Monday, 9 June 2008

Moral, but no compass: the publisher's blurb

Ed: And see my blog on the government's moral compass, here.

n the heyday of Thatcherism the Church of England and the Conservative government of the day locked horns over the principles, policies, and strategic direction of the welfare state. The ensuing public debate, fraught with emotion, led to fundamental shifts in the political climate, not least with regard to the poorest members of UK society.

This new major study for the Church of England, drawing on hundreds of interviews and survey questionnaires, describes the modern setting in which the Labour Party’s welfare and related voluntary sector policies often are experienced as “discriminatory”, inadequately rooted in evidence and at risk of failing the faith communities. The government is “moral, with no compass” and needs to recover a principled approach to public service reform grounded in gift, covenant, advocacy and justice. Such an approach also demands a richer appreciation of the “civic value” added to the life, identity and health of the nation by Christian institutions in partnership with the whole realm of civil society. The Church too must adapt to the changing times, overcoming its (mistaken) perception that it is well understood by society. If the crisis of evidence and conversation can be repaired, the Church is in a position, should it so wish, to engage in even more extensive social entrepreneurship, community activism and public advocacy. Read more
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