The Prime Minister, in her Easter sermon to the masses, was correct in her assertion that Holy Week is a moment to reflect and an important time for Christians and others to gather together with families and friends. She went on to say that there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting following a period of intense debate over the right future for our country. She spoke of one great union of people embracing the world by leaving the European Union even as our shared values bring us together. Her childhood in a vicarage taught her the Christian values of compassion, community, citizenship and the obligation we have to one another.
As with most of Theresa May`s lectures, all was not as it seemed. It appears that the filmed address was a pre-record and as she smiled out at us from the TV screen, she was, in fact, on a five day walking holiday in Snowdonia in splendid solitude apart from her partner and her bodyguards. Obviously, even Prime Ministers are allowed a break from stress of governance and it is not as if great big bombs were being dropped or missiles were failing to leave the ground or sabres were being rattled around the world. So pity Theresa May because even on holiday the pressure of leadership offers no respite.
It seems that Almighty God appeared on the mountain top (possibly Cadair Idris or possibly Aran Fawddwy or more likely the Stag Inn by the bridge in Dolgellau) and told the blessed Theresa to call a snap general election in order to end division and bring harmony to the nation. Even as God was appearing in a vision in front of Mrs May so Mrs May was appearing as a vision in front of us to urge us to celebrate our common Christian values and to think of those who visit the sick or the bereaved and to cherish our strong tradition of religious tolerance and freedom of speech which Christians not in England do not enjoy.
We may never know if God asked the Prime Minister about exactly where in her Christian upbringing in the vicarage was the bit about removing support from people with disabilities or allowing the sick to die waiting for treatment because of cuts to NHS funding or forcing children to live in poverty in the name of political dogma. It is also not certain if God approves of Mrs May`s outrage at the removal of the word “Easter” from an advertised Easter Egg Hunt or her complete silence when a headscarf is torn away from a woman or a man is murdered for simply speaking with a foreign accent. Mrs May moves in mysterious ways.
Just 48 later, with God back in his heaven and Theresa back in Downing Street, the Prime Minister was giving it loads to the press corps in the street about how she had delivered certainty, stability, strong leadership, consumer confidence and economic growth by not calling a general election. Now, however, in order to establish certainty, stability, strong leadership, consumer confidence and economic growth we need a general election. It seems that the entire electorate agree with her but other political parties and the House of Lords do not. Perhaps it was not Almighty God that appeared before the PM over Easter but was instead the current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who regards any questioning of his authority as a terrorist act and seeks to exclude and even imprison any potential opponents. In seeking to end division in parliament, Theresa May is seeking to end democracy. Just like her new friend on the other side of the Atlantic.
Mrs May has in no uncertain terms categorised the coming election as a further vote on the UK leaving the EU. This seems odd as those delighted at the referendum result take every opportunity to bellow that the battle is won and that the defeated should shut up and get over it. It seems an odd way to bring about certainty, stability and unity by opening up yet more toxic hostility between an already divided nation and a fatally divided Conservative Party. With only a four per cent difference between remain and leave and with a fairly hopeless lack of strategy when it comes to the actual departure and the fact that many who voted to leave are now dead and many who were denied the vote have now turned 18, running the referendum again presents a risk for Mrs May. Significantly, she has raised the stakes with some extraordinary rhetoric and talks of regaining control of money, law and borders as if we have in some way lost control of money, law and borders. The Fixed-Term Parliament Act, one of the first things Cameron put in place to ensure ruin, will have to go and unifying the nation involves belittling all the opposition parties and ignoring new calls for Scottish independence and the possibility of a referendum for a united Ireland. This is not how to unite a nation.
More disturbingly, she went full on scary when she said this:
“Every vote for the Conservatives will make it harder for the opposition politicians who want to stop me from getting the job done.
Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the European Union.
Every vote for the Conservatives means we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain and take the right long-term decisions for a more secure future.”
Notice the emphasis on “me” and “I” and “we”. Perhaps it was Satan who appeared on the Welsh mountain or maybe it was a phone call from her new friend across the ocean because he might just be about to start a nuclear war.
“Hold my hand Maggie”.
Perhaps it was a call from her old friend Rupert demanding that she should do something big to get Kelvin MacKenzie off the front pages so as not to harm his latest deal.
“You promised me the entire sky Maggie.”
We will, of course, never know who appeared on the mountain but it might just be that some poor foot soldier from the Ministry of Justice was dispatched up into the hills to inform Mrs May that the Crown Prosecution Service might be preparing arrest warrants for 30 or possibly more Conservative MPs and party agents regarding electoral fraud and financial criminality that allegedly went on during the last attempt at uniting the nation.
We have 50 more days to make up our minds.