Saturday, 19 February 2011


This came as a surprise to me. There are only two countries in the world which appoint unelected clerics to their parliament, giving them the right to vote on all the issues that face the country.

One is Iran, and the other is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

At present 26 Church of England bishops, a substantial block, can sit in parliament as of right and vote on our laws including on equality of opportunity, and employment laws, while they themselves refuse to obey these laws, discriminating against females, gays, and refusing to countenance proposals for euthanasia and dignified death. They say that they are in parliament to do God’s will, but in the meantime their church looses adherents by the day, and they spend their bishops’ conferences in Africa discussing the iniquities females and gay bishops, when all around them there is famine and pestilence.

The Noble and Right Rev Lord Harries of Pentregarth has said that he is there to show "parliament is accountable not only to the electorate but to God". Hmmm. Well, as The British Social Attitudes Survey, according to this article in the Independent, the most detailed study of public opinion, found that 59% of us say we are not religious, I think that the noble lord might want to reflect about where his responsibilities lie, and that the £300 a day expenses he can collect for his attendance is paid, not by God, but by you and me.

If you, like me, think that this is all wrong, then according to the article, the situation may be about to get even worse. Because, although when in opposition Nick Clegg called for an all elected upper house, it seems that that’s not the way that the deputy prime minister, responsible for constitutional change, now sees it. Like so much of the deputy prime minister’s vision, it has undergone a gigantic change in direction. He now favours a house only 80% elected, with the Noble and Reverend gentlemen being allowed to continue to sit, and for there to be additional representatives of other religions joining them. (As a matter of interest Roman Catholic bishops could never be among them as they are banned by Canon Law from taking part in the government of any state other than The Holy See of the Vatican City.)

I imagine that the next thing he will be telling us is that he has decided that they should still wear red cloaks and wigs and be given titles that get them the best seats in restaurants, and give their children honorary titles.

It is ironic that one of the least religious societies in Western Europe should find itself, along with the theocracy Iran, allowing the church to have a say in its laws, without them being elected to do just that.

Cameron recently told minority religion adherents in this country that they must learn to behave like us. They had to accept equality in all matters of gender, sexuality, and race. He apparently feels that that is what defines us as a society. (Well maybe it seemed like a catchy line, even if he knows it to be utterly and laughably untrue.) He might like to instruct some of the ‘home grown’ religions to do the same thing before he allows them seats on the red benches as a matter of right, seeing as they don't appear to believe in anything that 'defines us as a society'.

Pics: (1) The House of Lords wherein sit the elements that make us part theocracy: as usual, of course, it’s nothing to do with Scotland! (2) Richard Harries; elected by God. (3) Nick Clegg; elected (for the last time?) by the people of Sheffield: (4) Ayatollah Khomeini; also elected by God, but a different one from the one that elected Dickie.


  1. What to say on this?

    Of course as a republican I strongly disagree with anything being in government that is not elected. Canting religious hypocrites are particularly galling. These people who jetted off to Africa to do a bit of heavy duty navel gazing over woman and gays while all around them the aids pandemic, civil war, oppression and famine run rife, just makes you sick. Catholics are not much better, its thanks to their pontiff spouting a load of rubbish about not wearing condoms or practising birth control that help spread aids. And it’s thanks to both sets and their erstwhile empires, using rulers on maps, that division and strife are rampant grafted onto an imported set of conflicting religious doctrines.

    Nicky Cleggums, bless him. Seems to be doing a lot of mind changing now that he has his feet under the deputy PMs desk. So many epiphanies cannot be good for one man and his party in such a short time. Suddenly with the aid of the Tories (as senior partners) the road to Damascus is clear and it does not go near any liberal principles like STV, free education, no nuclear power and an elected upper house. I was amazed that that recent Scottish poll gave the Lib Dems 12 MSPs, I was expecting them to have 10 or less. That leads me to think that it was a flash in the pan and that we will get our dearest wish and see Iain Gray as First Minister. I wouldn’t even mind a few more Tories if we can have fewer Lib Dems. Ideally I would like Labour to get 51, the SNP 50, Lib Dems 10, Tories 16, Independent 1, Green 1. That way even a coalition of Lab and the Lib Dems would still be a minority. Then we could all start raking up Iain Gray’s list of broken promises....sweet!

