Is the Coalition government 80,000 times worse than Herod?


You may have noticed that yesterday was Christmas – the day when Christians throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus, whose teachings in later life form the basis of their faith.

Jesus was born into a world of politics and political machinations – the Roman world was much the same as our own in this respect – and had an effect on it, right from his birth.

According to one of the Gospels, when King Herod learned that a child had been born who had been named ‘King of the Jews’, he sent spies to find out who this possible usurper was; failing in this attempt, he gave orders for the death of all boys aged two or less in Bethlehem and nearby.

Joseph (husband of Mary, Jesus’ mother) was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so the family fled to Egypt until after the King’s death – then moved to Nazareth in Galilee to avoid living under Herod’s son Archelaus (the Romans had divided the kingdom into three, and Nazareth was ruled by another of Herod’s sons, Herod Antipas).

Regarding the Massacre of the Innocents, doubt has been cast on whether the event ever took place. No other account of the period makes reference to it. Some have said that this may be because the number of male children of the right age might have been less than 20.

Since the point of this article is to compare what happened then with current events, here in Britain, it seems best to bookmark the disputed event; we’ll come back to it if we must.

The part we are told under no uncertain terms is that Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt until Herod’s rule was over. In modern terms, they were made homeless because of political persecution that was so extreme, they had to flee the country.

The situation in the UK today, as stated by Shelter, is no less than 80,000 times as bad.

The charity told us (in November): “Government figures show that 80,000 children in Britain will be homeless this Christmas.”

Vox Political said then that government policies had caused the dramatic rise: “The bedroom tax; the ‘Pickles Poll Tax’, otherwise known as the Council Tax reduction scheme; the benefit cap that so many people in this country seem to support without understanding any of its implications.” This blog had warned that this would happen, as long ago as January.

In contrast with the Bible story, in which the family fled to safety, most homeless families interviewed by Shelter said they felt more unsafe, witnessing violence, sexual offences, drug use and dealing.

This is more than 2,000 years after the Biblical incident; civilisation is supposed to have improved over that time. Why are we allowing our government to do this to our children on such a massively more widespread scale?

Perhaps we can take some small comfort from Herod’s fate. Modern medicine suggests he had chronic kidney failure, complicated by Fourier’s gangrene – but let us see how it was described at the time. The historian Josephus – in Antiquities, Book 17, Chapter 6, Verse 5 – describes the disease that killed him shortly after he set out to murder Jesus: “a fire glowed in him slowly, which did not so much appear to the touch outwardly, as it augmented his pains inwardly; for it brought upon him a vehement appetite to eating, which he could not avoid to supply with one sort of food or other. His entrails were also ex-ulcerated, and the chief violence of his pain lay on his colon; an aqueous and transparent liquor also had settled itself about his feet, and a like matter afflicted him at the bottom of his belly. Nay, further, his privy-member was putrefied, and produced worms; and when he sat upright, he had a difficulty of breathing, which was very loathsome, on account of the stench of his breath, and the quickness of its returns; he had also convulsions in all parts of his body, which increased his strength to an insufferable degree. It was said by those who pretended to divine, and who were endued with wisdom to foretell such things, that God inflicted this punishment on the king on account of his great impiety.”

Eric Pickles, Iain Duncan Smith, and above all David Cameron, beware.

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12 thoughts on “Is the Coalition government 80,000 times worse than Herod?

  1. Pingback: Is the Coalition government 80,000 times worse ...

  2. jeffrey davies

    silent night just like jr wellby our very own oil baron who lets them silently kill through sanctions starvation and the cold yet our bishops rants about Christians outside our fair lands doesn’t he now that his government is killing his off or his hesupping with old nick forgotten his vows left his staff in that corner with the cob webs jeff3

  3. bob archer

    nice one jeff. who in the public eye has the strength and nerve to publicly shout to the heavens so all and sundry across the planet will be aware of the evil these yobs are visiting on the people of our country,laughing as they die due to their satanic policies. a plague on all of them,and their parents and offspring,and may all conservatives and lib liars suffer a withering of their reproductive organs so that we never see their like again.

  4. Elle j morgan

    Brilliantly written, I’ve had this awful feeling (or not that awful depending who you are) that IDS indeed does have ‘bad breath’ and the conclusion is on it’s way if you get what I mean.

    We all know that greed doesn’t make you a better person. I can imagine the day now, after all we all remember Maggie not so long ago..
    Shouldn’t that be lesson enough for them, on her own in a hotel..

  5. Colin M. Taylor

    I was listening to ‘More or Less’ on Radio 4 last Friday/It would seem, from the way that the statistics are gathered that 80,000 is a MINIMUM estimate.The true figure is probably MUCH higher

  6. resistor

    Whilst I found your comment regarding the fate of certain politicians to be highly amusing and whitty, I must say that I find the analogy as a whole a pretty poor one. I am appalled that there are 18,000 homeless children in the UK. However claiming that this is 18,000 greater than a distant place 2000 years ago or that they face worse persecution is not true and doesn’t advance their cause. Jesus was forced to flee the country due to government persecution and was therefore a refugee. Not one person has been forced to flee the UK as a refugee. Furthermore I suspect that even the homelessness problem in Judea 2000 years ago was a hell of a lot worse than it is now in the UK seeing as there would have been absolutely no welfare state or any other major type of poor relief whatsoever.

    1. Mike Sivier

      The comparison was intended to get people thinking, and if that has happened, then the article worked. As for your criticisms: There was also a much lower population and a consequently higher chance of finding gainful employment (or at least making a living). While I take your point about Jesus being a refugee, he was only in that position because political persecution had made him homeless. And it’s 80,000 homeless children in the UK (a Conservative estimate, from what another commenter has said) – not 18,000.

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