|West Lothian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
What this meant was that both of my children when they came to enter university were saddled with astronomical debts. The passing of the Bill enabled top-up fees to be levied on English resident students going to English universities. However, Scottish students going to Scottish universities were exempt from fees as this has been decided by the Members of the Scottish devolved Parliament.
So we ended up with Scottish Labour MPs voting to impose charges on English students when students in their own constituencies were exempt. Tim Yeo the Shadow Education Secretary at the time described the situation as an 'utter humiliation' for the Labour government.
And there was a similar situation when it came to the creation of Foundation Hospitals. Again the votes of the Scottish MPs were crucial in passing legislation that did not affect their constituents but had a massive impact on other parts of the UK.
This whole issue was described as the 'West Lothian Question' by the MP Enoch Powell in response to it being raised as a question by the MP Tam Dalyell.
And you can also throw in the annoying situation where both my wife and I have to pay for subscriptions upon which our health depends when Scottish residents (and Welsh) are exempt.
So with the recent failure of the vote for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom it's a good time to look at ways to ensure that such injustices can't be imposed by MPs whose constituencies are totally unaffected. The current debate evolving over and English Parliament or English Regional Assemblies can't come soon enough and I look forward to seeing how the parties work this one out.
|English: Early Morning Sunrise over Scarborough Castle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
It got me thinking though, to have something as a testimony you have to firstly recognise it. A miracle could happen right in front of your eyes and yet you may not even notice it.
There's a verse in Scripture about God's mercies being new every morning. It comes from the book of Lamentations:
New Living Translation (NLT)
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
Let's make a start in using our spiritual eyes and seeing the work of God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, in all that we see!
We have guidance in the Bible for circumstances such as this and Paul sums it up nicely.
1 Corinthians 8:1-13New Living Translation (NLT)
Food Sacrificed to Idols
8 Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. 2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. 3 But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.[a]
4 So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. 5 There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. 6 But for us,
There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.
9 But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer[b] for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers[c] by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.
Such is the arrogance of those that care naught about offending Christians, and in doing so leading astray Christian children, and Sikhs as they are forbidden from eating Halal slaughtered meat.
Time to ban Halal where it's sneaked in without telling anyone?