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Local Archbishop needles acquisitive bankers

It always tickles me to see how twitchy politicians get when anyone with an ounce of moral credibilty starts to edge into what they regard as their territory.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams raised eyebrows during his Christmas Day sermon.

He suggested the rioters who tore Britain’s cities apart during the summer were no worse than bankers and that the “bonds of trust” had been broken throughout society. He told the congregation at Canterbury Cathedral:

“Whether it is an urban rioter mindlessly burning down a small shop that serves his community, or a speculator turning his back on the question of who bears the ultimate cost for his acquisitive adventures in the virtual reality of today’s financial world, the picture is of atoms spinning apart in the dark.”

The Church of England was also caught up in the struggle between anti-capitalist protesters camped in front of St Paul’s Cathedral since October and the Corporation of London, which is fighting a legal battle to disband the campsite.

Last month Dr Williams suggested he was sympathetic to a “Robin Hood tax” on share and currency transactions. Coalition trade and investment minister Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, who is also an ordained minister in the Church of England, said:

“A lot has changed since 2008. There has been a lot of soul-searching in the financial services industry, quite rightly, too.”

But the former chairman of HSBC, who said it was wrong to single out the financial services industry for criticism, warned the Government would need to remain “watchful” to stop “backsliding” by the City.

Prime Minister David Cameron has called on the Archbishop to lead a revival of Bible values in Britain rather than focus on politics. He said Dr Williams could make political statements but warned him he should not be surprised if the politicians hit back.

thisiskent 5th Jan 2012

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