As the Easter weekend draws to a close, and we try and get over the fact that we've eaten so much chocolate that if we died tomorrow and had a post-mortem they'd only be able to identify us as 'some form of dairy product', we might be tempted to ruminate on the more religious aspects of the holiday. Yet this year, instead of heartfelt messages about how Jesus loves us, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, decided to give a speech on how we should avoid "pinning our hopes on individuals" in order to solve all our problems.
This was, by all accounts, a bit of a downer. Everyone expected the new Archbishop to be fresh and hip, presumably rollerblading into the Cathedral giving out Groupons to Nando's after Sunday Mass. It also seemed a bit of a cop out. He's effectively saying that we shouldn't expect him to do too good a job, and just prepare ourselves for an unashamed jamboree of pointy-hatted mediocrity as far as his run as Bishop is concerned.
It could be seen as awfully clever, like when you do really badly at the start of term so that when you finally put in some effort for the exams teachers praise you more than the kids who actually tried every day like idiots. By playing down expectations, Justin may in fact be preparing us for the most awesome phase in the Church of England ever. He might just be the best Archbishop in the history of the world, and we should put all our faith in him to solve all of our problems!
So, since I have just inadvertently come full circle, I can't help but also wonder if he was right about our inclination to create 'heroes' in general. For instance, as he argues, do we put too much faith in our politicians?
The juiciest news of the last week or so has been that good old Boris Johnson got bashed about a bit on the BBC, and had to try and charm and generally 'Hugh Grant in every film ever' his way around tricky questions about past sackings, affairs, and one time where he gave details of a journalist over to someone who might have been planning to beat them up, like a fixer for the mob, but with H from Steps' hair.
In the end, Boris ended up forgiving the interviewer/Rottweiler who'd relentlessly fired the questions at him, and had a nice documentary shown about him on the telly, allowing us to once again fall back into the cosiness of 'oh isn't he so endearingly befuddled oh yes he is, give him mayor or something', which we all seem to enjoy so much.
It was a bit of shock for everyone really, as we were reminded that Boris is capable of doing the same things that every politician does: lie, cheat, steal, embezzle and philander, 24/7. Surely the advice for anyone considering a career in politics should be: be boring. Be so ridiculously boring that people are surprised that you do human things like eat or sleep since you must be some sort of android sent from the future to carry out bureaucratic tasks, because if you have an affair, or divert a few funds to come of your friend's businesses, you will always, always get found out.
Clearly we do put too much faith in our politicians as every time a story breaks about one employing a couple of their relatives or something we all go bonkers and say they're corrupt and awful and shouldn't be in those positions in the first place.
Yet it's because they are in those positions in the first place that they commit all the indiscretions. Politicians often have to make the most insanely responsible decisions that usually have no positive outcome either way. The biggest decision most normal people have to make day to day is whether or not to use Flora or Butter on their Hovis best-of-both.
If I were a politician I'd probably be fiddling accounts and co-workers left right and centre due to all the pressure. If anyone asked me I'd say 'Excuse me, I had to start A WAR today, so if you don't mind I'm going to go and dosh a few secretaries thank you very much.'.
A quick bit of embezzlement would probably take the edge off having to decide whether or not swathes of the country deserve benefits or not, knowing that whatever you do, millions will end up unhappy and then end up calling you a d*ck on Twitter.
After all, anyone in power is only human. Perhaps His Grace Mr. Welby's speech wasn't so far off. Let's hope he's got a few more wise words (and perhaps one of those Nando's vouchers) to come.
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