An important pillar of our social identity hem hem
I transcribed something the Archbishop said just before the ‘bit of a danger’ remark.
A lot of what’s written suggests that the ideal situation is one in which there is one law and only one law for everybody. Now, that principle, that there’s one law for everybody, is an important pillar of our social identity as a Western liberal democracy, but I think it’s a misunderstanding to suppose that that means people don’t have other affiliations, other loyalties, which shape and dictate how they behave in society – and that the law needs to take some account of that. An approach to law which simply said ‘There’s one law for everybody and that’s all there is to be said’ – I think that’s a bit of a danger.
Very waffly, that. Of course people have ‘other affiliations, other loyalties, which shape and dictate how they behave in society’ – of course the law does not exhaust what shapes and dictates how people behave in society. Who thinks it does?! But it doesn’t follow from that that there should be one law for one group or ‘community’ and a different law for another. It doesn’t follow that it’s ‘a bit of a danger’ to take an approach to law that says there is one law for everybody, period – it’s much more dangerous to take any other approach!
He has a mellifluous voice, the Archbishop (well he would, wouldn’t he, he’d need it in his line of work), and a nicely timed way with a banality (he pauses thoughtfully and then comes out with the most obvious word possible), which make him sound reflective and reasonable – but it’s all either waffle or nonsense. The window-dressing is deceptive.