by Colin Bloom
One of my favourite films is Amazing Grace, the story of how my political hero, William Wilberforce worked with others to make the slave trade illegal. Last night, as a family we watched it together. I never get bored of seeing it.
There is a powerful scene where Wilberforce, Pitt the Younger, Hannah More, Thomas Clarkson and Olaudah Equiano and a few others from the Clapham Sect are dining together; Wilberforce is graphically shown how the slaves are chained and transported to the plantations across the Atlantic.
Mr Clarkson turns to Wilberforce and says, "Mr Wilberforce we understand that you are having problems choosing to do the work of God or the work of a political activist."
Hannah More then says, "We humbly suggest that you can do both."
How many thousands of other 'Wilberforces' have asked themselves the same question and were advised to do one or the other? As if politics and faith operate as completely separate entities. What would our world look like if we had more Hannah Mores that encouraged them to do both?
So, if you are passionate about politics and are what Wilberforce would call a 'Real Christian' then consider joining a political party, get involved and perhaps even consider standing as a Local Councillor, MEP or Member of Parliament. You could be the next William Wilberforce!
I humbly suggest you can do both!
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Sunday, 17 March 2013
by Colin Bloom
I'm not prejudiced towards Liberal Democrats. Some of my best friends are Liberal Democrats. Honest.
In fact the other afternoon I was having a Coalition cup of fairtrade tea with one of our yellow bedfellows when I raised the subject of enshrining William Wilberforce in bronze (see last post). The response that came back sent the Battenburg cake flying.
They think William Wilberforce was a Liberal Democrat!
Like the late Charlton Heston at the National Rifle Association, I spluttered, "You can have William Wilberforce, when you prise him out of our cold dead hands!"
In fairness this conversation happened the day after the Eastleigh by-election, and I can only imagine that they were still euphorically and legally high after holding onto that seat. Nevertheless, this outrageous misappropriation of one of our greatest will not be tolerated, and if any one thing breaks the Coalition, this might well be it.
It needs to be remembered that the Liberal Democrats were founded way way way back on the 3rd March 1988. Yes that's right, they were 25 years old just a couple of weeks ago, and like you I wasn't invited to the party either. I have shoes that are older. I have shoes that have done more.
The Liberal Democrats have already tried to appropriate Gladstone, for some reason nobody minded that; but even the casualist of Wilberforce scholars would know that he would never ever have been a Lib Dem. It is as ridiculous an idea as John Terry donning his full Chelsea kit - including shin pads - to collect last year's European Cup Trophy despite playing no part in the final.
This misappropriation of things Tory needs to stop. The Labour Party are not the One Nation Party that they are claiming to be and Wilberforce is most definitely not a Liberal Democrat.
|Portrait of Wilberforce by Sir Thomas Lawrence|
It must have been an inspired follower of utilitarianism that assigned M1, M2 and M3 to the main meeting rooms in the Conservative Party Headquarters in Westminster. There is little to say about these rooms, save for some bronze statues, they are utterly functional.
In M1 there is a bust of Sir Winston Churchill; we are told he is regarded by a majority of the British Public as the greatest Briton that ever lived. He deserves to be there; he is the Conservative who led our Nation through our darkest hours against the tyranny of fascism. Churchill is our military godfather.
In M2 there is a bust of Lady Thatcher; and quite rightly so. She is the Conservative who led our nation back from the economically crippling tyranny of socialism and restored our health from the 'sick man of Europe' to the global force we are today. Thatcher is our economic godmother.
In M3 there is no bust. There should be, and it has been agreed that if I can get a bust made of William Wilberforce, it could be loaned to the Party to sit in M3. Wilberforce deserves to be there; in so many areas, not just slavery, he led our nation back from the tyranny of moral apathy. Wilberforce is our moral and spiritual godfather.
If this plan of a Wilberforce Bust is a success, maybe the meeting rooms will be renamed after the watching bronzed trilogy of these great Conservatives. They should become inspirational reminders of why the Conservatives are the oldest and most successful political party on the planet; and we should use these reminders from our past to inflame the legacy that we want to leave for this and future generations.
In the coming weeks, there will be more to say about the progress of the Wilberforce Bust. If you like the idea of it, and would like to participate in being part of this project then you know where I am.
In the meantime, who from our current 303 Members of Parliament might our children be considering for a plinth in M4?