There’s no objection, of course, to the Archbishop of Canterbury writing articles in the New Statesman criticising the Coalition’s policies. People should criticise the Coalition policies.

But I’m less impressed when he says things like this:

With remarkable speed, we are being committed to radical, long-term policies for which no one voted.

This is what happened. People voted, in each constituency, for their MPs. These MPs are members of different political parties. After the results were counted, and the various MPs elected, no single party had a majority. Therefore, discussions took place between the major parties, with a view to agreeing upon a governing coalition. Eventually, Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron decided to form a Government. They went to see the Queen, and then the Government began to make laws.

Here’s Edmund Burke’s explanation of the role of MPs, from his Speech to the Electors at Bristol at the Conclusion of the Poll: an election which I believe he lost.

[I]t ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion

In a nutshell, this is the basis of the legitimacy of this Government, and the laws that they pass.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, by contrast, derives his authority through the Apostles, continuously ordained in an unbroken (or not) chain from Jesus through to the present incumbent of his See.

Either that, or he draws his power from his impressive beard and bushy eyebrows combo.