“So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22:21
Our Creator God is sovereign so there is no area of life that is autonomous. This is why Premier seeks to report, analyse and comment on these spheres of human activity from a biblical perspective. Politics is about choosing the values on the basis of which our nation is governed. If we want those values to be Godly values it is the duty of every Christian to play our part.
With that in mind, Premier brings you all the latest political news, interviews and articles, as well as things you may have missed from our treasure-filled archive...
Economics in brief
Confused by the latest UK economic news? Premier's Political Editor Martyn Eden gives his executive summary of all the top numbers, facts and figures.
Economic Update: October 2013
Economic Update: November 2013
House of Commons: Syria motion
The House of Commons was recalled on 29 August 2013 for an emergency debate on the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. The motion tabled by the Government can be read in full here.
What sort of politicians do we want?
Margaret Thatcher was a conviction politician. She knew what she wanted and gave short shrift to those who opposed her, including her more liberal backbenchers whom she labelled ‘the wets’. The Unions had to be tamed even if it meant hard-nosed policing at the coal mines. The Falklands were British so she sent the army to drive out the Argentinian invaders. To a lesser extent Tony Blair followed her example and fought his left wingers to make Labour electable after four successive defeats and 18 years in Opposition. Their successors are cut from a different mould.
Read more in What sort of politicians do we want?
The Egyptian Coup
With Egypt experiencing its second major transition in as many years, certain points of confusion have proliferated in media coverage.
Many Western observers have been quick to denounce what they term a coup, while David Cameron and President Obama can be commended for their careful statements, which stopped short of labelling it such. Both have called for a swift transition to a civilian government, but need to bear in mind that Egypt’s democracy is not (yet) like those enjoyed by Westerners on both sides of the Atlantic.
Read more in the article from our friends at CSW - Egypt: A Popular Coup?
Read Bishop Mouneer's call for prayer
National Prayer Breakfast
On the morning of Tuesday 25 June, hundreds gathered in Westminster Hall to pray for parliament, and to hear from Oxford University professor John Lennox, Lib Dem Chairman Tim Farron MP, and other contributors.
LISTEN TO THE PRAYER BREAKFAST HERE
Life on the Margins
Feelings of UK Christian marginalisation continue to rise, according to a ComRes poll commissioned by Premier Christian Media. UK Christians were asked if they thought that marginalisation of Christians is increasing, decreasing or staying the same in key areas of public life. In relation to government, 71% of those polled felt that marginalisation of Christians is increasing, compared to 66% last year.
Do you think Christianity is becoming marginalised in the UK? Life on the Margins will be broadcast on Wednesday 5 June at 10pm and repeated Saturday 15 June at 9pm.
Life on the Margins
For the discussion Premier's News Editor Victoria Laurence is joined by: Andrew Brown (The Guardian); David Burrowes MP; Rev Rod Green (St Paul’s Shadwell, East London); Gary McFarlane (former Relate counsellor); Alison Ruoff (Church of England General Synod); Terry Sanderson (National Secular Society); Mervyn Thomas (CSW); Rt.Hon. Stephen Timms MP and Martyn Eden (producer).
Read more in Martyn Eden's paper Life on the Margins.
To find out more how Premier has campaigned in this area visit Freedom of the Cross.
For Your Benefit
Premier's Dave Rose and Martyn Eden brought together an impressive panel to help you towards a better understanding of the benefit cuts. Christian Guy, Director of the Centre for Social Justice, Dan Tansey, London Regional Manager for Christians Against Poverty, and Christine Bamigbola, London Development Officer for The Trussell Trust give their advice and guidance.
For Your Benefit
The Legacy of Margaret Thatcher
Unquestionably the death on Monday (8 April) of Baroness Thatcher monopolised the headlines all week. She was exceptional in many ways. She is the only female Prime Minister we have had. She held that office for 11 years, longer than anyone except Sir Robert Walpole who lasted almost 21 years (1721-42). The daughter of a Grantham grocer, she broke through the glass ceiling to lead her party and dominate British politics for a generation.
Read more in The Legacy of Margaret Thatcher.
Plus you can read the Bishop of London's address at Baroness Thatcher's funeral.
The 2013 Budget
Expectations of George Osborne’s fourth Budget were not great. The economy is barely growing, confidence is low, unemployment is still too high and he has a long way to go in eliminating the deficit inherited from the previous Government. All this left him little scope for tax cuts that would signal the end of austerity. In fact he offered a better package than most expected.
Read more in The 2013 Budget.
Horses for Courses
What are the government doing about the UK horse meat scandal? Find out from Premier's Political Editor Martyn Eden.
