Thirty years ago this week, Chief of Police James Anderton*, faced being fired after claiming God guided him in the midst of Manchester riots. An outraged press suggested that anyone who “heard voices” was obviously unhinged and unfit to lead. So, poisonous did this style of criticism become that a handful of years later, when a churchgoing Prime Minister entered No. 10 Downing Street, his press officer famously announced, “We don’t do God!”
It was all part of a bid by liberal democratic forces to privatise God and remove his influence from the public arena. The Britain that became “Great” by following its Christian heritage was now being encouraged to sack God from society.
Once upon a time, the Brits prayed daily in church services from Land’s End to John O’Groats for the Almighty to guide our Police chiefs, politicians and Sovereign via his Holy Spirit, just as Jesus and St. Paul in Scripture had commanded. Preachers were also expected to be in regular conversation with God to get their pulpit messages. Even authors unashamedly spoke of an inspiration beyond themselves, many of them praising heaven as writer’s block evaporated.
I’m proud to reveal that I had a 30-strong army of warriors praying for my latest novel, “Actual Love.” No way was I sacking my divine inspiration.
*James Anderton stayed on as Police Chief and was later made a knight of the realm by our Christian Sovereign.