Displaying items by tag: Politics
The two remaining candidates for leader of the Conservative party and our next Prime Minister are now criss-crossing the country engaging with party members and setting out their policies. This is a difficult and dangerous time for the UK. Boris Johnson lost his position primarily due to a lack of integrity and honesty - lack of ‘righteousness’. Proverbs 14:34 says, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.’ Whatever we may think of the candidates and their politics, we all must pray, as Paul exhorted Timothy, for ‘those in authority’ so that we may ‘live peaceful lives’. Scripture reminds us that even one person’s intercession can change God’s mind. The prayers of many affected the future of the UK during WW2. Today tens of thousands of people are praying over and for our ‘rulers’. We can trust Him to take all our prayers and through them reshape the future of our Government, Parliament, and nation for His purposes.
Following Boris Johnson stepping down as Conservative Party leader we can pray for God to move in the frenzy of political activity this summer. Pray for God to lead those who have a vote as they consider who should be elected. Pray for our next leader to be the person God uses to restore integrity to the core of our politics and a commitment to truth, honesty and public service. Before the current upheaval, the government had been reviewing several pieces of legislation. Now much of this is up in the air. Pray for our leaders and those who have a vote to take this opportunity to debate and discuss improved support for those facing financial hardship. In September the Public Order Bill and Schools Bill are scheduled to be updated. Pray that no government proposals or considerations on these bills will be lost during the summer recess.
SNP ministers are facing a new legal battle over the definition of women, after they were accused of flouting a court ruling stating that biological men cannot be counted as female. The campaign group For Women Scotland claimed Nicola Sturgeon’s administration was trying to ‘redefine women yet again’ by issuing transgender rules it says are ‘wholly incompatible’ with a landmark court victory, which it won only five months ago. The feminist organisation was backed by Scotland's top civil court in its claim that SNP legislation designed to increase the number of women on public boards was unlawful as it stated that anyone ‘living as a woman’, regardless of their biological sex, would count as female. However, the Scottish Government has issued new statutory guidelines which state transgender women should still be counted as female in the workplace quotas, so long as they hold a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Trina Budge, a director at For Women Scotland, said, ‘The Government seems incapable of either abiding by a court order, or understanding that the definition of woman does not include any males.’
Conservative MP Kemi Badenoch wrote in the Times, ‘I'm putting myself forward in this leadership election because I want to tell the truth.’ The Christian MP for Saffron Walden supports lower taxes to boost growth and productivity, and is accompanied by tight spending discipline. Her role as minister for local government, faith and communities included being the government’s liaison for the country’s faith leaders. She was born in Wimbledon, brought up in Nigeria, and has a range of faith traditions to draw upon. Tom Tugendhat, a Catholic, is MP for Tonbridge and Malling and chairman of the foreign affairs committee. He appealed to Boris Johnson on behalf of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and asked UK churches to negotiate her release from an Iranian prison. As of 14 July, he is one of the five remaining candidates, but Kemi has been eliminated.
The outgoing health secretary, Sajid Javid, has said that being at the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast inspired him to quit his role. The Street Pastors founder Rev Les Isaac spoke about the responsibility that comes with leadership, to serve the interests of others above your own, and to seek common ground of your party, your community, and above all, your country. Sajid said, ‘It doesn't matter what your political perspective is, in this house. I believe that we are all motivated by the national interest, and that the public expects us all to maintain honesty and to maintain integrity in whatever we do. This is not an abstract matter.’ Rev Isaac said, ‘God gives His people the capacity to be compassionate, not living for themselves but for others, such as the weak and the poor, the marginalised, and those in distress.’
The prime minister, the president with his family, and his brother the finance minister all fled the country after thousands stormed the president’s residence, demanding their removal for mismanaging the economy and causing Sri Lanka’s financial ruin. The nation hoped these departures would end the family dynasty that has dominated Sri Lanka's politics for two decades. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, speaking from the Maldives, said he would step down by 13 July but his resignation letter did not arrive, causing further clashes between riot police and protesters in which 84 were injured and one killed. A curfew is in place in a bid to ward off any further protests and troops secured the parliament building in armoured personnel carriers. If Mr Rajapaksa resigns as planned, Sri Lankan MPs have agreed to elect a new president on 20 July to serve until 2024. There is concern that if the president does not publicly quit, the people will continue demonstrating and the military will be increasingly involved.
A left-wing group that supported Joe Biden in 2020 announced it is going to work against him with a public pressure campaign to block his renomination as the Democratic candidate in 2024. The group has an email list of 1.2 million people and will spend six figures on a #DontRunJoe campaign with digital ads starting in early nominating states the day after the midterm elections. They have already created the website DontRunJoe.org, with a petition asking him not to run. It includes recent media headlines outlining his many public gaffes to bolster its argument. They said, ‘Having Joe Biden as the Democratic Party's standard-bearer in 2024 would be a tragic mistake.’ The question of his advanced age and cognitive ability were frequently questioned during the 2020 election and have also been under scrutiny during his time in office by political pundits, lawmakers, and the media. 38 Republican members have asked Biden to take a cognitive test.
Boris Johnson sacked Michael Gove after Mr Gove advised Boris to quit on Wednesday, July 6th evening. By the next morning, 62 government resignations had accumulated. Boris announced he is resigning as the Conservative Prime Minister at mid-day Thursday, July 7th. He will still be PM until the autumn as there must always be a prime minister. A contest for leadership will now begin. God is not surprised by flawed individuals in high places. This is a reality since Adam and Eve chose their own way in the garden. Romans 13:1 recognises those in positions of power are allowed there by God for a purpose. Pray for God’s purposes for our nation to be fulfilled. Ask God to raise up His leaders so that the British Isles can reclaim its dignity at home and abroad. Pray for every member of our Government to be trusted once more by their fellow MPs and the public (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
France is in uncharted waters after President Emmanuel Macron lost his majority, with a large, shaky opposition bloc on the left and many more far-right lawmakers surging into the National Assembly. Just two months into his second five-year term, Macron has the narrowest majority in French political history and must govern through coalition-building. Marine Le Pen's strategy to turn her far-right party mainstream has succeeded, increasing its lawmakers almost tenfold and cementing the party's rise from fringe status to mainstream opposition. The largest opposition group can claim the privilege of chairing the National Assembly's finance committee - a strategic role because the committee's president sets the agenda, giving any opposition lawmaker determined to hamstring the majority a tool to do so. It also confers powers of inquiry, with access to tax and public spending documents usually off-limits. Marine Le Pen says she intends to lobby for this highly strategic post.
Once again there is political tumult in Israel, where the fifth election cycle in three years is about to begin. Crippled by dysfunction and tribalism, Israel has joined the ranks of Italy and Greece, where general elections occur with infuriating frequency. In June 2021 there was a big change when the new government sworn in was not headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, who had held the position for twelve years. A politically diverse coalition was cobbled together by Yair Lapid, leading the centrist Yesh Atid (There Is a Future) party. The coalition government, headed by rightwing prime minister Naftali Bennett, was a grouping of eight political parties, including an Arab Islamist party. It began crumbling in recent months after two right-wing lawmakers defected, which meant that the coalition lost its majority. In recent weeks left-wing and Arab coalition members were not backing key legislation. The next coalition will form after October’s polls.