Voting for Advent

The Christmas pudding is made; packed into its bowl ready for steaming and lighting on Christmas day. Stir up Sunday has passed, Advent is fast approaching. 24 short days of anticipation, surrounded by long winter’s evenings.

This year, amongst the Christmas cookbooks and catalogues with their promises of sparkling wonder, we are receiving electoral post. It all feels very unusual, election and Advent jostling together for attention. It is unusual: the first December general election for nearly a century; the first since the 1928 Representation of the People Act gave women the vote on the same terms as men.

I have voted in every general election since 1979: in school halls, libraries and churches of different denominations.  Once, with a holiday booked, I needed to leave a proxy to deliver my vote. I heard the 1987 election results, with a heavy heart, in a layby in the heart of France.  

I have always wanted to see a degree of fairness in the world, with properly funded public services accessible to all. I describe myself as a cheerful taxpayer, recognising the cost as well as the benefits of quality services. This time, as much as any other, I am encouraging everyone to use their right to vote. And to think carefully about the future of public sector health, education and other services; all taken for granted in this granny’s lifetime.

In the meantime, the first Sunday in Advent approaches; a time of light. Whatever the post election headlines on Friday 13 December: there is a light shining in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it.

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