Highlighting the needy with Anthony Bernard.

Religion and Politics have largely kept off this column. The imagined Heavenly Host started as a literary subterfuge, but is now central to my own belief that we all do have the same basic principles of care and compassion for others, or should!

Politics is easier to avoid, because the opposition parties are quite clear that it will all be OK when they are in charge. Whether this will be a coalition between the SNP and Liberal Democrats, a Labour landslide or a Conservative miracle has to await the election.

"I'm all right, Jack" was the name of a film years ago, which seems to be where we are stuck. The common theme running through world problems, including our own upheavals, is people wanting what they want without regard to others. The TV series "The Traitors" has been a major success, pitching players faithful to the truth against others lying and cheating to succeed. As a TV drama it has a great following, but it feels too much like the real world. Whatever belief we may have, or just a simple confidence in humanity, surely we want truth to prevail in real life over deceit, and good to triumph over evil?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Christian period of Lent, with Ramadan starting on 10th March. Our whole world needs a period to reflect and reconsider!

Thoughts of the Heavenly Host debating events gives rise to imagined scripts! There is a paradox between Islam, which includes Jesus among its great prophets, and Israel which is still waiting for the Messiah. There is an urge to "Make America Great Again" regardless of the rest of the world, while the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine continues as well as many other problems. In past catastrophes, not counting wars, Russia killed 4 million Ukrainians in the 1933 Holodomor before Germany killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

The Heavenly Host appeared to stand back during the horrors of WW2 in Europe and the Pacific. But marginal interventions allowed dictators and tyrants to be deposed, including altered German strategy which clinched our success in the "Battle of Britain". So maybe we are not really alone, we just think we are!

The depressing news these days is only lifted by a weather presenter showing a warm front coming through! Meanwhile, the Jews want Palestine, the Palestinians want somewhere to live, Russia wants its empire back, America wants to be great again, excessive travel increases Global Warming and politicians only research policies to get elected!

"Where is God in all this chaos" was a column last October. For those without a Faith there are the ancient Norse gods of ice and fire, a belief in the spirit of the planet, or other gods. Basically, we are living on the cool solidified crust of a lump of molten rock whizzing around the sun. A major volcanic eruption or massive earthquake would change everything instantly, leaving theologians to argue whether it was an Archangel pulling a lever or the planet itself reacting to our lack of care.

The lesson from all Faiths and common humanity is that we are all in this together. The specific teaching is to take care of others, both locally and worldwide. If the Heavenly Host is not watching, the Norse gods of ice and fire and the spirit of the planet certainly are!