2 November 2011

Thinking Paper # 186: The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks

By Tim Massingberd James


As well as making non-specific demands of internet service providers which have been widely condemned by the British Association of Fifteen Year Old Boys, the Church of England has been up to lots of other silly nonsense this week. They've been losing Deans and firing Canons all over the place, and today beardy Rowan has reared his head, joining every A-Level Politics student in the land in suggesting a 'Robin Hood Tax' on on financial trading. Why oh why doesn't he just be quiet?

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks

It's as if Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams thinks we care what he has to say, and as if he thinks he is the first person to think of this. In fact, Nobel Laureate economist James Tobin suggested almost exactly the same thing in 1972, and it has never been adopted because it would drive even more of the money out of your country, into tax havens around the world. Rowan likes it because some idiots are parked on the steps of one of his offices.

It's all very well for the Church of England. They have hundreds of millions of pounds in various investments around the world, they own property in every town, village and city in the country, and people still continue to hand over their hard earned cash every Sunday in the same way they have for about 500 years. They don't have to worry about jobs, and the economy, and where their next pay cheque is coming from. Rowan lives in a palace, and gets all his expensive hats, staffs and robes on the Church, using the huge amounts of money our great great grandparents shelled out every single week of their short, miserable lives.

However, for the rest of us life is more difficult. We quite like having clothes to wear and having enough money to eat, but Rowan seems determined to throw it all away just because some lads are on a camping trip in front of his office. We think he should just refer to paper 183 and get some mean vicars in to clear it all up? We despair.


Why does Rowan's opinion matter? Why does he pander to about 50 idiots? Why all this handwringing? Just get on with it.

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