From the category archives:

Political Stuff

Violence in Bristol - but from Left or Right?

by Richard on February 6, 2018

The other day there was a bit of fuss about “the Left” disrupting a speech by Jacob Rees-Mogg using violence and intimidation. Reports at the time were very clear about what had happened

Every report I saw at the time shared more-or-less the same narrative and many commenters from across the political spectrum roundly condemned those [...]


The term ‘Climate Change’ was adopted in preference to ‘Global Warming’ in a deliberate attempt to distract the public as part of a political campaign.

I didn’t watch Piers Morgan’s interview with Donald Trump. When I need an emetic, I’ll go to the chemist. But I was interested to read a report of it in The [...]


Immigration and the NHS

by Richard on January 27, 2018

If conversations I’ve had recently are anything to go by, it seems to have been widely accepted that the current problems of the NHS can be laid at the door of “runaway immigration” and “health tourism”. This comment from a recent article in the Daily Mail about sums it up

It isn’t true, as a few [...]


Time for another referendum?

by Richard on January 11, 2018

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so it was kind of inevitable that at some point Nigel Farage was going to be right about something. I think his time has come, at least in part.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he is close to backing a second EU referendum to end the [...]


Toby Young: unfit for office

by Richard on January 8, 2018

If you were hiring a teacher or university lecturer, would you appoint someone who had posted the tweets above?
That’s what I thought.
But despite expressing her irritation at the language of these tweets, Theresa May still intends to appoint Toby Young to serve on the new regulatory body for universities, the Office for Students.
Young [...]


Time for some sense about Brexit?

by Richard on January 4, 2018

Writing in Unherd, the usually sensible Giles Fraser suggests that Remainers still sore at the prospect of losing their maroon EU passport … could apply for a world passport. I recognise that he isn’t being entirely serious, of course, but for me this article epitomises all that has been wrong with the Brexit debate both [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Aspiration Nation

by Richard on April 1, 2013

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


The reality of US wealth distribution

by Richard on March 4, 2013