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Bishop's Thought

By Dr Edward Condry, Bishop of Ramsbury

The starting gun seems to have been fired. The General Election is on the way.

The result, of course, is the most unpredictable for years.

There are so many possible combinations of parties which might take power in May.

I suspect that as a consequence there will be many more of us who vote tactically this time.
It is our duty to take part, to listen to the debates, and to consider our votes carefully.

I long for more talk about what kind of life we are going to live.

I am not moved by those who argue they are going to spend £2bn more on this, or cut that cost by £2bn; those who make bland promises about a few more nurses, more trains, or more classrooms.

I want a debate which lifts itself beyond the inevitable pragmatism of current politics: impossible promises about what is going to be done about education, the NHS, the welfare state move me little.

I long for candidates who tell us what kind of society they would like to see.

We want competence. We don’t want false dreamers.

We do want people who recognise the limitations of politics.

But surely we want people who have imagination: politicians who can lift the debate beyond the distorted exchange of statistics ripped from context, and arid criticism of the opponent.

Oh, we don’t want Messiahs. There is only one true Messiah and that is Jesus.

Saints preserve us from homespun wisdom, and empty words: false facades which hide the truth.

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Bishop of Ramsbury
Bishop of Ramsbury