Chicken or egg – ethics in public life

Well politics is not exactly quiet at the moment.  And I don’t really know where to start.  Local elections, Ukraine, partygate, refugees, cost of living

crisis – it just seems to be one breaking news alert to another.

I struggle to remember a time when there has been such turbulence and so many issues all happening at once.  To be honest I feel quite exhausted by the whole thing.

Ethics in politics is something that has intrigued me for a long time.  I work in politics every day, I am currently (2 weeks to go) an elected councillor, I know many MSPs and MPs and they are all good upstanding people who are eager to serve their communities and constituents. They are all disillusioned and confused by what is going on and are struggling to defend the career, for many vocation, that they have chosen.  Politicians are not viewed with the respect and awe that perhaps once they were.

To some extent they have brought it on themselves, well some of them have brought the others into disrepute.  And it is not just the current government.  This malaise with politicians started a long time ago and all parties seem to have descended into the mire.  From wars in Iraq based on false claims of WMD, to referendums with false claims on sides of buses, the public have become well and truly scunnered by those who represent us.

The question that has been in my mind though is are we getting the politicians that we deserve?  When we expect little do we get little, when society is divided do we get a divisive message from our parties.  Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Gone are the days of Henry McLeish and Wendy Alexander who resigned over, what would today, be minor and accidental infringements.

No doubt our politics of today is stuck in a quagmire or scandal and division that at the moment there seems to be no way out of.

The question Logos is asking is what role do we have as Christians in all of this?  How can we demand better of our politicians, ask for more, expect more and challenge more? With elections in Scotland coming (what feels like) every year we have lots of opportunities to exercise our democratic right to find politicians who will stand up for those values, or maybe even stand for election ourselves.  Which I realise is rich for me to say as someone who is leaving elected office.

One thing that has become abundantly clear over the last couple of years is that we need to change the way that we do politics in this country and what a massive opportunity for the church to shape that conversation.  It is a time of change and as Christians we have to be at the heart of that change.  So lets demand better of those that represent us and expect more.  Lets make sure that divisive unethical politics is kicked into touch and lets pray for those politicians who are trying to do their best in a incredibly difficult role.