Thursday, 10 May 2007

Some questions on life-legacy, faith and politics for Mr Tony Blair

Tony Blair has announced that his resignation day as prime minister for the UK will be june 27:th. Being one of the most recognised world leaders of the last decade, he will naturally leave a legacy for the political world to ponder on for some time. BBC news political reporter Brian Wheeler has written a short "story of Tony Blair" on the BBC news homepage where Blairs personal history and legacy are at front.

Reading the story made me think about the issues of legacy and history and the cutting edge of faith and politics. (Blair being fairly open with his confession of christian faith). What kind of legacy do I want to leave? How would I want people to describe the way I lived my life in retrospect? The article also leaves me with the desire to ask mr Blair some questions.
Wheeler writes the following on Blairs years in Oxford training to be a barrister. Years profoudly shaping his future outlook on politics and life.

"... Blair was also developing a more thoughtful side. He began to talk about left wing politics and, unusually for the times, became increasingly serious about his Christian faith, taking confirmation classes... In his first year at the university, he befriended an Australian priest, Peter Thompson, with whom he would debate social issues and theology late into the night. Blair later credited Thompson with awakening in him an interest in Christian socialism, and a desire for social change."

What questions would I ask mr Blair? Many, but at least theese four:

- Did you often experience the tension between the politics of Jesus (i.e: peacemaking, radical criticism of traditional expressions of power replacing them with non-coercive and serving leadership) and your "responsibility" for the society to be stable and for keeping the public happy?
- Did you reflect, during the 9/11 crisis and the following "war on terror", on how (or if) a radical obedience to this Jesus (whom I suppose you, being a christian, confess as Lord) could have shaped your political actions in a deeper way?
- Did you and mr Bush discuss or even agonize over the apparent tension between Jesus radical and activist pacifism, the call to his disciples to be peacemakers and the politics of power and violence finally being your means of "positive change" in Iraq?
- What issues of social change would you derive as most directly coming out of You being a follower of Jesus?

No easy questions. No easy answers, as so often in life.

Ben Parker, the uncle of Peter Parker (aka. Spiderman) said it right and well: "With great power comes great responsibility".
I guess no matter who you are, or what your profession is (Including prime minister of the UK) this would be true: If you are a follower of Jesus he has to be the first and greatest authority in your life. The greatest responsibility for any one man (or woman) is to be faithful in life and practice to him! I hope mr Blair has reflected on this and wrestled with its implications often during his tenure at Downing street 10. I hope he will continue to do so as his position of power in this world changes.
Best of luck mr Blair... and mr Brown!

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