Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Message

In spite of the frantic last minute shopping, the Christmas parties and much else besides, most of us are at least vaguely aware that there is a deeper religious significance to Christmas.

Many figures in positions of authority seem rather troubled by this. The Government play down Christmas sending out cards wishing people “seasons greetings.” Thousands of pounds are spent on government celebrations of Divali or Eid but nothing on Christmas.

Where government leads Councils often follow. Some discourage Nativity plays in the schools in case adherents of other religions are “offended” or rename Christmas “winterval.”

It is not just the politicians. Last month British Airways were put on the spot when it was revealed that they had suspended a Christian employee for wearing a small crucifix. Meanwhile various theatres were happy to mock Christian beliefs by holding performances of “Jerry Springer – the opera” even though we all know that not one would have dared showing a play mocking other religions in the same way.

We shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that the pressure to play down references to Christianity comes from other religious groups. Indeed some Muslims have been more vocal in defending the right of Christians to celebrate their faith than some leading churchmen. Instead it is the British establishment in all its various forms which is behind the attacks on the religion which, like it or not, has shaped this country and which still exerts a positive influence on those brought up here – whether Christian or not.

I have decided to make a stand. As a regular Church goer I do not seek to impose my beliefs on anyone else but I am not going to hide them away either. My new years resolution is simple it is to do more to stand up for my own religion.

On that note may I begin by wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

High level talks with leaders of UK and Hungary !

It’s a nice headline but the truth is a little more mundane. With a Hungarian wife and a knowledge of the language I was quickly made vice-president of the Anglo-Hungarian Parliamentary group and was nominated to stand in the line- up to greet the Ferenc Gyurcsány PM of Hungary on his recent visit to Westminster. “It would impress my mother-in-law if I could have my photo taken with him” I said “help yourself he won’t mind at all” I was told. To my surprise he walked into the room with our very own Tony Blair. Not to be put off I launched into a Hungarian greeting then, in English, turned to the small group and said that I was just going to have quick photograph with the “Prime Minister.” Everyone assumed I meant Mr Blair who looked a bit surprise when I headed for Ferenc. He in turn diplomatically insisted that we all pose together. Thus I have a wonderful photo with no real story to attach to it.

However I was not alone in the line-up for there is one other Parliamentarian who can speak Hungarian - Baron Anderson of Swansea otherwise known as Donald Anderson - Labour MP for Monmouth between 1966and 1970. What are the chances of the only two Hungarian speakers in the Houses of Parliament having both represented the same constituency?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Missing in action:

Defence Minister Derek Twigg has admitted that a dozen weapons have been stolen during the last year including six 5.5m rifles which are the standard issue automatic weapons used by most British troops. This is more than a little worrying especially as over 200 rounds of ammunition have also been purloined. I wonder if Mr Twigg would now care to tell us what he intends to do about it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A world gone mad

For those who still feel that the British establishment are not completely bonkers here is the story of a convicted child rapist from Somalia who can expect up to £50,000 as "compensation" because he was "wrongly" held in prison while the authorities tried (and failed) to deport him.

For once words fail me.