“This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.”
Extract from The Journey of the Magi by T.S.Eliot
An angel appeared to Mary and annunciated that as a young person not in employment, education or training, she did not qualify for the non-existent Education Maintenance Allowance and although an immaculate conception leading to pregnancy was not entirely within her control, she could not expect any support from the state.
And so, a child was born.
Shepherds continued to watch their flocks fearful of travelling into urban areas as the government would hold them financially responsible for any spread of foot and mouth disease.
Three wise men journeyed from the east and after holding a tribunal, decided that Mary, although homeless, was a scrounger. The gifts of child benefit, Bookstart literature for the infant and the right to a safe place to live would be withheld and the savings past on to the money lenders in the temple. King Herod, fearful of an educated underclass that might one day usurp his throne, saddled potential undergraduates with an unmanageable level of debt. This particular beatitude is filled with delicious irony as an increase in tuition fees is just one part of the slaughter of the innocents designed to reduce national debt brought about by greed and avarice. As J Paul Getty once observed: “The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights.”
As for the future of Mary’s boy child, he can forget about attending a decent nursery, receiving adequate health care or any expectation of being blessed with an education. He is considered worthless by his masters and 2,000 years on, reminiscent of Bethlehem under Herod, reserved for the infant is green hill far away without a city wall.
Thankfully, the child may survive until at least Easter, which cannot be said for the current coalition government hell-bent on destruction and the persecution of the meek. If those of honour in national and local government decide like Pontius Pilate to wash their hands of responsibility, they will forsake those that elected them and those that elected them will, ultimately, forsake them. As long as that is okay with Rupert Murdoch.
Jesus, as they say, wept.