  2. Damn, there are no wee free Buddhist bishops in the Lords. I wonder .....?


    Good Lord, I cannot imagine a worse scenario than have Gray, Kerr, Baker and Foulkes running this country.

  3. Well John, sadly the Haberdasher in Chief is not standing again, he is making way for that blogger extraordinaire Kezia Dugdale, so she can finally get her go as a toadying Labour lickspittle. So we wont be having his gracious Baron of Cumnock in the county of Shropshire to laugh at any more!

    As for Gray, Baker and Kerr, well its only for four years and as a minority government they should not be able to do much harm. They can see how they get on with a watching brief similar to that the SNP have had over the last four years, their grand ideas that mostly rely on funding from London or are totally un-costed can start to mount up as Iain Gray’s list of broken promises. Think of it, the SNP always do better in opposition when they are not part of the establishment they want to destroy, they don’t have to tow the Unionist line. They have proved that they are not a bunch of basket cases and that they can do a very creditable job of running the country. People will be able to look back on the halcyon days of the SNP administration when we are in the terrible mess that Kerr’s budget will leave us. The contrast between Gray, Kerr and Baker, and Salmond, MacKaskill and Swinney will have people begging the SNP to come back and sort out the mess. Best of all the SNP wont have to implement the cuts agenda that Ken Clark says is coming. Labour will! And the SNP still get to blame Labour the Tories and the Lib Dems for everything as all three will be in Government somewhere. In 2015 they will be weighing the SNPs votes and then they will have a stronger mandate to push for that referendum on independence.

  4. John: I'm sure if you ask Cleggie nicely he'll change his mind and have a few Wee Frees in there. They seem determined to have an upper house of about 1500, all collecting daily expenses of about twice the minimum weekly wage, sometimes for as little as 5 mins work a day, as shown by the Noble Baroness Uddin.

    If you like I can have a chat with the deputy pm next time I'm on the phone to him giving him some policy advice ... ooops, shouldn’t have mentioned that, huh?

    I think Munguin has a point.

    I'd not work for a defeat, but if it happens the problems that we shall have will be short lived, and the long term future could look brighter if someone as inept as Gray has Bute House.

    His team of equally useless ministers will surely be embarrassingly bad. And yes, it does worry me that we will have to live with an incompetent government in Edinburgh and this nightmare bunch in London, but in 4 years' time the rewards may be a decent majority for the SNP, because, as Munguin says, the comparison between the SNP's smooth handling of running Scotland, and the mess that Labour will undoubtedly make, will be jaw dropping.

    Clearly the financial genius of John Swinney has allowed the effects of the cuts that England has wished upon us to be reduced so far. I doubt that Labour has anyone who could do the same thing. They will probably seek advice from McSnott, and that will undoubtedly make things harder. A minority government should hold in check most of the idiotic ideas that they could come up with and if they did manage a coalition with the Liberals, surely they would be a laughing stock.

    I don't like it, but I can see merit.

  5. There are serious downsides if the Grayman gets in will be that anything that can be sold will be aided and abetted by the ConDems Scottish branch also the handing back authority to Westminster via the Scottish Bill.

    Its alright for some.

  6. CH: we are having the Scotland Bill no matter who is FM, if Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories all want it there is nothing that the SNP could do to stop them, even if they wanted, and as I understand it they don’t! The only other thing I can see them doing is selling Scottish water off aided by the Tories, am not sure what the Lib Dems policy on that is. It wont do Labour any good to have to rely on the Tories to get things through and I am not sure how well that will go down with the main man in England, steady Eddie!

  7. You're telling me Nick Clegg changed his view? Nick Clegg?! The man's famed for his tenacity, his committment to his beliefs. This is slander, sir. This is slander and Nick will be in... oh.. wait a second... yea Nick says he's changed his mind, the lawsuit's off.

    Ridiculous though, I mean the Church of England may have been a political move in the first place, but that was hundreds of years ago, and I don't feel safe being represented by a bunch of gnostic old men who base their views on a book written by the Middle East's answer to J.R.R. Tolkien.
    Is it any wonder, though, that other religions are so detached from our culture, when both the people and the government are whining that they have to adhere, have to march in step? People come here because they perceive this as a place where they can live as they want, not shave their beards off, wear an England shirt and start buying the Sun.
    Returning to the point though, we are NOT a country that widely supports religion, or if we are, we are not one that supports religious institutions. Clegg, as usual, offers us something we do not want or need as a compromise in the form of those from other religions, but as usual he misses the point, doesn't he? I don't want a Buddhist any more than I want a bishop. Might be worth it though, just for the Daily Mail's reaction, 'Paedo Islamists Invade House of Lords.'

