Today's sermon, in keeping with the new tradition in our church of social engineering, urged us to avoid buying cheap clothes because they involve sweated or slave-like labour.
I'm all for not supporting such things, after all, my late father was a Union organiser, but one consequence of avoiding such purchases is that already poor people would be out of work. Australia could impose tariffs on goods from sweated labour, again that would reduce demand and create increased poverty.
There is no easy solution...opps, yes there is, but its long term. It is reverting to Christian mission and aggressively pursuing the proclamation of the gospel and locally building up people to work for justice. This rings with the Songs of Praise episode on ABC-TV today, which touched on the work of British Primitive Methodists in fighting politically for better conditions for ordinary workers. THAT is Christian action. Indeed, my father was in that tradition, I'm proud to say.
Meanwhile, I'm happy that the church has endorsed my love of hand made shoes: John Lobb and Edward Green spring to mind; craft made suits and leather goods. I'll keep shopping at Henry Bucks and in the specialty shops of Florence, Milan and London. Goody.