Interviewer: Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. King Herod is causing a bit of a stir around Bethlehem this week. It seems he is no longer in favour of executing all infant boys under the age of two years old. In a speech today Herod will say that this policy is “costly and ineffectual”, and will not protect the public against the possibility that a King of the Jews will emerge from Bethlehem.
The King of Judea joins me now. Your Highness, good afternoon.
Herod: Good afternoon.
Interviewer: Before you became king, you said “If I was told by some wise men that a boy in Bethlehem would grow up to be king of the Jews, I will order all young male boys to be killed.” Now you are clearly doing the opposite of this. That’s right, isn’t it?
Herod: Not at all. Before I became king, I said I would protect the public from the possibility of random outsiders becoming King of the Jews. And I still intend to do that.
Interviewer: But this is a major u-turn, isn’t it? Especially bearing in mind your previous annoucements before you became king, and the policies of your descendants. Isn’t it true that the Pharoah of Egpyt said “Massacre works” and slayed all male Hebrew children?
Herod: This is in no way a change of policy. Killing first-born infants simply does not protect the public. Also, this policy is costly, and ineffectual. Do you know how many soldiers it takes to massacre dozens, if not hundreds of infants? This is a major drain on resources. Also, parents keep hiding their infants, in bulrushes or in ox stalls, rendering our efforts meaningless.
Interviewer: Is it not true that many Judeans supported you being king because they wanted to see more first-born infants killed. Now this is not going to happen. This is a change in policy. (pause) Doesn’t it all come down to trust, at the end of the day?
Herod: Judeans voted to keep the crime rate down, and also to ensure that no rogue child from Bethlehem could grow up, become king of the Jews, and threaten the stability of the kingdom. That is going to happen with the policies I have now put in place. This was obviously not happening while this ineffectual, costly policy continued to…
Interviewer: (interrupts) You have mentioned the policy’s cost again. None of this comes down to a change in your view, does it? This is all about budgets, not about what works.
Herod: Not at all. However, given the absolute mess that the previous king left the finances in, we are forced to look for measures that are more cost effective. What we should be doing is listening to the policy. Less first-born infants under the age of two will be killed under my rule, which I think is a good thing. Furthermore…
Interviewer: (interrupting) But is this not just a major u-turn that will lead to more Judeans distrusting you?
Herod: No, instead…
Interviewer: (interrupting) I’m afraid we have to leave it there. King Herod, thank you.
With apologies to the Bible, and to yesterday’s “Daily Politics” especially from about 16.30 to 22.30.