Easter ideals?

This week end Christians remember the brutal execution of Christ and the resurrection.

We read of him as a great figure. The Son of God to Christians, a great prophet or teacher to non believers. His words echo down the centuries. They are as fresh and relevant today as they were when uttered.

Some wrestle with difficulty with the great gap between the peace loving messages of Christ seeking to improve relations between people and to calm tensions and conflicts on the one hand , and the deeds of the Churches in their centuries of power and wealth on the other.

Sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe was ravaged by religious conflict as rival views of the Christian message were used to fight for money and political control. The Church Militant often struck a political pose, supported warring powers, and provided some of the most influential people and arguments to progress the conflicts and hatred.

Gradually the policy of toleration spread, though it took until the last century to arrive at proper religious toleration in most western countries. I welcome the way today in the UK the Christian Churches respect each other and seek to avoid conflict. Today politics in the UK is not primarily about religion. Mr Blair was strongly advised not to do God as PM.

In today’s world there are still religious wars, and still too many incidents of religious persecution affecting several faiths. Sometimes the western allies intervene in these conflicts, with very mixed results.

In the UK we are left with an Established Church that does make forays into domestic politics, with some of its leaders urging their anti Brexit views on anyone who will listen. Often their main idea is that the state should provide a solution for every economic and moral problem. The private sector is usually something to tax and regulate to prevent or alleviate the alleged harm it does.

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93 Comments

  1. eeyore
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    In the CoE Guardian readers preach to Telegraph readers. Apparently there is only one Brexit bishop.

    Why should Brexit be the heresy that dare not speak its name? It’s the same in academia. Is the dividing line between those who live off the state and those who don’t? I know churchmen don’t literally get paid by HMG, but they are in a similar position nonetheless. Takers versus Makers?

    Possibly some clergy – those who place a higher value on feeling than thinking – still equate Leavers with racists. Like the Pharisee, they complacently thank God they are not as other men. Happily God’s take on Brexit, as on so many other things in this vale of tears, remains enigmatic.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is interesting. The pundits have been found many ways of splitting the Brexit vote: Between young and old, rich and poor, according to education, region and political preference and so on. But one comparison has not been widely made, and that is between those who derive their income from the state and those who provide the money for the state to dispense.

      I suspect I know the answer to this question, but would glad to know if bloggers have come across hard data.

      • rose
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        There are plenty of dons and clergy who want us to be an independent country again, but like conservatives, they are discreet in voicing their opinions. They have an innate sense of decency and duty which prevents them from foisting their opinions on their pupils and flocks. Lord Cary is the exception. He may feel driven to being so by the apparent one party state that the Church has become.

        • eeyore
          Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          I’m very grateful to read this. All too often the eloquent and confident drown out all other voices. His Grace of York in particular has no difficulty making his political views known. Would that his under-shepherds and the flock they minister to possessed his remarkable gift for intellectual certainty.

      • acorn
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Name me one part of the private sector that does not derive some of its income from the public sector? The public sector buys £180 billions worth a year, of goods and services from its own, exclusively controlled private sector.

        Does the check-out operator at your supermarket ask you if you work for the public sector or the private sector? If you work for the public sector, does he/she refuse your money?

        If public sector employees disappeared overnight, the private sector would lose circa £190 billions worth of public sector employees spending power and go bust the following morning.

        The private sector has no money of its own and it can’t create net new “money” into the economy; only the currency issuing government Treasury can do that.

        Financial Assets (Bank loans) and Liabilities (loan deposits in a customers account) in the private sector banks, always sum to zero; but hopefully, that process may have created a non-financial asset; like a house for someone to live in.

        • mancunius
          Posted April 1, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          The state’s stranglehold on the economy is essentially the result of Bretton Woods and postwar neo-keynesian economic policy in the west. If the public sector disappeared tomorrow or became a genuinely ’empty raincoat’, its employees would find work in the productive sector. That the civil service does little except commission the private sector (including private consultants to give it advice on how to commission) is evidence that it is otiose.
          97% of the money in the economy today is created by banks – which are private enterprises: only 3% is created by the government.

          • acorn
            Posted April 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            High street banks create “credit” not government money. Such Banks have a licence from the BoE that allows them to swap one unit of private bank credit, for one unit of government money. The latter call the Pound Sterling.

            The 97% credit created by private Banks gets paid back by the borrower to a strict schedule. The government money gets paid back by taxes. The government can wait for ever to get its money back; and, as long as people keep saving the government’s money (the so called national debt), it probably will.

        • Stephen Berry
          Posted April 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, you are putting the cart before the horse. The public sector derives all its income from the private sector through the mechanism of taxation. It then uses some of this money to purchase goods from the private sector. It’s a bit like a recipient of British foreign aid using that money to purchase British goods. But don’t lose sight of where the money originally came from.

          The check-out operators at the supermarket have never, not ever, asked me whether I work for the public or private sector. Why would they? Are you maintaining that whether you work in the state or private sector has no influence on the way you vote?

          If the public sector disappeared overnight one assumes that there would be no necessity to levy taxes to support it, so the private sector would have rather more spending power. No doubt, the private sector would then adjust to provide those services originally provided by the public sector which people actually really wanted.

          The private sector provides plenty of goods of its own. If the government had not insisted on a state monopoly on the issue of money, rest assured that the private sector would be fully capable of printing money too, as it has done in the past.

