Jill Segger's blog

Imagine, George (it's easy if you try)

Hi George. How's your week been?

All that public rattling through stuff that so many people are worried about can't be easy. Probably not a lot of fun browsing the cartoons either – one picture being worth a thousand words and all that.

Rescuing the miners: PR and self-effacement

You would have to have a harder heart than mine not to have been affected by the rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners.

A Quaker communion of saints

The Communion of Saints is not a term which comes readily to a Quaker's tongue. But an encounter with two Friends – one living and one three centuries dead - has prompted me to look past the difficulty of these words in search of their true meaning.

My union did not tell me how to vote

I had two votes in the Labour leadership election. One as a member of the Labour Party and one as a trade unionist.

Courtesy, conscience and the Pope

As Pope Benedict's visit to the UK comes to an end, I am left with a sense of sadness. Despite the words of Archbishop Vincent Nichols, attempting to paint the visit as he would perhaps have wished it to be – an endorsement of pluralism and a call to quiet dialogue rather than shrill confrontation, it seems hard to imagine a clearer example of differing cultures failing to understand each other than we have observed over the past few days.

Crimes against the English language

There are some authors whose speaking voice one hears clearly when reading their written words.

The voices that will not be drowned: reflections from a Bank Holiday

“I hear those voices that will not be drowned”. These words from Peter Grimes are pierced through the four metre high sculpture by Maggi Hambling which stands on the beach at Aldeburgh in celebration of the life and work of Benjamin Britten. Read against the Suffolk sky, they go straight to the heart.

Tony Blair and the widow's mite

Looking a gift horse in the mouth is generally thought graceless and discourteous. But when the donor is a multi-millionaire ex-Prime Minister who took his country into a war of dubious legality and certain immorality, and the recipient is a charitable project for injured service personnel, the convention may justifiably be set aside.

We are not 'all in this together'

“Money pads the edges of things”. EM Forster puts these words in the mouth of the wealthy Margaret Schlegel in Howards End.

The 'Big Society': Rory Stewart should try harder

The parliamentary constituency of Penrith and the Border is both the largest and the most sparsely populated in England.