BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
I read with stupefaction last week that a new organisation is being launched by a group of Corbyn’s Labour MPs – called Catholics for Labour. Some fellow called Mike Kane, who is apparently the shadow schools minister and an MP, will be the organiser of the group which will be formally established at Labour’s party conference later this month.
So, why the need for Catholics for Labour?
Labour’s attraction for Catholic voters has deteriorated in recent years – in Scotland, Labour once claimed 80% of the Catholic vote, but this has more than halved, with the SNP pinching Catholic votes. Across Britain, a 40%-point gap between support for Labour and the Conservatives in the 1990s has withered to a two-percentage point lead for Labour among Catholics voting at the last election.
In spite of historical links with Irish Catholic immigrants both in England and Scotland, Labour is the only one of the major parties never to have had a Catholic leader. In recent times, the Conservatives have been led by Iain Duncan-Smith, a committed Catholic; likewise, the Liberal Democrats were led by Charles Kennedy. Former Labour PM Tony Blair only switched to Catholicism after he left office.
Why am I stupefied?
Frankly, I am shocked that intelligent Catholics would ever consider voting Labour. Pope Francis may well be a Marxist but he’s a mere blip – like Marxist Corbyn in Labour’s comparatively brief history – in a long line of mainstreamers.
Firstly, why would a Catholic resort to covetousness when the Bible is clear on the subject?
Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
A Labour Party that eternally sees the Government and ever-increasing taxes as the solutions to all problems, cultivating a hatred of the rich in Britain, is as far from catholic teaching as it’s possible to be. When the Tory conference starts watch Momentum activists spit and hurl eggs at “Tory Scum”. Look how at the recent McStrike, Labour activists photographed McDonald’s workers’ Mercedes and Audis. Today’s Labour is covetous under the pretence of building a “society”. Happy to go for lunch as long as someone else pays.
Indeed, Ephesians 4:28 “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
Interesting use of the word “labour” there. (With so many things coming back in style, perhaps morals and intelligence will become a trend again, particularly on the red side of Westminster?)
Secondly, Free will is a constant element of Christ’s teaching. Not the coercion associated with redistribution, Labour Big Government and property theft. Catholic teaching is clear on this point too and draws on biblical reference to there being human free will, not coercion:
James 1:13-16 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.”
Thirdly, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell wants – and he has often repeated his desire for – violent uprising against the elected British Government.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour.”
As for violence…
2264 (Catechism of the Catholic Church) “If a man in self-defence uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defence will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defence to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.”
The Labour Party is proactively pro-abortion, of course. It cheerleads it.
Finally, Christ never called for the state to use its power to redistribute wealth. Yet that is what Labour is all about. Labour has given up on the idea of philanthrocapitalism and seeks to force hard-working Brits into giving to many who don’t lift a finger. What should good Catholics believe about idleness?
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
As Lawrence Reed pointed out in his essay “Was Jesus a Socialist?” Christ promoted choice, charity, generosity, kindness, personal responsibility, and voluntary association – things that are irreconcilable with coercively-financed redistribution schemes.
So, was Jesus a Tory? Would he have voted UKIP?
No. He simply suggested “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”. At his trial before Pontius Pilate, Jesus was accused of promoting resistance to Caesar’s tax.
It’s time for Catholics – particularly those of Irish descent – to no longer be fooled by the Unionist part of the Conservative Party name. Theresa May has misused the term herself recently. The history of the word unionist in relation to the Conservative Party was entirely due to political happenstance – a political faction from the Liberal Party which happened to oppose home rule for Ireland and happened to ally with the Conservatives. Not – as Labour have promoted it – a dislike of Catholics.
Those Irish Catholic families in Britain and particularly in Scotland should see through gimmicks like Catholics for Labour and similarly dismiss Catholic seduction from the SNP.
Instead, they should ask themselves this simple question:
Do I believe that hard work is the way forward or do I believe that I should work less and steal more from others whose success I covet, who already support the downtrodden through private charity and government services?
If the latter, vote Labour and explain your decisions later on the Day of Judgement. If the former, you will certainly not be voting for the tax-hiking Labour, SNP or what remains of the Lib Dems – ever again.