Regular columnist Philip Young finds himself a little confused as to the effective outcome of the June 2017 general election.
Theresa May called the general election on the premise that she wanted to provide strong and stable government to carry out the BREXIT agenda. The outcome is an unstable and wobbly government with no clear way forward, and cabinet colleagues are lining up to see who might be the one to take over when she inevitably has to step aside. The question is not ‘if’ but rather ‘when’, and even that is uncertain as the last thing that her colleagues wish to do is to trigger another election, which the Conservatives would be in danger of losing.
And then there was Theresa May warning of a ‘Coalition of Chaos’ if Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party ended up governing with the help of the Scottish Nationals and the Liberal Democrats. And ironically the outcome is a different ‘Coalition of Chaos’, with a minority Conservative government being propped up with a very dubious alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. The Conservatives, who mocked Labour by saying there is no ‘Magic Money Tree’, suddenly find one when it comes to wooing the DUP.
Time will tell what is going to be the eventual outcome, but we can be sure that for the present we are in very uncertain political waters.
In all of this, I took a personal political stand by becoming an Independent Candidate in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency where I have been living for the past two years. I have to report that I did not win and only received 810 votes compared to the Conservative Candidate, Therésè Coffey, who received 33,713 votes and was re-elected as MP. (Cameron Matthews for Labour 17,701, James Sandbach for the Liberal Democrats 4,048, and Eamonn O’Nolan for the Greens 1,082).
What we now have is a ‘Coalition of Chaos’ with political divisions throwing our country into very uncertain times with no clear coming together for the national good.
I still stand firmly and proudly by my personal manifesto, which was to argue that we should put love at the centre of our national politics. Love and care for each other and love and care for the planet. What we need is a ‘Coalition of Love’ where we clearly see that if one suffers then we all suffer and if one flourishes then we all flourish.
Martin Luther King saw clearly in his own time and in the struggles of his time that where there is injustice anywhere then there is injustice everywhere, for it affects us all. ‘No man is an island’ writes John Donne in his famous poem. We need to be clear that we are all linked one to another in One World and that we all either diminish together or we all flourish together.
How then can we all flourish together? By caring for each other.
We do this by ensuring that the suffering of those affected by the terrible tragedy of the fire in Grenfell Tower is seen as a national suffering and a national disaster. The outcome must be justice and truth for those who are suffering most from the loss of loved ones, and loss of home and possessions. Nothing must be pushed under the carpet, all must be brought out into the open, and remedial action must be thorough and satisfy all of us and especially those affected most.
Similarly, the suffering of those who have been caught up in the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester must be seen as a national suffering and our response is perhaps seen best in the message of ‘One Love’. It is heartening to hear the message of ‘One Love’ which especially came from the Ariana Grande concert, and seemed to sum up the response of the whole community in Manchester and wider afield.
Perhaps this response provides the key to where we should be going as a country. If we can capture this spirit of ‘One Love’ and push it into other areas of our national life then we can have hope for the future.
On my election leaflet I shared a poem, which I have written. Imagine love speaking to you.
I am love.
I created the world with love.
Everything and every creature is made in my image,
Which means that everything to you is a brother or sister.
From the smallest particles to the largest galaxies,
It is you who make divisions and build walls.
I am one and you are also of the one.
Knowledge requires you to sort and to name,
But deeper knowledge never separates or divides.
Love holds everything together.
Every particle vibrates with the energy of love.
I am that love.
The walls that we build between us are of our own making. We are all brothers and sisters in One World. We can change the world when we come together in love. Love changes everything.
In any future election let’s put love at the centre of our national life. Love means more equality, justice for those who are suffering injustice. Love means moving towards a more peaceful world and a move away from violence, hatred and war. Love means caring for the planet and looking after our fellow creatures.
Let us give it a go. The message of love is central to our faith.
May God bless us all with love and may we be bold to change our national life and the life of the world with our loving and caring response.
Philip and his wife are pictured above, campaigning at the Suffolk show.
Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans. He moved to Felixstowe two years ago. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. He is now a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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