Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?

A brief post this morning, because the Archbishop of Canterbury has been commenting on banking. As you’d expect. Or, perhaps, wouldn’t.
Some of his points were reasonable enough. Lending long and borrowing short is a risky strategy. Don’t lend to the wrong people. Fair enough, if not exactly earth-shattering. I liked his observation about bankers in general:

They do not come in with horns and a tail burning £50 notes to light large cigars

he said, much the same point I have made in the prologue to Without Due Care.

But should he be talking at all? Should we take his comments any more seriously than we would of any other moderately-well-informed but far-from-expert celebrity? Jools Holland, maybe, or Paula Radcliffe? He’s not an elected representative of any of us (unless there’s a member of the Crown Appointments Commission reading this, in which case, sorry); I’ve always found the notion of the “Lords Spiritual” rather disturbing. He is, of course, a public figure and he has a right to voice his opinions, I suppose, but for a religious figure to comment on anything outside their own field sits pretty uneasily with me. The church has problems of its own. And what he proposes – breaking up one of the larger banks into better-capitalised, regional players – might sound like a lovely idea but wouldn’t come cheap. If he wants to make some general observations, then fine, but actual, specific proposals, especially huge and complex ones?

Stick to what you know, your most venerable grace.


If you liked this, take a look at some extracts from my soon-to-be-published novel Without Due Care here.



  1. adam scott · · Reply

    Oh yes, let’s all sit in our own houses and preach our own rules.. that should fix things… oh wait that’s what got us in this problem in the first place… this is a democracy, and as such that means that all people can talk and express their views, either in a general sense or a specific sense… if you ever got your way, we would end up with self imposed authorities of everything where no one can talk about anything unless they have dedicated their lives to it first….. thank god there was no one around like you when they finial let everyone vote… because I tell you know.. I’m not bloody qualified to vote under your example of who can say what and why !!! if the idea has merit, debate it, if it does not, debate it, but never say someone can’t say anything, arrogance and ignorance in the same package is neat, but disastrous in the long term.

    1. I wouldn’t stop him speaking. Not at all. But as you say, this is a democracy, not a theocracy, so religious figures appointed through an opaque process to a position of authority in the House of Lords sit most uneasily with me. That’s all.

    2. On reflection, you’re quite correct about the right to speak and debate. I should probably have made it clearer that it’s his position of quasi-authority I’m uncomfortable with. I don’t really have a problem with Jools and Paula talking about banking. Or anyone else at all. It’s just the strange in-between position of the Lords Spiritual that concerns me.

  2. adam scott · · Reply

    I’ve always trusted the constructs of power of our kingdom, it’s just not talked about enough in my view, The Queen, has all the power, the church has the spiritual authority of the power, the Queen is of course “Governed by the powers of GOD” e.g. no man or woman can choose to sit in the thrown, birth and death (outside of mans direct control) (naturally) is as they say God’s Will and under Gods control.

    This leaves the House of lords, the Temporal Masters, e.g. people that must think outside the current moment, to add up the past in to the present and see it in to the future.. e.g. they check and maintain the continuity of the country by “checking” ministers bills and laws for anything that upsets the balance so to speak.

    You have the administration, the civil service, this allows every word that was agreed and every law that was wrote to be enacted even 100 or 200 years after it was passed, keeping the order of the house and the write of ministers to make law through time.
    And Finial we have the house of commons, which is quite simply the house of ability.

    This leaves us with a complete set up, where each interest is its own authority, unless people speak openly about what others know or may not know, or what people can do or people cannot do, then nothing will change.

    However, its only time and tide so to speak that have created this,
    Once upon time in a land very close to home and a setting that looks a lot like today, the King was all powerful with ability money and power, the first to be separated was money and the city of London was formed, the next too separate was ability(the civil war), this was taken away from power until it was alone and only enjoyed its own pleasures “do not disturb her majesties pleasure” and since that day, Money , Power and ability have been separated, and authority and responsibility where born, and as such was granted to all people over time, this lead to all the joys of the press, critics, bloggers, tweets and so on and so forth, as it made, in fact, each person, and authority and the responsible person to their self and as such, the modern day opinion was formed, whereby we know according to the knowledge of our lives, the authority of our position and the responsibility of our selves we can rise above all power, money and ability.

    This is why, in a general sense, and specific sense, i would never say anyone cannot say something, nothing or everything about anything.

    Sorry to preach a bit 😛

    1. No need to apologise! Fascinating insight. Thank you.

  3. adam scott · · Reply

    Thanks, wish i could put it to use, but alas im stuck in an office doing Health and Safety policys for a industrial company… oh the joys of freedom lol !!

    1. Get yourself a blog!

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