The newly formed Conservative Humanist Association means that now all three main political parties have a humanist society for members to be part of. Though that did not go down completely well with everyone; John Gummer MP, former Agriculture Minister, on seeing them at the party conference denounced them saying the Conservative Party was God’s party. Still, I did not like the man when he fed his infant child beef in front of the press when we had our first BSE scare, and this does nothing to mend his image. The irony is that on Gummer’s website he talks about representing people in his constituency irrespective of party. It seems when it comes to his own party, God is a dividing line.
Richard Dawkins spoke at the launch event (YouTube video) in Birmingham during the party conference. Secular values cross party lines, so while I may not trust that the Conservatives on social justice and free markets benefiting all and not the few, this is something that can only help in making the case for Britain to be more secular when it comes to faith schools, Sharia Law or Bishops in the House of Lords.
Mind you I am in good company – Richard Dawkins has not voted Tory in his life.
At the Council of Ex Muslims of Britain (CEMB) I met up with two people (far right of photo) involved with the Conservative Humanist Association, and we went to a nearby pub to talk about the association. They also referred to the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group – which hopefully will grow; a number of atheist MPs (especially Conservative) tend to keep a low profile. However, a number of prospective parliamentary candidates from the Conservatives are humanist – so if the polls are anything to go by their number on the benches of the Commons will increase.