March 30th, 2015

Since 2011 I’ve been working with the outstanding crossbench peer Baroness Caroline Cox on her legislative initiative, the Mediation and Arbitration Services (Equality) Bill.

Sharia Council of BritainThis turgid title masks sensitive and combustible issues: The primary purpose of the Bill is to tackle gender-discrimination in the 85+ Sharia courts across the UK. The secondary purpose is to tackle the growth of a parallel legal system in the UK.

Two years ago I covered the background to this proposed legislation in a post about the Bill’s Second Reading debate in the House of Lords. Despite multiple testimonies and clear evidence of discrimination against women, and strong cross-party back-bench support, the government opposed the Bill on the head-in-the-sand grounds that adequate legislation is already in place to deal with the issue.

Memorably, this inflexibility earned the new and junior minister responsible, Lord Gardiner, a magisterial put-down from one of the country’s top lawyers: “(Lord Gardiner) has given an Olympian exegesis of the processes and laws and consultations that are available to deal with the intellectual problem,” Lord Alex Carlile QC thundered from the LibDem benches behind and above the minister. “However we are concerned here with real people and real cases.”

baroness cox giving the keswick lecture week 2 09We had sat with many real Muslim women and heard their real and distressing cases at the hands of Sharia courts. We greatly relished Lord Carlile’s broadside.

This was Parliament’s first ever debate about Sharia. It was an historic debate – but this still cut no ice with the government.

Since then we’ve continued to push the issue in Westminster and Whitehall. We held briefings for Peers and met with individual MPs; we set up an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on ‘Honour’ Based Abuse ; we met and listened to more Muslim women; we supported vital research by Muslim women’s group Aurat led by the inspirational Habiba Jaan; we worked with other women’s groups like IKWRO, Inspire and Karma Nirvana; and we met off-record with a junior government minister and on-record with a key senior one.

Theresa MayThe first sign that things were beginning to change came at the Conservative Party conference last September. For the first time Home Secretary Theresa May raised publicly the issue of Sharia law and women. “Across the country, there are concerns about the way Sharia law is being applied, the way women are told to live and the intolerant attitudes shown to people of different beliefs and ways of life,” she said. “We must not sleepwalk into separation, segregation and sectarianism.”

Encouraged that we may not be banging against a brick wall after all, we continued to work the corridors of Westminster and Baroness Cox grabbed every opportunity to speak out.

Then on Monday last week and in collaboration with the Bow Group, we were about to publish a report calling for a judge-led investigation into Sharia courts when Theresa May, now a Tory leadership contender thanks to David Cameron, announced the government’s new counter-extremism policy; unexpectedly this included an independent review of Sharia courts.

“There is evidence of women being “divorced” under Sharia law and left in penury, wives who are forced to return to abusive relationships because Sharia councils say a husband has a right to “chastise”, and Sharia councils giving the testimony of a woman only half the weight of the testimony of a man,” said  Mrs May. “We will commission an independent figure to complete an investigation into the application of Sharia law in England and Wales.”

This was fantastic as far as it went, but on Tuesday we published our report anyway. The Ministry of Justice has previously run scared and aborted an investigation into Sharia courts citing lack of co-operation by Islamic authorities; we reckoned a formal judge-led investigation with powers to subpoena witnesses is more likely to succeed.

Boris_Johnson

On Wednesday Boris Johnson, current favourite in the Tory leadership stakes, weighed in saying that Sharia law is “absolutely unacceptable” in the UK and should not be allowed to preside even over family disputes.

On Thursday journalist Leo McKinstry – who famously turned on his former boss, Labour’s anti-marriage deputy leader and Shadow Deputy Prime Minster Harriet Harman, and accused her of preaching a “dangerous gospel of feminist fascism” – praised “robust” Boris and spelled out his support on the issue. Harriet Harman on the other hand, like most feminists, remains culpably silent.

So the cat is out of the bag and the hare is running. There’s been a sea change and Sharia is open for proper political scrutiny at last.

Muslim women up and down the country will be grateful.

February 19th, 2015

There has been welcome progress in our campaign against Winchester University and the dangerous depraved views of their American sociology lecturer, Professor Eric Anderson. BCMLogoDr Anderson is an influential commentator about sex and sexuality and appears in the media – such as on BBC TV  discussing gay marriage together with his ‘nanny’, and on ITV disputing why men cheat on their partners.

In a previous post I highlighted how Professor Anderson described in lectures how he likes sex with 16 to 18 year old boys – for which he is willing to pay if necessary – and wants sex with 1,000 more boys and men before he dies. He also claimed that the damage caused by child molestation is merely a “social construct”.

