Page 4, 9th December 1977

9th December 1977
Page 4
Page 4, 9th December 1977 — Party politics and the unborn
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Locations: Cardiff, Winchester

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Party politics and the unborn

i find David Fairlamb's statement of December 2 that he will be voting for a Labour candidate regardless of their view on abortion amazing.

We certainly have to return to the old ideals of Christian morality be it on sex, abortion or euthanasia — and fight for equality of every individual to live in dignity.

But can this be achieved by voting for a candidate who is opposed to the most basic Christian principle, the right to life. Surely the support of the present Government and Labour Party Conference for abortion on demand smashes to smithereens the most treasured socialist ideal to champion the weak and oppressed. The 1967 Abortion Act must be changed, We must support the prolife candidate regardless of party; we must work hard to give people the facts of abortion — the way in which it is being used to sweep social problems under the mat. We must twist the arm of all parties by showing them that we are only going to vote for pro-life candidates. 1 am not prepared to take any chances. My vote goes to the pro-life candidate: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

P. V. Botto Cardiff.

Arms concern

Most of your readers will, I am sure, be indebted to you for your thought-provoking editgrial of November 25. Who could disagree that "money, more than anything else today, typifies the law of the jungle"? But I feel your vital contribution was informing us that the Department of Employment had announced a recent deal involving £500 million worth of British arms sales to Saudi Arabia under the heading "The Good News".

How long can we as Christians remain silent while this evil trade in arms continues'! Surely we should bow our heads in shame that most of us have done so little to combat it. Perhaps it does not penetrate our not too sensitive hearts that many thousands of our fellow beings, including children and the elderly, have been killed, and maimed as a result of similar arms deals. Are we now going to sit hack and, like the Department of Employment, applaud the so-called "Good News"?

Sunday after Sunday we give each other the Sign of Peace; that is right and proper, but should we not endeavour to work for peace beyond our family and immediate vicinity?

We disobey Our Lord's commandments if we acquiesce, directly or indirectly. to do our fellowmen a mortal injury. There is so much the Church could and should do in condemning this ever-growing evil and 1 plead that Cardinal Hume, the bishops and all priests and laity take their full responsibility by bringing to the notice of the Government and all MPs their grave concern, Watford, Bernard W. Knivett

Hertfordshire,

NI chaplains

Theresa Hynes' letter of November 11 criticising the Army Chaplains in Northern Ireland surely deserves an answer. The chaplains serving in Ireland are strangers in the land, and as such the local clergy should be making them welcome. Obviously Fr Kennedy has not experienced this.

The chaplains have an uphill task trying to preach christianity to men who see the various branches of the Christian religion tearing each other to pieces.

To most of the men serving in Northern Ireland, Christianity must have very little credibility. Perhaps instead of finding fault with the chaplains we should be praying that God will give them strength to carry on with their thankless job.

M. Loughran Winchester,

Hampshire.

The Labour Party appears to support abortion: nevertheless there are many thousands of members and supporters who are vehemently opposed to the destruction of unborn children, and it is they who will decide whether or not they want a real socialistic member who really cares about human rights to represent them in Parliament. Let us remember, however, that the abortion issue straddles all parties. Remember, it was David Steel's Bill: Conservative MPs have appeared on television in support of abortion and the Labour Party Conference voted in favour of abortion, There are also in all parties MPs who see abortion for what it is — an evil which has been imposed on our society, where women are under pressure from family, friends and social conditions to have their unborn child destroyed, Those among us who care about the rights of unborn children should make our voices heard, loud and clear. There are three things voters should do:

1. Write to their parliamentary candidates asking for their views on abortion.

2. If or when a reply is received they should indicate in writing that they will actively support a candidate who opposes abortion, 3. They should contact a pro-life group for advice.

It is an absolute certainty that abortion will be an election issue, and those of us who care have a golden opportunity to show we are also prepared to act. Whatever our religious beliefs we must defend the rights of those unable to defend themselves — the unborn child, the handicapped and the old. They all need our help now. Kathleen McManus Chairman, East London Life Manor Park, London, E12.

Too many strikes and no idealism

Congratulations on your excellent leader of November 25. After a period of relative industrial peace, once again Britain is threatened with crippling strikes nearly always where it hurts the weak and defenceless most.

Unlike 1974, under the Heath Administration, there are now between 1,500,000 and 2,000,0(X) unemployed. Surely one answer to the threat to public safety by power workers, lift operators, and others in similar key. positions, is to organise a massive training scheme for the unemployed to man these key positions when. threatened by strike action.

Doubtless this approach would he unpopular with the militant Left; but I suspect the vast majority of the British public would support it. In fact I write as one who has actively supported the Labour movement in Britain.

Moreover, I would have thought the present political stalemate with a Lib-Lab coalition in power — gives the nation a greater chance for successfully coping with destructive strike action than a narrowly based Right-wing party led by Mrs Thatcher or anyone similar.

Ironically, the lack of idealism in Britain today for example the recent deal involving f500 million worth of British Government arms sales to Saudi Arabia • makes it difficult to expect sacrifices from the rank and file in the trade union movement today.

Nevertheless, it's never too late to change direction. In theory a democracy should be flexible. The Labour and Liberal Parties should remember their Christian origins, and not shirk from recalling their basic ideals in solving the problems of today's materialist society.

Monetarist economics are living hell. There is still time to learn that sharing must come from the inner will rather than imposed edicts if civilisation in Britain is to survive. Derek Abbott London, W 14




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