Bruce Bisset: Conservatives feeling the heat

By Bruce Bisset

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Conservative Party leader Colin Craig does not believe in climate change. Photo / APN
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig does not believe in climate change. Photo / APN

It must be darned hard to be a conservative these days, considering the quality and status of the opposition and the way facts keep inconveniently undermining rigidly held belief.

Take Colin Craig. (Please. anyone.) I'm sure half the reason he thinks human-induced climate change is a myth is because he's seen over the edge of the flat Earth he inhabits, and it's a long and frightening drop.

So you'd think he'd be content to stay home anddrum his particular brand of pseudo-Christian nonsense into his children.

Instead, despite all evidence and reason being against him, he's determined to martyr himself in the eye of the political storm. That takes a certain courage - or perhaps a certain stupidity.

Plus lashings of that arch-conservative bulwark, money.

But that's getting harder to hide behind, too. No lesser figure than the Pope, Francis, has been repeatedly lambasting the sins of greed and covetousness for months now, and not mincing his words either.

"We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose."

Of course it's a bit rich for Catholicism to pretend to abhor money, but I have to admit this Pope is well on the way to proving the real message of Jesus - who was, after all, a socialist - is alive and living through him. Which goes some way to redeeming the office, if not the church.

But it's anathema to the so-called fundamentalists, of whom the members of the US Republican Party are arguably the most rabid. Congressman Paul Ryan downplayed the Pope's comments by calling him "a guy from Argentina" where "they haven't had real capitalism".

This is the message Republican Catholics are pushing: Francis is in error, because a true free enterprise system - like the US, they flaunt - does not mistreat the poor. Ha bloody ha.

In the old days, whole countries were excommunicated for expressing anti-papist sentiment. But Francis need not bother; Americans embraced Mammon some time back, so are already well down the road to damnation.

As, I'm sure, is Ariel Sharon. A founder and warrior-commander of modern Israel, General Sharon was instrumental in making sure the spectre of the Holocaust never dies by empowering the oppressed to mimic their former oppressors.

Yet all the conservatives wept and moaned at his passing, as if there really were something holy about a slice of desert complete with a dead sea and Sharon and his ilk should be praised for stealing it.

I've never got that. Surely the whole Earth is holy, not just one piece? But that view would get in the way of pillage, and the manufacture of coin, which would never do; it would take away any excuse these blind mockers have.

Human-induced climate change? But we have made the Holy Land bloom.

Aside, the best black comedy I've seen lately is an animated history of Palestine set to the apologist song This Land Is Mine. Look it up on YouTube.

Here, Rodney the Rhino has been smart enough to walk away from ACT with his perks intact, and Banks is jumping before he's pushed. But the soul-less vortex that is conservatism has now sucked Craig to its centre; and one loopy is as good as another for the ruling elite to cling to.

There's no fact you can come up with to redress that. Not even if you're Pope.

That's the right of it.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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