Taking a principled stand

Readers of this blog will know that, occasionally, it will include aspects of mailings that I occasionally send to my MP, a member of the Conservative Party presently governing the UK. With the present state of this government, and especially the position of its leader, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, I decided to, once again, email my MP to make my feelings about the matter known to him. In doing so, I was mindful of the campaign of concern on this issue currently being undertaken by the pressure group, 38 Degrees – a people’s movement I support.

This article contains the basic text of the above-mentioned email, albeit written in essay form.

Those reading this article will probably need no reminding that the Conservative government, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is currently in a state that could well be described as a siege. There are many reasons for this, and these have been dealt with, not always adequately, by the media.

During the early months of the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 virus, the UK also was in a situation that could also be called a “state of siege”. The British government brought in a series of harsh measures to try and cope with the pandemic, not always quickly enough, or successfully. People could only leave home for work, exercise, or obtain necessary supplies; non-essential shops were closed; large gatherings were illegal. One consequence of such measures was that, apart from being in their family groups, individuals could not be with more than one other individual at any one time. Therefore, such things as attendance at religious worship services, pubs, dances, cinemas, weddings, funerals, family occasions, e.g., birthdays, and a host of other activities, were not permitted.

For me personally, and amongst other things, it meant that I could not be present with my daughter and my son-in-law around the time of the birth of my second grandchild. Moreover, I was unable throughout 2020 (when the PM was associated with garden parties) to be with and hold my granddaughter for the first year of her life. Ongoing relations with my wider family, including my young grandson, were also grossly interrupted, or prevented.

Contravention of these measures were subject to lawful punishments, and there were many ordinary people, living ordinary lives, who were severely fined for such contraventions. In the past few weeks, evidence has come to light that the very persons who were responsible for devising the laws of lockdown, and who, daily from lecterns and the pages of the newspapers, were encouraging citizens to observe them, were themselves contravening these laws and recommendations. Amongst such offenders was the UK Prime Minister himself, Boris Johnson.

It is commonly alleged that our Prime Minister has been known to lie about government, state, and personal matters. It seems that he is also guilty of his failure to come clean with his knowledge of, and likely participation in, garden parties at No.10 Downing Street, his residence as PM. He and his governmental ministers instituted the “laws of the lockdowns”, laws to which he and his ministers have subjected the entire country. Yet, in the event, they were laws that they themselves were flouting.

In so doing, the Prime Minister has deceived the country, being short with the truth, and demonstrated that he feels that he is above the very rules that his government makes, as well as the general laws of the country. So too, in the past couple of years there have been revelations of how others in his administration have acted in a similar style to the Prime Minister, and seemingly with his knowledge of their actions – and not only in the case of Dominic Cummings!

As with a rapidly increasing number of others throughout the country, I am becoming somewhat immune to the nature of the repetitious claims of the Conservative government that it is acting in the interests of the entire population of this country, when it is evident that these claims are mere words and lack substance. There is much evidence to suggest that Boris Johnson believes, as do others in his administration, that the law, as it stands and as it is pronounced by the government, contains exceptions and exemptions. The latter concerns Mr Johnson himself, and others who believe that their background and office places them in a special and privileged position. Boris Johnson must be held accountable for his words and actions, including those associated with the garden parties held at No.10 Downing Street during the lockdowns of 2020.

Surely it is now time when Conservative members of Parliament, who have enjoyed many years of government, should truly act in the interests of all and be accountable, not only to the Conservative Party, but also to the citizens of the UK. This means putting a stop to the discriminatory behaviour of the Prime Minister, and others in his government, who say one thing and do another. The laws of the country apply, without discrimination, to all. The latter is not just an issue of efficient and effective national governance, it is also a question of governmental ethics.

The false words, inflammatory actions, and failure to act on the part of some government MPs, are rapidly causing a deterioration not only in the confidence of this country in its government, but also in the reputation that, thus far, the UK has enjoyed in Europe and wider. In the view of a growing number of the UK populace, the government of the UK is becoming a national disgrace, indeed, a laughingstock.

I would hope and trust that, as my representative in Parliament, my MP will not condone the words and actions for which, and especially in recent weeks, this Conservative government has received such sustained and justifiable criticism. Further, I contacted my MP with the expectation that he, along with many of his parliamentary colleagues, will take a principled stand against those matters discussed in the above.


About stewculbard

I am a retired secondary school teacher of Humanities, having spent a major portion of my working life as a Minister of Religion with the Baptist denomination. I would now describe myself as a secular humanist and a socialist. I am married to Vicky and we have three children - two sons and a married daughter - all of whom are in their thirties. Formerly of Melbourne, Australia, we are all now living in England. My academic studies have been undertaken in Australia, the UK and the USA. I have a doctorate in religious studies from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. In retirement I enjoy reading, listening to classical music and writing. I am a member of Republic, Sea of Faith, Dignity in Dying Campaign and the National Secular Society. As well, I have a subscription to a number of cultural and political associations, including Amnesty International and, as a committed European, The Federal Trust.
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