I want to wish a happy new year to all our politicians.
Being a politician at the moment must be one of the most thankless tasks, and however well meaning they are, somehow the public has lost faith in our public servants. I’m not a political analyst. I’m not a politician. So I suppose all I’ve got to offer is something that comes out of the heart of my faith, and when I look at how God exercises power and leadership and authority, it is through service. So I suggest that that’s something that our politicians can continue to lay hold on; that being a politician is about public service. Indeed the word minister means, a servant; once a servant of the crown but now very much a servant of the people.
The other aspect that comes out of my faith is that of self sacrifice. God gave himself to us, God suffered for us. We see this in politicians and people often don’t acknowledge it, but I would affirm politicians in being people who give of themselves to others, and thank them for it.
A third word bringing with ‘S’, I suppose, is solidarity. God came in Christ to be among us, to be with us, to be one of us, and part of being a leader, a political leader, I think is to understand the people that you are part of – that you’re never above them – that you’re always responsible to them and for them.
Solidarity I think is really important at the moment, because we have to be conscious that we live in a world where people are excluded from power and some people are suffering very badly from being at the bottom of the pile and who else can we turn to but our political leaders?
The UK is in a very uncertain place at the moment, so in this new year, can I wish our politicians a happy time but may I also hope – ask them – to keep in their minds, service, self sacrifice and solidarity.