Letter from Australia 44 – Cummings, Compassion, and a Chilling Video
Dear brothers and sisters,
There are times when you are asked a question that is really just an accusation. “Why are you commenting on the UK? You don’t live here anymore…you ran away”. There is no point to responding personally to such an accusation – the person concerned has no real interest in the answer to that question – because they already think they know it. Sadly much of ‘dialogue’ on social media is of that type. It’s so depressing to see – even more so when Christians join in with the same level of vitriol – and even worse for me when I fall into that particular trap – even when I don’t mean it. Apologies to any of you who read this – if I have ever behaved in that way to you.
The answer to that particular question is that I write because I still care for my home country – I hope to return some day (DV) and I pray for its leaders and people every day. I still listen to the BBC; read the Guardian, the Courier, the Telegraph and the Spectator; and follow a number of commentators, journalists and politicians. I have to admit a particular thankfulness for the few, like Iain Macwhirter, who, even though I don’t always agree with them, provide information, incisive comment and thoughtful analysis.
But there is something about watching from afar and seeing not only how your new country is reported in your old (the reports about Australia are often way off beam). But also how the old is reported in the new. Watching the current state of the UK and Scotland from here is profoundly distressing. Sometimes it lays a real heaviness on my heart – to the extent that I switch off in order to protect my blood pressure!
Should He Stay or Should He Go?
Take for example the current Dominic Cummings saga. Yesterday I put on the BBC news and expected to hear about Covid 19 deaths (thankfully on the way down), the troubles in Hong Kong, the threats of famine in Africa, the corruption in Brazil, or the US Presidential elections. With all that going on in the world – what was the number one issue? The fuss about a government advisor driving from London to Durham to give his child to his parents whilst he and his wife self-isolated in a cottage there besides themI That was incredible. But it was the social media that stunned me. The abuse, hatred, vitriol and anger from the likes of Alastair Campbell (a government advisor whose lies sent us to war and helped create ISIS), Piers Morgan and numerous of the Twitterati was stunning. Lots of people, from Tory MP’s, Labour opponents and the SNP Westminster leader Iain Blackford saw their opportunity to get revenge on a man they hate. And the press sense blood They set in place a full-scale lynch mob – and its not just online. Going by this we are not that far away from a public lynching.
But it’s not just the Twitterati. My social media feed was depressingly filled with Christians and others joining in the mob rant. There was as much point in trying to question their absolute certainty, as there would be in standing in front of a mob of rioters in the 19th Century. The rage of the mob is not open to rational or calm thought. Immediately you say anything that dares to question their absolute certainty they cry out “but he broke the law….. he’s killing people….its one rule for the rich…etc.”. (I can understand why people have instant ‘outraged’ opinions, based upon the little information we have – and it may even be right that he should resign…but that’s not my concern. My concern is the hysteria, hatred, trial by social media and the absolute fundamentalist certainty that everyone on Twitter has – where even to question the narrative results in you being compared to Hitler!).
There have been two other advisors who were compelled to resign. I felt sorry for the Scottish Chief Medical officer and don’t think she should have lost her job. The difference however between her, Neil Ferguson, the UK government’s main scientific advisor and Cummings was that whilst she was visiting a holiday home and he was visiting his married mistress, Cummings was taking his child to be cared for by his parents – because he feared he and his wife had Covid 19. Whether it was wise or not to do so is not the question. Did he break the law is the question? Given that he has not been questioned or charged then it would appear he has not.
A Lawless Society?
In a civilized society where the rule of law prevails – when a law is broken, the police are involved and charges are brought and then processed through the legal system. Someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But in todays UK as we move away from our Christian foundations we are becoming a society where the law is determined by the mob – where opinionated, self-righteous, self appointed guardians of morality like Piers Morgan, set themselves up as judge, jury and executioners. Who needs the law? Who needs due process? We have Twitter, the Guardian, the Daily Mail and Facebook. I have no candle to hold for Dominic Cummings but I am just sickened to see what is happening in my country. I am glad to be away from such a cesspit of moralistic self-righteousness and hypocritical grandstanding. The UK has become a country where neighbour spies on neighbour – in a manner the Stasi would be proud of me – and journalists think a man visiting his parents is a more important story than thousands dying.
What also stuns me is the lack of compassion and common sense. In the same circumstances, I am sure I would have done the same to protect my children. It seems to me that we have become a bureaucratic, legalistic, moralistic, anti-humanitarian society where basic Christian/human virtues like compassion and common sense are removed. This is not just about Cummings. If I lived in Scotland – I would have no qualms about visiting my elderly parents if they needed me. Not permitting people to attend funerals (appropriately distanced) was cruel. As is leaving people to die alone. Why?
A Chilling Video
Nicola Sturgeon, who has been impressive in her communication, if not always in her policies, said that she wanted to treat us like adults. But of course that has not happened – we are now being treated like children. And children are being enrolled as propaganda tools. I was sent a video this morning that was so ridiculous that I thought it was clearly fake. But it turns out to be real. STV actually tweeted out this video…before withdrawing it.
The children of Scotland would like to say thank you to Nicola, our First Minister of Scotland. We are so grateful, thank you for always keeping us safe, working so hard, for being strong for us. Thank you for… caring for every individual life and for always thinking about the children of Scotland. Thank you, Nicola.
St Nicola – the Saviour of Scotland. That chilled me to my bones. It just so ….creepy. Not just that the video was made….but that STV thought fit to broadcast it. Can you imagine the outrage if a similar video had been made by the BBC about Boris?
Who is the King of Glory?
But there are other things that send a shiver down my spine in a good way. The Lord still has in people in the middle of Babylon. There are those who have now bowed the knee to the idols of the culture. There are still good churches in Scotland which are seeking to bring the real Saviour to the children and adults of Scotland. Last night we listened to the St Peter’s service. Apart from an outstanding sermon – it was so good to hear Ps 24 to St Georges Edinburgh. We had some very special times of public worship in St Peters and apart from family I miss that more than anything. There is such a contrast between the beauty of the Lord in his holy temple and the ugliness of the mob in a society that has lost its way. (If you don’t have time to watch the video at least have a look at the singing from 52 min – We will feast in the house of Zion, and Ps 24)…
May God grant renewal, revival, mercy and grace upon Scotland and the whole UK. O Lord, do not leave us to our own devices – in wrath remember mercy…Maranatha – come Lord Jesus. Save us before we destroy ourselves.
See you next week,
Note: since I write this Mr Cummings has issued a statement the full text of which is here. I would suggest that it changes the narrative. It shows the abuse and hounding he has had before this, the fact his child was in hospital and that his parents were never endangered. If you can read this and carry on waving your pitchfork then there is nothing more I can add. https://www.scotsman.com/health/coronavirus/dominic-cummings-statement-full-what-did-boris-johnsons-chief-adviser-say-lockdown-row-2864248
PPS. I had written above that Cummings child was autistic. Someone tweeted that this was in fact false and retweeted a tweet which said so as evidence. I removed my remark because I trusted my correspondent. It turns out apparently that the ‘retweet’ was itself fake. This is how social media works – either we place too much trust in what we hear, or we believe nothing – unless it happens to suit what we are trying to say. It’s not a major issue whether his child is or is not autistic. It is a major issue that this four year old boy was so sick that he was in hospital in Durham. The lack of compassion and concern from the ‘outraged’ is chilling.