Simon Barrow's blog

Autumn statement: discernment in an economic hall of mirrors

Despite some truly grim economic statistics, Chancellor George Osborne will attempt to deflect criticism for the failings of austerity economics in his Autumn Statement today, blaming the world economy and the last government.

The Smith Commission: what we said and what has happened

To coincide with publication of the cross-party agreement negotiated by the Smith Commission, Ekklesia has now published its own submission to the Commission, made at the end of October 2014 alongside contributions by around 300 civic organisations and 1,700 individuals.

Real progress on land reform in Scotland

Back in January 2013, Ekklesia made a short submission to the Land Reform Review Group (LRRG) set up by the Scottish government to consider one of the most important issues of social and economic justice in the country -- one where there has been persistent avoidance of core questions for many years.

IS/ISIS and the dark side of modernity

Karen Armstrong, whose new book Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence invites far more subtle understanding of the relationship between faith and fratricide globally, has written a characteristically thoughtful piece on IS/ISIS for The New Statesman magazine: 'Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism'.

First Sunday in Advent: God's alternative

Advent, the season of expectation, arrived for us in 2014 on Sunday 30th November.

Different visions of Scotland's future

A public roundtable discussion of 'Scotland: Our Visions and Divisions', chaired by Allan Little (BBC), will take place on Wednesday 19th November, 6:00pm – 7:15pm in the Martin Hall, New College, the University of Edinburgh, EH1 2LX (followed by a reception in the Rainy Hall).

Deadline approaches for arts and culture journalism award

There are now just under two weeks to go for entrants for the first Jan Fairley Award, sponsored by the the National Union of Journalists and supported by The Scotsman newspaper. The deadline is midnight on Sunday 30th November 2014.

The dangerous business of remembering

The online Jesuit journal 'Thinking Faith' has some useful and thought-provoking articles connected with Remembrance and the First World War centenary in its latest issue.

How ought war to be remembered in schools?

'How ought war to be remembered in schools?' is the question David Aldridge asks in the journal Impact, published by the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain. It is well worth reading alongside Ekklesia's report on 'Re-imagining Remembrance' (www.ekklesia.co.uk/research/reimagining_remembrance).

The challenge of remembrance

This year Remembrance Day and the Sunday events associated with it will have an added poignancy because of the marking of the centenary of the First World War and all the discussion and debate that has occasioned.