Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Christians should resist cynicism about politicians

From Father Silas:

If you were to ask the average member of the public what he or she thinks of politicians, it’s pretty safe bet that you wouldn’t hear anything remotely positive. Although the British are not alone in this, we have, as a nation, an abject regard for those who go into politics. We mistrust their motives, we doubt their sincerity, we sneer at their every utterance regardless of whether it be an expression of high-minded philosophical intent or an assurance of fellow-feeling with the governed. We don’t believe them. They steal from us via bogus expense claims. They keep smutty little secrets while lecturing us on morality. They are incapable of giving a straight answer to a straight question. With a few honourable exceptions, they are not interested in us or our struggles. All they want is our votes to keep them in their private club by the Thames. Oh, and our money, obviously.

I’m pretty confident that this is what is called cynicism. According to the OED, to be cynical is to be “distrustful or incredulous of human goodness and sincerity”. It is to assume the lowest motive for any act or expression or ambition or desire. To be a cynic is always to suppose one’s fellow creatures incapable of altruism, philanthropy and selflessness. At some level, says the cynic, they are out for themselves, because that is what human beings are like. And that is what they are like, of course. But that is not all they are like.

What do we think persuades people to go into local government or Parliament? Do they do it for prestige, fame or fortune? Some of them, perhaps. But a desire for any of those things does not, of itself, condemn a person to outer darkness. It sits awkwardly (to say the least) with the Christian principle of denial of self and the primary love of God and neighbour; but it is hard to find many things that are pure in that regard. It may make such a person unattractive as a representative or legislator; but the electorate has the answer to that in its own hands.

However hard we struggle to accept it, there is evidence that low or selfish personal motivation does not necessarily eclipse all other, more admirable, qualities. It is entirely possible for someone who is motivated by a desire for his own comfort to care about the discomfort of others. One who sets out to benefit himself at public expense may nonetheless turn out to be a force for good on the public stage. Yet my suspicion is that few politicians are so motivated. Most start with a belief that the world can be a better place, and a conviction of how it can be made so. They may feel called to, or work towards, or arrive by chance at, a point at which they are personally able to move this belief forward. That is politics. Once they have gripped the greasy pole, their better or worse characteristics may come to the fore, but they are neither all good nor all bad. It is true that those who climb further, or who serve those at the top, are more liable to the corruption of power; but they remain human, always capable of better. This is the lesson of Damian McBride’s memoirs. Listen to what Telegraph blogger, Dan Hodges, says about that:
“Anyone who thinks Tony Blair or Gordon Brown or those who worked for them were quintessentially evil doesn’t understand government, and how it really works. It is not populated by political innocents. It is a car crash of power and ambition and jealousy and hope and pride and bravery and cowardice and triumph and failure. In other words, it is populated by ordinary men and women, with all the flaws that implies.”
That is as near to an exegesis of the Doctrine of Original Sin as I suspect we shall hear from any political commentator this conference season. Pride and ambition are neutral, since they can be for good or ill. But note the presence of bravery and hope alongside jealousy and cowardice. The point is that politicians, like the rest of us, are human and fallen. Their world, like ours, “is populated by ordinary men and women, with all the flaws that implies”. Quite right, Dan. We are all capable of good and bad. To see or assume only the bad is cynicism; it is not fully human; and it is a condition of mind which the Christian is thus called to resist.

Father Silas is an undistinguished (he says) priest and deacon of the Church of England who loves it in spite of everything.


Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

I think I was Ronald Reagan who said 'Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first'....

25 September 2013 at 08:14  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Thank you Silas for that excellent post the central thrust of which I agree with entirely.

In my professional life I came into contact with many politicians at local, regional and national level. As you say they are like the rest of us, a mixture of good and bad. However the professional politician does think slightly differently, in order to survive in that jungle.
My biggest surprise was meeting Prescott, at the top of his game, and amongst the natural charm, of a sort, low cunning and realpolitik you could still discern flashes of genuine idealism. One of his more human talents was the ability to demolish a pile of beef sandwiches faster than I could eat my salad lunch box !
Total cynicism gnaws the soul and is for the Christian to resist, although I have my share of the disease.
I adore your choice of "cynicism meter", the materials and methods are reminiscent of Womens Institute crafted parish church kneelers. Very Anglican ! Bring on the Jam and Jerusalem. Now that's a wholesome uncynical theology worth defending ! Where did I put my " full armour of faith?"

25 September 2013 at 08:31  
Blogger LEN said...

Whilst politicians (and indeed others in all walks of life) may set out with the highest of motives 'compromise' will probably eventually reduce those motives to a much lower level.
Self preservation is also an important factor.
How many politicians claim to be Christians AFTER leaving office when if they ' Christian' they could have made a real impact on society if they stood up for Christian values?.

Compromise is killing the Church and compromise will dilute ones personal faith if we allow it.

So today if one has personal integrity one will stand out from the crowd and they will not like that.The Media will try and 'take down' those who make a stand on moral issues so perhaps it is easier to conform than to make a stand?.

To make a stand on moral issues a price will have to be paid and not many are willing to pay that price.

