Again and again in the past few years, more and more politicians have been joining church leaders in popping up to declare that Britain is a Christian country, that we ought to be proud of this fact, and that we ought to proclaim and promote it.
Religion tends to remain in the background of British politics, and until recently David Cameron was no exception. There was a time, back in 2008, when Cameron compared his religious faith to 'the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes.'
To claim an increase in minimum wage will not cause employment consequences is to ignore the prevalence of technology within low-skilled jobs. As the Centre of Policy Studies quite rightly points out, increasing minimum wage is "essentially a tax on those who hire unskilled labour".
When the House of Commons voted to reject military action to protect the citizens of Syria from tyranny - both political and religious - MPs plunged this country, and the world, into the terrifying situation that exists in the region today. Non-intervention has cost Britain and NATO respect on the international stage...
Interesting, around this time, David Cameron sought to come out as being an "evangelical Christian", and criticising those who did not share his beliefs. While the last census in 2011 showed that just over 59% of the population in the UK self-identify as being of a Christian faith, it did lead me, as a lapsed Catholic, to ask: What exactly does he mean?
The worst thing about it is that Michael Gove has the potential to be a truly excellent minister. He is an intelligent man, who genuinely cares about his department and education in general. I can see no reason to indicate that he is motivated by anything other than the best of intentions.
I do hope this piece of right wing vitriol sits squarely with the delightful Christian values of Cameron's Christ-like aspirations. Oh, and Happy Easter... One suspects that we should all be grateful that the benevolent Government and right-wing press have had a day off from victimising the poor... Oh, wait...
There's no monopoly on victimhood and no fixed pattern to religious discrimination and violence. Despite what David Cameron says, Christians aren't unique in being persecuted, and nor are they always unblemished when it comes to dishing out the persecution.
I realise that that seems like an especially surprising statement given that the deficit has come down by a third, our balance of trade is improving, there are more people in work than ever before, unemployment and youth unemployment is coming down, and growth rates have surpassed expectations and are predicted - by the IMF amongst others - to continue to do so.
A weeks ago, the Huffington Post ran an article making a lot of assertions about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a deal currently being negotiated between the US and the EU that could boost both economies significantly. As a member of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee, I have been observing the negotiations firsthand for the past year or so, and would like to respond to the many alarmist points made that do not reflect reality.
Maybe the Conservatives have realised that the riches offered through Jesus' love and compassion are the only viable option left open to them in seeking to fill the gap left as a result of their benefit cuts. Maybe Britain under the Conservatives will become a Christian country again...maybe I was wrong !
The Prime Minister has chosen Lanzarote for his holiday break - how very wise of him. Despite its "lanzagrotty" associations, this Canary Island is perfect for families and has loads to do.
David Cameron said when he came to power he wanted to improve people's happiness - that government policy was to be more focused on those things that make life worthwhile. To this end, the Cabinet Office has recently revealed which jobs in the UK give us the most satisfaction. Top of the list, of 274 job titles, is vicar; bottom of the list, is pub landlord. It is perhaps a surprise that these two jobs should be at opposite ends of the table given that they share many similarities: they both have dwindling regulars, both dish out wine and nibbles and if you spend a long time in either's establishment, you can think imaginary people are talking to you.
It's time politicians of all parties commit to being accurate and respectful when talking about benefits and those supported by them. It's vital they do more to understand the real lives and challenges people face by refusing to promote harmful stereotypes.
I have a very simple message for MPs after the events of the past few days: if you want to be respected, behave respectably. If you don't want us to have contempt for you, don't behave contemptibly. I mean, how difficult is it to behave like decent, law-abiding human beings? No cheating, no lying, no stealing from taxpayers... Too few MPs, it seems, have bothered to remember the old adage: Be nice to people on your way up, because you'll need them on your way down.
owever powerful the pressure to conform, to take the cheque and keep quiet, there will always be those who, moved by injustice, will speak out. But it counts for little, unless we all speak out together.