The global economic troubles are an opportunity to emerge from the spiral of debt and me-first consumption, says the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. He complained to the BBC last week that such "moral questions" are not being considered as the government plans jump start the economy.
Rather than restart old habits of mass consumption, Williams said, "I'd like to think that in this sort of crisis, people would be reflecting more on how we develop a volunteer culture, where people are willing to put their services at the service of the needs of others so that there can be a more active and vital civil society."
But Prime Minister Gordon Brown is having none of the Archbishop's criticism. Brown is taking the argument to Williams's own turf by recalling the parable of the Good Samaritan. "Every time someone becomes unemployed or loses their home or a small business fails it is our duty to act, and we should not walk by on the other side when people are facing problems."1