THE political conference season has just begun and before the heavyweights have had a chance to take the lectern, the Archbishop of Canterbury has already weighed in with speech of the year.

Justin Welby won a “storming standing ovation”, according to Sky, on Wednesday at the TUC for what the Daily Mirror described as a “hard-hitting, unprecedented speech” in which he laid into the new Universal Credit benefit, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Wonga and, especially, Amazon.

Of the online giant, he said: "Not paying taxes speaks of the absence of commitment to our shared humanity, to solidarity and justice.

"If you earn money from a community, you should pay your share of tax to that community.

"But when vast companies like Amazon, and other online traders, the new industries, can get away with paying almost nothing in tax, there is something wrong with the tax system.

"They don't pay a real living wage, so the taxpayer must support their workers with benefits.

"And having leached off the taxpayer once they don't pay for our defence, for security, for stability, for justice, for health, for equality, for education.

"Then they complain of an undertrained workforce, from the education they have not paid for, and pay almost nothing for apprenticeships. Those are only a fraction of the costs of aggressive tax management."

The Daily Mirror reported that last year Amazon paid £49m tax on its £22bn European revenue – 0.02 per cent – while in the UK, it paid £4.6m tax, which is six per cent of its profits of £72million.

Amazon, of course, has done nothing illegal. It says: "We pay all taxes required in the UK and every country where we operate.”

But it is hard not to think that Mr Welby, the former Bishop of Durham, has a point.

However, rapidly developing in a field on the eastern outskirts of Darlington is Symmetry Park. It is going to be a £120.7m warehouse and distribution hub, and the development has taken the name of the developer, Db Symmetry.

Just this week, a huge metal superstructure has gone up for what will be a “fulfilment centre” for a major online retailer that everyone knows is going to be Amazon, although that has yet to be publicly confirmed.

Amazon will bring about 3,000 jobs to the town – welcome, even if they will come with 21st Century employment practices.

And who owns the land upon which Symmetry Park is being built?

Perhaps there’s a clue in this statement from Db Symmetry, released on July 1: “We successfully signed an option with Durham Cathedral in November last year to promote the site and gained approval for the facility earlier this month.”

Indeed, the planning application filed with Darlington Borough Council on March 5 describes the site as being “Dean & Chapter Land Adjoining Morton Park”, and the name of the applicant is given as “Db Symmetry (Darlington) Ltd and Durham Cathedral”.

There is perfect symmetry to this because, as Alexa who listens to my every word in our living room will tell you, I am a Prime customer with Amazon, buying principally CDs and books. I, too, am part of the problem so I don’t want to appear holier than thou, but Mr Welby’s church also does deals with this devil.