The Order of Love
Repentance and atonement are central to Christian doctrine, and in the ethics of the Church of Rome they sometimes rank very nearly as high as worldly wealth and the control of non-priestly genitals. Doubtless this explains the Catholic Herald's refusal to publish an article, written by a victim of kidnapping and torture in response to some pious musings by Sir Mark Allen, who was head of MI6's counter-terrorism unit while MI6 was conniving at kidnap and torture. The writer of the riposte was Abdel Hakim Belhaj a Libyan politician and an opponent of the Reverend Blair's chum Colonel Gaddafi; although, to be fair to his reverence, their chumhood took place while Blair was still pretending to be a Protestant. Belhaj was arrested in Thailand in 2004 and bundled off back to Libya, where he received the expectable welcome from the régime. After the arrest Sir Mark Allen gushed to the head of Libyan intelligence: "This was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over recent years." Whether because good Christians don't take orders from infidels, or because repentance is for little people, Sir Mark Allen has not noticeably atoned; and the Catholic Herald, at least, need fear no martyrdom.