9th September 2022

The Prime Minister’s new clothes.

Joe Lycett’s mockery of Liz Truss on the new TV politics show last Sunday reminded me of the story of the emperor’s new clothes. Everyone else in the studio was pretending that she was wearing the ideology and the policies of a serious politician but the little boy in the room saw things differently and said so in a loud, clear voice.

Since then, Liz Truss has become our new Prime Minister. She takes on a demanding job at a very difficult time and I am sure that we will hold her in our prayers.

But the world also seems split over those few minutes on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg when political discourse entered a whole new dimension. Humour has a power to reach us in a way that earnestness cannot and it can catch us off guard. As one commentator put it: “dividing lines were drawn, between those who feel that the seriousness of Kuenssberg’s show (at a very serious time) was undermined by Lycett’s prank, and those who see that prank as the most serious and morally responsible feature of the whole hour.”

We have been reminded in Sam’s series of sermons on the teaching of Jesus that Jesus was also someone who saw things very differently and said so in powerful and arresting ways. “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”

Do not be content to repeat tired platitudes to yourself, to others and to God. Dig down a bit to see what the real issue is. You may may find something surprising.

Nick Parsons