    • Prigger
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      For people to wear a uniform of a particular sliver of philosophical/theological thought, take their salary and learning, instruction from a particular institution which is in itself of such narrow of thought that when churning up an idea they nearly cut their cerebral cortex in two, they had best stay cool when it comes to lecturing the rest of us on brotherly love.
      At the moment they are flailing their backs wondering how their forefathers could have sent little children into the middle of nowhere in Africa and elsewhere and lied about their parentage. Easy. For the Churches. Easy. I knew about it before they officially recognised it as true. We as a nation should not finance the churches, their buildings or anything to do with them. Their very buildings are an insult to our dead.

  2. Richard1
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Yes the modern church seems to promote the idea of more government as the solution to all ills, both more tax and regulation at national level and more supranational government by the EU. In the Catholic Church the present Pope seems to go the same way. We do not hear from the Church much if anything about the importance of entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise. It is difficult to see where in the teachings of Christ there is support for this Uber-statist view.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      With the Catholic Church under Pope Francis going some way in the modernist CoE’s direction,it has left the Orthodox Church(es) to fill the vacuum in conservative teaching.A point not lost on Mr Putin who has been promoting
      the expansion of the (deeply conservative and mystical)Russian Orthodox Church overseas,notably with a huge new cathedral in Paris on a site by the Seine which the Saudis had wanted(no prizes for guessing what for!).

      I read recently that at least half the Orthodox worshippers in the USA are converts from other denominations.Prince Philip,as a Prince of Greece, was,of course,born into the Orthodox church and despite converting to CoE has visited the holy of holies of Orthodoxy-the Mount Athos monastic community-on a number of occasions as has Prince Charles.

      • Cardboard Cutout
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        As far as I am aware it is not a crime having orthodox christian views. Modernism is not necessarily a good thing. Look at modernist furniture. The greatest criticism of it is that it is far to hard to use for toilet tissue, for some.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 2, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        ‘Pope Francis’

        – There’s always been a battle within the Catholic Church between Conservatism (and Traditionalism) and Progressivism (and Liberalism). No doubt, the next Pope, or some future Pope, will be more Conservative than Pope Francis.

        On matters of faith + doctrine however, the Church remains clear and absolute. What the Catholic Church believes is all written down in the Catechism and no Pope can ever deviate from that. And no Pope, in all 2,000 years, has ever said taught anything, authoritatively and officially (as opposed to in private / off the cuff) that is heretical.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Indeed (to the C of E) the private sector is nearly always something to tax and regulate to prevent or alleviate the alleged harm it does. Yet it is providing things that customers freely pay for and clearly want & need. Furthermore they never discuss the vast harm that over taxation does. Governments tax people and businesses and then spend the receipts nearly always far, far less wisely efficiently than the taxpayer would have done directly. Taxes often destroy incentives to work and kill many jobs stone dead.

    May and Hammond have increased taxation to the highest for 40 years and heaped daft regulations and endless tax complexity costs on top of this too.

    Do the opposite of anything Justin Welby suggest (rather like the BBC) and we will not go far wrong. Perhaps one or two tax extensions might be a good idea though, ensuring that Bishops pay a “benefit in kind” tax for their palaces (as anyone else would have to) and looking at restricting the charitable tax reliefs for promoters of “belief systems”? They certainly should have no place in the Lords. Also perhaps look at the funding for “religious school” who clearly discriminate unfairly against the rational parents or people of other faiths.

    Why on earth do all the large shops and garden centres forced to close tomorrow. What business is it of the C of E to tell others what they can not do on their religious days? What a waste of all these valuable assets for the day and a loss of jobs and income for people.

    Church of England weekly attendance falls below 1m for first time I see. So why can these one million order the other 65 million around?

    • rose
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Dear LL

      I understand your annoyance with the established C of E but when it has been displaced by something less kind and tolerant you may miss it. The Chief Rabbis who are much better value than the C of E bishops and archbishops continually make this point. They know what they are talking about and they want the C of E to continue to be host to the others rather than lose its pre-eminence.

      • rose
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        PS it is the same with republicans’ wish to do away with the monarchy – I note we are not going to be subjects of Her Britannic Majesty on our new blue passports but citizens in preparation for the new socialist republic. They need to have a good long think about what would come in its place, not what they would like, but what would.

        • L Jones
          Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          So right, Rose. I wonder if they’ve considered how ”President Blair” or ”President Branson” sounds? As you say, there would be something in the place of the Monarchy, and it wouldn’t be such a good something.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon. Winston Churchill

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    Steven Weinberg

    • David Murfin
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Weinberg’s view is simplistic. Which class do you and your behaviour fall into? Good or evil? How do you judge what is good? People who generally seek to do good do evil things both by intention and by mistake. Some evil people mend their ways, influenced by the behaviour of others, who may be motivated by religion. Saul of Tarsus changed from persecuting the early Christian church to being its foremost missionary. John Newton went from slave trader to Anglican minister, writing “Amazing Grace” to describe his experience. Many people share such experiences. Read Wilkerson’s ‘The cross and the switchblade’ or Nicky Cruz’s story ‘Run, baby, run’.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        In a single sentence you have to be somewhat simplistic and to generalise somewhat but I thing there is much truth in it.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 2, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          Why limit yourself to a single sentence over something as big and controversial and complicated as religion!

          ‘Much truth’ but be careful of the half-truth. And I think Weinberg’s comment has more of the half-truth about it than the full truth.

