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Moral Mission: Improbable

The scales have been lifted from mine eyes!

(Slaps forehead) Oh I see!

The scales have been lifted from mine eyes!

How stupid we have all been!

Here was I thinking the Tory agenda was to kill off as many poor people as possible as cheaply as possible and all along they have been doing it for our own spiritual and moral good.

Truly, a prophet is without honour in his own land and Cameron should in fact be heralded as a latter-day Moses leading us from the wilderness while fortifying our souls in the process.

Gawd bless 'im. Where did I put that hair shirt? Oh, they've already taken it off my back? You see it's that kind of selfless, caring consideration that has been the hallmark of this coalition.

Cameron infamously said that God would judge him. Well, he might not have thought it would happen quite so soon, but that's what happened this week.

Actually it was the Archbishop of Westminster, but let's not split metaphysical hairs.

Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric adjusted his mitre, rolled up his robes and waded into the welfare debate, accusing the Coalition of leaving increasing numbers of people facing "hunger and destitution."

Cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols said that while the need to reduce spending on benefits is widely accepted, the government's reforms have now destroyed even the "basic safety net."

The Archbish said the welfare system had also become increasingly "punitive," often leaving people with nothing for days on end if they fail even to fill a form in correctly.

This, he concluded, was a downright "disgrace" in a country as rich as Britain.

Nichols is the latest in a line of senior religious figures including the Archbishop of Canterbury to speak out in opposition to the government's draconian welfare cuts.

To give Cameron his due it's not everyone who can get the CofE and the Catholic Church singing from the same hymn sheet.

It's also highly unusual for either church to pay much attention about what goes on on this mortal coil although they do know a thing or two about milking the poor dry.

Cameron, quelle surprise, rejected the Archbish's assessment claiming he is giving unemployed Britons "new hope and responsibility" by cutting their benefit payments.

Has anyone else noticed that it's all about "responsibility" with this shower until they cock something up, then it's someone else's fault?

He also pompously went on to claim that his welfare reforms are part of a "moral mission" for the country.

Yeah, well, so were the crusades allegedly and look how well that worked out.

Writing in the Torygraph Cameron issued a rebuttal which was the diplomatic equivalent of saying "wind your neck in."

Mr Cameron argues that the Archbishop of Westminster's criticism is "simply not true" which, coming from a Tory, is something of a risky gambit.

He noted that the minister responsible (that word again...) Iain Duncan Smith was himself a practising Catholic.

So was Torquemada.

The reforms were about "doing what is right" and not simply "making the numbers add up."

Well that's fortunate because he hasn't managed to get them to add up yet...


Someone who did get the figures to balance this week was BAE systems.

Yes those cuddly merchants of death finally finished haggling over the finer points of a contract to flog £4.5 billion worth of fighter jets to the despotic Saudi regime.

The "Salam" deal was inked seven years ago but BAE said on Wednesday that it had agreed "price escalation terms" to the original agreement which had included a provision for the deal to "be at 2005 economic conditions."

Chief executive Ian King said: "This is an equitable outcome for all parties, I am pleased that we have been able to conclude this negotiation which builds on our long-standing relationship with this much valued customer."

Curiously the announcement came in the same week as the heir apparent bonehead Prince Charlie happened to be paying a visit to Saudi.

What a remarkable coincidence...

Even more coincidentally Clarence House announced yesterday that the prince's Middle East jaunt was to be extended with visits to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Now what would he be doing there I wonder...

All three regimes regularly feature prominently on both human rights abuse tables and British arms firms' frequent buyers lists.

Which I think we can all agree gives us a fair idea about the kind of "moral mission" Cameron and his cronies are on, and who they regard as "valued customers."


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