25 September 2013 at 08:42  
Blogger Jonathan James | Associate Solicitor said...

Dan's observation is apposite but in politicians, it seems to me, the characteristics of ordinary people are greatly amplified. My cynicism has grown with the adoption by politicians of formulas which are crafted to evade or manipulate. Their sometimes naked attempts to deceive the public by simple word tricks are infuriating. I do not detect much in terms of high principle in our present generation of office holders and we all the poorer as a result.

25 September 2013 at 09:26  
Blogger IanCad said...

If I understand this correctly, we have here a man who, by his own admission, peddled lies, conspired with his masters to pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate, and is now remorseful.

In a stouter age that would be treason.

To give him a free pass is to perpetuate the wretched soap opera that is today's vile political scene.

Where is Cromwell?

25 September 2013 at 09:29  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Cynicism is a form of punishment that is inflicted on those who we do not know to be guilty. A cynic is somebody who limits their own capacity to love others. The relational mirror-image of which is that a cynic assumes that others have a limited capacity to love others. Cynicism does a disservice to ourselves and to others.

25 September 2013 at 09:31  
Blogger Tom Paine said...

I am sorry but the morality of anyone attracted to a career that involves spending other peoples' earnings taken from them by force must be in serious doubt. Don't tell me you want to "make the world a better place" if you plan to do it with the compelled work and stolen wealth of others, not by giving your own time or money. Anything funded by force is inherently immoral.

25 September 2013 at 09:33  
Blogger Martin said...

It is my experience that some politicians care & some don't but that all get infected with the attitude that infects parliament to a greater or lesser extent.

We need to grant credit where it is due & blame where that is due.

25 September 2013 at 09:36  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Jonathan James,

Word tricks ? Absolutely. But only those who train themselves to look carefully at the exact nuances of those speeches can spot the wriggle room, and yes it is their technically superior use of words ( although morally in the gutter) that disillusions the public. People with busy lives, who are not wordsmiths, do not have the time to "read between the lines", so the deceptions continue. But it is killing democracy off, a death of a thousand cuts. All very, very sad.

You are right. The word integrity is never heard today, even not often in professional circles, let alone political ones. It is unfashionable conjuring up images of straight standing Victorian gentlemen, black suited, possessing unshakeable convictions, of great character. All this is highly unsuitable in a world of moral relativism, multi-culturalism and "flexibility". Moral confusion and laxity is the result and can only grow.

25 September 2013 at 09:41  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

By their deeds shall ye know them...

and we do. Doesn't mean we have to like them.

25 September 2013 at 09:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Pride and ambition are neutral, since they can be for good or ill."

Since when...The Bible is replete with statements by the Most High condemning these traits. Where was the Lamb of God's pride and ambition displayed in the NT as an example for wee sinners as myself to follow.
Yet 5 times in this scripture Lucifer said, "I WILL."

I will, speak the loudest in regards to pride and rebellion!
I will = selfish ambition.

Our Saviour said 'Not mine but thy will be done.

We are commanded to demonstrate godly zeal in our lives and through our thoughts and actions.

Godly zeal will push us to move forward while staying true to character. Fleshly ambition (which is what you claim is neutral, will cause us to press forward in our own abilities, no matter what it takes.
Godly zeal trusts and waits on God's timing, while ambition tries to create open doors when none exists for us to enter in.

Godly zeal allows one to rest in faith, ambition creates strife due to impatience and fear on what we feel we are missing out on and what we feel we deserve.

God doesn't hate pride because it slights Him, but because it destroys and blinds us!!!

Scripture tells us on several occasions that pride is the beginning of all sin!!!

You confuse being pleased with something you have done with being proud..pleased is the objective pride is the self glorification of what has pleased you...
Pleased- That's a fine piece of DIY i did with the patio walls.
Pride- Who else could have done such a fine piece of work as that. I am brilliant?

The reason we are cynical of politicians is because they show no genuine concern for action for our concerns and only do what feels right for them that will not definitely lead to them losing their seat at the next election.

They have known for years there is a cartel within the energy industry, as the public do, yet they play blind to this fact in stopping taking any legitimate action by kicking doors down to get the evidence, as is their duty is to the public and the Law.

That they are sinners like us is irrelevant, they have been given powers to act within the law on our behalf by our election of them as OUR REPRESENTATIVES who employ them and they still refuse to do so.
They are failing in their duties of office!

It is the abuse of power that is the problem, pride and ambition are the symptoms of this disease.


25 September 2013 at 09:48  
Blogger Richard Brown said...

Presumably, we all get the politicians we deserve. They all need to get elected. They're all just like us.

25 September 2013 at 09:53  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

I've just read that a Tory thug assaulted a protesting pensioner in Brighton and my cynicism meter has exploded.

25 September 2013 at 10:04  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Richard said

"Presumably, we all get the politicians we deserve (Unfortunately according to the 2010 General Election Results, approximately 29,653,638 people voted. This was approximately only 65.1% of total registered voters, leaving 34.9% who for whatever reason failed to cast a vote. I don't believe we have got the politicians we deserve, just the scumbags put forward!. The election was won by the Conservative party with approximately 36.1% of the total votes cast but not leading to a majority government hence the policies, SSM, NHS reform, monarch hereditary reform, Bedroom tax on elderly, disabled and vulnerable.. put in place that were not in any manifestos that we had the opportunity to vote for).

