The archbishop is at it again. This time it’s “enough of all this selfish focus on how you are marginalized because you’re a woman or black or gay – we are all in this together so shut up about it and let the nice straight white men keep running things as we always have, ok?”
Of course he doesn’t put it quite that way. Well naturally not – you don’t get to be an archbishop by putting things that way. (Oh yes? What about George Carey then?) He puts it in the usual grand archepiscopal way.
In Cardiff he was joined a group of teenagers debating the idea of “identity politics” which he said amounted to saying: “This is who I am, these are my rights, I demand that you recognise me”.
He told them: “Identity politics, whether it is the politics of feminism, whether it is the politics of ethnic minorities or the politics of sexual minorities, has been a very important part of the last 10 or 20 years because before that I think there was a sense that diversity was not really welcome.
“And so minorities of various kinds and … women began to say ‘actually we need to say who we are in our terms not yours’ and that led to identity politics of a very strong kind and legislation that followed it.
“We are now, I think, beginning to see the pendulum swinging back and saying identity politics is all very well but we have to have some way of putting it all back together again and discovering what is good for all of us and share something of who we are with each other so as to discover more about who we are.”
Yes interesting except that it’s not his problem, is it. He doesn’t have to worry about being marginalized because people like him aren’t marginalized, are they. That means it’s not enormously attractive for him to tell people who are marginalized that they should think about what is good for all of us. I tell you what, why don’t we go tell him to think about what is good for all of us? We could explain that he might not have a complete understanding of what it means for things to be good for all of us, since many things have probably been better for him than they have been for all of us.