IMG_3461.JPGSuch foul views from a high-profile academic are threatening to the welfare of children and teenage boys, yet for three years a report on the lectures was available online without public comment from the Winchester University authorities. So our campaign group Because Children Matter started to protest.

In November the Sunday Times published (£) an article about the campaign and approached the university for a statement; the authorities responded merely that they have “reprimanded (Anderson) for his remarks”. Apparently they consider this private reprimand fulfils their public responsibility towards young people. There has been no public repudiation of Anderson’s views; no apology, statement of regret or insistence that he withdraws his lectures.

AlanTitchmarshIn December it was announced that celebrity gardener, broadcaster and media personality Alan Titchmarsh is to be appointed Chancellor of Winchester University in August 2015. I immediately wrote an open letter to inform him about Professor Anderson’s views and to ask him to reconsider his appointment. As Alan Titchmarsh’s views are of importance, I’m publishing here our correspondence exchange:

Dear Mr Titchmarsh,

We write on behalf of children and young people to ask you urgently to reconsider accepting your appointment as Chancellor of Winchester University.

Professor Eric Anderson is on the staff of the University’s Department of Sport & Exercise and in that capacity has visited other universities teaching unacceptable and amoral behaviour.

As an example, in a lecture at Trinity College Oxford he made the following appalling statements which were duly verified by the reporter:

“I’m going to cuss a lot and I’m going to break down all kinds of hegemonic structures. If you’re offended by discussions of anal sex, vaginal sex, rimming, cheating, having cum all over [your] face then you should probably leave.”

“[I have had sex with] easily over a thousand people.”

“I like sex with 16, 17, 18 year old boys particularly, it’s getting harder for me to get them but I’m still finding them… I hope between the age of 43 and the time I die I can have sex with another thousand, that would be awesome, even if I have to buy them, of course, not a problem, you pay for all kinds of entertainment and pleasure.”

When asked, Professor Anderson admitted with a laugh that he is a sexual predator and – worst of all in the current climate of concern about child abuse – he as Professor of Sport claimed that team sports are more damaging to adolescents than sex.

“The damage that’s caused by child molestation is socially constructed by the western world,” he said dismissively, and contrasted this to other cultures where children engage in sex with adults as a rite of passage.

Professor Anderson also gratuitously referred to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, now Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, Rowan Williams, as an “arsehole”, “a total bigot” and “a fucking liar”.

He bragged to his listeners that his previous employer, Bath University, had “practically ran me out of town because they couldn’t stand my research”.

A fuller report on Professor Anderson’s lecture may be found at the reference below*.

No doubt like most people you will consider these statements utterly reprehensible. Yet Winchester University has neither removed Professor Anderson from his post as apparently Bath University have done, nor publicly reprimanded him and repudiated his views. Rather the university authorities continue to shelter him and give him a platform from which to promote his views.

In the light of this we ask that you do not associate your good name with the University, and that you reconsider accepting your appointment as Chancellor.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Craig,

Director, Because Children Matter

 Correspondence

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Titchmarsh replied:

Dear Mr Craig, 

I was extremely dismayed by the contents of your letter and have explored matters thoroughly with the Vice Chancellor of Winchester University. 

Like you I totally deplore what Professor Anderson said in his talk and in no way share his views. The lecture you mention took place over three years ago, and at the time Professor Anderson was severely reprimanded by the senior management team of the University. He subsequently apologised for his remarks, realising that they were not only inappropriate but considerably ill-advised. There has not been – and most certainly should not be – any recurrence of such an event.  

You may argue that his views will not have changed and that it is these which you find reprehensible.  I would only say that we live in a society where free speech, opinions and social mores (even those with which many of us profoundly disagree) are allowed to be expressed and exercised, provided they remain within the law. Although most people do not share his extreme views and find them, at the very least, distasteful, Professor Anderson is a respected authority on the subject of sexuality. 

It is an uncomfortable subject for many, and there are countless differing views as to what sort of behaviour is acceptable among consenting adults. This is something which a great many of us find difficult to assimilate, and I am very sympathetic to your feelings. 

 While I realise that you may well regard this as a poor defence, I would argue that I can do far more good for the University of Winchester by accepting the post of Chancellor than I would by turning my back and declining any involvement with the broader sweep of the university’s activities which, with some 8,000 students, is of considerable importance, value and scope. The wide ranging abilities of the University of Winchester’s students, the breadth of their experience and backgrounds, coupled with their subsequent achievements, is testament to the dedication and skill of the university staff and their overriding sense of values. These values embrace tolerance as well as deeply held principles. 

I am a committed Christian who admires and respects the university’s inclusive Christian ethos and to this end I will always make my views clear and continue to stand up for legitimate human rights, as well as showing tolerance towards those of different faiths and beliefs. To remove a person from post because their sexual mores differ from one’s own, is not, in my view, either justifiable or defensible. 

