The 2015 UK General Election -A Christian Perspective.

To many the result of the General Election was surprising, the Conservative Party achieving an overall majority and the SNP with a landslide in Scotland. The two are not entirely unconnected. The was a lot of rhetoric from Conservative politicians stating the dangers, as they saw it, of a Labour Party dependent on Scottish National Party support to get their programme of legislation through Parliament. Now, the leadership of the SNP were asking the Scottish electorate to vote for them so they could act in Scotland’s interest. Clearly there are those in England who think that Scottish MPs should not act in the interests of their constituents. The longer these attacks went on the more the people of Scotland found they were drawn to vote SNP. Indeed there was an experiment where Scottish voters able to listen to what the various parties said. In one group the anti-Scottish comments were omitted and in the other group they were included. It was found that those who heard the anti-Scottish comments were more likely to vote SNP than the other group. At the same time this anti-Scottish sentiment was obviously going down well on the doorsteps in England. It is all very well to use the slogan of “English Votes for English Laws” but there are many issues where the lines become blurred. The Conservatives are prepared to devolve all matters concerning Income Tax to Scotland, though one could regard this cynically as the SNP as well as the Labour Party were in favour of a higher top rate of Tax for the rich. Though Income Tax is not one of the items at the top of the SNP’s list of new powers and preparatory work into its devolving has raised a number of issues, not least that being that most large companies employ people on both sides of the border. Some people live on one side of the border and work on the other – where will they pay their tax? Officials have been reported to have had difficulties in sorting this out. It would be more simple to devolve those taxes and revenues where production can be more readily identified such as whisky and North Sea oil but that is not on the Conservative Party’s agenda.
There have been a number of comments concerning the fact that with the first past the post system of voting that the SNP has 56 seats while UKIP which polled about three times as much has only one seat. Funny how it was alright when the SNP was under-represented by the system and bad when they are over-represented. The fact is that many of those who voted SNP in Scotland in this election had not voted in the last election in 2010. Then there had been concerns about the low turnout in many of the safe Labour seats in the Central Belt. Disillusioned voters tended not to vote where they regarded the outcome in that seat seat as a foregone conclusion that it would be returning a Labour MP. The Referendum changed that and created an army of political activists. But that does not answer the question as to why the SNP? One part of the answer is the “Cash for Peerages” scandal that Tony Blair was accused of nearly a decade ago now. The law in Britain forbids the selling of honours, including peerages, but political parties require money to operate and the Labour Party was in debt. The Labour Party got round this by asking for loans rather donations and it just so happened that some of those whose loaned large amounts of money happened to get either a knighthood or a peerage. It certainly broke the spirit of the law if it did not break the letter. Most MPs failed to think there was anything wrong with this and it was left to Angus MacNeil MP of the SNP to report the matter to the police. The police thought there was a probability of wrongdoing and passed the file to the Crown Prosecution Service. The secretary to Tony Blair who dealt with the matter was asked to turn Queen’s Evidence, but she refused and the prosecution was abandoned. Tony Blair said he was vindicated, though nobody actually said he was innocent. Meanwhile a rain-bearing weather system that had been passing over the British Isles ground to a halt over the West Midlands and started to pour down incessantly for several days without moving causing massive flooding that had not been seen on such a scale in living memory. It was as if the heavens were crying lamenting the injustice. When the SNP tabled a motion censuring Tony Blair for his part in the scandal, not a single member of three big parties supported it. It was even reported that some MPs thought Angus MacNeil should be prosecuted for wasting police time. Since that time all those Unionist MPs who represented Scottish constituencies and refused to condemn Tony Blair over ‘Cash for Honours’ have either retired or lost their seats except Alastair Carmichael the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland. Now he has been found guilty of dirty tricks over a leak to the media, against Nicola Sturgeon, which he was responsible for during the election but denied having anything to do with it. His credibility is in tatters now. Is this just a coincidence, or a God-incidence?
There has been an increasing feeling of disenfranchisement among many voters south of the Border. The democratic system seems to assume that everyone works Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, and has evenings and weekends to be free to attend political meetings. As we tend towards the 24/7 society it is increasingly difficult for those of working age to find themselves free to attend these meetings. For those with children or other dependents that tend to soak up spare time and money, adding to the problems. One of the candidates for the Labour Party’s leadership contest withdrew because of family pressures. So even those who have climbed part-way up the political ladder can find it difficult, how much more are the odds against others with families from getting involved in the political process in the first place. There was also an article that stated that this current Parliament had the highest percentage of members who are openly ‘gay’ of any country in the world. Though I hasten to add I have nothing against any of the individuals concerned. The question is bound to be raised as to the extent they are representing the views of the heterosexual majority. In recent years legislation has become increasingly opposed to Biblical values and it looks as if the situation will get worse. The perception is that non-heterosexuals are more equal than others. The slightest questioning of a statement about homosexuality is treated as homophobic, this has the effect of stifling reasoned debate. Helping to create a sense of disconnect with those who hold more traditional views.
Where will it all end up – watch this space.
David Rose 2015.

About davidgrose

I am a Bible believing Christian, brought up in the Brethren Movement, and now find myself associating with charismatics even though I do not always agree with them. I am in full-time employment. I have interests in history and photography amongst others.
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