Lord Mandelson famously said that Labour was relaxed about people 'getting filthy rich'. Ed Miliband went further, declaring that 'I'm not just relaxed about you getting rich, I applaud you' and excising that nasty world 'filthy'. That's all very well, but there's one problem: it doesn't go far enough. So here's my humble attempt at an ode that does justice to the glory of the rich.
Miliband praised those who 'generate wealth [and] create jobs'. Indeed. Where would we be without the rich? How would we procure the basic necessities of life? I daresay there would be no wealth, no food, no resources: I fear we should starve to death. Society would fall into ruins. Anarchy would reign. Think of Africa, for example. As the admired British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper put it, Africa had no history, only 'the unedifying gyrations of barbarous tribes in picturesque but irrelevant corners of the globe'. It was the rich that brought Africa into world history and sacrificed much to civilise the natives. But did they show proper gratitude? Far from it. It is no wonder Africa has fallen back into barbarity.
For delivering us from this fate we owe a debt of gratitude to the wealthy. They labour day and night doing God's work, and that for very little reward: for what are the baubles the rich are content with compared to the dignity of spirit, that inner light possessed by the poor? What's more, when they have worked hard as entrepreneurs, many go on to sacrifice their twilight years selflessly serving the community as politicians and lobbyists, while the rest of us enjoy our gold-plated pensions.
But that's not all. The Good Book says that the meek will inherit the earth, that a man may lose his soul yet gain the whole world, and that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. That means that the rich are freely forfeiting their salvation and giving up their place in the Kingdom for you, willing that none that believe in them should perish but have flat screen TVs. Greater love hath no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Yes, it's true. Our Tory overlords love us. David Cameron loves you. George Osborne loves you. Nick Clegg loves you most of all, and his heart bleeds when he sees you weary and heavy laden under national debt. That's why they're removing benefits: they love you too much to let you waste your life watching daytime television. We have relied on their generosity too much, and their cross has become too heavy to bear. The financial crisis is nothing but the wealthy stumbling under the weight of their work for us. They only ask that we help them a little, take some of their heavy load, as Simon of Cyrene did for Our Lord. Is that too much to ask?
Think about this the next time you wrongfully covet the goods of the rich. David Cameron was raised for this moment. Since childhood he was prepared to see his life poured out for us. When you grumble, when you kick against the pricks, you are only hurting yourself. Not for me wanton rebellion and lawlessness. I love our government.