However, there are boundaries which should not and must not be crossed; boundaries which are very clear in law, especially when it comes to the protection of children. This is something of which I am profoundly aware and an area in which I will have no hesitation in making my views known and in encouraging action which I think is both appropriate and justified. With a conscientious and dedicated approach I will execute the role of Chancellor to the best of my ability and in what I hope will be regarded as a responsible and vigilant fashion. 

I hope you will understand the reasoning behind my stance, even if you do not agree with it. 

Yours faithfully, 

Alan Titchmarsh 

Following our exchange of letters the Daily Mail ran an article in January under the headline: “Titchmarsh, a gay lecturer and a row over teenage sex”.

KELVINMACKENZIEThen over the horizon charged the heavy cavalry of The Sun’s Kelvin MacKenzie – the newspaper’s former editor of Gotcha! and Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster! fame.

In a series of hard-hitting pieces MacKenzie damned Anderson as the “perv prof” and a “predatory creep”. He also:

(a) urged his readers to write to Winchester’s “hapless” vice-chancellor Professor Joy Carter about Anderson;

(b) offered to pay whistle-blowers at the university to let him, MacKenzie, know what is going on there and explain why the vice-chancellor is so silent about Anderson;

(c) encouraged parents not to let their offspring, especially boys, apply to Winchester University until the authorities disclosed what action they had taken over Anderson’s remarks;

(d) dismissed Anderson’s assertion that children in some cultures engage in sexual activity as a rite of passage with the killer-comment that “that should please the people of Rotherham”; and

(e) identified Anderson’s links with the disingenuous pro-paedophile lobbying group B4U-ACT founded by the convicted paedophile Mike Melsheimer.

Winchester University and Dr Anderson were rattled by the onslaught. Someone promptly prevailed upon the Oxford Student website to take down the report on Anderson’s lecture, which was done on 4th February. In response MacKenzie, sensing yet more skulduggery and sleight-of-hand, announced he was putting back up the offending report for all to see, this time on his own website.

It was tabloid journalism at its most effective and professional.

(MacKenzie’s columns of 29 January and 2, 5, 9 and 12 February are available on The Sun (£) website.)

pseudoscienceBut Anderson continues in his post at Winchester University and continues to publish his propaganda, pseudo-science and untruth. The London Evening Standard’s David Sexton reckons that Anderson’s latest academic offering is an “outstanding imposture” and a “rant” that is unconcerned about the needs of women, provides information and links for those looking to hone their masturbation skills (!), disseminates shamelessly unrepresentative research and should not have been published by Oxford University Press. Catherine Hakim in The Guardian agrees it is “a proselytising text rather than social science” and is surprised too that the book has been published by OUP.

Anderson remains malignly influential thanks to his prestige platform at the university and the protective wall of academia surrounding him.

So our job is not over yet…

January 7th, 2015

It’s a cast-iron undertaking written in just a couple of lines towards the end of the recent UKIP publication Policies for People, such that you might well miss it. It hasn’t been promoted like the party’s policies for leaving the EU or limiting immigration, and for many it is a minor matter. But it contains a major democratic principle:

“UKIP will amend the smoking ban to give pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms properly ventilated and separated from non-smoking areas.”

scolding nannyThe 2007 blanket ban on smoking in all enclosed public places was a crass piece of infantilising nanny-state legislation and a denial of the right of freedom of association.

If law-abiding and adult citizens in their right minds and fully informed of the likely (medical) consequences choose voluntarily to come together to set up a peaceable smoking club, on what possible grounds can a supposedly mature democracy refuse them?

There are no grounds of course, except the instinctive desire of our masters – whenever they can get away with it – to close down our exasperating liberties, limit our frustrating choices and knock us into the shape they think is good for us.

The ban on smoking in public places where non-smokers are present, such as restaurants, offices and on public transport, is certainly to be welcomed. And there is a good case for the forthcoming ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers.

But the complete and total ban insisted on by our legislators in 2007 – and indeed the current contested proposal to ban smoking in city parks and outdoor areas – amply illustrate the bossy small-minded we-know-best attitude of the governing class that is the antithesis of an open and free participative democracy. They are managers not leaders; they act as political masters not public servants; they use coercion not persuasion; they are long on patronising paternalism and short on grass-roots common sense: and our freedoms of choice and association are suffering because it.

cigarUKIP’s track record is far from perfect, but consistently it shows that the party has the courage to do democracy, challenge established categories, confront the mainstream PC consensus and go where the LibLabCon elite refuses to go. Amending the smoking ban is a brilliant if unnoticed case in point.

