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← The rise of Miliband brings at last the prospect of an atheist prime minister

The rise of Miliband brings at last the prospect of an atheist prime minister - Comments

petermun's Avatar Comment 1 by petermun

A great article - read it over lunch and it made a rather boring prawn sandwich much more enjoyable. AC Grayling was on "Desert Island Discs" recently - a very good listen but not available on the listen again facility.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:09:00 UTC | #221860

He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 2 by He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy

So let's asume Miliband becomes head of the "we support the working class folks, just so long as we don't have to do any of that work type stuff ourselves" Labour party, and we've got Nick Clegg leading the Libs. That's two out of three atheists.

Give Cameron a kick up the arse and we could be getting somewhere.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:20:00 UTC | #221869

wengerj's Avatar Comment 3 by wengerj

I agree with petermun. It was a rather uplifting article to read. To bad the US is a long way from this kind of event taking place. We still have debate moderators asking about a candidate's relationship with jesus. Granted it wasn't a normal debate setting, but the fact that both Obama and McStain felt compelled to attend this debate annoyed me.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:24:00 UTC | #221872

jaytee_555's Avatar Comment 4 by jaytee_555

In the words of the song, 'Wouldn't it be Loverly'

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:25:00 UTC | #221874

perkyjay's Avatar Comment 5 by perkyjay

What are the chances of Miliband making it to No.10 ? I haven't really had much to do with British politics since leaving the UK in 1957, except for a casual interest in elections. Much more interested in the Canadian scene and in hating the present federal government with a passion, mainly because of Harper's sneering attitude, which gets worse by the day.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:56:00 UTC | #221886

lozzer's Avatar Comment 6 by lozzer

Whether he's an atheist or not it doesn't matter.He's still a incompetent,spineless,unassertive idiot who looks like a stunt double for Mr Bean but without the good looks.

I say we revolt and put Dawkins in power.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:02:00 UTC | #221888

hippee ki yay's Avatar Comment 7 by hippee ki yay

Anyone got a link to the original survey of cabinet member's piety?

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:07:00 UTC | #221891

Forti's Avatar Comment 8 by Forti

So is this guy a rational atheist or "just" atheist?
The word's definition is very broad, for all you guys know he might be visiting a fortune teller. [/joke]

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:19:00 UTC | #221900

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 9 by Cartomancer

It's a good article, but a tad misleading in that we've had atheist prime ministers before. Clement Atlee and James Callaghan spring immediately to mind.

What dark and vile deities Thatcher worshipped is anyone's guess however...

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:39:00 UTC | #221907

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 10 by DamnDirtyApe

We can't just vote for Miliband just because he's an atheist. I might have to agree slighlty with Lozzer here.

Clegg is ok. Less evasive, but still pretty quiet at times. Sigh, the big 3 parties - still, better than the big 3 religions.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:44:00 UTC | #221909

SomeDanGuy's Avatar Comment 11 by SomeDanGuy

Can someone clue in this yank on what "No 10" means?

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:48:00 UTC | #221910

asupcb's Avatar Comment 13 by asupcb

lozzer

I know you are just joking about electing Richard to some sort of government position but unless UK politics is less dirty than US politics I have a feeling he would prefer not to be involved directly. Besides politicians have to at least pretend to care what other people think about them for the purposes of being elected and I don't think Richard cares much what others think of him, although he does care what ideas and memes they do believe.

Besides Richard doesn't understand economics all that thoroughly and therefore shouldn't be in a position to make important economic decisions (which is why in my country neither McCain nor Obama should be eligible to run for city councilman much less president of the country with the largest economy, by GDP figures, in the world). That is not a slight against Richard at all, as he is an absolutely brilliant biologist with quite the hobby for philosophy and religion. That Richard would make a terrible politician is one of the best compliments that a person can receive in my opinion.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:53:00 UTC | #221914

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 12 by Steve Zara

Comment #234454 by DamnDirtyApe

I think Clegg has been awful. He has managed to work hard to stay beneath the political radar. I really wish that Vince Cable had stayed on. I don't know what his beliefs (if any) are, though.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:53:00 UTC | #221913

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 15 by Jay Cee

Comment 9 by Cartomancer

Clement Atlee was the greatest British prime minister who ever lived. Interesting to find out he was an atheist.

Steve,

The liberal democrats have been truly appalling at winning the support of the public. They simply aren't radical enough. They are guilty of this "move to the centre" nonsense that Labour and the Conservatives have been doing.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:00:00 UTC | #221918

SharonMcT's Avatar Comment 14 by SharonMcT

SomeDanGuy:

This Canadian will tell you that Number 10 refers to the residence of the Prime Minister. It is located at Number 10 Downing Street in London.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:00:00 UTC | #221917

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 16 by Steve Zara

Comment #234463 by JAMCAM87

I felt there was a glimmer of hope with Vince Cable in charge. He was the one who said that Gordon Brown has changed from Stalin to Mr Bean...

