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.
As usual, Roy, a considered and compassionate reflection, especially welcome as I am stotting mad about an already funereally paced government being converted into a unmitigated disaster. Your hopes, Roy, of the PM’s top aides being fired have been fulfilled, but this goes much, much deeper. The fact that profuse apologies have been offered only to MPs who have lost seats or were hamstrung where they were challenging for election, as well as other political hangers on, without a word to the nation is deplorable. It speaks volumes about how the political establishment doesn’t give a fig for the electorate (the PM’s performance is only illustrative). Mr Corbyn’s magnificent campaign was a fearsome demonstration of old fashioned (very) left wing strategy and tactics of Santa Claus promises to influential members of the electorate then having the wit to actually marshal them into campaigning and motivate them to go to the polling booth.
The promises, from whatever side, are irrelevant once the election is over.
Having witnessed more disastrous results of political lying we see the desperation of papering over the cracks and maintaining a government of certainty (not strong and stable), with a perhaps cynical alliance with the DUP. How on earth does this gel with playing honest broker in trying to re-form the Stormont Assembly? Perhaps on a more human and rather sadder note, isn’t it appalling that Ruth Davidson had to seek assurances that LGBT rights would be unaffected in the rest of the UK as part of the price of DUP cooperation?
As a final comment, whilst endorsing and repeating your prayer, Roy, as I fear there are not enough (any?) leaders of any hue capable of sorting the Brexit issue, perhaps there’s a case for Brexit being abandoned altogether for the greater good; something I say as a Brexiteer whose motives were and are honourable and have no truck with those dubbed extremist of populist.
May God grant us guidance and direction in these foggy days.
Thank you, Roy, for this call to prayer. Surely there is an urgent need for people to come together from across the political divides confessing our failings and seeking that new way forward which is only God can reveal.
Theorick, it would be my profound desire that sufficient humility, loyalty, and yes, I dare say it-patriotism, might stir the hearts of gifted leaders (there have to be some) prepared to put self interest last to seek new ways forward, which truly, only God can reveal. In our own way we are as lost as the USA, China or anywhere else.
A thought, then for Nick Clegg, as human as any of us, who paid the price of compromise and cooperation, and who knew it would cost him. Another 600+ at least prepared to work together. God be with us
The irony is it appears to me one can be a “child of the manse”and yet…