Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blair to cross the Tiber (once safely out of office) apparently

Tony's planning to convert to Roman Catholicism when he leaves Downing Street, according to The Times. This is all sourced back to party-loving cleric, Father Michael Seed. If true - and as The Times story says, these rumours have been doing the rounds for years - one suspects that the reasons for Blair delaying the conversion until he's left Number 10 aren't just constitutional ones; ugly anti-Catholicism is reaching quite a hysterical pitch in certain sections of The Labour Party.
This has not gone unnoticed by us left-footers, by the way. A few months ago, the well-regarded journalist Paul Donovan (who happens to be a man of impeccably left-wing credentials) wrote a good piece on this very subject in The Tablet in which he noted that Labour Catholics are increasingly asking whether there is any place for them in the party. At least one high-ranking Catholic Labour peer is reported to have said that Donovan's peice was bang on the money.
Tim Hames bluntly made similar points in his Tablet column in January.

'The Labour Party once had a problem with the Militant Tendency. Sections of it now think that it has a difficulty with a "Catholic tendency".
'Ms Kelly has been something of a target for some time," he said, adding "It is not necessary to be an intimate of Ms Kelly's brand of Catholicism to recognise that a threat to one is a threat to all.' Quite so.

That such sentiments are being aired with regularity in The Tablet, the traditionally Labour-friendly organ of left-liberal Catholic opinion, is indicative of the level of discontent among Labour Catholics.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed. Whether he will in fact be welcomed by those of us who take a seamless garment approach to our faith (as well as our opinions on human rights issues) is another question. Still, Leo needs schooling somewhere, eh?

5/17/2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger neprimerimye said...

Sod crossing the freaking Tiber I want to see that bastard cross the Styx to Hades.

5/17/2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger voltaires said...

ugly anti-Catholicism is reaching quite a hysterical pitch in certain sections of The Labour Party

Which ones? Is this seriously about the fact that they equalised the law on adoption via the sexual orientation regulations?

5/18/2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger Red Maria said...

No, Veep, its not just about the iniquitous Sexual Orientation Regulations, a bad illiberal piece of legislation pushed by well-meaning fanatics who hadn't bothered even to aquaint themselves with the text itself or its wider implications. Its not just about that. Though little can exemplify irrational hostility to Catholicism than these politicians willingness to stoop to the lowest level of closing down adoption agencies.
Its also about the opportunistic attacks on faith schools.
And that having a practising Catholic member of Cabinet is *still* considered controversial. In this day and age.
Its that there are open calls for that practising Catholic to be discriminated against from certain government posts on the grounds of her faith.
Its the openly expressed hostility to Catholics and Catholicism high and low in the party. I'm not the only person to have observed this - Catholic Labour MPs have also noticed it and spoken about it, on the record by the way.

5/24/2007 6:32 PM  

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