Remove Tebbit from the Lords & remind Fraser about wider Church History

Omagh.pngThe daily promotions of the Telegraph newspaper on facebook rarely catch my eye, beyond the noisy nonsense from Boris Johnson. However in the last few days a couple of columns did and so I used my weekly free access to the paper to read one of them by Norman Tebbit. I regret that I was unable to read the other but the refusal to pay for access to a paper that is full of such extreme nonsense means I was prevented from discovering exactly what Giles Fraser wrote in his column beyond the introduction and opening paragraphs which explained he was comparing Brexit to the Reformation of the Church in the UK. A metaphor that opens up the question about the Independence of Scotland and in due course Wales and Northern Ireland. This is because the reformation in the UK and break from the Church in Rome, led in due course to separation from the new Church structure which is now known as the Church of England of the Baptists, Methodists and a myriad of other church structures including the one I am part of. If Giles is right about the parallel it is only a matter of time before we see regional independence within England too! However back to Norman Tebbits piece on Monday which was headlined:

If humans keep flooding Earth with our waste, she may soon take her revenge

The reality is that as someone who writes a weekly column I know that sometimes the headline does not fully reflect the whole column and certainly it was the case here. Norman did write a short, superficial section about ecological matters, but that is not why I think he needs to be retired from the House of Lords. It was his response to the earlier column by Boris that displays why he is not suited to sit in Parliament, just as Boris is not fit for a Ministerial role. To be fair this is not a shock as Tebbits comments are often abusive and indeed he is doing the very thing that Boris must have hoped for. However he is paid by us to be a statesman, not the writer of incendiary ideas. He wrote:

“I have known Boris Johnson (and his weaknesses) for a very long time, but my original support, upon reading his comments on the wearing of burkas, has not changed a scrap – despite all the fires of coals brought down on his head. Quite the opposite indeed. Like Boris, I do not think women should be forced to wear the things by bullying menfolk nor by the law. Like Boris I think they are  absurd garments and do make the wearer look like a letterbox. Indeed it is the critics of Boris who risk looking absurd, not least the Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, who plumbs the very depths of absurdity by comparing the burka to the crucifix. As a Telegraph reader wrote, you cannot hide a suicide vest or a bomb under a crucifix.”

Putting to one side the idea that both Johnson and Tebbit and many of the commentators who have participated in this debate need to be educated regarding the difference between Burka/Burqa, Niqab and Hijab. The point is that whatever people wear around their heads, the hiding of explosives does not depend on such a factor and there is no correlation between any religion or ethnicity or nationality and people who are a threat to society. Today as we acknowledge the 20th Anniversary of the Omagh explosion when a car packed by Irish Catholic terrorists with explosives killed 29 and injured over 200 people of various religious views and none, it is important to remember that the use of explosives in the UK has a long history. In 11 weeks time we will celebrate the failure by the man from York who with his Catholic friends carried barrels of explosives into the basement of the Houses of Parliament 413 years ago in an attempt to kill the Protestant King. The use of commercial lightweight drone in Venuzuela 10 days ago carrying 2lb of explosives and the UK Governments use of a military plane size drone to kill a British citizen in Syria in 2015 and the use of a perfume bottle to conceal a substance originally developed in Russia, Novichok all demonstrate that death and injuries are not limited to any one mechanism or group of people. Instead all of these examples point towards the need for society to ignore focusing with fear on a group of people or their clothing or their technology or their religion and instead focus on how to achieve peace in our communities and across the world. Indeed if we are to achieve peace we will need to work with other nations such as the 27 in the EU that we plan to leave in a few weeks to the delight of Tebbit, Fraser and Johnson. Let us hope that the Government manages to secure some form of ongoing connection with the security based elements of the EU or else our nation may become under a much greater sense of threat from people wishing to harm us from both within and outside the UK!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Church Teaching, Community Safety, Education, Environment, EU Referendum, Justice Issues, Parliament and Democracy, Policing, Scottish Referendum and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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