  8. laz

    Surely the Mail does not think that Buddhists are Islamic but, then again, perhaps they do.

  9. Yes CH... "I've got my bonus, so you lot can spin on this." A remarkable picture given that it was in the Telegraph, don't you think?

  10. LOL Laz... Just imagine. The Express will blame it on the EU; The Sun will blame it on 13 years of Gordon Brown, skilfully skirting round the fact that for 12 of these years The Sun was firmly behind him, and the male will, as you say, blame Islamic terrorists and/or paedophiles.

    The Hootsman will of course see it as the work of the supremely evil SNP, and doubtless Iain Gray will bleat once more about Salmon’s broken promises, before being put to sleep by the ghost of Bendy Wendy.

    Everyone else will blame it on the Tories, even though it is Nick Cleggs’s fault

  11. John... teh Daily mail may not believe it, but if they think that it will sell a few extra papers they will quite happily print it.

  12. Kernow has been incredibly badly served by the Liberals it elected, CH.

  13. Maybe they should be called the Lemon party as most of there supporters must be pretty bitter at the abuse they will get, he gets on my pip anyway.

    Every region has suffered by various degrees bar London the centre of corruption.

  14. Would that explain their logo colour CH?

    I suspect that the poorer burghs of London might disagree there ...

  15. Bahrain appoints clerics to their upper chamber tris ( shura councils)
    Probably the same throughout the middle east.

  16. SYB (lol)

    Well thanks, I didn't know that (neither did the Indy). I see they rank pretty high on the democratic list. Their police, just like the English ones, seem to have no problem in killing people.

    Still, it might be worth putting up with their holinesses on in the house of superior beings, if we can do what the Bahrainis are doing right now.

    Let's get rid of the corrupt lot at the top and establish a proper democratic republic, with freedom to worship, or not worship, what one wants.

  17. Sound familiar.
    Am listening to Cameron's double speaking on Tripoli tv through an interpretor in a foreign language, well it could be, same mindset using different methods. The longer he rambles on it sounds more like Westminster speak desperate to hang on to power. The big society speech now talking waffle about reforms and a constitution, visas to visit other places. Libya is intertwined and you will need visa to visit Tripoli the UK will interfere and occupy us the oil will disappear and all resources will vanish.

    I expect the oil price to start rising this week as the speculators start playing the markets.

  18. tris said..

    " Well thanks, I didn't know that (neither did the Indy)"

    You shouldn't believe everything you read in the MSM. They're just trying to promote their own agenda. They will be glad to see you spreading their spin though ;)

  19. Baroness Ashton of £300,000 in the County of turtlenecks and big teethFebruary 21, 2011 12:23 pm

    " allowing the church to have a say in its laws, without them being elected to do just that."

    That's an outrage ! Is there no way we can vote them out ? An abomination.

  20. LOL CH

    Muammar Abu Minyar al-Cameron.

    I love the way that they have all be told by Britain that they shouldn't use any violence, when the English police use violence on kids (albeit cheeky ones) in wheelchairs, and kill innocent bystanders who have nothing to do with the demonstrations, promise water cannon for the next time, and tell us we were lucky that the royal and important people's protection squad didn't spray the place with bullets because we had the temerity to make HRH late for the theatre.

    Pffffffffffff what a laugh Britain is. Do as we say, not as we do... or we will ask America's permission to bomb you.

  21. Well, I don't believe everything I read in the MSM, obviously SYB.

    I mean some of them have been telling us that the BS is a pile of BS, but other ones have been telling us that it is a fine and upstanding thing to do and the best idea since.... oh, the last Cameron idea, which granted may have been a while ago. So, clearly even someone as bereft of original thought as me can spot a chink in the old armour there.

    I read it and it occurred to me that I didn't know any other state that had priests in its government. There may be some African states that do it too, who knows?

    I still think that Iran and Bahrain are pretty dodgy company to keep when it comes to democratic league tables, don't you?

  22. Very funny, your baronessness.

    Off you go and poke your ignorant nose into someone else's business.