          – A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies’ – Alfred Lord Tennyson

      • Stred
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Saul preached conversion and repentance would lead to forgiveness and a place in heaven, even for bad boys like him. Other faiths preached working at avoiding sin throughout life and judgement on course work. SPauls idea became very popular and lasted for a long time. Wonder why.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      ‘Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.’

      – Sorry, this is fallacious.

      Firstly, how do you judge who is a ‘good person’ and who is an ‘evil person’ or not? You would have to be God to do that. But without God, then you have a problem.

      Secondly, what is ‘good’ and ‘evil’ from an atheistic world view. It’s entirely relative. One atheist might think eating meat is evil. Another not.

      Thirdly, you fail to mention the good religious people do. For example, the good the Quaker businessmen did in setting up good and honest companies. Or the Christian William Wilberforce. Or Prince Phillip’s mother, a devout Christian, who risked her life to help Jews during WW2. As well as the St Francis of Assisis of this world. And the devout Catholic President Adenauer of Germany. And so on.

      Fourthly, you fail to mention the bad non-religious, and even anti-theism atheists do. For example, the anti-theists in Communist Soviet Union who enslaved and murdered millions of their own people (for both non-religious and anti-religious reasons).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      5) And you fail to establish what you mean by ‘religion.’ When Christ says ‘love your neighbour’ then is that religion or not? If not, then what do you mean by religion. If yes, then clearly your claim is wrong because ‘love thy neighbour’ is good.

      Unless you don’t mean this, but that ‘religion’ is a kind of world view? When Prince Phillip’s mother risked her life to save Jews, she was being inspired by her Christian world view. So either you think her worldview is religious, in which case it’s clearly wrong to say her worldview (at least here) is wrong. Or else, you don’ think it’s religious, in which case what the difference between one worldview and another—say the worldview of anti-theism Communists in Soviet Union who murdered lots of people.

      In other words, it’s not religion that’s the problem – but blind ideology – and that can me from ‘religion’ or non religion.

      Sorry, Lifelogic, but you are NOT thinking things through logically. In fact, you’re just making subjective claims and claims based from the fallacy of argument from authority.

      • Stred
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        I always have a laugh when the god squad tell agnostics they are not being logical.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 2, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          I’m a member of the human-being squad!

          I was being very specific about Weinberg’s comment. I don’t think any logician or philosopher – whether atheist or theist – from any university would disagree with me about Weinberg’s comment being fallacious. And so non-logical.

          Whether God exists or not is another argument.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I see that Justin Welby maintains that “tax avoidance is wrong” and that our “our economic model is broken”, and that “regardless of whether it’s gay or straight, sex outside marriage is wrong”.

    So I assume he will be happy to pay the benefits in kind charge on his palaces, forgo charitable tax relief, listed building repair VAT reliefs and pay full rates on his churches and buildings?

    Legal tax avoidance is actually a very moral activity indeed, providing you spend or invest the money better than the state would. It is very hard not to do this. If business does not minimise its taxes (where it legally can) it tends to go out of business or get taken over. They have little choice.

    “Our economic model is broken” he says and he is right. Broken by over taxation, over regulation, climate alarmism, a lack of incentives, daft green loon exaggerations & belief systems. This and the benefit, rights & dependency culture he so loves. If Corbyn ever gets in it will be fully smashed to pieces.

    What tiny proportion of the young population have never had sex outside marriage I wonder? Does he really think they we all doing “wrong”?

    Still he cannot be all bad as he lists his hobbies as “most things French and sailing”.

    • Johnny Englander
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Regarding legal tax avoidance, the key word is “legal”. If the government feels sufficiently strongly about the amount of tax that isn’t being collected via any particular mechanism, it falls to the government to make that mechanism illegal – at which point it becomes “wrong”. Making the law is what governments are for. If Justin Welby feels sufficiently strongly about the matter, he’s welcome to lobby on the subject just like any other citizen. I wish him joy of it.

      • Johnny Englander
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Oh – and regarding that sex outside marriage thing that’s still bothering him, apparently teenage pregnancies are now at their lowest rate since the 1960s. Is this because teenagers have been heeding en masse the teachings of the Established Church? Perhaps. Or perhaps it’s because they’re all so busy chatting all hours on Facebook and Twitter that they’re too tired to do anything in bed other than sleep. I know which explanation I’d put my money on.

      • rose
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Tax avoidance is always legal. If it weren’t, it would be called tax evasion.

        I think George Osborne made this canard respectable.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      I certainly think tax avoidance is wrong if you support socialism. There should be scope to pay more tax voluntarily for celebrities of left wing orientation.

    • Norman
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      LL: you may not realize it, but you constantly contradict yourself. You complain about high taxation, a struggling NHS, too much government, ete, etc. Yet your bleak recipe for humanity, when acted out, is the very source of all your woes.
      Moral failure has always been present, but at least conjugal purity was aspired to – as many older married couples still affirm. Lifelong, faithful marriage, between a man and a woman, was the backbone of our society. This has changed in a generation – one of the greatest tragedies of our times. And yet you scoff – shame on you! “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

  6. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    “In the UK we are left with an Established Church that does make forays into domestic politics, with some of its leaders urging their anti Brexit views on anyone who will listen.” ..Listening to the messages coming from our church leaders, one can only feel that they have lost their way…they no longer address morals – they are too interested in being politically correct, while at the same time hiding their own sins, and certainly they do not defend their own faith.
    Why is the church not protesting at the way Christiainity is being pushed around, submerged? – The way that Easter eggs are no longer designated as “EASTER” etc ed makes a mockery of our traditions – yet what does the church say? Nothing! They are too busy trying to be inclusive, and denying their own religion.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      The CofE has just about run its course; perhaps it might have endured if its leaders were not appointed under the Royal prerogative. There are good bishops such as Rt Rev Philip North who could possibly turn the Church away from its path of unrighteousness who will continue to be passed over because they are not prepared to accept the ‘-isms’ invented by Christian-haters to destroy Western Civilisation which the batty Tories and other bishops are all to keen to embrace.

