The Plastic Hippo

April 21, 2014

He is risen

In these days of dissenters, heretics and false prophets, it is important to make clear that David Cameron did not compare himself to Jesus Christ and did not claim to be the Messiah; he`s just a very naughty boy.

The Prime Minister might well be moving in mysterious ways but to erroneously attribute him with divinity merely diminishes the true gospel according to Dave. If we are to adhere to the First Council of Nicaea which established Easter as the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon following the March equinox and, let`s face it, why would we not schedule our financial, academic and industrial calendars around a moveable feast set in stone close to the Thracian Bosporus in 325 AD, then Cameron`s Easter message to Christian leaders at a Number 10 gathering is as timely as it is mischievous.

He did not say he was doing God`s work and did not make even the slightest suggestion that he was the saviour of the long-awaited second coming. Heaven knows that the Prime Minister says and does some very odd things in order for his wonders to perform and he will face God`s judgement and that of the electorate for his words and deeds but attributing invented slanders against him, however, is counterproductive as it deflects from the actual bizarre and somewhat disturbing things he actually says.

It would be easy to dismiss Cameron`s Easter sermon to the converted as a cynical ploy to placate the evolutionary endangered holy relics of Anglicanism or as a desperate attempt to garner votes of those likely to succumb to the last temptation of Nigel, but his speech suggests a worrying retrograde shift in the relationship between church and state.

A full transcript can be viewed here.

After a weak joke on the day that his culture secretary finally and unwillingly resigned because fraud is a distraction and ignoring the poignant irony of the soprano booked as “the turn” singing Ave Maria, clerics must have choked on their vol-au-vents when Cameron declared that he is “proud to be a Christian”. He went on to say:

“I think we’ve made some good steps forward; free schools, allowing church schools to expand – I think these are important steps. I look around the room and I see faith organisations some of whom I’ve visited over the years and some of who are expanding relatively rapidly. Whether its providing services for children at risk of exclusion, whether it’s teaching prisoners to read, whether it’s dealing with breakdown, whether it’s provision of food banks, there are some extraordinary organisations run by faith groups and Christians in our country and I want to see the possibilities for that to expand.”

Err…Free Schools? Children at risk of exclusion? Teaching prisoners to read? Dealing with breakdown? Food banks?

Free Schools are failing, have been seen to be corrupt and have had pots of money from state school budgets spent on them. Faith schools are allowed to expand as long as they are Christian but with any other God, terms and conditions apply and will be thoroughly investigated using counter-terrorism legislation. Children are being excluded before they get to school because of the closure of Sure Start centres. Chris Grayling wants to ban books in prison and Cameron`s government has cut funding to crisis centres dealing with domestic violence. Iain Duncan Smith has made such an almighty pig`s dinner of the benefit system either through incompetence or, as is more likely, through sheer, unadulterated malice that we are in a position where citizens of a wealthy nation are starving.

Cameron`s Easter message is quite clear; it`s not his job to feed the hungry with loaves and fishes, that is God`s responsibility. This might explain why cartoon characters like Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, Eric Pickles and the repellent Lord Freud are feeding lines of hallucinogenic hypocrisy to the likes of the Daily Mail. Gove, who wrote an introduction to the Holy Bible, said that people who need food banks are too stupid to manage family finances. Duncan Smith crowed that he was winning a “war” against benefits. Pickles said that doubters should “get over” the fact that we are a Christian country and Freud said that there would always be unlimited demand for “free” food. On Easter Sunday, the Daily Mail plumbed new depths by stealing food to illustrate the folly of charity and compassion. The Prime Minister went on to say:

“People sometimes say, you know, “You talk about the Big Society; don’t you realise this is what the Church has been doing for decades?” And I say yes, absolutely. Jesus invented the Big Society 2000 years ago, I just want to see more of it and encourage as much of it as possible. And that is something I think we should all want to see: a bigger role for faith-based organisations in our society. And if there are blockages, if there are things that are stopping you doing more, think of me if you like as a sort of giant Dyno-Rod in Whitehall: I want to make it easier, I want to unblock the things that help you do what you do. So please let’s do that.”

Other drain cleaners and vermin exterminators are available – terms and conditions apply. Presumably Cameron wants to return to the Big Society of 2000 years ago when oppression, hunger, disease, slavery, inequality and venal greed were considered to be good for the poor and rather profitable for the rich. His speech got scary when he said he was “evangelical” in promoting the Christian faith and that “our religion is now the most persecuted religion around the world” and he offered a rather shallow commitment to end modern slavery. No mention here of Workfare or zero hours contracts or the letter from 40 bishops and 600 church leaders calling for political action to tackle the causes of food poverty.

Cameron is not the Messiah. Jesus Christ was a compassionate human being who spoke out against injustice and became a tad angry at money lenders in the temple. He ended up being crucified by a bunch of wealthy, self-interested bigots and hypocrites. David Cameron is a wealthy, self-interested bigot and hypocrite who, if there is a God, will be electorally crucified by a bunch of compassionate human beings. Other Gods are available – terms and conditions apply.

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