The Lord has been impressing two things on me this morning [on the day after the election]. Firstly, that a mighty tide has flowed in with regard to the outcome of this election in response to the very considerable amount of prayer that has gone up for it – news of which has startled the whole world by the clarity of its outcome.
Secondly that there is a deeply humbling aspect to this victory. Few in the Conservative leadership itself envisaged such a substantial and difficult to achieve majority. ‘The Lord has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts’ (Luke 1:51 NIV). Politicians need conviction of intention and a thick skin, but the Lord was speaking about the heads of politicians being puffed up with their own ideas and not looking to Himself. A verse from Isaiah came strongly to mind ‘The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted – and they will be humbled and brought low’ (Is. 2:12).
To explore how that worked out in practice we can see that the Lord did not permit Jo Swinson’s well publicised declaration that she was going to be our next Prime Minister to come to pass. Her declaration played out badly in her own Scottish seat, where the ‘Jante spirit’ intensely dislikes people setting themselves up and boasting in such ways. If you have forgotten what the Jante spirit is, you will find this really interesting. See Her high handed intention to ignore the earlier referendum result lost her much trust too. Along similar lines the Lord did not permit John Bercow’s determined attempts to succeed in stalling parliamentary support for the Brexit Withdrawal Bill.
Although Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to remain neutral in the Brexit debate was a defining moment in the campaign, an overwhelming number of voters recorded that he himself was a far greater reason why they had not voted Labour than either his ultra ambitious economic policies or his muddled Brexit position.
It is obviously going to be important now to pray for how the Labour Party develops as it regroups. It needs to reform from somewhere closer to the centre, or it will continue to suffer from being, to quote former Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw’s damning dismissal of how it has evolved under Corbyn’s leadership in an interview with Adam Boulton on Sky News, a ‘Trotsky-esque cult’.
The word ‘hubris’ comes to mind with regard to Nigel Farage’s determination to stand in the full awareness that he could not actually win many if any seats.
Which leave us with two key electoral successes to bear in mind. Firstly a newly reenergised and ever more rampant Nicola Sturgeon north of the border, where the economy has actually not been thriving in recent years. The SNP’s passionate desire to hold a second referendum has been deflecting attention away from that fact that Scotland’s notional deficit is actually the highest in Europe, ahead of Cyprus and Romania.
And then a surprised-but-safely installed Prime Minister in Downing Street. The challenges awaiting Boris Johnson in his ‘in tray’ are still greater than the size of his majority: not least (though by no means exclusively) with regard to the state of the Union and to ‘negotiating’ with Brussels, as well as with every other country with whom we will be needing to develop trading relationships.
It is going to continue to be very important to pray for the role that his key advisers play: particularly the Australian, Isaac Levido, the Conservative Party’s campaign manager, who still more than Dominic Cummings, was the real power behind party’s strategy and tactics.
You can find many British articles along similar lines. It is worth bearing in mind that it was Levido who not only helped bring about a shock Australian election victory but who also supported the Australian coal industry in lobbying successfully against the government taking any decisive action on climate change. This is something to be prayerfully monitoring very closely. Time is running out – fast.
Pray that the temptation to be more than economical with the truth and to resort to dirty tricks does not prevail.
Utterly mistrusted though he is in many quarters, the Lord has given Boris Johnson a unique opportunity – and one that in truth only he from amongst the present crop of potential Conservative leaders could have brought about for his party, rather as the astonishing victory over the Australian cricket team in years gone by came to be known as Botham’s Ashes.
May the humility Boris is seeking to show in these early days not be swept away by the nitty-gritty of the challenges ahead. I am reminded of the feelings of wonder that parents often have after a baby is born, and which so often soon get consumed by the daily routine. May the spirit of humility and gratitude develop within him, and sustain him throughout the duration of his premiership.
Thank You, Father, that You moved decisively to remove many boulders and blockages; may this government move swiftly beyond self-congratulation and narrow outlook to express a genuine desire to reach out and serve all the peoples of the UK.
Grant them the wisdom and resilience they will need to withstand the strong contesting from literal powers of darkness as well as from the deep dislike of many. Establish a different feel to politics in both tonality and substance and pave the way for good things to happen in our land. In Jesus’ name. Amen.