Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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As even Nick Clegg says, it is “flamingly obvious” Britain is a Christian country

David Cameron visits the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem in March this year

David Cameron visits the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem in March this year

The Prime Minister just before Easter dared to state the United Kingdom was a Christian country and the backlash from the atheists and secularists was immediate and lengthy, culminating in the arch-Atheist, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Yellow Peril Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England.

All very predictable. But the large numbers of people in the UK stating they consider themselves Christians (59% at the last UK Census in 2012) and even a momentary glance outside of our personal lives into the civic world of Great Britain suggests the atheists and secularists are wrong. Even Nick Clegg had to admit earlier in the week it was “flamingly obvious” the country is founded on Christian values.

Former Arch-Leftist Bishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams popped up today to announce Britain was “post-Christian”, which followed earlier in the week current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby stating the country was not a Christian country – judging by the numbers in the pews. The Church of England really is a funny institution: they are either so divided to the extent they might as well consider tabling a motion in Synod stating believing in God is optional or their high command is going out of its way to describe its irrelevance entirely. Oh dear oh dear.

It is clear why we focus on the Church of England when it comes to judging the popularity of Christianity: it is the Established Church and our Head of State is the Defender of The Faith. But let’s not be blinkered. Pop down to a Roman Catholic Church on a Sunday in any reasonably populated area (any ordinary provincial town will do) and the pews are overflowing. Join the faithful on an Easter service (e.g. Good Friday) and it is literally standing room only.

David Cameron knew what he was doing by igniting this debate. I do not doubt his sincerity when he describes moments where the “healing power” of faith has affected his life. But he didn’t become Prime Minister by not understanding what to say and when to say it. He knows he needs to win back his base before the General Election and knows policies like gay marriage haven’t helped. So he has calculated it’s time to ramp up the Christian and religious rhetoric. This is good as it reminds us we are, despite the best efforts of the Anglican Church, still a Christian country with all the values and tolerance which comes with that. The atheists and secularists who wrote to the Daily Telegraph denouncing the PM’s article in Church Times accused Mr Cameron of “fostering division”. Really? We are a Christian country, which welcomes and tolerates all faiths and none. I’d say by emphasising that he was doing quite the opposite.


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Happy Christmas

Christmas Day_Birth_of_Christ

Life is not easy, especially at this time of year. But today is a special day, second only to Easter Sunday, when we are reminded of the unconditional love of God through the birth of His only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was God made man and came into our world so we could be reconciled with Him and be saved from all our sins so all believers can look forward to life everlasting in heaven.

I would like to wish all my readers and their families the joy, hope and peace Christmas brings.


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Another reminder why we don’t have a Conservative government

You may have read in the news this weekend that our government has decided to attack Christianity once again (of course they would never dare attack Islam or Judaism) by siding with British Airways’ discrimination of Nadia Eweida, a BA employee who back in 2006 (yes, this case is still going on) was sacked for wearing a cross at work. This is despite men in turbans or women wearing the hijab being allowed to continue operating without intervention.

Mrs Eweida has been driven to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights and, guess what, our so-called Conservative-led Government is going to dispatch Ministers to Strasbourg to argue that BA was perfectly within its rights to dismiss her, because there is nothing in the “rules” of Christian observance that says you have to wear a cross.

Boris Johnson has an excellent piece on this story here.

How long must we wait for a Conservative government in this country? I fear the damage done since 1997 to the present date is too much for us to recover from.


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The football industry is not above the law

In this anti-Christian country we live in, football has almost become a new religion. The stadiums are the new churches (note I don’t say mosques or temples: there are still plenty of practising Muslims and Jews around), the fans are the congregation and Sunday morning football sees the gathering of the faithful.

The fact people have turned their backs on religion is one thing but it also seems the substitution of faith with football is contributing to what David Cameron calls the “moral-collapse”. There are the obscene wages, the petulant players and serious lack of intelligent thought. But this is small fry compared to players thinking a different set of laws should be applied to them.

