Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Did the Bishop of London feel something on his shoulder?

Compare and contrast (well, perhaps not the latter)...

Tony Blair at the negotiations that resulted in the Good Friday Agreement -

"A day like today is not a day for soundbites, really - we can leave those at home - but I feel the hand of history upon our shoulders..."

The Bishop of London's address at the funeral of his friend Margaret Thatcher -

"There is an important place for debating policies and legacy; for assessing the impact of political decisions on the everyday lives of individuals and communities. Parliament held a frank debate last week – but here and today is neither the time nor the place. This, at Lady Thatcher's personal request, is a funeral service, not a memorial service with the customary eulogies...She was very aware that there are prior dispositions which are needed to make market economics and democratic institutions function well: the habits of truth-telling, mutual sympathy, and the capacity to co-operate. These decisions and dispositions are incubated and given power by our relationships. In her words: "The basic ties of the family are at the heart of our society and are the nursery of civic virtue"...Life is a struggle to make the right choices and to achieve liberation from dependence, whether material or psychological. This genuine independence is the essential pre-condition for living in an other-centred way, beyond ourselves. The word Margaret Thatcher used at St Lawrence Jewry was 'interdependence'...Her remark about there being no such thing as 'society' has been misunderstood..."

Words fail me.

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