Smoke and mirrors of general election

Welcome to Cross Wires, the new Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper blog. Cross Wires aims to shine a light on the key issues and breaking news between weekly editions of the SCO so look in regularly for updates. You will find facts, opinion, analysis and plenty of food for thought.

THE general election is most certainly on and the gloves are most definitely off. Not one, not two, but in fact three government ministers have let ‘slip’ that voters are likely to be going to the polls on May 6, with Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth the latest MP to add fuel to the fire on when the general election will be called.

Church leaders in Scotland and of members of the Scottish Clergy against Nuclear Armaments (SCANA) are calling for the future of nuclear weapons to be at the heart of the general election campaign.

And it is amazing what else comes out of the woodwork in a general election year. In the House of Lords an 11th hour amendment protected the Catholic Church’s recruitment policy from government equality legislation. In the Commons a parliamentary committee advised that anti-Catholic rules governing royal marriages and the succession to the throne of the UK breach the European Convention on Human Rights. Now in Scotland, a group of SNP MPs have called for former Prime Minister Tony Blair to be tried in a Scottish court for his decision to take the country to war in Iraq, not the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

It cannot be stressed enough that the issues that come to the fore over the next few months are probably for obvious political ends rather than on their own merits  as political parties canvas for votes.  In the midst of the smoke and mirrors it will  get difficult not to lose sight of the fact that the MPs we elect this year, if left unchallenged, may only reveal their true colours after they are elected, not before. The  issues that really matter to Catholics must be raised now.

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