Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 24 February 2005.

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Photo of John Cryer John Cryer Labour, Hornchurch 12:31, 24 February 2005

My right hon. Friend will be aware of a bunch of fundamentalist thugs called Christian Voice, who have recently strong-armed a cancer charity into refusing a donation from the production "Jerry SpringerThe Opera". I do not care how good or bad the production is, but it should concern us all that a cancer charity of all things can be intimidated into that position by such a dodgy outfit. Can we have a debate on the matter?


Philip Boggis
Posted on 9 Mar 2005 9:17 pm (Report this annotation)

Mr Cryer,
I am one of those 'fundamentalist thugs' you describe since I am a member of Christian Voice and support Stephen Green. My wife is a nurse and worked for the cancer charity, Marie Curie Foundation, for a number of years. We both object to the sweeping comment you made in describing people like us as 'fundamentalist thugs.' It is not in the spirit of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, clause 124 the provisions of which apply to all religious faiths, not just Muslims.
Having said that I feel you were misled my certain press reports which were inaccurate or biased. It is not the intention of Christian organisations to hijack funds to such deserving causes but when the charity knew the content of the play, Jerry Springer the Opera, they declined to receive the money on the grounds of common decency and sensitivity to their patients. It is as simple as that. It is not, in my opinion, a matter for scoring political points.
It is regretted that Mr Hain agreed with you. I do trust that at sometime he will be acquaited with all the facts surrounding this issue from all sides.

Christopher Shell
Posted on 12 Mar 2005 2:54 pm (Report this annotation)

Mr Cryer,
I am perplexed by the number of cliches in your portrayal of Christian Voice.
We all have two choices: (a) to use proper argument, and (b) to use rhetoric, cliches and slogans. So let's choose (a)!

Goodness knows it's not just dumb ppl that support Christian Voice - Im a PhD and all that.
So let's make an end to the stereotypes and address the actual issues.
Foremost among which is that you as an early-21st century member of a western liberal democracy may have all kinds of unexamined presuppositions which would be considerd strange in many other parts of the world, and which require to be examined and not merely assumed.
I look forward to this process beginning.
Best wishes
Christopher Shell