So if all goes well on 7th May, next Christmas I’ll once again be free to enjoy a festive cigar alongside a pint and a game of pool in my favourite pub.

It’s yet another reason for joining and voting UKIP.

December 24th, 2014

Kings-College-Choir

On this silent sacred night, England’s best chapel choir sings Christendom’s best Christmas carol, here .

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!

O night divine, the night when Christ was born. 

Even in the darkness of tragedy, brutality, weariness and despair, in Christ there is a thrill of hope and through Christ every day is a new and glorious morn; we can do all things in Him who strengthens us.

Happy Christmas!

December 15th, 2014

I received a call from BBC Radio Northampton on Tuesday: with effect from midnight Civil Partnerships (CP) could be converted legally into Same Sex Marriages (SSM), they said, so would I discuss the issue on Stuart Linnell at Breakfast in the morning? They had heard me on BBC Radio London and wanted me to make my case to their Northamptonshire audience.

benjamincohenIn the event and on behalf of our campaign group Because Children Matter, I followed Ben Cohen of Pink News  in the show (here, commencing at 1 hr 6 mins 53 secs into the programme). I’ve met Ben before in LBC studios and he’s a friendly articulate guy although this time inevitably he stumbled and struggled to identify any advantage of same-sex marriages over civil partnerships.

“(You make SSM) sound just symbolic really,” said Stuart Linnell (at 1:14:53). The presenter was trying to help his faltering interviewee, but also unwittingly he exposed the fact that while SSM may be an important issue for Pink News gay activists and their useful idiots in the LibLabCon political class, in reality and on the ground it is an empty – if destructive – charade.

Indeed Ben was forced to concede that the number of gay couples who have entered into SSMs since they became legal on 29th March “is not that high” (at 1:13:20). Thank-you-but-noOrdinary same-sex couples have seen through the pretence and said “No thanks”. Significantly, the in-touch leadership of Ukip like Nigel Farage and gay MEP David Coburn have seen through it too, to Ukip’s electoral advantage.

When it was my turn (this slot can be heard in full here) I pointed out that while CPs are what it says on the tin, SSMs are a fake and a counterfeit: while conventional marriage commits the participants to a faithful ‘til death us do part’ which brings stability and huge benefits for the nurture of children, SSMs were designed by the government  to accommodate what Brendon O’Neill calls the “flightiness and flexibility more commonly associated with gay relationships”.

So adultery is no ground for divorce with SSMs. High-profile gay couple Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow play the field and openly advertise for sex partners – “preferably firemen, married men, muscle men and rugby players” – on Gaydar. And BBC-duping Eric Anderson reckons to have had sex with over a thousand people other than his marriage partner Grant Tyler Peterson. Faithful monogamy SSM is not.

rageMy approach clearly hit the target as Ben Cohen was incensed. He contacted the programme producer and demanded further airtime. Rebuffed, he took to his website and gave vent to his spleen. There he quoted me at length and I’m grateful for the further coverage of my views.

But he also let slip his guard and laid bare the underlying intolerance for which triumphalist gay leaders have become renowned. “Everyone understands the BBC, like all broadcasters, must ensure that news reporting is balanced and impartial,” he burbled, “however when it comes to reporting on gay rights issues the BBC seems to step well off the mark… As the law has already been enacted, this issue is no longer up for debate… So quite why BBC Northampton felt the need to allow Alan Craig on the air to regurgitate the same old anti-gay diatribe, and for that to go unchallenged is beyond me.”

No doubt Ben was disappointed at his own confused contribution to the programme, and in his subsequent anger at my arguments he illustrated an almost universal truth: gay activists, having stormed and plundered the ancient marriage stronghold, now want to lift the drawbridge and shut down all further discussion.

It’s the Pink News definition of democracy: “The issue is no longer up for debate”.

November 29th, 2014

Over the past couple of decades the scale of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and members of Catholic religious orders has shocked the world. Although it is reckoned that the prevalence of abuse in the church has now significantly declined the abuse and subsequent cover-up has massively damaged the moral authority of the church – and, by association, of Christianity itself.

abused boyIn the UK concern over child abuse has moved on to other infected institutions like the BBC and the NHS, and left the former’s reputation in tatters. In 2012 the nation was stunned when it emerged that Jimmy Savile, one of the BBC’s favourite children’s entertainers, and others had systematically abused children on a massive scale over many years on BBC and NHS premises and the BBC too had done a cover-up. And within two years BBC celebrities Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall and celebrity publicist Max Clifford had been jailed for similar sexual offences against minors.

