After confidently predicting a 80 to 100 Conservative Party majority in last week's election the shock of reality is a slap in the face. This election has been, as the blog Archbishop Cramner put it: “an unmitigated, self inflicting disaster.” A hung parliament, an unsecure Prime Minister, Islamic terrorism and Brexit is not a combination of events that can give any confidence. The hubris and arrogance of calling an early election is blisteringly clear, my own hubris in thinking that this election was in the bag is also painful to reflect on.
There are slivers in the dark clouds to be thankful for. With Conservative gains in Scotland and Wales and a likely coalition with the DUP, we are a kingdom united once more. Scottish independence was dealt a heavy blow, for which we can all rejoice. Many young people registered to vote for the first time, of course, they voted Labour but hey, today's Labour voter is a Tory just waiting to happen. And to the great annoyance of a lot of my friends, my MP Philip Davies (Conservative) held his seat, increasing his votes, in-spite (or because of) a concerted campaign against him by “feminist zealots”.
But these are only the smallest flakes of silver in some very heavy and dark clouds. Serious questions have to be asked: what went wrong? What happens next? Both tricky to get good answers to. But this kind of reflection is needed, for the right lessons need to be learnt. The Bible verse which is solidly in my mind is this:
Disclaimer: This is not a perfect comparison but it is a workable one. It's traditional at this point to say something like: “I'm not a racist for talking about Islamic terrorism” but I doubt that will hold any weight for anyone wanting to call me a racist for talking about Islamic terrorism.
The American Gun Control problem can be phrased simply as: “Is the gun owner a good gun owner or a bad gun owner?” The bad gun owner is the angry teenage boy who will go into a school and shoot people. The good gun owner is the woman wanting to make sure she can defend herself, if assaulted. The difficultly is twofold: a) determining which is which at point of purchase and b) determining which is which within the gun owning community (36% of US population).
The Islamic terrorism problem can be phrased similarly: “Is the Muslim a good one or a bad one?” The bad ones are the angry men who will drive cars into people and blow up pop concerts. The good ones are happy to co-exist with Westerners. The difficult here is also twofold: a) determining which is which at point of entry into the country and b) determining which is which within the current Muslim community (4.5% of UK population).
In both cases, a minority of each community are violent killers who will show no regard for the sanctity of human life. The very existence of this minority brings the whole community into disrepute.