As we approach the Easter weekend and the most significant time in the Christian calendar, my thoughts have been divided between David Cameron proclaiming to all his Christian faith and the matter of Scots Independence.
It is a strange old mix I grant you, but let me explain why these two seemingly diverse subjects are related.
When David Cameron addressed church leaders in England in his Easter address proclaiming “Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago; I just want to see more of it,” I very nearly spilled my Laphroig over my shortbread. What on earth was he blethering on about? Comparing himself to Christ, and setting on an evangelical path which mirrored the likes of those Christian warmongers Bush and Blair? In what way could he possibly claim the upper moral ground with his governments policies?
In fact what would Christ make of being associated with such policies as the bedroom tax, sanctions against the unemployed, the treatment of the disabled, the gradual privatisation of the NHS, the benefits for bankers and the rich at the expense of the poor, the need for foodbanks, the massive increase in child poverty in the UK?
I think Jesus Christ would be outraged, he fed the multitude, not ran them into poverty.He healed the sick at no cost, he provided for the lame without need for a medical assessment to prove they were indeed disabled. He castigated the rich for putting monetary gain first, saying that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man enter the kingdom of heaven. He would not have thanked the government for causing more child poverty through their policies, saying suffer little children to come unto me.Lastly he would not have pandered to the bankers and Wonga, as he threw the money lenders out of the temple courtyard.
In no way can Cameron seriously compare his policies to that of Christ!
All of these government policies, many already previously set up by Labour whilst in government are seen as an absolute anathema to the Scottish electorate,and are by in large playing a huge part in the growth of the call for Independence. As the poll tax did for the Tory party in Scotland during Camerons heroine Margaret Thatchers premiership, so too these policies are at the root of many of the calls within the Independence movement.
So while Cameron may have been playing to an audience of Church of England leaders, he was also unwittingly speaking to a Scottish audience too. He also reminded some Scots of the differences which have long been in place within the Scottish system to that in England and Westminster.
Much like Law,the Scottish NHS,and Education,the Church in Scotland is entirely separate from State and Westminster, whilst Camerons audience of Church of England Bishops sit in the House of Lords and are very much part of the ruling political collective.
While the UK as a whole is increasingly a diverse and multicultural secular society,such ignorance of Christianity whilst claiming authority and indeed discipleship of Christ will not have gone unnoticed with a still significant Scottish church audience,and indeed those who are not religious at all but still claim some sort of identity with religion.
In his effort to claim the moral higher ground Cameron also offends those who have no truck with religion in Scotland, as many Scots of faith or of none do not like being preached to by anyone, whether it be politically or otherwise.
My mother always told me never to mix religion with politics, and she was right. By following down the Christian evangelical fundamentalist path set by Bush and Blair in order to attempt to appease Church leaders complaints, Cameron has unwittingly walked into a minefield which amplifies Scots complaints, through his ignorance and lack of thought for the Scottish audience.
Whilst Cameron may have been playing Jesus Christ, he was more akin to the Easter Bunny or the Mad March Hare.
If his and by extension the Better Together campaign’s intention is to alienate each sector of Scottish society in turn, then they are doing a grand job, and may ultimately be more responsible for bringing about Scottish Independence than the YES campaign itself.
Christ rose on Easter Sunday, but it should not be forgotten that he was crucified on Good Friday. If Camerons example of how he interprets Christianity is followed, he may well have already crucified himself, only for an Independent Scotland to Rise on September the 19th, and that too would be a Good Friday of a different kind.