Since 2012 also, when MP Tom Watson first raised the issue in Parliament, the Elm Guest House child abuse scandal has rarely been out of the headlines. In the 1980s, it seems government ministers, top policemen, senior civil servants, diplomats, barristers and other establishment figures were part of a powerful paedophile network linked to the hostel in south London where male orgies with boys took place and up to 100 victims were groomed and abused for sexual purposes. depressed adolescentThe trail of depravity leads even to Downing Street and, more recently, there have been accusations of child abduction and murder linked to the house.

Add to this evil the other child abuse scandals and the epidemic of Asian/Muslim grooming gangs such as those at Rotherham, Rochdale (and, separately, its former MP Cyril Smith), Oxford, Birmingham and Bristol, and it seems that predatory paedophiles operate in every area and level of society. Further it is clear that the state has little idea how to protect the vulnerable victims who almost always come from public care and/or grow up outside the security of the traditional family.

So I was concerned when a colleague drew my attention to the words, works and wisdom of American-born sociologist Professor Eric Anderson who currently teaches at Winchester University. In a lecture at Trinity College Oxford, which followed a similar address at Glasgow University, Professor Anderson claimed to have had sex with “easily over a thousand people”. When asked, he admitted with a laugh that he is a sexual predator.

Professor Eric Anderson“I like sex with 16, 17, 18 year old boys particularly,” the gay Professor crowed, “it’s getting harder for me to get them but I’m still finding them… I hope between the age of 43 and the time I die I can have sex with another thousand, that would be awesome, even if I have to buy them…”

Why gay sex is better than straight sex’ was the proselytising title of his lecture and Professor Anderson opened his speech to the predominantly LGBT audience with a depraved flourish: “My intention is to offend you,” he said. “I’m going to cuss a lot and I’m going to break down all kinds of hegemonic structures. If you’re offended by discussions of anal sex, vaginal sex, rimming, cheating, having cum all over your face then you should probably leave.”

Incidentally, in addition to discussing these predominantly unhealthy harmful sex games as well as bestiality and incest, Winchester University’s eminent professor called the then Archbishop of Canterbury now Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, Rowan Williams, an “arsehole”, “a total bigot” and “a fucking liar”.

In the midst of this obscenity Professor Anderson turned his attention to child abuse. He teaches in the University’s department of sports studies and in the US was a successful sports coach, but he claimed that team sports are more damaging to adolescents than sex. “The damage that’s caused by child molestation is socially constructed by the western world,” he opined, and contrasted this to other cultures where children engage in sex with adults as a rite of passage.

Sambian child abuseBy classifying child molestation as an artificial social construct rather than an absolute and profound evil, the professor was using his academic credentials to undermine society’s healthy hostility towards child abuse. And he is not alone; this misleading cultural comparison has been utilised by others too. In another context gay campaigner Peter Tatchell, for instance, cites man/boy sexual relations, often during manhood initiation rites, amongst remote tribes such as the Siwan of Egypt, Batak of Sumatra, Anga of Melanesia and Sambia of Papua New Guinea.

In a direct parallel, tribes and cultures outside the West also engage in female genital mutilation. It would be just as repulsive as well as untrue to suggest that the damage to girls caused by FGM is socially constructed by the western world and that consequently it can be tolerated, affirmed or even celebrated in cultures outside the West. FGM like child abuse is an absolute evil that should be universally opposed and proscribed.

university-of-winchester-bannerWinchester University continues to give a platform and cloak of respectability to Professor Anderson’s dangerous depraved views. So colleagues and I decided to campaign for his removal. “My prior university, the University of Bath… practically ran me out of town because they couldn’t stand my research,” he bragged to his audience during the lecture. We argue that the University of Winchester should follow suit.

Earlier this month our group Because Children Matter wrote to the University Vice-Chancellor and the Board of Governors as well as to outside stakeholders such as principals of feeder sixth form colleges, and we held a leafleting campaign in Winchester city centre. Our activities were covered by the Sunday Times , the Southern Daily Echo and on YouTube .

Watch this space for further developments.

October 30th, 2014

In my previous post  I told how I have applied to join UKIP. This simple democratic act seems to have caused some fluttering in some dovecotes.

I was contacted by a self-styled ‘business reporter’ from the HuffPost, left-liberals’ right-on answer to the Daily Express, who in his subsequent piece avoided business issues and instead attempted to generate a media puff by citing my three-year-old bullseye post about the gaystapo and claiming that my application had “sparked fury on Twitter”. ukip badgesFortunately UKIP would have none of it and dismissed this with the comment that the party is “very wary of joining in a witch-hunt against somebody who holds those views that the vast majority of the world would also hold” – which explains why UKIP is the popular and rising power in the land.

Another anti-UKIP political weblog, the gay-run PinkNews, also tried to climb on board but in its article it paid me the compliment of accurately quoting at length my views about gay marriage taken from two posts on this blog. I’m grateful for the further coverage.

