A CHURCH of England report that lambasted the inequality created by Thatcher’s policies was branded Marxist by one of her closest advisers, newly released documents show.
The Faith in the City study published in December 1985 tore apart the government’s “dogmatic and inflexible” economic policies and “unacceptable” effects of high unemployment.
Files released by the National Archives in Kew yesterday show that it was met with undisguised fury in Downing Street.
No 10 policy unit head Brian Griffiths accused the Church of adopting a “Marxist analysis” of society and said that it showed “a deep hostility” to government policy and the philosophy on which it was based.
“The essence of Marxist analysis is that economic inequality in capitalist society is the result of class conflict — the bourgeoisie versus the proletariat,” he wrote in a memorandum to Thatcher.
“The report analyses the problems of ‘poverty,’ ‘powerlessness’ and ‘polarisation’ in similar terms; namely the exploitation of ‘the poor’ (15 million) by ‘comfortable Britain’ (the rest).
“There are many examples where the report goes out of its way to emphasise the structure of society being the cause of poverty.”
Another member of the policy unit, Hartley Booth, complained at the way the report criticised the treatment of young black people by the police.
“The report is the unwitting dupe of the extreme left,” he wrote.
“The church should learn how Lenin intended that a prime target of attack in a capitalist society should be the police.”
The report was commissioned by then archbishop of canterbury Robert Runcie.