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competitiveness

The LORD God said, "...... Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man [Adam] said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit and I ate." ...... Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain ...... And again, she bore his brother Abel. ...... And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.              Genesis 3: 11, 12 and 4: 1, 2, 8

 
 

On Tuesday of this week, H M the Queen announced in Parliament a proposed law to implement the EU Reform Treaty. The Treaty will apply to Jersey - but only to a limited extent in connection with existing arrangements for Jersey.

The Treaty makes the EU head - the President of the European Council - a permanent post instead of a 6-month rotation. And it creates a new ‘High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’. 

The hierarchy develops and establishes itself – but what will the hierarchy achieve? The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in a statement to Parliament a week or two ago, expressed his priorities for the EU as "a focus on jobs, competitiveness, prosperity, climate change and security …”

That focus is similar to the States of Jersey in its Business Plans. Most Jersey families would adopt it: we need jobs, prosperity, security, competitiveness (ensuring that others don't win against us), and so on.  

They were also the priorities of Cain at the beginnings of human time. In fact, right at the beginning (see above - as expressed in the first book of the Bible, Genesis (Greek word = origin)), immediately upon the disobedience of Adam and Eve towards Almighty God, Adam tried to be the winner over his wife before God by blaming her. Then, after two sons were born to them, Cain got rid of Able, keen to be the one to succeed, to be boss, to win in the competitiveness stakes..

So, now, with the EU. The main problems in Europe over recent centuries have been ruler supremacy combined with national supremacy – the need to be top, to succeed (in various ways). That competitiveness led to WW1 and 2. The Cain/Able syndrome was still alive. The first EU Treaty was dated 1957 - to avoid further wars. Now the EU needs to become even more united - in Foreign Affairs particularly - so as to compete globally with other large nations and groupings of nations. Like the US, China, India, Russia and OPEC.

The competitiveness that led to overt killing is replaced by a bigger competitive grouping that, whilst apparently allowing internal killing to cease, creates a bigger, stronger grouping to fight competitiveness battles.

But has the killing ceased? Ask folk in the Third World, suffering and dying from EU strategies – strategies to benefit EU citizens. Ask also the poor of the EU.

Thankfully, there is an alternative - a simultaneous kingdom to the present nations and the EU – but a complete inversion. It's the kingdom of heaven of which the God/man Jesus Christ taught and in which he lived, died and rose again AD 0 - AD 33.

This man, who leads that kingdom, said to his key followers, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones [the great ones among the rulers] exercise authority over them [the rulers]. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."

What a contrast to serve a leader who gives his very life for others, and inspires and instructs his followers to compete - in serving others; in giving; in using talents for others.

 

Citizens are entering that parallel kingdom daily – seeing its fantastic attributes. Have you spotted these folk in Jersey? They will never have to leave that kingdom (unlike the EU which death will require them to leave, just as Able found). It’s the only sustainable kingdom – the kingdom of givers not getters.

 
‘If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill.’ (Anon.)
 
‘The prosperity of those to whom we wish well can never grieve us; and the mind which is bent on doing good to all can never wish ill to any.' Matthew Henry, Christian writer, 1662-1714
 
Richard Syvret

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