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From: Church & State: Articles
Date: July, 2019
By: Editorial

A Culture Of Rights?

The British Labour Party, which has never contested Elections in the Six County region of the British state, has carried a motion in Parliament requiring the Government to extend ‘mainland’ legislation on Abortion and homosexual marriage to the Six Counties, but it remains opposed to contesting Elections in the Six Counties. It stands therefore for Government without Representation, breaking a fundamental principle of the British Constitution. (However, Westminster does not propose to impose an Irish Language Act, though it has been the subject of a previous agreement, and also remains a demand in the current round of negotiations over the restoration of Stormont.)

British Governments have always had the right to over-ride the Devolution which they imposed on the Six Counties, and to legislate directly on matters which they chose to devolve, but they never did so during all the Stormont years, when much more serious issues were at stake than is now the case—issues which led to a War.

It is now exactly a hundred years since the proposal was first made to enact Partition by imposing a system of devolved Government on the Six Counties. It was made in the Government of Ireland Bill, published late in 1919. That proposal was opposed by the Ulster Unionist leader, Edward Carson. He said that Ulster Protestants had no wish to be put in the position of having to govern Catholics in a local Six County system in order to remain within the United Kingdom. But Westminster insisted that they must run a Northern Ireland Government—which could only be a government of Catholics by Protestants—or else they would come under a Dublin Government.

The Ulster Unionists submitted under duress to what they knew was a bad system. But the responsibility lies entirely with the Westminster Parties—and above all with the Labour Party, which was then in the process of displacing the Liberal Party as the second Party of the state.

Labour opposed Partition verbally but did not make an issue of the reckless means by which it was imposed—the establishment of the Northern Ireland system. And what it did when Partition-by-means-of-Devolution became an accomplished fact was to refuse to operate in the Six Counties. It refused to contest either Westminster Elections or local Elections in the Six Counties. The effect of this was to leave the Catholic minority entirely unrepresented in state politics.

The Tory Party, when it took definite shape again in 1922 after a period of confusion, also refused to operate in the Six Counties. But it retained a loose connection with the Ulster Unionist Party, and acted as the guarantor of the Union. Ulster Protestants therefore had a kind of third-rate representation through the Tories at Westminster, and Ulster Unionist MPs usually voted with the Tories. But the Catholic community was left entirely without representation in the politics of the

state. It was strongly Labour in outlook, but Labour boycotted it.

The Labour excuse, as far as it ever gave one, was that it favoured a United Ireland and it would be contradictory of it to confirm Partition by functioning in the Six Counties. But, when Labour came to undisputed power in 1945, it did nothing to end Partition. And when the 26 County State cut its last tenuous link with the Commonwealth in 1948, the Labour Government responded by passing legislation reinforcing Partition.

Its boycott of Northern Ireland after that was gross hypocrisy.

It developed a line of rhetoric about “the twelve Ulster Tories” elected to Westminster, classifying the Ulster Unionists as Tories, which they were not. The Ulster Unionist Party came close to monopolising Six County representation at Westminster because the Labour Party refused to contest elections in Northern Ireland, and it was increasingly evident that the local Nationalist Party was a futile organisation.

The ‘Ulster Tories’ voted with the Tory Party against the reforms of the 1945 Labour Government. But, once those reforms were implemented on ‘the mainland’, the Northern Ireland Government adopted at Stormont all the measures its MPs had voted against at Westminster.

In the 1920s it had made it a condition on continuing to operate the devolved Government, which it had not wanted, that Westminster should agree to finance Six County parity with Britain in social welfare arrangements. There was therefore no real contradiction involved in voting with the Tories at Westminster and then copying Labour legislation into the Stormont Statute Book.

Labour now allows token individual party membership to Six County residents, but it continues to boycott elections. But politics is a collective activity engaged in by organised parties. Individual membership may offer a kind of religious consolation to the individual, but it is not political engagement with the State.

And now Labour votes to impose homosexual marriage and abortion on the Six Counties, on the ground that they are universal human rights, lying beyond the competence of any political body to decide on. Ulster Unionists deny that there is any Declaration of Human Rights of which these things form a part, and they have not been answered.

Opposition to homosexual marriage is described as homophobic, but it clearly has no essential connection with decriminalisation of homosexual conduct—and it is a contested issue in England as well as in the Six Counties.

Marriage, throughout all ages and in all places, has existed as a social institution for the production and rearing of children, and for that reason the family has been considered to be the basic unit of society—the building block. Homosexual couplings are by their nature incapable of producing children.

2 Twenty years ago the very idea of homosexual marriage, if it had ever been seriously proposed for legislation, would have been regarded as an absurdity. Now, in England, it is a fundamental human right which must be taught in the schools, as the law of the land. The measure was slipped through Parliament by Cameron’s Tory Government, with little public debate, to become the law of the land.

