View more on these topics

Brown takes his prayers to the Pope

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s recent audition with the Pope teased my febrile brain. Was it just something one does as a Prime Minister visiting Rome?

His predecessor Tony Blair had done something similar, but he then went on to embrace Catholicism, so did Teflon Tony set a precedent?

The power of prayer couldn’t be any less effective than Brown’s strategy of borrowing his way out of debt which, as many a failed sub-prime mortgage borrower knows, is fine until the music stops.

It might be nice to think that like the fallen bankers appearing before the Treasury Select Committee hearing, he was having his mea culpa moment.

A Times cartoon depicting Brown in a confessional with the Pope captured that moment with a caption – ‘Forgive me Holy Father for I know not what I was doing.’

On the other hand, he might have asked the Holy Father to pray for all the pensioners who will soon be coming off their fixed rate savings products and be facing destitution, or the 40,000 or so buyers who were made homeless last year and the 75,000 or so who face the same fate during this year.

He might have asked the Pope to say mass for those who have lost their jobs in banking, building and manufacturing, but I doubt it.

If at all, he would have asked the Pope to pray for his success in saving the world and the UK economy, not out of any sense of selfishness, but because this would be the most expedient way of fulfilling God’s will.


Ensure families are taken care of

As reality TV star Jade Goody faces the tragic realisation that she has terminal cancer, her main focus is on her children who now face a future without their mother.

Health - thumbnail

Fit for Work: guidance for employers published

On Friday, the Department for Work and Pensions published its guidance for employers on using the new Fit for Work (FfW) service to help ill employees return to the workplace. It also includes more details on the tax exemption for medical interventions that commenced on 1 January 2015.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up