tag : bright yellow-green apples: foukin' money

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

foukin' money

figure 45.3. holy?

I didn't make it up to the Edinburgh march, which, despite the subsequent violence committed by a few regular hardcore 'professional' protesters in the last couple of days, seems to have been a pretty fantastic statement made. Perhaps a more focused one in it's message than a big concert, even if it got a lot less media attention. But this isn't really the time to discuss the rights and wrongs of one means or the other, for gaining the attention of people, in thier aims, and thier ways of convincing people about the message of tackling world poverty.

Angela Tilby's written a fantastic discussion of the current whirlwind of events and public dicsussion - quite tart but warm, both encouraging and reasonable in the face of much hype and misdirecting bluster. We certainly need realism, as well as astonishing vision. There is a sense in which we could inadvertently strengthen the worst of the socio-economic status-quo, if we lay everthing at the feet of 8 finance ministers at a particular time. They aren't heroes with the elixior of life, they're a bunch of men with notable power and opportunities to influence things either way. Yet one of them, our own Gorden Brown, is right to say that public expectations of them should be as high as we can make them. I don't know of thier motives (he looked very tired in a Channel news interview last night, which indicates he might well be heavily involved in pre-summit discussions), and would question some of his policy assumptions of pragmatically swallowing some economic 'givens' whole. But this statement struck a chord nonetheless.

The greatest hopes will probably never be totally fulfilled, but will certainly be closer to suceeding if driven and fueled by an ideal. Pragmatic realism doesn't really inspire great actions, so much as help to deal with the current unacceptable state of things. Yesturday a former Mozambique environment minister was interviewed on the Today programme, and he warned that we can take nothing for granted in assuming a gradual process of improvement will just happen. Increments are pithy and useless in the face of potentially massive climate change and poverty issues to come, which NGOs and scientists are noting with greater clarity. And fundamental actions might still have a chance of heading off greater environmental and human tragedy, which will impact us all in ways we cannot expect, that might otherwise only slow in its rate of increase.

The G8 meeting's start this Wednesday, and beyond media hype there does seem to be a lot of potential in them. With enough eyes turned upon the people concerned with the decisions, with enough expectation in the air, and hope building behind them. Heck, if they simply want to be remebered as great men who cared, whatever the reality of thier aims, that'll do. Anyone who's so minded could join in prayer over the next few days for all those involved in the whole summit - that the decisions which they make might be for the betterment of those in need, for the whole world concerned. I found some good intercessory ones up on the CAFOD website, if you need somewhere to start.

"We pray for those in government all over the world
that they may turn towards compassion,
That the leaders of the world’s richest nations
may choose this moment of the Great Jubilee
to make decisions in favour of the poor"

Tilby also touched on something less grandiose, but still profoundly important to us. In repudiation of the cult of money, sometimes almost presented almost as if the great evil and the agent of salvation, she pointed towards the reality that it's not the sum of our lives. Issues of wealth and living are as much for us to deal with as people 'over there', and about more than abstract monetry & economic systems that're out of our consuming hands. We all need a vision of modesty - that's not sentimentally pious about being poor, yet that hopes to see abundence for all those who lack. Life in all its fullness includes economic rightness, how we relate to our environment, how we be with every person we find ourselves alongside.

"We pray that we may accept
the light of your love
as a challenge to change
ourselves and our world"


Blogger Andy said...

Angela Tilby is indeed brilliant. She's a lecturer at Wescott House, a theological college just over the road from my college in Cambridge. We were lucky enough to have her preaching about a month ago in our church! (She's also a post-evangelical!)

6:07 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

I'm always impressed when I hear her on the radio - looks like another person you're lucky to have on your doorstep! We're not jealous, oh no...

12:09 PM  

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