How can any society regard itself as moral when it allows a quarter or more of its children, with their families, to live in poverty, in cold, damp and overcrowded houses, with inadequate food, and suffering from illnesses such as asthma, rheumatic fever or TB?
Or turns a blind eye to children ashamed to go to school in worn-out clothing, without lunch or money for a class trip, or mothers forced to clean buildings in the middle of the night on rock-bottom wages?
How can we allow kids to have the best years of their lives ruined by the stain of poverty and the shame of social exclusion, with parents denied the natural joy and pride of being able to adequately provide for and enjoy some of the simple pleasures like a day at the beach?
Apparently the evils of indiviualism are to blame for this sorry state of affairs.
I was getting a bit worked up until I read some of the comments.
Here's my favourite from someone called Peter Archer:
The irony is that the poverty exists solely because of government welfare. As soon as welfare starting flowing from the trough, it took away the incentive to better one's self.
The more welfare there is, the more poverty there will be in the following generation.
But there are many more comments rejecting the ex-bishop's views.
Ironically Randerson's thesis is partially correct. It is individualism preventing a major swing his way. It's a recognition, not of individual rights, but individual responsibilities.
People's attitudes to welfare spending have changed. It hasn't delivered the socialist utopia promised. If anything this column reinforces the failure of government mandated redistribution.