The Conservative Party Manifesto is infused with the status quo and brimming with measured increments of steady-as-she-goes. It isn’t so much a vision by which the people shall not perish, but a play-safe blueprint for winning a majority to “get Brexit done”. That’s a laudable objective, of course, especially after the Bishops of the Church of England unanimously exhorted HM Government to honour the result of the 2016 EU Referendum. But “get Brexit done” does not mean “get the process of Brexit completed’, but, rather, “get Brexit started”, which Boris Johnson has pledged in his Manifesto to do – even as soon as Christmas.
So vote Conservative for a Merry Brexmas, because it’s a certain fact that neither the Liberal Democrats nor Labour is inclined to honour the result of the EU Referendum. The LibDems seek to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit altogether (ie dishonour the result of the 2016 EU Referendum); and Labour intends to negotiate some sort of new “credible deal” which they don’t believe in and then put that deficient but “credible deal” back to the people in a second referendum and either campaign against it or remain neutral (ie dishonour the result of the 2016 EU Referendum).
The Conservative Manifesto oozes freedom (more than 40 references), interspersed with elements of “take back control” (always compassionately, fairly and gently). Immigration, for example, will be controlled with a new points-based system, but it will be fairer than free movement; more open to the world than myopically Eurocentric, and so more equal and less discriminatory. They pledge to support refugees and grant asylum to those fleeing persecution; to boost freedom of speech and bolster freedom of expression; to prioritise animal welfare by banning puppy farming and trophy hunting; to provide more houses, more nurses, more GPs, more teachers…
Yes, all political parties promise to a New Jerusalem for health and education, so it that regard the Conservative Manifesto is no different from all the other utopian visions. But only Boris Johnson is promising to “get Brexit done” (ie get Brexit started); only Boris Johnson is pledged to honouring the result of the 2016 EU Referendum; only Boris Johnson is heeding the unanimous exhortation of the Bishops of the Church of England.
No political manifesto is wholly or perfectly righteous, not least because Christians have differing apprehensions of the Beatitudes. It is a certain fact that the Tories are not going to be an instrument of millennial reign to all the nations (or even to the United Kingdom). But democracy reveals itself again and again to be a natural ally and agent of Christianity: God is concerned with present individual morality, not political future hopes. When it comes to voting in an election, Christians are exhorted to discern the lesser evil (if ‘evil’ it be); to choose the greater good. In this General Election, there is only one vision which will “get Brexit done” (ie get Brexit started) without preventing Roman Catholics from standing for public life and murdering nine-month-old babies in the womb.
You may demur, of course, on which party manifesto better ushers in the Kingdom of God on earth. Argue robustly, by all means, but please do so in love.