Tag Archives: Prime Minister

General Election: a testament to weakness

 

One of the biggest signs of weakness – even delusion – is to keep repeating something you do not believe in the hope that if you say it enough times you will somehow convince yourself.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is on the record as having voted against the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, but now tells us over and over again that it’s in our best interests to do so.

Obsessed by the need to give her leadership legitimacy, she has today to ask Parliament for permission to call a snap General Election for June 8.

This is not about uniting the country. It is not about selling a vision. It is not even about party policy. This is simply a testament to weakness: her own.

To do so while the world watches President Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un engaging in a nuclear stand-off is simply irresponsible and displays the worst kind of political foolishness.

 

Lost for words

The arrogance of having a blog is thinking you should have something to say. Sometimes you don’t but wish you did.

Our political world has moved so quickly: in one day we watch a Prime Minister leave, a new one move in and a zip-wiring former Mayor of London become our new Foreign Secretary – one of the great offices of State.

Twitter and Facebook are incredulous. Do I get angry, do I find a snide comment, do I encourage Christians to pray (as I probably ought to), do I remember all the damaged lives that still need championing?

Or, more sensibly, do I let the wiser words of the Psalmist speak? After all, when I am lost for words, the Word can speak wonders and wisdom.

shhhh-1433634-639x852Psalm 62

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
    my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assault me?
    Would all of you throw me down –
    this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
Surely they intend to topple me
    from my lofty place;
    they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
    but in their hearts they curse.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken.
My salvation and my honour depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
    the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
    together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
    or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
    do not set your heart on them.

11 One thing God has spoken,
    two things I have heard:
‘Power belongs to you, God,
12     and with you, Lord, is unfailing love’;
and, ‘You reward everyone
    according to what they have done.’

Offerings that cost nothing

I’m not going to offer God, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice – 2 Samuel 24: 24 (from The Message*)

TorchwoodLast week’s Torchwood series on BBC1 TV was great fun for lots of reasons but featured a storyline of earth being visited by aliens who demanded the sacrifice of 10 per cent of all earth’s children. A tithe. That, of course, is just like the biblical figure that God expected his people to give in offerings although the connection was never actually made in the programme.

Among the great moral dilemmas running through the series were the questions of which children should be handed over: children from failing schools; troublesome children who wouldn’t be missed; surely not the children of government ministers?

At one point The Prime Minister instructs a senior Whitehall officer that his children will become “units” in the process … for the public good. A terrible outcome is inevitable.

The decision by the Prime Minister is one that costs him nothing. He has no children.

The conclusion to Torchwood: Children of Earth wove a satisfying thread around that dilemma, the deaths of some more of the main series characters and the character of Torchwood’s head Captain Jack Harkness, an undying time-traveller, whose daughter and grandson have been caught up in the madness.

In the Old Testament King David faced a desperate dilemma. He had done wrong and people were dying in his land. He came to make a sacrifice to God and was offered a threshing floor and ox by their owner. His response was “I’m not going to offer God, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice.” In other words, unless the solution had cost him something then it wasn’t a solution. So David bought the threshing barn and the oxen and the fuel for the sacrifice. Then his offering was heard by God.

The end of Torchwood involved a costly sacrifice.

It didn’t have the prospect of resurrection that Christians can hold onto with our Easter story but it showed again the truth that costly sacrifice is at the heart of God’s self-offering.

 

* The Message is a paraphrase of the Bible in contemporary language