      • rose
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        The leaders are no longer appointed by the Crown. It is all a pretence. James Callaghan bottled out of choosing them and handed the power to the Church and Synod. Guardianistas to a man. All the PM can do now is choose one of two, with the convention being that the first name should be chosen in most circumstances. Your quarrel is with James Callaghan. Before then we had some diversity on the bench.

        • forthurst
          Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          “Beyond these fourteen voting members [of the Crown Appointments Commission], the Prime Minister’s appointments secretary and the Archbishops’ appointments secretary meet with the commission and help supply it with information on possible candidates.” wiki

        • rose
          Posted April 1, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, I remembered it wrong: it was Brown who bottled out and now there isn’t even a short list of two to go to the PM.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    It is also worth noting that the missionary movement was very active beyond Europe, especially in the 19thC and 20thC. This is nowhere more apparent than in the islands of the Pacific where it is not unusual to find that the most substantial buildings are the churches of the often several denominations that sought convert those living there.

    • English Pensioner
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      How long will it be before they start sending missionaries here to covert the heathen and speak out about the abuse of children in a number of Northern towns.

  8. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Yes ,Price Charles summed up the way many feel should be important in the 21st century as he talked about the essence of religion and multi faith.We have to live together , we need to live together and there is not going to be an end to problems until we take the best of human thought , put the myths aside and put past and present acts of killing on another level they should occupy. Murder whether it is cloaked in obsession with religion or war remains murder.People should not be put in a position to defend themselves to deal with the animals who incite terror and furthermore, in the name of religion .This is not godly .The story of Jesus being murdered on the cross fills me with horror.The barbarism of these days should not be worshipped and the fact that we are told that Jesus did not defend himself speaks itself of the need for peace.

    Most modern thinkers do not rely on others to find a moral ground to live on , yet there are so many whose common sense leaves them when the responsibility each holds is projected into what has been said before on this site; group think. It seems fairly obvious that ‘group think’ infiltrates all areas of life, for example football crowds, organised religion and politics,but today with our augmented allowance of freedom we can step back and say ‘ no that’s not right’ and we don’t need to kill to prove it.

    For me Good Friday was exceptional with my 4 grandchildren playing and learning about family life. I am on to my third dishwasher load. How happy I wish all could be.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Is this the same Prince Charles as said we only had 96 months to save world ( in July 08 and that the price of capitalism and consumerism is just too high, and nags everyone to save CO2 while having a personal travel bill of over £1 million?

      • Miss Brandreth-Jones
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        We need to take the essence and not focus on the the paradoxes of life. I admire Charles for his outspoken views , some political , which will break the mould of Elizabeth’s appropriate but conservative, reign . The figurehead she creates is consistent and unambiguous, yet we see Charles as a human figure , subject to fears , failures and a shared vision that he is not ashamed to talk openly about.He has his heritage , just as we all do.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          I shudder to think the damage Charles would do to the Monarchy should he ever become King.
          Totally unsuited.

        • Stred
          Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          The job of King requires neutrality in a democracy otherwise the monarch becomes a politician. If half the people agree with him, the other half will think he is a prat.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            But he isn’t neutral.
            On a range of topics he broadcasts his opinions.
            Our Queen is neutral.

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            Just think what a successful king Edward VII made. No-one expected it.

  9. Mark B
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    In the UK we are left with an Established Church that does make forays into domestic politics . . . .

    To be fair, whilst they are part of the HoL and have a say over our laws and how we are governed, they are entitled to their views.

    If like me, you believe that church and state should not mix, then I am afraid we are going to have to have a rethink about how we are governed.

    In a recent speech, the PM wanted us to know why we voted BREXIT. Thanks for that PM 😉 /sarc . She stated that we voted, not just to leave the EU, which we did but, that we wanted to change the way we were governed. She wanted to created a; Shared Society.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-shared-society-article-by-theresa-may

    A few questions to everyone, including our kind host: Who are the Club de Madrid ? What business do they have involving themselves in the way in which we are governed ?

    I put the above in this post as our kind host mentions about a supposedly external body (the Church) being involved both in BREXIT and, in our political lives. It seems we are happy for shadowy globalist bodies to dictate how we live, much like the church use to do when under Rome, but not those we elect.

    Anyway. Happy Easter for all you Christians, believers of other faiths and non-believers alike. Oh, and a special Happy Easter to all those Pagans whose day it really is.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Indeed the CofE have far less than 1 million people who visit the church each week and yet they force large shops to be shut tomorrow and effectively ban young people from working on a Sunday. What right do the CofE have to boss the other 65 million people around? What does it do to our economy, efficiency and waste to force these expensive assets to close for the day? Why can our youth not learn how to work on Sunday it would do them good.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        “give teenagers a Saturday job to foster work ethic” Says Ester McVey today. Why not a Sunday job.

        One of my companies used to employ teenagers in the cafe and plant nursery but government (and the church) put too many laws and restrictions in the way so they stopped. On Sunday they could absurdly only work at paper round times (early am) and you had to ask their Schools for permission. Which delayed everything and made it inflexible. Especially as in the holidays the schools were shut!