    Mind you, with respect your unelectedness, weren’t you even more illegitimate when you were scaring the mice and souring the milk in the house of lards? ...that other great establishment which we have no way of removing, and where you will remain until you draw your last breath (although of course it is illegal to actually die in there, so if you do, history will have to record that you died in the road outside).

  23. tris..

    " There may be some African states that do it too, who knows?"

    Egypt springs to mind.

    And in the middle east , Jordan, saudi, Kuwait etc all have unelected clerics making laws.

  24. Maybe in the future, but that is democracy. There certainly weren't any during Mr Mubarak's regime.

  25. Keep religion out of lawmaking and out of education.

    The biggest joke in this country is where people have to swear they will tell the truth on the Bible in court etc when it is the biggest load of lies out - just plagiarised copies of Pagan myths passed off as being true.

    No one should be in any position of government over the people unless they have been voted into their position by the people and then only for a fixed time period.

  26. Baroness Ashton of £300KFebruary 21, 2011 2:42 pm

    " No one should be in any position of government over the people unless they have been voted into their position by the people and then only for a fixed time period. "

    Erk Billy , you will be voting UKIP next you little minx :)

  27. tris ...

    " Maybe in the future, but that is democracy. There certainly weren't any during Mr Mubarak's regime. "
    Yes there were. Mubaraks upper chamber had 264 members with 88 hand picked by Mubarak including clerics. Christian clerics not required of course. Muslims only.

  28. Sorry about my one fingered stenography report but I got interrupted a someone lost a necklace down the plughole and so had to become a plumber (unpaid)to rescue said item. I hope you were able to secure a couple of tankers full before the price went up 5.49% some happy bankers tonight.

    If you need any printing done wink wink!

  29. HO HO HO CH... More Labour sleeze that they obviously thought they had got away with.

    Tut tut.

    I hope you managed to get the necklace out and that it wasn't covered in too much sludge!!

  30. Well SYB.

    I seem to ahve been wrong about virtually everything here, so I'll accept that i didn't research whether there were any other theocracies in the world before I worte the piece...

    I doubt anyone in the Egyptian parliament had very much power, even the clerics.

    I think Mr M kinda got his own way most of the time.

    Any idea where all the money is?

  31. Vote SNP for independence. Get rid of the House of Lords and the House of Windsor... both unelected and only removable by force.

    I don't understand why unelected Europeans are worse than unelected English. Unelected of any sort = bad.

  32. Billy: Both the French and the Americans do that, although I understand that there has been a move to teach Christainity in some places in America, but it is banned by the constitution. As it is in France.

  33. with all this comment on how the country is run i am sure you are aware that only 15 hereditry peers sint in house of lords and the rest, such as lord sugar, have earned their place in the house of lords.
    the lords is unelected so as to serve the interest of certain factions of societ i.e lord sugar has work in business for 40 years and he has earned the right the represent the business world, lord prescott the socialists etc.
    the house is unelected but they have earned the right in the eyes of the monarch and of the elected lower house.
    you will not be a lord if the representatives of the people(MP's) and the state(the monarch)do not allow it.
    it is a system that has work in this country, which is a constitutional monarcy, for nearly 500 years which is a damn sight longer than america france germany and all the ther countries with elected uppper houses.
    the fact speak for them selves.

  34. No Anon. That is just not true.

    There are 90 peers of the hereditary type in the lords, and then there are around 26 bishops from the English church and two hereditary officers of state.

    I don’t think that Prescott has any right to represent socialists in the House of Lords. I’m pretty certain that most socialists would be astounded that Tony Blair’s right hand man was a socialist. Alan Sugar has no right to represent business. I’ve no idea what the man is like, but if The Apprentice is anything to go by, he is an appalling example of an employer.

    I don’t think it matters much if the monarch thinks they are OK. This would like to pretend that it’s a democracy, and that means that the country is run by directly elected representatives of the people, for a short time, until they are replaced by other directly elected representatives of the people.

    It’s joke that the UK lectures other countries on democracy and has one of the least democratic regime in Europe, if not THE most undemocratic.

    And the House of Lords hasn’t been a part of Scotland’s legislature for 500 years, or for that matter Northern Ireland. Just England and Wales ... but of course, we know that IS Britain in some people’s eyes.