Dr Sentamu urges mutual respect
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has responded to the Government's drive
to make young people show more respect with an alternative vision: if leaders
want people to respect them, then they should show them respect.
The Government said this week that it would seek powers to evict people from
their homes for three months if they were too unruly. It also wanted police to
issue £100 on-the-spot fines for street disorder.
But Dr Sentamu gave the example of the late Bishop Trevor Huddleston CR,
who, as a white priest in South Africa under apartheid, who had met a black
domestic worker with the words: "Good morning, ma'am." The greeting had made an
"indelible impression" on the woman's nine-year-old son, who grew up to become
the Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Desmond Tutu.
Trevor Huddleston's show of respect had also made his own ministry possible,
Dr Sentamu told the BBC. Speaking of young people, he continued: "If they are
not treated lovingly and forgivingly, they will be unforgiving. If we do not
trust them, they will not trust us."
The Government launched its Respect Action Plan to "tackle the
underlying causes of anti-social behaviour". The campaign was aimed at
supporting families, offering a new approach to the most "challenging"
families, improving behaviour in school, finding more activities for young
people, strengthening communities, and ensuring effective enforcement and
The Government said it would offer more help in parenting, and give more
organisations the chance to apply for parenting orders when children
misbehaved. It wanted people to stand up to bad behaviour and make public
services more accountable to local people. In the country's most disadvantaged
areas, it wanted to link physical regeneration to measures to manage behaviour.
The Evangelical Alliance warned that the respect agenda could turn into a
political gimmick. "If the Government is really serious about tackling the
causes, rather than the incidence, of anti-social behaviour and the lack of
respect in society, it must do more to support agencies and groups who are
seeking to mentor young people and families and instil values over the long
term," said David Muir, its public policy director.
Is the Respect Action Plan just a gimmick? Vote