...somehow seems to hang over everything. The current cliche being parroted is that there is a need for a "complete overhaul" of our constitutional system, that we need " a whole new set of structures". Instead of grasping the point that dishonesty and cheating among Members of Parliament is wrong, people are swallowing the message being put about that Parliamentary democracy is somehow itself to blame. I find this scary.
The ballot being held on Thursday for the "Euro-Parliament" will confuse people further, as the country is divided into massive Euro-regions, for each of which a lengthy list of candidates has been drawn up, with large numbers of minority parties. It's all daft: a Euro-MEP recieves vast sums of taxpayers' money: £83,262 a year plus £34,000 - yes, you read that figure correctly - for attending, and for food and drink (!) plus £229,000 for staff and then the staggering sums for travel which can reach practically any amount.
Fringe nutcase groups do well when there is public confusion and cynicism, so weird things may emerge when Thursday's votes are counted and analysed. And meanwhile the hot weather is bringing out the fights and the drunkeness, the ambulances rushing teenagers to Accident and Emergency units through the suburbs as the "binge-drinking" sessions conclude with kids collapsing in the street on Saturday and Sunday nights...the British Humanist Association has been given £135,000 of taxpayers' money to organise a system for showing employers how to check on their staff under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations...
A place of sanity: a packed Sunday morning Mass, and the due-to-be-ordained deacon solemnly making his public affirmation of faith "I believe in God, the Father Almighty..." Even though we say it together Sunday by Sunday, and had sung it earlier "Credo in unum Deum...", it was powerfully moving to hear him repeating the words and ending with his formal statement of belief in the doctrines of the Church and the supremacy of the Roman Pontiff. A sense of unity with the Church around the world and down the generations. In a hot church packed with all sorts of people, a family with wriggling children in the pew in front of me, a child sucking an orange drink alongside, a piously veiled lady plus two rather skimpily-topped teenagers behind, it somehow felt as if here was, after all, something real and important.