The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury continues to play the windbag, continually failing to practice what he preaches and continuing to embarrass the Church of England instead of doing the job that he was chosen for. One could say that he spends his time fiddling while Rome burns. While his church continues to crumble around his ears!
Welby spends his hours playing his own brand of politics from any platform that suits him and where he may find an audience whether it be a television programme with a left wing audience, The House of Lords or one of newspapers such as the Guardian where he finds solace. The vehicle for his more recent brand of narcissistic superiorism is his latest book. A book which if he were not the Archbishop he would certainly have difficulty finding a publisher for and even more difficulty finding a buyer.
Here he rails against those who buy a second home accusing them of fuelling a dysfunctional housing market and destroying a sense of local community. I will give Welby that he is an absolute expert on dysfunctionality and poor performance. He is also a specialist in condescension. The, don’t do as I do. Do as I say type of condescension.
I am certainly not qualified to defend or attack 2nd home owners. All I can say on the subject is that I have seen at first hand, dozens of villages in North Norfolk being rescued from falling into disrepair by incomers and seeing shops that couldn’t restock until they had sold their last tin of carrots, soup or peas suddenly becoming a mini Fortnum and Masons and the shopkeeper’s kids being sent to private schools. I have spoken to a lot of ancient Norfolk dumplings, retired crabbers and the like, who told me how glad they were to now be able to move to a little bungalow that was only a dream a few years back.
I remember asking one old retired salt if he wasn’t sad to be moving from his old way of life and his only but telling response was “Well, thar’s windy”. Rather like the miners of both the North East and South Wales! When they closed the Colliery down, they’re really very, very glad!
I often say that if nothing changes, nothing changes, perhaps Welby thinks that if his congregations fall into the poverty trap and his congregations become peasants living in poverty, they will like the domains of Roman Catholic workers in South America, The Philippines or suchlike, worshiping their priests and plating their altars with gold. No-one buys second homes and makes an injection of cash there. The peasants may escape as economic migrants if they are lucky.
I’m no authority on the for’s and against of 2nd homes unlike The Most Reverend Justin Welby who owns a six bedroom stone built, second home in Normandy that he keeps empty for him and his family as a retreat. Of course Welby states that he only owns one house which is the French Gite, because his main residence is his grace and favour home in Lambeth Palace. He also neglects to mention that his six bedroom house in France also boasts a two bed roomed cottage. Um! Isn’t that a second home?.
Of course Welby is also a passionate Francophile and bought the spacious Normandy property which is 30 minutes from the beach and near to Mont St Michel, when he lived in Paris decades ago. That’s how come he is such an expert on Brexit. I didn’t say an unbiased expert; in fact all he knows is what suits Justin Welby. Will no-one rid us of this meddlesome priest? Thomas Becket he ain’t.