Symon Hill's blog

Grassroots activism and the Leaders' Debate

Leaders’ Debates are always going to be unbearable on some level. The petty attacks, the narrowness of the discussions, the very limited time span, the tendency of some people to think that shouting loudly constitutes debate (meaning Nigel Farage in this case).

Vote for us! We're slightly better than the others! (Or: An evening at the Quaker hustings)

Lindsay Northover, a Liberal Democrat junior minister, began her remarks at a Quaker-organised hustings event yesterday by commenting on how few people go to hustings these days.

How not to respond to tragedy

How not to respond to tragedy

My first reaction to the news of last week’s aeroplane crash was, of course, horror. Millions of people reacted in a similar way. For the friends and relatives of those killed, the reaction was naturally more intense. It is hard to imagine what they are going through, as for all those bereaved suddenly and without explanation.

Are Christians who support same-sex relationships frightened of saying so?

Are Christians who support same-sex relationships frightened of saying so?

Conservative Christian groups are forever telling us that people who oppose same-sex relationships are frightened of expressing their views.

World War One: The overlooked opposition

World War One: The overlooked opposition

Last year saw a flood of new books on World War 1. When I saw a new one in a bookshop or library, I would pick it up and look up how much space it gave to the issue of opposition to the war. This was particularly so if it was presented as a general history of the war, or of Britian’s part in it.

We need to cut military spending, not protect it

We need to cut military spending, not protect it

The Daily Telegraph’s campaign for high military spending has gathered momentum. Conservative backbenchers, retired generals and some Labour MPs have backed calls to keep “defence spending” at 2% of GDP. Last week, in a Commons debate attended by very few MPs, the majority of those who bothered to turn up voted in favour of the proposal.

Conscription - in 1916 and today

Ninety-nine years ago today (2 March 1916), every unmarried man aged between 18 and 41 in England, Scotland and Wales was “deemed to have enlisted” in the armed forces. It was only a few months before another act was passed, extending conscription to married men.

Low pay in church: I hate to say it, but the Sun's right

Low pay in church: I hate to say it, but the Sun's right

It's a rare day that I find myself agreeing with the Sun.

The bishops' election letter is mild, not radical

The bishops' election letter is mild, not radical

The Church of England's bishops have issued a letter giving advice to Christians about issues to take into account when casting their votes in May.

Trident poses the question for us: what is security?

Trident poses the question for us: what is security?

What is security?

If your family is going hungry because your benefits have been cut, security might mean knowing that you have enough to eat. But Prime Minister David Cameron wants to make you secure by renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system at a cost of £100 billion.