A judgement of conscience

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Before the Reformation

The Christian's duty was 

To carry out the instructions,

For the whole of the community, 

Laid down in Matthew chapter 25 – 

That all Christians shall:

·         Feed the hungry

·         Give drink to the thirsty

·         Welcome the stranger

·         Clothe the naked

·         Visit the sick

·         Visit the prisoner

.          Bury the dead.


Then progress supervened

Or, so it seemed:

Feudalism died, Capitalism arrived

The individual in the eye of the storm

No such thing as society

The Devil take the hindmost

Shirkers or Workers?

The trickle down effect?

The division of labour:

Born, beget, die?

Ideas shape the course of history

Determining the lives of individuals

Leaving us stranded on the far shore

While the winds of time ripple and roar.

◄ Free Speech

The Doors of Perception. ►


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M.C. Newberry

Tue 4th Dec 2018 14:56

John - my point basically was that "poverty" has changed its meaning
from other days - when it was a killer - and even when it became
less so, it still saw kids without shoes here in the UK. My childhood
knew a milder form - when in postwar Britain, rationing still continued
for some years before the days of central heating and winter fuel
allowances et al. Out of interest I enquired about the "official"
current definition but failed to obtain to obtain an answer. I note
from a media report that it is seen as 60% of an average income
(then, of course, we have to ask what THAT is!). But there is no
doubt that poverty in its older sense is far removed from today's

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Mon 3rd Dec 2018 16:56

Great comments as always on your posts John, that turns our heads to look the other way... AT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON!


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John Marks

Mon 3rd Dec 2018 15:50

Thank you Jon and Keith. MC methinks thou doth protest too much. Take a look around London. Contrast west with east. There were 4.1 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2016-17. That’s 30 per cent of children, or 9 in a classroom of 30.

London is the area with the highest rates of child poverty in the country. You can see child poverty rates by local area by visiting End Child Poverty.

When kids grow up poor they miss out – and so do the rest of us. They miss out on the things most children take for granted: warm clothes, school trips, having friends over for tea. They do less well at school and earn less as adults.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 3rd Dec 2018 11:19

Interesting how we see society today: as if we should feel "guilt" at
every turn. There can have been no time when poverty has been
so rare - except that the word has taken on a new definition and
dimension in today's materially wealthy world. Kindness is still out
there. Good will is still out there. Help is still out there. This small
country alone probably has more organisations to offer assistance
than any other in the world - and that often travels far beyond
these shores. It is rare to turn on the TV and not be confronted
with the latest "appeal" to help someone somewhere - or some
other cause in search of money to further its aims. And the response invariably exists. Many distant governments must be most grateful to the UK for underwriting their own greed and
incompetence. The old religious adherence may have given way
to a more flexible secular attitude but the inherent goodness and
generosity still exists. I know that to be true for a number of
reasons - not least from a personal perspective over many years
living and working in a great city.

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Jon Stainsby

Sun 2nd Dec 2018 19:58

Always thought-provoking.

Thank you, John.

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keith jeffries

Sun 2nd Dec 2018 19:40


Thank you for this poem which serves as a reminder of how far we have travelled from such a sense of charity to a place where the individual reigns supreme and community is diminished.


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