Friday, 8 May 2015

Election 2015 Aftermath: Listen Carefully

I have seen a number of people declaring things along the lines of "What an awful day this is!". 

Maybe they are right; maybe they are wrong.  But underlying that are one or two points.  The first is that we are where we are because people have voted in a particular way.  The second is that those people include ordinary - sometimes poorer - people who have voted for the party of Government and not just rich people who have voted for them.

I suspect a malaise of politicians, and possibly the Church, is that long ago in quarters of politics and the Church (and of course that does not mean every part) we ceased to listen to ordinary people and moved more to a position of telling these people what they should think and how they should act - a kind of intellectual condescension - and once that happens we find that all sorts of things might happen in elections, including for instance that, although there may not be a great surge of UKIP in Parliament, the percentage of those voting in that direction seems to grow.  Listening to and engagement with those who have concerns - even about unreasonable things - is in my view one thing that has been lacking.  But listening and engagement probably works better than political haranguing about whatever liberal stance grabs the power politicians of the day.  Perhaps we can begin to listen more rather than just tell people off when they don't have the same view as us.