ghoti_mhic_uait: (Three-quarters of George Washington's he)
Which I thought was quite an interesting question, mostly because it never occurred to me that people might not be interested.

My first thought was 'well, I got interested in politics when I realised that was a thing I could study and it could be fun, and then it was' which isn't right. And I thought about how we didn't have a lot of money growing up, but honestly, as a child I always had enough to eat, a roof over my head and plenty of books, and thanks mostly to the generosity of others I went to beautiful places to learn beautiful things, so I never felt that I was that badly off.

Then I looked a bit further, and I really think this is a cradle-Catholic thing. I mean, I know there are cradle-Catholics who think differently than me, but in a church universal, that's bound to happen! And of course, other religions might have the same effect, and I'm not claiming that religious people have the monopoly on this kind of upbringing! But it does have an effect.

I'm talking about turning up and hearing '“The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”'(Mark 12: 29-31), we hear 'Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.' (Romans 13:8).

We hear 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner:' (Leviticus 19: 9-10) and 'Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.' (Acts 4:32-34)


Now I know there are problems with taking bible verses out of context, and other people read and interpret differently - but when you start from a baby hearing 'God is love and anyone who lives in love, lives in God' (1 John 4:16), and see your church community turning that into feeding the hungry both literally and metaphorically, it's a pretty easy message to internalise and not a bad roadmap for life.

It's not just me, either: when Colin and I first got together, we were in church and sang this hymn, with which I was previously unfamiliar, and he leant over and said "This is what Christianity is about to me":
Will you let me be your servant,
Let me be as Christ to you?
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let me be your servant too.

Vote!

May. 6th, 2010 08:30 pm
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Three-quarters of George Washington's he)
There's still time to be part of the most exciting election in my memory. Polls close at 10; if you haven't voted, please do so now!
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Three-quarters of George Washington's he)
I've been having a lot of political dreams lately, but last night's was the oddest.

In it, Judith was explaining why, despite the similar sounding name, the SNP are good and the BNP are bad. "It's like 'states' rights'", she said, "it sounds good in principle, and it is when they're being used to mandate teaching in two languages in bilingual areas, or allow equal marriage access, but not when its being used to enforce large-scale human rights abuses."

I think I mostly agree with her.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Thingvellir)
In 1997, I heard a lot about what happened the previous time Labour had been in power. I heard, endlessly, aboud the Miners' strike and the Winter of Discontent (I still don't see Thatcher as Richard III, but that's another issue). All of that, I was promised by the scare-mongers, could be mine if only I voted Labour. This time round, I'm getting a lot of 'remember what happened last time'. Well, yes, I do remember - and I'm still terrified of John Major, sad to say. However, Cameron isn't Major and he sure as hell isn't Thatcher. I was annoyed then, and I'm just as annoyed and sceptical now.

Don't vote based on what may or may not have happened last time - vote according to the manifesto, and be prepared to be disappointed anyway (remember the 1997 Labour pledge to repeal the Criminal Justice Act (1994)? It's still law). There's plenty in the Conservative manifesto to keep me from voting for them, as it happens. Please, please vote according to what the parties actually offer.


Again, if all a party or candidate has to offer is that they're not something else, do they deserve your vote? No! I want to vote for a fairer asylum system, scrapping Trident, more windfarms, and a candidate who has served my interests well in the past. Your values may differ, your vote may vary - I don't want you to vote what's right for me, I want you to vote what's right for you. I'd like best of all for them to be the same thing, of course.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Thingvellir)
In case you're wondering why I've only started mentioning politics in the last few days, it's because this election is reminding me very much of 1997. I was a young politics student, first time voter, and that night held so much promise.

We all know how well that turned out.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Geek Dragon)
I saw someone recently post about the site didmympshowupornot or whatever it's called, pointing out that it was incorrect about my MP, because it claimed he wasn't present for a debate he spoke in. I wanted to retweet it in the manner of twitter, and also like it in the manner of facebook, but what I actually did was forget who wrote it or where to find the post/quote

If it was you, I'm very sorry, and would someone please remind me?

Alkso, I would really like one website to the features of another, please.

p.s. Twitter's great, it's like talking to yourself but without looking like a madman

Update: It was [livejournal.com profile] chess, here.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Three-quarters of George Washington's he)
"[Sarah Palin] puts the alas in Alaska"
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Three-quarters of George Washington's he)
It has long been known that Tony Blair is a Christian. So why is this recent quote from him a surprise?

"Well, I think if you have faith about these things, then you realise that judgment is made by other people."

Questioned further, he added: "If you believe in God, [the judgment] is made by God as well."


Well, what do you know? A prime minister who thinks that it's just possible that the electorate might judge him. A Christian who thinks that it's possible that God might judge him. I'm not God, and I've never voted Labour. I've never voted for the policies of Blair, I've not wanted to stand up and say 'I am part of this' since Blair became leader. I have looked elsewhere, and found kindred spirits elsewhere. I am sure you all knew that. However, as a citizen of the UK, yes, I have judged his actions. You have judged his actions.

I find them wanting in thought, care or decency. I find them misguided at best and evil at worst - I will stand any where you please and be counted as someone who believes that the war in Iraq is,was and as far as I am concerned probably always will be wrong. I am not afraid, it is my duty as a citizen to listen, to think, and to judge.

However, that is also to be expected. If the prime minister says 'I expect to be judged by other people' well, good. There is a judgment to be made, and we are making it.

If the prime minister says 'the judgment is made by God as well' - that doesn't mean, as some people have been saying, that he expects to be absolved, or praised. It means he expects to be judged. And if he thinks there's another balance 'I must be a good person' then all to the good - it may not mean much to you, but I do not see the damage in an extra check.

Yes, as a politician he needs the judgment of the electorate. I am not denying that. But neither was he.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Three-quarters of George Washington's he)
Three candidates, STV, one position. Quite a serious vote, so naturally I sha'n;t actually do it based on a LJ poll. I'm just curious.

[Poll #668449]
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
So, tomorrow evening, beer and sandwiches at my place, for watching election results.

feel free to turn up about 11 or so; you can't miss our ghouse, it's got a huge stakeboard outside.

I intend to sing 'the red flag' when the Lib Dems win Cambridge, so bring your singing voices (or earplugs).


Similarly, bring something to put in a sandwich.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
Independent: Vote for Lib Dems will not let in Tories. "[T]he Tories
come nowhere near to passing the winning post of 324 seats they would
need to form a government. Crucially, if enough people switched from
Labour to the Liberal Democrats, Mr Kennedy's party would start to win
seats instead of the Tories -- so the result would be a hung
parliament rather than a Tory government."
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
Anne Campbell voted for (and against) the details here

The same page also shows how she voted with regard to holding suspected terrorists without trial.

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