Democracy

Government is a necessary evil, and Christians must vote for the lesser one

“Society in every state is a blessing,” wrote Thomas Paine in his 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, “but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

In a democracy there are necessarily political parties, whether they are formally established to precede the election with a cohesive stamp of philosophical identity, or informally grouped after the election in order to secure the majority passage of legislation. Either way, the system requires individuals to form fraternal factions in order to work collectively. These ‘parties’ are not of themselves evil, but are made up of people who may choose to speak it or do it. When Christians vote, their duty is to mitigate that evil by supporting the greater good. This may, of course, be a matter of robust debate, and Christians will differ in their apprehensions of necessity and privation, but all will agree in good conscience that their vote is cast for the lesser evil, which must also be the greater good, for to do otherwise would be to sin against the conscience and invite judgment.

There is one choice in this General Election: either Theresa May will be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on Friday morning, or Jeremy Corbyn will. Theresa May has given no assurances to any of her existing team that they will remain in their jobs, but Jeremy Corbyn has indicated that John McDonnell will be Chancellor, Diane Abbott Home Secretary and Emily Thornberry Foreign Secretary. You can natter on (and on) if you wish about the virtues of the LibDems, Ukip or Greens, but it is evident to most that we have returned to a two-party system, at least for the moment, so Tim Farron, Paul Nuttall, and Jonathan Bartley/Caroline Lucas will not be Prime Minister. Nor are they remotely likely to hold any balance of power.

You may despise Theresa May as a liberal, self-serving, Jew-loving, wealth-worshipping anti-Christian, and you may adore Jeremy Corbyn as a benevolent saviour of the poor, defender of Palestine, protector of the NHS and a moral, decent, principled man of virtue…

Corbyn May - Star of David poster

And you will cast your votes accordingly for the candidates who are pledged to work with them in government, for that is the duty of a Christian in a liberal democracy. If government is a necessary evil, a Christian armed with a vote must discern the lesser of these evils, or the greater of these goods, and act accordingly. You may, of course, think a plague on all their houses and not vote at all, but why abdicate the opportunity for creative transformation, or miss a chance to shape a greater justice, a better peace, or to enhance dignity and freedom? Might not the secular social contract reflect something of God’s covenant in Jesus Christ and the responsibility we have toward others?

This blog is sometimes criticised for being too Conservative (or blindly conservative), usually by those Christians who are unashamedly socialist or more Ukippy in their outlook. Well, if so, it helps to fill a gap in the Established Church, where to be Conservative (or conservative) these days is to be a lesser Christian. It is also sometimes criticised for being negative or cynical, so we’ll have none of that today. Instead, we will simply let Jeremy Corbyn and his top team speak for themselves:

Corbyn - top team

Maybe they have changed their minds, you might argue. Don’t we all mature, reflect and amend our beliefs as we grow older and wiser? Possible so, except that given the opportunity numerous times during this election campaign to ‘clarify’ (/retract) some of these long-held views, they have preferred instead to deflect and obfuscate. Diane Abbott in particular has not resiled from her 1984 view that “Every defeat for the British state is a victory for all of us”. If she is made Home Secretary on Friday, she becomes responsible for national security. In what sense is an IRA bomb more righteous than an Islamist bomb? Why may the people’s victory be expressed as a British defeat at the hands of Irish Republicans but not Jihadi Muslims?

Are these three not condemned by the words that come out of their mouths? If you surround yourself with Stasi-supporting advisers who express solidarity with Stalin and North Korea; if you salute the IRA, honour Israeli-murdering terrorists; if you proudly boast about opposing all anti-terror legislation for 30 years, might we not reasonably conclude that the country would not be as safe as it could be if it were led by a Corbyn-McDonnell-Abbott triumvirate?

A necessary evil might be considered an oxymoron, for if something is evil it is by no means necessary. Yet in the realm of temporal government and democratic party politics, there is a better outcome and a worse one, and the lesser of two evils is preferred. And by evil here we mean the least virtuous or the more immoral: the relative greater enemy of the common good. It might have the seductive allure of compassion, mercy and monetary abundance, but it is more tainted or corrupted than the alternative.

This was to have been the Brexit election, but it has been hijacked by terrorist atrocities and pressing issues of national security. The two are not, of course, unrelated: Brexit offers a more effective means of border control, but it will do nothing to tackle the home-grown jihadist in our midst. All political options undoubtedly have the stain of sin, and all have the capacity for wickedness and great cruelty. But of the choice the nation faces in this General Election, one has a track record of choosing more evil than good, and we can’t allow them to defile the nation further with their habitual inclination to pious ignominy and contempt.

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Mt 7:17-20).

  • Dominic Stockford

    Brexit will give us control over our laws, enabling us to deal more effectively with so-called home grown terrorism.

    • It will give us more control. If we really want to do this we’ll need to leave the ECHR as well.

      • Manfarang

        With little intelligence shared with other countries.

        • David

          “A lot of crime and terrorism is trans-national now`’
          Quite. Which is why we need firm, clear and effective borders in place, and only our own laws applied within British sovereignty.

          • Manfarang

            Build a wall in Ireland eh? I don’t think the Republic will pay for it.

          • Anton

            Who asked them to?

          • Manfarang

            Nige I expect.

          • Royinsouthwest

            The Irish Republic could always leave the EU if it wants closer ties with Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

          • Manfarang

            Not much chance of that.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            Politically I think you are right. However after decades of being a recipient, the Republic is now a net contributor to the EU.

            So economically a good case for leaving the EU (especially when it’s biggest trading partner is also leaving) can be made.

          • Anton

            Dublin is a likely place for many English-speaking enterprises to shift to form London in order to remain within the EU and do business with Britain on preferential terms.

          • Paul Greenwood

            The ones that will have done so long ago

          • Most definitely. If ISIS see we have weak borders and a soft government, they’ll be in like a flash. Just look at what’s happening in the Philippines, struck down by a drugs and corruption epidemic, ISIS have invaded and colonised the second largest southern island.

            The Conservatives are supposed to be tough on crime. IF TM gets in she must step up. I read another attack has taken place, this time a young nursery school teacher stabbed by three demonic Muslim women in Wanstead blathering about Allah.

        • Paul Greenwood

          The UK shares its data with FBI global database. The bulk of feed into the EU database comes FROM the UK

          • Manfarang

            That may change.

        • DespiteBrexit

          Non sequitur.

          • Manfarang

            I will restate it. Withdrawal from Europol will result in less intelligence shared. This will have a negative aspect as a lot of crime and terrorism is transnational now.

          • DespiteBrexit

            Still a non-sequitur. What is that to do with the ECHR?

      • Paul Greenwood

        UK set up ECHR. The key feature is UK separately signed a Treaty to implement decisions of Court into UK law

    • Manfarang

      Home grown terrorism- dissident republicans.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Jihadism is home-grown

        • Manfarang

          World wide by the looks of it.

        • Royinsouthwest

          A bit like Japanese knotweed which has a lot more freedom to grow in Britain than it does in Japan.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I wish I had your confidence. English Case Law is predicated on Cases adjudged under ECHR and EU legal factors; it is now constituent in English Law. The UK determined who could enter the country from Pakistan or Africa or Middle East not the EU. It was the UK that failed to deport. It was England that clogged its courts with Immigration Appeals and funded them through Legal Aid until, its budget exhausted, nothing was available for English denizens for their own needs.

      It was English solicitors that grew fat on immigration appeals funded by taxpayers, irritating judges with last minute filings and expensive litigation tricks – read legal press for details.

      It is the UK Parliament that abolished Control Orders. Whatever BreXit might be, it does not make the British less stupid than they have been to date.

      • Maalaistollo

        You don’t get fat on legally-aided immigration appeals, for which solicitors are paid at rates lower than that of the average tradesman.

      • Anton

        You mean the British Government.

  • Manfarang

    Thomas Paine was a Deist.

  • Manfarang

    Diane Abbott is being replaced as Labour’s shadow home secretary during a “period of her ill health”, the Labour party has confirmed.
    She will be replaced by Lyn Brown, who currently serves as the party’s the shadow policing minister.

    • Chefofsinners

      Is this the kind of ill health which dogged Charlie Kennedy? Or the Screaming Lord Sutch variety, I wonder?

      • Manfarang

        Some kind of memory loss it seems.

        • Chefofsinners

          I had thought she was looking a little pasty. Oh, sorry, that was Boris.

          • Martin

            I prefer big pasties. Sadly my pasty shop is closing.

      • Pubcrawler

        A tactical sickie, if a piece on Guido yesterday is all it seems.

        Also reports that she’s out canvassing in Euston today. So not at death’s door.

  • I’m gutted to see how well Corbyn is doing in the polls. Friends (Christians) have said they will be voting for him because they prefer him and his platform to Theresa May. I find this pretty shocking, though have to admit that May has been a disappointment and seriously fluffed the campaign. I’m just praying that we wake up on Friday morning to find a Conservative government with a stronger majority, and with no chance at all of a Corbyn premiership. Corbyn and his team are a serious danger to our country economically, demographically, regarding security, and morally (the Labour manifesto is explicitly pro-abortion, including a commitment to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland).

    Please, God, spare us!

