Show Up, or showdown

In May 2015 Christians in Politics ran a campaign called Show Up. According to the website “The Show Up campaign aims to encourage positive Christian engagement in the run up to, and beyond, the 2015 General Election.” Some 10 months later there have been several attempts by backbench politicians to raise issues that are contentious as far as the Government is concerned. At the end of October 2015 there was an attempt by Labour MP Julie Cooper to create a law that would give carers free parking at NHS hospitals. A week later on 6th November there was an attempt to create a law that would oblige the NHS to use drugs that are outside of their patent where they are suited to the patient. This would cut the costs of NHS treatment benefiting all of us. Finally today there was an attempt to reverse privatisation of the NHS. It is certain that all of these Bills contain elements that would be unacceptable to some of the 650 MPs who were elected in May 2015 when we were encouraged to show up and engage with the democratic process. However none of the 650 MPs were allowed to vote for or against the bills. This is because all three bills were ‘talked out’ by various MPs using a technique known as filibuster. On each of these occasions at least one of the MPs involved with these anti-democratic filibusters were members of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, one of the major contributors to the Christians in Politics group. Altogether at least two members of CCF were involved, they are Alistair Burt and David Nuttall. It seems bizarre for people so closely associated with a campaign that encouraged you and I to show up, to then use the Parliamentary time that you and I pay for to prevent our MPs from voting on our behalf. Perhaps Christians in Politics will reflect on this when they formulate their campaign for 2020!


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