They all need to get elected (Like we desire work but consider that if we fail in our job we face immediate disciplinary action for failing the company and it's policies whereas they tend to go undisciplined and the only way to lose their job is to lose their seat at an election!!!).

They're all just like us. (Good Lord man. I truly hope not, as I and others here would not behave like these bunch of scoundrels, who lie continually with a straight face and refuse to answer the questions the electorate continually ask them).

They are accountable to us, not the other way round"


25 September 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Father Silas

Consider ;

James 4:6

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Resist in Strongs Greek concordance - anthistēmi.
Used here and in James 4:7 (antistēte - aorist active imperative) ; to oppose, resist, stand out against.

Koine- ho theos huperēphanois antitassetai - God resisteth the proud,). Present middle (direct) indicative of αντιτασσω — antitassō old military term, TO RANGE IN BATTLE AGAINST, with dative case (Romans 13:2) as in James 5:6. υπερηπανοις — Huperēphanois (υπερ παινομαι — huperταπεινοις δε διδωσιν χαριν — phainomai) is similar to referring in our modern vernacular as "stuck-up folks" (Romans 1:30) or "haughty persons." The Almighty uses military terms to refer to Him being in war against it/pride!

The Almighty opposes any pride found in man, whatever the situation, so your putting it in a secular perspective will not work!!!

One of the problems in our churches today, as in our politics, is that we have too many who desire to be celebrities and not enough servants.

Man has nothing to be proud of in himself. There dwells no good thing in us (Rom. 7:18), but when we trust Christ, He puts that
"good thing" in us that makes us His children (2 Tim.1:6, 14), does He not?


25 September 2013 at 10:56  
Blogger Corrigan said...

I think the problem, Silas, is not so much the fact that some part of a politician might aspire to the highest office, but rather the creation of politics as a career per se. At one time, a person going into politics generally did so after having established him- or herself in some other area of community, be it business, law, medicine or whatever, and they came to it in as mature, seasoned people who had formulated some vision of what they wanted their society to while they were giving to their community. They would have been established figures in their own right before they entered politics. Today, the trend is to leave university at 21 or 22 with a PPE or media degree, join a political party as a researcher or central office apparachik and wait for a safe seat to come up. In other words, to enter politics as a career in itself, not as a means to a visionary end. In such circumstances, even a person who actually may have some idealistic notion going in will not have the life-seasoning to recognize when he or she is being "cynicalized" (if there is such a word) and will end up becoming what almost all present day politicians are: time-serving middle managers gathering as much personal comfort about themselves as their position will allow and treading water until they pick up their pensions.

That situation is also being worsened by the fact that not having the life experience of their earlier counterparts, they don't generally have a sharp and well defined idea of what they actually want to achieve in politics. That in turn leaves them wide open to what we might term "colonization" by the business community (iteself degraded these days by Friedmanite pseudo-economics) through well-funded "think-tanks" which provide them with what look like coherent and properly thought out policies, but which are actully the political equivalent of the TV dinner, designed to tilt the proponderance of political decisions towards redireting taxpayers money into the pockets of the think-tanks' sponsors.

I have long been of the opinon that nobody should be allowed to enter politics - even at the council level - before the age of 40. If you come out of uni at 22 with a hankering to be prime minister, you're dodgy. Well, fair enough, but at least with my suggestion, you'll have a bloody long wait before you can start realizing your plans, and while you're waiting, you'll have no choice but to actually live and find out what life is all about.

25 September 2013 at 11:15  
Blogger IanCad said...

Ernst wrote:

--"I don't believe we have got the politicians we deserve, just the scumbags put forward!--".

I'm sorry Ernst but I believe Mencken has tha right of it:

"Democracy: The theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Until the perogative of voting is resticted things will not change.

Forty Shilling Freeholder anyone?

25 September 2013 at 11:16  
Blogger IanCad said...


What a terrific comment!
Spot On!

25 September 2013 at 11:19  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

IanCad said..

Indeed lad but the problem is that the three party system ensures that they now are one homogeneous cake base, with multicoloured sprinkles on top, to differentiate for the ignorant tribal amongst us.

Once inside parliament the elderly predators of their party ensure that conformity and uniformity is bashed in on day one...They end up becoming the people they went into politics to replace!


25 September 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger David B said...

In particular, I suggest, people should withdraw their cynicism regarding politicians from those people who have, over the last decades, stood for, and in all to few cases been elected on behalf of, the Liberal Democrat Party and itds predecessors.

On the grounds that, generally, they have stood out of conviction, often with little chance of election, and where they can or have been elected with little chance of office.

Usually, as far as I gather, for a number of reasons, all, from where I sit, laudable.

One being a perceived need for a third potential winning party rather than having the elections oscillating between two lousy ones.

Another - a belief that a first past the post system is undemocratic, since historically the government has represented a minority of voters, leave alone a majority of potential voters.

And thirdly a perceived need for a party that seeks the best for the country as a whole, rather than one best for the unions on the one hand, the owners and managers of industry on the other.

Also worth mentioning - seeking a good compromise between countering poverty, and getting some social justice on the one hand, and freedom of personal industry on the other. And a tax/benefits system that reflect this.

As, indeed, they have made steps towards under a minority coalition position.

Those who accuse Clegg of cynically grabbing power are, I think, wrong.