And down amongst the minnows, here in east London a parochial blog called ForestGate.net ran the unimaginative headline ‘Alan Craig gets kippered’. It claimed that I have always been a bit mad and that I am not really that much of a Christian at all. “Just as Nigel Farage is a bigot who dresses his nasty prejudices up as ‘common sense’, Craig dresses his up in scripture and calls them religious convictions,” it snarled, desperately trying to create some local froth. But I don’t think Forest Gate was listening…

In the previous post ‘Matthew Parris’ Poison’, I highlighted a sniffy article by Times columnist Matthew Parris about Clacton and its residents (“Ten tattoo parlours, no Waterstones”) as a prime example of why UKIP is so popular, coming as it did right from the heart of the out-of-touch metropolitan political class where Matthew Parris resides. I now have another example, but this time from the Guardian:

Rev Giles FraserIn his day job The Revd Canon Giles Fraser was, until 2011, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral. He is now parish priest at St Mary’s Newington just a few streets from Lambeth Palace, London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Revd Giles also has a regular Saturday column in the Guardian. Earlier this month he turned his attention to UKIP in a piece headlined “Jesus wasn’t much taken with biological kith and kin – he said we’re all one family”.

For three paragraphs he paraded his professional compassion for a struggling parishioner – whereby, as Christ said, he like the hypocrites has received his reward in full. Then Canon Giles turned his journalistic cannons onto UKIP and, grandstanding for his Guardian readers, pigeonholed UKIP-supporting fellow citizens with a loathing and poison that out-Parrised Parris.

“I despise them (my italics),” he sneered sanctimoniously. “I despise them for their Little England mentality (my italics). I despise them for their total absence (my italics) of fellow-feeling towards vulnerable people who look and sound different. I despise them for the way they scapegoat (my italics) immigrants and whip up (my italics) the resentment of white working class. IDespiseYouBut I especially despise them (my italics) for the way they dress all this up (my italics) as the protection of something they call Christian England.”

This is such inaccurate dishonest hate-fuelled stereotyping that it is a parody of itself. Indeed the article would be laughable if it didn’t come from an establishment figure of the national church. As it is, it is unbelievable and unfair. “Physician, heal thyself,” Jesus might chide him for his inflammatory bigotry. “Take the log out of your own eye.”

The Lord also might remind him that it is not an option for a Christian, especially a Christian minister, to despise anyone whatever their views. “Love your neighbour” and “Love your enemy” are foundational for all Christ’s followers.

Justin WelbyAnd if he doesn’t want to follow Jesus, the Revd Giles should at least listen to his boss just down the road at Lambeth Palace. “The language we use must reflect the value of the human being,” said  Archbishop Justin Welby, rightly, about the recent immigration debate.

By ramping up his language and displaying his bigotry across the columns of the Guardian, the former Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral works wonders for UKIP, just like Matthew Parris. But I’m not sure that’s what he intends. And I’m not sure heaven smiles on his article either.

If he continues to write such bile, for UKIP’s sake the Guardian should give him more frequent space and more column inches.

But for Christ’s sake the Archbishop should sack him from the church.

September 29th, 2014

yes-scotland-poster-dont-let-them-tell-us-we-cantGay marriage illustrated it; Brendon O’Neill exposed it; and more recently the #YesScotland campaign highlighted and traded upon it: the UK’s political class is a corrupt, elitist, irresponsible, disingenuous, patronising, self-serving cartel. It must be urgently broken up and closed down.

Whatever you think of the issue itself, the gay marriage legislation last year was a democratic disgrace. Faithful one man/one woman marriage has been a defining and enduring bedrock of our society and culture – and the preeminent place of nurture for the nation’s children – for a millennium and a half.

lemmingsYet without warning, electoral mandate, Green or White Paper consultation or intelligent debate, and egged on by media, the PR industry, Hollywood celebs and the all-powerful gay lobby on both sides of the Atlantic (the UK perennially follows where the US leads), our political leaders like lemmings rushed off the marriage cliff and into the gay sea while emoting loudly and stupidly that it is “all about love”. Overnight, unitedly and unnecessarily they redefined, enfeebled and wrecked a hugely beneficial social institution.

As a consequence procreation and child-rearing are no longer primary purposes of marriage and conjugal faithfulness is no longer a primary characteristic. Marriage is no longer marriage.

This was extraordinary and irresponsible social vandalism by the Tory Bullingdon boys, their ilk in all parties and their fawning followers on the issue across the political class. Short-sighted adult gay rights today were prioritised over the weighty matters of our children’s upbringing and our society’s tomorrow. And sexual activity, identity, licence and gratification were legislatively endorsed by the Mother of Parliaments as the rising public values of our time. So, like Roman civilisation before us, hereon it’s all downhill.

