A View From The Vicarage, June 2017

Dear Friends,

As you read this we’ll either be drawing towards the end of or in the aftermath of a General Election Campaign. I’m not certain how prescient you are but I’d be quite prepared to wager that very few of us had been expecting to be paying a visit to the polls to elect a new Westminster Parliament quite this soon; I understand that Teresa May made the decision while staying in Dolgellau over Easter, I can’t claim to have done anything similar while I was there a week later!!

Surely, if nothing else, this somewhat unexpected Prime Ministerial Easter gift is another illustration of how the political landscape in the United Kingdom fundamentally shifted following the European Referendum a year ago this month.

I don’t intend to use this as an opportunity to make a political point in favour of any of the political parties fielding candidates in this election. I do, however, pray most fervently that they will conduct their campaigns in an honest and dignified manner making their points without resorting to cheap attacks on the character of their opponents. An election campaign in which political parties had an open and honest debate about policies and their own view of our country’s future would I think be welcomed by all sections of society.

I do most earnestly urge you to exercise your democratic right and vote. I pray that when you do that, you’ll base your decision upon the political programme which to your mind offers the best opportunities for ourselves, our communities, our country and our place in the worldwide family of nations.

We are privileged to have in the United Kingdom a long and honourable history of a stable parliamentary democracy. We, as electors, elect members of Parliament to make decisions and execute judgements on our behalf. It seems to me that it is vital that those so elected remember that their election is to serve the needs and aspirations of their constituents whether they voted for them or not.

It may prove that the result of the Election proves to be a cause of profound disappointment but whatever happens surely what is essential is that the result reflects the desires and wishes of the

In November next year we’ll mark the centenary of the end of what was thought at the time to be “the War to end all War,” sadly, of course, as history teaches us it wasn’t. Surely the most appropriate way to honour the memory of all of those who gave their lives in that conflict and the too many which have followed it is to exercise those rights and freedoms for which they made the ultimate sacrifice.

Whatever you don’t do on June 8th, please do exercise your democratic right with a visit to the polling station and by so doing honour the memory of those who fought to win and defend that freedom and also prove to those who would wish to undermine itthat the democratic will of the British people is something that we’re still prepared to defend.

With my love and prayers, as always

Ben.