Five senior bishops from the Church of England have launched a scathing attack on the government, accusing it of being "morally corrupt".
In a series of interviews to be published in the Sunday Telegraph - a newspaper famed for its proud tradition of concern for the less well-off - the clerics accuse Labour of presiding over a nation torn by a growing chasm between rich and poor, together with increasing family breakdown and an unhealthy reliance on debt.
The Bishops of Manchester, Durham, Winchester, Carlisle and Hulme said that the party had sacrificed principled politics and long-term solutions in favour of vote-winning tactics. They also noticed that, somewhere along the line - and in stark contrast to Church of England clergy - its ranks seemed to have become exclusively filled with privileged middle-class types, none of whom had ever done a hard day's proper work in their lives.
"Er... howay man. Labour made a lot of promises, but a lot of them seem to have vanished into thin air," said the Right Proper Reverend Tom Wright, the Bishop of Durham, adjusting his cloth mitre. "We have not seen a raising of aspirations in the last 13 years, but instead there is a sense of hopelessness. Why aye."
The bishops issued an appeal to the Telegraph's socialist readership to show solidarity with their fellow workers, by voting Conservative at the next general election in order to ensure a return to decency and compassion in politics.