Welcome back, your holiness
I don’t understand New Labour.
[Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor] was poised to become the first Roman Catholic bishop in the Upper House since the Reformation, as part of a drive by the Prime Minister to appoint senior leaders of all the main faiths to sit alongside Church of England bishops. Privately, Gordon Brown had told the cardinal that he was keen for him to provide leadership in the Lords once he had secured backing from the Catholic Church.
Why? Why the hell? Do we really have to bother pointing out that Gordon Brown is the leader of the Labour party? Do we really have to bother pointing out that the Catholic church has not generally been seen as an ally (much less a member) of the left, and that there are many strong and compelling reasons for that? What is a Labour PM doing telling a reactionary Catholic former archbishop that he (the PM) is keen for him to provide leadership in the Lords once he had secured backing from the Catholic Church? He might as well be telling Generalissimo Francisco Franco that he is keen for him to provide leadership in the Lords once he had secured backing from the Falange party. He might as well be sucking up to Pinochet or Marcos or Mussolini. He might as well be patting Antonin Scalia on the back and saying ‘Good job Nino.’ What is the matter with them? Why have they decided they have to cozy up to reactionary religions and their putative leaders?
The cardinal’s refusal of a peerage is a setback to Mr Brown’s attempt to make the Lords chamber more representative of the nation’s religious diversity.
Sigh. It’s hopeless. Mr Brown shouldn’t be doing that, he should be attempting something in the other direction, which would be to make the Lords chamber less representative of any religions at all. He should be trying to reduce the power of the established church, not to build up the power of its rivals.