Minister’s Letter – June 2014

Dear Friends,

As I sit writing this, I am waiting for the European Election results to come in with more than a little concern about the predicted rise in UKIP seats.

What worries me is why people think that they need to vote for UKIP.   There is clearly a feeling of discontent among some people with their lot in life.  I realise that I am writing from a relatively affluent position but in global terms, we must all recognise that we are some of the wealthiest human beings that have ever lived.  Further, it is not migrants or immigrants who are making this country poorer.  In fact migration almost always has a positive impact on our country’s culture and economy.  Just think, the very first Christians were migrants and where would we have been without them?

What is even more worrying is that the ‘plain speaking’ Mr Farage’s leaflets have statistics in them which are often misleading or worse, false.  Recent research has shown very clearly that migration is not the problem that his party has built its campaign upon.

But, there is a very real problem around the relationship between rich and poor in this country, evidenced by the fact that some are reliant on food banks, whilst others complain about paying too much tax when they seem to be able to afford two or three foreign holidays a year.  I wish politicians would stop scapegoating foreign migrants and start addressing the real issues that we face, like how to fund the NHS, or providing high quality education for all children, and – most expensive of all – ensuring a decent living standard for pensioners.

As Christians we know that charity and love are costly and we should be prepared to bear that cost, giving freely, as we have received.