‘Cameron a hypocrite for applauding NHS staff in Christmas message’ – Ken Loach
In his annual festive message, the PM sent his condolences to families spending Christmas in refugee camps and shelters.
‘We must pay tribute’
“Millions of families are spending this winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East, driven from their homes by Daesh [Islamic State] and [Syrian President] Assad,” Cameron said.
I'd like to wish everyone in Britain and around the world a very happy and peaceful Christmas. My Christmas message: https://t.co/cg51isSzOr— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) December 24, 2015
He further expressed his sympathy for those in Britain spending the festive period ill, homeless or alone.
“If there is one thing people want at Christmas, it’s the security of having their family around them and a home that is safe. But not everyone has that,” he said.
The Conservative Party leader then went on to praise National Health Service (NHS) staff for surrendering their own Christmas to fulfill their duty of care.
“We must pay tribute to the thousands of doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers who give up their Christmas to help the vulnerable — and to [members of the armed forces] who are spending this season even further from home,” he added.
His message, however, was mocked by filmmaker Ken Loach, who called the PM a “hypocrite.”
The director, who is known for his social realist style and socialist themes, questioned whether Cameron “thinks of the poor he punishes with cruel sanctions.”
“He talks of coming together with his loved ones in safety and security,” he told the Morning Star.
“Does he think of the poor he punishes with cruel sanctions and delayed benefits? Or the thousands of families his government has condemned to homelessness, temporary accommodation or hostels, while new tower blocks are built for rich speculators?
“How can he speak of security when he knows work is often temporary or casual with an income that will not support a family or provide a home?
“He speaks of Syria — how many civilians will die from the bombs he’s authorized, how many more will turn to terrorism in revenge?”
The PM’s message comes weeks after MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of his plans to extend airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) from Iraq into Syria.
His proposals sparked protests across the country. However, Cameron insisted MPs had “taken the right decision to keep the UK safe.”
‘Corbyn cancelled Christmas’
A Tory MP has accused Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn of “cancelling Christmas” after the opposition leader spurned the tradition of offering a festive message of his own.
Christmas Jumper Day! I've just text SANTA10 to 70760 to donate £10 to Macmillan, Make-A-Wish UK & Save the Children pic.twitter.com/7rPDO2sMR6— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) December 18, 2015
Corbyn said he does not want Britain to “move into religious politics.”
‘Britain is a Christian country’
The PM also used his Christmas message to stress that Britain is still a “Christian country.”
“As a Christian country, we must remember what [Christ’s] birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope.
Cameron praises Christian values at Christmas. And Christian values of course are chiefly love of the poor and a commitment to peace— NeilMackay (@NeilMackay) December 24, 2015
“I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none.”
Earlier this month, a report by the Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life found Britain is no longer a Christian majority country, with atheism and Islam becoming more widespread.