can tell you that that is just not true Anglichan.
I didn't direct my comments specifically at you. I said that deciding that such opinions on the Catholic Church are true because of a misunderstanding which one refuses to have clarified is a trait which is arrogant etc. The fact that you take offence only shows that you hold that trait and are proud of it. As a Christian am I not allowed to denounce un-Christian and divisive behaviour?

No nonny, I am glad that someone else can see that we need the Lords thank you.

17 April 2010 at 18:07  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'The Council of Trent statement, which has never been revoked by the RC establishment, says that, 'if anyone saith that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the Divine mercy, which remits sin for Christ's sake alone; or that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified, let him be anathema' [cursed]'

So in other words one cannot simply do as one wishes and then rely on God to forgive you in order to be justified. Confidence in divine mercy means expecting to be forgiven, no matter whether you repent or not.

17 April 2010 at 19:41  
Blogger Preacher said...

Debates by political leaders really count for nothing but entertaining the masses as far as I'm concerned. They carry as much weight as the NuLab original promise of a referendum on Europe. When will we see the next 'debate', the other parties should also get their airtime so maybe BNP V The Greens V UKIP? then we could get all the others & the independants V the Monster Raving Loony partyor let's just make it into a soap. Oh yes we already have, its called today in Parliament!

18 April 2010 at 09:29  

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