Like many another blogger I have found myself in the midst of a whirl of activity and travel. Hence the long gap – and all of a sudden we are at the tail end of the year. I have been thinking about doing a post with some honest resolutions and reflection, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. The reason being that I am starting a day or so early by trying to be brave in my opinions. (You may well see a reflection on tomorrow’s blog explaining why I find this so difficult.)
The following letter from The Herald newspaper is one that resonates with my own feelings, particularly on the subject of the priorities of our current Coalition Government.
Most vulnerable in society are being targeted by our unjust government
I had a dream the other night about an island country that suffered from great debt and a shortage of money due to the recklessness and greed of a few.
I dreamt those in charge decided to allow the greedy to give themselves more money and to take it onto nearby islands, escaping the tax they owed. I dreamt those in charge told us “we are all in this together” while they withheld money from the weakest and the least able to survive. In the dream I saw a company from another country being hired to assess the disabled with bonuses being paid to the number they could medically certify as not deserving the money.
I saw many people who claimed an allegiance to a religion of compassion and love so obsessed over whether two people of the same gender who love each other should be allowed to marry or minister to others that they were diverted from the real suffering in their midst. I saw a huge amount of money being taken away to buy a new weapons system that would destroy half the world to protect against terrorism. The nightmare is all too real and was courageously expressed in the Christmas Day sermon by the Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral (“Attack on ‘ungodly’ Coalition”, The Herald, December 26). At the same time the Prime Minister chose uniquely to mention God in his Christmas message.
In more than 70 years I have never encountered such an unjust government. It was claimed the amount of tax evasion and fraud in Britain is equivalent to two-thirds of the NHS budget. Benefit fraud accounts for 0.6% of that paid out. Even Margaret Thatcher did not mount such a full-scale attack on the welfare state under the guise of reform.
Those of all faiths and none must unite to challenge and defeat this evil scapegoating of the most vulnerable in society. Some of us would wish to do so in the spirit and the name of the one whose birth we celebrate at this time.
Rev Dr Iain Whyte, 14 Carlingnose Point, North Queensferry.
It says things more eloquently than I can, as does the sermon it refers to. It can be heard online here.
So – Resolution #1 - To try to be braver in speaking out about wrongs and injustice.
Have you got any good New Year Resolutions – especially ones that are difficult?