24 April 2014

About a week after David Cameron declared Britain a Christian country, the dust still doesn’t seem to have settled. Whilst some people have criticised his comments, there are some who have backed them, including the attorney general.

You’d think Cameron would be advised to stay away from the subject of religion! In my opinion, what he’s done is categorise people and I don’t see how you can do that unless everyone is unanimous. On this occasion, he’s actually gone a step further than normal and encouraged people to disagree with him before he’s even finished the sentence. Why? Because we’re all individuals these days – there’s no pressure to conform and we’ve got a diverse mix of beliefs. I think you can see that individuality in the way marketing has changed. A lot of it is very personalised now.

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Photo by Josie Gardner

It’s a brave man (you could argue whether ‘brave’ is the right word or not) who tries to paint everyone with one colour, especially when it comes to the subject of religion. Is it fair to suggest that what Cameron is doing is actually tapping into this particular group to get votes? If you think about it, voters are categorised into groups; conservatives, lib dems and so on, so if they’ve already made an allegiance, how do you hit the right note with them? Is this a strategy to get the Christian votes? If so, I don’t think it’s a very good one.

Personally, I think the best way to get votes is through collaboration and honesty – by sitting down with the opposition and actually sharing ideas. Not all of them will be great, but you can always take some on board.

Politicians seem to go the same way once they come into power. They talk about being ‘for’ the people and being inclusive, but they often seem to detach themselves and get involved in popularity contests with different groups. Is getting popularity in certain areas and taking a ‘sod the rest’ mentality the best way to run the country? I’d argue that it’s not, and I think a better way would be to make informed decisions by making better use of online polls. That way, you could canvas the opinions of the people and see immediately whether something was right or wrong, based on a fair decision making process?

What do you think? Should Cameron have steered clear of religion? Is he at risk of isolating people?

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