Displaying items by tag: Politics
Giorgia Meloni, the favourite to become Italy’s next prime minister, has a passion for fantasy author Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. She regards the legends of the rings of power as much more than fantasy. They inspire her worldview and politics. When she was elected to cabinet in 2008 she vowed not to be corrupted by the ‘ring of power’. Later she posed for a magazine profile next to a statue of Gandalf, Tolkien’s bearded wizard. The hobbits’ attachment to their pristine Shire has been regarded as a rallying call for nationalism and rejection of modernism by generations of post-fascist youths. Although Meloni resents being linked to Italy's fascist past, her Brothers of Italy party embraces a slogan adopted by the fascists – ‘God, fatherland and family’. See also
76-year-old President Daniel Ortega describes priests as ‘killers’ and ‘coup plotters’. He accuses the clergy of working on behalf of ‘American imperialism’. He said, ‘In the church everything is imposed. It’s a perfect dictatorship. If they are to be democratic, let Catholics vote for the pope, for cardinals, for bishops.’ The church has been under increasing government pressure since Ortega accused it of backing the protests against his government in 2018. A crackdown against demonstrators killed hundreds. Pope Francis recently insisted on the importance of ‘never stopping dialogue’ with Nicaragua. God has brought many people to Himself amidst the nation’s suffering. Numbershave increased through saturation evangelism, and local church outreaches. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and hurricanes have led many to question life and eternity. War, conflict, and political struggles have turned many towards compassionate Christians and hope in Christ. Evangelicals have grown from 2% in 1960 to 30% today, and growth continues.
Since 2014 Russia has secretly funnelled $300 million to foreign political parties and candidates in at least 24 countries in Europe, Africa ,and elsewhere to shape political events beyond its borders. Putin wants to weaken democratic systems and promote global political forces aligned with Kremlin interests. A senior US official, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence findings, said the administration decided to declassify some of the review’s findings to counter Russia’s ability to sway political systems. ‘By shining this light on Russian covert political financing and attempts to undermine democratic processes, we are putting these foreign parties and candidates on notice that if they accept Russian money secretly, we can and we will expose it’, the official said. Countries identified included Albania, Montenegro, Madagascar, and Ecuador. An unnamed Asian presidential candidate received millions in cash. Russia also used shell companies, thinktanks and other means to influence political events, sometimes to the benefit of far-right groups.
A charity has criticised the decision to make Catholic MP Therese Coffey the secretary of state because of her views on abortion. The newly-appointed deputy PM voted against extending ‘pills by post’, allowing women to take abortion pills at home, instead of a clinical setting. Ms Coffey said she would never condemn someone for having an abortion, but she would rather they did not have the procedure. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said that a health secretary who would place their personal beliefs above expert clinical guidance is concerning’. Meanwhile, Liz Truss said she shares the values of the Christian faith but is not a practising religious person. She abstained or was absent from parliamentary votes on legalising suicide and abortion, and voted to impose abortion on Northern Ireland. She also voted for same-sex marriage.
Lord, we thank You for every miracle You have worked in our nation in past seasons: for the turnarounds, the revivals and the personal miracles of provision and healing which have transformed lives, families, and communities. In the name of Jesus we declare what we have seen in the past is only a shadow of what we will see in the days ahead. We pray for Liz Truss; may she step into Kingdom purpose, moving the very structures of the nation towards righteousness and Godliness. We pray for justice, truth, mercy and moral law to be established, and for every government action to cause the UK to be aligned to God’s values and objectives within our land. May she carry and impart God’s vision to the men and women in her Cabinet, and may every MP walk in wisdom and integrity according to Your plans. May our Christian MPs boldly step into their identity and purpose.
Moqtada al-Sadr won most parliamentary seats last October, but he refused to negotiate with Iran-backed Shia groups to form a government, causing a year of political instability. When he announced his retirement from politics on 29 August it caused an eruption of street fighting overnight, as fighters exchanged gunfire. Tracer rounds illuminated the night sky in some of the worst violence to hit Baghdad in recent years, including using heavy weaponry such as rocket-propelled grenades. Some fighting was between the Peace Brigades, a militia loyal to Mr Sadr, and members of the Iraqi military. Some fighters Iran closed its borders with Iraq amidst the fighting, and Kuwait urged its citizens to leave immediately. A UN spokesperson has called for ‘immediate steps’ to de-escalate the situation. Iraq's caretaker prime minister has declared a nationwide curfew after unrest in several other cities, and suspended cabinet meetings. By 31 August most violence had stopped, but the country’s crisis has only deepened. See
Israel and Turkey have announced the return of full diplomatic ties between the two nations, including the reinstatement of ambassadors and consulate generals. This constitutes an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for Israelis. Their relationship had deteriorated over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Erdogan has been a harsh critic of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. Turkey has also hosted several Hamas leaders, which further strained relations between the two nations. Many believe Erdogan’s wish to renew these relations is a result of Turkey's economy floundering and his popularity dipping as a result.
During his time as a minister, and especially in the battle to succeed Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and his team have sought to present the wealthy former banker as someone nonetheless in touch with the concerns of voters. But his habit of awkward interactions with the everyday world continued when he told a TV show that he and his daughters liked the breakfast wrap at McDonald’s, saying, ‘It’s what we do.’ However, a McDonald’s spokesman confirmed the chain stopped selling breakfast wraps in March 2020. A photo shoot for the budget, when he was still chancellor, showed Sunak at a petrol station filling up a car that later turned out to be borrowed. He was also pictured trying to pay by holding his bank card up to a barcode scanner, rather than the payment machine.
The FBI search warrant of former president Donald Trump's Florida home authorised confiscation of every record he ever saw, read or created during his four years as commander-in-chief, right down to scribbles on a napkin. Democrats are asking for a damage assessment from the intelligence community on the eleven sets of classified documents recovered in the raid, including one marked ‘SCI’, a classification for some of the most sensitive national security information that is normally viewed in a highly secured location. A Trump lawyer signed a statement in June saying ‘all classified documents at Mar-a-Lago had been turned over to federal investigators’. On 14 August Trump’s lawyer claimed all investigations into ‘him will be dropped if he says he won’t run to be elected president in 2024. Later Trump’s office released a new defence statement: ‘As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different.'
Public finances are under pressure from a predicted recession. Both PM candidates agree that people will need help with the cost of living this autumn, but tax cuts will only bring relief to taxpayers. Cutting health and social care levies gives no money to pensioners or anyone earning less than £12,570. The new prime minister will not start the job for another four weeks. The candidates are coming under increasing pressure to spell out their plans. Gordon Brown recently said an emergency budget was urgently needed and that Boris Johnson, Ms Truss and Mr Sunak must agree on one now. A financial time bomb will explode with the October energy price cap. Loughborough University’s Prof Hirsch said, ‘It is urgent for the next prime minister to ensure families have enough to live through this crisis and beyond.’ Some will be £1,600 worse off per year. On 11 August government ministers met with energy giants, focusing on how energy companies can alleviate pressure on consumers: see