Tuesday, April 06, 2010

PSHE Clause Scrapped!

In the first bit of horse trading in the lead up to the Gemeral Election, the Government have agreed to delete their clauses on Personal, Social Health and Economic education (PSHE) contained in their Children, Schools and Families Bill.

see John Smeaton
I can't help thinking that whilst we on the blogosphere expressed anxiety about this, it was an issue that our bishops were remarkably cool about. One can only surmise that they knew this would happen, which most probably says a lot for their political acumen, yet unfortunately it will leave the Church open to charges by her critics that strings have been pulled behind the scenes.

18 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

Well, generally you want to stay out of any room they are making sausage in.

Red Maria said...

Maybe it's time for some well-remunerated good-for-nothing Church bureaucrats to be scrapped too. Or put on extended gardening leave or something.

Great picture of La Stannard sandwiched between two top-drawer people.

I reckon I could do that kinda thing too: go to conferences, make platitude-filled speeches, give evidence to Commons Select Committees and like, mingle with the people who matter.

AND I'd throw in some W-O-R-K as well. Bargain or what?

Terry said...

I wonder if our bishops had made some sort of arrangment with the Conservatives, since they were the ones who stood firm against this, in return for a Catholic endorsement for the elections? Hmm.

Dominic Mary said...

The Bishops couldn't know this would happen; only guess (and pray) - even seasoned Whitehall watchers weren't clear whether the Government would give way on this.

However, it has : which is what matters, so Deo Gratias !

Lucy said...

Wonderful news, thanks be to God - wonder what will happen about the disgusting plans for home educated children?

nickbris said...

I think the whole thing from start to finish was just a "fishing expedition"to see how far these idiots who dreamt it up could go and to test the strength of Catholics.

santoeusebio said...

So it seems that the Conservatives are a better bet than the hierarchy in protecting our children from corruption.

So where do we go from here? How can we make the hierarchy understand that we, the laity, are fed up with hearing about past failures over pedophilia but much more concerned about this issue of wholesale corruption of the young. If either Labour or the Libdems gain power I suspect that we will see these provisions back again. What will be the hierarchy's stance then?

As for their having "political acumen" pull the other one. It is prayer what did it.

Nicolas Bellord

B flat said...

Glory to God!

Prayer, and the efforts of vigilant (blogging) priests, who publicised the dangers did this! They mobilised the laity, the Church. This the Bishops' Conference and the CES definitely did NOT do, but only made complacent, reassuring noises. Next week, the bishops have ample opportunity to review their pastoral strategy together.

Our Lord's words on the Good Shepherd make it clear that the Good Shepherd LEADS his sheep, who know His voice.

Red Maria said...

Terry said,

"I wonder if our bishops had made some sort of arrangment with the Conservatives, since they were the ones who stood firm against this, in return for a Catholic endorsement for the elections? Hmm."

And Santoeusebio added,

"So it seems that the Conservatives are a better bet than the hierarchy in protecting our children from corruption."

Both are clearly wrong. First I very much doubt that the bishops cut a deal with the Tories. To suggest such a thing assumes a) a level of political acumen on the part of the bishops which I can tell you just isn't there and b) that deals were there to be made, which a glance at the government's current parliamentary majority will tell you are not there.

Santoeusebio's faith in the Tories as the bulwark of Christian values is not supported by the evidence. He may care to recall that it was Thatcher's government which introduced confidential contraception for under 16s and successfully fought Gillick in the courts.
Very much more recently, in 2007 in fact, Cameron backed the Sexual Orientation Regulations which have forced the closure of Catholic adoption agencies.

Conservative governments will not halt the advance of pro choice policies still less implement overtly pro life ones. They are not minded to do so, there isn't sufficient political pressure on them from below to do so, it aint gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Red Maria, I would say that in some aspects of policy there is a cultural consensus between the leaderships of all the main parties. Should there be a Tory administration, I am sure there will be policy announcements that offend catholic sensibilities. However, any government containing the Jacobins Harman and Balls is emphatically not going to be better for us. I cannot imagine even DCam entertaining any enthusiasm for, say, the equalities bill. Democratic politics is generally a choice of the least worst option. Tory, this time.
Giles.

Independent said...

It was scrapped because of Conservative opposition, the Labour Members of Parliament who had any religious allegiance kept very silent. In the House of Commons few MPs appear to have any religion which has political consequences , and, with the exception of Frank Feild ,they are Conservatives. Even members of Opus Dei appear to accept the party line if they are Labour.