        • Andy
          Posted March 31, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          It would be much better for teenagers to spend their weekends studying and doing social things like sport. Part-time weekend jobs should be a requirement for pensioners – in return for their state pension. At the moment it is money for nothing. You should all work for it.

          • Anonymous
            Posted March 31, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Lots of pensioners working. Driving buses, hospital transport, in garden centres, DIY centres, cafes…

            Having started work aged 14 !

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            Money for nothing…30 years of paying NI each week towards a meagre State pension or sacrificing spending when I was your age to pay into a private pension scheme.
            Have a rethink especially at Easter and show some decency and compassion for others.

          • eeyore
            Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            Andy seeks to be provocative but manages merely to be crass. The state pension, brought in by a compassionate Liberal government a century ago, is not controversial to anyone with the smallest awareness of the misery and suffering that awaited the old and poor in previous days.

            He needs to find a more worthy topic for his undoubted ingenuity.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted April 1, 2018 at 2:16 am | Permalink

            Andy, will you draw your pension if you get to that age? Or will you be fortunate enough to inherit from those wretched pensioners otherwise known as cash cows or parents,? What a sad individual you are. The present generation and those of the future will thankfully never be expected to work the long manual hours many of us did. We earned our pensions, they are not a benefit.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Ah ! So you have heard of the Club de Madrid then 😉 Otherwise why delete the post to them ?

      Naughty, naughty 😉

  10. Sakara Gold
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    These are fine Christian sentiments. Unfortunately, the Church has a savage history of visiting violence on those unfortunate enough to not believe in all the dogma that was flavour of the month in times gone by.

    From the Albigensian Crusade, the extermination of the Cathars, the Inquisition, the persecution of indigenous peoples in the Americas, Australia, Tasmania and elsewhere, the Reformation, the Crusades, the violence against women caused by the Witchfinder General (Mathew Hopkins), the Jewish Holocaust, Islamic extremism, the Troubles in Ireland, millions and millions of people over the centuries have lost their lives over what they believe in. In turn, right across the Muslim world Christians are even today being persecuted for their beliefs. Buddhist nations are persecuting Muslims in their countries….

    The ancient Egyptians are said to have invented the art of inventing religions. This gave those claiming to be in contact with supernatural entities a soft life and power over their believers. Is there a God? Possibly. But I remember being much amused by the fine comedian Dave Allen, who wasn’t sure either. As he used to say at the end of his show “Goodnight, thank you and may your God go with you”

  11. Adam
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Christian Churches favour goodness.
    Policies enable change to better.
    All leaders should express their opinions to act & achieve the best for all.

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Bishops in the HoL, one of the many reasons to get rid of it. They should concentrate on the day job.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Christ’s words can be interpreted to mean what we want them to according to the prevailing zeitgeist. Other religions are more rigid and are growing.

    My own belief is in the Theory of Everything propounded by the Hawkingists and this is the way civilisation should go if it is to continue to be enlightened. It is the one and only truth.

    Alas I do not see free and sunny uplands for our EU loving millennials but a return to life under strict religious fundamentalism.

    It is written (in the demographics.)

    This is the word of Mutti Merkel.

    Happy Easter anyway.

    • Iago
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      For the reasons you have alluded to, in a country where there is no longer freedom of speech, I do not feel happiness but visceral despair.

  14. Derek Henry
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I sincerely hope you all have a fantastic Easter.

    There’s been some fantastic posts by John over the last year and regulars who post on this blog have some great insights. I wish you all the best for the future.

    My own personal view is that many of this countrys problems is down to mainstream economics which is akin to religious fundamentalism. Which is all based on the religious belief that we are still on the gold standard and fixed exchange rates and our brightest minds are still educated this way at our top universities.

    My own economic beliefs are all based on the actual accounting between HM Treasury and the BOE. Which are a world apart from what we are told actually happens.

    Food for thought over Easter.

    If you believe and have faith that interest rate hikes make a currency stronger and fight inflation then when the FED starting hiking you would have…

    Shorted the £ @ 1.2

    Shorted the Euro @ 1.06

    Shorted Gold @ $1020

    Long the Yen @ 1.21

    Your economic religious beliefs would have put you in the poor house. I’ve posted the reason why on the yesterdays post.

    I’ll let you think about that over Easter.

    We need to destroy these economic myths and get on with Brexit otherwise there is no point in it all. If when we are free we are just going to keep on making the same mistakes.

  15. Norman
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    “Mr Blair was strongly advised not to do God as PM.”

    In the public sense, that was good advice. But the real question for all of us is, does God do politics? Whatever men said at Christ’s trial, and whatever they say today, we can be assured the King of the Jews will have the last word (John 18-19; Psalm 2).

    In an evil, untoward world, conflict is unavoidable. Without it, we wouldn’t even have the limited peace and civilization we have had. So, in this time-limited age of grace, one way or another, politicians have to ‘do God’. But double-agents abound, and as ever, they will be wearing sheep’s clothing. They bleat ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace: but ‘by their fruits you will know them’!