The large, increasing, and increasingly indispensable Muslim population of England objects to having the institution of marriage in its historic substance destroyed for the next generation by the action of the schools. Labour Party activists insist that it must be destroyed in the interest of freedom. It is the law of the land and the State must interfere actively in the schools in order to ensure that reactionary Muslim culture is destroyed.

The Labour position on this matter, and on others, now seems to be one of Authoritarian Libertarianism. And it must be applied in the Six Counties as well as in Birmingham, even though Labour has always refused as a matter of principle to take part in the governing of the Six Counties.

In the period of the great Moslem migration to England homosexual marriage was unthought of, and considerable latitude was allowed to teachers in schools, but teaching likely to encourage homosexual tendencies in children was discouraged. All of that has now been reversed. Teachers are obliged by law to undermine everything that was the case then.

Labour demands that the Government should enforce the law in the schools, even on very young children. And Muslims, who are a particularly industrious part of the population, have begun to make their own private provision for education.

English culture has long been driven by contention between its two sources, which Disraeli called Norman and Anglo-Saxon. Politically they were Cavalier and Puritan, which then became Tory and Liberal. The Tory strain had an aptitude for letting things be, while the Puritan strain was driven to establish a uniformity of what was ‘right’.

The Puritan strain was excluded from high-level politics for almost two centuries after making a mess of things under Cromwell, during which time it made itself the capitalist middle class and made Capitalism a world force. It was admitted to the corridors of power by the 1832 reform and it launched the Victorian era of prohibitive legislation in certain spheres while letting the economy run free.

The draconian laws against homosexual conduct were introduced in that period, and the sanctity of marriage was insisted upon. Parnell was far from being the only politician whose political career was ruined by the Nonconformist Conscience which came to dominate the Liberal Party.

The Puritan poet and politician, John Milton, asserted that it was England’s mission to teach the nations how to live. That came to be accepted as a self-evident truth in British culture. It was asserted by a young man in the audience of a recent BBC Question Time, not in a quotation from Milton but as a statement of the obvious. There was no disagreement.

Whatever is the fashion of the moment in England is universally true. English culture in its Puritanised condition cannot imagine that different ways of life can all be valid. The Imperial spirit is deeply ingrained in popular culture.

It has changed its mind on homo sexuality. It used to be Bad, and to be something that could not be tolerated. It is now Good, and it must be put on a par with heterosexuality, in the name of Equality, in social arrangements. The heterosexual activity through which human existence is continued must not be differentiated in any way from homosexual activity which is a biological dead end.

In other societies homosexuality could be let be as a naturally occurring aberration within the complex sexual system by which the human race is reproduced. But not in England.

A vision of homosexuality as having some special mission in human affairs was published in England about 90 years ago: The Well Of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall. This suggests that it is not an aberration within the complex system by which nature provides for the reproduction of the human race, but has some natural purpose for which it was designed but which has not yet been discovered. That may be. But it can be said with certainty that its purpose is not the reproduction of the race—and reproduction is an absolute necessity of human existence.

It would not be surprising if there was soon an Ameranglian war on Russia. That is the way the propaganda is heading. And, if there is a war, then the “human right” of Equal Marriage will be prominent in the war propaganda.

Homosexual conduct is not illegal in Russia, but marriage there, as in most of the world, remains a social institution dedicated to reproduction. And homosexual marriage is all that counts in England today. And in Ireland. And it is the thing that Nationalist Ireland sees its way to imposing on the Ulster Prods.

During the two generations between the setting up of Northern Ireland and the coming to fruition of the War that was implicit in that arrangement, the Nationalist Party critique of Ulster Unionism in the sexual dimension of things was directed at the “contraceptive culture” of Unionism. J.J. Campbell, the Nationalist leader, saw Unionism as destroying itself by its anti-reproductive culture.

Limited abortion was, and is, available in the North. And we remember when Mary Kenny went up to Belfast to buy French Letters and flourished them at the Border on the way down.

When Unionist Ulster was being described as spurious and brittle, we said that it seemed to us that it was AntiPartitionist culture that was brittle. It was largely based on a recently-established form of Catholic organisation, which was not an evolution of the Christianity that was implanted at the time of St. Patrick. In historical terms it was a novelty, compared with the Presbyterian culture of the North. But we did not expect it to collapse so suddenly and so unthinkingly, even though we saw the culture of the Unionist community as being more durable.

In a Radio Ulster discussion of the Westminster decision to impose abortion on demand and homosexual

marriage, the rights of the devolved electorate were invoked. One caller in the Stephen Nolan Show said that she was all for the devolution of power, but devolution to the individual. This ultimate anti-social position has been in the logic of “human rights” campaigning for some time, but this was the first explicit statement of it that we noticed.

Another caller—or possibly the same one—denied that she stood for abortion on demand: she stood for “abortion on request”.

But there are signs that the freewheeling Authoritarian Libertarian ism, that began after the death of Martin McGuinness, is beginning to meet with resistance.