Forget ‘nice but dim’, there was a nasty and dangerous side on show last week as David Cameron made his views known, firstly on the homosexuality / religion debate and then on the EU and the little matter of British people actually having a say in whether they belong to it.
If you’re an atheist, the former pronouncement may merely have stirred you to a passing nod of approval. If you’re a Christian, however, whether liberal or conservative in your thoughts on sexual orientation, the Prime Minister’s shallowness on the matter was there for all to see.
I would question whether he has even bothered to read the scriptural pronouncements on homosexuality, let alone considered the possibility that one can disapprove of homosexual acts without wishing any harm or oppression on those who engage in them.
Sadly, although far from unpredictably, Cameron sounds like a man who is simply keen to be seen shouting with the larger crowd. Homosexuality, ironically, now has a quasi-deity status all of its own and all other views, no matter how nuanced or quietly reasoned, must bow before it.
As one who saw through the Soundbite Kid early in his political career, I’m not surprised to find that Cameron has neither the philosophical skills nor courage to tackle this citadel with anything other than the most trite of soundbites.
Who defines ‘broad-minded’ exactly, Prime Minister? Suppose I start coveting your wife this weekend: by what authority would you, presumably, switch off your own ‘welcoming’ tolerance at that point?
Now cards have to go on the table here: personally, I sit reluctantly on the fence where this issue is concerned, regularly agonising over whether St Paul’s denouncement of homosexuality in his First Letter to the Romans reflects the word of God or merely the social mores of the age.
Oh that it were the latter. Being able to live and let live as my innate instinct hankers for, would be wonderful. Alas, I’m not oblivious to the dangers of convenient cherry-picking where the Bible’s rules and regs are concerned. Not something that would appear to trouble our Prime Minister.
And then, for the non-believer, a bittersweet moment indeed. With the grunt of approval for Cameron’s stance on sexuality barely past his lips, he was confronted with the latter’s view on the secular nicety of democratic process.
No-one could be oblivious to the idea that the EU in its current form is being foisted upon a people who have had no say in the matter, yet Cameron’s opinion is clear. A vote? And let the oiks upset the applecart? Perish the thought.
Again, one can only wonder how far this position has been thought through. Has anyone in Cabinet pointed out to Mr Cameron just how astonishingly contrary his thinking looks in this supposed mother of democracies? And can we least count on consistency and tactful silence from our leader next time Robert Mugabe is in the crosshairs of the developed world for alleged vote-rigging?
In his renderings to both God and Caesar these last few days, David Cameron has not emerged with credit. Depending on your beliefs, he will be judged on one of his pronouncements on a day to be appointed. As for the other, the jury needs to start making its way back in now, loudly and emphatically. This whole EU referendum thing looks more sinister by the week.