New Archbishop is guest editor
JUSTIN WELBY was guest editor of the Northern Echo on 13 January, a job he first undertook a year ago at the launch of the Darlington Foundation for Jobs (DFFJ). He was invited back to celebrate the Foundation’s first anniversary.
In his leader column for the newspaper, the Bishop attacked the fact that the North East received the smallest share of the £215 million the Government is allocating to construction funds. “This is just another example of out of sight, out of mind which seems to afflict such programmes when looking at this area,” he wrote.
In the editorial he also spoke of the human cost of unemployment. “The loss of a division is a statistic, the death of an individual is a tragedy,” he wrote. “We could say the same today about unemployment. It is something which, except for the bravest and the toughest, wears people down and through it our economy tells its victims they are worth nothing.
“As a Christian, I start with the principle that every human being, because they are made and loved by God, is of infinite value.”
He held up the Foundation for Jobs as a model for the whole country. “It treats people neither as mere resources nor as work shy, but as full of potential and able to change.”
He called for the English Baccalaureate not to lose sight of the importance of technical education.
“I will miss this region terribly, am grateful to it, and will go on pushing for it,” he promised. “Thank you for all you have given me.”
As well as writing editorials, the Bishop also helped shape the news agenda of one of the region’s leading newspapers on the day he edited it. He also took time to visit a local engineering firm in Darlington and met apprentices who had been taken on with help from the Foundation for Jobs.
As well as editing his local daily, Bishop Welby has also written an article for Bloomberg, arguing that the financial services have failed to contribute to what in Catholic social teaching is known as ‘the common good’.
‘Much of the financial-service industr y became essentially self-regarding and one result was that small and medium-sized businesses as well as poor areas were neglected’, he writes before giving an example from his diocese.
He argues that there are no simple solutions but makes a case for regulations that are not too complex and for the separation of high street banking from investment banking.