Brendon ONeillIn a series of biting articles Brendon O’Neill, editor of Spiked Online, excoriated the whole democratically-bankrupt process. The titles of his pieces indicate where he was coming from: ‘The iron fist in the velvet glove of gay marriage’;   ‘Congratulations, gay marriage campaigners – you have completely destroyed the meaning of social progress’; and ‘Gay marriage: a case study in conformism.

The articles are worth reading in full as he incisively challenges the top-down soft-authoritarian imposition of gay marriage by the select liberal metropolitan elite. One sentence exemplifies O’Neill’s thrust: “The push for gay marriage has taken place entirely at the level of respectable society, being spearheaded by tiny handfuls of sharp-suited gay lobbyists, lawyers, celebrities, commentators and the Notting Hill/Hampstead sections of the political class.”

This is the same political class that Alex Salmond railed against so roundly in his #YesScotland referendum campaign; he labelled and damned it as “Westminster” or “London”. An astute Scottish observer of my acquaintance reckons that when all three UK party leaders were forced to drop their above-the-fray aloof posture, leave the capital and make panicky visits north of the border during the last 10 days of the referendum, 5% of Scots promptly switched sides to vote Yes against them.

Clackton on SeaAnd early this month the same patronising arrogance received an airing in its most ugly expression – so ugly that it’s almost a parody of itself. Matthew Parris, columnist for The Times, took a day trip to the former Tory stronghold of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex where a by-election takes place on 9th October and wrote about the experience.

His article reeks of racism, elitism and condescension. He reckons Clacton is peopled by the elderly, the ill, the has-beens and the anti-immigration English. “This is Britain on crutches,” he sneers. “This is tracksuit-and-trainers Britain, tattoo-parlour Britain, all-our-yesterday’s Britain.” “There are ten tattoo-parlours and no Waterstones,” he sniggers.  “Somebody has to represent the static caravans and holiday villages and the people and places that for no fault of their own are not getting where a 21st century Britain needs to be,” he sniffs.

I simply don’t see how a reputable newspaper in our modern egalitarian democracy can publish such neo-Nazi political eugenics. Parris advises the Tories that the residents of Clacton are not part of the metropolitan master race that inhabits Canary Wharf and other gilded, up-market neighbourhoods in the capital and that therefore they safely can be ignored. “The weak, the unlucky, the resentful, the old and the poor will always be the easiest to enlist as clients, for they have nowhere else to go,” he snorts cynically. Joseph Goebbels couldn’t have put it better.

Matthew ParrisOf course even Parris wouldn’t want to hasten their end by consigning the weak, the old and the poor to the gas chamber. But his logic tells the Tories that there is no point in applying the scarce resources of the NHS or the welfare state to such nobodies. Better to invest in the Canary Wharf future than prop up the Clacton past.

It is pure poison. Parris’ stomach-churning and profoundly unChristian attitude towards his fellow citizens is both beneath contempt and amply illustrative of today’s metropolitan political class.

Two weeks ago I spent my first day campaigning for UKIP in Clacton.

Last week I applied to join the party.

August 16th, 2014

Luke Tryl is an Oxford-educated young Tory-on-the-move. Luke-TrylHe was President of the Oxford Union in 2007; stood as a Conservative candidate for Lambeth Council in 2010 , a useful Tory precursor for a subsequent shot at Parliament; was appointed Head of Education at Stonewall after experience at various policy think-tanks ; and was elected chairman of Dulwich & West Norwood Conservative Association in March this year .

Still only in his late 20s, last month he was appointed Special Adviser to Nicky Morgan, the new Education Secretary. I wish him well personally as he continues his climb up politics’ greasy pole.

But Luke self-identifies as gay and Christian, and in an autobiographical piece for the Faith and Sexuality Project  he promotes the idea that because Christ never mentioned it directly, “Jesus… never condemned homosexuality.”

This is naïve and simplistic. The same for instance could be said about child brides. And incest. And FGM. And zoophilia. And cannibalism. And animal cruelty. And deforestation. And spitting on other people’s food. And a host of other activities, ills and evils.

Furthermore it’s a self-serving and untrue conclusion that cheapens the radical demands which Jesus lays on all his followers.

Luke has a personal agenda of course but regrettably he is not alone in his views. Soaking wet liberal clergy similarly misrepresent the issue. And last Christmas the tabloid news site HuffPost mockingly displayed a blank-paged Bible in response to its own headline, “What Jesus says about homosexuality” .