If you look back to the time of the last election, both Cameron and Clegg acted in a very statesmanlike fashion, despite misgivings from the grass roots and some back benchers, and managed to avoid the meltdowns of Greece, Cyprus, Spain etc. Ideologically perhaps Clegg would have preferred a Lib/Lab coalition, but given the results of the election the only honorourable course of action was Lib/Con one.

With, as I say, some successes as a result of it, for Liberal aims as well as keeping the country on an even keel at a time of great economic peril. At the cost, though, of some things that stick in the craw.

But that is the price of a coalition, which certainly better represents the country as a whole than any party with a minority of MPs and a pretty small percentage of the popular vote.

Yes, indeed, let us not be too cynical, but especially not regarding those who have steadfastly stood for a more democratic government better representing and serving the country as a whole.



25 September 2013 at 11:44  
Blogger IanCad said...


Thus the need for change. I have made a suggestion.
Corrigan has made another.
And, may I add, articulated the current situation very well.

25 September 2013 at 11:56  
Blogger Preacher said...

If Eve had been more cynical when the serpent spoke his lies, a whole lot of trouble would have been averted.
Without doubt, there are politicians who have principals & morals. But they are so vastly outnumbered by the rest in the game of Westminster musical chairs, that they have little chance of influencing the results of votes that matter.

25 September 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger bluedog said...

Ernst @ 11.27 says, 'They end up becoming the people they went into politics to replace!'

And that is where Corrigan's prescription has great merit. The mature are more immune to capture, having the experience and self-confidence to see through self-serving BS. A great deal depends on the personality of the individual concerned of course.

In the context of which, how would a highly clubbable man like Nigel Farage avoid being corrupted by the system if he were to win a seat in the Commons?

With great difficulty, one suspects.

25 September 2013 at 12:07  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

You’re a fool. Your Christian resistance to cynicism blinds you to reality and makes you a dupe of any half-plausible liar. It’s because of dupes like you that the main parties have been able to export our sovereignty to Brussels and import the Third World and Islam, all the while insisting that they are acting in our best interests. Enoch Powell understood politicians and the political process. Learn from him:

Have you ever wondered, perhaps, why opinions which the majority of people quite naturally hold are, if anyone dares express them publicly, denounced as ‘controversial’, ‘extremist’, ‘explosive’, ‘disgraceful’, and overwhelmed with a violence and venom quite unknown to debate on mere political issues? It is because the whole power of the aggressor depends upon preventing people from seeing what is happening and from saying what they see.

25 September 2013 at 12:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings, Mr Blofeld, a pleasure to see you back!

25 September 2013 at 12:41  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

If Eve had been more cynical when the serpent spoke his lies, a whole lot of trouble would have been averted. (Preacher)

Alas, we wouldn't be around to notice. The paradoxes of Existence.

25 September 2013 at 12:47  
Blogger James said...

I’m pretty confident that this is what is called cynicism

It's not. It is realism, because it is based on ample and sufficient evidence that the snouts-in-the-trough types are in control of politics and there is no means of getting them out.

25 September 2013 at 13:00  
Blogger Richard Brown said...

Mr Blofeld,

If you are so convinced that all politicians are scumbags, please feel free to stand up yourself and be counted and see whether anybody votes for you.

Who do people vote for? - 'somebody like us', usually, and therein lies the problem. They are all like us, they need to be.

25 September 2013 at 13:11  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Well said, it is the system of career politicians that has made politics so much worse, morally, than it was. Career self-interest unsurprisingly squeezes out morality and idealism, of both right and left. The young, inexperienced career politicians, often with mortgages and families to support, like the rest of us, are but putty in the hands of party managers who soon drill them into becoming party hacks, jettisoning their earlier beliefs.
Sorry for the plug but one of Ukip's golden rules is to only put forward experienced candidates, with life experience in some area or other. Referring to the "college kids" who rule us is one of Farage's standard jibes at the LibLabCon identikit parties, and they hate him for articulating the truth. And no, I don't think he would be that easily corrupted by Westminster as he is a mature man, and a survivor. But he might have to cut deals, I concede that. However those who seek purity should stay away from politics, (and most areas of life including The Churches) as politics inevitably involves imperfect decisions and alliances.

25 September 2013 at 13:13  
Blogger Norman Yardy said...

Well said Len @ 08:42
Good on you Mrs Proudie @ 9.48 By their deeds shall ye know them...
We have seen their deeds and their lying ways and society will be all the worse for it.
Leaders can lead towards good or down into the Pit. Towards the Pit is the way we are going. How can a Christian be anything but cynical when a so called leader stands at a lectern and reads from the King James Bible and then sends Christianity down do tube as far as morality in society goes?
Bitterness is the emotion that we must avoid for that does eat at our soul. Jesus was quite rightly very cynical towards the Pharisees and Sadducees and therefore so should we be towards these evil people.
We are all people, but some people are better than others and they are the one we need to see elected. Not these egotistical twerps who think they know better than anyone else. That is the Problem of today, people think that what they think is right rather than turning to the word of God for their guidance.

25 September 2013 at 13:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Anarchy being the worst possible organizing principle, someone has to take responsibility to make decisions. We can beat up politicians as a class as self-interested and grasping, but what do we replace them with? Judges? Kings? Generals? The 'noble politician' whom we deny exists? Politicians are somewhat akin to defense lawyers. We love to hate them ... but we need them.