    • Manfarang

      With the SNP likely to win many seats it is not accurate to say the UK has returned to a two party system. Remember in Scotland was where Labour would win its majority.

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        Not actually true. Going back decades in most cases Labour government majorities exceeded the number of Labour MPs from Scotland.

        In 2005, Labour had 355 seats, a majority of 64, and won 41 seats in Scotland. So if you were to remove Scotland from the UK there would still have been a Labour majority.

        For 2001 the figures are 413, 167, and 56. For 1997 the figures are 418, 177, and 56.

        For October 1974 the figures are 319, 3, and 41, so then the Scottish seats were significant but in February 1974, the figures were 301, -33 (a minority government), and 40.

        For 1964 the figures are 364, 98, and 43 and for 1959 they are 317, 4, and 43, so again the Scottish seats were significant.

        So that is two out of the last seven Labour governments have had majorities because of their Scottish seats and both of those were more than 40 years ago.

        • Manfarang

          Landslides. Well lets see if Labour can win without Scotland when the results come in on Friday.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            So, any case that does not fit your narrative should be airbrushed out of the record?

            Of course 2005 was not really a landslide. People are talking a 50-70 Conservative majority being workable but not the landslide that was originally expected.

            You said “Remember in Scotland was where Labour would win its majority” implying that it is a reliable rule. But if you want to ignore the Blair wins, your argument is based on two cases more than 40 years ago. Not very solid foundations for a prediction.

          • Manfarang

            Obviously I am concerned about what happens in the future not about making political science generalisations, Lets leave it at; remember Scotland is where Labour would win its majority

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            “Obviously I am concerned about what happens in the future not about making political science generalisations”

            Given that you started by posting a “political science generalisation”, that is very far from obvious.

            “Lets leave it at; remember Scotland is where Labour would win its majority”

            I think it is more accurate to leave it at you having made up your mind and being totally unwilling to reconsider when the facts disprove your assertion.

            Scotland has not been significant in a Labour majority for over 40 years. On that basis no reasonable person can assert that “Scotland is where Labour would win its majority”, but that is exactly what you have asserted.

          • Manfarang

            Current realities. If you refer to a political science book written 40 years ago you will find it obsolete.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            Well the current reality is that Labour majorities have not relied on the Scottish MPs and have not done so for more than 40 years.

            So if anyone is referring to “a political science book written 40 years ago” it is clearly you as you are the one making the case that is against the facts.

            Last comment as you clearly have some problems. You are at best too inadequate to accept and admit that you are wrong.

          • Manfarang

            Yes I am wrong. Labour will win the general election.

          • Anton

            Politics is not a science. Any such book is bullshit whenever it is written.

          • Manfarang

            It is a social science., A well established academic discipline.

    • Albert

      I have a theory that May is a secret political genius. What is the best outcome for her? A larger majority in Parliament, but with Corbyn continuing as leader of Labour, with his power strengthened. Keeping Corbyn in power rather than replacing him with someone more adequate means not having a total landslide for Mrs May. It looks like Mrs May is going to achieve all this.

      • Inspector General

        Do you know, for an “every sperm is sacred, every egg divine” man, you can be remarkably lucid at times, and demonstrating hitherto unlikely insight…

        • Albert

          Thank you for that, Inspector. I think.

          • Inspector General

            God bless you plastic Catholics, Albert…

      • CliveM

        Ok intentionally or not, this could be the ideal outcome.

        Not convinced it was intentional however!

      • Jon of GSG

        Yes indeed. And if that happens, where does it leave Tony Blair’s new SDP? Confusion all round in Labour – if it does turn out like that.

      • bluedog

        The political genius is Lynton Crosby. This communicant has been deeply suspicious of the negative polls that have emerged, threatening a Corbyn victory. Encouraging fear of Corbyn and Abbott is another way of winning votes for May, whose electioneering effort has been lamentable.

  • The fact that the terrorist atrocities occurred during the campaign has helped me see more clearly than I have ever done the supreme evil perpetrated against Britain and her people by Labour and Conservative governments and their policy of Third World immigration, particularly Muslim immigration. What depth of hatred of a people does it require to make them a minority in their own land? What depth of hatred of Christianity does it require to replace it with Islam?

    Your Grace writes that ‘one [party] has a track record of choosing more evil than good’ but what comparison is there between the examples of evil you give and the betrayal of a country? A vote for the Conservatives or Labour, or for any of the main parties, is a vote for the sickening evil of national betrayal. In no sense whatsoever will a vote for the Conservatives ‘mitigate’ evil; rather, it is a reward for the evil they have already committed and a licence for the evil yet to come.

    To the end of my days I shall never understand how today’s Christians, knowing full well the threat Islam poses to Christianity, can support parties which intend to make that threat come true for tomorrow’s Christians.

    • David

      Your points are well made. In their vanity and ignorance of religions, Socialists and Liberals consider that all faiths are equally useless and that after crushing the Christian heritage, they will soon tame Islam using the usual cultural Marxist methods. But I don’t think that it will work out like that, nor do I consider that Islam’s easy passage so far will last much longer. We are I believe on the cusp of change.

      • @ David—I am perplexed that you lay blame on ‘Socialists and Liberals’ when Islamization is also Conservative policy, and has been for 70 years now. Short of a coup, change can only occur through the ballot box and the Establishment has proved itself adept at emasculating anti-Muslim parties and movements.

        • David

          The way I see it is that the Socialists and Liberals started the immigration process and the Conservatives have failed to stop it. So yes you have a point. I suppose I reserve my strongest vitriol for the initiators, but those who fail to stop the process are also implicated.
          It was my disgust with the whole bundle of the establishment parties that led to me joining Ukip, and up until the referendum, being an activist.

  • David

    I agree with the broad thrust of this article. As a lifelong conservative my disagreements with the Conservative Party are that it has all but abandoned conservatism, both as a philosophy and a pragmatic practice. So to help achieve Brexit I joined and campaigned with Ukip. I am glad that I played my small part in the local campaigns of both Ukip and Vote Leave to achieve our brexit result.

    But as the good Cranmer says, now that Brexit is somewhat prematurely perceived as being in the bag, and Nigel’s turbulent and energising party leadership has ceased, the UK has effectively, for now at least, returned to a two party system. Then there is the terrible question of Muslim murderers and how they are neutralised. The choice is therefore both stark and obvious. Faced with the appalling, extremely dangerous prospect of a Corbyn the Marxist led government, or Mrs Maybe, all patriots, all responsible adults I’d say, must vote for Mrs May. Then we must pray that she either finds the courage to do what must be done, or is replaced by a robust leader. So for this election it must now be country before party.

    However, In my constituency, where Donald Duck standing as the Conservative candidate, would easily receive a massive majority, I am one of the few supporters of Brexit and a supporter of taking all the necessary security steps including trashing the PC rubbish, who still enjoys the choice of both acting in the national interest, by ensuring some sort of, albeit reduced, responsible opposition (outside Parliament) and indeed voting to support ones party – Ukip !

    • Paul Greenwood

      A fortnight Friday will be 12 months since the Plassey Day Referendum and it is hard to see a structured approach. There is little more than a similar period ahead before deadlines start to become imperative. It is unedifying to see how successful these halfwit “terrorist” incidents have been in weakening any faith in the political and security structures of the nation as we enter the fraught negotiations defining the right of airlines to fly and trucks to move from and to this island after March 2019

  • Dolphinfish

    I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to be more portentous than Peter Hitchens. I stand corrected.

    • Anton

      What matters is to be right!

    • David

      Both of the Hitchins make useful points, albeit from conflicting positions regarding God.

  • Chefofsinners

    This windy weather brought down an ancient plum tree in my orchard yesterday. Generations have played in its gnarled branches, rested its shade, admired its blooms and enjoyed its fruit. However in recent years the fruit has been sparse and small. Now, as it lies on its side, the reason is clear: the tree was rotten at its core, hollowed out. It is only good for burning. I shall remember it as the Church of England plum. Or perhaps the Tory Party plum. It is hard to choose.
    And yet, as I surveyed the damage, I noticed that a tiny sapling has already sprung from the roots.

    • David

      A useful metaphor drawn from experience. It resonated with me because we too had an ancient plum tree, a Victoria plum, the last in the village given to all residents to celebrate Queen Vic’s birthday. I’d kept it going for years, after the others had failed, by removing all dead branches and twigs to reduce the windage (wind pressure) on it, and each summer, when it became heavy with fruit, I propped it up. It was 127 years old when sadly I had to fell it, because it was rotten at its core, like yours. Ours too has been replaced by a new Victoria plum. Hope springs eternal. Our faith will never be extinguished in these islands. If The Lord wills it there will be a mighty revival. Pray for it.

    • len

      There is a strong wind blowing these last few days,.Perhaps the winds of change?.

      • Chefofsinners

        Try Milk of Magnesia, old boy.

        • len

          OK..

    • Ivan M

      I very humbly suggest that you go with the Cons this time, while holding your nose. The UKIP sapling is too weak and tended by jokers.

