What is the Will of the People asks Bishop Nick at Harold Wilson Lecture

Bishop Nick has given a high profile lecture on how the numbers add up regarding Brexit.

Addressing the question “the will of the people?” he has given the annual Harold Wilson Lecture at Huddersfield University.

“When Jesus of Nazareth stood before Pontius Pilate, he didn’t offer a referendum on what to do with him, but Pilate was moved by the will of the people in front of him to … wash his hands,” said The Rt Revd Nick Baines at the start of the prestigious annual lecture commemorating one of Britain’s best-remembered politicians.

The Bishop (pictured) went on to explore the origins behind the term “the will of the people” before discussing its use and meaning in the current political climate of Brexit. He stressed the need for it to be deconstructed and “ask what is meant by it, leaving to one side … its utilisation as an emotive slogan aimed at shutting down argument.”

Bishop Nick became Bishop of Leeds in 2014. At this time he also became a member of the House of Lords. He has represented the Archbishop of Canterbury at international faith conferences and currently leads for the Church of England on Brexit and matters to do with Europe.

Concluding the lecture, Bishop Nick said: “It is clear that the genie is out of the bottle and the United Kingdom now has a unique (if not welcomed by all) opportunity to leave behind the myths of empire and an obsession with simplistic readings of World War Two – an assumption of British exceptionalism - to shape a new future in Europe - regardless of how Brexit and the EU develop from here - and to recover popular trust in politics by adopting new ways of examining and reforming our political institutions and processes. The constant undermining of these by politicians and media make this task urgent.”

To read Bishop Nick’s lecture in full please follow this link.


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