The Coalition, A Hidden Agenda? Is the Pope A Catholic?

Why, I wonder, after watching an extended News at Ten report last night, is the visit of the Pope a State Visit and therefore, I presume, the financial responsibility of the taxpayer? The Dalai Lama wasn't accorded such an honour. And aren't the Coalition telling us that the public purse is in such a dire condition even the armed forces, the fire service and the N.H.S. will have to share some of the pain when it comes to budget cuts?

You wouldn't, of course, expect logic from a government that pours millions into a foreign occupation that serves no discernible purpose and a nuclear deterrent in Trident which was constructed for an enemy who is no longer there. But the cuts threatened in public services are really ideologically driven anyway. The Government doesn't want to own anything that could be flogged off to business and it is using the deficit as an excuse to pare those services down to a minimum. It might even be hoping for a confrontation with the unions so that they can be broken prior to a final fire sale.

Think I'm paranoid? People might have said so if I'd made similar comments before the Miners' Strike in the glory days of Thatcher. We'll see what happens once the Pope has gone home and the true face of modern, stage-managed, airbrushed, spun to the nth degree Conservatism (propped up as it is by hopelessly naive and morally compromised liberalism) begins to reveal itself.