Thursday, June 21, 2012

Asset Sales

This is a place of truth-telling ... before God
 Asset Sales are on the news again, so I have decided to revisit last Shrove Tuesday and the Asset Sales Debate the Cathedral hosted with Andrew Bradstock and the Centre for Theology and Public Issues. 

It's hard not feel  more than a little sad today; even to feel rather betrayed, as the Government ignores its lack of mandate on this issue and persists with what I see as the folly and immorality of selling assets that belong to all New Zealanders.  That these sales are being persisted with at a time when costs are rising and the gap between the well-heeled and the scraping-by is still widening, really sticks in my craw.

The panellists

One quirky detail of the Cathedral debate comes to mind.  Each of the panellists had been issued with a notepad and pen and after the meeting I collected these materials and was intrigued to see on one pad the note 'God?'   I assume the writer was picking up on my welcome and introduction where I had observed how the Cathedral was a place of 'truth-telling' where we saw all our living and activities as being accountable and before God.

It may be that the panellist concerned found that the mention of God raised more questions than it provided clear answers - I won't argue with that.   The proposition that lies at the foundation of faith always presents God as THE question.
Putting the Vote against asset sales
I believe it is our God-dimension that ultimately puts these asset sales under question, and that our panellist was more right than he /she might have appreciated.

As I see it, the asset sales raise a question of good stewardship of natural resources and this flows back ultimately into a recognition of who we are as stewards of creation under God. To understand ourselves in this way causes me to doubt whether we can give such natural resources over to private enterprise where a strong sense of stewardship tends to be subordinated to profit and the benefit of a few takes precedence over the benefit of all.   Of course public ownership does not in itself guarantee good stewardship of the creation or the interests of the many, but my hunch is that private ownership is not the better choice.

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