I was formed in the crucible of the military. Our self-definition of professionalism is rooted in service and self-sacrifice and finds its perfect antithesis in the politician. Even so, they represent the nation we serve and free us to render that service devoid of political interest. We need them lest we become them.

Perhaps the politician is another part of Augustine's sewer in the city.


25 September 2013 at 13:38  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

The McBride memoirs present us with an entertaining moment in British political history, according to today's Tele:

So who was right on this occasion, Gordon Brown or Mervyn King? I'd say Brown.

25 September 2013 at 14:10  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Certainly we do not want anarchy but what we have here is almost that. A group of individuals do just whatever they think is right but are opposed to what the majority of the population want. When they go against what they had previously said and pretend to be what they clearly are not, then revolution is sometimes what is needed.

25 September 2013 at 14:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

To all those wishing me well after fighting back from a progressive illness such as Bluedog, DanJo, Avi and Hannah etc, it is much appreciated.

Bluedog..Indeed Corrigan's points do have merit, however most councillors are from specific parties who further aspire to parliament, given the chance..This involves towing the party line.

If I could juxtapose british party politics with cars.

In the 60-90-s it was possible to distinguish between manufacturers and even name their models by the look of them and what they could do as we could our politicians. However with the arrival of the god 'thermadynamics wind tunnel', all MS models are almost identical and you can only tell the manufacturer by the insignia on the bonnet or boot and not it's appearance as per the modern politician.

The mature parliamentarian simply awaits this 'mature' newly elected colleague you state, takes him/her to one side and tells him the lay of the land etc.

As the old saying about ethics used to be a hand shake and 'my word is my bond', this no longer applies but we, the plebes, are forced to adhere to the law or face the consequences yet the parliamentarian??..How well was it said in animal farm, “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?” INDEED!.. or to paraphrase further, “All the public are enemies. All parliamentarians are comrades”

Cynical old me.


25 September 2013 at 15:01  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Great to see you back Mr Blofeld.
"All the public are enemies. All parliamentarians are comrades"

You're not wrong there.

I think the time has come for some fresh blood in our stale and stagnant parliament. UKIP is this.

Most people in politics who have begun with the best of intentions get corrupted in some way or another.

In some businesses there is the practice of staff rotation whereby after a couple of years in a position staff have to move to another position, it keeps dodgy practices in hand and gets the best out of staff, this should apply to all in politics and councils.

25 September 2013 at 15:18  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

This whole business of despising politicians does seem to have got worse in the last decade, or possibly the last two decades. Prior to that I recall liking, disliking, admiring, actively hating individual politicians (and on one occasion in a very unChristian mood regretting that assassination was not seen as a solution to British political problems). But not despising them.

It's something that shows in voter turnout at every election, and one of the reasons UKIP has had such a surge. If the general attitude is "why vote, they're all the same," then people either don't vote, or vote for the one group that's annoying the hell out of all the others, just to make a point. (No, I actually like UKIP, but they'd be the first to admit that a percentage of their vote share is protest voting. And they don't have a problem with that.)

25 September 2013 at 15:22  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Carl Jacobs,

Well said. Anarchy is to be avoided. That is the worst form of Government.

Whilst we can't expect our politicians to be angels, we can demand that they are not sewer rats. Something in between is realism. Sadly the direction of travel is now, as has been said, by Norman, downwards, and this is not acceptable.

Representative democracy is failing in the UK because of the lack of integrity of the elected. They have lost respect for their electorates and the principles that their parties stood by, in the past. Getting rid of the career politicians system would be a good thing. We need a fresh start, a change of the guard. We must repatriate our sovereignity and scrap "arms length" quangos thereby making the Westminster MPs responsible again for ALL the laws and the actions of Government. Vote Ukip - for a fresh start.

25 September 2013 at 15:47  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I should have said "arms length Agencies and quangos"

25 September 2013 at 15:49  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Father Silas, I most humbly confess that, in regard to politicians AND senior Civil Servants, I am become the Cardinal Archbishop of the Church of Latter Day Cynics.

25 September 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! There is a way forward...I have just been devouring a tract entitled 'The Harrogate Agenda' which sets out six clear demands to revitalise our failing democracy. Alas it hasn't yet made the pages of The Jupiter, but I understand from Mr. Slope that you can 'Google' it...I think Mr. S. spends a lot of his time googling, which is probably why he has taken to wearing spectacles, but I digress. Do have a jolly good read and post up what you think...

25 September 2013 at 16:45  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

And dear Mr. Blofeld, it is good indeed to see you back within the bosom of our little Cranmerian community...everyone here in Barchester extends their hearty good wishes

25 September 2013 at 16:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Marie1797 and Mrs Proudie of Barchester

Thank you for your kind well-wishes for a decrepit old sinner..Missed commenting but had the odd glance through when able whilst recovering...Isn't old age a B&%%"*. *Chuckling like crazy*


25 September 2013 at 17:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Father Silas, one of the Inspector’s interests is considering what we shall call extra Christian responsibilities.

