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Church leaders must not mince words when cruel politicians ‘do God’

| by Tony Gosling

( April 21, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) For Jews, Easter is a time to remember the Exodus ‘Passover’ where the blood of a lamb on the door marked out Jewish families to be saved from the Angel of Death and signaled their release from Egyptian slavery.

For Christians, the Last Supper is the Passover meal before Jesus’ final sacrifice on the cross, the lamb of God whose blood is shed for all mankind.

Actor James Burke-Dunsmore carries the cross as he performs the role of Jesus in 'The Passion of Jesus' by the Wintershall Players on Good Friday to crowds in Trafalgar Square in central London on April 18, 2014. (AFP Photo)

But there we part company with the infinite because for David Cameron Easter is but a marketing opportunity, a forlorn attempt to prop up his collapsing credibility before next year’s general election.

Collected around the Prime Minister at a Downing Street ‘Easter Reception’ last week were the nation’s most eminent church leaders. Speaking of a roundly discredited policy of cutting community projects and expecting the same work to be done for free by hungry and destitute people, Cameron rubbed salt in the wounds: “Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago, I just want to see more of it.”

A lie that would shame the devil for a Prime Minister who has presided over such a catastrophic decline not just in spending on community centers and groups but in welfare for the sick, disabled, mentally ill, unemployed and otherwise needy. He wants those with nothing to submit to the law of the jungle.

Could all this possibly be ‘carrying on Jesus’ work? Perhaps wise political leaders don't ‘do God’ because voters of all faiths judge governments not by their words but by their deeds, or fruits, and on such a basis Cameron’s canker-ridden vine produces only lies, misery and war.

Figures on destitution this week reveal that almost one million three-day food parcels were distributed by what has become Britain’s fastest growing industry - food banks. Up three-fold in just a year, the food bank epidemic, which has grown more than 150 percent in a year, flies in the face of Jesus’ message. In fact, the Coalition government is viciously determined to take from those with nothing to give to their millionaire friends.

In the seventh richest country in the world, one quarter of all British children have to survive from day to day, below the official poverty line. While the Tory media look the other way, Cameron's government is literally tearing Britain apart. 21 percent of 18-25 year olds are unemployed with three quarters of a million of them, nearly half, telling The Prince's Trust they have 'nothing to live for.' Annually, 70,000 families on the bread line are ‘sanctioned,’ or forced to live on no money at all for around two months.

A homeless man sleeps on a park bench next to a bicycle with bags of his belongings in London (Reuters//Luke MacGregor)

Thuggish Bullingdon toffs with the cheek of the devil

The reality behind Tory establishment rule in Britain is as far from Christian as you’re likely to find. It has all the characteristics of a cult which despises talent in favor of personal friends and pliable puppets. At the heart of Tory Britain is an overgrown gang of thuggish teenage toffs, former members of Oxford’s Bullingdon Club who have been close personal friends since their school and University days. It was privilege rather than aptitude that turned them into politicians, hedge fund managers, feudal lords, university principles, leader writers and broadcasters.

Although most of the club photographs and membership rolls are secret, we know Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, Tory mayor of London Boris Johnson, heir to the Rothschild dynasty’s banking fortune Nathaniel Rothschild and Financial Times leader writer, Jonathan Ford, were all Bullingdon boys.

Historical giants too such as ‘pioneer’ of the British Empire in Africa, Cecil Rhodes were also ‘in the club.’ Few understand Rhodes’ seminal role in building modern international tensions as the 1909 founder of the Round Table groups. These spawned the New York based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and London’s Chatham House, which remain to this day the West’s richest, most dangerous, and influential defense industry foreign policy lobbying groups.

Oxford's Bullingdon club is known for its excessive drinking, drug taking, blood-letting and generally smashing up not just the crockery but venues where they assemble. In his day, Osborne would return to the venue a few days after one of their drinking parties, Bullingdon checkbook in hand, to pay for the damage. Back in the day George Osborne was known as ‘The Oik’ and was badly bullied. Now, the City of London private bankers just carry on with the thuggery, knowing the boy at the Treasury will be easy to push around.

The BBC’s weekly flagship discussion ‘Question Time’ rarely broaches the issue of Britain’s elite institutions being run by a wealthy privileged club, possibly because the programme’s long-time anchorman, David Dimbleby, is also a former Bullingdon Club member. London’s Tory mayor outed him in a March 2010 edition of the show. Boris Johnson points straight at the programme’s chairman shouting “Dimbleby, he’s a Bullingdon man,” to which an uncharacteristically sheepish Dimbleby replies “But I’m not running for office,” as if that lets him off the hook.

