Britain’s blindfolded investigation of persecution of Christians
You don’t need to be a fan of the vintage British political sitcom Yes Minister to understand how government reviews are instruments of inertia, damage control, public relations, virtue signalling, obfuscation and a surrogate for action. As the smooth-tongued civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes Minister puts it: “The job of a professionally conducted internal inquiry is to unearth a great mass of no evidence.”
On Boxing Day, Britain’s Conservative in Name Only (CINO) government in cosy chumminess with the Church of England gave the nation a gift. The day was most certainly chosen for its significance: in British tradition post-men, errand-boys, servants and the hoi polloi expect to receive a gift box from the high and mighty.
So as his Boxing Day 2018 gift, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP announced a review into the global persecution of Christians, which would be led by Philip Mounstephen, Anglican Bishop of Truro. The heralding of this great news of glad tidings was peppered with the standard British bureaucratic blether.
The Foreign Office said its independent review would consider “tough questions and offer ambitious policy recommendations.” It would provide “an objective view of Britain’s support for the most vulnerable Christians globally,” trumpeted Lord Tariq Ahmad, Britain’s special envoy on freedom of religion.
It looked like a docile beach donkey from C. S. Lewis’ Narnia had morphed into Rudyard Kipling’s Lion King. The media munchkins gobbled it down for brunch.