It was with a rejuvenating sense of optimism and relief that I listened to Theresa May’s Easter message this morning, an address that was not only inspiring and uplifting, but also educational.
You see, up until this point, I had wrongly assumed that we were a nation divided. On one side, I saw a group of people who were deeply concerned about the social and economic impacts of the electorate’s short-sighted and ideologically-driven decision to tear us away from the organisation that has provided peace and stability since the end of the second world war; on the other, those who wished the bitter Remoaners would just get over the fact that they lost and shut up whinging about it. Imagine how comforting it was, therefore, to hear that I was labouring under the weightiest of misapprehensions.
According to Mrs May, ‘there is a sense that the people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead’. She fails to describe exactly what these opportunities are, but in her defence, she has only had around ten months since she decided that Brexit wasn’t a terrible idea after all to think of something. If I had to guess though, I’d say they were closely related to passport colour and inefficient lightbulb usage. Either way, it’s reassuring to know that I’d imagined the bitter divide on the issue of Brexit, and that all the silly Scottish independence nonsense was probably just an artefact of a dodgy scone served in the kind of quaint little tea room that will adorn every street corner right after we’re free of all the destructive EU meddling.
Mrs May goes on to describe how she is a vicar’s daughter. Learning this was, in itself, a massive relief because up until this morning, we literally knew nothing about her childhood due to her persistent failure to say ‘I am a vicar’s daughter’ fourteen times a week since she took office. It’s good that she has finally filled in the blanks in this regard. She continues by telling us that her upbringing instilled in her the ‘Christian values’ of ‘compassion, community, citizenship’. It is presumably this sense of compassion that informed her decision to introduce welfare cuts that, according to the IFS, will push nearly a million more children into poverty. Because, if there’s one thing we know from The Bible, it’s that Jesus hated nothing more than children having enough to eat.
The greatest sense of relief that I derived from Mrs May’s speech, however, came with the knowledge that the real victims in our society, the downtrodden members of our Christian community, will no longer have to cower in fear at the very thought of practicing their faith openly. After the shameful events of last week when Cadbury and the National Trust tried to ‘airbrush faith out of Easter’ by only including the word ‘Easter’ in massive letters on their advertising material several times, it was fortifying to know that the Prime Minister has drawn a line in the sand. Up until now, Christians in our country have faced an arduous uphill journey to make their voices heard by only having 26 of their unelected bishops in the House of Lords and having to cope with the obvious disadvantage of only one third of schools in the entire country being faith schools. Imagine how much more successful their fight against women’s reproductive rights and LGBT equality would have been without these inequitable encumbrances.
So thank you, Mrs May, for taking the time to address some of my laughable misconceptions about the state of our country, and for your advocacy on one of the most pressing issues of our time. I’m sure the poor, the disabled, the disadvantaged, the mentally ill and the socially excluded will rest just a little easier this Easter knowing that you chose this time to speak out on behalf of one of the most privileged groups in this, or any other, society.