To wit, commands that do not emanate from Christ, but from the souls of goodly gentle types, like you for example. But are wrapped in crucifix patterned paper that would suggest the highest provenance…

So what have we here - “Love your politician as thou would love thyself” in so many words, and while you’re at it, swallow everything he tells you. Now, we can be reasonably sure that our Christ had a gutful of politicians in his final few years, and one would find it extraordinary that his thought on the matter were not so much to love them as beware them instead.

Don’t you think, old chap ?

25 September 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Following on from The Inspectors comments, I would say that there is nothing in Jesus's teachings that encourage us to be naive or gullible. He was very politically astute. Take these two points.

He saw through the traps laid for him, by low, politically cunning Temple Priests, exemplified by his sharp retort, returning the coin and saying, "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God.... ", thus preventing them from ensnaring him in what would have been a handy indictment, rebellion against the temporal powers, followed by a speedy execution, prematurely. No he controlled the time and circumstances of his suffering, all very politically astute.
And again when he said, " Be as cunning as serpents and as gentle as doves". So we are encouraged, if we have the wit, to be aware of the plots weaved by low politicos of our time, BUT, not become filled with cynicism, which leads to bitterness, inaction and the death of hope. That's the point, to hold those twin objectives in mind. Awareness of what the bastards are doing whilst holding onto the hope given to us, by Christ. Christians need courage to stay in the public square, be involved as leaders and workers, holding high aloft the cross, like Wilberforce or Mother Theresa.

25 September 2013 at 18:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One might even go so far as to say a politician is like a tradesman engaged by someone else on your behalf. You just know you could have done better yourself, and often want nothing to do with the ‘firm’ he represents...

On top of that, he won’t do things the way you want it done but the way he or his boss thinks it should be.

And he will tell you he is honest, as he looks around your place for anything that will fit in his pocket....

And finally, he takes your money for his time, as much as the blighter thinks he can get away with...

25 September 2013 at 18:42  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...

Mr Jacobs,

It would appear you have the soldier's spirit, but the American understanding of how to govern a people; the flaw of the populist politics!

Now in the British system we have the House of Commons, elected by 'the people', but also a House of Lords, elected by no-one. The role of the Lords is to watch the blasted politicians in the Commons like a hawk. The Lords own the most land and are too wealthy enough to be corrupted, they treat townsfolk and rural folk alike; everyone is treated according to station. The Lords have the biggest stake in the country and should naturally be a part of making laws. The Church of England is established by law to make sure that laws are according to Judeo-Christian values (at least in public).

That is the theory, but alas successive left wing socialist-liberals have deemed it fit to strip the Lords of any power; even worse they have replaced the hereditary Noblemen with political placemen (often former politicians who see elevation to the Lords as a natural 'right') and have now excluded all but a handful of hereditary peers (who have defended our country since the time of Alfred the Great). The Church of England has been stacked full of liberal minded chaps, who'd be better off in some other realm than theology.

Thus nearly 20 years of liberal or socialist rule has begun the downfall of our once great nation!

25 September 2013 at 20:12  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...

Mr Avi Barzel,

I am pleased to meet you as well. I assume you an Israeli? A fine country. Alas the bally FCO -the swines- constantly take an Arabist position when it comes to defending your beloved nation. Remember Churchill 'no retreat, never surrender!'

25 September 2013 at 20:16  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! It is said that 'He who pays the piper calls the tune,' except with politicians, they tell you what tune it is going to be then use the full force of the law to make you pay for it, even if it is not to your taste...

The Inspector General likens them to tradesmen, but I think they are more like barrowboys shouting out their wares, conning the gullible with a bit of razzle dazzle and double dealing left right and centre (which is exactly what the Left, Right and Centre do, don't you think?)

25 September 2013 at 20:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good point, that man. Oscar isn’t it ?

And the pigs learnt to walk on two feet, and dressed the same way as the hated farmer. And they acquired his titles, which they held as their own. But did they in their egalitarian zeal put themselves up for election ?

No sir – they did not !!!

25 September 2013 at 20:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

My dear Mrs Proudie, the noble barrow boy or girl does not have it in them to spend a professional lifetime misrepresenting the people who put them there, only to expect one and all to call them Lord this or Lady that on retirement from their mediocrity.

Certain tradesmen whom the Inspector has encountered at the ‘Mouse and Wheel’ on the other hand, would...

25 September 2013 at 20:42  
Blogger Nick said...

"We mistrust their motives, we doubt their sincerity,........We don’t believe them. They steal from us via bogus expense claims. They keep smutty little secrets while lecturing us on morality. They are incapable of giving a straight answer to a straight question. With a few honourable exceptions, they are not interested in us or our struggles. All they want is our votes to keep them in their private club by the Thames. Oh, and our money, obviously..........

I’m pretty confident that this is what is called cynicism"

Actually Father Silas, this is what I call truth. Very often we tolerate a person's bad side because we also see redeeming features in them. In the case of most politicians those features are hard to find, at least in their political life.

For example, as elected representatives, we should expect them conduct themselves in a statesman-like way. Instead, we have people like the DPM insulting half the population calling them "dinosaurs".

Secondly, since we live in a democracy, we expect them to act democratically, not be dismissive of the electorate by rushing through contraversial legislation that nobody asked for.

We also expect them to behave maturely, not rushing into wars because of some half-arsed biased reports the PM has seen on the the BBC.

