Compulsory Sunday Reading: A manifesto for a new politics from the CofE

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I’ve just spent three-quarters of an hour reading the Church of England’s (CofE) letter “Who is my neighbour?”, and what struck me most forcefully was how many of the CofE’s recommendations were embodied in the debate around the referendum last year – whichever way you voted  – in direct contrast to the way the General Election seems to be panning out.

In its conclusions the CofE recommends:

  • Halting and reversing the accumulation of power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands, whether those of the state, corporations or individuals.

  • Involving people at a deeper level in the decisions that affect them most.

  • Recognising the distinctive communities, whether defined by geography, religion or culture, which make up the nation and enabling all to thrive and participate together.

  • Treating the electorate as people with roots, commitments and traditions and addressing us all in terms of the common good and not just as self-interested consumers.

  • Demonstrating that the weak, the dependent, the sick, the aged and the vulnerable are persons of equal value to everybody else.

  • Offering the electorate a grown up debate about Britain’s place in the world order and the possibilities and obligations that entails.