Friday, 16 January 2015

A majority of Anglicans will vote for right-wing parties in May – so why is its leadership peddling Marxist drivel?

At the 2010 general election, 51% of Anglicans who regularly attend church voted Tory, compared with just 19.4% who voted Labour. True, 25% voted Liberal Democrat, but that just highlights the Church’s commitment to providing pastoral care for the feeble-minded. The percentage planning to vote Tory this May has plummeted to just below 40%, while those planning to vote Labour had risen to 32.1%. But the figure for Anglicans planning to vote UKIP has risen to 18.3%. In effect, 58.2% of practicing Anglicans plan to vote for parties on the right. Which means that the derangedly Marxian anti-Tory cuts tract published by the Church’s leaders two days’ ago is completely out of step with the majority of its flock.

Yes, because most conservatives and right-wingers aren’t selfish airheads who feel it’s fine to saddle future generations with vast debts just so governments don’t have to make really hard choices about, say, trimming the £9Bn foreign aid budget (by “trimming”, of course, I mean cancelling it entirely), the majority of committed Anglicans are in favour of vicious Tory “cuts” (which, let us remind ourselves, are “cuts” in the rate at which public spending would have risen had Labour won the 2010 election – so, you know, not actually cuts in the sense that those of us who have to manage our finances here in the real world would understand the term: just think of them as fantasy cuts which give lefties something to whine about until they get back into power to finish the job of destroying the UK economy).

Given that the report on voting intentions I’m quoting from was pubished last October, I suspect that the Tory vote will have crept up by a few points, while the UKIP figure will have dropped by a similar amount: I would be surprised if the Labour vote has increased.

The various claims made in On Rock or Sand? - the latest version of The Gospel According to St. Karl - are the standard tawdry nonsense you’d get from any dim-witted Labour politician or Occupy protester - i.e. “inequality” is “evil”, the free market is a threat to Christian values, society is being destroyed by consumerism and rampant individualism, London is too rich compared to - say - Middlesborough, yada yada yada. The Archbishop of York told the Telegraph “That sounds extremely left wing doesn’t it? The truth is it is the theology of where I am coming from.” So left-wing, in fact, that the report even quotes – approvingly – Marx’s dictum: “From each, according to his resources, to each, according to his needs.” In 2015, the Anglican Church thinks it’s a good idea to align itself with a political philosophy that has brought horror, misery, poverty, untold suffering and death to hundreds of millions around the globe. Communism? Seriously? Shame on you, Sentamu – and shame on you, Welby.

Wealth is not in itself wicked. Individualism is not a synonym for selfishness. The free market tends to promote human dignity, honesty, a sense of community, freedom of religion, and charitable works more effectively than any other economic system, and is incomparably better at doing so than any centrally-planned economy run by any government ever. Does the free market result in a perfect society? No, of course not – no political or economic system does. Anyway, since when did the Anglican Church see its role as the creation of a perfect society on earth? As for our obsession with money, what do the bishops want – a more economically equal but much poorer society where we the vast majority are reduced to the status of mendicants relying on the state or the church for basic sustenance?

Britain is far richer than it was in 1985, when the Church's anti-Thatcher diatribe, Faith in the City, was published (I was going to describe it as a trumpet-blast, but it was more of a mosquito fart). Thanks to a grotesquely rapacious tax system, we pay out eye-watering amounts in welfare and in salaries to the left-wingers who administer the wealth redistribution system in order to ensure that the people, regions and cities which the Church claims are being “left behind” don't have to behave sensibly and look after themselves. This “generosity” (which basically consists of enlightened well-off people spending other people’s money in a revolting parody of charity so they can feel really good about themselves) is keeping whole cities and regions mired in pseudo-poverty (i.e. the people aren’t really poor – they’re just poorer than other people living in one of the richest countries the world has ever seen) and dependent on the well-paid slave-masters of the “caring” state.

If the Church has failed to address the spiritual needs of the vast majority of Britons (which is, after all, has been its sole raison d’etre since the creation of the welfare state), if it has failed to engender any sense of community across vast swathes of the country, and if its wet, vapid, dreary “Vote Labour or you’re evil!” message has so comprehensively failed to excite the young and the middle-aged that the average age of communicants is now 61, then that’s not the fault of this government, or our economic system, or of the media, or whoever else they wish to blame – it’s the Church's fault for making the most exciting, spiritually enriching, liberating, revolutionary religion the world has ever known sound so bloody terminally boring: the New Testament is one of the most startling written works in existence – listening to the Anglican leadership often feels like being lectured by some ghastly over-educated New Statesman-reading Labour activist droning on about Tory scum. As I’ve pointed out many times in the past, the Church of England does many good works, but it is not a branch of the social services: we have souls, we have spiritual needs – why not try attending to those for a change?

