My colleagues and I in the noble profession of investigative journalism have now spent 12 months poring over the goldmine of documents that were leaked from the Cayman Islands’ leading tax and celebrity lawyers, Alcock and Bull. Most of the documents show disturbing links between the world’s highest income earners and members of some very dubious international elites. Regrettably, they also show serious lapses of judgment by major political figures in the way they have handled the sacred trust of public office. Thus it was that I came across an internal report on the conduct of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to become the Democrat candidate for President of the US in 2008. Here, at the Speccie Investigative Journalism Unit we can reveal, in a world exclusive, the contents of this disturbing report.
It appears that Mrs Clinton had on her campaign team a gentleman named Burns Striders, her Faith Adviser. His job was to advise Mrs Clinton on what she should believe in, a challenge summed up by a note on the file that ‘Striders seems to have found lifetime employment.’ Some cynics had also observed it was odd that a candidate for election would need a Faith Adviser at all, as that was the one subject on which no advice should be needed; you either have faith or you do not. Faith, it was noted, is not a dish laid out on a smorgasbord with the other offerings where you wander down the aisle and say ‘I think I will have some faith today, perhaps with smashed avocado or a goat’s cheese garnish.’ All this had suggested that Mrs Clinton should not have a faith adviser on her team. However, wiser heads prevailed when a crusty old campaign manager pointed out that as modern politicians did not believe in anything, it was wise to have someone who could at least tell you which faiths were more popular and acceptable than others and whether any should be ignored because they had challenging articles of belief like immolating homosexuals and garrotting infidels. Thus it was that Mr Striders took up the heavy burdens of office as Mrs Clinton’s Faith Adviser and he apparently had some, although limited, success in this role. For instance, he introduced the notion of using focus groups to tell you which faith was best for politicians to adopt. Research showed that the Catholics were a runaway success if you wanted colour and movement that would look and sound good on TV, like co-ordinated vestments, dazzling jewellery, saintly acolytes, Gregorian chants and dimple-cheeked choir boys. The Anglicans, on the other hand, had a serious perception problem which would make it difficult to support them in public: they had gone beyond the respectable political position of believing in nothing, into the twilight zone of fantasy, believing in everything and changing it every second day. The happy-clappy fundamentalist Christians were also dubious as they held several bizarre beliefs quite unfit for a modern politician, like belief in God, Christianity, marriage, teaching children to read and write and opposing the killing of unborn babies. Buddhism also had its limitations, what with long periods of sitting still and listening, another impracticality that was clearly alien to the modern politician. Islam, of course, was out of the question; it was difficult to get a workable understanding of the idea of building a new mosque and then enticing a fanatic to set fire to it, after locking the congregation inside.
Unfortunately, the bottom line, then, was that Mr Striders was not an unqualified success and after a lot of consideration it was decided in the highest councils of the Democratic Party that it was better to have her continuing to believe in nothing, a position she has maintained ever since. The question then arose of what to do with Mr Striders, an issue he initially resolved himself by sexually harassing a female colleague on the Clinton team. This then raised the question of punishment and we can now reveal that Mrs Clinton adopted a solution that was so irresponsible it is difficult to conceive of such a course of action being taken today. Striders himself was counselled and docked some pay and, having failed to inculcate in Mrs Clinton a belief in anything, was relegated to some backwater like The Economy, where he could do no harm. But it was the treatment of the poor victim that really alarmed me. She, too, although clearly having done no wrong, was also shunted off to a different department, like a wayward priest being moved on to a new parish.
The one blessing from this saga is that the case for politicians contracting out their faith and paying money to be told what they should believe in, is alive and well, at least in the Liberal party. Malcolm Turnbull was the first to take up the cause; having hoodwinked his party into believing that religious freedom was a core belief to be preserved under the nirvana of same sex marriage, and that the former belief was stronger in him that the latter, he has now contracted his beliefs to a committee to roam around the world from ashram to temple at your expense in search of the things in which we should all believe. Secondly, Mr Turnbull’s courageous example has been followed by his Victorian colleague Mathew Guy, who has just released his party’s policy on education. The epoch-making centrepiece of this policy is a promise that schools will teach nothing but traditional values and beliefs. To get these straight and clearly understood, the first act of the new government will be to appoint a panel of experts to tell us what those values and beliefs should be. With these inspiring precedents, we will soon have in the Liberal party, at both federal and state levels, the best beliefs that money can buy.
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