  16. Epikouros
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    People who wish to follow and practice a religion and adhere to its dogma have every right to do so and should even be allowed to try by peaceful means to persuade others to adopt their religious beliefs. That applies as much to secular ideologies as it does to religious ones. Unfortunately ideologies are potent beliefs as they all either have in built instructions whereby the founders (those who wrote the ideological texts) explicitly demand that if all else fails to convert unbelievers then force should be employed and all opposition to it be squashed. Alternatively if there is no such instruction then ideologies being faith based(secular ones are no less so even if their founders and adherents would have us believe otherwise) are open to false interpretation and malicious manipulation by those who would use them for their own ends. Marx got one thing right when he wrote “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. Secular ideologies can just as easily replace the word religion.

    For me logic and reason should never have allowed the birth of ideologies religious or secular. However us humans may be sentient and capable of high levels of intelligent thought but nature thoughtlessly and perhaps humorously gave us different capacities to apply our superior intelligence and we do so with a variety of wisdom and the use of common sense as we do with all the other attributes that nature endows us with. Hence we often which is very often make incomprehensible choices which has saddled us with a human environment that is heavily influenced by the irrational and emotional. We generally cope with this situation but frequently we do not and our behaviour deteriorates to a point that it causes considerable suffering.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Should they be allowed to indoctrinate young minds sometimes even at publicly funded schools? Or mutilate their genitals in some religious ceremonies?

  17. duncan
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Nigel Farage is Martin Luther reborn. Both confronted the status quo, turned it on its head and paid the price but their contributions will and still do resonate throughout the ages

    Death and rebirth is the Easter message. The UK died in 1973. How long will we have to wait for its rebirth? With this PM at the helm and the Anglophobe presence cemented hard into the body politic of the UK we could be waiting an eternity

    What is needed is simple. A PM and a party dedicated to an independent, sovereign United Kingdom. At present, we don’t have that

    Where is our salvation?

  18. Derek
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I do not agree with the Church meddling in Politics especially in the democratic decision of the people to Leave the EU. However, I do believe that door was opened for them by the Cameron Government when he/they interfered with a very long established Religious ceremony.

  19. Old Albion
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Religion. Nonsense believed by those brainwashed from birth.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I only came to believe in ‘religion’ properly after I had a religious, mystical experience, aged 17, whilst sketching something in the English countryside.

      – In a flash, something entered me like an electric bolt, filling me with energy and an intense joy, all my anxieties vanished, my rugby injuries disappeared, and the snow outside shone with gold (I really am not making that up!). And I returned to my school, with an extraordinary sense of peace + joy + love (for others). This mystical experience was followed up by others and by beautiful dreams at night.

      And I know it was Christianity, because the more I focused on Christianity, the more these mystical experiences increased.

      Not everyone has mystical experiences like this (Mother Theresa seems to have practically none). BUT this does not make them or me superior or inferior to others. I’m of a mystical disposition. I’m not that practical (and being practical is just as important and blessed as being mystical). But all I can say is that the heavenly / Heaven does exist. God exists. Christ – God – And The Blessed Trinity really does exist. Turned my life around, and things have been like this (with lots of up and downs since) for the last 25 or so years.

      ‘The clouds methought did open up and show riches ready to drop upon me that when I wak’d I cried to dream again’ – William Shakespeare, The Tempest (words that help to evoke the mystical experience I had in an English field all those years ago – the place a sacred spot for me, like Jacob’s Ladder)

      Best wishes / Happy Easter

      • Student
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        If you were born in Pakistan, you probably would have attributed this to Islam.

        If you were born in Israel, you probably would have attributed this to Judaism.

        If you were born in Nepal, you probably would have attributed this to Hinduism.

        If you were born in 500 BC Ancient Greece, you probably would have attributed this to one of the many Greek Gods.

        How fortunate that you were born into a Country that happened to have the ‘right’ religion.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 2, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          The Catholic Church teaches that all those you mention, outside or before the Catholic Church existed, can be saved (we need careful, as Popes and bishops have warned, about a legalistic interpretations of ‘No salvation outside the Church’). Pope Pius IX’ encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore is quite clear about this. But other encyclicals and authoritative teachings about the Church as well.

          The Church also teaches that people will be judged according to what they know (either through formal understanding of the Church teachings and / or how well they responded to their conscience and inklings of the Divine and The Good, whoever, wherever they are in the world, and at any time in history.). Also that Christ’s work on the Cross runs backwards in time, as well, to those before this even, at the Crucifixion isn’t just a historical event, but also something outside spacetime.

          Therefore, much more is expected of say a Catholic brought up in the faith AND who has had lots of love and guidance in general, compared to say a Hindu in the Himalayas AND who also happened to be brought up starved of love etc ..

          Lastly, Catholics (and Christians) have a lot to learn from different religions and philosophies. NOT in terms of doctrine or faith. But in other ways. For example, Taoism (not an expert on) focuses on the paradox often found in wisdom (brilliant!), Buddhists (not an expert on) often talk about crushing the ego (brilliant!) but then there is the danger of crushing the personality as well (bad – ‘personality’ is good. The Persian, Sufi poet, Rumi, talks beautifully about Death being like the Wedding Night (brilliant!). Not just brilliant (and beautiful) but Christian as well as this is the kind of thing Song of Songs, in the Bible, is about.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 2:20 am | Permalink

        Ed, it wasn’t the strong painkillers then?

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 2, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          @Fedupsoutherner,

          It may have been painkillers—or maybe not!

          if painkillers, nothing lost. But if it wasn’t painkillers, and real, then—amazing. Just think of the infinite possibilities that lie around the corner for all of us if only we believed in the possibility of and searched!

