Thursday, 14 May 2009

Living in a Democracy

elliot morley mp This is Elliot Morley, one of the MPs involved in the current expenses debacle. Apparently he "inadvertently" claimed £800 a month for 18 months, towards a mortgage which had already been paid off.

Surely you would notice that sort of money coming into your bank account? Those folk*** who do pay mortgages certainly notice it going out! [*** that includes me now!] And I am sure he has a proper accountant organising his finances, who ought to have been aware of this. What is the accountant's excuse for the oversight?

I am not sure EM's misdemeanours are worse than any of the other MPs in the news, but he was the one they were quoting this morning on the Today Programme. I hope that these people don't feel that by simply saying "Oops, sorry! here's a cheque!" that it will all be done and dusted. There has obviously been clear abuse of the system, and as somebody [Nick Clegg, I think] said "It gives the impression to the public that many MPs enter Parliament just to make a fast buck at the Taxpayers' expense"

Further down the headlines - and methinks it should have been much higher up, a report about this woman

Aung San Suu Kyi Aung San Suu Kyi, according the the BBC News Website is to face trial for breaching the conditions of her detention under house arrest...She was taken to a prison from her home in Rangoon, where she has spent most of the past 19 years, to hear the charges.

A US man whose uninvited visit to her home led to the charges, will also be tried. ... it looks as though this is a device to keep her detained until elections due in 2010 which the generals think will give them some legitimacy, says BBC correspondent Jonathan Head.

"The charge is going to be violating the conditions of her house arrest and what her lawyer is going to argue is that of course that's ridiculous because under the terms of her arrest she cannot invite people to visit her"

This gracious, and graceful woman, a model of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression, and perhaps the best hope that the people of Burma have for one day living in a democracy, will be high in my thoughts and prayers today as she is kept in a high security prison in Rangoon awaiting trial.

This woman has spent most of the last twenty years under arrest because of her struggle to free her people from the military regime under which they live. She has not seen her children, and was even forbidden to see her husband as he was dying. Our own MPs would do well to remember that service involves sacrifice.

Jesus said "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Be grateful for the freedom that you enjoy, and please join me to pray for Aung San Suu Kyi today.

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