2nd February 2019
This weekend’s Church and Society Group meeting was unanimous in its concern over the extent and extremity of division in our country at the moment. Whatever does or doesn’t happen on March 29th, a very large proportion of the population is going to be somewhere between very disappointed and angry and there have already been warnings of the possibility of civil unrest from Brexiters should BREXIT not happen, we have already seen marches in support of the remain stance boasting unprecedented numbers – 700,000 on the People’s Vote march in October 2018. And according to the popular press contingency plans are in place to evacuate the Queen in the event of riots caused by a No Deal BREXIT.
This is not about the result, whether we stay or go. People with a Christian (or any other) faith could have found good reason to vote either way in the original referendum, whatever you think of the “Lies” or “Scaremongering” noises from both sides. This is about the level of distrust, the vehemence of the hatred which has been stoked up, the unchristian racism which is coming to the fore.
But it is also about the tone of the debate at the highest level, in parliament where the voices of reason on both sides seem few and far between, where the two main party leaders seem incapable of civilised debate, outside Parliament where MPs have been intimidated and described as “Nazi Scum”, which shows, according to a recent Rowan Williams interview on Newsnight, a complete ignorance of the meaning of the word Nazi.
That same interview described the “absolute” nature of the debate – For me to win, you have to lose, lose totally, absolutely! There is no room for compromise, for listening, for caring about the other and how they will feel about the outcome. All we have is confrontation. Surely some attempt at consensus is needed.
But whatever happens, in the meantime, we encourage you to pray with us:
- that all our civic leaders seek to ensure that the most disadvantaged, in our country and in other countries,are not made to suffer more as a result of any decision we come to over Brexit
- for our MPs, many facing conflict between the views of their constituents and their representative duty to vote for what they honestly believe to be in the best interests of all, and
- that other pressing social issues are no longer neglected as a result of all the attention being devoted to this issue.
A link to the Rowan Williams Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iovWFpCqHuw