Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Lord Carey's support for a welfare cap makes him an official "hero" of this blog

I saw the St Paul’s “Occupy” camp yesterdays for the first time. It’s very small – tiny, in fact. We passed through the camp twice – on our way to join a walking tour of Wren churches, which was due to begin from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, and subsequently when we set off for the first church. Fortunately, it was raining, so not a single scumbag was visible – one presumes they were huddled inside their tents shooting up or glumly chewing lentils or sacrificng bankers to the Horner God of Wicca, or whatever they normally get up to.

Or maybe they were tucked up in bed at home reading the Guardian. There’s just no way of telling.

I hadn’t realised until yesterday just how far our broadcast media had gone in lying to the British people about this risibly piffling phenomenon. The BBC, in particular, should be thoroughly ashamed of itself for flamming up this weedy pimple of a protest into a national event. So should the Church of England, whose dithering wetness over the affair has cemented its reputation as a national joke.

According to the excellent Biased BBC website, one of the Occupy protesters’ keenest CofE supporters, the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, who was evidently sacked as Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s after threatening to resign if force was used to remove the assembled crusties, appeared on the BBC no less than eight times between mid-December and mid-January. If this awful man – a keen campaigner for every trendy cause you could think of – had resigned over the Church’s failure to act against the protesters, you can be sure he’d have been accorded one appearance on the Today Programme to be sneered at and rudely interrupted by whichever lefty presenter happened to be on that morning, before being declared a non-person.

Despite being an Anglican myself, I’ve been unremittingly horrible about Anglican clerics over the years. That’s because they seem hell bent on pursuing a Far left political agenda instead of caring for their parishioners’ spiritual well-being. This strikes me as a selfish and shocking dereliction of duty. The latest and worst example of this tendency was the revolt over the government’s welfare cap proposals by Anglican bishops in the Lords.

I shall certainly pray for their miserable souls – but I fear their Eternal Employer might already have made up His mind about their ultimate fate.

Contrariwise, I’m surprised if He isn’t looking forward to welcoming the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, upstairs, whenever his earthly race is run. I remember having to produce the TV news package about Carey’s original appointment – I can only remember two of the facts on the graphic I ordered: he came from very ‘umble beginnings, and he was a  happy-clappy evangelical. As Archbishop, he struck me as sort of okay – a bit too damned keen on ordaining women priests, but sound on gay clergy.

Since retiring, though, the old boy has really come out of his shell, and has played a bit of a blinder. His loyalty to his successor is questionable… but, after all, we are talking about Rowan Williams.

Over the years, Lord Carey has called for Islam to take a more critical attitude to its own doctrines, and for moderate Muslims to unequivocally condemn their faith’s extremist elements. He’s kept up his opposition to Anglican priests having same-sex partners, to the ordination of openly homosexial bishops, and church "blessings" for gay "marriages" - "I don't believe in blessing same-sex relationships because frankly I don't know what I'm blessing." He said a decision by the Church to disinvest in a company that was active in the Israeli Occupied Territories made him feel ashamed to be an Anglican. He has spoken out several times on the subject of immigration, arguing for a policy that favoured applicants who would help maintain Britain’s Christian heritage (i.e. no Muslims). He’s even made nice noises about the arms industry!

And now, to cap it all, he’s launched an attack on the five Anglican Bishops who voted against the government’s proposals for a £26,000 welfare cap in the House of Lords. In a no-holds-barred attack on them in the Daily Mail – “My fellow bishops are wrong. Fuelling the culture of welfare dependency is immoral” - he says they have no right to claim the moral high ground – “The sheer scale of our public debt, which hit £1trillion yesterday, is the greatest moral scandal facing Britain today.”

He goes on:
The truth is that the welfare system has gone from the insurance-based safety-net that William Beveridge envisaged in 1942 (designed to tackle the ‘Giant Evils’ of ‘Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness’) to an industry of gargantuan proportions which is fuelling those very vices and impoverishing us all. In the worst-case scenario it traps people into dependency and rewards fecklessness and irresponsibility. 
When it comes to Ian Duncan Smith – the architect of the reforms – Lord Carey’s support is whole-hearted:
He is a committed Christian whose motivation is to dispel the modern myth which lies behind our benefits culture —the idea that some people can neither be helped, nor help themselves into work. He, like many others in recent years, has come to realise that we have betrayed the poorest and most vulnerable by merely throwing money at them, be it income support or housing benefit, with no strings attached.

My thanks to Lord Carey for making this particular Anglican feel slightly less despairing about the galloping politicization of his church.

He has now officially ascended to the Valhalla which is The Grønmark Blog's "Heroes" section.

1 comment:

  1. We don't want Lord Carey in Valhalla because he looks like Mr Blobby [not a Viking look]. We prefer former Archbishop "Killer" Runcie,M.C. because he has roamed around the Normandy battlefields in his Sherman and has blood on his sword.