When “My Enemy’s Enemy” doesn’t apply

June 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm (abortion, Catholicism, Feminism, insanity, labour party, voltairespriest)

PhotobucketAs you all know, this blog is not supportive of the established Churches (nor indeed of most religious institutions). Indeed, that is one of the few points where I would assume Jim, Tami and myself to be unanimous. However it’s equally the case that none of us has ever simply endorsed the notion that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. Ergo, I simply cannot help but link to a post which I noticed earlier today, by one of my own sparring partners on the abortion issue, Red Maria.

She appears to have acquired from one source or another (whether over wine at a bar or at Communion I couldn’t say) a proposal from the office of Mary Honeyball MEP, a member of the European Parliament Women’s Right’s Committee, for an opinion piece on the Catholic Church’s role in UK politics. It was sent to the editors of “prominent political publications”. It is, quite simply, one of the most astounding pieces of conspiracist paranoia that I’ve seen from a mainstream politician in all my time as an afficionado of these things. Have a look at Maria’s post and judge for yourselves.

Perhaps my favourite line (in the sense of that delicious gut wrench you got whilst watching a murder scene at a horror movie when you were a kid) is this:

Analyse this grip that the Catholic Church has on Parliament, media and public sphere and blocks to mounting a counter offense
Eg. Church has massive army dedicated volunteers who will blog, amend top google searches for abortion to only pro-life sites by their nature hummanists/non-religious people not as co-ordinated or spurred on to act.

Still don’t get why Honeyball’s article is so bad? OK, replace “Catholic Church” with “Jews” or “Muslims”. Feeling the bile rising now, in that vomit-belch way? You betcha, baby.

I’ll never support the stances of Catholic MPs who vote for laws which force the entire country in the direction of adhering to their own personal belief systems. But then I’d take the same attitude towards anyone of any religion, because I don’t believe in religious control of the state. That having been said, I also believe in freedom of religious belief and practice under secular law, and the notion of a Catholic conspiracy is as offensive as it is ludicrous.

Mary Honeyball MEP, please accept the Shiraz Socialist Order of the Tinfoil Hat. Congratulations!


  1. Renegade Eye said,

    Abortion foes are best fought, on a secular basis.

  2. Andrew Coates said,

    For someone who whinges about an anti-Catholic conspiracy why does ‘Red Maria’ hide behind a conspiritorial nom-de-guerre? Everyone who cares knows her real name. And her unrelenting obsession with abortion.

    In any case I am surprised she has not got a job with the latest arm-growth of the Catholic Octopus, Blair’s Faith Foundation. That has the modest ambition of uniting all the world’s religions. Surely a task well suited to someone of her talents.

  3. modernityblog said,

    nom-de-réseau? surely?

    I support her desire for anonymity, and as a Cardinal of the Holy See, I too must keep my identity secret! oh damn that gave the game away, I am off to whip myself as punishment 😦

  4. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Yes indeed children, but presumably you can both see that the media isn’t actually “in the grip” of the sinister Holy See, as Honeyball appears to believe?

  5. modernity said,


    never thought it was, sounds like the type of guff you get from loony Presbyterians in the six counties

  6. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Aye. Seems like Honeyball’s a wee bit bonkers, so it does. 😉

  7. Red Maria said,

    ‘Twould seem she is not the only one.
    It’s fitting that a post about one spite-ridden dame’s paranoid fantasies attracts a comment from an equally unattractive character; Andrew Coates. Anyone familiar with his oeuvre knows of his unremitting obsession with Moslems, particularly female Moslems, even more particularly female Moslems who wear veils, a practice he deems so objectionable that he thinks it should be banned. I think he justified this on the grounds that veil-wearing Moslem women would treat him differently, or he feared that they would treat him differently or something. It was all rather incoherent.
    His typically wierd contribution on this thread provides supporting evidence for the case that bigotry coupled with malice – a particularly toxic brew – is character-destroying and, perhaps worse for a man who considers himself a true heir of the Enlightenment, brain-rotting.
    The poor old fool spectacularly misses the point – it wasn’t me wingeing about a conspiracy but Mary Venomball. She thinks a cabal of sinister Catholics who include Conor McGinn and Paul Donovan control the press and cast spells on ordinary people. Likewise Andrew Coates believes British politics is in the grip of the Catholic octopus whose slimy tentacles he sees reaching out in all sorts of unlikely places.
    I think all good honest secularists should be very reassured that a man of Coates’ obvious abilities is at hand to see off this threat. He is both incorruptible and sane, very, very sane.

  8. Andrew Coates said,


    ‘Red Maria’ has obviously learnt a lot from her Bob Pitt Communication Skills Workships, sponsered weekly by the GLA until recent, er, events cut these short. A few cups of calming Sage tea and she is ready to respond on the Web in defence of the Holy See.

    Armed with these essential tools she has rumbled the true programme of Militant Secularism as it plots to overthrow, crush, and cut into calameri, L’Infame and its tentacling tentacles.

    1) The Age of Reason to be proclaimed: all religions banned. Particular attention will be played to dismantling the Catholic Church which bears responsbility for New Labour, Global Warming and the rising price of a pint of Abbot’s Ale (a give away that latter one!).

    2) Ban on wimples, hair-shirts, prayer beads, and the Tablet.

    3) Catholics to have to swear allegiance to a New Secular Republic: recusants to be driven back to Priest holes.

    4) Contraceptives to be available in all, and we mean *all* , Primary Schools.

    5) Jesuits to be placed on same list of criminal terrorist organisations as Al-Qaeda.

  9. entdinglichung said,

    is Titus Oates still alive?

  10. Red Maria said,

    Yes, he – Titus Coates – is still hanging on in there. A lonely, spiteful old codger living in East Anglia still recycling the same old jokes which never really work anyway because he gets all his references hopelessly mixed up and once you’ve heard one you’ve heard them all.
    1. Exaggerate for comic effect
    2. reference to item of religious dress worn by women, usually burka sometimes veil, suggest wanting to remove it, by force if necessary.
    3. Fantasy section: drop bombs on Mecca, hoist red flag from St Peters, rape nuns etc etc
    4. Repeat 1.
    5. Mention any of the following: The Vaults, pint of Adnams, old mate beloved of all progressive humanity living down the road who he was speaking to in The Vaults yesterday over a pint of Adnams.

    Sidesplitting stuff. Gambetta wept.

  11. Andrew Coates said,

    It has been suggested ‘Red Maria’ , by an old mate, well-liked by the international proletariat, down the Vaults this afternoon, over a jug of Pims No 1, that you form a bloc with Ian Donovan. Called the ‘Wits’ .Your first outing will be a new series of sketches in Little England.

  12. Andrew Coates said,

    Forgot to mention that I too now support the use of a psuedonymn in some cases. In this one it’s essential to avoid mass panic in Harrod’s Food Department and Harvey Nic’s should they learn ‘Red’ Maria’s true identity.

  13. Red Maria said,

    Oh dear! How embarrassingly weak, parochial and mean-spirited. Spite makes for very bad humour, Monsieur Coates.

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