Justin Welby is struggling with abuse scandals in his church, a Communion that is fracturing and a denomination which, according to Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden, is dying.
What is to be done? Launch a diversionary offensive, of course. Accusing someone of being a fascist throws anyone who is listening – admittedly, not many – into paroxysms of righteous indignation or outrage, depending on one’s political bias. The main thing is, it helps people forget about the things the Church of England’s commander-in-chief has left undone.
An added benefit is that, as George Orwell noted, “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless” making its use consistent with most other pronouncements any self-respecting Anglican Archbishop might make.
Donald Trump is part of the same “fascist tradition of politics” as far-right European politicians such as Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested last night.
In his most outspoken comments since the American president’s ban on travellers from some Muslim-majority countries was announced, the Most Rev Justin Welby accused Mr Trump of being part of a group of leaders from a “nationalist, populist, or even fascist tradition of politics”.