Read more in The Horse Meat Scandal.
The Marriage Bill
What does the new marriage bill entail and how will it affect UK churches? Premier's Political Editor Martyn Eden lays out the basics, including the legal requirements.
Read more in The Marriage Bill & The Marriage Bill: What Happens Next.
Coming & Going
Immigration is a complex and emotive issue and the formulation of public policy on it cannot be summarised in a few words so this essay will be longer than most items on our Politics Today page. We think it worth discussing because it is an area of policy debate on which there are perspectives, inspired by biblical teaching, that Christians can contribution and this teaching can also shape how we relate to immigrants in our own communities. The author claims no monopoly of understanding of this teaching and welcomes constructive comment from those having different perspectives.
Read more in Coming & Going.
The Arab Awakening
Premier's Marcus Jones is joined by General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK Bishop Angaelos and international lawyer and church consultant Harry Hagopian as they unpack some of the issues facing Christians across the Middle East and North Africa. Listen as they discuss what's been happening in Egypt, Syria and Israel and Palestine and offer some thoughts for the year ahead.
Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
British law denies convicted prisoners the right to vote in parliamentary elections for the duration of their internment. Those in prison on remand or given non-custodial sentences may vote. This law has been in force for most of the last 140 years and was confirmed by the consolidating 1983 Representation of the People Act. The problem facing the Government and Parliament is that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has described this blanket ban as discriminatory and in breach of Article 3 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the UK is a signatory and British lawyers helped to write.
Read more in Should prisoners vote?.
Does the Church of England need to "get with it"?
The vote of the Church of England’s General Synod not to move towards the appointment of women priests as bishops has raised some constitutional as well as theological and social questions. The Synod votes in three ‘houses’, bishops, clergy and laity and any major change, such as this would have been, has to achieve a two-thirds majority in each ‘house’. 42 of the 44 dioceses had previously voted for women bishops and on Tuesday 94% of the existing bishops and 77% of the clergy had done the same. The vote was lost because only 64% of the laity had voted for women bishops, not the required 66%. However one weighs these results, a clear majority voted for the change.
Read more in Church and state fall out on women bishops.
Counting the cost of EU membership
There will be a vote in the Commons today [Oct 31st] about the European Commission budget that suggests a need for a wider debate about UK membership. For some that is an ideological matter but for most it is about the costs of membership and how much our jobs depend on it.
Read more in Counting the cost of EU membership.
The Heathrow Conundrum
The arguments about expanding or replacing London’s Heathrow airport is the biggest challenge facing Patrick McLoughlin, the new Transport Secretary and it is not one that will go away. It's a complex issue, not helped by the Conservative election pledge not to authorise a third runway.
Read more in The Heathrow Conundrum.
Martyn Eden's Political Review
Sunday Breakfast's Big Issues
Political Editor Martyn Eden and Sunday Breakfast presenter Andy Walton are joined by prominent guests as they discuss key issues facing UK Christians today. In the first two of the series, the discussions focus around rising teen pregnancies, and the place for faith schools in the 21st century.
Faith Schools Teenage Pregnancy
In the third of this series on 'Big Issues' in 21st Century life, Andy Walton and Martyn Eden look at creation care and the environment. The discussion features contributions from theologian Dr Elaine Storkey, Andy Lester of Christian conservation group A Rocha UK and Holly Petersen, who's Development Manager of Climate Stewards.
Just how friendly is the UK for families in the 21st Century? David Cameron promised to make this the most family-friendly country in Europe. In this Big Issue, Martyn and Andy hear from a couple of experts and then react to what they heard with a studio discussion.
Horror in Syria
As the violence in Syria escalates, we take an in depth look at the situation there. We ask why it's happening, how it's going to stop and what impact it's having on Christians there. Premier's Marcus Jones presents a special edition of Newstalk with studio guests: international lawyer and consultant to Catholic and Orthodox churches - Dr Harry Hagopian, and Revd Nadim Nassar - the only Anglican Syrian priest and Director of the Awareness Foundation.
What's the future for Scotland?
Scotland will vote in 2014 to decide whether to leave the UK and be an independent nation again, as it was before the Act of Union of 1707. Polls currently show that only a third of voters in Scotland support such a move but the Scottish National Party have started their campaign to persuade a majority to vote for independence. If a majority do so vote the UK Government has indicated that it will respect their decision. Read more...
RE.ACT Campaign goes to Number 10
The RE.ACT campaign took its petition of over 140,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street. Representatives from across the main political parties, including Fiona Bruce MP for Congleton and Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne, presented the petition alongside Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Media.