Friday, 10 June 2011

Turbulent Priest: Doctor Williams Speaks Out

In yesterday's New Statesman 'magazine' the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, criticised the coalition government as pushing through radical policies "for which no one voted."

Of course Williams himself wasn't elected to his position; he was appointed by Tony Bliar. The Archbishop said he felt a duty to "intervene" but who does he claim to speak for? Clearly his church still has some standing otherwise he'd make no news, although these days from a Christian perspective we live in a broadly secular Britain.

Like everyone else Williams is free to express his concerns but he has no mandate to speak for people beyond his religeous boundary, or to interfere in politics. In his piece, he also claimed the 'Big Society' concept is stale and that people are frightened of the future under the Coalition, opinions based on anecdotal evidence alone.

Laughably, the Archbishop's naive outburst handed the Coalition partners an opportunity to restate the background to their policies, and to clarify the policies themselves, all on prime-time TV. Several did so: Cameron, Vince Cable, Iain Duncan Smith
. Leader of the Commons Sir George Young said: "I haven't seen the full text of the Archbishop's remarks but I hope he's found time to balance any criticism of the coalition with commendation for some of the good things we've done." Of course, he hadn't.

Williams' leftie intellectual views have long been known; his appearance says it all. Does anyone remember the Archbishop telling the Labour Party they didn't have a mandate to spend, spend, spend? As billions were piled onto the National Debt, where was Williams? While yesterday's comments by their very generality may attract some agreement, he should put an equally vocal effort into providing a lead to his dwindling flock. And perhaps in response to his article, David Cameron will contribute a piece to the Spectator on the decline of the Church of England.

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