Displaying items by tag: Politics
Christians in Parliament met two days before the cabinet reshuffle and the theme of their service was ‘hope in waiting’. Their worship was based on Psalm 86. With this in mind we can base our prayers for our new and established cabinet members on that psalm: ‘Father among the gods, there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. You created every nation and have a purpose for each one. You created these islands and raised up leaders through generations. We lift today’s leaders to You and pray that each one will bring glory to Your name. Teach each cabinet member Your way forward, help those who are in new offices to humbly learn and quickly grow into the new role you have prepared for them. Lord, inspire their decisions. May the Christians in Parliament continually have Your insights as they rely on You to do marvellous deeds in the coming months and years.’
Deterioration of democratic policies in the Palestinian leadership has caused a coalition of nongovernmental organisations to call it ‘political corruption.’ For years this coalition, named AMAN, focused on administrative and financial corruption. Now the eroding integrity of the Palestinian leadership has forced Transparency International to tackle a corrupt political system that among other things cancelled a long-overdue national election and ordered its security forces to harm a Hebron critic, that led to his death. They have also violently cracked down on demonstrations calling for accountability. An AMAN manifesto recently called Palestinians to reject the anti-democratic slippery slope and ‘fight this political corruption by creating a coalition that can contribute toward a more honest governance structure.’ If the current political corruption is not checked, Palestine will move into a dangerous zone.
Political leader, Aleksei Navalny, is documenting corruption and ostentatious spending by government officials and launched ‘Smart Voting’ to loosen the chokehold the Kremlin-allied United Russia party has on elected legislatures nationwide. Authorities have stepped up a crackdown on anything connected to Smart Voting in the runup to September’s elections to the lower house of parliament - crucial for cementing United Russia’s political life and key to constitutional manoeuvering ahead of 2024’s presidential election. Navalny used the Smart Voting tactic to secure victories for hundreds of opposition candidates in local elections in 2018, 2019 and 2020. On August 24th Smart Voting went high-tech with a downloadable app that identifies in most races the candidate most likely to defeat their ruling party rival, regardless of party affiliation or ideology, and urges voters to cast their votes for that candidate. Navalny is now experiencing police intimidation, attempts to block the Smart Voting website and fake Smart Voting sites flooding the Internet.
The National Health Service has been providing free health care to all UK citizens based on their need for medical care rather than their ability to pay for it since its inception in 1948. This mandate does not extend to social care such as home care and residential care, which is means-tested. There is no overall limit on social care costs so thousands of frail and elderly people have had to sell their homes to pay for residential care. See Only those with savings, homes and assets worth less than £23,250 currently receive free council help with residential care. On 8th September Boris Johnson revealed plans to fund England’s social care and help the NHS recover after the pandemic. Employees, employers and self-employed will pay 1.25p more in the pound for National Insurance from April 2022. It will raise £12bn annually for the NHS and a proportion will be moved into social care over the next three years. Care cost contributions are to be capped at £86,000 from October 2023. If someone has less than £20,000 their care will be free and from £20,000 - £100,000 costs will be subsidised on a sliding scale.
With the first steps towards a democratic government in 2019, Tunisians hoped their political institutions and politicians would respond to the needs of the population. The Arab Spring called its leaders to account, looking for diversity and accountability. President Kais Saied was elected. They wanted democracy, but it takes time. On 25 July, after nationwide violent protests over economic and social turmoil and the government's poor handling of Covid cases, Tunisia's president sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament. When Saied announced he was taking over, opponents immediately accused him of staging a coup. Sadly, Arab Spring has not led to a stable economy or politics. Saied said he took these decisions ‘until social peace returns and we save the state.’ He vowed to respond to further violence with military force.
President Pedro Castillo is a radical left outsider who no one, including himself, expected to win the election. He ran a chaotic campaign, contradicting himself and delaying weeks to organise a policy team. Many who voted for the village schoolteacher and union leader question whether he is ready for the challenges of leading Peru out of a crisis. But on 28 July he was sworn in as president and will serve a society on its knees due to the pandemic, political instability, endemic corruption, and a bitter election campaign that divided Peruvians. ‘Even after being elected, Castillo remains an unknown,’ said a political scientist.
Historic and spontaneous protests rocked Cuba on 11 July, taking the communist government and the international community by surprise by their intensity and numbers. Analysts say there will not be immediate changes to one-party communist rule, but it’s a watershed moment and they have put an enormous amount of pressure on the government to speed up reforms. Cubans experiencing food and medicine shortages, increasing Covid-19 cases, inflation, rising prices and long power cuts chanted ‘Freedom’ and ‘We want change’, while holding signs that read ‘Down with dictatorship’. Journalist Yoani Sánchez tweeted, ‘We were so hungry, we ate our fear.’ Dr. Teo Babun said dissent has been brewing in the church for months. Evangelicals and Catholics have been generating a tremendous amount of social media, demanding the government pay attention to the hurt taking place. Political changes depend on whether demonstrators continue the momentum that stunned so many on 11 July.
The 2 July ‘Joint Declaration on the Future of the EU’ represents a significant endeavour by Eurosceptics to oppose efforts by European federalists to transform the EU into a godless multicultural superstate. The leaders of sixteen European political parties have announced an unprecedented alliance to defend the sovereignty of European nation states, protect the nuclear family, and preserve traditional Judeo-Christian values. The leader of Spain's conservative party said, ‘The EU's “Conference on the Future of Europe” has already written its conclusions. It seeks the forced federalisation of the EU against the true will of European nations and apart from the national parliaments. We do not want a federal Europe in which all decisions are made in Brussels. The EU is becoming a superstate carrying out cultural and religious transformations without tradition and attempting to change moral principles.’
China Aid, which provides legal aid to Christians in China, recently tweeted, ‘New Cultural Revolution starts. Government tells students’ parents and teachers to hunt all religious books, antagonistic books and overseas books. Everyone is mandated!’ CBN News said the communist government does not want any disruptions for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February. ‘They really fear there could be protests, a pro-democracy movement going, leading up to and during the Olympics. So this sends a message to the parents: “Look, no outside influence. We don't want any collusion with foreigners here”, because they know that foreigners are pro-democracy. They are indoctrinating students, and also sending a message to the adults.’ Pray for the world to recognise false religion when they see communist party flags in pulpits.
The USA is resuming unconditional financial aid to the Palestinians without any stipulation that the PA end human rights violations and assaults on public freedoms. Lawyers for Justice said that the forms of torture in the PA-controlled Jericho Prison included hanging detainees from the ceilings, beatings, verbal abuse and electric shocks. ‘The Future List calls on all electoral lists approved by the Central Elections Committee, all human rights bodies and all honourable people of this country to form a united front to confront the arbitrary political arrests that aim to silence every free voice that rises in the face of tyranny and corruption practiced by the Palestinian Authority.’ It appears the diplomats care little that the PA is arresting, torturing and intimidating social media users and political activists. Western journalists loudly raise their voices when damning Israel. International silence and absolute support for the PA encourages Palestinian leadership to continue their repression.