Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Oh dear! The workers have been at it again.

Why is it that whenever I see the word 'worker' in the title of an organisation, my heart sinks and I start getting visions of men in clogs stoking up furnaces and eating chip butties.

                                  Estate agents and bankers are workers also

Aren't estate agents 'workers?' and greengrocers and marketing executives?

There is a grim and grimy socialist ring about the word (except when used in the context of St Joseph).

And so it was that something malevolent drew me to take a peep at the London Catholic Worker website (I do it about once a year, that's all I can take).

You see, there is something very...umm,.........very commie about the website that show an image of Christ embracing an indian woman and babe on the one hand and a black miner (?) wielding a pick axe on the other. They just can't get away from the old hammer and sickle approach.

But what is more disturbing is the account of three of their members (presumably) who appeared in court recently on charges of causing criminal damage.

In short these three upright citizens had defaced a Ministry of Defence building to show their opposition to the Trident missile programme.

I use the word "deface" - the LCW uses the word "mark" - the buildings were "marked" with charcoal, not just any old charcoal you understand but "blessed" charcoal - ah, but the graffiti was far from blessed.

To me that action may best be classified as a sin of theft; our taxes will be used to remove the scrawls and our money was used in bringing the three to trial.

As to the cause - the end never justifies the means.

Can you imagine if The 40 Days for Life supporters began chalking messages across Marie Stopes and BPAS doorways, so very wrong, so very unCatholic.

What we do when we have a wrong to right is pray the Rosary....not just pray comrades, we pray the Rosary.

That is so much more effective than charcoal, even blessed charcoal.

The actions of the three, who were found guilty,  are described as follows:-

Ray, Henrietta and Katrina explained the relevance of the time and symbols used: Lent, a time for reflection and repentance at both personal and community levels and charcoal, a known symbol of that repentance that is used within the Christian faith community. The protection of life and people was at the heart of their actions and they all stated that these were more important than property or buildings. Their intention in marking the Ministry of Defence building was to engage the Ministry and those who work there in critical reflection on the UK's nuclear defence policy and the Trident programme in particular in order to change it and prevent nuclear weapons from ever being used. Judge Susan Williams acknowledged her understanding of this in her questioning of Ray Towey, and again in her summing up saying that these were profound means used to highlight the folly of humankind. 

It demonstrates a sort of frightening naivety, a childish belief that a puerile gesture will change the mind of the British Government; and the questions that I would wish to ask are:

1. Were those 3 accused actually Catholics

2. What does the LCW believe has been achieved by their actions.

Even more scary is their previous bulletin describing their support moves on behalf of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

It gives me indigestion even mentioning those names, if they are found guilty as charged those two will have compromised the national security of the USA and Britain. Some say that the "secrets" involved were trivial and useless to the enemy. I say that, no matter how trivial, a trust was breached.

In happier times their punishment, if found guilty, might act as more of a deterrent than the Trident programme.

If you have the stomach for it, their website is HERE.


  1. Richard,
    Great post-hope you are enjoying your holiday too!


  2. I shouldn't get too worried about the graffiti- it is an art form now! Haven't you heard of Banksy and Blek le rat? Indeed it strikes me as a possible tactic in the fight against abortion- a greater threat to world peace than weapons as I seem to recall someone saying....

  3. I was raised in situational poverty on a farm -- my ol' dad didn't have time to drive to town and hang around being a worker-poseur and making socialist messes on the walls of other workers; he was real.

    -- Mack in Texas

  4. You are right, as always, Mack my boy.

  5. What is blessed charcoal? In Catholic churches we bless incense, but not charcoal. By whose authority are these people allowed to call their movement "Catholic"?

  6. ...'support moves' on behalf of Julian Assange??!


    Again, by whose authority are these people allowed to call their movement "Catholic"?