Daily Archives: 26 April 2007

Two can play at that game Mr Howells (UPDATED)

Think you’re funny eh Will? Well, when I was at the anti-war demo, I saw this scandalous poster:
Mark Pack - the world’s #1 terrorist
I think we deserve an explanation after this revelation.

(see this if you don’t understand)

UPDATE: No one likes a laugh at Labour’s expense more than me, but Norfolk Blogger is entirely wrong to take this latest example is indicative of how “Labour” campaigns.

As Lib Dems, we get this sort of slur all the time – you will recall I went a bit off the rails last week because Francis Maude was attempting to brand the party as racist on the basis of a single unfortunate incident. It isn’t true when other parties play this game, and it isn’t true when we do the same.

It would appear that Busharat Ali has shown himself to be unfit for public office; serious questions have to be asked about Bristol Labour’s judgement in selecting him, and allowing him to publish this leaflet. But there is no evidence to suggest that this is part of a wider tendency within Labour.

Take the piss, and certainly don’t vote for Busharat Ali, but reading more into this than is credible simply lowers the tone of political discourse.

The Church of England: An Apology

Yesterday, I made the claim on this blog that the Church of England was obsessed with sex. However, having heard about Peter Halliday this morning, I now accept that when it comes to paedophilia going on where the Church has a clear duty of care, they aren’t particularly interested in sex at all.

UPDATE: On a serious note, what really gets me about this story is the narrative that the CofE is spinning that the 1980s were a dark time when paedophilia was rife and that attitudes have changed (cf. Today). As a 5 year old I remember being sat in drafty assembly halls to watch public information films about ‘stranger danger’ – and let’s not forget good old Charley. They only people who appear to have thought that paedophilia was ‘okay’ in the 80s appear to be in the Church.

UPDATE 2: It’s interesting to note that despite stonewalling John Humphries on the Today programme this morning, the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service are now joining in in condemning the Church:

Although the Children Act 1989 was not implemented until 1991 and most denominations did not establish child protection procedures until some time later, it was well known even then that serious crimes against children had to be reported to the police. The Church had a clear responsibility to take effective action to ensure that a known risk was prevented from having any further contact with children whatsoever.

“Sadly, the fact is that those in charge at the time failed to act appropriately and take professional advice was readily available. CCPAS’ child protection Help Line was established in the late 1980’s; had we been contacted by the church authorities then we would have had no hesitation in telling them to go straight to the police. Of course, there was also nothing to stop them from taking advice from police or social services at the time.

It is also misleading to suggest that there was only one opportunity to act in this case. The introduction a few years later of the Church of England’s child protection policy and their training programme should have highlighted to those concerned the inappropriateness of actions previously taken and this should have resulted in a different response.

Contrast this with the Church’s line:

“But I think also that in accordance with the way things were done in those days the Church can be seen to have done the best it could.”

In any other corporation, you would expect to have heard a statement from the man at the top by now. Not so in the case of our ‘moral guardians’ (although Williams does have lots of stuff on his website about how important he is to provide us with moral leadership). Watch this space.

UPDATE 3: Jonathan Calder provides a good rebuttal of the Church’s ‘nobody knew about child abuse in the 1980s’ line. Still no response from our moral guardian, the Archbishop of Canterbury.