Friday, December 19, 2008

Archbishop of Canterbury: Labour’s fiscal stimulus is ‘like like the addict returning to the drug’.

Cranmer rather wishes that the Archbishop of Canterbury had said of the Prime Minister: ‘As a dog returneth to his vomit: so a fool returneth to his folly’. But the phrase he did use was explicitly damning and most sufficiently telling. He may not be an economist but Dr Williams is most certainly right to assert that one cannot run the British economy by robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The intervention of Archbishop Rowan Williams into party politics is most welcome. He admitted that he does not consider the reaction of politicians before speaking out, and it brings back fond memories of Margaret Thatcher’s torment by certain meddlesome priests. Of course, she tended to be right while they found their daily bread in The Guardian. In this case, any rational person, regenerate or dead in their sins, can discern that Gordon Brown's £20 billion borrowing binge of debt-funded tax-cuts is short-sighted and immoral. And the Government are compounding the problem by considering a national lending scheme under which they (ie the taxpayer) would guarantee loans to business and increase the supply of home loans by guaranteeing mortgage-backed securities issued by banks. In a damning comment on the VAT reduction, Dr Williams said people should not ‘spend to save the economy’, but instead spend for ‘human reasons’ such as providing for their own needs.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is anxious for the soul of the nation, saying: "I worry a bit about that, it seems a little like the addict returning to the drug. I think there are deeper questions to be asked. I want to ask where these moral questions are in the economic discourse."

The Archbishop said the credit crunch was a ‘reality check’, a reminder that ‘fairy gold is just that’.

Indeed. Gordon Brown sold the nation’s real gold when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and replaced it with euros – ‘fairy gold’.

The Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has described the Archbishop’s criticism of Labour’s fiscal stimulus package as ‘a very powerful moral warning’ against the planned borrowing binge. He praised the Archbishop for raising the important moral question of whether it can be right for Gordon Brown to saddle future generations with huge debts. And he stressed, “The chorus of disapproval at what the Labour Government is doing to our society and our economy grows every day.”

Dr Williams preaches to the Prime Minister: “When the Bible uses the word 'repentance', it doesn't just mean beating your breast, it means getting a new perspective, and that is perhaps what we are shrinking away from. What I'm worried about is anything that pushes us straight back into the kind of spiral we were in before. It is about what is sustainable in the long term and if this is going to drive us back into the same spin, I do not think that is going to help us."

The ‘same spin’?


And he takes David Cameron’s theme when he says people were waiting for financial bosses to apologise for the crisis. He said: “A lot of people are waiting to hear some acknowledgment of responsibility for irresponsible behaviour."

And how does the Prime Minister, the ‘son of a manse’, respond?

He said he supported the Archbishop’s views on a strong civic society and the need to act against irresponsible behaviour when it appears in the banking and financial system. He witheringly continued: “But I think the Archbishop would also agree with me that every time someone becomes unemployed or loses a home, or a small business fails, it is our duty to act and we should not walk by on the other side when people are facing problems.”

Walk on the other side?

Is the Prime Minister claiming the moral high ground and comparing the Archbishop of Canterbury to the religious hypocrite in the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Well, Prime Minister, there is nothing in that parable to indicate that the Samaritan asked for an ID card to establish whether or not the victim lived in a Labour or marginal constituency before helping him. And neither did he run a credit check to discern his level or debt, or enquire of the Inland Revenue to discover if he was eligible for tax credits or state benefits. Nor did the Good Samaritan redistribute the robbed merchant's remaining money to the long-term unemployed who stay in bed until midday and only venture out to binge drink or vote Labour.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has stated unequivocally that the country is ‘going in the wrong direction’.

He must be praying for a general election and interceding for a change of government.


Anonymous Nelson said...

Well said Your Grace, it just goes to show that The Lord can speak through whoever He chooses, be it Caiphas's prophecy that Jesus should die for the nation, or our present high priest's comments about the nation being murdered by the people who are running it, or should that read ruining it.
The last time I saw a fiscal policy like this was in a South London betting shop, a 'punter' having lost a packet on the first three races decided to recoup his losses by placing a treble size bet on the fourth race, the smart thing to do would have been to leave while he could, (hint to Mr G.Brown) but at least the gambler had the deceny not to rob the other punters to do it.