Candy-FlossFurther, with the doctrinal authority that accompanies celebrity, Elton John informs us that “if Jesus was alive today” (oops, fallen at the first fence; Elton clearly is not too strong on the most basic tenet of his religion) the Lord would be in favour of gay marriage for priests as “he was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together”. And fairies, Father Christmas and cuddly bunnies too, no doubt.

So, leaving aside the candy floss of pink theology we can turn instead to the challenges of reality and truth:

During his three-year ministry Jesus engaged almost entirely with Jews in the land of Israel whose religious and cultural background was the Hebrew scriptures – what Christians today call the ‘Old Testament’. As is well known, the ‘Law of Moses’ found in these scriptures is formidably firm about much sexual morality: for instance it specifically prohibits incest (Leviticus 18:6f), adultery (20:10) and bestiality (20:15) as well as homosexuality (18:22).

Did Jesus try to alter or amend this Law? Absolutely not; he told his followers specifically that he did not come to change even “a jot or tittle” of the Law.

raising the barNot only that, he raised the bar significantly and told us we are judged on our thoughts and attitudes as much as our outward actions. “You have heard that it was said (that is, in the Mosaic Law) ‘Do not commit adultery’, but I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” he said in his Sermon on the Mount.

Time and again, using specific examples to illustrate the general principle, Jesus moves from the outward action proscribed by Mosaic Law to the deeper attitude of heart he requires of his followers. ‘Do not commit murder’ (outward) becomes ‘Do not even be angry’ (inward). ‘Take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ (outward) becomes ‘Do not even resist an evil person’ (inward).

So, although Jesus doesn’t mention incest, it is self-evident that if you are a follower of Christ you cannot copulate with your close family or even look at them sexually.

Similarly, although Jesus doesn’t mention bestiality, the man who proudly claims to have enjoyed “interspecies intercourse” with a dolphin and a dog  cannot – and hopefully does not – claim to be a committed Christian.

Therein lies the rub. Luke wants to have his cake and eat it. He wants both to follow Christ and to have sex with men.

Of course as a free citizen he is able to go to bed with whoever he chooses within the law. But if he joins the army he cannot fight for the enemy. If he signs for the local football club he cannot kick a rugby ball on the pitch. If he chooses to cycle to Birmingham he cannot travel via the motorways.

And if he decides to follow Christ he cannot bed another man.

merciful JesusChristians sin and do wrong, Luke and yours truly included, and certainly Jesus’ commands are radical and demanding. But it is disloyal, unChristian even, for us actively to promote a morality that is flat against his teaching.

(It is significant that singer-theologian Vicky Beeching, in an interview with gay activist Patrick Strudwick that inevitably includes a hefty dose of his agenda-driven vitriol about the church, avoided any reference to the Faith’s founder when she came out as lesbian this week.)

So what would Jesus say to Luke? Probably the same as he said to the woman caught in the act of adultery: “I don’t condemn you, but go and sin no more.”

July 7th, 2014

twin towersThirteen years ago, on 11th September 2001, two airliners flew into the Twin Towers and the world changed for ever. The pictures and political shockwaves circled the world in milliseconds; Radical Islam had arrived, dramatically, on the global stage.

Three days ago, on 4th July 2014, the leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, dressed in black, stepped out of the shadows and onto the steps of the minbar (pulpit) at the Great Mosque in Mosul – the largest city his troops have captured so far – to announce himself as the long awaited Caliph, or global Islamic ruler, and successor to Muhammad the founder of Islam (here). He thereby detonated an Islamic earthquake, and reverberations of fascination and anticipation are now circulating the resurgent Ummah or worldwide Muslim community.Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Of course most Muslims reject al-Baghdadi’s claim and an American drone may ensure he personally does not last long. But after a single 90 year absence (1924 to date), the 1,400 year old Islamic Caliphate has returned to the global stage with a vengeance, backed and enforced by the victorious evil savagery of ISIS shock troops and instantly promoted across the world by small screens and social media.

The international significance of the event is huge and can be equated in evil and intent with Adolf Hitler appearing on the platform at the 1938 ‘Greater Germany’ Nuremberg Rally soon after Nazi storm troops had marched into and forcibly annexed Austria.

HitlerHalf a million were at Nuremberg to hear Hitler while maybe only a hundred were at the Mosul Great Mosque to hear al-Baghdadi. But with internet and instant communication the wide-spread electrifying effect is the same. Young German people flocked to enrol in the Hitler Youth. Young British Muslims are flying to Iraq and Syria to enrol as jihadis.

The purpose of both Hitler and al-Baghdadi was to exude total authority and create fear. Our response to Hitler was tardy, stuttering and appeasing.

It must not be the same with al-Baghdadi, as there will be no peace in our time as long as this evil, barbaric, resurrected Caliphate continues.