Stephen Green is a very hard man to character assassinate: merely opening his mouth is practically equivalent to a character kamikaze already. Suffice to say, he was the main speaker in opposition to the motion that we should ‘separate God from the state’ at the Union last night, and he was on fine form in his self-appointed role as the human embodiment of the Daily Mail on steroids.
It’s slightly pointless to repeat his argument, but essentially:
1) Our society needs a god: either ‘God’, the Christian version, or some kind of man-made god-surrogate, or Allah, the god of Islam. (No, I’m not sure why it can’t be Zeus either.)
2) It’s silly to point out all the bad things in the Old Testament – sure, stoning women who are found not to be virgins on their wedding night might seem a bit harsh – but our society is full of nasty things too, like divorce and abortion.
3) In fact, more than silly, it’s downright dangerous to criticise the Old Testament because ‘it leads to the persecution of the Jews’.
4) We may be laughing at him now, but we won’t be laughing in 20-30 years time “when Islam takes over”. I have to agree that, yes indeed, when fundamentalist Islam takes over our country and re-creates the Taliban in Cambridgeshire, I for one will feel downright stupid for having opposed a religious state.
It goes on in this fashion, interspersed with Bible quotes, warnings about Islam and a very long list of exciting plans for the country, including: the death penalty, the criminalisation of homosexuality, the criminalisation of sex before marriage, repeal of the Human Rights Act, withdrawal from all UN charters, enforcement of blasphemy laws, the banning of abortion… etc.
I sense we might have actually won this debate
The ’emergency debate’ was actually more interesting in a sense, on whether or not we should abolish inheritance tax. I started talking about this slightly too loudly beforehand, attracting the attention of a guy who promptly came and sat next to me and complained that tax rates were too high. (Even though he’s ‘an American for tax purposes’. Somehow, we ended up talking about unemployment benefit.) Anyway, once the debate started it turned out that after we’ve abolished one of the most conceptually positive taxes there is, we could either make up the money by ‘eliminating waste’ (as always) or ‘increasing taxes on cigarettes and alcohol’. Oh, so you’d replace a tax on the wealthy with a tax paid equally by everyone and especially burdensome on the very poor? After some enthusiastic shouting the noes won, thankfully.