Social commentary

The day they died: JFK, Aldous Huxley and CS Lewis on life, liberty & sainthood

JFK, Aldous Huxley and CS Lewis have all had a significant impact on my life and all died on the same day 50 years ago next week- 22 November 1963. Coincidentally, it's also St. Cecilia's day - the patron saint of music. Brave New World I read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley in my… Continue reading The day they died: JFK, Aldous Huxley and CS Lewis on life, liberty & sainthood

Poetry, Social commentary

10 Reasons why partnership working doesn’t happen

Everyone in government and charitable agencies is quick to say how committed to partnership working they are. Everyone agrees on the need to join up, work together and be smarter, but so often it doesn’t happen. Here’s my top ten reasons why: 1. We don’t do the arguing at the start Us British are not… Continue reading 10 Reasons why partnership working doesn’t happen

Politics

How to get elected and hold onto your soul

Back in May I was elected to the County Council. In amongst all the congratulations from friends, people from church and colleagues I sensed a curious cognitive dissonance that went something like this: “You’re now a politician. All politicians are lying, power-grabbing such and suches in suits, but…well, we know you. You’re Jon with the… Continue reading How to get elected and hold onto your soul

Politics

Backing off Syria strikes doesn’t mean sitting idly by

Listen to the military hawks this week and you would think that by voting against military intervention the UK was sitting on its hands and doing nothing about an horrific civil war killing thousands and creating millions of refugees. Worse still it’s suggested that our international standing is ruined because we’re ‘doing nothing’ – as… Continue reading Backing off Syria strikes doesn’t mean sitting idly by

Ethics & Christian living

It’s true – we ask Prince Harry to be a killer

Prince Harry killed people in Afghanistan. It's true. Soldiers not only die protecting the UK and us, they also kill to do it as well. Underneath, sometimes far underneath we all know this, but we leave the thought mostly buried under a fiver in the tin for Help for Heroes and a sad unease as… Continue reading It’s true – we ask Prince Harry to be a killer

Politics

Why I’ve switched off Facebook today

Along with thousands of others I’m participating in a boycott (is abstention a better word?!)  from Facebook today for one day to highlight their UK tax dodging. Facebook earned £175,000,000 in advertising sales in the UK in 2011, they paid just £196,000 in UK tax. That’s just 0.1% of their turnover compared to the corporation… Continue reading Why I’ve switched off Facebook today

Poverty, Social commentary

“Hard cases make bad law” – 3 principles for arguing about alcohol pricing

The government has announced its plan to set a minimum price of 45p per unit for alcohol. This will mainly affect strong beer, cheap wine and spirit bottles, but not pubs.  This is a big change and they’ll be a swirling vat of arguments over the next few weeks, so here’s three principles to bear… Continue reading “Hard cases make bad law” – 3 principles for arguing about alcohol pricing

Ethics & Christian living

Congo violence is closer to home than we think

Fighting in the Congo between the ‘M23’ rebels and FARDC government troops reached Goma on the border with Rwanda today. The city of almost 400,000 people, almost the size of Bristol, has so far escaped direct fighting. Hundreds of thousands have already fled their homes in the East of the country this year trying to… Continue reading Congo violence is closer to home than we think