From the category archives:

Political Stuff

Conference today passed a resolution containing this text:
The Methodist Conference believes that the British Isles are enriched by diversity and celebrates the contribution made by those who have come from other parts of the world.
The Christian tradition calls for respect, tolerance, love of neighbour and hospitality to the stranger. All bear the responsibility of speaking [...]

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Brexit: How Britain voted

by Richard on July 6, 2016

OK, so everyone knows that Britain voted to leave the EU. The ‘headline’ is that 52% of those voting chose leave, 48% to remain. But as you might expect, the picture is more complicated than that. Lord Ashcroft Polls has some fascinating data, and though I’m naturally suspicious of pollsters, this has the ring of [...]

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Bedroom tax fears confirmed

by Richard on January 14, 2016

From the Joint Public Issues Team
Announced quietly, on the last day of Parliament in 2015, the findings from the Government-ordered evaluation of the bedroom tax make disturbing reading. 75% of those affected are cutting back on food.
The bedroom tax was one of the most controversial and widely condemned policies included within the Welfare Reform and [...]

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A new low in US Presidential campaign?

by Richard on January 5, 2016

With all the focus on Donald Trump, I’d almost missed just how deep idiocy runs among the other Republican candidates. I say idiocy, but that’s surely too kind a word for this latest bit of campaigning from Ted Cruz. Mother Jones points out the striking resemblance to a bit of WWII propaganda, which I’m sure [...]

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900,000 needing to use foodbanks “should shock and anger us”
Figures “should lead Government to examine why the post-Welfare Reform benefits system allows so many people to go hungry.”

Leaders of the Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church have responded with concern to the latest figures from the Trussell Trust, released today.
“These [...]

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From The Guardian
The International Monetary Fund has backed economists who argue that inequality is a drag on growth in a discussion paper that has also dismissed rightwing theories that efforts to redistribute incomes are self-defeating.
The Washington-based organisation, which advises governments on sustainable growth, said countries with high levels of inequality suffered lower growth than nations [...]

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JCs square up: Clarkson and Jesus

by Richard on February 24, 2014

It should come as no surprise that I’m not a fan of Jeremy Clarkson. By no means a fan. When I read his latest idiocy, I was appalled but not surprised.
The Bible is basically a blueprint for Marxism. In Luke 16:19-31 we are told that those who work hard and buy nice things for [...]

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The silent military coup

by Richard on September 11, 2013

Jon Pilger has some hard words for the USA.
John Kerry’s farce and Barack Obama’s pirouettes are temporary. Russia’s peace deal over chemical weapons will, in time, be treated with the contempt that all militarists reserve for diplomacy. With al-Qaida now among its allies, and US-armed coupmasters secure in Cairo, the US intends to crush the [...]

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Abandoning Syria?

by Richard on September 2, 2013

Long-time commenter Avraham asks, “How about an editorial criticising Britain’s abandoning Syrian innocents to more chemical/gas attacks?”
The first thing to say is that I don’t accept that Parliament’s decision not to support military action against Assad amounts to abandoning Syrians. How is it possible to punish a regime with missile strikes? When will we get [...]

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Gay marriage

by Richard on May 21, 2013

I understand that gay marriage is controversial. I absolutely get that not everyone will agree that having gay marriage enshrined in British law is a Good Thing. Many conservatives don’t accept that parliament is entitled to pass such a law. Principled disagreement has to be quite proper, and questioning whether ‘marriage’ is a proper term [...]

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Credit where it’s due

by Richard on April 8, 2013

…the threat to our world comes not only from tyrants and their tanks. It can be more insidious though less visible. The danger of global warming is as yet unseen, but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.
Our ability to come [...]

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I’ve just finished reading Mark Thomas’ Extreme Rambling, a fascinating and funny account of the comedian’s attempt to walk the route of Israel’s security barrier. It isn’t a book that is likely to appeal to any of Israel’s apologists, though his route took in both sides of the fence and the effects of terrorism are [...]

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Aspiration Nation

by Richard on April 1, 2013

Marcus Brigstocke was on brilliant form on last Friday’s ‘The Now Show’.

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The reality of US wealth distribution

by Richard on March 4, 2013

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Enough Food #IF

by Richard on March 1, 2013

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Lies about poverty: shattering the myths

by Richard on March 1, 2013

It is time to tell the truth about poverty, say British churches
13 million people – including 3.6 million children – live in poverty in the UK today. A major new report shows how evidence and statistics have been misused, misrepresented and manipulated to create myths that blame and stigmatise the most vulnerable in society.
The report, [...]

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Nobody likes an angry poet

by Richard on December 9, 2012

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War is not a game

by Richard on November 16, 2012

I couldn’t believe the headline on readwrite social this morning: Unbelievable: The IDF Has Gamified Its War Blog
Yesterday, when I wrote about the social media campaign that Israel was waging alongside its attack on Hamas, I thought it was interesting. I thought it was a straightforward and effective way of presenting the cause behind the [...]

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World’s poorest president

by Richard on November 15, 2012

The BBC reports from Uruguay
It’s a common grumble that politicians’ lifestyles are far removed from those of their electorate. Not so in Uruguay. Meet the president - who lives on a ramshackle farm and gives away most of his pay.
Laundry is strung outside the house. The water comes from a well in a yard, overgrown [...]

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Democracy fail

by Richard on November 15, 2012

Bishop Alan on today’s gripping elections.
Thursday 15 November, and Election fever grips the Land. Three cheerful tellers sit behind a table in our village hall like the wise old monkeys they probably are, as the People Decide. The girls and boys in political rosettes have stayed away, I notice. Or maybe the Three Wise Ones [...]

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