Political historians have today confirmed the death of the English Counter-Reformation, the attempt by a devout group led by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Secretary of State for Communities Ruth Kelly and Prime Minister Tony Blair to overturn more than 300 years of the English state not being told what to do by the Church.
It was in the summer of 2006 that the desperate band, inspired by such martyrs as Sir Thomas "throw another heretic on the barbie" More and Guy "not the political blogger" Fawkes, not to mention the religious teachings of the 43rd President of the United States, the blessed George W of Bush, first hatched an audacious plan to suborn the will of Parliament to anybody who could claim they received direct instructions from (a) a higher being and/or (b) the aforementioned Mr Bush.
It is understood that the group first began meeting in secret in the middle of 2006, when - along with a large number of faith leaders from across the country - they hatched plans to overcome the will of Parliament by forcing the abandonment of the Faith School Quotas scheme. It was the startling success of this project that led the group to plot their most audacious coup yet - blowing up the provisions of the Equality Act 2006 with regard to adoption of children by homosexual couples on the grounds that the idea of placing children in the care of loving couples of the same sex was abhorrent to God, whereas heterosexual couples who occasionally play "hide the sausage" in the wrong bit of the bun are just indulging in a little forgivable experimentation.
In January 2007, as their plan to blow up the Equality Act 2006 neared completion, the plotters were joined by no less a figure than the Archbishop of Canterbury who, despite having argued that it is "imperative to give the strongest support to the defence of homosexual people against violence, bigotry and legal disadvantage" still held it more important to support the view of anybody who espoused a faith, however medieval, than his own moral beliefs. Soon the Archbishop was supporting the rebels' stance in public and in private allowing them a secret meeting place inside his beard.
It was only this week that the Counter-Reformers were apprehended whilst trying to to sneak a number of explosive crucifixes into the cellars of the Houses of Parliament. Though the Archbishop and Cardinal are expected to be allowed to go free as a mark of respect for their offices, Messrs Kelly and Blair will be publicly hanged, drawn and quartered by their party colleagues.
The English Counter Reformation 2006-2007 is survived by the Equality Act 2006 and the tattered remnants of Tony Blair's leadership of the Government.