May
28
Author
Edd Graham-Hyde
The political shift

This is the fourth post in a series of blogs about Brexit by guest contributor Edd Graham-Hyde (more about Edd below), which we're posting in the run up to the snap 2017 General Election...

There's much that can be said about the leaders running the main political parties, all of whom have their own ideologies. Some of these filter down through the party. The battle between the left and right has never been more rife and Brexit is one of the results of this, not a cause.

At the last General Election we saw a large swing back to the right with many central seats having their majorities eaten away by Conservatives or UKIP, while other left/centrist seats were taken completely.

Some could argue that this is just politics and therefore irrelevant information. However, when we look at how volatile Brexit was, along with other arguments happening with various public sector workers, we see a potential for what I would call an 'inert civil war'. There is going to be a continued push back against right-wing policies by the left. However, the right wing of politics is certainly stronger and therefore tactics of the left will need to be more aggressive – hence the debate that has surrounded Jeremy Corbyn around his ability to unify the left.

Currently the left is clearly more fractured than the right and that, along with a national swing in voters, is leading to the demise of many left leaning seats in the current political paradigm.

Brexit has solidified the power of the right wing and further adds to the austerity narrative being used in mainstream politics at the moment. It was a campaign led largely by the right with most of the left on the opposing side while the centre was fairly split down the middle. This couldn't have been a better demonstration of the current political climate if it was artificially created.

The divide will be seeping into church and there's not necessarily a correct stance to take on many of the issues. However, when a campaign is as stratified as things like Brexit, many fight as if there is only one correct stance with a 'do or die' attitude. My prediction is that there will be more fights of this nature.

We need to be ready for this in our churches. We need to be working harder than ever to encourage authentic, mature, relationships. It's only in these relationships, with Christ at the centre, where partisan politics won't divide us or the community that is our church.

I also believe that the hostility encountered by some through the various debates stems from a sense of powerlessness (which I have touched upon in previous blogs). People need to know that there are other ways to express or even invoke change; prayer, serving and salvation all being the ones that we know well and practice without politics in mind.

My suggestion is that we should teach a biblical approach to advocacy, without taking a hard stance if possible. At the same time, create a culture where regular prayer for all party leaders and government happens and is actively encouraged. These two combined will make people start to see the power they do have through prayer, equally, they will also be able to express political opinion, neutrally as Christians. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by guest contributors are those of the author. Although broadly in keeping with the objectives of Jubilee+, the views and opinions of the guest do not necessarily represent those of the Jubilee+ team and directors and/or other contributors to this site.

Edd is a fully qualified RE teacher and currently teaches A-level Sociology and Politics; he is also currently lecturing ad-hoc at the University of Central Lancashire while completing his PhD in socially fringed groups and religious narratives with a focus on social policy. He is part of the Christ Church Blackpool church plant and is an advocate for planting more churches by the beach!