Confidentail contraception for the under 16's was in practice in the 1970's when David Owen was Minister of Health in the Labour Government. In the 1980's it was the Court of Appeal, principally Lord Scarman, which negated the effect of the concept of age of consent. It was not Mrs Thatcher that Mrs Gillick had to contend with but the independent judiciary of Britian. If I remember correctly ,the Cardinal Archbishop was remarkably silent at the time as were the MPs among his flock.

santoeusebio said...

I agree with Red Maria that the position of the Conservatives is somewhat ambiguous if not ambidextrous. However my MP, Nicholas Soames, did tell me that in the view of the Conservatives sex education was something for the school and parents to decide upon. Further I would hope that the offending clauses really have been deleted and, if so, this is due to Conservative pressure not to any other party. So on the whole the Conservatives do seem to be the least of several evils.

However there is still cause for concern e.g. Cameron's flirtation with the pink vote. The roots of the present financial crisis do lie with the Financial Services Act 1986 which let usury and gambling rip. But to my astonishment at least, Gordon Brown adopted these extreme Capitalist measures with great enthusiasm boasting as recently as 2005 of light touch regulation which allowed every type of crookery including some by Gordon himself.

As for our Hierarchy they accepted the Sexual Orientation Regulations without a murmur and have responded disgracefully to the present Bill. I just find it extraordinary that the Conservatives have proved more reliable than our hierarchy on this particular issue.

Nicolas Bellord

Richard said...

Let us pray that this news is correct, and thank God if it is.

But then let's think about how this victory was achieved.

The Parliamentary "wash-up" happens because, although Labour has a large majority, it no longer has enough time to force everything through before Parliament is dissolved. Therefore the relatively uncontentious things will be agreed by all sides and rushed through, but anything contentious will be dropped because it risks taking up too much time in the Chamber and so not leaving enough time to get the agreed stuff through.

So how do you get something killed off in the wash-up? You make it very clear that it is highly contentious. The more trouble it's likely to cause, the more likely it is to be dropped.

So, which approach was wiser in these circumstances? The Bishops' softly-softly or the bloggers taking to the barricades?

mum6kids said...

Father! We WON! The clauses on forced sex ed and the anti-home ed bits are gone.
Balls has written a long whine to Michael Gove and has threatened to bring the whole sorry mess back as soon as he can.
But just for now we can relax and enjoy the freedom.

Perhaps we can see the CES washed up too one day.

Red Maria said...

Not so fast, Mum6Kids!

Twasn't we wot won it, I'm afraid. It was that the bill was timed out. We were saved not by the Bishops, or by a blogger campaign against the contentious clauses but by the bell.

Sure the bill's compulsory sex "education" clause conflicted with that strain of libertarianism in the Tory tradition. I should imagine that the Furediite libertarians at Spiked Magazine (formerly the Revolutionary Communist Party) would also have taken issue with it. Come to think of it there are probably a number of Labour MPs who would also have had difficulty with it. Not that this potentially broad-based opposition was organised into a coherent fighting bloc against it.

The SPUC campaign was ok but came too late to have made a difference in a normal parliamentary term. It was also far too narrowly focused in that it concentrated its message on a few SPUC supporters and orthodox Catholics.

The message wasn't out in the press, it wasn't part of the background noise in the media, whereas the case for sex "education" always is.

This time we were lucky. But don't assume it was anything other than that.

mum6kids said...

Red Maria- I know, it was just a battle and we got lucky. I know this isn't over and the fight will undoubtedly start up again in the near future- in fact Michael Gove hinted that the Tories wouldn't leave home education alone, let alone waiting for another jack-booted-Labour Government.
But just for today we can celebrate.
Just for now I can leave off blogging about the stupid Bill and writing letters, and signing petition and fighting for my children.
Today I can look at the Blue Fairy Book and read a story.
Just for today.
God bless x

Anonymous said...

The Good Counsel Network (a Catholic Pro life organization) asked its supporters to pray and fast that this legislation would not be passed. I'm sure that helped. (Declaration of interest: I am involved with the Good Counsel Network.)

Rita

Red Maria said...

A jack-booted Labour government?

That's wrong on two counts, Mum6Kids.

First it isn't a Labour government but a New Labour one. There is an important difference between the two, starting with Clause 4, Part IV.

Secondly even allowing for humorous license, jackboots is putting it a bit strongly. Like it or not, the New Labour governments were democratically elected and had clear mandates for their political programmes. Yes, in later years they made serious assaults on conscience rights but we haven't just seen these in the UK. They are part of an international political current. New Labour was the vehicle, not the thing itself.

The fact that secularists got hold of that vehicle is a testament to their political nous and industriousness, which contrasts with our chickens-chasing-heads incompetance and sloth.