We must vote, for the country’s sake
I often hear people say: “We are so fed up with Brexit and the election, we’re not bothering to vote.”
That’s understandable. After six years of austerity, which saved our country from near bankruptcy, followed by three-and-a-half years of our gutless, conniving and deceitful politicians hell-bent on undermining British democracy, no wonder we ALL feel betrayed and fed up.
These same politicians have not only betrayed those who voted for them, but diminished Britain’s standing and reputation throughout the world, at our expense!
It is perhaps worth remembering that whatever party we vote for on. December 12 is for a five-year term.
Most policies can be ‘reversed’ by successive governments, but Brexit could not be reversed.
The ‘labels’ of our three main parties are now just that – labels. They are no longer the ‘parties’ our parents and grandparents would recognise and vote for.
Unless ‘HMS Great Britain’ can escape from this Bermuda Triangle by signing us out of the EU and once again becoming an independent, self - governing nation, we will remain in limbo and a laughing stock throughout the world.
To go full steam ahead would mean forgetting party politics and all their empty promises, forget our useless politicians and for this election only, think of one thing – if you want to leave the EU, it is a question of having to vote for the Conservatives or the Brexit Party.
To vote for any other party, or not to vote at all, would ultimately keep us in the European Union for ‘ever more’, but not before many months, or years, of referendums, political time-wasting and hostilities, leading to the UK’s break up and bankruptcy.
Conservatives would do well to be concerned that voter complacency over their current lead may ultimately cost them the election.
Boris Johnson may not be everyone’s perfect cup of tea, but let no one be deceived as to the alternative that we will get. Behind the genial grandpa mask is one of the most hard-Left Labour leaders ever.
An increasing number of voters have no experience of the misery of the socialist governments of the ’70s.
When unions had unchecked power and could inflict winters without heat, light, or public transport due to coal, electricity, and rail strikes. Many first-time voters will not even remember the mess the previous Labour government left the country in.
Anyone lulled into complacency by a seemingly soft socialist Labour party with low poll ratings should be aware that we could easily end up with the most Marxist government that the country has experienced for decades.
In reality, the stark choice is Conservative or communist. The middle ground is not a safe place to dither.
Johnson needs to face the big guns
Boris Johnson’s motormouth response to interviewers is, I admit, a successful ploy that allows him to evade answering questions put to him.
This Sunday’s Andrew Marr interview with him demonstrated that, as the hapless Andrew was flattened, much like someone armed with a rifle facing a tank.
His refusal to confirm a confrontation with Andrew Neil reveals a reluctance to face a formidable interrogator. Come on Boris – GET THE INTERVIEW DONE.
Churches a symbol of our commitment
Barry Ewbank asks (Your Say, Gazette, December 2) “how do we come to a decision as to which churches stay open and which ones close?”
Church buildings are both a blessing and a burden to local communities, yet at a fundamental level, and particularly so in rural contexts, these buildings represent a profound commitment to place.
The Church of England is meant to be “a Christian presence in every community”, and readers may be surprised to learn that it is incredibly difficult to close a church. Rightly so, since all of us are guardians of a rich history that in some cases reaches back centuries. Any decision to close is not taken with ease.
So what can be done? When a parish goes into vacancy, I ask the people of that community the questions: what is your story? What is your mustard seed? Trying to foster confidence is important, especially when populations are ageing and costs are rising.
We work hard with church communities to encourage a culture of hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and in many cases, fresh perspectives on how our buildings can be used. This is not without its challenges, but, in the run-up to Christmas, that is surely something to be celebrated?
The Right Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley
Bishop of Ripon