Archbishop of Canterbury dismisses PM's 'Big Society'

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who has dismissed David Cameron's Big Society
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who has dismissed David Cameron's Big Society Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The Archbishop of Canterbury has dismissed David Cameron's Big Society as a ploy to conceal a "deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable".

Dr Rowan Williams, who will stand down in December, denounces the concept as "aspirational waffle" in a new book.

In one passage, obtained by The Observer, he writes: "Introduced in the run up to the last election as a major political idea for the coming generation, (it) has suffered from a lack of definition about the means by which such ideals can be realised."

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Big Society row

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell defends the Government's Big Society concept after the Archbishop of Canterbury's attack on it.