PG’s Tips for Survival at the RHN 


     By the time you read this there will be yet another election over – that is, for the next five years. The tone has always been ‘my dog’s better than your dog!’ The politicians seem to delight in outdoing one another, scoring points whenever one of them makes a gaffe – also called ‘an error of judgement’. The various party slogans have kept us amused. For example, the Conservatives came up with ‘Are you thinking what we’re thinking?’ to which the obvious answer is ‘probably not!’ I heard a superb variation of this which said ‘Are you drinking what we’re drinking?’

     Amidst all the frivolity and back-biting, there was the serious business of choosing a person locally, as well as nationally, who we trust to hear our concerns and act wisely on our behalf. This is what we’ve come to expect from our politicians – whether they do as their manifesto promises claim is another matter.
     There is of course still room for corruption, as in the recent case of the Birmingham councillors caught ballot-rigging by tampering with postal ballots. This was an isolated incident thankfully. However there was, and always will be the central I question of trust in our leaders. At least we have the opportunity to choose – we grumble and moan, but instead we must be grateful that we have a democracy!

     Now compare the General Election in the UK with the elections not so long ago in Zimbabwe, where the dictatorial regime of President Robert Mugabe ‘appeared’ to triumph over the only opposition party. All this was accompanied by allegations of intimidation and worse. This was verified by independent UN observers.

     Iraq’s election poses a different set of problems. Here they are trying to establish democracy after a reign of tyranny, against a background of rebel activity. Some would say that this was the result of the void left after the ‘illegal invasion’ by, primarily, the UK/USA coalition. This whole state of affairs was paradoxically brought about in the name of democracy.

     Contrast this with the method of choosing the new Pope, Benedict XVI. It is amazing how 115 Cardinals, each a strong personality, could have agreed after only two ballots. This was done under unique secrecy, even to the disguising of the individual’s signatures. Many would say that this was only possible through a common belief in God who answers prayer.
     Sidney’s preferred choice was a ‘no-brainer’ - it was obvious.

Written by Peter Gow
May 2005

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