The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has addressed the nation's outrage over the summer riots, by claiming Jesus would have understood looters, and would probably have blamed the police.
Wearing one of his exclusive hand-embroidered silk robes and an elaborate hat resplendent in gold, Dr Williams criticised a culture that puts too much emphasis on expensive clothes, which are seen as status symbols in some communities.
"A lot of people put high-profile brands on a pedestal", said the leader of the Church of England, standing in the pulpit of his flagship outlet. "It's all very cynical. With constant advertising playing on their fears, it's no wonder vulnerable people end up following the crowd. Trust me, I know how easy it is to be sucked into believing outlandish claims that couldn't possibly be true. It's an issue the church comes back to again and again, especially on Sundays on BBC1."
The archbishop thinks that if the underlying excuses for smashing up shops and stealing things aren't dealt with, he could be forced to appear on television more often, and point the finger of blame at just about everyone. "Ask yourself, 'what would Jesus do?'. You'll be surprised just how often he would have unthinkingly backed you up, perhaps even helped you carry a big TV back to your flat. That's the beauty of taking advice from imaginary friends, they always give you the answer you’re looking for."
Using an example from scripture, Dr Williams explained how Jesus would have dealt with social injustice. "Faced with a simple challenge of whether you pay taxes to the Roman Emperor or not, he famously shrugs it off, and says "I am a registered charity, let he who is without shady accounting practices cast the most stones."
"In other words, 'do as I say, not as I do'. It's hypocritical to ask criminals who got caught up in the moment to take responsibility for their actions. Unless they're bankers", declared the archbishop. "Not all bankers, obviously: that would be a slur on the good ones, the ones that make huge annual donations to my church."
Dr Williams is keen to avoid accusations of hypocrisy himself, and is careful to justify his position by mouthing oddly phrased sentences from an old book. "Is it wrong to accept money that was gained immorally? I've thought about it, and I've persuaded myself that's exactly what Jesus would do. Especially if he tried not to think about it too much, or if he really fancied a pair of trendy new sandals."