Now this is a matter which is not so much an Ulster thing, but a national problem: just this morning, the news revealed that our government has had to borrow another £600 million, stating that things like lowered North Sea oil revenues are to blame, all the while carrying on with their austerity program of ‘necessary’ cuts in spending. Now, if you or I went to our bank and asked for another loan of say, £600, on top of money already owed to them, what questions are they likely to ask us? Would one not be ‘are there any debts owed to you that you can call in first?’ It’s a reasonable question, isn’t it? IF we replied, ‘yes, Mr. X owed me £4,600 but I knew times were harsh so I told him not to bother paying it back’ what response would we expect? Suppose the bank knew that Mr. X was actively pursuing debts owed to him all the while?
I had a run-in with my long-time mobile phone provider, Vodafone, who managed to overcharge me by about £120! I wrote to them to say I wished to stay with them but only if they refunded £120 to me or at least offered money off my new phone or a reduction in my contract. They refused, point blank, so I left them and went to 3, which has turned out to be a good move so far. I determined that since they owe me money, I would not pay them my last monthly payment. Fortune favoured me in that the penultimate payment wasn’t taken simply due to a change of bank on my part. As far as I am concerned, they are still money up on me. Yet they still pursue me for £82 they say I owe.
What has this got to do with the biblical basis of my blog, you ask? Well, a long, long time ago, my Lord Jesus Christ told his followers many parables. One of these was of the unmerciful servant. You can find it in Matthew 18: 21-35. Please read it if you are not overfamiliar with it. Did you know that Vodafone have been let off, literally, with a tax debt of £4.6 billion, by our wonderful, merciful government (do you have a sarcasm detector?). YES, THAT’S £4,600 MILLION!! Now they think they should pursue me for £82.36!!!!? Amazing, isn’t it, that nothing has changed in 2000 years? I, for one, know exactly what my Lord would say to them. They shall be judged if they continue to go after such paltry sums. I pointed this out to them and their reply; nothing has changed, they shall still pursue me. THIS is evil; it’s simple, plain and obvious to any of us. They can avoid their staggering debt, but they think that every other person out there should pay them, even when they are morally wrong. And OUR government, charged with managing OUR money, have had to go ‘cap in hand’ as they say, and ask for another loan, on which WE shall pay interest, when all along, one MEGA company gets off with a humongous tax bill, when EVERY ONE OF US has to pay up our tax with no quibble. How dare our elected MPs decide this in such a completely unilateral way!!
Unmerciful servants, Vodafone, that’s what you are!
Grace be with you.