  • len

    There seems to be no party leader strong enough to do what needs to be done regarding Brexit negotiations.
    Corbyn wants a deal, any sort of deal possibly?.How do you enter negotiations about Brexit having shown all the cards in your hand first?.
    I have the feeling that Theresa May as a Remainer might end up with a deal which makes us look as though we left the EU but in fact we stay in. If we retain open borders, keep all the EU laws than have we really left the EU ?.
    The lesser of the two evils, but what does that mean in reality?.

    • Ivan M

      It will mean that in either eventuality you will be able to continue blaming the papists or crypto-papists. 🙂

  • ecclesiaman

    I understand the logic of HG here. My problem is I see problems with both main parties, their leaders and their acolytes. I use the word problems as proxy for something more sinister which is not yet discernible beyond the clearly obvious. Mr Corbyn’s far left agenda is clear and its inherent dangers, but where would it travel to? Mrs May’s agenda is not so clear but those with noses to the ground suspect a police state in the wings and the military is already integrating with the EU. Apart from this a further grinding down of the poor.
    So who or which is worse?
    In my patch UKIP have decided not to contest the seat and the labour candidate is virtually certain of a reasonable majority, the red rose on a monkey type of seat.
    Neither party will take the actions required to keep the citizenry safe, admittedly an extremely difficult task. It would help if they could affirm the views of Justin Welby, but this would contradict most of what they have previously said!
    So I am one of the 34% who are unable to vote for any party. Having listened to the verbal communications of the remaining independent candidates the same applies.

    • David

      Your situation is the mirror image of mine – a blue “rose on a monkey sort of seat”. But at least the blue rose wearing monkey will support Brexit. Also I have the luxury of being able to vote for a Ukip candidate who is a very effective County Councillor – but he won’t become the MP, more’s the pity.
      My commiserations for your plight.

  • CliveM

    If it wasn’t for Corbyn I wouldn’t vote. The Conservatives have run a sad, uninspiring campaign of no value, vision or ambition. It has been profoundly depressing and May exposed as being anything but String and stable.

    The Liberal Democtrats are a complete irrelevance and seem to stand for nothing, except a desire to stop Brexit. Farron has been exposed as a moral coward.

    UKIP? Well let’s not intrude on private grief.

    Labour are truly frightening. Under Corbyn they will actively dismantle the UK. Leave it defenceless. Destroy our remaining barriers against terrorism. Dismantle industry and hand over what is left to Unite. Its leadership is terrorist affirming, murderer supporting enemies of this country.

    Let’s put it this way. For the the IRA or ISIS aren’t the enemy. The white married man, with a mortgage trying to bring up his kids, provide for his family and not be reliant on the state, is seen as the enemy.

    So with no enthusiasm, little hope and less expectation, I will vote Conservative.

    • Anton

      UKIP is floundering because we have triggered Article 50 and both of the big parties have stated that they will follow it through. That’s not grief but cause for celebration!

      • CliveM

        They are also floundering because they cant find a credible leader.

        Seems to be a universal problem, across all parties at the moment!

        • Anton

          No, they are floundering because they don’t have a cause any more and Good show for that!

      • Paul Nuttall is doing his best, but his personality is not shining through. Suzanne Evans is good too. I feel those that speak in public are holding back, it’s like their light has been dimed somewhat since Nigel stood down. He lit up the whole party when he was in charge with his energy and passion. He made politics exciting.

  • Diane: “What’s this button for Jewemy”? Puts big fat finger on and presses hard.
    Jeremy: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah don’t press that”
    Diane: “Oh! I thought it was the intercom Jewemy”.

    We’ll be blown to smitherines, bankrupted and taken over by Muslim terrorists if Labour get in.

    • Dreadnaught

      According to Wiki:

      In a 1984 interview with the journal of the Labour Committee on Ireland (LCI), when asked if she saw herself as Black British, Abbott replied “No – I would self-define myself just as Black. Though I was born here in London, I couldn’t identify as British and anyway most British people don’t accept us as British. God! British people can be so racist”.[69][70]

      In 1988, Abbott claimed at a black studies conference in Philadelphia that “the British invented racism.”[71]

      In 1996, Abbott was criticised after she claimed that at her local hospital “blonde, blue-eyed Finnish girls” were unsuitable as nurses because they had “never met a black person before”.[72] Abbott’s apology came as Marc Wadsworth, executive member of the Anti-Racist Alliance, who is half-Finnish, pointed out that the current Miss Finland, Lola Odusoga, is black, of Nigerian and Finnish descent. “She’s a black Finn like me,” he said. Abbott’s position was supported by fellow Labour MP Bernie Grant: “Bringing someone here from Finland who has never seen a black person before and expecting them to have to have some empathy with black people is nonsense. Scandinavian people don’t know black people—they probably don’t know how to take their temperature”.[73][74]

      On 4 January 2012, Abbott tweeted that: “White people love playing ‘divide and rule’ We should not play their game”, which again led to widespread criticism including accusations of racism.[75] Only after being told by the Labour Party leadership that the comment was unacceptable did she apologise for “any offence caused”, claiming that she had not intended to “make generalisations about white people”.[76][77] The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called her comments a “stupid and crass generalisation”. Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative MP, said: “This is racism. If this was a white member of Parliament saying that all black people want to do bad things to us he would have resigned within the hour or been sacked.”[78] Members of the public lodged complaints but the Metropolitan Police stated that no investigation would be launched and no charges would be brought against her, saying she “did not commit a criminal offence.”[79]
      In January 2012 Abbott suggested that taxi drivers discriminate on racial grounds, tweeting that she was “Dubious of black people claiming they’ve never experienced racism. Ever tried hailing a taxi I always wonder?”[80]

      In a Guardian article in February 2017, Abbott wrote about receiving racist and sexist abuse online every day.[81] Soon afterwards, in an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Abbott proposed a parliamentary inquiry into the sexist and racist abuse of MPs in social media and the way Twitter and Facebook investigate cases which arise.[82]

      The Sunday Times in May 2017 reported that Abbott backed the IRA in a 1984 interview with Labour and Ireland, a pro-republican journal.[69][83] In the 1984 interview, Abbott criticised the Unionist population of Northern Ireland as an “enclave of white supremacist ideology comparable to white settlers in Zimbabwe” and called for their views to be ignored on the question of Unification adding “Ireland is our struggle — every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us. A defeat in Northern Ireland would be a defeat indeed”.[69][70]

  • Martin

    Oh dear, your grace has fallen in with the antidemocrats that run our political parties. We do not vote for a party or a prime minister, we vote for a candidate. I shall be voting for a sitting candidate who has done a good job. None of the other candidates has bothered to contact me, even when I have contacted them, so clearly are not interested in my vote.

    Political parties are not necessary for a democracy. Indeed, I would suggest that they are harmful. At every election we get the cries of the faithful, urging us to vote fro their tribe. That isn’t democracy.

    As for governments, the Bible tells us that God has given them to us for our good.

    • O dear, you have obviously not read the article properly, or perhaps you simply failed to understand it, or even just leapt to a false judgment in your haughty, self-righteous superiority.

      • Inspector General

        {GASP!}

      • He was predestined to make this comment. He had no choice in the matter.

      • Martin

        Um, where was it you mentioned local candidates except in the context of a party?

    • Anton

      Parties are inevitable in a representative democracy; our representatives will always spontaneously organise themselves into them. PR wouldn’t alter that. Athenian democracy would mean a referendum on everything. Frankly that would suit me fine when I look at the present shower.

      • Martin

        Anton

        PR rather depends on partyism.

        • Anton

          Proportional Representation?

          • Martin

            Anton

            The system that gives the power to the parties.

      • Martin

        It doesn’t mean they are good.

  • Inspector General

    Now, remember this, fellows…

    A vote for Labour tomorrow is a vote for more Islam in England, and a better time for those already here. Potential terrorists have human rights, you know!

    If you don’t believe the Inspector, then remember Corbyn is aching to flood this country with the underserving. People whom having wrecked their own country want a benefits paid existence in ours! So help us God.

    Don’t forget now…

  • jsampson45

    The choice is horrendous. Corbyn or May, who believes she can wrap up Brexit in two years or walk away.

    • Merchantman

      I don’t think your analysis is correct. Its May by a mile. I don’t see how you can call May’s manifesto horrendous. Brexit demands a strong starting position to stand up to the unelected bullies in Brussels.
      If you have never voted for a mildly right of centre party since Blair, its novelty I agree. There are multiple threats to the UK and May is better equipped than the very radical Corbyistas. Corbyn will leave us wide open to these threats, believe me.

      • David

        I see May’s party as part of the soft left, a Social Democrat in fact. What’s “right” about it ?
        But I agree with all the rest you’ve written.

        • Merchantman

          I can tell you what’s wrong with it too! Things that under its Previous leader have taken it way way away from what I believe a christian (c) countries moral standards should be. That said, I detect a better balance under May. No more Blair’s ‘we don’t do religion’, but rather a gradual emergence of standing up for Christianity. OK we can all be cynical about that, but I think she is genuine in her desire to see a return to christian direction.
          Recent statements have also been much more certain than under Cameron. A clear acceptance of the voters desire to leave the EU. There has also been a strong response to the EU bullying, which at times some find frightening; but in the real world (ie not the EU’s La-la land) truths have to be spoken and commercial agreements made that actually benefit Britain with countries that are forging ahead.
          There is also a reasonable and affordable attempt to share burdens in the population.
          These are early days for the Conservatives.
          The alternative is a whole new scale of awfulness in the people backing Corbyn. Look at their history, see what happened in the hard left boroughs of London in the later 20th century and you see the probability for a wrecked UK economy and social mayhem bordering on anarchy. I worked there at a grass roots level, I know what these people are about. The UK couldn’t stand 5years of those people prancing around throwing money and resources to the wind especially if allied to the SNP.

