Church leaders in Christmas criticism of “free” market

Credit is due to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales:

“Christianity neither condemns nor canonises the market economy – it may be an essential element in the conduct of human affairs.

“But we have to remember that it is a system governed by people, not some blind force like gravity.

“Those who operate the market have an obligation to act in ways that promote the common good, not just in ways that promote the interests of certain groups.”

Admitting he was “no expert” in economics, he said he was unable to “ignore the damaging consequences of volatile financial markets” on his fellow human beings.

The Cardinal is clearly not an expert, as he freely admits, but his sincere comments are welcome.

To stop the deepening economic crisis and ensure it is not repeated, we need to extend democratic control into the economy, empowering workers to make decisions within and between enterprises. This means an reversal of privatisation, and a proliferation of worker co-operatives in place of joint-stock corporations. it is apparent to people that the super-rich have no morality, and they must give up their power over our economy.

And credit is due to Archbishop Rowan Williams, leader of the Church of England, who has also been critical of the market madness. He urged solidarity with victims of the recession in his Christmas message:

“In the months ahead it will mean in our own country asking repeatedly what is asked of us locally to care for those who bear the heaviest burdens in the wake of our economic crisis – without waiting for the magical solution, let alone the return of the good times.”

Harold Pinter… may he rest in peace

A giant in his field – both as an actor and a dramatist – Harold Pinter was a man who was moved to speak out for peace and social justice, he unleashed the raw emotion he felt, even as he battled cancer. And while his engagement in progressive struggles drew criticism from those cynics who believe artists should be engaged only in passive commodity production, we shall remember him for his words, his deeds, and… also… his pauses.