May 2010

posted 7 Jul 2010, 01:30 by Richard Jones   [ updated 9 Jul 2010, 02:31 ]

The Vicar writes..........

No sooner do we get over Christmas than adverts for holidays appear on television and Easter eggs appear in the shops.

      All too soon it’s Easter, and if we haven’t done already, we’re planning our summer holiday, and as soon as that’s planned, let alone enjoyed, we all begin looking forward to Christmas once again.  Everywhere we look we’re urged to look forward to the pleasures of the future.  Today doesn’t matter.  We’re exhorted to “Buy Now!”, and these days the “Pay Later” has moved further and further into the future because they hope that by then we’ll have forgotten about it and they’ll make even more money if we default on the payment.

      Everyone who has something to sell is desperate for us to ignore the consequences of our actions, to forget that money needs to be earned, that sacrifices need to be made, before we can truly enjoy the pleasures that they urge upon us from all sides.  And in our heart of hearts we must know just what folly this is.  That, when it comes down to it, you can’t enjoy benefits without paying for them in some way. 

      But this year is a General Election year.  The high pressure selling began shortly after Christmas and its still going on.  There seems to be no getting away from it.  We’re bombarded by the leaders of the main political parties from dawn to dusk and beyond.  All of them trying to sell us something.

      But what?

      I guess what they’re trying to sell us is the idea of a better future.  A better future for our children  -  as long as we don’t have to spend much more than 40 pence each on their school meals.  A better future for our elderly  -  so they can sit in a gigantic, impersonal hospital after having their appointment re-arranged three times, and even then not seeing the same doctor twice.  A better future for students  -  so they can leave a university no-one’s ever heard of, with a degree that’s so common it’s almost worthless, but at the same time saddled with a debt that’s going to take most of them many years to pay off.

      How on earth do we decide who to “buy” from?  Who should we believe?  Why should we even bother at all?

      We should bother because of all the sacrifices that have been made in the past that actually allow us to have a vote at all!  We should bother because our own individual voice, no matter how small it seems, when added to that of others becomes a voice that has to be listened to.  A voice that really can change things.

      Who we should believe is a little more problematic.  When I first got the vote, you had a very good chance that during an election campaign you might just meet up with all the candidates and judge them for yourself.  Nowadays our elected “representatives” are largely faceless unknowns, and all we have to go on are the pronouncements of the party leaders on TV. 

      And we should judge them not by their promises, but by their actions.  We must not forget when we’ve been lied to in the past.  When we’ve been promised that taxes won’t rise and then they do  -  we should remember!  When we’ve been promised that students will not have to pay tuition fees at university and then they do  -  we should remember!  When our country is taken to war illegally, based on lies and obfuscation  -  we should remember!

      But above all  -  we should turn out and vote!  Because how will our country ever be ruled by people with firm beliefs and principles, if all the voters of belief and principle stay at home on polling day. 

      However boring it might be.  Listen to what the politicians say to you.  Judge them by their past words and actions.  Then talk with God about the decision you are about to make. 

      And on the 6th of May  -  cast your vote. 

May God’s blessing be with you all