Sunday, August 03, 2008


Loyalty is the work of the week in the Labour Party. More specifically, does David Miliband have any?

Loyalty is something that excites deep emotions within us. It creates bonds of friendship and commitment between members of a family, a profession, a group of comrades. Not for nothing did Dante consign traitors, the disloyal, to the deepest ring of hell.

But like all virtues, loyalty has a shadow side. In Zimbabwe, it is loyalty to old war comrades that is helping to keep Robert Mugabe in power. And when we hear stories of the police or the church closing ranks to defend themselves from charges of abuse, we are rightly angry.

What we have here is a conflict of loyalties. Am I loyal to my church, or to justice; to my comrades or to my country?

Jesus said that no one can serve two masters. There will be times when we have to decide where our deepest loyalties lie and act accordingly. And there may be a cost to this – a breaking of important ties, being disowned or left out by those with whom we were close.

David Miliband faces this now. He must decide whether his loyalty is to his leader, his own political ambition, the Labour Party or the country. And the cost of his choice remains to be seen, as yet.

And what of the choices we face today? Where will our loyalties be tested, and what choices will we make?

Given as 'Thought for the Day' on BBC Radio Bristol, 1st August, 2008.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Religion and politics in one short moment.

You're a braver man than I.

(Children of York)