Monday 11 March 2013

Proud to be a Liberal Democrat and an Anglican.

Two events over the weekend have confirmed to me that I am after all marching to the beat of the right drums.

The Liberal Democrat party has voted overwhelmingly against secret courts, thank goodness.  I'm no lawyer but I think the right to know exactly of what you are accused, who is accusing you, and to be heard in public goes back to the Magna Carta (signed at Runnymede,15th June, 1215, as every schoolboy used to know).  How on earth can a party that claims to be liberal and champion of the rule of law do other wise?

 If the government wants to stop giving handouts to people it has wronged for fear of the evidence, then it should stop doing wrong things, such as conniving with "extraordinary rendition"  (who on earth coined that phrase?), torture and imprisonment without trial.

Thank goodness my  fellow foot-soldiers take this view: now to work on our leaders.

It's the leaders of the Church of England, in the form of 43 bishops, with the support of the two archbishops, who have protested at the real-terms cuts in of welfare benefits.  They rightly claim that the poorest and weakest and most vulnerable in the land should not be made even poorer to pay for the errors of the politicians and bankers when there is, in spite of everything, still so much wealth around.  They possibly haven't gone so far, but if any aspect of government expenditure should be "ring fenced" surely it is this one.

Now the bishops need to convince our congregations.  We may not still be "the Tory party at prayer" but an awful lot of my fellow worshippers have the Sunday Mail tucked under their arms.

1 comment:

  1. Hail to the not-for-Secrets Seven.
    The seven Liberal Democrat MPs (out of 57 - shame on the rest) who voted against secret courts were:

    Simon Hughes, former president and leadership contender.
    Tim Farron, present president and tipped as future leader.
    John Hemming,
    Sarah Teather,
    Greg Mulholland,
    Mike Crockart,
    Julian Huppert.

    Good for them. They are by no means on the fringe of the party but solid representatives of our values. Liberals Democrats in government should take note.