Happy Easter, everyone. Enjoy your religion, enjoy your eggs or enjoy, as I shall, a few pints of cider-based alcohol. My suggestion is to enjoy the long weekend and ignore the words of politicians. All politicians.
Theresa May says she has a sense that “sense of people coming together” following the vote to leave the EU. I am at a loss to understand what world this woman lives in because all the evidence suggests that almost no one has changed their mind. If anything, the country’s divisions are deeper and wider than they ever were, as illustrated by all the polls. I have seen nothing to suggest that remoaners like me have suddenly concluded that the impending disaster that is Brexit is actually a good thing, nor have Brextremists now come to accept that free movement benefits our economy and society. The battles lines remain drawn, people are patently not coming together and if May persists in pursuing the hard Brexit favoured by the hard right, the country will become more divided, not united. And as long as Mrs May pursues policies that deliberately harm the most vulnerable people in the land, I am not going to take her “christian values” in any way seriously.
Jeremy Corbyn, in his usual garbled way, announced that we should remember “Jesus’ example of love and sacrifice, and the Easter message of redemption and peace”. To quote him still further, Corbyn added:”We hear painful stories every day, of homelessness, poverty or crisis in our health service – or across the world, of the devastating consequences of war and conflict, including millions forced to become refugees. We need to respond to these problems head-on, through action and support for social justice, peace and reconciliation. Those principles are at the heart of Christianity.” No, you silly old sod. These are the principles of all decent people, devout or not. I do not require the services of a celestial dictator to demand “an end to homelessness, poverty or crisis in our health service”.
I don’t buy all this rubbish from the likes of May that somehow christians are not allowed to discuss or practise their faith. As both an atheist and a secularist, I have no problem with people celebrating their own religious festivals in whichever way they see fit, so long as it does not, in any way, impact on my own life. The problem for the devout is that hardly anyone believes in God anymore and indeed many of us feel that religion is the cause for more conflict than it stops.
Yes, I know as it’s Easter, a religious festival, and that’s why the BBC will be ramming down our throats various ceremonies of worship, even though hardly anyone will be watching. I’ll be one of those not watching but by the same token I happy for those who are.
What I don’t need is useless, posturing politicians lecturing me about things they are no more qualified to lecture me about as I am to lecture them.
The country is not coming together because of Easter or anything else. We are becoming a nasty little xenophobic inward-looking island, about to set ourselves adrift from mainland Europe, holding hands with an egotistical, unstable US president who we fear could lead the world to nuclear war (would you bet against it?). That’s a political choice, firstly by the electorate who voted to take us out of Europe and a prime minister, aided and abetted by the leader of the opposition, doing so in the most damaging way possible.
“This year, after a period of intense debate over the right future for our country, there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead.” No, there isn’t. That’s either a misunderstanding or an outright lie by the vicar’s daughter. If that’s the kind of christianity you want, don’t expect me to pray alongside you.