          Lastly, does the spiritual exist or not?
          If no spiritual existence, then how is one able to escape the pre-determined nature of natural existence to have free will?
          Without free will, we’re mere robots. If mere robots, what does it matter?
          But surely free will does exist and so the spiritual (also how do you account for the ‘transcendence’ in life – whether it be love between people, or joy, or beauty in Mozart’s music and the in the universe?). And if the spiritual exists, why not God (and a good explanation why we have anything at all, and why we have this extraordinary character of Christ in the Bible)? And if God exists, then anything is possible, including having a mystical experience with snow shining with gold – and much more importantly – the intense feeling (more than a feeling) of peace, joy and love for others.

          Best wishes.

          • Miss Brandreth-Jones
            Posted April 2, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            Your experiences are inspiring yet, they are yours and yours alone and can be attributed to much.I have felt moments of intense happiness and joy, have experienced much serendipity , but reason ( not logic) prevents me from thinking it is a religious or divine experience. I sometimes think that we are guided into experiencing the physical pleasures as an’ all.’ We now talk about love as a sexual experience or rather the desire for a fulfilling sexual experience in terms of gender . For me this is not love ;love is cerebral and emotional and in this way joy and peace ensues.

            I do not like the deprecation of your experiences and if there is a god then surely you have a connection .

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 6, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            @Miss Brandreth-Jones

            ‘Serendipity’ – i think it’s one of the magic words of life. I think so much of the problems of the world are to do with boredom because there is a lack of spontaneity in life. Spontaneity is key to human happiness.

            (And just as we need spontaneity, so we need order as well, but there has to be a healthy balance between the two).

      • Norman
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Dear Ed: ‘Believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15) – not in religion, mystical experiences, the Pope, or even ‘Christianity’. A saving faith comes in trusting in Christ alone. That is what the Bible says, and it is also my experience. God Bless.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          @Norman,

          ‘not in religion, mystical experiences, the Pope, or even ‘Christianity’’

          – It was the Catholic Church that gave us the Bible!

          The first Christians were all Catholics (just look at the lives of the first Christians and how they worshipped).

          For 2,000 the Catholic Church has taught with clarity and consistency. Yes, lots of unscrupulous-behaving individuals, even Popes, but no Pope has ever deviated from official Church teaching. That’s an incredible record, considering there are over 33,000 different Protestant denominations, with different (often very different) teachings on faith + doctrine.

          Not forgetting, of course, how the Catholic Church the established the foundations and built half the house of what is England today – Parliament, Monarchy, Judiciary, Guilds, Grammar schools, Oxford, Cambridge etc .. And Patriotism!

          Lastly, the Catholic Church is still fighting the battle on traditional values – really important to this country – values such as the importance of traditional marriage, with a Mum and a Dad.

          God Bless,

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 6, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            The Catholic Church is focused on the micro and the macro and how it (individuals and life and civilization in general – including patriotism and England) all fits together like a wonderful symphony / painting / novel.

      • Stred
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Was the Rugby injury a bang on the head.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 2, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          Perhaps the world would be much better if we all took up rugby!

  20. English Pensioner
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid that those at the top of Church of England are attempting to get more political power and become politically correct at the expense of spreading the Gospel.
    Too often are our Bishops and Archbishops willing to get involved in political issues, particularly now we have an Archbishop of Canterbury who was once in big business.
    Perhaps they yearn for a modern day version of the 16th century Church Militant with a future Archbishop acting as Cardinal Richelieu once did in France!

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The CofE gave up its belief in eternal damnation and Hell.

      Thereafter it lost its USP.

      So empty pews. No-one wants to buy ‘good news’ when there’s no bad news.

      In erasing one part of the story because it is too ridiculous and unfashionable the CofE has admitted that everything it purports to stand for is bunk.

  21. jack Snell
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Years back the authorities in Buenos Aires decided to have a memorial service for the ‘disappeared’- those thousands that disappeared during the time the right wing junta army were in control. When the day came- the cathedral was full of dignataries politicians diplomats ambassadorial etc etc who filled one side of the church. On the other side was a complete array of the armed services, generals admirals etc etc but across the street behind the police barriers, still protesting, were the ‘mothers of the disappeared’

  22. The Truth of Easter
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Easter is the time to steal you child’s chocolates from his Easter eggs whilst he is asleep and take his side while you both blame it on one of his greedy selfish siblings.

  23. Ron Forrest
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Where are the brave MPs who will introduce members’ bills to abolish restrictions on Sunday trading, bishops in the House of Lords, privileges for ‘faith’ schools?

  24. Newmania
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Its rather mean of John Redwood to have a snipe at Christianity over Easter. It is, of course,true , that following the conversion of Constantine, strife did not end in the civilised world. As most people were Christians , one can, if you wish, blame Christianity.
    This seems banal to me. It was the spiritual insight that all men were god`s children that led to the abolition of slavery, science was, at the time, rather on the other side. In fact so powerful was the racial scientific theory of the day that slavery was nearly brought back.
    Christianity in the ancient world changed attitudes to having sex with children, disposing of unwanted infants and the position of women ,I`m sure we would agree , for the better . When the rational age collided with Christian Russia it left lost people searching for meaning .The subsequent bloodbath of Soviet rationalism is not, presumably, one Mr Redwood would recommend as an exemplar.
    The first episode of the original Civilisation Series ( an anathema , no doubt to the Barbarian Brexit mob) is called” By The Skin of Our Teeth “. It tells a heroic tale in which classical learning and literacy itself was kept alive during the long misery of the dark ages , by Christian Monks, on the edges of the mayhem. I assume Mr Redwood regard the fall of Rome as a good thing .Those distant people who endured the centuries of murderous anarchy disease and stunted lives would not agree

    Europe and Christendom occupy much the same geographical space which may account for this ungenerous post . It is a good time to see the good in others and with that in mind I note the disinterest in orphan UKIP voters in supporting a Party who will say any old thing rather thrilling . Their principles may be wrong but they do , at least have consistent principles. We can , in some sense both agree to dislike the empty self serving apple shiners who have excluded them entirely

  25. Ed Mahony
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    God Bless Mr Redwood (and the Queen, our government and Parliament, and all those in authority).

