Archbishop of Canterbury - no bad
Edited image. Original image: © Catholic Church England and Wales, via Flickr.

Um, did the Archbishop of Canterbury just blame the devil for zero hour contracts?

He called the gig economy and zero hour contracts a 'reincarnation of an ancient evil'

Turns out religion's big shot Justin Welby (that’s the Archbishop of Canterbury, folks) has a lot to say about economics. Yay for the Church of England talking about the economy. Addressing a load of people from trade unions (we presume Justin is familiar with preaching to the converted) in Manchester, Welby didn’t hold back in letting his feelings known about zero-hour contracts and the gig economy.

As well as basically calling them the devil’s work, he claimed that larger corporations were “leaching” off the taxpayer, and that zero-hour contracts and the gig economy were a “reincarnation of oppression of the vulnerable in employment”.

Satan gif

The gig economy allows people to be paid for pieces of work (known as piece work) rather than for every hour they work (though the legal minimum wage must always still apply). It’s supposed to loosen up working practices making things more efficient (some people love the flexibility), but its explosion thanks to new technology in recent years has drawn a lot of criticism because it can also make people’s working life a bit shitty.

Back in July 2017 the government acknowledged that things needed looking into and launched a review into these ‘modern working practices’. It said it wants to protect workers’ rights.

The Archbishop clearly doesn’t think that’s happened yet, adding “And God says, ‘let justice flow down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’.” Okey-dokey :)

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?