Rowan Williams is guest-editing this week’s New Statesman (will he do for the Spectator next week? Don’t be silly) and used the occasion to gain exclusive access into the political views of – yes – himself !
Williams thinks the coalition lacks a democratic mandate for its radical package of austerity measures -“long term policies for which no one voted” he claims — underpinned by what he calls “anxiety and anguish” and the “quiet resurgence of the seductive language of the deserving and the undeserving poor”.
Well, it’s certainly a point of view, one expressed by angry bloggers 24/7. Blair puts it rather better (after all it’s his line of work, God’s only his hobby) when he tells the Times that Nick Clegg (“he seems a perfectly nice guy”) has got himself into a mess.
“It’s very hard to fight three elections to the left of Labour and then end up in a Tory government. You can slice and dice that any way you want it, but you have a bit of a problem with it, and I don’t really have an answer.”
He prefers to call this a Conservative government, not a coalition. Good point. He declares 100% loyalty to Ed Miliband as Labour leader but hints that he might be drawn into a “nostalgic” Old Labour stance. It has caused no waves, Blair positions himself carefully as a progressive.
Like Williams, Blair says he is most concerned about society’s poorest. I believe them both but the question is: what do you do about it in the real world?
What options did the country have after it denied a majority to any of the three competing parties in May 2010?
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s highly politicised and biased criticisms of the Coalition lessen the dignity of his office. But here’s the key point. This is displacement therapy, designed to take Dr Williams’s mind off the shocking crisis of morale in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.