SNP targets Act of Settlement

SNP leader Alex Salmond and Cardinal Keith O’Brien have agreed a pact to campaign against the Act of Settlement, which among other things, bars Catholics from the British throne.

A spokesman for Salmond added: "Both agreed to work at ending the poison and hatred sectarianism brings to Scotland. That is why it is so important that the Act of Settlement is abolished because sectarianism is inherent in the Act."

The agreement between the cardinal and Salmond will rekindle memories of the close ties the SNP leader forged with the late Cardinal Winning, who became increasingly sympathetic to the Scottish Nationalist cause in his later years.

SNP party chiefs have seen it as crucial to eat into the Catholic community’s traditional support for Labour, if they are to make inroads into their rivals’ grip on central Scotland. Salmond penned an article for Winning’s church newspaper and was rewarded by the cardinal’s declaration that Scottish nationalism was "mature, respectful and international in outlook". (Scotland on Sunday)

This is a noteworthy development given Salmond’s effectiveness as a campaigner. He is a contender for Parliamentarian of the Year, deservedly in my view , when one considers his role in raising the cash for peerages issue, which may yet result in serious reform of the Lords.

Naturally, he’s not universally popular:

Tony Blair seems to dislike Alex Salmond more than any other leader in the Commons. The Prime Minister can joke with David Cameron and Ming Campbell, even shake hands with Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley, but the MP for Banff and Buchan is persona non grata.

His antipathy has increased considerably over the past few months. Whenever Salmond asks him a question, the occupant of Number 10 hurls an insult at the SNP leader and follows it with a taunt about the SNP’s policy of “declaring” independence within 100 days. (Sunday Herald)

This isn’t actually the SNP policy according to the Sunday Herald article, which has some interesting thoughts on the practicalities of declaring independence.







5 responses to “SNP targets Act of Settlement”

  1. Adam avatar

    I didn’t realise Tony Blair had shook hands with Gerry Adams since he became PM… In fact I think that is (one of) the litmus test as regards the end of the IRA and a recognition of the PSNI etc.; he will shake hands with him when he’s no longer connected to criminality.
    Might be wrong, mind you.

  2. Tom Griffin avatar

    Blair and Adams shook hands in private in 1997, and presumably many times since. Whether they’ve ver done so publicly I’m not sure.

  3. David B. Wildgoose avatar
    David B. Wildgoose

    Tell you what, whilst he’s campaigning to allow a Roman Catholic to become the head of the Church of England, why doesn’t he simultaneously campaign to allow the next Pope to be a Protestant?
    Thought not.
    I’m an Atheist by the way, but I could see this idiocy generating a lot of anger amongst religious people. What is he trying to do? Import sectarianism into England? No Thanks, we’ve seen enough of it in Scotland and Ireland.

  4. Tom Griffin avatar

    The Act of Settlement allows the monarch to marry a member of any religion, Christian or non-Christian, as long as they’re not a Roman Catholic. If that’s not sectarian I don’t know what is. In fact, it’s pretty much where the Orange Order got the idea from.
    That is the issue that causes most anger among Catholics. As for the wider issue, my preference would be to abolish the monarchy and disestablish the Church of England.
    I don’t see why the monarchy couldn’t continue as a purely civil institution, if the Church of England felt it was necessary.
    However, even under the existing system, the specific anti-Catholic provision is indefensible. The argument that Catholics owe allegience to foreign clerics linked to potentially hostile powers could be made about other religions, but I don’t see anyone arguing for the law to be extended.
    As for a Protestant Pope, I nominate Ian Paisley.

  5. John higgins avatar
    John higgins

    The Pope of Rome legislates for the Roman Catholic church. The Queen of England does not legislate for the church of England as she is merely a figurehead for that institution.So,the idea of a Protestant legislating for the Catholic church seems very far removed from reality.In relation to the sectarian act of settlement,just imagine the word “NIGGER” being substituted for the present word “PAPIST”,can you imagine what justifiable outrage there would be throughout the civilised world.The fact that there is state sponsered bigotry directed at Britains 6 million Roman Catholics should be grounds enough for worldwide outrage.

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