19 December 2008 at 11:00  
Blogger len.allan said...

A most welcome intervention by the Archbishop!.
I hope and pray that the church is finding its voice!.

19 December 2008 at 13:22  
Anonymous John Reid said...

Len what voice do you hope to hear from a Druid. Surely not the voice of God ?

19 December 2008 at 15:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "The Archbishop of Canterbury is anxious for the soul of the nation", then he should have thought of this before when he made his ridiculous statement earlier this year about Sharia Law being inevitable in this country.

He certainly 'shot himself in the foot' or 'did not engage brain before putting mouth into gear' or 'put his foot in it' and did himself no favours with the majority of this Nation. I wonder if he is now
1. Trying to recoup himself with the masses or
2. Just a latent, but bumbling politician

Certainly he would have benefited more if he had considered this country is ‘going in the wrong direction’ before the above mentioned severely blinkered and damaging statement. Indeed it appears to me forward planning and joined up thinking are not one of one of his strong points. Though to be honest I wonder if he has any.

Regarding Browns statement "Walk on the other side", personally I think it is more a case of him living in some parallel world.

However, I will give grudging credit to him because the more people that point out Browns' policies are severely flawed the better.

I wait for those in the public arena to also acknowledge it is not just his policies that are flawed

19 December 2008 at 16:03  
Blogger len.allan said...

John Reid,
If God could speak through an ass he can speak through anybody!

19 December 2008 at 17:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word verification today is 'fries'. Is that the Macdonald's variety or the stuff that finished yourself off a few years ago, Your Grace?

19 December 2008 at 18:30  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

Along with the heretics, the mercenaries of Pope Innocent III murdered the local populace by the thousands—30,000 in one day in Beziers, so the story goes. When one sword-slashing knight asked his superior how to tell the heretics from the faithful, the response came, "Kill them all. God will know His own."

Let us trust today this Druid is Gods own, old time religion has been persicuted enough.

19 December 2008 at 19:32  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

I cannot help but agree with (almost) everything the Archbishop says.

Whether it's within his remit to say anything about the economy is another matter.

19 December 2008 at 20:03  
Blogger John said...

Your Grace may find this article interesting:

"In the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, God commands the children of Israel to observe a jubilee every 50 years. Nowadays we tend to associate the word with celebrations of royal anniversaries such as Queen Elizabeth’s golden jubilee in 2002. But the biblical conception of a jubilee was more precise: that of a general cancellation of debts."

19 December 2008 at 22:47  
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

I suspect the appropriate bit of scripture is "Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly", Proverbs 26:11.

20 December 2008 at 12:35  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Man in a Shed,

If you had read the article...

20 December 2008 at 12:50  
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

Yes, you've got me there !

I'll leave my folly as an act of repentance.

20 December 2008 at 13:59  
Blogger The last cause said...

Excellent, I had asked earlier about the Church of England's position on debt and indebtedness, and now I have found something of an answer from the Arch Bishop no less.

The problem lays in that he has little reservoir of past morally courageous acts, not to completely criticize one's Superior, rather to point out that anyone can quote Scriptures, as in "Owe no man anything except to Love him" or "The borrower is servant to the lender"...

Perhaps those passages and moral teachings should have been mentioned 5 years ago, before the chaos and chicanery was in effect?

21 December 2008 at 06:31  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Maybe the Archbishop should have pushed over some tables at the same time.

21 December 2008 at 13:14  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Why does Govt Issue Gilts to the International Moneylenders in order to Borrow Money.

Why not simply Print the Money, and issue that into the economy.

If the Crown had simply Issued EXACTLY the same amount of money as it has Borrowed over the past decades, would our children have a £1Trillion debt around their neck.

The Next question is who does Govt Work for, the People, or the International Moneylenders.

And are our children now enslaved to the International Moneylenders
quite unnecesarily.

21 December 2008 at 13:28  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

No public borrowing,
No loan to pay back,
no loan, no interest.
No Govt debt,
very little Need for Income tax.

Stung again by the MoneyLenders.

Next year, McBroon plans on borrowing over £100billion.

Why not simply print it, backed by Gold.

Of course he can't do that, The Moneylenders will not allow it.

There is no need for Public borrowing at all.!CB609AA4E892F479!121.entry

21 December 2008 at 13:52  

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