Bishop fears for local democracy
In a speech to the Guildford Diocesan Synod, the bishop, who is chairman of the Church of England Board of Education, attacked cuts in local authority powers, singling out the Education Bill which diminishes local authorities' responsibility for education.
'In education, power is moving away from the town hall to the local school on the one hand and to Whitehall on the other. The net effect of that may well be the centralisation of power on the old basis of divide and rule, or it may be that people become so parochial in outlook that they cannot appreciate the real complexities of regional or national issues.
'What happens to education today may happen to the police or social services tomorrow. We should be vigilant,' he said.
The bishop argued that parliamentary democracy was dependent on a democratic infrastructure. 'Democratic government has collapsed in many parts of Africa, and in parts of the former Soviet Union, in part because there has been little supportive democracy locally, in trade unions and organisations generally. Parliamentary democracy in this country may be undermined if we allow local democracy to be weakened.'
The Right Rev David Wilcox, suffragan bishop in Guildford diocese, said: 'What we have to work out in the Church of England is how to reflect the views of lay people in an episcopal church. Democracies are never perfect: although the Bishop of Guildford was very much in favour of women's ordination and the result of the vote was clear, there is still the possibility in a democracy that the majority can be mistaken.'
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...