- (Photo: AP Images / Akira Suemori)
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has rebuked the British coalition government, saying that it is committing Britain to “radical, long-term policies for which no one voted.”
Writing as a guest editor for the New Statesman magazine, Dr Williams told there was “indignation” at the lack of “proper public argument” on issues of health, education and welfare reforms.
The spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion told that the government’s Big Society program was seen with “widespread suspicion” throughout Britain. The Big Society initiative is a plan introduced by British Prime Minister David Cameron that aims to shrink the state and hand more control of services to volunteer groups. However, Williams described it as a “stale” slogan which is viewed as an “opportunistic” cover for spending cuts.
He accused the British coalition government of creating “anxiety and anger” by introducing reforms without sufficient debate and consultation.
Williams also reveals there is widespread concern that the government will abandon its commitments to tackling child poverty, illiteracy, and improving access to the best schools in Britain.
Downing Street has denied the Archbishop’s claims that the Big Society initiative was being used “as a cover for cuts”, and pointed to the fact that Cameron had supported the ideas of Big Society long before the financial crisis began.
According to the BBC, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair commented that there was a long tradition of archbishops criticizing the government. He said, “Obviously people used to criticize our policies not just on Iraq and foreign policy but on domestic policy and reform as well. It's just part of the way things work.
“He's perfectly entitled to put his position and I should imagine the government will say they're pretty relaxed about it and get on with whatever they want to do.”