5th September 2022

This country has had 55 prime ministers in just over 300 years – 18 of them in my lifetime. And we are about to have prime minister number 56. Today we learn who that is to be – Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss? Maybe by the time you read this we will know who has won the contest (not ‘race’ please!).

Most of us have not had a say in who it is to be, but probably many of us have our own preferences. Perhaps we would have preferred one of the other candidates who was eliminated at an earlier stage of the process. Or maybe we wish the candidates had been from a different political party altogether! Nevertheless the process has run its course. As good citizens (we are, aren’t we?) we will accept the new prime minster and wait to see what sort of a job he or she makes of it.

I guess many of us would like the opportunity to tell the prime minister what needs to be done, what the priorities should be. We are unlikely to have that opportunity, at least not directly. With the psalmist we may well say ‘You rulers, are your decisions really just? Do you judge your people with equity?’ [Psalm 58]. The psalmist then goes on to suggest what punishment God might inflict on those rulers who fall short: ‘God break their teeth in their mouths’ and eventually ‘Before they know it, may they be rooted up like a thorn bush’. Ouch!

That is not for us to do! We need to recognise the magnitude of the problems to be faced and use our prayers to ask for God’s guidance.

David T Roberts