I’ve seen a lot of posts on FB and I’m glad to know that some of my friends, now that he’s getting some decent exposure, realise that Jeremy Corbyn is not Satan.  Unfortunately some of my FB friends still think his policies will be a disaster, despite some serious economists thinking otherwise. We’re told that the rich ‘will not work harder’ if they are taxed more than 42%. Funny, ‘cos one of the things the really well-off say is, it’s not about working harder, but working smarter. I suppose the smart thing is to hire a good tax accountant/lawyer; as long as you can afford one/them.

It will come as no surprise that I am voting Labour. I want a country that works for everyone, including those who cannot, for whatever reason, work at all. And I want my country to be one that welcomes people escaping violence, and is generous to those in need. Labour’s manifesto works for those things.

But what about the ‘wealth creators’? The problem is that Capitalism has failed; it hasn’t delivered. Why? because it is an imperfect system operated by human beings. Funnily, that’s the same reason why Socialism has appeared to fail, (although it could be argued that it’s never been properly tried). It is we who are the problem, for any system. Which is why, once this election is over, whatever the outcome, we electors must not shrug our shoulders, complain (or rejoice) & forget about our representatives until they next come calling. That’s not democracy, that’s stupidity. Let us learn from past mistakes and hold our representatives accountable.

And here’s my message for we Christians. Don’t assume that Matthew chapter 25 verses 14 to 30 is a paean to capitalism, (the parable of the Talents), it is the exact opposite. In his final discourses in Jerusalem before his crucifixion Jesus’ mind will have been focussed on getting his message across. The parable is one of four concerning watchfulness and faithfulness, and they are directed to Israel. It’s of a piece with chapter 21 verses 33 to 45; God’s judgement on faithless Israel, more particularly Israel’s faithless leaders – the shepherds of Israel (see Ezekiel chapter 34). Israel – and in this context, the church/Christians – have been gifted with a good message. It is exactly the same as was that required of Israel; justice, mercy, kindness, righteousness, sensitivity to the poor, the needy, the outcast, the foreigner. If you find that in a party manifesto, that’s who to vote for – then, if necessary, hold their feet to the fire (metaphorically & kindly of course) to make sure they do it. Any gifts we have are given us for the benefit of others, to draw them in to a kingdom of grace, mercy and love. If we use our gifts for ourselves – Matthew 25 has an unhappy conclusion!

As a pensioner paying a small amount of income tax, I will happily forgo my winter fuel allowance (given to charity) and pay a little more tax (reduce the tax free allowance) if it will save the NHS & give mine and the world’s children a better future. For me, it’s simple: Vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto and ‘Make Britain Decent’ (possibly for the first time).

Be Blessed.    Dave

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