I had a lovely drive through Sussex this morning, returning from a couple of nights at my Dad’s place on the South Coast. The combination of well-watered greenery and the whites of elder, ground elder and ox-eye daisies was quite stunning. I enjoyed listening to the Jubilee thanksgiving service on Radio 4 with Nicholas Witchell. He showed some of his BBC TV colleagues how to say little and let the subject matter speak for itself. As I drove through verdant, lovely Sussex I couldn’t help being grateful to live in our beautiful, safe, civilised, happy and prosperous country.
My enjoyment of the service was only slightly marred by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s frankly silly, Marxist world view. He talked of “the traps of ludicrous financial greed, of environmental recklessness, of collective fear of strangers and collective contempt for the unsuccessful and marginal”. Do his family and friends have contempt for the unsuccessful and marginal? Mine don’t. I can only conclude that this line is this some kind of veiled criticism of the government’s social policies? If so it was quite out of place. Whatever you think of our government it is not driven by contempt. Williams was just using his pulpit to get a free hit on the government. I didn’t hear Rowan Williams decrying a previous government that spent £4 for every £3 that it collected and made mendacious promises that it knew it could never keep. I didn’t hear him criticising Bill Clinton for forcing the US financial system to lend to people who couldn’t afford to borrow.
Williams talked of financial greed presiding in his ludicrously expensive fancy dress over the highest in the land. What a complete fool? If he believed a word he said he would turn his back on his future role as of Master of Magdalene College, his career in high office in the church and his theological career at Oxford and Cambridge and do something personal, and probably dirty, to help the unsuccessful and the marginal. No hope of that. What a complete fool?