Am I cynical? No, I'm incensed. I can also add a few more items to your list above..

Morally deranged

Apart from that they are of course entirely honourable, reliable, and trustworthy.

25 September 2013 at 20:56  
Blogger bluedog said...

Lord Oscar, are you related to Lord Lavendon by any chance? Possibly called 'David' by family and friends?

25 September 2013 at 21:41  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Inspector, perhaps not, but a barrow boy can misrepresent goods, and we all know politicians continue selling us pigs in a poke...

25 September 2013 at 21:55  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Lord Oscar,

Spot on, I agree !

Bring back the hereditary chaps I say. They were more trustworthy than this lot of squalid media cum washed up politicos ever will be. But that is now lost. Indeed it is difficult to see how the nation can go forward from here to something wholesome, British and fair for all, which is stable but capable of careful, gradual reform. We had it but now it's gone, so where to now ?

I hear that there is now even pressure to sever the links between the judiciary and Christianity, by ending the centuries old tradition of Judges processing from cathedral to Parliament, because of, you guessed it, multiculturalism. Throwing overboard the final fig leaf of cultural Christianity will accelerate our decline as a nation and our growing cultural confusion. Undermining the Established Church may even eventually, undermine Royalty. What thoughts !

25 September 2013 at 22:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Indeed Mrs Proudie, you dear thing.

It was only the other day that the Inspector went to Gloucester market to purchase, what he was assured, was a piglet in a sack. Only to find upon returning to his residence, the contents was a blasted cat. Which of course, is considered inedible, not that it stopped this man...

25 September 2013 at 22:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David Hussell, one feels sure that if the Greek ancients knew that our democratic representatives have rewarded themselves with the titles of the aristocracy, they would be shouting for us to bring this outrageous state of affairs to attention of one who would embody the spirit of Draco.

And they would be damn right – what !

25 September 2013 at 22:09  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

@ Tom Paine - I'm with you sir.

Corrigan stated, quite rightly, that politicians are just like the rest of us.

The problem, and having worked amongst 'em I've seen this first hand, is that many of them are completely unaware of that.

And if you think our lot have an inflated opinion of themselves, wait until you meet the European lot.

25 September 2013 at 22:21  
Blogger bluedog said...

David Hussell @ 22.00 says, 'We had it but now it's gone, so where to now ?'

It is truly said that you only realise what you had when it's gone. Now the only way is forward, and that demands constitutional reform. The unfinished business of Blair's botched partial devolution of the UK is the devolution of England. This remains the essential step in the process that leads towards a federal UK. Once the UK is federated, it becomes possible to scrap the existing House of Lords and replace it with an elected senate that represents the interests of the constituent member states of the UK.

As it stands, the HoL is numerically the second largest upper house in the world after that of the Chinese Communist regime and the HoL has no upper limit in the numbers of its members, who are appointed by the ruling party!

Forget any words relating to Britain and the UK in this description of HoL and you might think that I was describing the constitutional arrangements of Bongo-Bongo land.

25 September 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Bluedog,

Hey, Fail!

Oscar isn't my bro, but First Cousin!

25 September 2013 at 22:30  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...


What a sniffer you'd be on the hunt during this glorious twelfth, you could bag a few pheasants, old man! In fact I am Lord Lavendon's son and heir and David Kavanagh's First Cousin. Blast you, but bless you in the same breath, for being a good faithful hound.

25 September 2013 at 22:31  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Dear all communicants and Silas,
I wrote to the office of Nick Clegg and this was there reply;

Thank you for getting in contact with Nick Clegg MP regarding his speech at Liberal Democrat Conference and his use of the term 'dinosaurs'. I am replying on his behalf.
The Deputy Prime Minister was not referring in general terms to opponents of equal marriage. He has made it clear many times in the past that he believes everyone is entitled to their own view in this debate and – while he disagrees – he understands why some people do not support the law change in light of their personal beliefs or religious views.
In his speech, the Deputy Prime Minister was making a point about the nature of some of the arguments deployed within Westminster during the final stages of the Bill’s passage through parliament, with which he strongly disagreed.
Thank you once again for making us aware of your views on this matter.

Call it spin or what you like. I call it lying.

25 September 2013 at 22:32  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...

Channah ,

How the duce did you work that one out? Rumbled by my own Cousin and a blue dog! Oh, the shame!

25 September 2013 at 22:36  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...

Inspector General,

Now one has been rumbled by the blue hound as a Kavanagh, one trusts you will not hold it against this man? My father thinks highly of you, but is getting increasingly unwell, as time goes by...

Now, to business, the problem is that too many PIGS are in the trough when it comes to politics; the fools get a beer for £1.60 in their own 'bar', when one couldn't get a hamlet Cigar for that in London! Think more like £4.00 a pint and £20 for a decent Cuban...

As CORRIGAN rightly noted, there are created in a university vat (doubtless a reprehensible poly) and grease their way up the pole (to misquote Disraeli).

Now this isn't on. The House of Commons should be for chaps of experience, garnered by such as those, like yourself, who have combated the enemy for blighty. Plus businessmen, a few trade union chaps and (as we are 'demoncratic') a few atheist liberals.

The problems here are all to do with the sell outs and treacherous swines, who lied to the British people (and Irish) in 1974 and continue to lie. Lie, lie, lie and bloody lie; fill the country with third world savages and surrender the country to "Europe".