      • jsampson45

        It is not the manifesto so much as her belief as I described it. No deal of the magnitude of Brexit has ever been sorted in anything like two years. A walk-away would be a disaster. May is not in a strong starting position, she is on another planet. I won’t try to persuade you of this as I haven’t time. May and co are impervious to reason on this. Normally I vote Tory and probably will again, only because Christian freedoms would be under greater threat from Corbyn and his sinister crew than from May’s lot. They should provide vomit bowls at the polling stations.

        • Maalaistollo

          I have just voted and, when departing, observed to the people manning the desk that they should have ‘Now wash your hands’ signs displayed.

  • Are you seriously quoting The Sun? Seriously?!

    • Royinsouthwest

      The Sun headline illustrates the stark choice facing Britain.

    • Merchantman

      Are you contemplating Corbyn? Seriously? The Sun has been a successful newspaper, so it must be doing something right.

    • Anton

      Gotcha!

  • Inspector General

    {Ding!}

    “Good Morning”

    “And a Good Morning to you, sir”

    “I’d like some gay cakes”

    “Certainly, sir”

    “What are you doing?”

    “Don’t be alarmed, sir. I’m just coming out from behind the counter to prostrate myself at your feet, your gay magnificence. While I’m down here, can I just say we are a family run Christian concern and if you take us to court, we will be left destitute. I know you gay people only care about yourselves, but I have young to feed”

    “Get up, man. Don’t be silly. Anyway, I meant fairy cakes. Always get those two words mixed up for some reason”

    “Blessings upon you sir.”

    “Look old fellow, I’m voting Conservative tomorrow. Mrs May will get us out of the ECHR”

    “Will she really, sir! Will she really! God bless you, one and all. I might sleep soundly in my bed after that”

    “As will we all, you good man! Good day to you, sir!”

  • Andrew Bradley

    Could it be that the situation in which we find ourselves, facing two evils, is in fact God’s judgement on our nation for rejecting him and his word? What was once a nation which placed, however imperfectly, God and his law at the centre of national life has now relegated him to the sidelines and beyond. When or how is he ever referred to in parliamentary business. Why have we not been called to a National Day of Prayer over the massive issues that face us? We are indeed in a sorry state and no party appears willing to call us back to what we once were.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Who would call such a day, who that we would actually have any belief in when they made such a call?

  • Mike Stallard

    My heart goes out to Diane Abbott and her two well educated children in this hour of her sickness. How very brave of her this very morning to be seen on her way to work at the station and using her mobile phone to tell everyone that she was on her way.
    I wish her a very speedy recovery and hope that she will soon return to her rightful place, next to Keith Vaz on the back benches after re-election.

    • Sarky

      The thought of Diane Abbott potentially being my new boss makes my blood run cold.

      • Inspector General

        You still in the police force?

        • Sarky

          Don’t think I’ve ever said what I’m in!!

          • Anton

            MI5 then…

          • Chefofsinners

            More likely repairing the slow lane of the M15.

          • Anton

            Exceedingly slow as it never got built.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I hope she gets nowhere near any benches….

      • The only bench she should be on is one in the park out of the way where she can do no harm.

        • Martin

          Think of the children.

          • Mike Stallard

            They, at least, have been spared the horrors of being educated with the plebby little brats of the local Comp.

          • Martin

            Mike

            I was thinking of the children playing in the park.

          • Mike Stallard

            ;0)

        • Paul Greenwood

          Perhaps she needs some time in a therapeutic institution. At 64 it may be that her mental faculties are in need of care and attention

        • Anton

          No, the benches giving a view at a decent cricket club.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Since she dislikes Britain so much and thinks that the British invented racism why on earth was she ever chosen as a Labour candidate in the first place? Shouldn’t she emigrate to any country of her choosing that would have her?

  • Albert

    When Christians vote, their duty is to mitigate that evil by supporting the greater good.

    It is certainly a whole lot easier to vote Conservative now than under Cameron. I just hope that May turns out to be a better PM than political campaigner.

    • CliveM

      It would hard to believe that she could be a worse one.its setting the bar pretty low.

      • Albert

        Although do see my comment below on Mrs May as a secret political genius!

  • Inspector General

    Intellectually and therein regarding subtlety resulting, you exist at a very low level, lad…

    : – >

  • 1650again

    UKIP for me Your Grace. Ghey marriage means that I will never vote Tory again. Labour may be civilisational death in short order but the Tories are the same by degrees.

    • James60498 .

      After 20 years a member, for the first time for ages I will be voting Tory today.

      There are only the “main” three party candidates and my sitting Tory MP did at least vote against that abomination.

      I am just going to have to forget that I am voting May into Downing Street. I don’t think I could do it if I can’t get that thought out of my mind.

      However you are absolutely right. The Tories are only a slower version of Labour.

    • IanCad

      As a CP member in a safe constituency I will feel a little less soiled when I vote for UKIP. I do not believe Theresa May is the man for the job, particularly as regards her fidelity to the task of getting us Brexited.

    • bluedog

      Well done, you and others like you (hello David) have probably contributed to a hung parliament. So much for gesture politics, eh?

      • 1650again

        I’m a conservative, not a Tory.

        • bluedog

          And being a conservative means backing a fringe party with no prospect of electoral success, whose former leader couldn’t even get elected? Irrational.

          • 1650again

            No, it means staying true to conservative values that the Tories have betrayed.

  • Chefofsinners

    I seem to remember that Cranmer ran a similar article on the eve of the last election saying ‘You have a binary choice so it’d better be Conservative.’
    There are many problems with this approach. First is that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more people believe the two main parties to be the only realistic choice, the more our democracy descends into binary choice. Suppose a Christian is standing on biblical principles. None of those who agree with him will actually vote for him, so Christians do not stand and are not represented.
    Then there is this lesser evil argument. Sometimes both choices are too evil for the conscience to bear either. The Christian is entirely at liberty to not vote, cast his cares upon God, and know that the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men and gives them to whoever He chooses.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Good points, well made. As someone who has stood on a Christian ticket, for the sake of the Gospel, I particularly thank you for your point regarding that. I know one person who chose to vote for the Tory, and who then ended up distraught when she voted for euthanasia.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I understood Britain, particularly England, voted on the Constituency basis for a named Candidate rather than a List System for a Named Party. I find the Party Label approach to be a softening up of voters for List Voting where the Party chooses the Member

  • David

    One wonders if (tongue in cheek) His Grace will be holding an all night vigil
    tonight ?
    I shall merely rehearse Compline, in traditional form, invoking as it does God’s protection for us from all evil.

    • Chefofsinners

      The more scholarly among us will be holding an all-night Virgil.

      • Pubcrawler

        et iam nox umida caelo praecipitat suadentque cadentia sidera somnos.

        • Chefofsinners

          Propter quod dicit : Surge qui dormis, et exsurge a mortuis, et illuminabit te Christus.

    • Anton

      This coming night I shall not be staying up late as results come in. I’m off to a classical concert and then straight to bed.

      • CliveM

        What’s the music?

        • Anton

          Don’t worry, it’s not Beethoven.

          • CliveM

            Not big on the romantics, not just Beethoven!

    • 1650again

      As long as it covers the Tories and Labour then…

  • Inspector General

    You don’t say! Said ability must greatly enrich your life. Lucky fellow!

  • vsscoles

    It is already too late to make any difference. All that England stood for has been bought and sold in a generation to anyone with a few $$$ to invest.

    • Manfarang

      What what what! Britain won’t thrive after Brexit?

      • vsscoles

        It isn’t Britain any longer. It has sold itself, its history, its laws, its values, its institutions, its industries, its real estate, to those who have no care, no comprehension and certainly no love for what it once represented.

        • Manfarang

          Who were the sellers?

        • It’s called “globalisation”.

  • Typhoon Tina

    It seems that I am expected to vote for May, Corbyn or Timmeh today.
    Well I’m not going to.
    None of these so called leaders are worthy of my vote.
    They all hate me and want me replaced. They hate my faith in Christianity and they hate my patriotism and they hate my skin colour. They hate my profession my prudence, and they hate my knowledge of politics.
    So I will be writing on the ballot paper ‘I withdraw consent’. Not that it will make any difference because ‘their’ political system has been designed to ignore anyone who does not agree with ‘their’ political system.
    The only thing that can change government in the UK is rebellion and violence.

    • Manfarang

      Can’t you relocate to Northern Ireland? Plenty of hatred there and rebellion and violence. I am sure you would like Arlene Foster.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Rather a facile comment. Quite stupid on reflection.

        • Manfarang

          Do you think the leaders of the UK parties have ever met Typhoon Tina?
          How can you hate someone who existence is unknown to you?

