Updated again Thursday noon
Update the New Statesman has now published the full text of the leading article: The government needs to know how afraid people are by Rowan Williams.
I can imagine a New Statesman reader looking at the contents of this issue and mentally supplying: “That’s enough coalition ministers (Ed).” After all, the NS has never exactly been a platform for the establishment to explain itself. But it seems worth encouraging the present government to clarify what it is aiming for in two or three key areas, in the hope of sparking a livelier debate about where we are going – and perhaps even to discover what the left’s big idea currently is…
other updates at the bottom
Tim Ross has a front page story in Thursday’s Telegraph, headlined Rowan Williams condemns ‘frightening’ Coalition.
Dr Rowan Williams will launch a sustained attack on the Coalition in the most outspoken political intervention by an Archbishop of Canterbury for a generation.
He warns that the public is gripped by “fear” over the Government’s reforms to education, the NHS and the benefits system and accuses David Cameron and Nick Clegg of forcing through “radical policies for which no one voted”.
Openly questioning the democratic legitimacy of the Coalition, the Archbishop dismisses the Prime Minister’s “Big Society” as a “painfully stale” slogan, and claims that it is “not enough” for ministers to blame Britain’s economic and social problems on the last Labour government.
The comments come in an article he has written as guest editor of this week’s New Statesman magazine.
His two-page critique, titled “The government needs to know how afraid people are”, is the most forthright political criticism by such a senior cleric since Robert Runcie enraged Margaret Thatcher with a series of attacks in the 1980s.
Lambeth Palace is braced for an angry response but Dr Williams, who became Archbishop of Canterbury nine years ago, is understood to believe that the moment is right for him to enter the political debate…
Damian Thompson adds that Rowan Williams returns to Old Labour sloganising as he desperately tries to distract himself from Anglican meltdown.
The New Statesman itself reports the story this way: Archbishop of Canterbury: “no one voted” for the coalition’s policies.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has launched a remarkable attack on the coalition government, warning that it is committing the country to “radical, long-term policies for which no one voted.” In a leading article in tomorrow’s New Statesman, which he has guest-edited, Rowan Williams writes that the “anxiety and anger” felt by voters is a result of the coalition’s failure to expose its policies to “proper public argument”.
With specific reference to David Cameron’s health and education reforms, the Archbishop says that the government’s approach has created a mixture of “bafflement and indignation” among the public…
New Statesman Philip Pullman on what he owes to the Church of England