David Cameron told an audience last night that divine inspiration was at work when he came up with the concept of the Big Society. But would Jesus really have been a Cameroon?
David Cameron told an audience at Downing Street last night that divine inspiration was at work when he came up with the concept of the Big Society.
“Jesus invented the Big Society – I just want to see more of it,” the prime minister said.
This is not the first time the PM has aligned his social policy with that of Jesus Christ. However whether or not Cameron is indeed a latter-day Christ can be tested by comparing the prime minister’s policies to the Biblical sayings of Jesus.
1) “Sell all that you have and give to the poor” – Matthew 19:21
Cameron has been directly challenged on his adherence to this teaching before. He responded that this particular commandment was a “little bit more difficult” than some of the other Biblical teachings he enjoyed. He wasn’t wrong.
Cameron is personally worth around £4 million, and his cabinet’s collective worth surpasses £70 million. Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven: it is considerably easier still for a millionaire to pass through the door of 10 Downing Street.
2) “When you give a feast, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors… invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you” – Luke 14:12
Those who donate £50,000 or more a year to the Conservatives are invited to join the ‘Leader’s Group’, and gain access to private dinners with Cameron and other leading party figures. Since 2001, members of this group have donated over £41 million in return for a string of private audiences with Cameron.
3) “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…” – Matthew 25:31
The number of people using foodbanks trebled last year, with the result that over half a million people are now turning to these charities as they are unable to afford food themselves. Three quarters of people hit by the Bedroom Tax are being forced to cut down on their food bills.
4) “…I was sick and you took care of me…” – Matthew 25:36
A report last year revealed that some 20,000 nursing roles were left unfilled as part of austerity measures. In February, Channel Four Dispatches disclosed that over a billion pounds had been grabbed back from the NHS as part of a raft of ‘penalties’ when hospitals failed to meet targets Cameron falsely claimed he would abolish.
5) “…I was in prison and you visited me” – Matthew 25:36
Last year, Cameron said he felt “physically ill” at the idea of giving prisoners the right to vote. More recently, his government decided to severely curtail prisoners’ access to books, in a move decried by leading authors and humanitarians. Fortunately, the Bible is excluded from these restrictions, so prisoners can flick through the book Cameron has described as “not a bad handbook” for living.
6) “Love your neighbour as yourself” – Mark 12:31
Mark Wood was 44 years old at the time of his death. He was mentally ill, but found fit to work by ATOS. Stripped of his housing benefit, he slowly starved to death, unable to feed himself from the £40 weekly disability benefits which were all that remained to him. At the time of his death he weighed a little over five stone.
Cameron’s fatuous remarks are an insult to the memory of Mark Wood, an insult to the Christian faith and an insult to the poor of Britain.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.