Democracy UK

Our prayers have been answered. We have a truly democratic parliament. The Conservative party has formed a government and there is a strong opposition to hold government to account in its legislation and decisions. This is democracy at its best: for the whole of the parliament all our votes will have importance because all government moves will be closely scrutinised and challenged by the opposition. We pray for the working out of our healthy democracy.

The election looks a disaster: no strong government, threats of quarrels and divisions on each important issue and many minor ones; uncertainty after uncertainty as deals and compromises will need to be constantly made and renewed. Is this any answer to our prayer?

Northern Ireland has an important place in our new parliament. The DUP can help the Conservatives on each issue to have a majority. We wonder what its asking price will be.

Sinn Fein is not sending its elected MPs to Westminster, but if it chose to it would nullify the influence of the DUP and prevent the forming of a majority on issues it chose to oppose, providing that the other parties have combined in opposition.

This is democracy at its worst, the ability to prevent government unless prices are paid. This is democracy at its best, the need to listen to all sections in the Houses of Commons and Lords that accord/compromise/agreement might be reached.

Who would want to be the Prime Minister in these circumstances? We shall watch the hands being raised and for the hands holding the daggers. Winston Churchill said, “The opposition is in front of you, the enemy behind you.”

Isn’t it sad that in the prime positions of national need and responsibilities it is the ambitious and sometimes the ruthless who win. Democracy needs people of integrity in parliament, government and opposition in a shared enterprise to bring justice to all parts of society and help bring the same in all parts of the world. We continue to pray.

God bless us,

Fr John
(11th September 2017)

Related Links: Popular Reads and Fr John’s Parish Newsletters