Under the headline 'Bishops at War with Coalition', the Sunday Times led yesterday on an interview with Ian Duncan Smith, in which he takes issue with the CofE Bishops in the house of Lords for opposing certain benefit cuts.
IDS is quoted as saying: "The question I'd ask these bishops is, over all these years, why have they sat back and watched people being placed in houses they cannot afford? It's not a kindness.
"I would like to see their concerns about ordinary people, who are working hard, paying their tax and commuting long hours, who don't have as much money as they would otherwise because they're paying tax for all of this."
This is IDS politely but firmly asking the bishops to think again, and see the other side of the argument. But as far as I'm aware there are no ecclesiastical tanks in Downing Street, nor a concerted attempt to oust the government by the men in purple. This is part of ongoing concerns about the Welfare reform bill, shared by the Childrens Society, that the reforms will tip some children into poverty.
I agree that having families on benefits earning £35k a year or more when the average wage is far below that is absurd, and the idea of a cap makes sense, but if it needs some of the 'blunt instrument' edges taking off it, then the bishops intervention makes sense. What makes no sense at all is the Sunday Times standing on the sidelines shouting FIIIIIIGHT! like the journalistic equivalent of Harry Hill, or, more accurately, like kids in a playground. Get a grip please, I thought broadsheets were written for people who at least had an attention span, and the ability to follow an argument? Or did I miss something?