A right judgement in all things

_68043404_005783605-1A General Election approaches. Some people expect the Vicar to make deep and meaningful recommendations and warnings about who to vote for, or not to vote for. The trouble is, I can’t.

I can’t recommend voting for any one person or any one party in particular. This is not because I’m unwilling to say what I think—I’m not. It’s not because the first-past-the-post system makes it pretty pointless voting in constituencies with large majorities, though that is the case.

It’s because the big 3 are all pretty woeful. Labour big nobs are Islington windbags with attitude, obsessed with political correctness. Tories are all Cotswolds and Chelsea tractors, and Liberals simply wishy-washy. I have some sympathy with English people feeling at a disadvantage compared to the Welsh and the Scottish, but the solutions on offer for that are, to say the least, unappealing.

I look for a bit of decency and common sense. I’d like to think there was some old-Labour somewhere. I’d like to see someone confront corruption. I’d like to see an end to the culture of giving jobs to school chums, friends and relations (the Church of England is pretty good at that too). I’d love to see an end to rampant corporate managerialism that stifles us all, especially schools and hospitals, preventing teachers, doctors and nurses from doing what they thought they would be doing when they joined those professions. I’d love to see a welfare system that helps the hard-pressed without making silly hoops for them to jump through, and that no longer pays a few to be irresponsible.

You might be tempted to vote for a party you don’t really agree with in order to give the same-old-same-old a bloody nose. You might be tempted to spoil your ballot paper. You might be tempted to vote for her or him because they have a nice smile, or they sent you a Christmas card, or did some small service that is no more than their duty, and for which they are paid.

All I can suggest is that you vote for those you think will best serve the common good. This might not be in your self-interest, but it might just lead to a healthier society and a healthier world community. Of course, with the best will in the world, you might make a decision that turns out to have been ill-judged. But nobody chooses wisely all the time.

Vote for the good of all, on balance. Not the good of the bankers, of the landowners, of those with their snouts already in the trough, or for this group or that, but think about sons and daughters trying to get a job, find a home, start a family and make a contribution to society.

Vote for the common good.

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