THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Reform of blasphemy laws threatens the province claims British fascist

From the News Letter, February 20, 1930

By Darryl Armitage
Saturday, 20th February 2021, 6:00 am

Speaking at a meeting in Belfast the previous night Mrs Rotha Listorn-Orman, a founder of the British Fascists, claimed that if the Blasphemy Laws Amendment Bill then before the House of Commons were to become law that Ulster would be swamped with “obscene literature and indecent postcards”.

Mrs Listorn-Orman was in the Province as a guest of the Ulster Women’s Unit of the British Fascists.

She remarked: “If these proposals are passed you will have blasphemous writings, blasphemous articles and the worst form of blasphemous caricatures sent over here.”

Speaking at a meeting in Belfast this week in 1930 Mrs Rotha Listorn-Orman, a founder of the British Fascists, claimed that if the Blasphemy Laws Amendment Bill then before the House of Commons were to become law that Ulster would be swamped with "obscene literature and indecent postcards".

She continued: “You are thinking that they will never come to Northern Ireland but you have to take into mind that if is not to come into Northern Ireland that the Northern Ireland Parliament will have pass an act prohibiting the importation of blasphemous papers and literature from England, and it is up to you to see that it is done if the people in England are weak enough to see it come through.”

Mrs Listorn-Orman urged her audience to direct action to make sure that there was no change to the Province’s blasphemy laws.

She said: “You must worry your members of Parliament and see to it that the bill does not come to Northern Ireland. You must not sit down and do nothing about it. That has been the trouble elsewhere. You must remember that it is not the politicians who rule the country but the individuals who put the politicians in power.”

She concluded: “If these blasphemy proposals are passed they will betray Christianity and our forefathers who upheld its [Christianity’s] principles.”