A week in which the world's headlong dash over the precipice continues apace. In the midst of sundry horrors which made me wonder if The Enlightenment was just a con-trick perpetrated by successive generations of historians, the Catholic church leapt into the fray like an eager participant in a bar fight. You'd think by now that the Catholic church, its credibility on matters pertaining to the treatment of children on a par with Michael Jackson's, would, at least, keep quiet for a while on its old hobbyhorse of Abortion. Well, think again. They made rumbling noises in the U.K. media last week about lowering the limit for terminations. The church knows that this tactic is the only one that would possibly be effective; if they had the balls to come straight out & say that they wanted a complete ban on abortion in all circumstances, much of the misguided consideration being given to their fundamentalist stance would soon dissipate. Michael White brilliantly dissected the intellectual dishonesty of the Vatican's position on the Guardian's "Comment Is Free" blog (http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/michael_white/2006/06/post_165html ).
Much sniggering over the epithet uttered by Margaret Beckett, who once memorably savaged Neil Kinnock for abstaining in the Labour Party deputy leadership election rather than support Tony Benn, but the real cause for offence lies surely in her thinly veiled acknowledgement that if Bush decides to target Iran, Britain will be there as customary lap dog (http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,,1807797,00.html ).