Remembrance Sunday - 1984 ‘Somewhere a Voice is Calling’

Somewhere a Voice is calling. Do you hear it? Above the clamour of many other voices, it speaks. Do you hear what it says? ‘My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you’
 
But there are those other voices...clamour…clamour…clamour!
 
Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a statement to the House of Commons. Our Economics Correspondent says that:
 
‘Despite the strength of the dollar; during the last two months or so; the pound does not seem to have suffered permanent damage. Now that the American elections are over, the world's money markets are settling back to normal trading…
 
…‘The Chancellor says that the Government is determined to keep inflation in check; and states that a I% reduction in interest rates, would release some two billion £££'s into circulation, throughout the economy. This could mean an upswing in purchasing activity, especially as Christmas approaches…
 
…with the benefits gradually being felt throughout commerce and industry; as we move through the winter, into spring and .....’.
 
Voices…voices…voices…speculative voices; if this, and  if that, and maybe something else.
 
THE VOICE says: 'Do not be anxious about tomorrow, and what to eat; what to drink, and what to wear. Do not run round in circles, as the pagan world does, worrying about such things. Your Father in Heaven knows that you need them ...
…’Instead; seek first the Kingdom of God; and his righteousness; and the things that you need, will be given to you as well. Provide yourselves with treasure in heaven, for where your treasure is, your heart will be also’.
 
THE VOICE says: ‘Blessed are those who know their need of God, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven’.
 
Somewhere a Voice is calling ... What is it saying? Can you hear?
 
Our Political Correspondent came on the line from Westminster, and said:
 
‘Mr Regan's “They ain't seen nothin' yet” statement; immediately after he was re-elected as President of the United States, is causing some concern at Westminster.  Some members of the House of Commons, see that statement, as an indication of a hardening of attitudes towards Russia, and a shift of policy; especially in the light of Russia's alleged supply of M.I.G. fighters to Nicuragua. Will the political tension in South America, lead to an actual confrontation between America and Russia? Would Congress allow the U.S.A. to get drawn in to another ‘Vietnam’ type of war? Meanwhile, as speculation continues, and questions are asked; hundreds are killed and wounded each day, as rebel troops continue to do battle with Government forces ...’.
 
Voices ... voices...voices ... Patriotic voices ... political voices .... voices which claim to know this and that, but who, very often, speak out their own uncertainties, in situations where little that is good, is at all certain.
 
THE VOICE says: ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Come to me, all of you who are labouring hard, and who are heavy laden;  and I will give you rest’. THE VOICE also says: 'Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called Children of God...'.
 
Somewhere a voice is calling.  So many voices; and, at times, it is very hard to distinguish one from another, but…
 
Our Industrial Correspondent 'phoned in a little while ago, and said that there was no change in the 'them and us' confrontation between the National Union of Mineworkers, and the Coal Board.
 
Despite earlier hopes of a settlement, through the good offices of ACAS, the two sides are as far apart as ever.
 
The ‘rights’ or ‘wrongs’ of the original issue; the closure of uneconomic pits; seem largely forgotten, as tempers become yet more frayed. 
 
And the plain economics of the original issue; also seem largely forgotten, as an industrial dispute rapidly becomes more of a political battle.
 
Speaking from his office on Friday, the N.U.M. Secretary said that any miner who goes back to work before an acceptable settlement is arrived at, will be treated like a mediaeval leper - untouchable - with no part in what goes on;  and he further said that.....
 
Voices…voices…voices…hard…strident…insistent…angry…voices.
 
THE VOICE says: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied’.
 
Our Industrial Correspondent also says that the Austin-Rover labour force, walked out on Monday morning, after a strike decision taken on a show of hands, at a mass meeting.
 
The company's boss immediately took legal action, because; under the most recent changes to union law; any union calling a strike, without first taking a secret ballot among its members, can be sued for damages; up to a  quarter of a  million pounds.
 
Six of the eight unions concerned at the Austin-Rover works, refused to call off the strike, and ballot their members. It now remains to be seen, what action the High Courts will take against these defiant unions.
 
Austin Rover is not the only car firm in trouble at the moment. It seems a pity that, after years of recession within the industry, and when things were getting a little better, production is halted in this way.
 
The bosses say: 'No deal', to the wage demands of the unions. Meanwhile…
 
Voices ... voices ... voices ... Some advocating this policy, and some advocating that ... Voices accusing...and voices denying ...
 
THE VOICE says: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven'.
 
Our Delhi correspondent came on the line a while ago, and says that India seems to be settling back to normal life, after the recent assassination of the Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Ghandhi…
 
…but that there is concern within the Government, that the Sikh separatist element will soon be taking similar action, in trying to force the issue of separate statehood. All the signs are, that the present situation is no more than a lull before the storm, and that, before long ....
 
Voices…voices…voices… speculating the 'ifs and buts' of possible situations, and possible changes ...
 
Amid the ebb and flow of economic problems; amid aggression and attempts at establishing peace; amid clamour about industrial 'rights’ and ‘wrongs’; amid political strife ... amid so much stridency and confusion, as different voices strive to catch and hold our attention ... amid all this and more...
 
THE VOICE says.. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’.
 
Somewhere, the Voice is calling ...
 
…Do we hear it; listen, and respond? 
 
Amen.