Orange Standard ~ Article 4 ~ October 2008
We may have more than a little sympathy with those who complain, as we did, about the awful summer of 2008. Our situations were not equal though, for some suffered the horrors of flooding. They elicit from the fortunate to have avoided that calamity, the ravages of nature, and too often the inadequacies of planners to foresee recurring problems, relief and pity.
But if the weather was fearsome for some, and frustrating for most of us, the political scene remains in a like state of complaint and uncertainty. The government, with Gordon Brown, the target for an economy so ineffective in the struggle against the rising costs of even the bare necessities of life, is under attack by workers in the staple industries, with strikes threatened by Trade Unions and their members.
The imbalances with wages, salaries and rewards, employees and employers, with their extravagantly rewarded chiefs make an administration look ridiculous for its parsimony where the people are concerned with their claimant needs, and its liberality in what to most of us is totally unjustified, so that angry protests are to be expected and in wrap available to protesters. The anomalies, so numerous, produce multiple questions, and a few like, how is it possible to produce ten billion for a useless computer system and not enough to provide the means to help to combat the criminality that frightens and victimises so many law-abiding citizens? And half a billion on preparations for the Olympics when such money could be well used in life improving objectives for needy and suffering people. The complaints are endless, and the effects of wrong thinking disastrous, with the most vulnerable receiving least attention. Priorities are wrong and until they are righted there can be no even limited satisfaction, with government and country in its present state. We must hope and expect better ways and days ahead of us.
The unrest of today makes us compare like restlessness of other days which brought about a change of leadership and government. The trade unions appear to have no desire for that result, for Cameron and the Tories are not wanted by them; Labour is a philosophy they share and support.
What we hope for expeditiously is a more satisfying and less worrying life, for we need the stability absent presently from the U.K. What pertains in the Union is ever applicable to us, for whole devolved government allows us to make decisions for ourselves. We are governed largely, sometimes totally, by what goes at Westminster.
That requires us to evaluate the present state of our Stormont administration. Whatever the work done, the impression is of an Assembly which is confrontational because the D.U.P. and S.F. find their dissimilar philosophies make coexistence in power very awkward. How to have the ruling parties work together is the question, and while there are instances of consent and approval of cross party decisions, though they are not unimportant to those affected by them, big issues remain unresolved.
In spite of the gloom of such a summer, weather wise we are happy that the public demonstrations and appearance of the Institution and the Loyal Orders were pleasurable occasions with very little adverse comment from any quarter. We wanted it that way, for we know the value of the earned approval of the people at large. Our usual citizens, of course, will not pay compliment in a society shot through with irrational stances, dogmatic and liberal attitudes vying for attention, and where reactions are always predictable.
It means that the Order must constantly be making positive claims that show how good is its actual and potential contribution to this society.
We believe our most worthwhile one is by our concentration on the Christian faith and the ethical and political values founded on it. They are essentials in a usually secularly orientated environment, where the faith is undervalued, and society is weakened by the loss of what sustained and strengthened it in other and better days. When the good influence of the faith is absent the loss is filled with bad influences that we must fight against if we are to think and act consonant with our beliefs.
Our hope for the future of the country must be in the recognition, and adoption, of Christian values for they only will serve us well.