Comments of the week

A selection of the best comments left on the site this week.

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Rowan Williams

Brilliant! The speed and the extremity of this government's policies, particularly on health and education, are absolutely at odds with the way in which they were elected. This was no landslide victory - the public didn't wholeheartedly get behind either party in power, and their approach should respect their rather tentative victory. Cameron said the NHS would be protected and Clegg promised not to raise tuition fees. Even the people who did vote for either of these parties must be feeling rather cheated now.

Rob on Leader: The government needs to know how afraid people are

The Archbishop's views are valid and his right to hold and express them incontrovertible. More significant, however, are the responses from the ranks of Government. They hold themselves out as having a mandate for their actions by virtue of holding a controlling majority in Parliament. What an insight this is on the true nature of our constitutional malaise: why our claim to be a democracy is so compromised. It should of course be Parliament that is in control of Government, not the other way round. Parliament, that body of elected representatives of you and me (and not, as it has become, the puppet of parties).

I M Spardagus on Rowan Williams: the political world responds

I read this article in some detail and I agree. 'Localism' is a canard, and essential services for vulnerable people are being cut, with nothing to replace them. In fact, the charitable sector is also shrinking. I regard these developments with fear and trepidation, and I defy any thinking person with a social conscience to do otherwise.

Mr G. on Leader: The government needs to know how afraid people are

I may be agnostic bordering on atheist but for a long time I have felt that Rowan Williams makes Christianity eminently attractive; and that of course is the point here - he is espousing christian values, particularly care and thought for those less fortunate than most of us.

Of course, the fact that he is doing this will be totally lost on the right wing press, whose headlines will undoubtedly reach warp factor rant, as they criticise his temerity for stating the self-evidently truth.

Jeremy Marsh on Leader: The government needs to know how afraid people are

I think those of use who voted Conservative knew exactly what we were voting for. And the Lib Dems - well they didn't get many votes and have got key policies through, like raising the tax thresholds. The Archbishop just doesn't like the policies, that is different from saying we didn't vote for them.

And how vociferous was he about the Iraq war, or about the use of immigration to strengthen the Labour government, though it has backfired in part, or about Labour's failure to regulate the credit markets? Those really were things noone voted for!

Finally, illiteracy rates are a scandal, as is child poverty. Has it occurred to him that 60 years of socialist interference in private lives is a cause of this? Everyone expecting someone else to do their parenting, their healthcare, their old age provision? The Big Society to me is about finding a better way forward.

Bankrupt Britain on Leader: The government needs to know how afraid people are

The return of Blair

Blair lost Labour about three million votes between 2001 and 2005, which were mainly attributable to Iraq.

Brown lost Labour 943,000 votes between 2005 and 2010 despite the biggest global financial crisis since the 1920s.

In some parallel universe, where Blair hadn't rammed his head up Bush's arse, Labour would still be in power.

Dave C on Is Blair the best man to give advice to Labour in 2011?

"But why should Miliband or any other Labour politician heed his advice?"

Because he is the only person currently alive who has ever lead the Labour party to an election victory.

And he did it three times.

Why is it that those on the right revere their three-times election-winner (ignoring her faults and remembering her successes); whilst those on the left hate theirs, forgetting his achievements?

Alan on Is Blair the best man to give advice to Labour in 2011?

"Right or wrong to topple Saddam Hussein" - why phrase the question in just the way Blair would have it put? How about "right or wrong to join in a war of aggression that ended 100,000 lives"?

Josh on Is Blair the best man to give advice to Labour in 2011?