Tuesday 18 September 2018

Archbishop on the ball.

Here are three quotes  from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, when addressing the Trades Union Congress last week.

On Universal Credit (a "rolled up" payment to struggling families):

It was supposed to make it simpler and more efficient.  It has not done that.  It has left too many people worse off, putting them at risk of hunger, debt, rent arrears and food banks.  When universal credit comes into an area the [number] going to food banks  goes up.   What is clear is, if [the government] cannot get it right they need to stop rolling it out. 

On individual and corporate responsibility:

Not paying taxes speaks of the absence of commitment to our shared humanity,, to solidarity and justice.  If you earn money from a community you should pay your share of tax to that community.

And best of all he singled out the vast international companies, even naming Amazon:

. . . when vast companies like Amazon and other on-line traders . . .can get away with paying almost nothing in tax, there is something wrong with the tax system.  They don't pay a real living wage, so the taxpayer must support their workers with benefits; and having leeched off the taxpayer once, they don't pay for our defence, for security,  for stability,  for justice,  for health, for equality, for education.

So while one of our major parties struggles to take the country down the road to Brexit, which the vast majority of its MPs know to be wrong, another allows itself to be distracted by arcane attempts to define antisemitism, and the third (if still major) pre-occupies itself by tweaking its party rules, the Eton-educated Archbishop hits the nail on the head - indeed three nails on three heads.

Of course the poor man was rather undermined by the revelation that the Church Commissioners invest heavily in Amazon.  Lets hope those financial wizzards will now sit up, take notice, and disinvest.

And I suspect the Commissioners are not the only sinners.  Amazon only stays in business if people buy from it.  How about a boycott?  If you need a spur to action read the first chapters of  James Bloodworth's book "Hired" https://www.waterstones.com/book/hired/james-bloodworth/9781786490148" which reveals the squalid and inhuman conditions of work in an Amazon warehouse.

For more details see here:


That was written in March but things haven't changed.  Neither will they, until our MPs have the guts to look behind the causes of the Brexit vote, take a leaf out of the Archbishop's book, and tackle the real problems facing our society.


  1. the trouble is we live in a consumer economy where people want goods as cheap as possible. Equally this is cos wages are low so they both go together.I know of a young woman who has 2 jobs one that she got via a degree the other her part time job . This so she can build up money for a house. People take 2 jobs etc to build up money for the things they want .One job is no longer ..enough. They cannot afford to leave one job cos they will then not have the moneyTherefore they have to stay in the jobs available cheap jobs with long hours and have to take the rules etc that Amazon etc give.They cannot afford to leave for the benefit system penalises them. thus leading to high employment statistics..It is one reason why the well off want brexit it enha.nces their wealth as shareholders The 'tweakers of party rules' are as bad as the other 2 who have not the guts to expose/change the rotten system. Helping people to get back to work is fine but not to end up with slave labour conditions which is where we are heading.

    1. Thanks for that heartfelt comment, Nigel. We are a very wealthy country but those at the top have created a hellish existence for those at the bottom. Welby has highlighted the problems. Where are the politicians with the determination to do something about them? And where are the activists who will put pressure on the politicians, or lead a boycott?. What, for example, has happened to "Occupy"?