‘Interesting Times’ by Rev Dr John Weaver

Well the election roller coaster is nearly over and the media pundits and political leaders pick through the pieces.

Rev Dr John Weaver

In 1966 US Senator and soon to be assassinated, presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy delivered a speech that included the following:

There is a Chinese curse which says: May he live in interesting times. Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.

Maybe we feel this today!

Then there is Charles Dickens’s famous opening sentence to A Tale of Two Cities about the French Revolution:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Maybe this sums up the current position for the government, and especially for Theresa May.

Negotiations currently continue between the Conservative Party and the DUP regarding a “confidence and supply” arrangement to support the government.

In her cabinet reshuffle, Theresa May has brought Michael Gove back into the Cabinet as Secretary of State in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Michael Gove was accused of trying to wipe climate change off the national curriculum, when he was Secretary of State for Education, a suggestion recently denied by a spokesperson at Gove’s new department, DEFRA, who maintained that he wanted to enhance the subject of climate change in the national curriculum, not to remove it. But, like others Gove feels the EU environmental controls have been too strict. He claimed that his father’s fish merchant business in Aberdeen had collapsed because of rules set in Brussels. He is therefore a keen supporter of Brexit. In addition, to lower domestic bills, he has previously suggested cutting VAT on domestic fuel.

If the DUP eventually agree to prop up the Conservative government, they bring with them those who have been challenged as being climate change deniers.

While this is filling our media commentators with glee and would possibly result in a more stable government in the short term, it may not be good news in addressing climate change and progressing the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Our vigilance, our prayers, and holding our politicians to account must continue in such ‘interesting times’.

John Weaver was born and brought up in Cardiff. After taking degrees in Geology at Swansea, he taught at the University of Derby. John trained for Baptist ministry in Oxford and was then pastor of Highfield Baptist Church from 1981-1991. From 1992-2001 he taught theology at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and from 2001-2012 served as Principal of South Wales Baptist College. He is a former President of the Baptist Union, and is the Chair of JRI. His main areas of research are: relating faith to life and work; theological reflection; adult education; and the dialogue between science and faith.