More religious leaders attack New Labour’s worship of the super-rich

Strong words from Church of England bishops on New Labour’s devotion to the neoliberal agenda pioneered by the Tories under Thatcher and Major.

Clearly, many people expected Brown to be more moderate than Blair with regards to serving the oligarchy.

Blair was more vocally religious – in reality neither part of “Christian socialist” could be truthfully applied to him.

Brown however has a religious background so it’s no wonder that a great many people of faith expected him to practice self-criticism rather than defend the legacy of Thatcher, Major, and Blair.

From The Morning Star:

Bishops: New Labour is morally corrupt
(Sunday 28 December 2008)

FURIOUS bishops delivered a damning assessment of new Labour’s record in power on Sunday, branding the government “morally corrupt.”

Five senior figures from the Church of England warned that Britain was suffering from family breakdown, an addiction to debt and a growing gap between rich and poor.

The bishops of Durham, Winchester, Manchester, Carlisle and Hulme accused ministers of squandering their opportunity to transform society and pursuing “scandalous” policies.

The interventions, in separate interviews, followed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s extraordinary public attack on new Labour last week.

Rowan Williams said that Gordon Brown’s plans to spend more in order to tackle the recession were like an “addict returning to the drug” and suggested that the economy had been going in the wrong direction for decades.

Bishop of Durham Tom Wright berated ministers for not doing enough to help the poor since 1997.

“Labour made a lot of promises, but a lot of them have vanished into thin air,” he said.

“We have not seen a raising of aspirations in the last 13 years, but, instead, there is a sense of hopelessness.

“While the rich have got richer, the poor have got poorer. When a big bank or car company goes bankrupt, it gets bailed out, but no-one seems to be bailing out the ordinary people who are losing their jobs and seeing their savings diminished.”

Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch bashed new Labour for encouraging people to get further into debt.

“The government has acted scandalously. This is not just an economic issue but a moral one. It’s about what we value,” he said.

“The government believes that money can answer all of the problems and has encouraged greed and a love of money that the Bible says is the root of all evil.

“It’s morally corrupt because it encourages people to get into a lifestyle of believing they can always get what they want.”

Bishop McCulloch said that the government was guilty of pursuing the same policies championed by Margaret Thatcher.

“Both administrations have been beguiled by money. It’s ironic that, under a Labour government, we have the poor feeling they have been betrayed and the gap is getting ever greater.

“Any government of integrity would have exercised restraint, but this has been sadly lacking.”