The best man at Osborne's wedding, Peter Davies, is on the management committee of investment brokers, Lansdowne Partners, who made £100 million from the 2008 crash. Davies’ firm was given privileged terms to buy vast quantities of shares in October 2013 on the privatization of Britain’s Royal Mail postal service. He cheated on what had been a 'gentleman's agreement' and his fund walked away with £36 million profit that day.

Far from being followers of Christ, the Bullingdon Club set are oddly reminiscent of Britain’s notorious eighteenth century ‘Hell Fire Club’. Here prostitutes were smuggled in to ‘service’ members of the aristocracy and government at the club’s secret cave complex under the parish church in Medmenham in Buckinghamshire. Like George Osborne, the Hell Fire Club’s leader, Sir Francis Dashwood, was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1762-3 but in less than a year he had made such a mess of the British economy he was ushered out of the job. Dashwood was moved to a surveillance job, as chief opener of the nation’s mail or ‘Postmaster General’, an office he took to and successfully held for over a decade from 1770-81.

These cult-like methods for selection of future leaders was lampooned brilliantly in the 1960s ITV spy series ‘The Avengers’, which in two 1966 episodes ‘A Sense of History’ and ‘A Touch Of Brimstone’ dug deep into the hidden world of the supposed ‘great and good’. This popular drama spearheaded the early days of commercial television and portrayed in eye-popping detail how a tiny debauched elite could hold the real power in the land from positions of invulnerability behind the scenes.

Britain’s pioneering 1960s writers pointed out, in a way that journalism and documentaries could never do, that many of the nations’ royalty, political and military leaders get a thrill from getting up to no good behind the public’s back. Those indiscretions act too as a leash that can be pulled tight if they step out of line in their public duties.

Without mentioning the schools by name ‘A Sense of History’ hints too at the narrowness of elite schooling through just three educational establishments: Gordonstoun, Eton and Harrow, all of which value fierce competitiveness and instill in impressionable young heads the unshakable conviction that they are born to rule.

'By their fruits shall you know them’

So as David Cameron shamelessly takes the Lord's name in vain this Easter, any Christian leader with backbone should be weighing into the government as Jesus did to the teachers, lawmakers and priests of his day as ‘liars and hypocrites.’ But the present head of the Church of England, former oil executive Archbishop Justin Welby, is the perfect establishment choice as he is hardly likely to tear into his ex-colleagues in an energy industry that has governments hooked, took the lead in smashing workers’ rights in the Western world and is devastating the planet to boot.

While the homeless are sleeping on the pews, Giles Fraser, the St Paul’s cathedral canon, a priest of the Church of England and a journalist, so supportive of the Occupy London camp on the cathedral steps in October 2011, even stooped to the headline, ‘Bless you Dave for doing God’ this week. He mentions nothing of the gratuitous poor-bashing havoc his government is wreaking across the land. The church's failure to weigh into Cameron is a double blow to its integrity. Not only does Cameron thieve Christ's good name to add to his party coffers, but his glorification of greed and shameless denial of the facts of poverty contaminates the church.

Fascists who use Christianity as a cover for their crimes

History is littered with examples of old-fashioned tyrants and more modern fascists who trumpeted a supposed Christian faith by ‘doing God’ in the run-up to a civil war or other bloody power struggle. The whites, or Falange nationalists, in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War for example, professed the Catholic faith but were fighting to maintain strict class divisions. These fascists wanted to maintain a system of cheap labor which had been depriving ordinary people of a decent life, forcing them into the dark satanic mills, the factories of the property-owning moneyed class.

Bob Dylan said, "Sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace." Never mind his war on the destitute at home, Cameron’s greatest crime of hypocrisy in professing ‘Christian faith’ is his material & intelligence support for the very armed Islamists in Libya and Syria he is supposed to be jailing at home as terrorists. More recently too he has backed neo-Nazi and openly Nazi factions in Ukraine that took over the Kiev parliament at the point of a gun.

I wonder if the Prime Minister can remember the Messiah's rebuke when St. Peter drew his sword to defend his master against arrest that first Easter? No, Mr. Cameron. He didn't say 'Who dares wins'. Jesus said, “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword.” So come on Dave, which side are you really on?

About Writer: Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist.

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