This has become prevalent this week with the cases of Luis Suarez and John Terry. In the former’s case, the FA has charged Mr Suarez with racial offences and given him an eight match ban and fined £40,000. The CPS has advised the police to charge John Terry with a racially aggravated public order offence.

What was the reaction of Liverpool Football Club to Luis Suarez being charged with making racist comments? Humility, remorse, sorrow? No, his colleagues (i.e. fellow players) went to the effort of organising t-shirts with a silhouette of Suarez on the front and his name and squad number on the back in ‘solidarity’ with their wronged team mate so they could show brazen contempt for the FA’s ruling. In any other walk of life, if the employee had been found guilty of racism, that would be it. P45. Out of the door. But a footballer, oh no that’s not right: he’s a hero, no one cares he’s also a racist do they? Well, if you are not wrapped up in the euphoria of worship for men who would most likely be in prison if they weren’t kicking a dead cow around a field, then yes we do care he is a racist. Suarez should be treated like any other employee who find themselves in a similar situation and be sacked.

Now Mr Terry is a foul-mouthed lout even before he, allegedly, racially abused Anton Ferdinand and is another example of a man who would be cleaning municipal toilets or be in prison if he wasn’t born with a “talent” people are prepared to pay a lot of money for. This matter is now sub judice so I will not comment any further. I suspect, however, considering the response of Liverpool FC players and manager, Kenny Dalglish, to the Suarez case, Mr Terry will be welcomed back with open-arms by Chelsea and Fabio Capello should he be found guilty. It doesn’t matter does it? He’s a footballer after all…


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I’m starting to warm to Cameron again

With the dulcet tone of the word “No” still ringing in our ears after David Cameron wielded the veto at the European Council meeting ten days ago, the Prime Minister has moved even further back into the Conservative fold by extolling the values and morals of Christianity.

Now, before someone gets up on their high horse, a slight little “calm down” note: Christian values of compassion, humanity and love for your common man are not exclusive to Christianity. Muslims, Jews and other religions believe in the same values and they, I am sure, would be the last to take offence when David Cameron said: “We are a Christian country. And we should not be afraid to say so.”  The PM, is, of course, right.

Mr Cameron made a keynote speech last Friday to Church of England members at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, as part of events to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.  So, oddly enough, the PM speech was on Christianity. Mr Cameron, also reminded people he is a practising (albeit “vaguely”) Christian of the Anglican denomination who will “stand up for the values and principles of my faith”. He goes on to say:

“Whether you look at the riots last summer, the financial crash and the expenses scandal, or the on-going terrorist threat from Islamist extremists around the world, one thing is clear: moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Shying away from speaking the truth about behaviour, about morality, has actually helped to cause some of the social problems that lie at the heart of the lawlessness we saw with the riots.” 

As a Tory, who is a practising Christian myself, I find this encouraging.  I’ve always agreed with Mr Cameron on his social responsibility agenda but have been disappointed he has allowed the yellow peril to water down the tough action needed to encourage everyone to work hard and remove the “something for nothing” culture which is one of the worst legacies of the last Labour government. Welfare reform should be going faster and deeper; justice reform should not see ways to let criminals off but should see more prisons built to communicate that crime leads to punishment to name but two policy areas.

In his speech David Cameron referred again to the “moral-collapse” in some parts of the UK, a phrase he used back in August to describe the riots. Of course, this moral collapse was a deliberate policy of the Left. I refer to the Left here not just in the case of Labour Governments but the Guardinistas who pervade town halls, art theatres and most damaging, our schools.  For decades they have have pedalled their attacks against this country, which they hate, and its Christian values. The modern political embodiment of the Left is Nick Clegg who does not believe marriage provides for the stable environment to bring up children, which countless studies have found assists in providing for a better future for our children. Mr Clegg’s warped world-view sees marriage as not something which should be encouraged by the State (through a tax break) but instead he believes society would be better without the nuclear two-parent family. This kind of rhetoric is dangerous. By the way, a marriage tax break has absolutely nothing to do with money, but is about sending a signal that marriage supports families and is good for society.

David Cameron has had a good two weeks – if he continues to drive down a Conservative track, he can expect great support. However, like all we Christians, doubt is not far away.