Thursday, 6 May 2010

Value what you've got!

Woke up to an historic day - possibly. Certainly an intriguing one. The General Election which is 'too close to call' according to the pundits, who all hope there'll be a hung Parliament (i.e. no party with an overall majority). Then they'll be able to speculate about alliances, unstable governments etc. In other words they'll have so much more to bore us with. I really think there's a danger of opinion overload, which will just turn the public off politics again.  

Anyway we got up deliciously late, had my favourite breakfast of coffee and croissants - and dreamed of Paris! And then went off to do our civic duty and voted at the Grove Old Mill Hall. There weren't queues there but a steady trickle. I have to say this is one of the safest Conservative seats around, which I guess discourages some from voting, but Sally, a friend of mine on Facebook, wisely and pointedly observed this morning: 

VOTE friends - VOTE!!! (people died so you could and people in other countries queue for days to vote under high risk of bombing - we have no excuse NOT to walk to the end of our roads...)

I was mildly encouraged to watch Facebook's vote-meter pass the million mark. It's admittedly still a minority of UK FB users, but it kept going up. Sally's comment reminded me of Andrew White's latest letter from Iraq, which really should shake us out of complacency on many levels:

"Election News

As elections are prepared for in the UK, we are still in the position we've been in since the election here in February 7th, without a new government. Yesterday, however: 

Iraq's two largest Shiite electoral blocs announced that they have formed an alliance that gives them a strong chance of setting up the next government, though they have yet to work out the contentious question of who will become prime minister.

The coalition deal between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition and the conservative Shiite Iraqi National Alliance leaves them just four parliamentary seats shy of a ruling majority.

 So we are a lot nearer to having a Government. The big contentious issue remains Kirkuk. This major oil area is claimed by both the Kurds and Arabs. Having Kurdish support remains very important. The other major problem with this coalition is the support of the Sunni community. The block is Shia dominated so the Sunni could feel very side tracked by it.

Tragic News from Nineveh

The sad news, as some of you already know, is that on Sunday, two large buses taking Christian students to university in Mosul were attacked close to Nineveh.  They included family members of people in our congregation at St George's.  Whilst at this stage we only know of two deaths there were over 100 people injured.

Added to this one of our congregation was telling us about members of her family injured in the Easter day bombings.  One lost both their eyes, two lost their legs and others were injured.  So Sunday was a day of pain.  
Despite all these difficulties we do not give up hope.  As I have said so many times, and say at the beginning of every service, THE LORD IS HERE AND HIS SPIRIT IS WITH US."

I've given a link to a short YouTube clip of Andrew talking about the uncertainty and asking us to pray. I think the same applies here, as whoever or whatever combination comes into power, they will certainly need all the wisdom God gives to steer us through the next few years. Frankly human ingenuity won't prove enough. (

PS I meant to mention that we went on to the shops after voting to buy some mince - and there it was - gone. The butcher's, that is, which people come to from all round the area. Just metal shutters down. I considered it one of Grove's treasures. So the glory of the world passes away: Sic transit gloria mundi.

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