      • IrishNeanderthal

        You must be English.

        Recently, Simon Reeve did a tour of Ireland for the BBC. Whether he was covering Republicans, Loyalists, or even talking to a man with traditional beliefs (fairies, etc.) it was evident that he simply does not “get” the Irish.

        Although I have lived much the greater part of my life in Prydain Fawr, I felt like saying to him:

        “Oh, get away with you, you stupid foreigner.”

        • Manfarang

          British

    • Yeah, pity there’s no Hermann Goring standing.

      “The only thing that can influence government in the UK is rebellion and violence.”

      Hardly a Christian attitude. It’s the surest way of achieving a hard-right regime. Then, that’s what you want, isn’t it?

      • Typhoon Tina

        Another one who wants to lie and misrepresent me.

  • Paul Greenwood

    I doubt very much it is exciting. Rather mundane I should have thought

  • Ray Spring

    I have given up on Democracy. Votes are bought by the biggest wallet. People are told what to think. Think the Wrong Thoughts and you are out of a job. Democracy just does not work.
    My alternative is
    MONARChY.
    Monarchy is wonderful. No elections. A King, or Queen, in position for life. Parliament could be auctioned off, and the country ruled from Sandringham, Norfolk. The more I consider it, the more sensible it seems. The occasional abdication would be acceptable. England, having tried the rest, could export Monarchy. The Middle East would love it, and peace would reign.
    MONARCHY. You Know It Works!
    Do not spoil the ballot paper, write in Monarchy.

    • Anton

      It worked so well in the 1630s…

      • Ray Spring

        Four Hundred years ago. The new, improved version now available.

        • Anton

          Charles III better than Charles I ?

          • Ray Spring

            Consider, Charles 11 bought Restoration Comedy. But bored Pepys by continually talking about the Oak Tree escape. Charles 111 could abdicate. Or be ‘removed’.

          • Anton

      • Busy Mum

        Pre-Bill of Rights. No comparison.

        • Anton

          It’s not clear to me whether Ray Spring was advocating monarchy subject to that Bill of Rights. There have always been more checks on absolute monarchy in England than anywhere else in Europe.

          • Ray Spring

            Any sort of Monarchy would be an improvement.

          • Busy Mum

            True – freedom is in our blood, methinks!

    • 1650again

      Aristotle long ago wrote from personal experience that democracy is inherently unstable as the citizenry will discover the joys of selling their votes to the highest bidder. We’re well on the path now.

      No pure from of government is perfect but England had it close under the ‘ancestral constitution’ with a monarchy with some power, an effective hereditary House of Lords and a House of Commons elected by a citizenry operating on a property qualification. We need a balance of powers and MPs to only be elected by those who have paid a qualifying sum in tax over a cumulative period. Local elections should only be open to rate payers.

      • IanCad

        The Forty Shilling Freeholder at least had to have the prosperity of his nation as a prime concern.

      • Ah, the Levellers, with a “twist”.

    • Anton

      If the people are moral, any form of government will do. If the people are immoral, no form is good.

      • David

        Spot on !
        A virtuous people need few laws.

        • That’s what anarchists and libertarians claim. The problem is that no person is consistently virtuous and no nation is filled with virtuous people.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Anarchists and libertarians go too far but simply multiplying laws does not necessarily solve problems. Advocates of a ban on smacking often claim it will stop child abuse. There have been a number of cases over the years in which social workers have failed to prevent babies or other young children from being murdered. Would a smacking ban have helped?

          • Jack doesn’t believe the law should be used to enforce a particular style of parenting. It should be left to parents to judge how best to raise children within certain barriers that prevent significant physical or emotional harm. That said, resorting to physical methods of chastisement isn’t always helpful for children and it can escalate when parents become angry, tired or stressed. “Horses for courses”, as they say.

          • Anton

            Jack certainly doesn’t believe that the law should be used to enforce a particular style of parenting, that style being the eradication of FGM.

          • Give it a rest. It’s a matter of strategy and tactics.

      • But people, by nature, are not moral.

        • Anton

          They are more moral or less moral in various times and places. That’s all I meant.

          • So some form of governance will be required depending on circumstances. Look at the history of Israel.

    • David

      Once people learn that they can vote themselves money, collected by the government from others, by force if necessary, you are on a slow downhill slope. Mix in foreign cultures that deliberately refuse to integrate and you accelerate the trend. I fear that we are heading not towards a benign monarchy but a surveillance state.

    • Busy Mum

      Yes – I am always pointing out that we are meant to be a constitutional monarchy, not a democracy.

    • Paul Greenwood

      A bought democracy in fact where Hedge Funds sponsor political parties for Carried Interest and other tax perks.

  • CliveM
    • David

      Thanks for the link.

  • Anton

    The Tories will win, we shall get out of the EU quite well, and Britain will continue to go to blazes because of the tax-and-welfare system’s multiplicative effect on family breakdown. Our successors are already amongst us and are even encouraged by Whitehall. There is only one sure place to flee: Jesus Christ.

  • Anton

    You’d have to say that, of course. “The name’s Sarky…”

  • Inspector General

    It’s going to be wet today. So wet, that many natural Labour voters, the very people Labour love, will most likely prefer the warmth and security of the betting office and pub next door, than a walk to a draughty church hall.

    • Anton

      Let it snow…

  • Royinsouthwest

    I was disgusted to read yesterday the comments is the Times by the former Conservative MP Matthew Parris who wrote that a belief in Heaven was responsible for terrorism. The Jihadis believe they will be rewarded with 72 virgins for their good deeds. Therefore, Parris claimed if people would only abandon belief in an afterlife we would have no more terrorism.

    Something to be kept in mind by those who think the modern Conservative Party is trustworthy.

    • Chefofsinners

      Did he not suggest that virgins are the problem?

      • Royinsouthwest

        He probably does not believe in the existence of virgins either!

        • Chefofsinners

          Hmm
          Let’s follow the Paris logic. Imagine if young men stopped being obsessed with sex, it would reduce terrorism. Perhaps get married to one woman and experience the joys of being faithful to her. Create a less sexualised society.
          You hoo oo-oo oo, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

          • Anton

            Parris does not follow that path.

          • Busy Mum

            Which may be why he hopes there is no afterlife….if only everyone else would stop believing in it, it would make it so much easier for him to forget about it too.

          • Chefofsinners

            No, he ploughs a different furrow, I believe.

    • David

      In my lifetime I have seen the Conservative Party change from being a predominately C of E supporting group, albeit often in a vague sort of way, to now containing many who are openly anti-Christian. Few voted against the redefinition of marriage for example.

      • wisestreligion

        Yes, Archbishop Justin spoke this week of our politicians’ religious illiteracy. The BBC is doing its utmost to spread religious illiteracy as it preaches its creed of superior multicultural liberalism, which is supposed to be above all other religions.

        The C of E, however, could do a great deal more to confidently explain the Christian faith to the nation. For example, a low view of sexuality goes unquestioned in the media, and this view leads straight towards denigration of marriage, broken families and non-binary sexuality. But there is a high view of sex, much more sublime, transcendent and edifying. Why not let people know about it?

        • David

          I totally agree.
          Some good work is being done within the C of E at local level by conservative, evangelical churches like mine, but they are the exception. Most of the bishops are as much use as a chocolate fireguard. The main force against us is the mainstream media, and it is the same across the western world. The rise of the internet is a source of hope though.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Parris has his own personal purgatory and thinks the Secular Humanists have no violence in their souls……I would recommend Vasily Blokhin to him……

      http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/vasily-blokhin-executioner/

      • len

        Secular Humanists are under the delusion that religion is the cause of all the ills of Humanity. In fact it is the anti Christ spirit with pervades humanity and promotes evil

      • Manfarang

        Vasily was a commie.

        • Paul Greenwood

          He has the bloodiest hands in history

    • Linus

      Of course belief in an afterlife fuels terrorism. If you believe you’ll be rewarded in heaven for what you do on earth, the temptation to please your god by wreaking vengeance on those who don’t believe in him is too great.

      If there were no religions, there would be no holy wars. It’s as simple as that.

      • Royinsouthwest

        If you believe you will be rewarded for murder then that will encourage murder. If you have a proper idea of what is right and what is wrong and believe that no matter how successful you are at concealing your misdeeds in this life you will ultimately be held to account for them by an omniscient Judge that will tend to discourage criminal and anti-social behaviour.

        • Linus

          History is replete with examples of Christians murdering in the name of their god. What Islam does now, Christianity has done in the past and may well do again.

          If you have no god, you have no excuse for murder. You can still commit it of course. But you can’t fool yourself into believing it was ordained or commanded by a higher power. You have to take responsibility for your own acts instead of hiding your own advantage behind divine commandments.

          I have ancestors who murdered and pillaged and then were canonized and held up as model Christians. Their crimes were god-washed and presented as holy acts when really they were nothing more than cynical power grabs.

          If an atheist makes a power grab, we can all see it for what it is. When a Christian does the same, he tries to dress it up as piety and faithfulness. That’s the real difference between religionists and secularists. Religionists are cynical liars.

