Partygate: The Elite and the End-Times

Over the past few months, the world has finally been emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. Putin’s war in Ukraine has dominated the headlines, pushing COVID-19 even further into the background, where everyone hopes and prays it will stay. The fallout remains as the economic cost is still being evaluated. But in England, another twist—known as Partygate—continues in the news.

What was it, and why does it matter?


Strict Lockdowns and Rules

Perhaps because England is an island and saw itself as more vulnerable to contagions, it employed strict rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 23, 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first nationwide lockdown. During this time, “the whole of the UK was placed under lockdown measures, with schools shut, non-essential shops closed, and the population asked to work from home where possible and to only leave their houses for exercise and essentials.”

Enforcement was strict, with fines levied on those who violated the rules. Gatherings of more than 15 people could get one penalized £800 for the first offense—and £6,400 for the up to sixth. Failure to quarantine at a designated place was £1,000, doubled for each subsequent offense, with up to £10,000 for fourth or more offenses. A gathering of more than 30 people could get you a whopping £10,000 fine!

Considering that a British pound is about $1.30, these were not small sums.

Besides the vaccinations, there were mask mandates and social distancing, with people told that “2 meters physical distance is [to be] maintained between people who are not in the same household (or support bubble) to limit COVID-19 transmission. On 24 June 2020, the Government published a review which concluded that, where 2 meters is not viable, a reduction to 1 meter is an acceptable alternative if combined with other risk mitigation measures (the ‘1m+ rule’).” 

Brits also remember that infamous “cancelling of Christmas” in 2020 for millions in parts of England, even though just a few days before, Johnson declared it would be “inhuman” to do just that. However, he then changed his mind and announced a new lockdown that prevented people from mixing with other households and that closed non-essential shops until at least the end of the month.


Enter Partygate

Even when those who gave leaders like Johnson the benefit of the doubt, arguing that they were doing what they thought was best for their nation, everything blew up in England when it was discovered that while the rest of the country was facing these severe restrictions, Johnson and his aides had been partying together, about a dozen times, in government buildings, which would have all been illegal.

Hence, the designation: Partygate.

Since January this year, British police had been investigating “a dozen gatherings in government buildings, including one in the garden of Number 10 at which Johnson was photographed, and another in the cabinet room on his birthday.” 

What made matters worse was that, though he first denied having done it, once the photos were released, the prime minister argued that he thought the gatherings were work-related. His comment drew a barrage of scorn, especially because one of these get-togethers at 10 Downing Street included a “bring your own booze” party, while other soirees were dubbed “wine time Fridays.”

Things got so bad that critics thought it was going to bring down his government. People were really angry. Some members of Parliament called for him to resign. As the furor increased, Johnson came clean and apologized, though again claiming that he really believed that the one party at which he was photographed “was a work event.


The Fines

Though the apologies fell flat, things quieted down. The war in Ukraine took precedence, and calls for his resignation began to fade. However, the Partygate scandal revived last week when it was announced that Johnson, his wife, Carrie, along with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sundak (similar to Secretary of the Treasury in the United States), had been fined by the London police for partying in violation of the restrictions that Johnson himself had been pushing on the rest of England.

To make matters worse, the prime minister’s £50 fine enraged Brits, because, in some cases, others were forced to pay thousands of pounds for the same offenses. Calls for his resignation have started again, especially now that Johnson is the first sitting prime minister in history to be fined for breaking the law. As the investigation continues, he and other government employees might be facing more penalties.

Does this fiasco surprise anyone? Isn’t this just another example of the rich, the powerful, not thinking that they should be bound by the same rules and laws as everyone else? What else is new? But, still—the double standard burns up the “little people.”


The Gospel Contrast

What a contrast to how God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, related to the “little people” and their struggles. Though He is the Lord, the Creator, the Sovereign above all sovereigns, what did the Bible say He did for us? “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5–8).

Rather than keep above the fray, God Himself suffered in the fray along with us, even in ways worse than any of us ever could. That is what the gospel is about—God suffering with us due to sin. To learn more about how God’s love stands in contrast to the hypocrisy of men, watch Pastor Doug’s The Essence of the Gospel.

Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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