In her first foreign visit since enacting Article 50 Theresa May has been in Saudi Arabia, a nation whose human rights record is one of the worst in the world, that in 2012 put to death more prisoners than any other nation apart from China, Iran and Iraq and who are buying our weapons in order to fight a war in Yemen that has left thousands of innocent people dead or maimed and many more displaced from their homes. However when challenged on this Mrs May responded “Rather than just standing on the sidelines and sniping, it’s important to engage, to talk to people, to talk about our interests and to raise, yes, difficult issues when we feel it’s necessary to do so.”
During her visit the Prime Minister also responded to a ‘news’ reports that the word Easter had been dropped from a series of events to find Cadbury chocolate eggs on National Trust land “I’m not just a vicar’s daughter – I’m a member of the National Trust as well. I think the stance they have taken is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know what they are thinking about frankly. Easter’s very important… It’s a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the world.”
Tragically Theresa May appears happy enough to stand on the sidelines from Saudi Arabia and snipe about a campaign which last year was called the “Easter Egg Trail” and this year is being promoted as “Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt”. As The National Trust explains in its response to this criticism there were more than 13,000 references to Easter on its website including six references on the page that promotes the Egg Hunt and that it runs an extensive programme of activities to mark Easter including the Egg Hunt. Cadbury’s too refers to Easter in its promotional material and a press release by the company on the 10th March repeatedly stressed the connection to Easter in its ongoing partnership with National Trust. The branding and PR website Creative Pool writes about the campaign and its links to Cadbury’s brand and Easter. “the ultimate aim” the piece says, is “establishing Cadbury as “THE Easter Treat.”” before going on to quote the Senior Brand Manager for Easter at Cadbury.
The real irony is that many Christians apart it seems from Mrs May and the Archbishop of York who has also spoken out, see the commercialisation of Easter and focus on eggs and bunnies rather than the events of Holy Week as disturbing as the focus on Father Christmas rather than the birth of Jesus at the end of December. Both festivals are multi layered and involve many traditions some that are linked to religious festivals and some that are anything but religious. However because this issue was raised by the Telegraph, there are reports of people threatening to cancel their subscription to the National Trust. What a shame the same people don’t feel just as disturbed at the behaviour of our senior Government Minister over our weapon sales that they are not willing to cancel their subscription to the Tory Party!