Reform Alliance

You can’t reform politics without re-examining the values on which you are going to base your work. And politics is compromise so if you’re going to work with allies you need to agree a reasonable overlap of values to which you all assent. What values would an informed Christian conscience include? Surely, at the least:

1. Ask, “How much is enough?”. What should be the ratio of CEO salary to the average worker’s (in the public, private and voluntary sectors)? Even if we don’t put an exact number on it let’s allow this to be a topic of conversation in polite society.

2. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We’ve become obsessed by how much we should receive. Our national well-being would improve with some thoughtful giving – from targeted social welfare through to fulfilling our international aid obligations.

3. Guard human dignity. Policy-making should enshrine the best of measures to protect those whose dignity is most at risk.

4. Practice authenticity. This may be the value that the public craves the most. They want leaders who lead by example (like Jesus did)  – and who can blame them. Authenticity is first forged in the crucible of private life. It requires personal commitment from a leader and also an understanding of forgiveness.

Historically our country has looked to denominational advice as to what an “informed Christian conscience” should look like. That is no longer flavour of the month. But now we will make a bigger mistake if we say goodbye to bath-water, baby and all without stopping to reflect on the teaching of the original Moral Compass from Nazareth.

Just now we have an embarrassment of riches in the form of a young population imbued with a sense of justice and whose capacity for imagination, which has been incubated for centuries, deserves to be rewarded. Now’s the time to inspire them with the best values a country can own.

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1 Response to Reform Alliance

  1. David Moles says:

    David thanks for your articulate thoughts. I had a comment on the first point that in addition to the thinking what a CEO’s salary should be vis-a-vis the average worker I think it would be helpful to consider to what degree (or ratio) said CEO’s use their largesse to give unto others. You get there with your second point but I wanted to make the connection as I see it between the two points. A wise man once said, “To whom much is given much is required.” One who earns much and gives much I think should be differently considered than one who earns much and stores it away in his barns or wagons or holiday homes in the south of France. I think our fellow Irishman, Paul Hewson, is a current example of one who sees this potential and has been amazingly able to tap into the financial inequity of the West to take the financial system as it is and bring much financial equity and justice to the world.


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