The Morning After #GE2015

There are advantages to being a nun when General Elections are held. One goes to bed at the usual hour then awakes to a world a-buzz with comment. Twitter this morning is awash with tweets containing a degree of infallibility that might surprise even the pope. For some, we face disaster; for others, a golden era beckons. Both are wrong. What we face is largely unknown. We know there will be some very important decisions to be made — about our place in Europe and the shape of the Union, for example — but the predictable is often blown out of the sky by the unforeseen. We are not just a small group of islands able to live wholly self-sufficiently. What happens in Washington, Beijing or Moscow, in the boardrooms of multi-nationals or on the streets of Syria or Iran, can have a huge effect on what happens here. Even the actions of a single rogue trader, manipulating stock markets, or someone anonymously hacking the IT systems of a nation state, can have immense consequences for us.

Today brings us not only the General Election results but also a reminder of VE Day, the seventieth anniversary, in fact. World War II may seem a distant event to many, but we live with its consequences, both good and bad, even today. As we remember those who gave their lives for the freedoms we now enjoy, and reflect sadly that the world is still at war in many places, we can also reflect on both the fragility and strength of our democratic processes. We need to pray for H.M. Government, H.M. Opposition, the Civil Service and all who have a role to play in the business of government and the implementation of policy. We may like or dislike individual parties and their policies, but the important thing is surely to try to do the best we can for everyone — to put into action what we, as Christians, often claim to have: a sense of moral purpose, a commitment to the common good, a desire to be of service to others. These are not small things, but they can be hard to achieve.

Many today will also be quietly celebrating Julian of Norwich and her wise and generous vision of a world in which all shall be well, because it is held fast by the hand of God. That hope and vision are a comfort and inspiration, but they require our co-operation to be realized. The General Election is the end of one process and the beginning of another, just as much as VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe and the beginning of the building of the peace. The one thing we can safely predict is that it isn’t going to be easy.


17 thoughts on “The Morning After #GE2015”

  1. Thank you for bringing me a sense of hope, rather than hopelessness on a day which had intially disappointed and saddened me that such a large percentage voted for relatively extreme views in politics, which on the face of it, will cause further division and deprivation between the have and the have nots in our society.

    But your refreshing perspective can turn disappointment to hope and prayer that a change of heart could still happen and I do believe in miracles.

    Here’s hoping!!

  2. The problem is, the Conservatives don’t seem to have that sense of moral purpose that you speak of. They act in their and their friends’ best interests. Whatever happens next, if they get in – and it looks like they will – it won’t be good.

    • Personally, I find that kind of condemnation of others a bit difficult because, although you qualify your remarks in your first sentence with ‘seem’, you then undermine it in your second with an imputation of base motives and actions (what, ALL Conservatives?), then conclude in your third with a touch of that infallibility regarding outcomes my whole post questions. I hope you see what I’m getting at. I don’t hold a brief for any party, but I’m keen on fairness.

  3. World War II is certainly not a distant event or memory to the Danes. Our country was invaded by the Germans on the 9th April 1940 and it took 5 long and very dark years, before we could celebrate our freedom again on 4th May 1945.

    Every year on 4th May we put candles in our windows to remember, and the 70th anniversary was celebrated all over the country. Perhaps most poignantly in a special memorial park in Copenhagen, where 95 members of the Resistance Movement were killed by the Gestapo (German secret police soldiers).

    My father was one of the many freedom fighters, so I am blessed that he lived to give me life.

    • Thank you. How brave the Danes were! Most of my family seem to have fought in WWII — two of my uncles died — and some of my childhood friends had parents with Concentration Camp numbers tattooed on their arms, so it doesn’t seem distant to me, either, but for many it is.

      • Thank you Sister. The War will of course eventually become a distant event to future generations, but for those still alive who experienced the horror of the concentration camps, it is very much an event of only yesterday.

        My mother and her family spent over a year in an internment camp, the step before being transported to a concentration camp. They never got that far, thank God.

  4. Thank you for your sense of fairness, of trusting in God and knowledge, with Julian, that all shall be well.
    It’s so easy to judge and imagine we’re being righteous.

  5. As a Benedictine Oblate, I am celebrating Julian of Norwich today. I took her name as my oblate-name and her wise and generous vision, as you say, have always been very important to me.

  6. Thank you for your post. The only comment I want to make is that I wish parliament was a fairer representation of the voters choice ie not first past the post. Then perhaps everyone would feel included.

    The change to that kind of voting system in Scotland for both Holyrood and local council elections has meant every voice is heard and represented.

    This is not a party political point of view just an observation and as I have done since my ordination I will continue to pray for all those who govern us, whoever they may be.

  7. Congratulations on the conclusion of this election. If only the time frame for elections in the US were as brief as it is in the UK. All best wishes for positive action as things move forward.

  8. I have a gold crucifix which I wear everyday, it’s the first thing I put on, I kiss the broken figure and pray ‘your will O Lord, not mine’ as a reminder of our Lords sacrifice for us.
    It may seem ritualistic but I prefer the word discipline so that I remember that whatever I am doing and whatever is happening in the world God is at the centre of it all and we must trust that all will be well whatever happens.
    Of course we need to be pro active and stand up to injustices…..the devil prowles around like a roaring Lion….
    But the world is a beautiful place and full of miracles , let’s celebrate just not lose sight who is in our midst.

  9. I’m always reminded of the very straightforward prayer of the late Sr Constance OHP one year (long before I came to OHP) on a voting day. She said “and we pray for all those who hope to be in parliament tomorrow”.

    I guess the only thing we can guarantee with any government is that they will do things we like and things we dislike!

  10. Thank you for Julian of Norwich’s ‘vision of a world in which all shall be well, because it is held fast by the hand of God.’
    Inspiring, comforting and guiding especially and particularly with the ‘cooperation ‘ link.
    God bless

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