I ask myself, what was the point of my father and his father in fighting war against the Hun, TWICE, in return for this state of affairs??

25 September 2013 at 22:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Integrity, you are right to suspect lying is about. The political assistant who gave you your reply would seem to make a more trust worthy politician than their master. But of course, Cameron stated off the same, so we can conclude that they, politician and apprentice, would be all in it together...

25 September 2013 at 22:53  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...

David Hussell,

Thank you Sir!

Now if we could return to the days of Viscount Palmerston and the Duke of Wellington, firm Irish-British chaps that they were, then we might stand a chance against the Islamic Jihadists and the Communist EU!

As for the Lords, it was always a reflection of society, the blood of Lords Norfolk (Roman Catholic), Devonshire (Anglican) and Rosthchild (Jewish) is equally blue as the rest of the country.

All good chaps, who, I'd rather see governing than what we've got at the moment. Who do you want in the Lords; The Duke of Devonshire or Baroness Warsi?

25 September 2013 at 22:55  
Blogger bluedog said...

Splendid news, Lord Oscar. Can always follow a line on a good scenting day!

Cranmer's blog is far better than the House of Lords; this is where the real decisions are made.

25 September 2013 at 22:56  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness, Lord Oscar, and there was me thinking you are a scion of the Earl de Courcy and the Duke of Omnium...I really must consult my Burke more often (though it is hard to wake him up at times, the dear man).

25 September 2013 at 23:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Greetings Oscar. One hopes you will pass on this man’s regards to your father. Now, pay attention that man. There will come a time when your father is no longer with us, but in a place we hope to end up too. Meanwhile, we need chaps like you to continue his good work. Are you up to it, sir ?

Of course you are, you are a Kavanagh no less.

Stand easy, carry on, and let’s be hearing more from you...

You are dismissed.

25 September 2013 at 23:04  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...


I have to admit, I do enjoy this place already. I can see why other family members post here.

The patriots Inspector and David Hussell; the ability of bludog to sniff at facts, Avi Barzel for his clearly ordained profession as a Barrister QC; the wonderful Bloefeld, who despite apparent ostensiblilty, is really a good egg and would be welcome in any future UK government.

I regret that Cressida is no longer with us [confession; the Kavanagh blokes -plus one lesbian all thought you were one fiesty and hot chick- we could never understand your hostility and hatred]. As for Peter the Roman, chap was far too argumentative for his own good. He should recall the proverb 'he who wins shall loose. And he who looses shall win'.

Now as for politics we can only hope that the next election is a UKIP/Conservative coalition. The conservatives being the likes of Peter Bone, Richard Shepherd and Bill Cash...

The agenda :

1. Withdrawal from the EU
2. Greater ties with our Commonwealth cubs and our allies in Israel, USA and Japan (our first alliance was with Japan; we've fought for the yanks enough to get something other than scraps; Israel is a great country)
3.Fair trade not free trade (the EU is a protection racket for French farmers and Germany industrialists)
4.A halt to mass immigration (done so Libour could win elections)
5. An end to the politically correct left-liberal- socialism- guardian ideas (done so that libour and the lib dims can quash honest democratic debate) that have blighted our great nation. A repeal of the equality legislation and dare I say it a 'review' of the SSM Act at the very least.

25 September 2013 at 23:26  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...


That is correct, but I wish it were not so. In the current state of affairs, one almost gets Jacobian and thinks the House of Lords to be abolished on the morrow.

The problem is, any elected chamber will be as useful as a Megalodon in the Sahara Desert & useless as the car parking department of the local council; full of bully boys, holier than thou, power tripping, can't sack the blighters as I'm in the Boiler maker- hedge fund manager trade union.

25 September 2013 at 23:37  
Blogger Lord Oscar Marlbury said...


'Am I up to it?'

Why, Sir, one must do one's duty.

Britain expects!

25 September 2013 at 23:39  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Forgive me if this has been said already because I don't have time to scan all the comments.

The poster is confusing cynicism for realism based upon the evidence presented. The poster seems to be projecting the failures of our political effete upon us for our lack of faith in their sincerity, honesty and capability. Given that it is blatantly evident that our politicians really are, with a few notable exceptions, incompetent, grasping, lying slimebags, the claim that we are cynical is unacceptable.

I stand with Johnny Rottenborough, IanCad and others.

26 September 2013 at 08:42  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Lord Oscar,

I propose that : "your agenda". forms the manifesto for the next Ukip/Conservative Government, without further ado !

Forward ! We all have work to do .......

26 September 2013 at 08:46  
Blogger bluedog said...

Lord Oscar @ 23.37 says, 'The problem is, any elected chamber will be as useful as a Megalodon in the Sahara Desert...etc'.

Not necessarily. In the first instance it often pays to approach a problem with a blank sheet of paper and a few ideas. Sort of, how do we get there from here. Reversing that process with HoL in its current form should produce a simple result; if we value a house of review, this is what we don't want it to look like. You believe an elected senate can't work. No problems in the USA or Australia, the precedents are there to be used and fully detailed too. The US Senate is enormously successful and most US presidents have at some point sat in the US Senate, if they have not previously been state governors.

26 September 2013 at 09:51  

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