Monday 7 March 2011

March for the Alternative: Jobs - Growth - Justice! 26th March!

If its been a while since you've been to a demo, and you have lost touch with the world of politics - consider this: If we sit back and do nothing the Tories and the Libdems are going to tear our country apart.

I really believe this. If we can put enough pressure on them, then perhaps we can reduce the damage they will do to our NHS, our education service, our public life. I believe that we have not recovered as a nation from the legacy of Thatcher, with huge swathes of the country now used to long term unemployment, and whole communities discarded or stigmatised. We cannot allow Cameron to do the same again.

As a priest, I believe that the church as a whole should have a massive presence. Christians cannot stand idly by while the most vulnerable in our communities have there living standards crushed. We have begun to see this already in the local authority public sector cutbacks. Millions in each town and city have been lost in services to children, the elderly, those with disabilities. Women, and Black communities are already feeling the impact of these cuts.

Alternatives? Stop giving huge trillion pound bail outs to the financial sector that has helped get us into this mess - especially as they are still lining their own pockets with bonuses. Stop large companies from legally reducing their taxes whilst seeing their profits soar. Robin Hood tax to reduce money lost on the international banking/gambling system. Investment in jobs and decent education. Reduce spending on war and totally scrap spending on Trident nuclear missiles.

These are just some of the alternatives. Make sure you come on that journey to London on the 26th. Lets make this a march of millions, and not let them wreck our country once more.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Too late. The country is utterly wrecked. Now to the long, painful road of restoration.

    As Christians we cannot stand by and see our children & grandchildren burdened with crippling debts and being taught that the "wages of irresponsibility is ... er, nothing at all - the price has been paid in full, by your neighbour."

    These cuts are mere surface wounds - almost lierally. Our debt is still INCREASING by £millions every single hour of every single day. These tiny cuts only reduce the deficit - i.e. the amount we OVERSPEND by - by a tiny fraction. What this nation needs is to wean everyone off the giant tit of the "state" (i.e money taken by menaces from the wealth generating part of the economy - the private sector). We need to cut further & deeper til not a single "Diversity Co-ordinator" or "Climate Change Officer" exists on the public purse, til there's a bonfire of Quangos, til welfare is a safety net of last resort not first resort.

    Since when did the poor come to mean the feckless, the idle, the gluttonous, the irresponsible?

    This and this won't make comfortable reading but any decent parent knows the need for tough love is needed sometimes.

  3. Rebel Saint removed his first post - shame - his comments remind me why we need to reclaim the Christianity. Jesus defended the poor and stood up to those with power. He showed compassion and acted to defend the vulnerable. 'Rebel Saint', there is no point in rebelling against the fundamental teachings of our faith. I am keeping you in my prayers. Seriously.

  4. Doh, don't you just hate it when you type out a comment of epic proportions, only to press "Post Comment" and see an error message! I shall try and remember my 'masterpiece' as best I can! ...

    Firstly, I deleted my original comment because the links were wrong. The text, I believe, remained the same. Nothing at all sinister about it. Happy for you to put it back up if you've got a copy of it.

    Funnily enough, I agree with pretty much everything you've said!

    I agree that we need to reclaim Christianity. We need to reclaim it from those who think it's about being "nice" ... that if we give people enough stuff for free; if we mollify & indulge people, then it’ll show that we love them and that’ll make them like us and then maybe like Jesus too. God help us.

    And I agree that Jesus did indeed defend the poor. But he defended them Himself, not by involving the mechanisms of the state. The message of the gospels is that people need saving from themselves not from some oppressive “other”.

    And I agree that Jesus did stand up to those sought to control people spiritually (not much evidence of him being overly concerned with the ruling Roman Civic authorities). He came to liberate people to be self-reliant & self-accountable. He didn’t bring them into even more bondage … making them MORE dependent on those with the financial & political power. And Jesus was also pretty uncompromising on those with the most power over our lives – ourselves: he taught self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-discipline, self-worth … things that will empower & liberate the poor far more than being on the receiving end of some bountiful and benevolent “state”.

    The fundamental teachings of our faith are that my problems lie within me, not with the government.

    And thanks for the prayer. I’d appreciate it if you’d pray for me to be less cowardly and to have the courage to speak truthfully & lovingly to the families I work with; not to placate them in their sense of victimhood but to start taking responsibility for their own physical, financial and spiritual welfare. Maybe you could also thank God for the government having the courage to make us face up to corporate responsibility to live within our means, and to give them wisdom as to where to make the other £100billion of cuts we still need to achieve that.

    Thank you.

    [As you are now on your Lenten fast I assume I'll have the last word on the issue :o)]

  5. Dear 'Rebel Saint' (My name is Chris Howson, please give the courtesy of your real name)

    Had to wait till Sunday to reply (Sundays don't count in the 40 days of lent!)

    I think you raise some interesting points (though you are clearly morally confused, politically mistaken and scripturally selective!)

    I prefer to have conversations face to face, or least with some form of context. You know nothing about my background, and I yours. I ask if we can meet in person, to save either of us making assumptions about the other.

    I keep you in my prayers, though perhaps not in the way you might hope! Blessings.

  6. Thanks Chris ... looks like Sundays are going to be a glut of blogging!

    I prefer to keep my anonymous moniker if that's ok. It gives me greater liberty & stops people exercising their prejudices in real life as well as on-line. (With the power of google, it's probably not that difficult to track down my real identity if you really wanted to).

    Had to laugh at the description ("morally confused, politically mistaken & scripturally selective"). Guess we'll have to be content to see splinters in each others eyes in that respect.

    Always happy to have one-to-one discussions but public blogs are good for public exchanges of opinion I think.

    None of that will change the fact that another £100 billion of cuts need to be made; that the current cuts are fairly mild in comparison to what is needed; and it's actually the middle-classes who are hardest hit at the moment.

    Thanks for the prayer. Don't forget that prayer often changes you more than it's 'target'! You might end up being as mainstream as me ;o)

  7. Before you go on your march demanding that our massively indebted government (... we spend more on debt INTEREST - not repaying the debt - than on schools, police or defence) gives more "free" money to everyone who asks for it (or "the poor & the vulnerable" to give it your positive spin), maybe you should read this or this.