Monday, 26 October 2009
SPUD'S OFF TO THE VATICAN TO BRING THE POPE BACK TO SCOTLAND FOR LABOUR
According to the Scotsman (make of that what you will) the Viceroy of Scotland, Spud Murphy, is hoping to bring the Pope to Scotland. He is going to the Vatican City State this week for talks with Vatican officials and will meet the Pope during His Holiness's regular Wednesday General Audience (in other words with all the other people that are going to be there).
Right! Let’s just get this a wee bit straight. First of all Brown already told us HE is bring the Pope to the UK next year. Of course the Vatican refused to comment either way as I recall. Secondly Murphy isn’t going to be “bringing” the Pope anywhere. Benedictus XVI is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome, but in matters of international diplomacy he is a Head of State and the supreme ruler of Vatican City State. So, the likelihood of wee Spud “bringing” him anywhere is just plain silly. I’m not, therefore, sure why the Scotland Secretary is going to the Vatican. If talks about the Pope’s visit to the UK are to be held, would not some minister for European Affairs be a more appropriate person?
Again according to that pretty disreputable rag, Mr Murphy said: "It would be a fantastic occasion if the Pope were to visit Britain. The Prime Minister wants us to work closely with the Vatican. It is too early to say if the Pope will be coming to Scotland next year, but it certainly won't be for a lack of trying on my part."
Well, yep I’m sure it would be a fine occasion if the Pope decided to come to Scotland. For those of his faith it would be a huge honour. For the rest of us it would raise Scotland’s profile and of course it would generate a lot of money for local businesses wherever the Pope went. (I mean no disrespect, heads of state mean crowds mean business.)
Although I have no religious affiliation with his church, I hope he does come.
It would be a travesty however, if Mr Brown or Mr Murphy decided to use either this story or His Holiness’s actual visit for any electoral or party political purpose, and this announcement and the Scottish Viceroy’s visit is very close to a certain by-election date, or am I just being a cynic?
On another topic, I saw a post today on Monty Burton’s excellent Universality of Cheese blog, and I really would suggest you have a look at it. It’s truly awesome.