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York and their ilk aren’t stupid, they aren’t wicked, and if they aren’t compassionate they’ve made a very odd career choice. Which is why I fail to understand how they can possibly not grasp the perfectly simple fact that the use of taxpayers’ money to create and maintain a permanent underclass of unemployable welfare dependents is a morally vicious thing to do. For instance, there was an item in several newspapers today about a grossly overweight mother and daughter in Kircaldy (Janice and Amber Manzur) who, between them, receive £34,000 in benefits because they’re too fat to work. The mother is quoted as saying they’d rather be fat and happy on benefits than depressed and thin and employed. Photographs of the porky pair show them scowling glumly and resentfully at the camera. Do Anglican bigwigs seriously believe that a system which takes money from people who work for it in order to allow greedy wretches to guzzle themselves to a combined weight of 43 stone represents a triumph of Christian compassion? Would the Church countenance money donated by its parishioners being used to maintain such lazy lard-arses in a state of morally incontinent, selfish misery? Then why does it think it’s a good idea to support and extend a state-run system which promotes this sort of wickedness? And why does it imagine the majority of Anglican communicants would want to support such a sytem? What are the moral and spiritual grounds (you remember those, right?) for demanding this of us?

I’d be tempted to become a Catholic – but British Catholics are far more left-wing than Anglicans, with 45.3% of them intending to vote Labour. Sikhs (for reasons I can’t quite grasp) are overwhelmingly Labour (63.5%). But it won’t surprise anyone to learn that Muslims are the biggest Labour supporters of any religious group – 73% are intending to support Ed Milliband in May: nice to know that craven dhimmitude has its political rewards. The Conservatives, though, should take heart from the fact that more religious Jews intend voting for them than any other party – 46.3%. I'd be tempted to become one of The Chosen - but I really don't fancy the snip, and I have absolutely no intention of renouncing the New Testament. 


  1. I used to brave our village church at most twice a year - once for the harvest festival (a good old pagan celebration) and once for the carol service. If the religion didn't put me off, the piles of pamphlets exhorting me to dip into my pockets to support Palestinians and Kalashnikov toting African 'freedom fighters' certainly would.

    These days I just 'do' the carol service, having been informed that the proceeds of the last HF I attended went to Africa. This, despite a neighbouring village having quite serious examples of rural poverty.

    I'm very glad I'm not a believer. I would find it all very depressing if I were.

    1. The believing bit is fine, believe me: the Church's inistence on meddling in political areas which have nothing to do with religion isn't. Fortunately, our thriving local Anglo Catholic church - while not exactly free of politics - is careful when it comes to playing party politics, and, while left-liberals are undoubtedly in the majority (it is, after all, full or rich urbanites), there are enough right-wingers in there to keep them honest (though I suspect UKIP is a bit thin on the ground - but, then, that's porbably true of Chiswick as a whole). The other good thing is that the charities we fund are carefully scrutinised and aren't (as far as I can tell) overtly political - the money is spent on very specifics items. When the vicar decided it was time to raise money for a new organ and some rebuilding work (over £1m in total), various lefties in the congregation argued that the money (which, of course, hadn't been collected at that stage) should be "given to the poor". They were ignored. Excellent!

  2. You are on terrific form Scott.

    Kirkcaldy, where an infant Adam Smith was kidnapped by gypsies and rescued by his uncle, gave us Gordon Brown and this entrepreneurial, part - Subcontinental beauty ( ) .

    I have just learned that the Muslim name. Manzur, means 'accepted' or ' approved' and, indeed, the British Welfare State could not agree more.

    1. Thanks, Colin. I have a chest infection and have spent the last few days coughing my lungs out, which I suspect tends to sharpen up my critical faculties: I'll go back to being gentle and reasonable after it has cleared up.

  3. The last time I was in Church for Remembrance Sunday, our sandal wearing pony tailed vicar (I kid you not) used the occasion to suggest that under no circumstances should we vote for 'those parties which seek to divide'. I wonder who he was referring to?

    1. I suspect that if I visited churches other than our own, I'd have to fight the urge not to walk out regularly during party political sermons. The closest I ever came at ours was when a visiting preacher poured scorn on the critics of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who had recently idiotically decalred that some form of shariah law in Britain was "inevitable".