  26. Student
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I do not agree that Jesus is a good teacher for non-believers, or anybody else for that matter. He believed and taught people about the concept of hell; a dimension of eternal punishment for those of opposing views, cultures, beliefs or values to his. It is hardly surprising that such teachings resonated violence through the centuries.

    Thankfully the church has lost much of its power, but we have seen what it is capable of with the Inquisition, the support of slavery, the ‘support-by-silence’ of Nazi Germany, the holding back of scientific discoveries which opposed the doctrines of the bible and much more. Although Christianity has since fallen from the height of its danger to humanity, we continue today to see elsewhere in the World what religion is capable of.

    I do not think that the church or any other religion should be voicing its opinion on public affairs, since it is an obvious attempt to use its ‘elevated’ position, which relies solely on the continued dogmatic belief by people who happen to have been born into certain Christian families, to continue to have influence on the World with their self-righteous views.

    • Norman
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, Student, but you’re way off beam.
      First, you confuse the real with the false.
      Then, like so many, you fail to understand there’s such a thing as eternal justice – if you’d suffered under some of the horrors of the past, or even the present, you might understand better – and perhaps come to see the healing power of pleading for mercy, even for your enemies.
      Neither do you recognize the impact of the Gospel on people who’d never heard it before (indeed, out of every tribe and nation), or those who responded to it later in life, as I did (and as you yourself may, one day).
      Finally, whilst you won’t hear this on the biased MSM, nor I doubt within the educational establishment, do not delude yourself that ‘Science’ has somehow trumped faith in God. I know many scientists who are Christians (as biblically defined) – PhDs and Professors in all fields of study, including nuclear physics. But of course, none of this is p/c – such are the days we are now in.
      But if such inhibitions cow us into silence even at Easter/Passover time – when we have such good news to proclaim, namely, that ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself’, and that therefore, subject to repentance and faith in His finished work on the cross, the worst of sinners can be completely forgiven for all eternity and given a new life – what is wrong with us??? Thank God we still have some freedom of speech! 🙂

  27. mancunius
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    The dangers of an attachment to riches are emphasised by Christ in the NT, not their redistribution by a socialist state – an imaginary ‘Christian principle’ preached by the largely leftwing entryist clergy of our day. Most practising Christians are heartily sick of this mawkish, socialist nonsense, which is a corruption of the teachings of the New Testament.
    It shouldn’t be forgotten that tomorrow’s bishops are chosen and taught by today’s, who specialise in excluding any clergy who are not of their ilk. The current Pope has quite deliberately appointed many modernists to the electoral college of cardinals, to ensure a successor in his own image and likeness. While Williams & Welby ably assisted by the CofE’s bench of bishops appear to have driven out all commonsense traditionalists, and replaced them with yes-women.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 2, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Well said!

      Btw, just to be clear, Christianity does NOT say wealth is evil (nor sex or power). In fact, this is a heresy! But that attachment to wealth is wrong. Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol is a great modern parable for the dangers of attachment to wealth. But Dickens certainly doesn’t condemn wealth or its acquisition (exact same for the Catholic Church).

      And that Marxism certainly goes against Catholicism (Popes have been very clear about this). However, the Church is obviously practical about this and says we must have a decent safety net for the vulnerable (as most decent people would agree). And that attachment to wealth is wrong (we want must earn money fairly through hard work, be generous with it, and never put money before God).

      Regarding the current Pope, the Catholic Church has always battled between those on the Conservative (/ Traditional) side and those on The Progressive (/ Liberal) side. But regarding faith + doctrine, the Catholic Church is clear and absolute on this, and no Pope in 2000 years has ever deviated from traditional belief, at least from an authoritative and in an official capacity. And although faith + doctrine has developed through the ages, it has never developed at the cost of contradicting faith + doctrine that preceded it.

  28. Yorkie
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic
    “EDDIE IZZARD, newly appointed to Labour’s NEC, has been suggested to lead a drive to win back Labour’s traditional voters in the North.”

    So, when Mrs May gets re-elected as PM in the next General Election will she still be a stickler for the viral proliferation of Grammar Schools? Not that I am biased one way or another.

  29. Ed Mahony
    Posted April 2, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    One of the main reasons people don’t believe in God is because they don’t believe God’s Mercy is infinite. But it is.

    Charles Dickens brilliantly depicts divine mercy in A Christmas Carol and what happens when people avail of it. A Christmas Carol is based on The Prodigal Son.

    And in Mozart’s brilliant ‘The Countess Forgives her Husband’ we can not only hear divine, heavenly music, but God actually singing about His forgiveness/mercy through Mozart’s music / accompanying music.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 2, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      ‘because they don’t believe God’s Mercy is infinite. But it is’ – but they have to seek it and accept it willingly and gladly for God’s forgiveness to be efficacious.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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