Prepare for Constitutional Change
10 March 2014
Scotland: the Land of the Book
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced his six point plan for constitutional change in the UK.
With an eye on the Scottish Independence Referendum on 18 September 2014, and anticipating a “No” vote, the Labour party is setting out its stall for the 2015 General Election. In the forefront of the constitutional debate is the former prime minister.
Gordon Brown’s contribution will be taken seriously. He is not only capable of addressing the subject, unlike some of the other players on the field, but he has a longstanding interest in it. His first speech to the House of Commons as prime minister announced plans for constitutional change, and he returned to the subject later in his premiership.
As a seasoned politician with global economic knowledge, he is the first big player to enter the serious debate which is coming. Although David Cameron has announced the need for constitutional change, he is a neophyte to such serious topics and his lack of historical knowledge was revealed when he called Britain a junior partner to America in 1940. Further, if UKIP splits the Conservative vote, it is likely that Labour will come through the middle to win the Election, and the Lib Dems have signalled that they could go into coalition with Labour if need be.
Brown will be influential in the coming debate, and this means that Brown’s proposals warrant close examination.
For most of its existence, the Scottish Christian Party has been warning about the effects of constitutional change upon the Christian constitution of Scotland. Christians have tended to ignore the topic, and the SNP has been studiously quiet about it.
Hannan on the European Union
8 March 2014
Doomed Marriage by Daniel Hannan, MEP
With the European elections looming, voters may want to read A Doomed Marriage: Britain and Europe by Daniel Hannan, 2012.
In this book Daniel Hannan, MEP, says: “Over the past 40 years, Britain has run a cumulative trade surplus with every continent on the planet except Europe. Between 2005 and 2010, the EU accounted for 92 per cent of our total trade deficit.”
Hannan is a Conservative Member of the European Parliament who provides essential information on the current situation within the European Union (EU). It is available on Amazon as a hardback or Kindle version.
Hannan is a eurosceptic and contradicts the europhile mantra that “big is beautiful”: “In the global wealth league table, the ten states with the highest GDP per capita all have populations below seven million. What matters to a modern economy is not its size, but its tax rate, its regulatory regime and its business climate.”
Rather than big being beautiful, we have discovered the dangerous nature of the phrase “too big to fail”. In practice, this means that they are “too big to manage”. The EU is an institution that is too big to manage by such diverse cultures who do not even speak a common language. Just as the banks were too big to fail, so the German Chancellor has backed the idea that the eurozone is too big to fail.
Rather we need an orderly dismantling of this huge juggernaut before it crushes everything in its path, just as we are attempting to dismantle banks that are too big and cut them down to a manageable size.
Hannan writes: “Over the past 40 years, Britain has run a cumulative trade surplus with every continent on the planet except Europe. Between 2005 and 2010, the EU accounted for 92 per cent of our total trade deficit.”
Dr David Griffiths, the leader of the Christian Party in Wales, has given a synopsis of the main points in a Book Review, which is available for download here. Griffiths summarises Hannan: “For 37 out of 38 years of membership Britain has put in more than it has taken out. The exception being 1975, the year of the referendum on withdrawal and so it can be argued that European economics were deliberately manipulated to influence a vote that year.”
Hannan’s current assessment of Britain’s disastrous relationship economically, culturally and legally with the EU is one in a line of books pointing out the fundamental flaw in the European experiment. An early book was The Rotten Heart of Europe: Dirty War for Europe’s Money by Bernard Connolly, the Brussels diplomatic who was sacked for foretelling accurately that the euro experiment would not work.
His book exposed the fracture lines in the European dream, and he was dismissed from the European Commission for his troubles. However, in 1995, the Wall Street Journal Europe named Connolly as one of its outstanding Europeans of the year. His thesis about the consequences and pitfalls of European monetary union was eventually vindicated in the euro crisis of 2010. Recently, Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, and current Governor of the Bank of England, identified Connolly as one of the very few economists who predicted the current global economic and financial crisis.
- 8 Mar 2014: Book Review by Dr David Griffiths, the leader of the Christian Party in Wales.
20 November 2013
The Scottish Parliament has debated and voted on the SNP Government’s Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.
Stage 1 was the opening debate in the Scottish Parliament, with a vote in principle to progress legislation to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples. It was passed by 98 votes to 15, with 5 abstentions.
Most supporters of redefining marriage put it within the context of equality. This is not new. Not only did George Orwell demonstrate in Animal Farm how equality is used as the methodology for change, but it is as old as the Bible itself, in which people complained that God’s laws were not equal. The Lord’s response is that their ways were not equal, and so the rebellion against God’s laws continue to the present.
Alex Neil, the Minister who introduced the Bill, thought that this was one of the most wonderful debates in the Scottish Parliament. He denied that it redefined marriage, but that it extended the eligibility of marriage to those who had been denied it. Newspeak is much in evidence. Jackie Baillie, a Labour MSP, called it “an idea whose time has come”. Two Church of Scotland elders spoke in favour of the change. Referring to the Bible, John Lamont, MSP, said that we had moved on from Mark’s opposition to divorce and Timothy’s prohibition of wearing pearls or gold. There is much to lament in Lamont’s interpretation of Scripture; and why did he not plainly say that it was Jesus’ teaching on divorce? Some argued that we need to “accept people the way they are”. This undermines the message and aim of the Christian Gospel, which teaches the need for people to change - to be born again in order to repent through faith in Jesus Christ.
If Christians wonder why we need specifically Christian MSPs, they might consider the number of homosexual MSPs who spoke in favour of redefining marriage. Patrick Harvie, MSP, argued that “we” (he didn’t explain who these were, but it seemed to be the Holyrood Parliament, which he was addressing) should confront and defeat the arguments against homosexuality. He said that he did not regard marriage to be the gold standard relationship.
The homosexual lobby want to take matters further. Marco Biagi, MSP, said that this Bill is not the last stage in this debate because of transgender issues. If Christians are unsure what this means, they may note that on BBC’s Question Time programme on 31/10/2013, one of the panelists was introduced as advocating “the right to change one’s gender”. This goes beyond the question of identifying one’s biological gender, but to change one’s gender.
Highland MSP John Finnie’s support for redefining marriage included dismissing the conscientious objection of Registrars opposed to homosexual partnerships and saying that they “need to get on with it”. No Highland MSP raised their voice in support of real, or traditional, marriage.
Several MSPs referred to the spirit being adopted towards those who opposed redefining marriage, and Elaine Smith, MSP, said: “Since indicating that I did not intend to support the redefinition of marriage, my religion’s been disparaged, I’ve been branded homophobic and bigoted, I’ve been likened to the Ku Klux Klan and it was suggested that I be burnt at the stake as a witch.”
Scotland will learn the hard way.
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