13 April 2017, The Tablet

Mrs May’s remarks had become what aficionados of Twitter call a ‘meme’


Eggs have legs. They produced a story last week that kept on running. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, was in Saudi Arabia when, as The Daily Telegraph reported, she took the National Trust to task for publicising the “Cadbury Egg Hunt”, omitting the word “Easter” before “egg”. “I’m not just a vicar’s daughter – I’m a member of the National Trust as well,” she told ITV news. “Easter’s very important. It’s important to me, it’s a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions.”

In The Guardian Andrew Brown commented: “It takes a special sort of tunnel vision to go to Saudi Arabia and denounce the National Trust for hostility to Christianity. Saudi is an Islamic theocracy in which Christians live furtive and underground lives.”

It was, as such rows usually are, a game of hunt-the-issue as much as hunt-the-egg. The National Trust did mention Easter on its website, but it had allowed Cadbury to brand egg-hunts on NT properties with its trade name instead of the ordinary descriptor “Easter”.

This confectionary row might have seemed slightly confected, to fill readers’ minds with pleasant ideas of chocolate and country houses until the next horror of the modern news-cycle displaced it. And soon enough, poison gas, cruise missiles and terrorism in Stockholm and Cairo overtook us, but still last Sunday, The Sunday Times happily ran a story “Easter melts away from chocolate eggs.”

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