Symon Hill's blog

"Bongo Bongo Land" controversy: Cut arms, not aid

"Bongo Bongo Land" controversy: Cut arms, not aid

Last year, I visited the Judean desert and met with people who used a water pipe funded by UK aid money. Before the pipe was fitted, the villagers often had to go ten days without a bath. Now they can bathe every three days. They are also better able to water their vegetables and feed their livestock. The aid money has thus made them more independent, not less.

Unexpected item in bagging area

Unexpected item in bagging area

If anyone’s looking round for a symbol of modern capitalism, I can think of nothing better to suggest than self-service checkout machines.

Children's needs and a new campaign against same-sex marriage

Children's needs and a new campaign against same-sex marriage

As if there weren’t enough groups already campaigning against same-sex marriage – such as the Coalition for Marriage and Keep Marriage Special – today (17 June) sees the launch of another one. It’s called “Gay Marriage, No Thanks” (yes, really; that’s the organisation’s name).

Not the G8 - digital activism in Leeds

Not the G8 - digital activism in Leeds

I am on a train that’s just pulled out of Leeds, following a great day at ‘Not the G8', a conference run by the World Development Movement (WDM).

BAE bosses try to hide from scrutiny - and fail

BAE bosses try to hide from scrutiny - and fail

I’ve just returned from the annual general meeting of BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest arms companies. I was forcibly carried out of the building after challenging the board on BAE’s arms sales to the brutal regimes of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The Christian lobby group and the far-right party

I blogged earlier this week about statements from the socially conservative lobby group Christian Concern ahead of the local elections. They encouraged people to vote for candidates opposed to same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage and the local elections: Who thinks they're connected?

Same-sex marriage and the local elections: Who thinks they're connected?

The “Christian Right” in Britain – inasmuch as it exists – is not like the Christian Right in the US. Over there, conservatism on issues such as marriage and abortion seems to go hand in hand with right-wing views on economics and foreign policy. Over here, we have conservative Christian lobby groups with a far more narrow focus. Organisations such as the Christian Institute, Christian Concern/Christian Legal Centre and so-called Anglican Mainstream focus largely on attacking LGBT rights. They also speak out against abortion, Islam and the supposed marginalisation of Christians in Britain.

My new book on activism has now been published

My new book, Digital Revolutions: Activism in the internet age, has now been published by New Internationalist.

Thatcherism is alive and well

Thatcherism is alive and well

I was two years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thirteen when she resigned.

Thatcher’s policies led to mass unemployment, leaving my father on the dole for much of my childhood. I started secondary school the year that Section 28 was brought in, banning schools from presenting same-sex relationships as legitimate.

The Daily Mail want me to feel insulted. I don't.

The Daily Mail want me to feel insulted. I don't.

According to theDaily Mail today (8 April), I should be feeling insulted. "What an insult to Christians!" declares its front page.