“Before you know it, abortions and contraception will be banned and homosexuals will be rounded up and put in ‘correction centres’ where they’ll be ‘turned’ to the right path under threat of crucifixion,” warns Labour back bencher Tom Felcher. “Worse still, child abuse will be institutionalised, with an obligatory buggering by the local priest for every young boy when they reached the age of twelve!” The MP is one of a growing number of opposition politicians warning that Prime Minister David Cameron is involved in a ‘Papish Plot’ with the Vatican to disestablish the Church of England and return the UK to Catholicism. Indeed, Felcher argues that the government’s so-called ‘Big Society’ is simply a Trojan horse for a counter-reformation. “It’s quite obvious, the whole point of Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ is to replace the state as the main provider of welfare, education and healthcare, with charities, instead,” he explains. “Who is one of the biggest providers of charity, eh? The Roman Catholic Church, of course! They’re a perfect fit – they’ve experience in running their own schools, theological colleges, hospitals and soup kitchens! Before you know it, the bastards will have an iron grip on every aspect of civil society again!”

The huge new poverty-stricken underclass being created by the coalition government’s spending cuts – ostensibly part of their deficit reduction strategy – will consequently have nowhere to turn to for relief than this new Catholic dominated charity welfare sector, the Labour backbencher contends. “The Papists like nothing better than the existence of a poor, uneducated, underclass to recruit from and control,” he says. “Less spending by the government on things like education, health care and social provision provides the Rock Cakes with more opportunities to step in and infiltrate our society at all levels, indoctrinating us all to their evil creed.” Felcher has no doubt that the Prime Minister is a modern James II – leading a Protestant country whilst actually a closet Catholic scheming to return Rome’s influence to the corridors of power. “It’s clear to see – look at the kind of political parties he’s allied the Conservatives to in Europe: right-wing Catholic movements opposed to homosexuality, abortion and contraception,” he points out. “Not to mention the way he fawned over the Pope during his UK visit, telling us that the Pontiff had given us all something to think about – personally, I was left thinking that good Queen Bess should have burned a few more of the Papist bastards at the stake when she had the chance!”

However, TV historian Dr David Starkers suspects that Felcher’s campaign has little or no substance, and is merely a propaganda campaign designed to discredit and destabilise the government by undermining its legitimacy. “It’s a tried and tested strategy,” he muses. “Felcher’s comparison of Cameron to James II is highly telling – James II was, after all, deposed after Parliament had undermined him by convincing the public that he was at the centre of a Papist plot.” Starkers is doubtful that such a tactic could be successful today. “Whilst back then, the merest whiff of a Papist plot would have people rioting on the streets and Parliament sending for a Dutch Protestant Prince to take the throne to protect us from the evils of Rome, I just don’t think the Pope is seen as such a threat today,” he says. “I mean, look at the way the Pope was welcomed when he visited the UK last year – despite the fact that he’s an ex-Nazi and his priests have been buggering children left, right and centre!” The historian also points out that James II’s position had already been weakened by the Monmouth rebellion before the Papist allegations. “We haven’t, so far, had any pretenders to the Tory leadership landing in Devon and raising armies against Cameron,” Starkers chuckles. “So I think that Mr Felcher could be facing an uphill struggle!”

Felcher, not surprisingly, disagrees with the historian’s analysis. “There might noy have been any illegitimate offspring of royalty leading them, but I think the August riots were pretty much Dave’s Monmouth moment,” he argues. “Damn it, Cameron even followed them up with his own version of the ‘Bloody Assizes’, with courts sitting round the clock to send poor people down for six months for stealing a bottle of water!” He believes that the attraction of Catholicism to public school educated Tory toffs like Cameron is obvious. “It promotes a clear hierarchy, where everyone knows their place, wealth and privilege are God-given, a bit of buggery is OK, and tells the lower orders that their reward will come in heaven – not the dole office,” Felcher says. “It’s in direct contrast to the Church of England they so loath, with its wishy-washy liberalism and ideas about ‘choice’, ‘love’, ‘fairness’, ‘morality’ and ‘free will’. That’s what this counter-reformation is about, creating a new moral and social order designed to turn the clock back, not just to the 1930s, but to the sixteenth century!”
Most puzzling to Felcher is the apparent silence of the right-wing press on what he argues is a blatant counter-reformation. “I mean, a few months ago we had the leader of England’s Roman Catholics, Archbishop Nichols, openly praising the PM for the ‘genuine moral agenda’ driving the Coalition’s reforms, and for putting marriage and family stability at the centre of policy-making after the Archbishop of Canterbury had condemned the government’s policies on health and education, questioning their legitimacy, and dismissing the ‘Big Society’. Not a single newspaper condemned this outrageous Papist intervention in our political process,” he says. “If this was some ‘Eurocrat’ in Brussels started giving pronouncements on UK government policy, they’d be foaming at the mouth, denouncing these foreign interventions as a threat to the UK’s sovereignty. Indeed, if this was Blair being praised by the left-footers, they’d be raving about Papish plots to bring Britain back under the heel of Rome!”

Could it be, he ponders, that even the phone hacking scandal might have been part of Cameron’s Papist plot, destroying the credibility of the press in the eyes of the public? “Maybe he’s blackmailing them into silence,” Felcher speculates. “The phone hacking business demonstrated that they had the goods on the press’s dirty business. Maybe it was really Cameron who leaked all that stuff to The Guardian as a taste of what would happen to the Tory press if they didn’t tow the line!” Felcher has no doubt as to the ultimate aim of Cameron and his fellow Papist conspirators. “He’s quite blatant in his desire to change the succession laws so that the heir to the throne can marry a left-footer.” He says. “If that isn’t a back door plot to return us to the clutches of Rome, I don’t know what is!”