Is Britain more open to accepting the beliefs of others? I was shocked at how angry I was to learn that a priest of Roman Catholicism was told by police that he couldn’t enter the building where Sir David Amess was stabbed to perform his last rites.

I am a very Protestant Protestant and don’t expect or want a priest to be there at my death. In my childhood, Roman Catholics in Britain were still outsiders. This was even more true today than it was when I was a child. I’m sure the police wouldn’t have acted like that in those times.

We were afraid of Catholics precisely due to the fact that we took Christian belief seriously. 

Christianity is the least revered religion among all of the world’s religions, and it is also the least respected by the British government and our national culture.

I was shocked by how furious I was when I learned that a Roman Catholic priest had been told by police that he could not enter the building where Sir David Amess had been stabbed to give him the last rites

I was shocked at how furious I felt when I found out that a Roman Catholic priest was being told by police that they could not allow him into the building where Sir David Amess was stabbed to give him the final rites.

People who claim to be Buddhists tend to be seen as courageous and admirable. Christians are seen as odd and crazy and should be kept quiet in many workplaces.

I won’t try to explain here just why the last rites matter so much to Catholics. They are very important to them, it is evident. Mike Kane, a Labour MP, made one of the most moving contributions in the Commons debate to celebrate the life of Sir David. He said, in words of great simplicity and power: ‘Catholics believe that extreme unction helps guide the soul to God after death.’

He suggested an ‘Amess amendment’ so that no matter where it is needed and wanted, the sacrament should not be denied. This is a good idea. However, when I posted my criticism of the priest’s exclusion on social media last week, I was met with an incredible amount of hostility.

I understand that many people in our society, including in the police, do not believe in God, or in any religion. But Sir David Amess did

I am aware that many people in our society, even the police, don’t believe in God or any other religion. Sir David Amess believed in God.

First of all there was a serious attempt to pretend that the incident had not happened, a falsehood which I countered with the priest’s own tweet saying he had been ‘refused entry’ and ‘not allowed to minister to Sir David at the end’. Then the Essex police said it was all to do with the ‘utmost importance’ of preserving the integrity of a crime scene.

This argument might be stronger if it were a common problem that could be solved easily. I have yet to find a case in which a priest contaminated a crime scene by giving the last rites. I’m not saying it has never happened, just that it is not a common event.

I asked a former investigator to explain what this risk was. He couldn’t give me an example. 

I did find one instance in which paramedics allegedly contaminated a crime scene, in Shoreham-by-Sea (West Sussex) in 2019. The trial was held and the attacker was convicted. He was sentenced to 16 year imprisonment. I believe the crime scene claim is just an excuse for saying no.

I am aware that many people in our society, even the police, do NOT believe in God or any religion. Sir David Amess believed in God. 

He (and I suspect his family) considered the comfort of a priest at his death as as important as any emergency service. This would have been an accepted decision not too long ago. It is not now. Many people who reject it do so with bitterness and spite. Others are more indifferent.

Both cases make me wonder if humanity has much of a future as civilisation if it acts and thinks as if time is not real. I believe deeply that what you do here is important elsewhere, often in ways that we don’t fully comprehend. We can be seriously wrong if we forget this.

I won’t try to explain here just why the last rites matter so much to Catholics. But it is absolutely obvious that they do matter hugely to them, writes Peter Hitchens (pictured)

I won’t try to explain here just why the last rites matter so much to Catholics. It is obvious that they matter enormously to them, writes Peter Hitchens.

They tell us to wear masks but can’t say why 

As the cry goes out again for masks to be compulsory all over the place, I learn of a Freedom of Information request made in July 2020 to the Department for Transport when they first decreed the wearing of face coverings.

Dr Alan Black asked the Ministry to name the peer-reviewed study that justified this. The Ministry answered that this task would cause ‘disproportionate’ disruption to their work. This is odd. Surely if they had used such a study, wouldn’t they know where to find it?

Dr Black continued to fight. Eventually, almost a year later, after the Information Commissioner got involved, officials admitted that the Department ‘does not hold the information that you requested’. What was the basis of the decree?

This is what you should keep in mind when you listen to the renewed calls to masking. Matthew Taylor, a prominent figure, was last week the one who cried loudest. Matthew, an old foe of mine, is now chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. This could be because he was a distinguished scientist or doctor, or a titan of industry currently working in the state sector for public good. 

Matthew Taylor, the son of Laurie Taylor, a Leftist sociologist, is actually a former Blairite functionary, and apparatchik. He was also the commander of a Leftist think-tank before becoming the head of the Royal Society of Arts. This body used to set shorthand exams, but its current purpose is unclear. He holds degrees in sociology, industrial relations, and political science.

This is what makes it so rewarding to be on the winning side. You don’t need to be an expert, and nobody minds.

I have been rising in the darkness for weeks now, and like all those who rise early, I long to see the return of light next Sunday, the 31, when the clocks stop being forced to lie and return to their natural position.

The late-rising, childless, bohemians who don’t see the dawn unless they are driving home from a good party think that this is the day when the sun gets darker. They are not seeing the right way.

Did Bill Clinton’s politics save him from #MeToo?

The opening episode of the new BBC2 drama Impeachment took me back to the bizarre early months of my two-year assignment in Washington DC at the height of the Clinton years.

My job turned out not to be as focused on sex as I had expected. I was even assigned to cover the Bobbitt trials in Virginia, which involved a horrible dismemberment. 

I will never forget the late-night phone calls I had with Paula Jones, an Arkansas woman who accused Bill Clinton, of being very rude in a Little Rock hotel room. I still don’t think I could repeat her deadpan description of the occasion in a family newspaper.

I was not surprised when Monica Lewinsky made some very lurid claims about Clinton years later. But while the President’s behaviour was scandalous, was it harassment? Can anyone who wasn’t there ever really know?

Miss Lewinsky, who has since joined #MeToo, pointed out that Bill Clinton was not only 27-years older than her, but also one among the most powerful men in this world. Would Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary have been as influential in the American political Left if they had not been there? Is #MeToo really selective? Is it really selective?

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