      • Anton

        It’s as tautologous as that! An empty statement, that if there were no religions, there would be no holy wars. There would still be wars, however, due to tribalism/racism, desire for plunder, better land, etc. Most of what you call holy wars are in those categories too. What’s your solution for the human heart?

        • The Wizard of Oz – somewhere over the rainbow.

        • Inspector General

          It is expected that if there is ever a cure for Malaria, the African population increase would go through the roof. Wars will result, simply so these extra people might eat, at the expense of those they’ve killed who also wanted to eat. However, one has read before the Green party suggesting we Westerners give up eating meat. The resources saved, that is, the grain, would then go to people of that continent more deserving than rotten us.

          • Wouldn’t the methane cause global warming?

          • bluedog

            It’s already happening, Inspector. That’s why the shores of North Africa are crowded with sub-Saharan Africans scrambling to benefit from the welfare states on the northern shore of the Med. Expect much, much more, unless European nations summon the will to simply turn the refugee boats round and deposit the migrants back in North Africa.

        • Linus

          The human heart is what it is and doesn’t need a solution.

          There will always be wars because we are what we are: aggressive primates driven by self-interest. Utopian philosophies that deny this basic truth are doomed to fail.

          Look at Christianity: a religion of peace whose members are constantly at war with each other … and anyone else who disagrees with them. Talk about self-defeating.

          Wars over resources serve a purpose: one group wins and prospers, another group loses and is diminished. Wars over issues such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin serve no purpose at all. If we have no more wars of religion, we won’t eliminate war. But at least the wars that are fought will be fought for meaningful reasons. There will be less war, which will be good for mankind as a whole.

  • Royinsouthwest

    In the Daily Telegraph today there is an article on the front page by Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who writes that if Corbin where to apply for a job with any of this country’s security services, MI5, MI6 or GCHQ, he would be rejected by the vetting process. The thought of Corbin being in No. 10 and in charge of our security services fills him with horror.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Unfortunately Dearlove did not cover himself with glory either with his peculiarly incompetent assessment on Iraq which helped Blair create this mess in the first place. I really have no real regard for either Box 3255 or Box 1300. They are too busy playing games in other countries to treat blowback in England as anything other than collateral damage.

  • len

    I cannot help but think we are under Gods Judgement .We are looking for a man/ woman to lead us out of the mess we are in. But there is no one to lead us, no one we can trust.
    If this nation turned back to God perhaps we would get the leader that we need, but at the moment we are going to get the leader that we deserve.

    • If we were truly under God’s judgement, we wouldn’t be here.

      • len

        Speak for yourself jack, 😉

        • It applies to all of us, Len. Even those carrying “The End is Nigh” placards.

          • len

            God Judges in many ways.
            Sometimes He just gives us over to our own selfish desires. Its not all thunderbolts from heaven. Although one day it will be.

  • Anton

    O for Francis Urquhart…

  • The problem with voting for the “lesser evil” in a post-Christian secular liberal democracy, based on universal suffrage, is that evil inevitably progresses and with each passing generation becomes more and more normalised. For example, given a “choice” between ending abortion at 12 weeks, instead of 24 weeks, a Christian would vote for the 12 week option. Yet, the real option should be ending all abortions. It’s the same with same sex marriage and civil partnerships. The latter is the “lesser evil” but it still normalises the intrinsically evil and opens the door for future “progress”.

    • len

      We must deal with the present situation to the best of our abilities.
      In a perfect world we would all be Christians and the present problems would not exist.
      But…we are not there yet.

      • That’s true, we have to work with what we’ve got; and I think Jack is also right that we can easily slide into complacency when we normalise the ‘lesser’ of two evils.

        • Christians, in Peter’s words, remain “sojourners and foreigners” (1 Peter 2:11) in the midst of a society that is indifferent, and increasingly hostile, to the Gospel and our endeavours. However, we shouldn’t become too defensive. We can refuse to be deluded by any of the self-justifications of our political leaders and attempt to contribute to the good of the society in which God has placed us.

      • David

        Exactly !

    • Anton

      If you feel that then you should vote for Dominic!

    • Royinsouthwest

      Politics was described by someone as “the art of the possible.” We cannot create a perfect society. That can only be done by God Himself and I have no idea when He will do that.

      In the meantime we can try to make a few improvements in society. Most of these will be very minor. Very occasionally they will be big, e.g. the abolition of slavery thanks to Wilberforce and other campaigners or our victory in the Second World War.

      The trouble is that our achievements contain the seeds of their own decay. Victory in WWII led to the Cold War. The Welfare State did a great deal to ease hardship and improve public health in its early years but has created welfare dependency in some areas with different generations of the same families living on benefits.

      • Manfarang

        Maybe politics should be the art of compromise or is that too close to the art of the deal.

        • Royinsouthwest

          That depends on who is making the compromises – and how they accord with election promises.

      • David

        Quite !

      • Good points.

        Scripture offers insights in the book of Genesis. Cities are viewed with mistrust. Babel and Sodom are places where human beings seek false autonomy, turning their backs on the source of their existence. Believers walk in the steps of Abraham and live as pilgrims who are on the road towards other horizons, with faith as their compass.

        Jerusalem, founded not on human self-aggrandisement but on God’s promise, shows that faith does not call us to flee from worldly realities, but we are called to a new way of living together in justice and solidarity. There is nothing automatic about this. Even Jerusalem was unfaithful to its vocation. By practicing injustice, “daughter Zion” becomes a prostitute. Believers kept longing for a righteous king to come from God to purify His city and make it a beacon and a pole of attraction for the whole world.

        As Jack said below, Christians remain “sojourners and foreigners” (1 Peter 2:11) in the midst of a society that is indifferent and increasingly hostile to the Gospel. However, we shouldn’t become defensive. We can refuse to be deluded by any of the self-justifications of our political leaders and attempt to contribute to the good of the society in which God has placed us. Jesus advised His disciples to be as wise as serpents and as pure as doves.

    • David

      True but do you have a practical alternative ?
      Obviously all Christians must pray for a return to Christ, a revival. But if we are to participate in our government to some degree, voting becomes our duty. Having said that I respect those who take the trouble to go to the voting station and explain on the ballot paper why they cannot vote for any of the candidates on offer.

      • There is no alternative other than abstention or voting for a person with no practical chance of election. In the end, Jack voted for the Party he believes will offer the greatest possibility of stability – economic and social – over the next 5 years whilst we address serious underlying difficulties in the nation’s finances, and the party that (hopefully) will strengthen family life and afford civil liberties for Christians.

        • David

          Well done for voting.

  • Inspector General

    Good Evening, chaps

    The Inspector has arranged with his employers, Messrs Scrooge & Marley, that he have tomorrow off. In lieu of Christmas day. So, he will be available through the night for comment and consultation although most likely he will nod off at 10 and miss the lot. Now to set the alarm for ‘doors closed’….

    Tally ho!

    • Royinsouthwest

      When do you think it will be time for a tipple and do you have any recommendations – or will that depend on the nature of the first few results to come in?

      • Inspector General

        One has some floor polish at hand in case of Corbyn’s Reds coming out on top. One simply wouldn’t want to go on, you see….

        • Royinsouthwest

          I think I will give the floor polish a miss regardless of the early results.

          • Inspector General

            Good idea, Roy. Our bloody awful cities come in first. Enough to send the unseasoned young Briton into downright despair if this be his first GE…

    • Chefofsinners

      Come clean, Inspector. Tomorrow you will be heading to Scotland in order to get married in the Episcopal Church.

      • CliveM

        With Linus as the blushing, virginal bride.

        He’ll look lovely in white.

        • Chefofsinners

          Linus hasn’t got a virginal. That’s the problem…

  • Inspector General

    Lament for the Scottish Episcopalian church.

    ♫ You abandoned him
    Christ don’t live here anymore
    Just sin
    Christ don’t live here anymore

    When He lived inside of me
    There was nothing I could conceive
    That He wouldn’t do for me
    Trouble seemed so far away
    You changed that right away

    • Inspector General

      {Ring Ring}

      “Hello, is that Gentle Janet. It’s the minister here. I havne seen ye at kirk these past few weeks”

      “Och, it’s true Minister. Ye hemasexuals can go {CENSORED} yourselves. I’ll no set foot in kirk again, not evn in a box!”

      “As you will, Gentle Janet, as you will. Where will ye worship noo, hen?”

      “Wi’ the papists. Aye, the papists”

      • CliveM

        The Kirk isn’t the Episcopalians Inspector.

        • Inspector General

          “I see you, jimmy!”

  • Typhoon Tina

    Two arrested over Facebook and YouTube video of Koran burning

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4583850/Two-arrested-shocking-video-Koran-burning.html

    But when Jew UKIP rabbi Odze recently publicly burnt a bible – it was “strangely” no problem.

    • Inspector General

      Come on, old bird. Make yourself popular. Stop having a pop at the Jews. They don’t go round cutting our throats…

      • Typhoon Tina

        I’ve had five death threats from jews and been told to **** off and die at least 30 times.

        • Inspector General

          Yet here you be…

          Come on, granny. Murderous Islam is the thing here and now. Wave Der Fuhrer goodbye…tearfully if you must…

    • Anton

      Both should be legal.

