The debate on David Cameron’s ‘big society’ concept appears to be heating up. Enter centre stage Catholic Archbishop Vincent Nichols via an interview in the Sunday Telegraph. Archbishop Nichols makes some telling point, although for me the most astute (and devastating) observation of the entire interview comes from Fr James Hanvey, one of the archbishop’s advisers:
The political question that hangs over the Big Society is its provenance,” said Fr Hanvey. “Has the Conservative part of the Coalition simply seized the economic crisis as an opportunity to push through the unfinished neoliberal agenda of the last Conservative administration? We should not forget the enormous social division that was entailed in this. It signalled the end of a humanist and humane consensus in British society.
Not to be outdone, Archbishop Nichols takes a side-swipe at the coalition government and warns it not to use the ‘big society’ concept as a cover for cuts that effect the most vulnerable in society. He finished by observing that ‘The poorest are taking the biggest hit while at the same time you see huge bank bonuses and profits and this is not right’.
I couldn’t agree more! We need more church leaders to speak out in a similar manner and challenge what is going on around us.
You can read the entire article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8456301/Catholic-church-Big-Society-is-failing.html