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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 01:12 GMT 02:12 UK
Williams urges political 'morals'
Dr Rowan Williams
Dr Williams wants to see greater morality in modern politics
The Archbishop of Canterbury has accused today's politicians of lacking clear moral leadership.

In a BBC interview, Dr Rowan Williams said the government had become a form of management and no longer debated issues along moral grounds.

He said he expected the government to provide an "opportunity for the kind of moral discussion informed by religion".

His comments came a day after a speech in which he bemoaned the lack of a moral basis to modern politics.

In it he expressed concerns about the "draining away of any residual notion that the state itself has or should have a moral foundation".

I think prime ministers as individuals ought to `do God', because I think everybody ought to
Dr Rowan Williams

Dr Williams told BBC 2's Newsnight: "The more politics looks like a form of management rather than an engine of positive and morally desirable change, the more energy it loses."

In response to former Downing Street media chief Alastair Campbell's remark that "we don't do God", Dr Williams said: "I think prime ministers as individuals ought to `do God', because I think everybody ought to."

The archbishop made clear that he disagreed with the prime minister's belief that he was doing the moral thing in removing Saddam Hussein from power by force.

Super-casino fears

"I fully respect his conviction and sincerity about that, though I don't agree with his conclusion," said Dr Williams.

The archbishop also expressed concerns over the morality of the decision to allow the opening of a super-casino in Manchester.

He said: "It seems to me there should have been a wider, better-resourced debate about whether the encouragement of semi-industrialised gambling was actually a proper tool for social regeneration."

As a warning, he added that the government seems to be "pushing forward a number of changes without giving very much space to discussion about how they are going to benefit society in a positive, humanistic direction".

Blending politics and religion
09 Dec 03 |  Special Reports


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