There is no denying that Brexit has deeply divided the nation....
We live in scary times. There have been others in the 56 years I have studied and worked in politics – Suez and the Falklands war and the 1984/5 Miner’s strike for example – but none so scary as today. The nation is deeply divided over Brexit and our two most senior national political leaders are both seen to be untrustworthy.
Our Prime Minister has been described by colleagues to be a habitual liar and a serial adulterer. The Christian MP, Ian Blackford, says Johnson has “made a career out of lying”. Another Christian MP and former Cabinet Minister, Dominic Grieve, describes Johnson as “a pathological liar, one can watch him doing it in the Chamber of the House of Commons” The journalist Philip Stephens says, “There is not a soul in the long corridors of Whitehall who believes the Prime Minister is telling the truth”. He has also been criticised for untrue claims he made in the 2016 Referendum campaign that we send the EU £350 million per week.
Johnson is also untrustworthy in his personal relationships. He has been married twice and his second wife is divorcing him for a series of affairs. The first, with a journalist colleague led to two pregnancies. The third led to the birth of a child and the fifth is living with him in 10 Downing Street. Is this the type of person we can trust to lead the nation in these scary times?
Lest it should be thought this is political bias, the Leader of the Opposition is also considered to be someone who can’t be trusted to lead the nation in times of crisis. He has been married three times and is known to have had an affair with a member of his front bench team but the primary issue with Corbyn is that he is not trusted to safeguard the security of the nation.
The security agencies, MI5 and MI6, together with the Foreign Office say that his opposition to NATO, his support for President Putin, and his friendship with the terrorist groups Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA make him unfit to be Prime Minister with the responsibility of instructing our nuclear submarines in a time of potential war. He has made it clear that he would never order the use of the nuclear deterrent. Nor is it only his political opponents who draw attention to this. Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and a Labour Peer, and Jack Straw, a former Labour Foreign Secretary, have both warned that the other members of the “Five Eyes Alliance”, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, would no longer share sensitive information with us if Corbyn was the Prime Minister.
Whilst neither of these men profess to have a Christian faith, it might matter less if they were surrounded by those who do. Sadly, the dissolution of Parliament today sees the departure from Government and Parliament of some of those who are Christians and have abundant political experience. These include people like Alistair Burt, David Lidington, Caroline Spelman, Amber Rudd, Nicky Morgan, Claire Perry and Rory Stewart, to name only those with recent Ministerial experience.
Their departure means that all of us who believe and pray should be praying now for the election of a Parliament and a Government whom we can trust. We have Jesus’ teaching to pray to our Father, “your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. (Matthew 6:10) We have his promise “if you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24) and we have the example of the early church praying boldly (Acts 4: 23-31). Our deeply divided nation, led by men whom we cannot trust, needs bold prayer all the time but particularly in the next five weeks.