A majority of the public agree with Rowan Williams’ criticism of the coalition government, published in the New Statesman last week.
In a special leader, the Archbishop wrote:
With remarkable speed, we are being committed to radical, long-term policies for which no one voted. At the very least, there is an understandable anxiety about what democracy means in such a context.
According to the poll, 55 per cent of the public agree with the statement: “The government is undertaking big reforms to the economy, health and education which it didn’t tell you about during the general election campaign last year”. Just 15 per cent disagree, making this an overwhelming majority of nearly 4 to 1.
Despite this strong support for the sentiment he expressed, however, 47 per cent agreed that it was not his job to “criticise government policies, whether some people share those criticisms or not”.
It is, however, a vindication of the Archbishop’s position. It is a significant finding that such a substantial majority of the public question the government’s mandate to make such radical change — and an interesting piece of editorialising by the Times in choosing not to publish it.