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Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Pope, the People and the Politicians

The Pope's visit will be a moving and momentous occasion for the whole country and he will undoubtedly receive the warmest of welcomes.

Author of those words? Gordon Brown, in September 2009.

It was Prime Minister Brown who offered the Pope this forthcoming State Visit. Tony Blair appears also to have tried when Prime Minister.

Blair no doubt thought Cherie would like it. Brown thought it would play well with working class Labour voters in Glasgow and Liverpool. Both demonstrate how out of touch British politicians are with those who elect and eject them. The majority of people profess indifference to Ratzinger's visit; a minority - including me - are incredulous and angry; another minority are in a tizz over what hats and shoes the Pope will wear.

Brown's remarks back in September 2009 simply illustrate his dissociation from the world around him.

The Pope is the reactionary head of a corrupt organisation. He is poisonously opposed to the kind of society Britain has become. In no sense is he a spiritual leader. There's not much more to say, other than that his organisation enjoys immunity from British law. It is inconceivable that Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, would allow a case to be brought against a member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy for obstructing the police in bringing to justice paedophile priests.

I didn't vote at the last Election. I felt that the political system was no longer credible and reform would only come when people declined to give even token endorsement to the antics of the political class.

For similar reasons, I can't take the Labour leadership contest seriously. These are all people who knew that Gordon Brown was nasty and a nutter, but who allowed him to plot and bully his way to the top, completely unopposed. Just as senior Liberal Democrats covered up Charles Kennedy's alcoholism when he was their Leader, so Labour's inner circle remained silent about Brown. I wouldn't like any of them in charge in a crisis.

It goes deeper than covering up the tantrums. Blair and Brown at least agreed on this: say nothing about the eventual cost to future taxpayers of Labour's half-baked private-public partnership schemes which built the new schools and hospitals but at exorbitant costs which will not be paid back for decades - and at punitive rates of interest. All the costs which were deliberately kept "off balance sheet" will creep back on to become nightmares for our children and their children.

You can't trust the Pope. You can't trust the politicians. I'm not even sure you can trust the people.

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