This week David Cameron decided to feign religiosity, presumably in a thinly veiled attempt to win back votes from the disgruntled tory right who disagreed with his stance on gay marriage. And in reality it might work.
Die hard tories have long interpreted their exploitative abuse of the weak as having a biblical mandate. For everyone else though, it’s a transparent sham. Even the Church of England, long recognised as a congregation of ‘Conservatives at prayer’, has taken to denouncing Cameron’s callousness from the pulpit.
Although no longer a believer myself I can well imagine how I’d have felt listening to the Prime Minister’s bastardisation of Christian values when I was. So I can sympathise with the vociferousness of the faithful currently outpouring their disgust across various social media platforms.
In memory of my former Christian days I began to wonder just what Christianity would have to look like for Cameron’s claims about it to be true. So here’s my attempt to rewrite the beatitudes (for many believers this chapter in the book of Matthew effectively summarizes modern Christian values). I’ve taken as my starting point the idea that the ConDem government’s policies are biblical in origin and ‘reverse engineered’ the relevant passage from there. Enjoy…..
From the book of Cameron
New Conservative Version (NCV)
1 Now when David saw the plebs, he went up on a podium and preened himself.
2 His cronies came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:
3 “Blessed are the mean in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of tax haven.
4 Blessed are those who exploit, for they will be privileged.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the zero hours contract.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they will have their benefits removed.
7 Blessed are the unmerciful, for they will profit from the sickness, misery and desperation of others.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see poverty.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will protect me from getting what I deserve.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of disability, for theirs is the kingdom of the cardboard city.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of my government’s lies. For you will know discrimination and humiliation.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (& let’s face it, you’ve got bugger all prospects on earth) for in the same way that we privileged few persecuted the minorities who were before you, so will we also starve you to death.
13 You are the scum of the earth. But if the scum loses its usefulness, how can it be made useful again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 You are the plebs of the world. A North Eastern town full of oiks cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house (except the undeserving poor, of course)
16 In the same way, let your lights be extinguished before others, that they may see your poverty and fear your Master in Westminster.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish exploitation or the banks; I have not come to abolish them but to fill their coffers. For the bankers are my brethren, yea even unto the generations.
18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the financiers book of dirty tricks until everything is accomplished.
19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of Britain. But whoever practices and teaches these exploitative commands will be called great in the kingdom of Britain.
20 For I tell you that unless your greed surpasses that of the Pharisees and the expenses claimants of my government, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of Conservatism.
21 You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not riot, and anyone who riots will be subject to disproportionately harsh judgment.’
22 But I tell you that anyone who so much as grumbles about my government’s exploitation will be subject to judgment under the new gagging law. Again, anyone who protests about a DWP decision is liable to extended sanction and penury. And anyone who says, ‘Thou hypocrite!’ will be in danger of receiving an even more hypocritical sermon from Nick (the power hungry whore of Babylon) Clegg.
23 Therefore, if you are offering your gift of unpaid labour at the altar of workfare and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,
24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 Settle matters quickly with your Workfare slavemaster who is taking you to task. Do it while you are still at your labours or your adversary may hand you over to the DWP and you may be thrown into penury.
26 Greedily I say unto you, you will not be paid again until you have forefeit the last penny. Remember, it is easier for a rich (Reich) man to profit from healthcare than it is for a poor disabled schmuck to stick a needle in the eye of a camel.
27 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor.’
28 But I tell you, ‘love your betters’ and persecute all those that the government chooses to scapegoat.
29 That you may be children of your Father in Westminster who causes his sun to rise on the evil and the exploitative, and sends ATOS and misery to the righteous.
30 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the socialists doing that?
31 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even the Lib Dem turncoats do that?
32 Be perfect, therefore, as your Westminster master is perfect and labour unto death in the name of Tory privilege.
Even the Anglicans are beginning to reject modern Conservatism and neoliberalism. And with ConDem doctrine like this, who can blame them?
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