Where to begin?
I wouldn’t normally stay up, but last night I caught the election fever and stayed up all through the night until 5:45 am when North Cornwall declared their result.
Right from the first Conservative wins of the night, I was astonished at the results, and this morning I am still amazed. It was quite, quite different to what I had anticipated.
Perhaps I hadn’t been paying attention – I was sure that Labour would do well, UKIP would gain a number of seats, and the only way the Conservatives would get back in would be to do a deal with SNP or UKIP, leading inevitably to a Labour-based coalition.
I’m sure nobody was surprised by the fact that the Lib-Dems did badly or that the SNP did well, but the degree to which the Lib-Dems have lost (and SNP have gained in Scotland) seem astounding.
That Labour did so badly and the Conservatives did so well, after five years of austerity, wrongly directed at the poorest and most vulnerable in society, is… well, mind-boggling really.
Let me say that, for myself, and for every other home educating family in the UK, I am mightily relieved that our liberty is not immediately threatened as it would unequivocally have been had Labour won. Ed Balls specifically told us that he would “finish the job” of eradicating us if Labour got back in. So the fact that Balls has been snipped is deeply satisfying.
But for hundreds of thousands of people – the poor, the disabled, the vulnerable, the mentally ill, the needy of every kind, I weep.
Personally, I was not able in conscience to vote either way – Labour has moved massively to the right, and both Labour and the Conservatives have moved massively towards authoritarianism in the last 20 years.
The Liberal Democrats were probably the most liberal in theory but of course, they lost my vote a while back for not doing what they promised, and not reining in the Conservatives.
UKIP were libertarian in some ways, and the most moral in others, but oh how careless they have been, attracting the worst elements in politics. A vote for them would have been out of the question.
I love the Greens for many of the things they stand for, but they are the most authoritarian of all.
Knowing that my vote would carry no weight anyway in this constituency (and for a whole host of other reasons that I’ll elaborate on if asked), I voted “NONE” of the above.
I did seriously consider voting for Mebyon Kernow – I wholeheartedly agree that Cornwall is under-represented and should have its own devolved parliament. So I’ll be watching and supporting them over the next five years and hoping that they develop into a non-authoritarian alternative.
Something I have been disturbed about in the run up to this election was the way in which Christians (on the left and right of the spectrum) spoke as though they believed that government can be the saviour, making everything right, and fair and stable (and moral!).
I loved Russell Brand’s Trews response to the election
[ https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=rRUQ6aPvs58 – note this link will take you away from this site as I am posting via mobile and haven’t figured out how to open a new tab. Bookmark before yougo! 🙂 ]
– recognising, I think, that compassion is the key, and realising that making government your saviour doesn’t bring about the spiritual awakening that is required for true revolution.
Perhaps, ironically, a government of oppression will bring about that awakening? As unpopular as they are, I think that the food banks are evidence of that. Good people will react with love and kindness when they see need.
(Some people will inevitably respond with hatred and violence instead – in words if not physically – and I think that it must be the Church’s role to speak up for and show compassion as an alternative Way)
But of course, the love and kindness of good people hasn’t been enough for the last five years.
What about the others? The rich, the bankers, the landlords, the moguls of big business, and even the “we’re alright” lot who are just comfortable enough themselves not to care about those of us who are not? (It would seem there are an awful lot of them!)
How can they be reached? I don’t believe that Labour would have oppressed them enough to have a spiritual awakening and see they’re in the wrong – quite the opposite in fact.
I always have to come back to the fact that the only ultimate answer, the only saviour, the only real alternative is Jesus – compassion personified. Thy Kingdom come.