      • Ray Spring

        Or at least not illegal.

  • Typhoon Tina

    Looks like it might be a landslide for Labour (tentatively).
    Not that it matters. Whoever wins the agenda remains the same.

  • Chefofsinners

    If the exit poll is correct it’s self-inflicted disaster for May. She can’t survive. Here we go again.

    • CliveM

      That’s true. Major error of judgment, but there have been a few of those by her.

      The final results will tell.

      I wonder what the turnout is?

      • Chefofsinners

        Turnout is one thing an exit poll can’t tell you. Low, I suspect.

        • CliveM

          I suspect high. It may be the “yoof vote wot lost it”.

  • Hi

    Oh , exit poll : HUNG PARLIAMENT! Coalition of chaos?

    • The “Progressive Alliance” …. ?

      • Hi
        Or a Conservative – DUP alliance?

        • CliveM

          Even if May gets a small majority, they will still have an influential part to play.

  • Oh dear ….

    • Urgleboo

      Dimbledore just suggested Rudd might be having trouble. Every cloud, and all that. But still … ouch.

  • CliveM

    It’s going to be a long night. Best get some kip before the real results start rolling in.

    • Hi

      Yet they’re saying the conservatives are going to do well in Scotland. Ruth Davidson for next Tory leader ?(after May is deposed)

      • CliveM

        She not a Westminster MP!

        • Hi

          I’m sure the conservatives” the magic circle” can arrange a safe seat for her….or mabye a lordship?

          • CliveM

            Lordship! Not since Disraeli.

    • Chefofsinners

      Ukip if you want to.

  • Albert

    They are saying we should treat the SNP seats with caution on the exit poll. This means Mrs May may pick up some there…It’s unlikely however the exit poll is terribly wrong:

    https://www.ft.com/content/0e38ae9e-4a16-11e7-a3f4-c742b9791d43

  • not a machine

    Evening all….. As the tin foil hats are taken out of the box for election night results festival Not a Machine is tuned into the best coverage as ever on R4 with Nochtey and Quinn and other presenters , tortillas in bowl , fizzy pop in glass and something to try and keep clean fingers when typing .Hope his grace doesn’t mind being on his blog hoping to do our lords work.
    I see happy Jack is well ,my heart sank at news from Scottish episcopal church and I perhaps admit Happy Jack was right , so I can only hope my lords Bishops of Canterbury and York wish to accommodate those of us who like the old faith and meaning , rather than a drift to philosophy .
    so my best shot at tonights somewhat nebulus initial exit poles bah humbug
    I go for a conservative majority of 85-90 seats and possibly a couple of UKIP ones Lib dems 6 , labour 180 .as Nochety and Quinn have outlined there are going to be some very grumbly results .
    Overall I think Theresa Mays approach was good ,but hasn’t had as cleaner run as the conservatives set out with , a few missed oppertunites to reach out to some working voters , but did pretty well. I also though the lib dems had a chance ,but sadly couldn’t muster any coherent response to the terror attacks .Labour seemed to vary widly sometimes on track , but then at others just lite rabble rousing stuff ,they kept working the NHS , except that the NHS is going through so much cash and labour just seemed to think this was alright ,which given every ones in so much government debt , is one very expensive mustang that they couldn’t tame .
    If results do suggest a lame parliament ,then it will have to fail and we have another general election later in the year.I think Theresa mays initial position of fed up of the gradual toying and leeching of the great peoples effort to vote out of the EU , by the other parties was a belief in democracy and was making the point to the body political who were (until she put it to em) just undermining the future of the UK ,to the detriment of its people .I haven’t changed my mind the EU is not listening , its franchise isn’t working and we had plenty of chat . I am still amazed that when they sent in David Cameron and his emphasis on reform , that they passed him round , said yes yes this all very interesting and you can only change things as a member .In my view the time of David Cameron was the EUs best chance to see the light , smell the coffee etc and they slapped on the back and gave him a wedgie and put him on the Eurostar home .

    So as the UKs greatest gathering of chancers , ner do wells , snakes and hyenas shuffle with intent stares upon counting tables in the counting halls across the UK, will look forward to tonights offering of joy ,pathos , pencil snapping and passive agressive behaviour , that occurs in these events .

    • “I perhaps admit Happy Jack was right.”

      HJ is always right – even when he’s wrong.

      • not a machine

        The lord bless you happy Jack ,I know I have a brother …

      • Chefofsinners

        Because he is a Catholic.

        • It was predestined. Jack had no choice. Thank God.

          • not a machine

            mmm I can live with pre meditated , choice with hope …?

          • God bestows His grace on those He foreknows will make good use of it.

          • not a machine

            yes but it also means the damned have no salvation ,tricky area , can you phone the pope emartus Benedict and ask him ???

  • Chefofsinners

    It’s like living in Italy.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Without the sunshine.

      • Chefofsinners

        And Diane Abbott instead of the bunga-bunga girls.

  • CliveM

    Not a recent event however!

    • Hi

      Compared to the age of the universe it is…

      • CliveM

        Hmm just about everything is compared to that.

        • Hi

          Ever been to the restaurant at the end of the universe?

          • bluedog

            Last thing I remember, I was

            Running for the door

            I had to find the passage back

            To the place I was before

            “Relax, ” said the night man,

            “We are programmed to receive.

            You can check-out any time you like,

            But you can never leave!

          • Anton

            Bluedog,

            Take it easy!

          • Hi

            To quote Marvin : “It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level. “

          • bluedog

            I’ll remember that line. But thanks for nothing.

          • CliveM

            Couldn’t get a table.

          • The first ten million years were the worst. And the second ten million: they were the worst, too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that, I went into a bit of a decline.

          • CliveM

            You’ve been listening to a Calvenist sermon. It only seemed like 30m years.

        • Anton

          Tempted at this point to open a dialogue with Martin about the age of the universe and get in the way of our armchair politicians tonight…

          • CliveM

            It’s one way of passing the night, whilst waiting for the flood of results to start and we get a firm idea as to what the result will be.

          • Anton

            I to bed, as Pepys was wont to say.

          • CliveM

            Sleep well.

  • not a machine

    I don’t have much of a sense of how Scottish results will work out , other than some rearranging ,if Ruth Davidson has (and she has been at the coal face) I take my hat off to her ,and I hope she has something to show the scotts that a UK does work and that the loathing is not a fruitfull as the SNP made out , Scotland is in a safe (ish) currency and has a well sorted economic union ,Independence , let alone God forbid if the SNP had plumbed for the Euro , would have been put into a wind that would have withered it to stone age economics .The sheer portability of some aspects of todays economy is a unstable factor , in any country , and I still blame labour for setting up this screen based economy that even now is spreading with increased economic wonk land for the few , who had money in the first place .Utter hypocracy re distribution of wealth , when you create an economy that just set up somewhere else ,for me we were shafted from 2004 and onwards .

    • not a machine

      Only woman to fall into a vat of gin and after an heroic 4 hr struggle be sued for confiscation and theft of product….

  • Inspector General

    In case anyone didn’t hear it. The famed exit poll. Just at 144 poll stations, throughout the country.

    We are being bounced!

    • CliveM

      It’ll be broadly correct BUT I think the Tories will scrape a narrow majority.

      • Inspector General

        In Napoleonic war times, them up in the North East hanged some hapless monkey wearing a scaled down French generals uniform. Today, had they stuck a red rosette on its arse, it would be duly elected the member of whatever. Damn urban peasants!

    • Pubcrawler

      The Abbot of Hackney did the sums.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Previously known as Friar Tuck?

        • Pubcrawler

          A vicious rumour spread by the Rev’d Spooner.

  • Anton

    The astutest thing Corbyn did was guarantee Brexit. That made it an election about everything else but. And Labour and the Tories have been closely matched electorally on everything else for a long time. Hence a close election. Somebody whose job it was at Tory HQ should have seen that in advance.

    Interesting times ahead. But not the next 8 hours, for me at least.

    The world will always disappoint. Jesus Christ never will.

    • bluedog

      The stupidest thing May did was to continually attack Corbyn personally, she merely encouraged scrutiny of his ‘policies’. Some of which resonated, such as the renationalisation of the railways. People would have thought that if the French and Germans can manage an efficient state rail system, why can’t we?

  • Anton

    Fifteen years ago Theresa May lamented that the Tories were seen as the “nasty party”.

    Wish they’d campaigned as such recently!

  • Pubcrawler

    Three safe Labour seats so far, Tory vote up 9% (at Ukip’s expense). Hmmm.

  • not a machine

    Hooray for Swindon north lets hope its like magnificent severn with 400 odd fingers , UkiP vote is a bit of portent and I think we might have still needed them

    • not a machine

      Something from the older wiser …. in my view part right but does not recognize the new indolent election base ,who couldn’t give a stuff ,the politicans are trying to make alchemy from the mist of boiling poisoned cauldron .election 2027 will consist of mortal kombat with sending in of party grapple champion in fight to death for voter satisfaction 🙂

  • Labour is starting to crow. A case of premature speculation.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Let’s hope so.

