Thomas Mathew writes: It is sad that it has taken more than eleven years for the Bishops of the Anglican Church to finally realise what many Christians have known for a long time: that the Labour government has been introducing policies that have nothing to do with morality and decency.
Still, better late than never, as they say, so I can only welcome the decision of the five of the Anglican Church most senior leaders to speak out publicly against this government. In their sermons they have said that the government is now presiding over a country suffering from family breakdown, an unhealthy reliance on debt and a growing divide between the rich and the poor.
The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, was blunt in his words, saying that Gordon Brown’s government was ‘beguiled by money’ and was ‘morally corrupt’. The Bishop of Hulme, the Right Reverend Stephen Lowe, called Labour ‘morally suspect’, and the Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Tom Wright, accused ministers of reneging on their promises. The Bishops of Winchester and Carlisle also criticised the government saying that it has wasted numerous opportunities to change society for the better and basically ran out of ideas.
By all standards, such a concerted attack on the political rulers from leading Church figures constitutes a moral vote of no confidence. Fifty years ago it would have probably toppled the government. Now, of course, when atheism is being promote widely and is even classified as ‘a form of religion’ no such fate would befall the current government. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, while being the son of a priest himself, brushes aside all statements by Church leaders, if they contradict his policies, like it happened when he rejected the idea of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, that getting the nation into debt to save the banking sector was suicidal. (Read our article here on the subject.)
I think personally that Labour’s anti-religious stance has backfired on Britain in many cases. Especially when it comes to tackling crime. Because the whole idea of religion is to install in every person a fear of committing crimes. It is like everyone would have had a policeman inside of him, who would tell him to behave. It does not mean, obviously, that everyone would listen to his ‘inner policeman’, but still, the fear of punishment would be present.
During its years in power Labour has managed to distort the whole perception of punishment. Criminals are now assured that the courts will be lenient to them and they might even get away with a slap on the wrist rather than receive a custodial sentence for committing serious offences.
By the way, Labour, being a socialist party in its essence, uses the policy that has been favoured by communists and socialists alike in the past: relaxing criminal laws as much as possible to keep the population living in fear for their lives from all those criminals, who suddenly acquire human rights and can basically do whatecer they want. That is how communist regimes gave always used criminals as their ‘fifth columns’ to keep the law-abiding majority under control.
Yesterday the Conservative party announced that 5 people a week were stabbed to death in England and Wales between April 2007 and April 2008. These figures are harrowing and are the direct result of the social liberal policies of this government that has never been tough on the causes of crime, as it once promised. Criminals now carry guns and knives around, knowing perfectly well that courts will not give them long sentences because the instructions from the top stipulate that less people should be getting custodial sentences, especially if they have alcohol and drug addictions and need money to satisfy them.
But it was not always like that. Let me take you back to March 8, 1889: The Times published an article then about a court case concerning a burglary that was carried out by three armed men. The article was headed ‘Atrocious Burglary At Musswell Hill’ and ran:
‘At the Central Criminal Court yesterday three men Lyster, Burnett, and Clarke, involved in the burglary at Musswell-Hill on January 8, were sentenced by Mr. Justice Mathew to penal servitude for life. It is a severe sentence, but it will not be thought too severe by anyone who considers the danger to society involved in leaving to such men any opportunity of repeating their criminal enterprises. In fact, a yet severer sentence has been morally though not legally incurred, since at least two of these ruffians made repeated attempts to commit murder, and one all but succeeded. Too little attention has been paid to the part played by the revolver in modern burglaries.
‘There ought to be a clear and broad distinction between a man, who merely tries by superior cunning to carry off his neighbour’s goods, and a man, who goes prepared, in case of opposition, to take his neighbour’s life.
‘The sentence passed by Mr. Justice Mathew may do something to establish such a distinction. The Musswell-Hill case is a peculiarly atrocious one, on account of the levity with which the burglary was undertaken, the smallness of the booty, and the murderous intent of the burglars… Unless the use of the weapons is sternly checked, we shall soon find it in the hands of the area sneak, the snatcher of overcoats from the Hall, and, possibly, even the sturdy burglar. We are decidedly of the opinion that more severity would not be amiss in dealing even with the best type of the gentle and ingenious scientific burglar… Mr. Justice Mathew has set an excellent example in awarding penal servitude for life to the men who attacked Mr. Arkin and his sons, as well as their property.’
Today, on the rare occasions the police catch a burglar, they are not even allowed to ask him what he has done with the stolen goods, because that would be a breach of his ‘human rights’.
Trust Labour to look after the interests of the criminal, not the victim.