Thursday, August 20, 2009
It seems that following the demise of the Pro-Life Party as a political party, a new party was formed which would be specifically Catholic. The Pro-Life Party never won any seats but it got some good publicity for life issues at election times, and won a battle with the BBC over an election broadcast. To have the BBC accused of exercising 'censorship' in a court ruling was an important acheivment.
This new party, 'Resurgence', has been going since 2004; the fact that it's only now that a couple of blogs have put a notice about it is surprising. Their documents are a strange mixture of the sensible, the slightly obsessive and the plain barmy. In the last category is the suggestion that they will ban party whips in the House of Commons. First, how? Second, why? In the places where party discipline is weak the efforts of politicians to endear themselves to their voters lead not to high principles, but to pandering to special interests. Just look at the USA. And a party which does not aspire to exercise control over what its MPs do doesn't deserve anyone's vote.
Small parties can serve a useful purpose. They can draw attention to neglected issues; they can educate the public and build networks; they can act as think tanks and lobby groups. Resurgance needs to think about what it can acheive, in the short and medium term, and what it shouldn't be bothering about. Detailed and unimaginative plans for vehicle tax reform are beside the point. Giving substance to Catholic social teaching and the pro-life agenda, setting them in the context of the current legislative situation, and preparing good publicity materials on them would actually be useful. The people currently in this field are nearly all either Catholics pretending not to be (the pro-life groups, some conservative thinktanks) or non-Catholics pretending to be Catholics (groups like the dissident 'justice and peace' brigade listed on this blog). How about some real Catholics who admit they are Catholics?
And how about some public events, guys?
Their list of links exposes the narrowness of their network. They clearly haven't thought at all about the Catholic organisations who might be sympathetic to their cause. Instead they link to the non-Catholic extremist pro-life group UK Life League with its homepage covered in grisly pictures of dead babies (for a critique, see here). What does that say about Resurgence?
Thanks, Paul Kennedy, General Secretary, but you'll have to try again.
Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael
Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen