Fat cats in the public’s eye – what is fairness?

Fairness was catapaulted to the top of the agenda in the last General Election campaign. Since then the debate is on – what is fairness in our society?

“It’s not fair!” announces the youngest child with all the authority of a top judge. Where did the child learn this judicial skill?

In 2010 Wayne Rooney negotiated to be paid £200,000 per week after threatening to leave Manchester United. In Jan 2011 Kenny Miller, another footballer, was reported to be paid £50,000/week in Turkey. Wayne Roony earns £10.4m annually while an NHS consultant earns on average about £112,000 p.a.

The reason why the public don’t call footballers fat cats is because they see Rooney’s skill week by week. The public accepts that the television media and the industry it spawns brings in enough revenue to pay entertainers such wages. Just like tabloid journalism, the public want it and pay for it.

However the public don’t see the work of doctors, surgeons, chief executives and high earning ‘fat cats’ as they are called. Yet like the three year old child they feel qualified enough to give their judgement.

An appeal for fairness is an appeal for justice. Justice is good, but God reminds us that we need mercy along with justice Psalm 89:14. “He shall have judgment without mercy who has shown no mercy; and mercy triumphs over judgment” James 2:13.

The Gospel of God’s grace teaches humility – that we don’t deserve the good things we get. This does not sit easily in a society demanding its rights. For every right I have, there is a corresponding responsibility – from someone else – and vice versa. Christianity turns the subject round and looks at our responsibilities to love our neighbour as ourselves – to give fair due to our neighbour out of genuine love to them. God will judge us according to what spirit we manifest – “as a man thinks in his heart so is he” Pro 23:7.

The Trumpet Call

“If a trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle?”
1Cor 14:8.

In the approaching General Election, announced today for 6th May 2010, many Christians feel disenfranchised as they cannot conscientiously vote for any of the major parties.  But it does not have to be that way?

What does it take to have a Christian Party candidate in your Parliamentary constituency?  Not much.

1. First, you need one Christian prepared to put his/her name as a candidate on the ballot paper with (Scottish) Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship” beside their name.  I count this an honour and I hope you would too.

2. Ten people on the Electoral Roll for that constituency – who will sign the nomination paper for this candidate, and one to act as Election Agent.

3. What does this cost?  The deposit is £500, which will be recovered if the candidate gets more than 5% of the votes cast.

4. £500 = 10 Christians x£50 or 50 Christians x£10.   If one divides by the five years of a parliamentary term this works out at £10/yr from 10 Christians for five years.

Are there ten such Christians in your constituency?

Abraham prayed for Sodom and he brought the number down from fifty to ten.  The Lord matched him every step.  When he got to ten, Abraham stopped.  “And Abraham said, perhaps ten shall be found there? And He said, I will not destroy it for the sake of ten” Gen 18:32.  Abraham thought that he had done enough – but he had not!

Do you not have ten in your constituency who will act?

Possibly not: “And I sought for a man among them, that should repair the hedge, and stand in the gap: but I found none” Ezk 22:30.

Will you be disenfranchised just because no-one would put their name on the ballot paper?

Objection 1: But I don’t know how to campaign?

You don’t have to.  Let me allay your fears.  Paper candidates don’t usually campaign.  What is a paper candidate?

In 2009 there was a by-election in the Inverness West Ward.  The Labour and Conservative Parties each had a candidate on the ballot paper.  However they did not expect to win.  So their candidates put in very little effort.  There were hardly any posters on lamp-posts and there were no candidates at any of the three Polling Stations on voting day.  This is a paper candidacy: putting your name on the ballot paper so that people can vote for you although you do not campaign.

Objection 2: What’s the point in a paper candidate?

It gives you someone to vote for – instead of abstaining.  If we have enough such candidates, the Christian public will begin to see that it can be done.  “Yes, we can!”  The politicians will then begin to speak about those issues we care about.

Objection 3: the media will ask me questions that I cannot answer.

1. The media don’t usually bother with minor parties.  It takes politicians all their time to get the media to pay attention to them.  You will not be the centre of attention unless you are able to draw attention to yourself.

2. Politicians set their own agenda.  The major parties have set out their stall and it does not include the things of major concern to Christians, such as interfering with the declaration of the Gospel and living according to Christ’s commandments.

3. When people ask what you are standing for, you simply mention the things which concern you!  Is this difficult?  Is it not good to have a platform on which to articulate the things which concern Christians?

Anything more than this is an extra.  A welcome extra – but extra.  Such as:

1. Producing a leaflet with your photograph and bullet point issues.

2. Handing them out to as many people as you can meet: this is a golden opportunity for Christian outreach and you will have some interesting conversations.  Is this not what Christians want?

So what should you do? Visit the Christian Party website to register your interest and download the forms.  If you do it this way you may even find that the deposit is paid for you.

Every blessing!

“And Jesus said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27.