The Christmas broadcast by the monarch was a 20th century innovation made possible by the invention of the wireless. Since it’s a time of year when we are all saying “Merry” or “Happy Christmas” and “Happy New Year” to each other, political leaders can’t be blamed for joining in. After all, they send thousands of Christmas cards, don’t they?

The Easter message from the Prime Minister is a more insidious and recent innovation. An indication that the occupants of Number Ten, and inevitably their shadows in the opposition, have lost their reticence about inserting themselves into the private beliefs of the electorate.