Peter Hitchens responds to episcopal pronouncements on poverty and the Leftist solutions the bishops put forward
"Here's what we should really be worrying about: the dismal conditions of the British 'poor' are often the result of their moral and educational deprivation, and of the collapse of order - not lack of money. Teenage single mothers, with no real experience of child rearing or housekeeping, struggle to provide for their children because they do not know how, not because they do not have enough money. Their lives are often made worse by the moral squalor resulting from the collapse of stable family life.
The moral conditions on the worst housing estates, conditions which lead to women being battered and children being abused, also create a tyranny of crime and drugs. These circumstances make it incredibly hard to raise a happy and well-behaved next generation. Appalling schools, where illiteracy is normal and chaos tolerated, reinforce the dismal message. Some of the worst-placed are old people, who have worked hard all their lives, who hate debt, and now find that their tiny pensions barely stretch to pay for food and heating - and who have been abandoned by their families to a chilly solitude.
So, if you were a Bishop, what would you be worried about? Would you get involved in an essentially political argument about income gaps and taxation? Would you make headline-catching criticisms of vulgar wealth? Would you put your name to yet another dreary politically correct tract, to join all the other standard-issue, half-baked leftist whingeing that has got us more or less where we are?
Or would you address the moral collapse of our society which is so very much more important, and which is actually so much more your business?"
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