Saturday, 24 October 2009

Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser

The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote".

As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.

Critics said the revelations showed a "conspiracy" within Government to impose mass immigration for "cynical" political reasons.

Mr Neather was a speech writer who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, in the early 2000s.

Writing in the Evening Standard, he revealed the "major shift" in immigration policy came after the publication of a policy paper from the Performance and Innovation Unit, a Downing Street think tank based in the Cabinet Office, in 2001.

He wrote a major speech for Barbara Roche, the then immigration minister, in 2000, which was largely based on drafts of the report.

He said the final published version of the report promoted the labour market case for immigration but unpublished versions contained additional reasons, he said.

He wrote: "Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural. Read more
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Friday, 23 October 2009

Lord Carey 'appalled' by Pope's treatment of Dr Rowan Williams

Lord Carey of Clifton has called on his successor as Archbishop of Canterbury to complain to the Pope in person about not being consulted over plans to admit disaffected Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church.

Lord Carey warned that the Pope’s strategy could damage relations with the Vatican. Lord Carey, who stepped down in 2002, urged Dr Rowan Williams to protest strongly when he visits the Pope in Rome next month.

Lord Carey was speaking after the joint press conference this week between Dr Williams and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, to announce the move. Under an apostolic constitution decree, the Pope will set up personal ordinariates, or extra-geographical Roman Catholic dioceses, such as those that already exist in the military, to take in former Anglicans who oppose women bishops and accept the Petrine ministry of Rome.

Dr Williams appeared distressed when he said at the press conference, hosted by the Roman Catholic Church in Eccleston Square, that he had known nothing of the initiative until two weeks ago. He was notified formally only when Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, visited last weekend to fill in some of the detail. Read more
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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Priests in London and Yorkshire say they are tempted to join Rome

The villages of the ancient parishes of Broughton, Marton and Thornton nestle in a corner of North Yorkshire that is perilously close to the Lancashire border. And even closer to Rome.

For the rector, the Rev Canon Nicholas Turner, editor of the traditionalist magazine New Directions, the Pope’s decree was the fulfilment of a long-held dream. But he must now decide whether to be reordained as a Roman Catholic priest. And if he does, what will happen to the churches and his parishioners?

To visit the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Thornton is to enter a Norman building that gives every appearance of being Catholic already. There is a statue of the Madonna and Child. There are candles and incense. Father Nicholas celebrates Mass, occasionally in Latin, hears confession and grants absolution.

The three parishes in the united benefice voted in the 1990s for resolutions granting them distance from the Bradford Diocese. Now the three parochial church councils may face a further vote: whether to join their priest and defect en masse to Rome, albeit a version of Roman Catholicism that would allow them to maintain much of their Anglican identity.

If it came to that, though, a hurdle would remain. Their three churches would still belong to the Church of England; unless a deal were reached, where would the new Catholics worship? In Father Nicholas’s ideal world, one church would pass into the control of the Anglican Catholics while the other two remained with the Church of England.

His world is not ideal, however, because his wife, Canon Ann Turner, is the local deacon and the Roman Catholic Church does not accept female deacons. Some tough decisions lie ahead.

“The Pope’s decision is a wonderfully generous move to unity,” he said. “It would be wonderful if the Church of England could return to full communion with Rome while still being the Church of England. But I can’t just abandon over 30 years of ministry as though they never happened. These are exciting times, but one can’t ignore the history of a village church. It is at the centre of the community and I hope we can forge a path that allows all of us to stay together.”

In Walthamstow, East London, Father David Waller sits on a green chair, a black and white cat draped across his knees, and offers a cup of tea. “This could be the most significant thing to happen to the English Church since the Reformation,” he says. Read more
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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

BBC slurs evangelicals in home school debate

Some evangelical parents need monitoring by the state because they may ‘intimidate’ their children with ideas about God, sin and hell, a BBC radio host has said.
Listen to the comments:

The Government’s Schools Minister replied by saying this is part of the reason for conducting a review of the rules on home education.

The comments were made on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme, broadcast on 18 October.

The programme featured an item on the Government’s controversial proposals for regulating parents who choose to educate their children at home.

