UK Election: Political Transition with Dignity and Respect

UK Election: Political Transition with Dignity and Respect July 8, 2024

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer
Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer working in Number Ten. Image: Government X Account

A peaceful transfer of power with no one denying the results.  Are you watching USA? Christians ought to pray for the success of our leaders.

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NLT)

“Christians have no right to complain about politicians when they have not prayed faithfully for them”.

Adams, J.E. (2019) The Christian Counselor’s New Testament and Proverbs. Fourth Revised Edition. Edited by D.R. Arms. Cordova, TN: Institute for Nouthetic Studies, p. 424.

“God uses rulers to accomplish his purposes whether they believe in him or not . . . through them God is able to do so much good for others, whether the kings know it or not.”

 Piper, J. (2007) Sermons from John Piper (1980–1989). Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God.

“When we despise those whom God would have honoured, it is as much as if we should despise him.”

 Calvin, J. (1830) “Sermon VII: 1 Timothy, Chap. 2 Verses 3, 4, and 5,” in A Selection of the Most Celebrated Sermons of John Calvin. New York: S. & D. A. Forbes, p. 96.

When it became clear that The Conservatives had lost the UK election, Rishi Sunak called Sir Keir Starmer and congratulated him, conceding defeat. The then spoke to the nation and apologised to the people of our country, acknowledging that the nation had sent a clear signal that the government must change.  He said, ” yours is the only judgement that matters. I have heard your anger, your disappointment; and I take responsibility for this loss . . .  Whilst he has been my political opponent, Sir Keir Starmer will shortly become our Prime Minister.  In this job, his successes will be all our successes, and I wish him and his family well. Whatever our disagreements in this campaign, he is a decent, public-spirited man, who I respect.” Read the rest

Starmer also paid tribute to his predecessor and in our typical yet remarkable way the two men took trips to Buckingham palace to meet the King and in a brutal yet peaceful way we had a new Prime Minister.  No prolonged period of transition for us!

Of course for many readers from around the world the idea of the UK having a new Prime Minister is nothing new.  After all Sir Keir is our fifth in as many years!  But the clear difference is now power has switched hands between the two main parties. And I suspect that we have now entered a much more stable period of our politics. I hope and pray we will know a time of peace and stability. Certainly there has been a deluge of progress focussed announcements over the weekend.

We have been through a brutal few years of hostility, chaos, and division in UK politics.  But the Brits are fundamentally a calm decent people who like to get along.  Social media conspires against that of course, amplifying hate speech and controversy, and favouring overly simplistic rants compared to carefully reasoned nuanced arguments. There is an argument that social media favours the extremists of the political spectrum who like to loudly protest about things rather than the calm centralists who are looking for consensus.

The election campaign was feisty at times but lacked the passion or hatred we have often seen in the past. But it is in the aftermath of the decisive landslide that I have sensed a sea change in our national dialogue.  There is no huge sense of hope or exhalation but rather a kind of collective sigh of relief.  It seems noobody is sad about the end of the Conservative psychodrama of internal strife that has marred the years since the Brexit reformation.

It was time for a change.  Our political system is set up for two-parties and for the ideas of both to have their time to make a difference.  During the last labour government under Tony Blair money was found for public services, the NHS waiting lists fell, there were decisions made to make things easier for working people.  Perhaps they went too far, and so maybe there was a need for a swing the other way to being fiscally responsible. But over time the Conservatives have become overly focussed on themselves and their internal squabbles.

Sir Keir Starmer has been changing the Labour Party around from having similar squabbles and being a protest group, to being a party ready to govern.  If you are like me, and your interest in politics waxes and wains you may have not noticed some of these changes.  But they are genuine.  He has been surrounding himself for the last few years with a strong team of people who seem to actually know what they are talking about in their areas of expertise.  He hired a respected civil servant to be his chief of staff. Her task has been to genuinely prepare for government, and she has been in daily contact for months with her previous colleagues to ensure they understand what a Labour Government wants to achieve.

With a tiny handful of exceptions the ministerial posts have gone to the same people who had been shadowing them in opppositon in many cases for years.  The new Chancellor is an economist who previously worked at the Bank of England.  The Deputy Prime Minister has worked in social care. The Health Minister has been a cancer patient whose life was saved by an early diagnosis and treatment. Honestly, it feels like we suddenly have a government of grown ups.  Of course all our leaders will make decisions that some of us may not like, but lets all pray for them to do their jobs well so we may live at peace and so the gospel can be preached without restraint.

Wherever you are reading this in the world, please pause and take a moment and pray for your own leaders and for our new British rulers as well.

 

READ MORE

John Stevens on Keir Starmer’s 1st Speech as Prime Minister

Keir Starmer vs Rishi Sunak Debate: A Christian View

Why Does Trump the Felon Still Have Evangelical Support?

The gospels of Marx, capitalism and Jesus

Embodied Worship: Corporate Singing and Lives of Service

Jesus is not a republican or a democrat

 

About Adrian Warnock
Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor. He worked as a psychiatrist and in the pharmaceutical industry on clinical trials. He has been a Christian writer since 2003 and is a published author. Alongside his career Adrian also served on a church leadership team. He was diagnosed with blood cancer in May 2017 and is the founder of Blood Cancer Uncensored an online patient support group. Adrian is passionate about helping people learn to approach suffering with hope and compassion. Adrian qualified in 1995 with an MB BS medical degree from London University (in the USA this would be called an MD). Adrian also has post graduate qualifications in both Psychiatry (MRCPsych) and Pharmaceutical Medicine (MFFM and DipPharmMed). He studied theology through courses organised by Newfrontiers. You can read more about the author here.
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