God Bless Britain
American politicians constantly go around stating how religious they are, ending their speeches with 'God bless America'.
For them religion is a badge of honour.
And even in this country, Muslim or Sikh politicians will, more often than not, wear their faith on their sleeves and justify their rather shallow ideas about politics and morality. And that's partly because, for many of them their support base is usually the congregations in their communities. They have to toe their religious/party line.
During the Blair years Alistair Campbell famously stated that 'we don't do God', implying that religious discourse in politics is something that politicians should steer clear of.
And perhaps that's not a bad thing since in Britain whenever politicians bring God into their discussion regarding government policies, they invariably end-up looking rather sheepish and a little muddled in their reasoning.
The thing is that God and devotion to God is something that doesn't translate all that well in British public arena.
So I don't vote for any politician who goes around using religious rhetoric to justify his/her moral, ethical or political stance.
In a week that saw the death of one of my favourite critics of religion, Christopher Hitchens, I think politics should remain a religious-free zone. I don't want the great and the good telling me how the world is by quoting an ancient text that advocates intolerance, cruelty, subjugation and violence - irrespective of whatever religious persuasion that text happens to be.
For example Blair was fine until he became a Catholic and started giving interviews about his relationship with God. Then he started sounding like an evangelical minister and, quite frankly, a bit of a crack-pot.
This week Cameron came out by stating that this is essentially a Christian country and made a tenuous correlation between morality and lack of Christian identity. I can't help thinking that blaming the 'moral collapse' in our society on secularists or the fact that there isn't much Christianity about, seems rather reactionary and a tad disingenuous. With so many Catholic schools, Church of England schools, churches, cathedrals, bishops, priests, Archbishops about - where a large section of the population regards itself as broadly Christian - the remark seems rather incongruous with reality.
The thing is that when Cameron talks about the moral collapse in our country, he's really pointing his finger at the people on the fringes of society 'the have-nots' whether they be homeless, jobless, people on benefits, students, immigrants, minority groups, youths, trade unionists, striking workers, the angry youngsters who rioted and so on. These are the easy targets.
But he wasn't referring to his chums in the City who have dodged taxes for decades and who have lost trillions of pounds - and have by their actions brought the country to its knees - ex-pat who have avoided paying taxes, politicians who've cheated the system by fraudulently claiming expenses, bought themselves houses/flats and others of similar elk. Now what about the distict absence of morality and ethics in these groups?
So I wonder whether Cameron is being advised by the very people who persuaded him last week to vote against Euro. Together with his latest comment about Christianity, this will - unless he can navigate himself out of it - spiral his descent into isolation and, eventually, oblivion.