Thursday 9 June 2011

Good for the Archbishop

It is not just because he has a house in Charlbury or that he was a canon at my former College that I like his Grace . A charming and learned man of great distinction . A thoughtful article in the NS which deserves more measured response from usual politicians knee jerk denouncements.

He is absolutely right to draw attention to the growing insidious attempt to look at the deserving and undeserving poor. This rather nasty dogma was very prevalent in the 19th century and there are unpleasant echoes in speeches by people like cousin George Osborne when he talks of scroungers on benefit. My recent Lecture on " rediscovering charity" made similar points about this nasty language. As unemployment grows we can expect more of the attacks on scroungers, as though there are jobs for all and those on long term benefit simply living off the land.

Recently. Mind released information on how people with mental health problems are growing concerned about how new tests on disability benefit will work and whether they will scar people off getting what is rightly theirs.

He is also right to talk of worry and concern in communities about current policies. It is something that we pick up from members , especially in more deprived communities and working with excluded or marginalised people.

The cuts to our sector's work with the most vulnerable, at a time of growing unemployment has caused anxiety and bafflement.

And who cannot argue that the term Big society has become a bit stale? Even the government agree with that. But he also argues for the underpinning notions behind BS- exactly the point our ACEVO Commission was making.

So good for you Rowan.

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