Displaying items by tag: Politics
As Boris Johnson battled through question time over parties at Downing Street, at home his baby daughter Romy was battling Covid. Pray for her full recovery and for Boris’s peace of mind. Also pray that Sue Gray will be able to understand about these parties and whether disciplinary action is needed. May her enquiry be led by God’s Spirit as she probes the morals and motives of our politicians. Pray for God’s truth and light to expose hidden deception, spoken or performed, that has invaded Whitehall. Pray for God to clean the corridors of Government from the works of the flesh, greed, folly and personal agendas. May His Spirit flow through every department releasing Kingdom plans. May mercy triumph over judgement as His purposes for this nation are released through the current shaking. On 25 January MPs can attend a lunchtime church service, giving them an opportunity for reflection in the midst of parliamentary life. May they engage with God in worship and hear Him speak.
About thirty people including Boris Johnson attended a ‘bring-your-own-drink’ party in Downing Street’s garden during the first lockdown. The gathering - and others that had happened under Covid restrictions - are now subject to an independent enquiry by Sue Grey. Because of the way he handled recent events and evaded probing questions before admitting attending the drinks party, the PM has damaged public confidence in him. He now faces calls to resign from Labour and some senior Tories. Conservative MP William Wragg said there is a carelessness among people in government over standards and possibly more than that. The inquiry could make or break Johnson’s premiership as his government descends into open warfare as he defied Scottish and English Tory politicians. He survived probably the worst day in his political career without Cabinet resignations, a leadership challenge, or a confidence vote among MPs.
Kazakhstan’s ongoing civil unrest shows the need for meaningful progress against corruption. Last week there were countrywide protests over inequality, poverty and corruption, also calling for meaningful reforms. The wealth the country’s political elite have amassed through corruption has been a particular concern throughout the protests. Kazakhstan has made some progress in fighting corruption in recent years - in a 2019 study people and small businesses saw things improving on the ground - but serious concerns remain, such as the flawed anti-corruption framework, lack of responsiveness in policy-making, and state control of the media. Pray for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other independent voices who are urging the government to resolve the ongoing unrest peacefully. Unless the violence stops immediately, the way out of the crisis is uncertain for the already struggling Kazakh society.
Bosnia has three presidents. Each one represents a particular ethnic group, and the fragile multiethnic government faces its greatest crisis since the Balkan wars. Serb nationalist leader Milorad Dodik is threatening to tear Bosnia apart by withdrawing the Serb territory he leads from Bosnia. He has stopped meeting the other regional presidents and vowed to withdraw from the armed forces and tax agency in favor of his own agencies. Political rivals and foreign diplomats say recent scandals suggest his rhetoric is to deflect corruption allegations. But in a region where the war shadow is everywhere, Bosnians fear their country’s peace is threatened. ‘It will not be peaceful,’ warned Sefik Dzaferovic, one of the three presidents. An opposition party leader said, ‘He hates stability because he then has to explain why we are living like we do. He plays on people's emotions regardless of the consequences.’ The UN called it ‘the greatest threat’ to Bosnia’s survival since 1990.
Protests in Kazakhstan began on 2 January when the government removed a fuel price cap. The speed with which protests turned violent surprised everyone, hinting that they are not only about fuel. This is a traditionally stable Central Asian state, often described as authoritarian, with no electoral democracy - so people needed to take to the streets to be heard. Accusing foreign-trained ‘terrorist gangs’ of being behind the trouble, President Tokayev imposed a state of emergency that includes a curfew, a ban on mass gatherings, and Russian assistance to help ‘stabilise’ the country. Dozens of protesters were ‘eliminated’ after they stormed police buildings to steal weapons. By 6 January about 1,000 people had been injured; 400 are being treated in hospital and 62 are in intensive care. Twelve members of the security forces have been killed, and 353 injured.
20+ countries have elections in 2022. From Colombia to Bosnia to South Korea, these elections could reshape their political systems - and destinies. 200 million will decide whether the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party continues for another five years in the enormous legislative elections in India’s Uttar Pradesh province. In Brazil, Hungary, and the Philippines, voters will decide whether to grant autocrats another term in office; France narrowly avoided electing such a leader in 2017, but 2022 may see a right-wing resurgence. In Costa Rica, South Korea, Colombia, and Kenya, the presidents are ineligible for reelection, giving way to potential candidates with extreme views. In Portugal, Australia, and Sweden, minority governments want elections to strengthen their coalitions. Mali, Bosnia, and Tunisia have seen significant challenges: elections will determine whether democratic institutions can continue. Also this year, leaders from the left and the centre-left are expected to be in power in the six largest economies in Latin America. See
The government wants a ban on 'conversion therapy' - a broad term covering encouragement to change or control sexual feelings or gender identity. Genuinely harmful therapies or practices are already illegal and / or not practised in the UK. A ban on legitimate talking therapies, pastoral support and prayer is what anti-'conversion therapy' campaigners want. The Christian Institute (CI) warned a House of Commons committee that any conversion therapy ban must be clearly defined, as activists want a broad ban encompassing Christian parenting, prayer, preaching and pastoral care. CI believe campaigners are attacking Christian beliefs and doctrine. It contends that if a church friend asks another to pray with them, or if a pastor teaches Christian sexual ethics from the Bible, or parents encourage children to follow them in their faith, it is not conversion therapy. Some want a ban which encapsulates those things. The consultation period ends on 10 December. All comments and suggestions will then be analysed for a spring 2022 draft bill. See
Former first minister Arlene Foster has spoken out against those who say that religion and politics should never mix. When speaking at the St Patrick Centre to a live audience, she discussed her own faith as well as her political career. Expressing her frustration she said, ‘Christianity doesn’t call you to be neutral. It calls you to be salt and light about what you believe in. It does annoy me when people say you have to take religion out of politics and leave it at the door, or like it only happens at the weekend. It is part of who you are. Your Christianity and your faith is something that is with you all the time. You can’t just leave it at home on Sunday night and go out without it on Monday.’
On 29 November, senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia met Iranian officials in Vienna to discuss bringing Tehran back into compliance with the 2015 deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which eased sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. The talks could pave the way for the US to rejoin the accord. Israel is making efforts to stop a return to the previous agreement and prevent implementing an interim agreement, a plan the US is considering as a stop-gap if a full agreement cannot be reached. The nuclear talks resumed with upbeat comments despite Tehran's negotiating team demanding that all US and EU sanctions imposed since 2017, including those unrelated to its nuclear programme, be removed.
Nikki da Costa, Boris Johnson's former director of legislative affairs, said senior advisors are letting Stonewall dictate the Government's trans rights policy. She believes the advice being given to the PM is undermining women's rights. She said there is no other organisation - no business, or charity, no matter how big - that can pick up the phone to a special adviser sitting outside Boris Johnson's office and get them to speak directly to the prime minister. 'But that is the kind of access that Stonewall has.'’ Ms da Costa alleged that a group of aides controlled the views that Johnson was presented with in government papers and stopping him from meeting people with differing views on trans issues.’ Carrie Johnson said Boris was an ally to LGBT people at a pro-Stonewall event in October.