A plea to the nation after the general election

(Photo: Unsplash/Martin Foskett)


To those who share this wonderful country with me, I say “Good morning!”

To those who stood as candidates, I say thank you. Being involved in the wrestling match of public life is a sacrificial and honourable calling. Please hold your heads high as winners or losers.

To those who have knocked on peoples’ doors in the midst of an ugly winter, I say you are heroes. You have helped people feel that little bit less disconnected from the big picture.

To those who from their armchairs bemoan the overall standard of political leadership in this country, I say I hear you, but I also say get up to your feet and get stuck in. It will not get better without you. Politics is not a spectator sport, or a consumer choice.

To those who are more fearful about their future in the UK this morning, I say you are loved. Though I am aware that you need more than that.

To those who don’t understand this election, I say spend more time outside of London.

To those who still don’t understand this election, I say faith, flag and family mean more to many people than money.

To those who would say, “Hey, God is still on the throne”, I say I agree, but would point out that that statement can sometimes be a terrible abdication of our responsibility to speak prophetically to the systems, structures and leaders of a nation. The prophets of scripture condemned injustice at the same time as re-stating that God was on the throne. The church cannot hide within its pastoral role and ignore its prophetic role.

To those who have been economic with the truth for political gain, I say that the truth has a funny way of stretching up towards the light eventually.

To those who have allowed Remain and Leave or parties to become idols, I say don’t be surprised that things like civility and truth have been sacrificed to them.

To those who are struggling to make ends meet, I say sorry that we have been obsessing about other things.

To those who have ‘fought’ this campaign hidden behind the safety of a laptop screen, I say you may need to get out of your echo chamber.

To those who feel ignored by politics, I say sorry, but I also say come join in. Don’t wait for an invitation. It might never arrive.

To those who feel triumphant, I say congratulations, but be aware that how you act now will influence whether or not a nation can be reconciled.

To those who feel vindicated, I say that winning and being right are not always the same thing.

To those who feel beaten, I say there will be some things to hold dear to, but some things to let go of.

To those who feel bewildered, I say that decisions and statements made quickly in the midst of extreme disappointment, tiredness and anger are rarely good ones.

To those who feel that ‘those politicians – they’re all just the same’, I say they are not. Just like you and me. I know many of them and am proud to call many of them friends.

To myself, I say where are your blind spots, where are your comfort zones, and who are you intentionally building relationship with who is not like you?

To the God who I worship, who never gets voted out of office, I say please have mercy upon us, forgive us our division and “Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us, o’er the world’s tempestuous sea.”

To help with reflection you might want to watch the video below: 

[embedded content]

Andy Flannagan is executive director of Christians in Politics and author of “Those Who Show Up”.