Thursday, 18 December 2008

ABC interviewed on BBC radio

This morning, on the Today radio programme, John Humphrys interviewed the Archbishop of Canterbury. You can listen to the whole event, here.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has issued his Christmas message. In a wide-ranging interview, he gives his views on the economic downturn, the invasion of Iraq and the possibility of disestablishment of the Church of England.

This interview has also provoked a considerable volume of comment, including from the Prime Minister. Here’s some of the reporting:

BBC Economic crisis a ‘reality check’ by Robert Piggot

Guardian
Brown’s spending plans like ‘addict returning to the drug’, says archbishop and
Spin, Brown style: or how to bash the Tories with a bishop

Telegraph
Martin Beckford Archbishop of Canterbury: Gordon Brown’s recovery plan like ‘addict returning to drug’
James Kirkup and Martin Beckford Gordon Brown hits back over Rowan Williams’ economic attack

The Times
Philippe Naughton Archbishop of Canterbury welcomes credit crunch ‘reality check’ and
Brown slaps down Archbishop of Canterbury in credit crunch row

The Archbishop’s Christmas Message can be found here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 18 December 2008 at 10:59pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

The archbishop failed to communicate clearly enough.

The return to the drug is this: what was the problem? Generating too much debt, consuming beyond means. What is the solution? Public debt, to try to restore consumption.

The analysis instead should be the change in the economy after a collapse, where public debt is fine so long as it generates physical demand and adds value: this means infrastructure type projects, especially producing social housing (as this would reduce asset price inflation in the future).

The issue in the economy is not producing lots of thingies as such, but adding value in what you do. So long as you add value, then people get involved and wants are satisfied.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 19 December 2008 at 5:08am GMT

The Archbishop failed to communicate thoroughly enough? True, he is often a challenge to understand, but your sentences make very little sense, Pluralist.

Posted by: Frank on Friday, 19 December 2008 at 4:45pm GMT

As I interpreted him, Rowan was asking what is the place of debt in our society? I can confidently say that the US is much too indebted as a nation for its own good. Rowan obviously feels the same about the UK.

It's true that up to a certain point, a country, a business or a person should take on debt to invest in something that will produce a higher return, like infrastructure, new factories or education respectively. While the US and UK have no choice but to take on debt to invest in themselves and keep their economies going, there comes a point in time where taking on more debt is stealing from generations to come.

Given Jesus' concern for the poor and the Bible's prohibition of usury, Christians should be very concerned. Readers may wish to go through a statement by the Presbyterian Church, USA, on usury:

http://www.pcusa.org/oga/publications/usury.pdf

Posted by: Weiwen Ng on Friday, 19 December 2008 at 10:04pm GMT

Williams - as ever - is simply wrong.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 20 December 2008 at 1:42am GMT
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