God Save Us From Compassionate Conservatives

I was interested to read recently that Iain Duncan Smith professes himself to be a Christian. Well, based on my understanding of the faith, I don’t see much evidence of it. Perhaps it’s the same sort of Christianity as espoused by Thatcher: the Good Samaritan was only remembered because he was rich.

I imagine he also regards himself as a compassionate Conservative. I’ve always regarded this as a complete oxymoron. Is it compassionate to allow the ultra rich to get even richer, while the incomes of most people stagnate or even contract? Is it compassionate to allow the emergence – for the first time in decades – of a generation that is poorer than its parents? Is it compassionate to demonise large sections of society – the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, immigrants and to promote policies that further impoverish them? Is it compassionate to treat anyone unfortunate enough to have to claim benefits as a work-shy scrounger? Is it compassionate to blame the less well off for their own poverty? The list is endless.

I don’t know which brand of Christianity Mr Duncan Smith follows, but it certainly isn’t one I want anything to do with. That he can so describe himself, without apparent irony, shows just how wide is the disconnect between politicians and the lives most of us lead. They seem to have little or no experience or understanding of “the real world”, the one most of us have to live in. This lack of experience alone should be enough to disqualify them from ever standing for office, let alone wielding power. And as for “compassionate Conservatives”, it would be funny were it not so tragic. How dare these people presume to think they can represent us?

But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:17


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