Several recent items in this column have been to do with the good and bad sides of money. Or money as a significant mover and shaker.... which it is. So why am I surprised when it pops up again?
It just seems to be the significant factor in the news at the moment. And it’d be nice if it wasn’t.
So – Peter Cruddas.
The Conservative Party co-treasurer boasted that a large enough donation to party funds would guarantee access to the private side of the Prime Minister’s work. But this came out during a sting by undercover reporters. And got published. And now he’s gone.
A foolish claim followed by a fair response. Any need for a comment?
Mr Cruddas has been immensely successful – financially. Last year, in response to a question, he said that he had a £10 million house in Monaco (from where he did daily commutes to the City of London!), a £5 million house in Hertfordshire, another in Antibes, a yacht and a private jet.
(Question: what else is left to spend money on when you’ve got this? I.e. what value is left in money after you’ve bought everything?)
All this achieved by someone who left his Hackney comp 44 years ago with no qualifications. And no money. Amazing.
Apart from his self-spending, he’s put aside a fair chunk as a foundation to help children with similar deprived backgrounds. Good for him.
It’s safe to say that, although Peter Cruddas has lost his job, he won’t be on the dole. He’s ‘made for life’.
Or is he? Financially – of course. But what else does someone’s life consist of?
Jesus specifically says that our lives don’t consist in how much we’ve got but in how good our relationship with God is.
(And he also says we can’t measure how good that is by how religious we are ..... )
One thing we get from God as we know Him better is wisdom – clearly lacking in this case. It’s as though this successful man still feels a big need to reassure himself – and others – that he really does have power. That he counts for something.
Possessions won’t do that. Our significance comes from knowing that we’re loved, knowing that our life is not a mistake. Money can’t do that.
People can – which is why we all need loving parents to embed that message in us. But even if they do (a big ‘if’) we may still have the nagging feeling that we’re lacking in some respect.
God says, if anyone feels like that, they should call out to Him. He’ll let them know how valuable they are. He’ll change them on the inside. They’ll stop having to prove anything to anyone.
When we look at Peter Cruddas, many of us are looking at ourselves.
It’s just that we operate on a smaller scale.
By Nigel O’Dwyer, who lives and works in Worthing.