The show’s host, Roger Bolton, spoke of “authoritarian” evangelical fathers of “Victorian periods” who threatened their children with theology.

He was interviewing Schools Minister, Diana Johnson, and went on to say, “some people will worry that this is possible now under home tuition, that this could happen.”

He continued: “and you would not be able to do anything about it because people would just say, ‘we’re simply telling them what we believe’”.

The Schools Minister replied, “that’s part of the reason why we have asked Graham Badman to do this review because at the moment we don’t know what’s happening”. Read more
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Desperate bishops invited Rome to park its tanks on Archbishop’s lawn

Rome has parked its tanks on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn after manoeuvres undertaken by up to fifty bishops and begun two years ago by an Australian archbishop, John Hepworth.

As leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a breakaway group claiming to represent up to 400,000 laity worldwide, he went to Rome seeking a means to achieve full, visible unity for his flock.

As a former Catholic priest himself, divorced and remarried with three children, he would be unlikely to be recognised by Rome as a priest or bishop, even under the structures brought in by the new apostolic constitution. He has nonetheless always received a warm welcome in Rome — in particular from Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who has made the running in Rome with the backing of his predecessor at the Congregation, Pope Benedict XVI himself.

In England, negotiations with the Vatican have been led by two of the “flying bishops” — the AngloCatholics sanctioned to provide pastoral care for opponents of the ordination of women as priests. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Right Rev Andrew Burnham, and the Bishop of Richborough, the Right Rev Keith Newton, visited Rome at Easter last year for talks with Cardinal Levada. Read more
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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Notting Hill shows: Only prison will deter the thugs that roam our estates

It was just over 40 years ago that the English judicial system finally learned how to deal with violent intimidation against the post-war wave of new Commonwealth immigrants. By the late 1950s areas such as Notting Hill Gate in London had become the hunting ground of young thugs whose idea of a good night out was to terrify the local black population. The judiciary had seemed either uninterested or insufficiently motivated to stamp this out. Then one judge – and family pride motivates me to record that he was a maternal cousin – broke with the head-in-the-sand consensus: this was Mr Justice Cyril Salmon.

In September 1958 nine young men were found guilty in his court of what they had called "nigger hunting" – chasing black citizens around the streets of Notting Hill, while armed with iron bars and table legs. They were, said their defence lawyer, in attempted mitigation of their crimes, "victims of the society in which they live". As Time magazine recorded: "Justice Salmon was unimpressed. Said he: 'Everyone, irrespective of the colour of their skins, is entitled to walk through our streets in peace with their heads erect and free from fear...As far as the law is concerned you are entitled to think what you like, however foul your thoughts; to feel what you like, however brutal and debased your emotions; to say what you like, provided you do not infringe the rights of others or imperil the Queen's Peace. But once you translate your dark thoughts and brutal feelings into savage acts such as these, the law will be swift to punish you, and to protect your victims.'

"Justice Salmon forthwith sentenced all nine youths to four years' imprisonment. Shocked at the severity of the sentence, relatives and friends in the courtroom gasped in dismay, and burst into hysterical sobs outside. Two of the boys were so shaken they had to be helped down the 32 steps to their cells. But that night, all was quiet in Notting Hill." Read more
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Pope Benedict XVI paves way for thousands of disaffected Anglicans to cross over to Rome

Pope Benedict XVI has paved the way for thousands of Anglicans who are disillusioned by the church’s stance on female clergy and homosexuality to convert to Roman Catholicism.

The historic move will allow groups of Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Holy See while allowing them to retain some of their traditions, and could see married Church of England clergy ordained as Catholic priests.

It has dealt a serious blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has tried to keep traditionalists in the fold despite their bitter disputes with liberals over the direction of the Anglican Communion, although he denied it was an “act of aggression”.

Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said: “Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey.”

In recent decades thousands of conservative priests and parishioners in England, America and Australia have left the 80 million-strong Anglican Communion in protest at the ordination of women and openly homosexual clergy, which they say go against scripture and church tradition. In England, more than 400 clergy resigned when women priests were introduced in the 1990s. Read more
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