Consider this. Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith makes an impassioned speech about the social and economic importance of family stability, underlining his support for marriage (Tim covered it yesterday in the second half of this post). The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England and as such - one might hope - committed to the institution of marriage, remains silent.
Two days later, the Welfare Secretary outlines proposals to get the long-term unemployed back into work, by requiring them to participate in community projects: in other words, an opportunity to get used to regular hours and to give something back to the neighbourhood, instead of merely drawing benefits. The Archbishop does not hesitate to criticise the proposal, claiming that it would cause the unemployed to spiral deeper into despair.
Leaving aside the apparent irrationality of his criticism - surely such work schemes are about breaking that spiral? - I'm baffled by the selective nature of the Archbishop's interventions. One might credit him with insight into the sacrament of marriage and its worth to individuals and to society; his grasp of welfare reform programmes must necessarily be more limited - so why choose to comment so freely on the latter, whilst refraining from discussion of the former?