Friday, 27 March 2009

Leaving Things Settled

There is a certain Spot The Deliberate Mistake quality to proposals to make the monarchy more egalitarian or (God help us all) "meritocratic".

The Act of Settlement is good for us Catholics. It reminds us that we are different, and it does us the courtesy of taking our beliefs seriously by identifying them as a real challenge.

I question the viability of a Catholic community which devotes any great energy to the question of ascending the throne while the born sleep in cardboard boxes on the streets and the pre-born are ripped from their mothers' wombs to be discarded as surgical waste. Far from being a term of abuse, the word "Papist" is in fact the name under which the English Martyrs gave their lives, and expresses the cause for which they did so, making it a badge of honour, to be worn with pride.

The Protestant tradition is a fact of this country's history and culture. No good purpose would be served by denying it its constitutional recognition. And we must never countenance alliance with those, such as Evan Harris, who wish to remove Christianity as the basis of our State. Parties, such as his or the SNP, that wish to abolish Catholic schools need not imagine that noisily seeking to repeal the Act of Settlement somehow makes their position any better.

As for male primogeniture, it, too, sends an important signal: that the male line matters means that fathers matter, and that they have to face up to their responsibilities, with every assistance (including censure where necessary) from the wider society, including when it acts politically as the State.

On matters such as this, we should listen to the voice of Recusancy, currently in the Commons (and it has been largely "reformed" - what an appropriate word! - out of the Lords) the voice of the gloriously anti-war Edward Leigh more than anyone. He has no time for this proposal, and rightly sees the whole thing as an excuse to bring the question of the monarchy to the floor of other Parliaments, particularly in Australia.

There is only one circumstance under which these changes could begin to be justified, namely that any Realm or Territory may leave the family defined by our shared monarch unless they were given effect, though not otherwise. Which is considering doing so?


  1. I had the misfortune of actually being in Westminster Cathedral in the same pew as Edward Leigh.
    Naturally I moved.
    The thought of offering him the sign of peace was just too much.

    Possibly the best thing that can be said about him is that he is not John Biggs Davison

  2. He is very anti-war and a great defender of the Christians in Iraq.

  3. So was Tariq Aziz.
    Many people hold the view that as Christians we should be life affirmative rather than life taking.....Leigh was one of the most active supporters of the repulsive Thatcher, her anti family and anti society agenda.

    Totally repulsive.

  4. See your comment about the Christian lobby being played by Wall Street. Much the same thing applied, and applies, to the Christian lobby and Thatcherism. But it's coming to an end over there. And it will come to an end over here.