Justin Welby spent this week cuddling up to Britain’s trade unions with emetic chumminess. Raising his clenched fist in a sanctified Stalinist salute, the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered a fiery podium-thumping speech to the Trades Union Congress, exposing himself as a full Monty socialist.
Welby and oratory have never been bedfellows. On the whole, His Grace’s addresses resemble the crayon doodlings of toddlers, admired by doting parents. If you’re looking for “four score and seven years ago” or “blood, toil, tears and sweat” or “I’ve been to the mountaintop” look not to Lambeth Palace, where only limp lettuce grows. Welby is more a maestro at the “here a quack, there a quack, everywhere a quack quack” brand of sermonising.
Not any more. Overnight, the posh Etonian morphed into a rough Elijah calling down fire on the priests of Baal, Wonga and Amazon. Rhetorical flourishes flew like tongues of fire: there was prophet Amos letting “justice roll down like waters”; there was militant Mary sending “the rich empty away”; there was Martin Niemöller’s “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a socialist”.
Sparking alliterations jumped out like little hobgoblins, working their charm on the congregation of his newfound comrades. Welby spoke of a “free fire zone” and the “cradle of chaos”. There was a flash of Martin Luther King when the Archbishop climaxed with “Today I dream that governments, now and in the future, put church-run food banks out of business. I dream of empty night shelters!” Even God and Jesus made a couple of dazzling appearances.
Welby and oratory have never been bedfellows.
Welby was wonderfully eloquent, lucid, consistent, reasoned and as passionate as a black Pentecostal preacher. The Archbishop, who uses the e-word as infrequently as Halley’s comet putting in an appearance, railed with righteous indignation against the “gig economy” and “zero hour contracts” as “the reincarnation of an ancient evil”.
The audience of social justice warriors erupted with a thunderous standing ovation. The Tories responded by weeping and gnashing their teeth. Like the jealous scribes and Pharisees, they accused the new Chrysostom of “parroting Labour policy”.
“What has His Grace been smoking? Is it the opiate of socialism with its illusion of equality and its delusion of a prefabricated utopia made by human hands? Or is His Grace high on the Holy Spirit and heralding the beginning of a new Pentecost for Britain?” I asked myself as I watched his virtuoso performance. “Bravo, bravissimo, Your Grace!” I cheered.
Has Welby been souping up his rhetorical skills with high-octane oratorical fuel from Aristotle? For a public speaker to be truly persuasive, he must have ethos (personal character), pathos (put the audience into a certain frame of mind) and logos (the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech logos), says Aristotle. He wrote: “Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible.”
Let’s give Welby an A for pathos. For logos, let’s be generous and grade him B+. He uses a number of biblical texts to promote “social justice” without recognising the serious methodological pitfalls in comparing the agrarian economy of biblical times – where it was not easy to create wealth unless you exploited others and took their fair share – with the modern economy of the free market.
Welby’s reading of the Bible assumes the economics of the fixed pie – the size of the pie is fixed and there is only one pie. In a capitalist economy, there is no limit to the number of pies that can be baked and wealth can be created ex nihilo without impoverishing others. But Welby is too blinded by his dogma of equality of outcomes to see this difference.
When it comes to ethos, Welby’s grade would plummet like a nightmarish day at the stock exchange. If we were to be fair, we’d mark him D for credibility. Why? The buzzword most frequently recurring in his speech is “justice” – he uses it nineteen times. This is followed by “power” (or “powerful”), his other pet word – he hammers it home 16 times.
As a string of sex abuse victims will testify – they have knelt on the stone pavement outside Lambeth Palace until their knees bled and pleaded for Welby to do justice. Welby has stared as unblinkingly as the Buddha from beneath his vulturine eyelids, but the victims are still waiting, still crying for justice.
If we were to be fair, we’d mark him D for credibility.
Without a shred of evidence, Welby maintained that the saintly and courageous Bishop George Bell had molested a little girl over half a century ago. Even after a high-level inquiry exonerated Bell, Welby failed to do justice to the dead bishop. In real life, Welby and justice have never been on talking terms.
On the other hand, Welby and power have been closer than Biggles and Ginger. Time and again I have demonstrated how no organisation in the British Isles has its hierarchy as corrupted by power and as unaccountable to congregations or shareholders as the archbishops and bishops in the Church of England.
A day before preaching taxes and Trotsky to the TUC, Welby said that all industries should have unions to ensure that employers acted fairly.Come again, Your Grace? How about starting a union for clergy in your own backyard – didn’t you know thousands of your clergy have been registering with Unite because you and your bully bishops have accumulated absolute power?
The Church of England will forge new links with trade unions in order to hold businesses to account, said Welby. Pray, Archbishop, who will hold the Church of England to account? The media did it this morning when it exposed the hypocrisy of the Archbishop’s address after it emerged that the Church of England uses zero hours contracts and invests in Amazon. In fact, the Church’s stake in Amazon is one of the 20 most valuable investments held by its multi-billion-pound fund! “Woe to you Welby, hypocrite!” we hear Jesus saying.
In terms of his credibility, what has Welby ever done for the working classes of this country? The worst atrocity in recent years has been the industrial scale rape and sexual abuse of white, working class girls almost entirely perpetrated by Pakistani Muslim men. Welby and his bishops have done the very thing Pastor Niemöller so glowingly highlighted: “Then they came for the white working class girls, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a member of the working class”.
When the deplorables of this country voted for Brexit, Welby sneered at them, making common cause with the globalists in the back alleys of Brussels.