  • Hi

    Consolidation prizes:

    Clegg looses Sheffield
    Salmond looses Gordon

    • Typhoon Tina

      loses

      • not a machine

        I think I would try and use loss

  • not a machine

    Shipley goes labour ???? what , this is going to be some night .As for Clegg losing Sheffield Hallam to labour , how does that work ,I mean both parties are remain ….

    • not a machine

      So basically we have a youth vote ,in uni towns that thinks brexit sucks and cant remember how much money labour blew

      • not a machine

        Wrexham ……oooohhhh still a mixed picture , a patchwork of multi situations , thought conservatives might take that one

        • not a machine

          oh well gets tootin in tooting out of the way

  • Manfarang

    Pound sterling falling

    • not a machine

      good news for lr/jaguar bad news for bmw/mercedes

  • Inspector General

    Tom ‘I like my food’ Watson re-elected.

    Where’s that rope one has…

    • not a machine

      hes just calorie challenged , surprised to see you up inspector general

      • Inspector General

        Staying up on this rotten night is something Dante would appreciate…

        • not a machine

          mmm for me still on descent into hell , darnt think if she cant get decent majority ,still think she will do it but not sure about my 85 -90 majority , this is hard work tonight

          • Inspector General

            They were ‘speaking in tongues’ just now. Dived behind the armchair in fear, but it turned out it was some dead language called ‘Welsh’.

          • not a machine

            Cant afford to lose Cyrm Rhonda from hymal inspector ,can we ….

        • Manfarang

          DUP to the rescue!

        • Anton

          Hell or Purgatory?

    • Manfarang

      Corbyn sky pie!

  • Hi,

    Well it’s fascinating watching the Welsh seats declaring in bilingual Welsh and English.

    • not a machine

      Did you consider Hannah Montana as profile ?

  • not a machine

    nah nah nah ne nah nah Angus Angus ,whole lot of woman whole lot of rosie

    • not a machine

      Is that best ever conservative result in hartlepool ?

  • The thought of five years of Comrade Corbynov and a Labour Brexit fudge is devastating.
    Nigel needs to get back in the saddle and get UKIP election ready for 2022.

    • not a machine

      meanwhile in tribute to peter snow the bratwurstometer is swinging to between the French bun with ketchup , but still could go to scanadanvian salad and herring galore for independent uk fishing communities

  • Pubcrawler

    Recount in Farron’s constituency…

    • Hi

      I wonder if the fish finger will win?

      • Pubcrawler

        What a delicious thought!

    • Inspector General

      Deep joy.

  • Inspector General

    Darling news!

    Eva Broon has lost one..

    • not a machine

      I have ended boob and busts

      • not a machine

        oh I just had a flash of a series of evas greatest moments ,signing Lisbon ,nearly sending the limos off to the election that was never called and fire sale of uk assets , all to benny hill theme tune

        • not a machine

          So now remnant of conservative troika shoot St theresa to gain there position and brexit deal is lost , junker must be laughing at conservative war this look likes creating .

          • Anton

            This puts Juncker is a difficult position, actually. German/EU businesses want a deal, there isn’t anybody in London to negotiate one with, and the default after two years is hard Brexit.

  • not a machine

    And so the tale of Angus Robertson drew to a close that is a big beast .So if tim farron and Nick clegg lose who will be lib dem leader …… Still need some conservatives to change from labour

  • And Kinnochio has been re-elected for Aberavon what a surprise, not.

    • not a machine

      probably owns most of it

      • Not even a brick, rents and lives in Denmark and Davos Switzerland

        • not a machine

          mmm so likes shabby chic for holidays and work but not residence

  • Pubcrawler

    Cleggsit

  • not a machine

    Clegg gone ….. last of the summer whiners

  • Hi

    What have Scottish Tories been doing to win so well? What lessons can they give English Tories?

    • The answer is Ruth Davison, passion and personality good in a campaign.

      • Anton

        And also the personality of her opponent.

    • John

      Just keep promising referenda about independence and you will lose votes from an election-weary electorate.

  • not a machine

    Didn’t quite understand why da Fink didn’t say St Theresa is the best negotiator we have , so two lines of drip drips are on then

  • not a machine

    Stars up above are they shining for me ….. vince manages biggest vote total of night …. lets face the music and dance

    • not a machine

      correction che corbyn has 40000 votes

  • IanCad

    Just as David Cameron did the honourable thing and resigned after his referendum loss; can we expect the same from Theresa May? Gone by noon? Or, better yet, by breakfast.

    • not a machine

      That would begin an incalculable tradegy ,I think some people have forgotten that the party needs to win and not some egos we need her negioating skills , the corpratists will sell us down the crapper

      • IanCad

        Darn right we need to win!! To do that we need astute and capable leadership. May was never up to the job IMO. Half-hearted on Brexit, an absolute disaster at campaigning; my hope is that at her departure we will also see the backs of Hammond and Boris.

        • not a machine

          if my analysis is correct the stupid egos have thought it right , the best person we have , should not remain pm ,if that is the case , I perhaps consider we have lost the commanding majority because some have feigned feilty and not fought to get her to do her job , if so it will be a stain on the conservative party and those useful women votes will be lost of a decade .
          If they dump her I cannot support what remains , they are out of touch , manifesto writer has lost his seat .I am very sad at this current picture , and wish I had been able to help

  • Pubcrawler

    Labour hold Cambridge. Blimey, wasn’t expecting that!

    • Merchantman

      Probably all the EU citizens who voted. Why were they allowed to? This election has been stolen and bought not necessarily in that order.

      • Pubcrawler

        Must be. Previously very marginal, a dead cert for the LibDims to reclaim I’d have thought, but Lab votr up 12,000-odd. Incredibile est.

        • CliveM

          Well they were offered a £30k+ bribe.

          I might have voted Labour for that.

          • Pubcrawler

            Still a huge swing: 15%. But then there’s been a significant increase in student numbers recently thanks to the (former) poly.

          • CliveM

            It’s not hard to fathom why people didn’t vote for May. It is hard to understand why they voted for Corbyn.

          • Pubcrawler

            Conservative vote share increased 5.5%, a bigger increase than anyone else achieved since Mrs T, despite large turnout, especially among ‘da yoof’. A number of Labour majorities were hammered, but just not quite by enough.

            As for your second sentence:

            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAc6eIsWAAAUl45.jpg

          • CliveM

            Ok you make a good point. It is interesting that in all this fall out, no one has made the basic point that labour haven’t got close to being able to form their own majority administration.

            Despite the poor (relative to expectations) showing by the Conservatives.

  • Pubcrawler

    Farron scrapes in.

  • Manfarang

    Go hang

    • not a machine

      you will lose

      • Manfarang

        No one will win

        • not a machine

          which leaves us open too……..

          • Manfarang

            Minority government

          • not a machine

            If Labour continue to weaken on home office necessity , for there traditional own voters we will be wide open

          • Manfarang

            It ain’t over until the thin lady sings.

          • not a machine

            true , but the pm needs every clever person to be reliable , if we have this carping and undermining running while we have to put the EU in place .We have a bright future in the UK , you let the ruinous franchise in and weaken the home office and negioations , then we will be like post treaty of versallies Germany and you know what that birthed

          • Anton

            It was the hyperinflation that did that.

          • More terrorism and unrest, the EU taking advantage of us.

          • not a machine

            that’s just the start of it , by the time labour mps who have had doubts about the post 2004 concensus and corporatism , was flawed we now have a sizable group who will look for the ruinous franchise once more , as salvation .If labour becomes the weak vassalting state between ideaologies , you wont have the strength to get out of the vice

  • Manfarang

    If Tories can’t hold Eastbourne then they are in trouble.

    • Merchantman

      Lots and lots of Social Security recipients.

      • Manfarang

        Your thinking of Margate.

  • The fat controller’s gone, at last.

  • The crash in the UKIP vote down 11%, all Nigel’s years of work building the party more or less down the pan. Shows what a difference a charismatic leader can make.

    • Manfarang

      One man band you mean.

      • Not one man band at all, they need organising.

        • Manfarang

          By the band master.

        • Anton

          Around what cause?

          • Well they’ve got plenty of causes, the main one being immigration of course, and there’s a lot of agreement around these,they just need more discipline to play all together. As Nigel says they need to put country before party and party before self.

  • not a machine

    my thanks to R4 team a most unusual if not the most unusual election I have gone through ,so the chronicles of the ruin begin again , after all that work ….this play of politics has failed the british people

  • Sarky

    Brexit reawakened ‘youth’ interest in politics, only Corbyn seemed to understand this and the tories have paid the price.

    • TM’s campaign was awful. If only Gove hadn’t knifed Boris back then.

      • Sarky

        We’d have a labour majority??

    • CliveM

      He’s certainly promised them a lot of goodies.

      • The young are gullible and don’t listen to reason. Students know it all and see Corbynov, an old pro at campaigning, as exciting and who speaks their lingo. Little do they know.

    • andrew

      The yoof are conditioned by a society that allows leftist academia and leftist media to monopolise every facet of influence. Any wonder the yoof are so spoilt, uneducated and ignorant…

  • The Tories will have to form a coalition with the DUP.

  • CliveM

    I think I’ll drink myself into a stupor for the next five years.