I remember reading a paper once in which the writer kept using the word 'insulation' when he meant 'isolation'. And now I wonder if I am seeing the same thing when I listen to Western political leaders claiming that Putin and Russia will be 'isolated' because of the annexation of…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on March 24, 2014 at 14:30 — No Comments
One of the reasons I wanted to read Christopher Clark's epic book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to war in 1914 was its rampant popularity in Germany. Why, when Germany is…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on March 21, 2014 at 15:14 — No Comments
Maybe it's because I have just read Ruth Tzeko's excellent A Tale for the Time Being (time, culture, language, philosophy, suicide, Zen, quantum physics, the self, and an intriguing story beautifully written), but watching events unfurl in the Ukraine appears familiar.
Added by Guest Blogs on March 21, 2014 at 15:13 — No Comments
The newspapers variously report today on the debate in the House of Commons about foodbanks.
OK, make allowances for the natural party-political hype and journalistic…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on December 19, 2013 at 15:06 — No Comments
One of the things I will never forget is the sound of Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela singing ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ at the Mandela 70th Birthday concert at Wembley Stadium on 11 June 1988. The man was still in prison and the apartheid regime looked as strong as the Berlin…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on December 11, 2013 at 12:39 — No Comments
Nelson Mandela is dead.
Words are inadequate to celebrate such a man.
He is being quoted extensively across the Twittersphere.
If only those who admire, revere and quote him could emulate him. It is easier to admire him than it is to live like him –…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on December 11, 2013 at 12:35 — No Comments
I have not had time to post on all the myriad of things going on in the world. I am writing this on the train back from London before heading off to lecture and preach at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena tomorrow (after a 3.30am wake up).
But, these are the questions I would ask…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on October 17, 2013 at 15:00 — No Comments
There are times when being a news editor must be the worst job.
What ought to lead the news today? What should be the order of priority? Which is most important in its implications for the world?
Added by Guest Blogs on September 24, 2013 at 11:23 — No Comments
It's a bit of a game, isn't it?
Keen to take the initiative, the USA and France ratchet up the pressure to attack Syria on the grounds that Syria must be deterred from using chemical weapons again. Out of nowhere Russia suggests that Syria hand over all chemical weapons for destruction by…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on September 12, 2013 at 14:56 — No Comments
If I had a pound for every time I get told, “something must be done” – about something – I would be a rich man. The trouble is, however, that the phrase only ever gets used when the speaker has not the first idea what might be done, what should be done or what will be done. It is a cry of…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on September 4, 2013 at 11:48 — No Comments
Having had a big needle in my shoulder yesterday, I followed the Syria crisis developments without knowing whether to or how to respond. So much has been said and is being said that adding to it seems pointless. Nevertheless, ahead of the debate in the UK Parliament yesterday,…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on September 4, 2013 at 11:46 — No Comments
I caught a hint of a glimpse of a headline somewhere yesterday while on the move. It simply raised the question of how we, citizens of a democratic country, would have responded several decades ago to the suggestion that every individual would carry around on his or her person a tracking device.…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on August 12, 2013 at 16:08 — No Comments
I was at the BBC studios in MediaCity, Salford, this morning to take part in a radio discussion about immigration. Well, not about immigration itself, but the campaign currently being run by the Tory part of the…Continue
Yesterday was an odd one. It was Yorkshire Day here in … er … Yorkshire – the annual celebration of the White Rose counties just south of…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on August 5, 2013 at 11:19 — No Comments
I know this is a bit narky, but try substituting any other brand of human being for 'religious' or Archbishop of Canterbury' in the leader article quoted in my last post. For example,…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on August 1, 2013 at 14:19 — No Comments
It is rare that a national newspaper editorial exposes its prejudices so clearly. And, tempting though it is to just smile grimly and let it pass, here goes (again).
Here is how the concluding judgements of Friday's…Continue
Why do I keep banging on about poverty? Good question – and one I have been asked several times recently in relation to this blog and other writings.
One answer goes back to that haunting verse in Proverbs (31:8) that formed the title of a…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on June 18, 2013 at 14:55 — No Comments
Sometimes I lose the will to write anything. A full and demanding diary doesn't exactly help, but then a pile of events coincide to leave me wondering if anything is worth saying. Say something – anything – and you get a shedload of stuff back for which there is little time to respond properly or…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on April 15, 2013 at 14:43 — No Comments
This is the text of an article in Public Servant magazine. I would like to have written something more substantial, but the word limit (which was perfectly reasonable) was limited. As it…Continue
It’s a weird world. I posted on 21 February stuff related to the concerns that prompted 43 Church of England bishops, backed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, to sign a letter to the press.…Continue
Added by Guest Blogs on March 11, 2013 at 14:30 — No Comments