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:01:00 UTC | #221919

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 17 by Jay Cee

16. Comment #234464 by Steve Zara

Vince Cable reminded me of when Charlie Kennedy was appointed leader. It's a shame. An opportunity wasted. They won't be getting my vote come election time unfortunately.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:05:00 UTC | #221921

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 18 by Peacebeuponme

Cartomancer

What dark and vile deities Thatcher worshipped is anyone's guess however...
You think Beelzebub herself worshipped another?

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:10:00 UTC | #221925

tieInterceptor's Avatar Comment 19 by tieInterceptor

Amazing article,

I'm flabbergasted that something like this is actually on the newspapers, it means that the atheist blow back against the theist attempts to gain political power is starting to pay off.

hip hip , hurray.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:12:00 UTC | #221927

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 20 by Peacebeuponme

Steve Zara

I think Clegg has been awful. He has managed to work hard to stay beneath the political radar.
This is a real shame. I though he handled himself superbly in the debates he had when running for the party leadership. He seemed much more self-assured than previous liberal leaders, or indeed Gordon Broon.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:13:00 UTC | #221929

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 21 by Ishruul

Ah! Politic, the ancient art of looking good to the people for the wellfare of statu quo.

The only difference between an atheist prime minister or a religious one will be 5 minutes not spend praying before going to bed. They'll still operate in lobbying's bussiness anyway.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:18:00 UTC | #221933

Mark Till's Avatar Comment 22 by Mark Till

Another Vince Cable fan here, I must say. One of the few genuinely clear and intelligent voices in British politics. Especially on his home subject of economics.

But Miliband is completely uninspiring. Sadly, a large section of the British public seems to have become so shallow and moronic they'll only vote for people who look young and dress fashionably, regardless of policy or ideas. Depressing.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:20:00 UTC | #221935

Buddha's Avatar Comment 23 by Buddha

Steve Zara:


I felt there was a glimmer of hope with Vince Cable in charge. He was the one who said that Gordon Brown has changed from Stalin to Mr Bean...


Totally agree with you there. Vince Cable was excellent during his acting leadership, especially his appearances during Prime Ministers Questions. I am mystified at why he was dropped for Clegg. Maybe his day will come.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:23:00 UTC | #221936

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 24 by TIKI AL

"Besides Richard doesn't understand economics all that thoroughly and therefore shouldn't be in a position to make important economic decisions" (13. asupcb)

That never stopped Alan "I caused the housing bubble" Greenspan.
Richard could speed read Greenspan's book in 10 minutes to learn what NOT to do, and become a brilliant world class economist.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:40:00 UTC | #221947

HumanisticJones's Avatar Comment 25 by HumanisticJones

Can someone clue in this yank on what "No 10" means?


It means 10 Downing St. in London, residence of the Prime Minister.

Let it never be said that an American never learned anything about Great Britain from watching Dr. Who.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:47:00 UTC | #221950

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 26 by Agrajag

14. Comment #234462 by SharonMcT on August 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm

This Canadian will tell you that Number 10 refers to the residence of the Prime Minister. It is located at Number 10 Downing Street in London.

Thanks, Sharon,
And I'm sticking up for many others here in the US who *do* know what the reference means!
(Pats self smugly on the back, trips and falls. D'oh!)
Ste5e

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:47:00 UTC | #221951

Sargeist's Avatar Comment 27 by Sargeist

The trouble is, I think, that an openly atheist prime minister would end up having to contend with too many criticisms that he or she was deliberately prejudiced against religious people. Meetings with, say, Saudi fighter plane buyers could be slightly awkward if the atheism of the Prime Minister were a talking point.

Not that I would mind, particularly. I think it would be best, for instance, if we told the "government" of these absurd countries to fuck off and keep their billions of pounds, and we just find other jobs for fighter plane builders to do. Hence why I am unlikely ever to become a political animal.

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:10:00 UTC | #221963

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 28 by TIKI AL

I am an American living 3 miles from the ASU Gammage Center where Richard spoke in Tempe, Arizona, and also know who resides at #10.

In fact, I have a picture of myself standing in front of 10 Downing.

When you try that at 1600 Pennsylvania Av, you get a free trip to Cuba!

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:24:00 UTC | #221968

clearthinker's Avatar Comment 29 by clearthinker

I thought the fact that people were atheists was irrelevant to how they lead, just as much as if they have a moustache is irrelevant to how they lead. Or at least that is what we are always told when great atheist leaders of the past are mentioned.....I guess Grayling can have his cake and eat it...

Personally I could not care whether Millibrand is an atheist or not. I vote for a politician - not because they are an 'a' anything but because of what they stand for. So far he seems to stand for war in Iraq, more market capitalism and more spin. Do you really want atheism to be associated with that?

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:31:00 UTC | #221971

decius's Avatar Comment 30 by decius

Comment #234517 by clearthinker

Why don't you use the basic courtesy to post under a single moniker?

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:35:00 UTC | #221972