Sunday, 31 January 2010

Does Labour "do God"?

The Parliamentary candidate for my constituency is Nancy Platt. The contact page on Nancy Platt's website states: "Nancy is keen to hear from you. Whether you need help with a campaign or a local problem, or want to know more about her views on policy or other issues, don't hesitate to get in touch. Nancy or one of the team will get back to you as quickly as possibly."

As I am something of a floating voter I was anxious to get her views on a subject I feel strongly about, namely, the intrusion of religious influences into Government policy-making and the  continuing presence of Bishops in the House of Lords. I therefore wrote to Nancy and to the other main parties in Brighton;  Greens,  Conservatives and Liberal Democrats,  asking for their comments.

My queries were first sent via the internet, in Nancy's case via her website.  I had prompt responses from the Greens, Lib Dems and Conservatives but nothing from Labour. Thinking there might be some fault with Nancy's website I wrote a letter and posted it on  14 January. Here it is:-

"As I haven’t received a response to my query through your website of several days ago I am repeating it here (as best I can remember).
As a member of the local Fabians and a supporter of the National Secular Society I was disappointed to read Gordon Brown’s recent remark on the subject of religion in politics. He said:-
“I don’t subscribe to the view that religion should somehow be tolerated but not encouraged in public life, that you can somehow ask people to leave their faith at the door when they enter a town hall or a Commons chamber.”
This is exactly the view I DO subscribe to, and that people entering public life should expect to declare the extent of their religious convictions as they do their financial interests.
I am also against the recent appointment by John Denham of 13 so-called "faith advisors". What are they qualified to advise on except their religious dogmas?
I am strongly of the opinion that Government policy should be based on rationality, logic and scientific advice, that the bishops should be removed from the Lords and religion restricted to the private sphere.
I should be interested to hear your views. Please feel free to email."
I am still awaiting a reply . . . . . .

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