Thursday, 17 April 2014

Damascene Ad Absurdum

The Prime Minister is a sweaty man who reeks of advertising. His one discernible quality is that he never seems quite comfortable in any situation he finds himself in. Suits don't fit him. Casual clothing looks ridiculous. His holiday pictures all look forced and unnatural. He is a scarcely credible leadership figure. The ghost of a moustache on his lip makes him look like nothing so much as a provincial bank manager, always worrying that someone will find out about the petty cash. His greatest fear is that he has gone through life assuming that he is the perfect man for the job he now occupies, but that the reverse is true. The reverse is true; he now simply hopes that nobody notices.

The Prime Minister wants to talk to you about Religion.

He wants to come across as sincere - sharing his faith, in a friendly, honest manner with you - but this is a problem for the Prime Minister. He cannot be sincere. He cannot even fake sincerity, like some of his predecessors. The Prime Minister's version of "sincere" consists of fixing you with an unsettling stare while lowering his head, like a charging bull, and hectoring you. He reduces himself to a shiny, sweat-slick forehead and shaking jowls. There is no invention in the words, no craft to what he does.

The Prime Minister always comes across as a crap advertising man, which is what he is.

He wants to talk to you about Religion because the man he is most afraid of in politics has been talking about Religion also. The man the Prime Minister is most afraid of went so far as to use the term "Judeo-Christian heritage", which is as sure a mark as exists that the opinion thus expressed may be safely ignored, for the speaker knows not the fuck of which he speaks. But the Prime Minister is concerned. He fears that the man he fears most has opened a Religion gap, and that members of his own party will continue to desert him if he doesn't close the distance.

So the Prime Minister talks about Religion. There are problems with this. As already noted, the Prime Minister cannot be sincere. His timing is all wrong. His delivery is poor. The message is muddled. Worst of all, in this case, the Prime Minister isn't very religious, and this is obvious. And having never before made an issue of his alleged faith - having serially played it down, even - he now looks like an opportunist, forever tugged around by whatever the zeitgeist seems to be that day - which is exactly what he is, and what he does. The reason he fears the man he fears most in politics so much is that the man he fears, despite exercising no real power and little direct political influence, is actually good at this game. The man he fears is good at politics, although his policies and positions are self-contradictory, idiotic and spiteful. He is forever stealing a march on the Prime Minister, dragging him around in his wake. He does this to make the Prime Minister look like a weak, silly nonentity, which he is.

The Prime Minister will keep talking about Religion until the man he fears most in politics decides that this has been jolly good fun, but that he'd like to make the Prime Minister twist in another direction, and go charging off after another talking point.

The Prime Minister will continue to tie himself in knots. Sweating, leering.

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