For decades, the Church of England has drifted far from the labouring classes of this great land. And the labourers, like sheep without a shepherd, have deserted the Church of England and turned to the trade unions for succour and salvation. With Welby championing their cause by bearding the lion in his own den, how can they not submit to Jesus as Saviour and return to the Ecclesia Anglicana?
After all, isn’t Welby the spiritual shepherd joining forces with secular shepherds of the trade unions like Frances O’Grady and Len McCluskey who love their working class sheep, live like them, and receive wages equal to the average sheep? Aren’t the working classes singing hosannas to their secular shepherds?
“Woe to you Welby, hypocrite!” we hear Jesus saying.
You’re not serious, are you? “Over the past twenty years, trade unions in Britain, Canada and the USA – three countries sharing similar labour market institutional frameworks – have had a difficult time maintaining, let alone advancing, membership rates,” concede Alex Bryson and Raphael Gomez in Representing Workers: Trade Union Recognition and Membership in Britain. Though the unions are still the largest voluntary organisations in Britain, research reveals that only between two-fifths and one-half of workers say that they would unionize if a union were available to them.
“Union membership appeared to be in a downward spiral which was, if anything, gathering momentum. The TUC lost three million affiliated members between 1980 and 1987,” observes Prof W. Hamish Fraser in A History of British Trade Unionism, 1700-1998. In fact, 78 per cent of young workers never want to join a union. Welby’s failing church does have something in common with the unions!
Like the bishops of Welby’s church, the leaders of Britain’s trade unions have turned out to be ravenous wolves disguised as good shepherds. Equality? Welby earns a princely income of over £65,000 pa compared to a vicar who is paid around £23,000 pa. Bishops are paid almost double the income of their curates.
William Fittall, the senior most official at Church House, got £153,000, after a £4,000 rise in 2012. One employee at the Church Commissioners pocketed £239,000 after a £6,000 rise. Six persons at the Church Commissioners are paid over £100,000. Eight were paid over £70,000, of whom two received more than £100,000. Blatantly contradicting Welby’s mantra of equality, the highest paid employee in the Archbishops’ Council earned seven times more than the lowest paid in the organisation!
The fat cats in the trade unions are no different. 45 public sector trade union bosses receive more than £100,000 a year in salary and benefits. This places them within the top 5 per cent of earners in the UK and in the category of “wealthy” as defined by Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell. The General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers pocketed £161,548. This places him in the top one per cent of earners in the UK.
In Britain, taxpayers subsidise public sector unions. We pay for the astronomical salaries that fund the lavish lifestyles of many trade union bosses. How dare they and Welby condemn “corporate greed” when they themselves are earning so much more than the average worker they claim to represent?
Workers undeniably benefit from representation. But the working class in Britain have recognised that they don’t benefit from being represented by fat cat limousine socialists who attack capitalism under the guise of workers rights. They have seen how like Welby, the TUC pushes a globalist pro-immigration line which demonises indigenous British workers as fascist and racist, when they ask for real representation.
Welby speaks of protecting the vulnerable. But the unions have waged war against the most defenceless of all human beings – the unborn child. The TUC have a shameful campaign to extend abortion rights and are “fighting for a modern abortion law fit for the 21st century”. Their extreme demands include making abortion legally available at the request of the woman at any time of the pregnancy and the removal of the requirement for counselling and two doctors.
When the deplorables of this country voted for Brexit, Welby sneered at them.
They even want early abortions to be carried out in GPs surgeries by trained nurses. They are calling for a ban on “misleading advertising of crisis pregnancy services operated by groups opposed to abortion”. In 2015, they even opposed a proposed ban on the sex-selective abortions of girls because of their gender.
Women’s rights, eh? If abortion is murder, Welby’s comrades are cold-blooded murderers seeking to exterminate the most defenceless of our society, especially girl babies.
Aristotle spoke of courage as the greatest of all virtues but did not include it in his qualifications of a good speech. If we include courage, Welby will surely fail, because you don’t have to be bold to preach socialism garnished with biblical misquotations to a bunch of die-hard Marxists. If socialists sang in choirs, one could speak of Welby preaching to the choir!
Who do the TUC represent? It’s not the working class and under class of white Britons. It’s most certainly not Christians who have been persecuted in the workplace for their convictions. I spoke to Christian Concern to check if the TUC have done anything to defend the rights of Christian workers.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Legal Centre, which valiantly contends for Christians facing discrimination in the workplace, said: “Trade unions have rarely, if ever, been of any real use in supporting the Christians we’ve assisted in workplace disputes. They are often actively hostile to the Christian view on sexual ethics or bioethics and they don’t understand the motivation of Christians – that, if forced, they must serve God rather than man. So when they do provide help, it is usually to preserve the person’s job by appeasing the employer. They have not typically stood up for Christian freedoms – in fact, they have often encouraged employees to make concessions and thereby undermine possible challenges under the Equality Act.”
In his speech, Welby said that Christians should follow Jesus’s example and be “sceptical of accumulation of power”. If we should be sceptical of the accumulation of power (will Welby explain how that is following Christ’s example?) then we should be sceptical of a powerful church teaming up with a powerful socialist organisation.
The unions once represented the people who worked the mines and docks. They now represent the powerful vested interests of the globalists. That is why they vigorously oppose Brexit. The TUC represents globalism under the cloak of workers’ rights. So why does the Arch-communist of Canterbury sign up with them? Power. We should be sceptical of Comrade Justin Welby.
(Originally published in Republic Standard)