We were in the middle of election fever when Archbishop Justin Welby spoke to Sam Delaney last month. The pair discussed austerity Britain, Jeremy Corbyn and Prince Andrew. Welby also shared a Christmas message for our Big Issue readers.
We published that interview today, inside this week’s edition of The Big Issue – the week after one of the most fraught elections in recent history. And it’s safe to say it’s got people talking!
Big Issue founder John Bird discussed the issues raised by Welby with Kay Burley on Sky News this morning.
'It could mean that things get worse or that the PM is going to put his money where his mouth is.'@BigIssue founder Lord John Bird says the PM should address the problems in the north, which he says lead to homelessness.#KayBurley at #Breakfast: https://t.co/dHoqxiYdHF pic.twitter.com/OegfAHGDcH
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 16, 2019
Meanwhile, BBC News picked up on Welby’s comments, stating: “The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is concerned about the direction the UK is travelling in, citing an increase in homelessness and a decline in tolerance toward minority groups.”
But Welby’s response to our man Sam Delaney’s question about austerity that caused the most debate.
“I’m not saying we are in a crisis”, says Welby. “I’m just saying the direction of travel is not what we want.”
“It has got worse over the last nine years. Rough sleeping has gone up. That is a matter of fact. People will argue about the causes but it is a fact it has gone up.
“Foodbank use has risen. There has been a huge rise in the client base of Christians Against Poverty, the debt-counselling charity. Also, people’s tolerance for minorities has gone down. Minority groups have had a much harder time, asylum seekers, immigrants. The use of vitriolic language has gone up significantly. We have had an MP murdered. I am not saying we are in a crisis, I am just saying the direction of travel is not what we want.”
How many people have to die, before it becomes a 'crisis?'
How many children must starve, before it becomes a 'crisis?'
This man needs to look outside his bubble.
— Heather – #We're fucked (@HeatherFromCPT) December 16, 2019
“I’m not saying we are in a crisis”…..WHAT!!!! Tell that to thousands of poor, vulnerable people waiting for homes, mental health support and operations (to name but some), you’re as out-of-touch as the Tory politicians screaming “One-Nation” while quaffing their Bollinger.
— Heather #GTTO (@HeathertheHeron) December 16, 2019
'Everybody makes mistakes' says Archbishop of Canterbury after Prince Andrew scandal https://t.co/Xkr9uYohr9
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) December 16, 2019
— Tatler (@Tatlermagazine) December 16, 2019
And the Daily Mail made it their front page….
But while sparks keep flying both on and offline, you know the only way to find out the whole story is to buy this week’s Big Issue magazine, available to buy from our vendors on the street!