Dolphinarium can exclusively bring you one of them. It reveals her intense hatred of the Roman Catholic Church and the extent of her obsession with Conor McGinn. It's also quite unintentionally hilarious. Read it and see just what anti-Catholicism leads to: conspiracy-theorising fruitcakery on a grand scale.
* She accuses Conor McGinn of using "bully boy tactics" against her because he publically condemned her anti-Catholicism
* Claims the Catholic Church "has a grip" on parliament, the media and the public sphere
* Claims the Church has a "massive army of dedicated volunteers" who "amend top google searches for abortion to only pro-life sites"
* Says there must be "stricter rules on keeping Parliament secular" for it to be "more diverse and democratic"
From: XXXX [mailto:XXXX@maryhoneyball.net]
Sent: 16 June 2008 13:09
Subject: Mary Honeyball opinion on Catholic Church's response to her Guardian comment piece on HFEA Bill and what it means for democracy and representation
Labour MEP Mary Honeyball would like to write a opinion piece or maybe an essay for Prospect on the increasing politicisation of the Catholic Church', its outraged response to her comment piece in the Guardian ahead of the HFEA Bill and what this all means for democracy and increasing representation of women and people from all faiths and cultures in Parliament, both at home and the EU.
Included in this email are links to the NewStatesman piece, written by a Catholic journalist attacking Mary for voicing her opinions in what he called Guy Fawkes style language; Mary's comment piece in the Guardian; various articles from Catholic magazines; and details of former vice-chair of Young Labour Conor McGinn's resignation at Labour's refusal to disown Mary.
I have also written out in detail what the structure of Mary's opinion piece would be.
I would be very grateful if you could get back to me as soon as possible to let me know whether you would like to commission this piece. My contact details are listed at the end of this email.
Structure of Feature/Comment
The piece would present evidence and discuss the Catholic Churches increasing involvement with Parliament over the past few years.
Put forward the case that such increased involvement in democracy comes with a responsibility to be open to scrutiny.
Demonstrate that this is certainly not happening and evidence the bully-boy tactics used by Catholics.
Eg. resignation of vice chair young labour blaming Mary for his actions, using contacts to generate one-sided stories in NewStatesman, calls for resignation, vitriolic blog postings.
Analyse this grip that the Catholic Church has on Parliament, media and public sphere and blocks to mounting a counter offense
Eg. Church has massive army dedicated volunteers who will blog, amend top google searches for abortion to only pro-life sites by their nature hummanists/non-religious people not as co-ordinated or spurred on to act.
Look at what all this means in terms of democratic accountability and representation.
Eg. people responding positively to Mary's comment piece online said they would start to check the religion of MPs and take that into account when voting; such bully-boy tactics used by religious pressure groups.
Examine what this means in terms of making Parliament more representative multi-culturally and more gender diverse.
Eg. If politicians judged by electorate to vote along religious lines, more so than party, limits opportunities for people from less popular religions to be elected. Women possibly put off by aggressive tactics.
Put forward the case that stricter rules on keeping Parliament secular need to be made to make Parliament more diverse and democratic.
Mary's comment piece in the Guardian:
Embryo bill: Gordon Brown has allowed his authority to be undermined by the three Catholics in his cabinet
the Labour spokesperson for women's issues in Europe, Mary Honeyball MEP would like to offer a comment piece on what she sees as Gordon Brown's weakness in bowing to the pressure of religious fanaticism in the party and allowing a free vote on the human embryo bill at commitee and report stage.
NewStatesman piece last week:
Whiff of anti-popery
New Statesman - London,England,UK
This was most stridently articulated by the Labour MEP Mary Honeyball, who asked: "Should devout Catholics such as Ruth Kelly, Des Browne and Paul Murphy be ...
See all stories on this topic
Conor McGinn was a previous MP candidate for Islington and former chair of Young Labour. For further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conor_McGinn
Please see catholic Herald's coverage of this story:
Labour activist quits post over anti-Catholicism
Mary Honeyball's comments in the Guardian that "democracy and religion do not mix" have prompted the resignation of Conor McGinn from his post as vice-chair of Young Labour.
Labour's 'anti-Catholicism' raised with PM
Mary is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society and a leading member of the all party parliamentary group on the separation of religion and politics.
- -to Mary Honeyball MEP
Labour Spokesperson in the European Parliament Women's Rights Committee
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