Howard's means

blairbush.jpgOpinion polls are sharply divided in the coming U.K. general elections, expected to be called by Prime Minister Tony Blair for early May. According to the YouGov poll, published in The Daily Telegraph, the Conservatives are polling almost even with Labour. But The Independent comes in with bad news: a 12-point Labour lead.

Polls show that voters expect Labour would raise taxes and Conservatives would cut spending. Conservative Party leader Michael Howard has tried to assure voters that essential public spending will not be cut. When deputy party chairman Howard Flight suggested otherwise, the party leader not only sacked him but barred him from standing for Parliament on the Tory ticket.

But the most interesting thing to emerge from the Tory campaign is what Guardian columnist Nick Clegg labels a “savagely populist” approach to electoral politics. Under Howard, the Tories have promised to cut taxes, crack down on immigration and asylum, toughen up laws on crime, and restrict abortion.

An abortion in can be procured in the U.K. into the 24th week of a pregnancy. Howard has promised to cut that number back to 20, which has won the praise of both Anglican and Catholic leaders in the country. The reaction to this proposal has put Tony Blair on the defensive. In a now infamous speech in South London, Blair said that he did not want to see Britain adopt “an American style of politics, with us all going out there beating our chest about our faith.”

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  • ECJ

    Keeping religion and politics separate is a clever way of saying “Let’s keep religious truth claims out of politics.” Yes, the secular truth claims are nicely established and really don’t appreciate the competition.

    Often times, however, secular truth claims are simply plagerized religious truth claims -stripped of God and repackaged for safe consumption. Like for example “All men are equal.” We can’t say ‘created equal’ anymore, can we. Perhaps ‘evolved equal’ would suffice. Unfortunately that sort of flies in the face of Darwinism. But I digress.

    There is no statement more empirically indefensible then “All men are equal.” By every – not most, every – observable measure, men are dramatically unequal: Standing, position, influence, wealth, intelligence, strength, attractiveness, etc, etc, et al. Yet we simply assume what we cannot demonstrate.

    Well, we can all suffer, but not all of us actually do so. We all die of course, so there is equality in death. And here we come near to the true basis of each man’s equality with his neighbor – each stands morally equidistant from God. But that would require introducing “religion into politics.” Can’t have that, now can we.

    Unfortunately, a truth claim built in opposition to the secular world view of the society at large is essentially constructed on sand. And, little by little, it gets eroded over time. You can cast God into the outer darkness (so to speak.) But you may not be too pleased when you find out what gets discarded in the process.