Monday, 8 June 2009

Shame and faint comfort

I realise that the blogosphere will be chocca with despair about the European elections, so I won't say much other than:

Shame on those who did not vote.
Shame on women who did not vote - other women were imprisoned, tortured and gave their lives so that we can exercise our rights.
Shame on men who did not vote - do millennia of patriarchal rule not give you any sense of responsibility?
Shame on our politicians who have allowed politics to become a dirty word.
Shame on the media who no longer describe the world, but shape it and order it according to the whim of editors, owners and shareholders.
Shame on me for not saying and doing more to cast light on truth.

There may be some comfort in these words:

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. (Isaiah 40.21-24)


  1. I think this is particularly pertinent; "Shame on the media who no longer describe the world, but shape it and order it according to the whim of editors, owners and shareholders."

    Also shame on a nation that is willing to have its thoughts moulded by a barrage of media hype- when did we loose the ability to think for ourselves?

  2. Well I am sure it was good to get it off your chest...but is that really going to make people use their vote - casting shame?
    I grew up in a fairly political household, Dad was a Labour councillor, Mum used to regularly rage against Robin Days' Question Time, so I learned early on that it as somehow important to care about these issues. That said I know that even I often vote out of habit - out of duty largely becaue I have been to lazy to find out about candidates and policies. I know better becasue I have been taught but what about those (the majority?) who haven't? Democracy is about choice and we really need to be engaging with the reasons why 64% nationally chose not to put an 'x' in the euro elections. (69% in my area)
    My Mum was having her regular at the hairdressers last Friday and it arose that none of the girls voted. They didn't know why they should vote, who they should vote for, or even if it would make any difference. That worries me far more. Ignorance is an excuse - where do we learn about these things if not at school or home, or perhaps I should reword that- where do people learn to care about these things if they don't hear about it at school or home. I come from an area, and I now live and work in an area where only the minority go on to further if the importance of our parliamentary system hasn't been integrated into their learning by 16 then the likelihood is that it never will. Their learning will come from the well reported bad decisions, lapses in integrity, dishonesty and general 'cat fighting' that parliament likes to employ...sadly they won't see the positives of communities and lives changed, the policies for equality, improvements, hope...
    I do believe that the church can play a significant part in this though I am not completely sure how...I just don't think we'll make a 'gospel' difference through shame...