I am intrigued, encouraged and challenged by the election results.
For the Prime Minister, it was a bad judgement call, exposing her weaknesses as a leader. She and her party got what they deserved and she should sack her manifesto and campaign advisors and the “dark master of political strategists” Lyndon Crosby whose attempts to portray and destroy Jeremy Corbyn’s character failed.
Corbyn has discovered that wearing a suit and tie makes him look more ‘prime ministerial’. Whatever people may think of his policies, he has had a remarkable campaign. The gathering of thousands at his rallies were in stark contrast to the orchestrated, ‘invitation only’ small meetings that Theresa May attended. Refusing to debate and being ruffled when scrutinised by journalist’s interviews exposed her fallibilities whereas Corbyn grew in confidence and was at ease with the public, interviewers and in debates.
Following the results, chaos now reigns but also the opportunity to change and find new ways of responding to the challenges facing Britain and the wider world.
There is undoubtedly a desire for change among many people.
The results are a wake-up call for politicians to listen to the public, particularly to those who have been adversely affected by seven years of austerity measures. Policies which have been unfair, some of them cruel and have disadvantaged the poorer members of society. The savage cuts to public services have been so damaging to the NHS, education, welfare and the environment.
I see in the results a call for a fairer, more compassionate, more collective society and a desire to realise that we are, to quote Scripture, “our brother’s keeper”.
I rejoice and give thanks for the demise of UKIP but remain concerned with the Conservative Party moving further to the right to accommodate UKIP sympathisers. Theresa May said several years ago that she was worried about the Tories being seen as the “nasty party“. If she and her party really do care we need to see some evidence of it. Her tough and emotionless speeches and hardline policies are being rejected by the public. Her assertion that she will be a “bloody difficult woman” when negotiating Brexit has done nothing in my eyes to commend her or her approach to what are going to be very difficult negotiations. Talks that will affect the lives of people for generations. Whoever advised her to keep going with the mantras, (weren’t we sick of “strong and stable leadership“, particularly when it wasn’t being seen) and the nauseous, “Brexit means Brexit” which engendered as much enthusiasm as saying “cardboard boxes mean cardboard boxes“!
These are dark, disturbing and turbulent days.
The prospect of another election in the near future is wearisome as it will not be easy for the Conservatives to work with the DUP. They may fail to gain a majority of support in the House of Commons for the Queen’s speech. If they can’t formulate an agreeable proposed legislative programme, we would be forced into another general election before the summer is out.
I love the Rend Collectives song which includes the chorus:
Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
And in the words of a pray for those who govern us:
Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to our Queen and her government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all humanity; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed.