Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Pope and British politics

It is possible that the death of Pope John Paul II may delay the announcement of the UK general election, expected tomorrow. So far, all three major parties have decided not to campaign today as a mark of respect. I mean, you know - it's only the Sabbath... The heir of St Peter has only just died and stuff... They can't risk banging on a mourning Catholic's door and stirring up bad headlines, can they?

In other news, there seems to be some confusion among the press. Is Tony Blair willingly abandoning legislation to introduce ID cards and laws against incitement to religious hatred in order to call a general election, or is it the opposition's fault, as Home Secretary Charles Clarke seems to think? After all, there's nothing to say that Blair HAS to call the election now - he's got until June next year. Maybe he should hang on, pass his ID cards bill, piss us all off, and lose like a regular bastard... In short, if Blair misses out on any legislation, or pisses any Catholics off for being insensitive, he's only got himself to blame.

One thing's for certain, the Pope's death is going to make further campaigns on supposedly "moral" issues like abortion rather hard for any of the parties to pull off - the Archbishop of Canterbury has already told them all to grow up, and no one knows what direction the Catholic Church is going to take next. Is anyone going to risk second-guessing the new Pope?

(Oh, and can anyone tell me the difference between the Pope deciding he didn't want to go back to hospital, knowing that he would die without full medical attention, and making a living will saying you don't want to be kept alive in a vegitative state?)

6 Comments:

Blogger AlanK said...

Nosemonkey

It is all in the timing, living wills are not made at the time and most people would prefer to wait till they are faced with the issue itself before they have to choose

Still agree about the terri schiavo case, as she had no hope of recovery and was in a persistant vegetative state so no hope left

Also pope, hopefully next one will be just as good as the last pope

4/03/2005 12:44:00 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

Charles Clarke is just blustering and stamping his feet like a spoilt child as usual. There will be no one to blame but themselves if their precious ID cards bill dies when the election is called.

This could make ID cards a central part of the campaign. Since surveys continue to show many stupid people still in favour of them, Blair will likely play this up. When he wins the election, he will then claim he has a personal mandate for them.

Just another reason why his majority needs clipping.

4/03/2005 01:19:00 pm  
Anonymous robin said...

Dont vote for any of the 3 main parties.There are plenty of others to choose from.

4/03/2005 03:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Ronnie in New Orleans said...

Teri Schiavo didn't have a living will, Nosey. So what's your point?

4/03/2005 05:34:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Alan - I don't get the timing thing either. How long before you die is too long? Why doesn't it apply to people with organ donor cards - they might change their minds too. Why are people who follow religons which refuse medical treatment (Mormons or something, isn't it? Not sure) exempt? The whole thing's odd...

Eddie - you're sadly, probably, right.

Robin - yep, but they're mostly maniacs, and none have a hope in hell of making any real impact. You have to be realistic about these things. It'd be great if more parties had a chance. They don't.

Ronnie - I don't recall mentioning the Schiavo thing - it was a more general bit of confusion (although it was, I will admit, loosely inspired by that nonsense in the States, about which I neither know nor care very much). When does refusing medical treatment become effective murder? Why is refusing medical treatment which would save your life OK, but suicide is still frowned upon? I don't get it.

4/03/2005 11:00:00 pm  
Anonymous robin said...

Nosemonkey,
YOu complain about lack of choice in politics then dont take the chance to make your own choice.
Its this tribalism thing in politics-you must vote Labour to keep out Tories or vice versa.A vote for a smaller party will make more difference than chucking your vote in with millions of others.
Some of the smaller parties are cranks,some are not--encourage the better ones.
Or keep your politics of despair.

4/04/2005 12:28:00 pm  

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