UK & World News
Archbishop Attacks Cameron's 'Big Society'
The Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked David Cameron's "big society", saying it comes across as "aspirational waffle".
Rowan Williams says the Prime Minister's flagship policy - with the stated aim of empowering local people and communities - conceals "a deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable".
The criticism is made in a new book, extracts of which have been quoted in The Observer newspaper, and comes as Mr Cameron revealed he is considering axing most of the £1.8bn in housing benefit paid to the under-25s.
Dr Williams, who steps down in December after 10 years in his role as Archbishop, writes: "The big society, introduced in the run-up to the last election as a major political idea for the coming generation, has suffered from a lack of definition about the means by which such ideals can be realised.
"Big society rhetoric is all too often heard by many, therefore, as aspirational waffle designed to conceal a deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable."
He suggests ministers have fuelled cynicism over Mr Cameron's vision by failing to define what the role of citizens should be.
"And if the big society is anything better than a slogan looking increasingly threadbare as we look at our society reeling under the impact of public spending cuts, then discussion on this subject has got to take on board some of those issues about what it is to be a citizen and where it is that we most deeply and helpfully acquire the resources of civic identity and dignity."
Number 10 said: "The launch of Big Society Capital in April is a concrete example of the Government delivering on its plans - £600m to help create a funding model that is truly self-sustaining and that will help charities and social enterprises to play their part in building a bigger society."
The criticism came as it emerged the PM wants to strip housing benefit from hundreds of thousands of young people.
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what do you think?
Rowan Williams appointment was a political one made by Tony Blair just before he converted his family to catholicism.If Williams spent as much time furthering the aims of the English church and preaching christianity as he does furthering the aims of the muslim religon and dabbling in politics people may just be able to understand this old fools purpose in life
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'Big soceity' was always a political con right from the start. As bankrupt a lie as 'we are all in it together.' Meanwhile Cameron is displaying true conservative values by stealing benefits from the disabled, the blind, the desperate and terminal cancer patients. . . . To be a conservative is to be an immoral human being, without compassion, greedy and souless. Poverty in this country will soon regress back to Victorian levels, and the underclass has swelled to 5 million. Meanwhile the politicians and bankers sip champagne, counting their stolen millions whilst laughing at all of us who suffer because we do nothing about it. People are being forced into poverty by this immoral government. . . A majority in poverty fulfills the capitalistic agenda to sustain the obscene wealth of the tiny elite. How long will this continue before social unrest leads to civil war ?
Well said Stevie, but unfortunately the electorate fall time & time again for the Tory babel thinking that if they work hard etc, they will get a share of the spoils. Most people are not interested in a fair sharing society. If you vote Tory you get what you deserve!
Brilliant expose of a heartless government. Rowan, we will miss you
MIss him ? Yeah like a hole in the head
Well, is it aspirational waffle, except how about the Archmufti concern himself with the wellbeing of this nation's church and keep out of leftie politics.
The Archbishop hits the nail on the head. This "big society" sounds like Thatcher's "Care in the Community" which was basically kicking the mentally handicapped out of asylums and onto the streets.
whats wrong with children living with their parents.i think cameron means the people who breed and want accomodation for nothing,send them back to the people who bred them who i bet also sponge off the state.great way of breaking the cycle.stop child benefits as well...why have an incentive to breed.if you cant afford BE responsible and dont.
Does this mean that only the wealthy can have children?
If we all waited til we could afford children, no one would have any! Which would free up time in the doctors surgery...hmmm..
My own reaction to the 'Big Society' was that it was even more nebulus than John Major's 'Back to Basics' policy. This says it all about Cameron as he is a man without principles and is not interested in policies that have to be defined - one of the main reasons why he failed to win the general election. He is supposed to prefer being in charge of a coalition to having a workable Tory majority. I believe that he is a closet LibDem who drifts from one expedient to another. Hopeless! Useless! Outrageous!
williams ,you yourself are are more reprehesible , because you invalidate the word of God by your actions and lack of action not once have you ever mentioned God`s purpose for mankind which is clearly revealed in The Bible Psalms 37:11 , 29 )and you also involve yourself with world leaders seeking their friendship and protection (john17:16)rather than seeking the truth of God`s word (john 17:17)and telling people the good news as Jesus and his disciples did from door to door Matthew 9:35 ps( before commenting on this Please examine the scriptures cited )
Take your preachings, elswhere, thanks.Most of us are intelligent , and don't relish constant pestering from the god squad. You lot are just afraid to die, and will not accept the fact that oblivion awaits us all. Like before we were born, there is only nothingness. Chapter this and that.... please, wake up !
Save it for church Ronnie. . . If you want to worship someone, why not try Lilith (Adam's first wife) ? Isiah 34:14, Psalm 91:5. Try reading The Alpha ben sira, or The book of splendours. . . People have been worshipping the Great Mother Goddess for over 10,000 years - long before anyone ever heard of your judgenental patriachal deity
Perhaps Dr. Williams should comment on the Bilderburg view and its policy of European states putting overseas needs and expences before home needs and expences. Or is he a member of this organisation too ?
Well who is interested in what he thinks..... Why should we listen to anybody who still thinks Earth was created by a God when there is hard evidence staring him in the face to PROVE otherwise and head of an organasation that covers up abuse goings on and amalgamates wealth when the bible he believes in preaches the exact opposite.
Hurray for Rowan Williams - he`s spot on. One thing Dave is good at is waffle - lots of confident `politicky speek` without an ounce of substance. Whoever thought of the slogan Big Society was misguided - it sounds sinister for starters and gives the impression of being a society only benefiting `big` people, i.e. bankers, rich businessmen and successful ladder climbers, which we can all see, it`s turning out to be.
Coming from this out of touch druid look alike the words Pot, kettle,black immediately spring to mind. Camerons Big Society claptrap pales into insignificance when compared to the aspirational waffle Mr Williams has spouted from the pulpit in the last 10 years
He needs to axe housing benefit paid to migrants who are flouting the rules by claims it when there are more of them living there than states and prosecute estate agents who turn a blind eye to it so long as they get their money - happens all time round here
Of course its all waffle. Anything this government says is waffle. How can he say we have a big equal society when we spend MILLIONS on the jubilee, MILLIONS on the olympics and we still have families in abject poverty that rely on hand outs from food banks? Homeless people because we dont have enough council housing? Recored unemployment with zero investment from the government to create jobs? A bunch of rich boys playing at government, they havnt got a clue about the people. get them out NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If this government's ideas went without comment by the likes of Rowan Williams where would we be?Like it or not he is the spiritual leader of millions of people and has a duty to point out the failings of any plan that has no real substance or benefit. Camerons 'big society' is just waffle and hides the true target of any conservative government which is high unemployment and make the workers afraid for their jobs
aspirational waffle?? He should know, religion is built on it. Pot calling the kettle if you ask me.
Dear Mr Bishop & to be honest all you lefties; There is something Feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of......... COMFORABLE MYTHS. Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.
Brian E Gorton
Looks like a re-run of the Irish famine to me.The local comunity had to pay instead of the great british government.The locals had no money or food,they lost their homes and land,then they died in their thousands.Only the wealthy gained.If you stop all social's!! You can only steel from those who have.The riots of last summer will be as nothing.In my area an old lady with health problems has lost her home of thirty years,she can't pay the rent because of benafit changes.
Brian E Gorton
Please read the report in the Express about starving Britain.Open your eyes.