What must life be like for UKIP's press officers? Just as the party’s support is rising, their candidates keep expressing views that are even farther to the right than UKIP’s official policies. Last month, UKIP’s culture spokesperson described adoption by same-sex couples as “child abuse”. Now one of their local government candidates in Kent has suggested that disabled children should face compulsory abortion.
Mention online activism and you can trigger some extreme reactions. At one end of the spectrum are people who believe the future is all about Facebook, Twitter and online petitions. At the other, those who scoff at the very idea, seeing it as an excuse for laziness and pointing out that Facebook and Twitter are powerful corporations that we should be opposing.
A few days ago, I had the privilege of speaking about ''Queer Christianity: The media and public perception” at King’s College, London. The audience were great. The questions and discussion were really interesting, encouraging and enjoyable.
Members of the United Kingdom Independence Party must be rubbing their hands with glee today. They're the subject of the day's leading news story. The Education Secretary has described them as “a mainstream party”. The Leader of the Opposition has effectively defended them. They are being portrayed as victims of discrimination, despite their own discriminatory policies.
Like millions of other people, I'm praying for Justin Welby as he prepares to take up his new job at Canterbury. I wish him all the best. As the media go over every detail of his life and beliefs, there is a danger that we put our trust in a new archbishop to save the Church. This would be a problem whoever had got the job.
Yesterday evening, I was very pleased to take part in a debate on “Can capitalism be made good?” in Marlborough. I argued “no”, alongside Stewart Wallis from the New Economics Foundation. On the other side were Will Morris, chair of the CBI’s tax committee and Anglican priest, and Hugh Pym of the BBC. The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, presided.
The ethics of capitalism is this year's topic for the annual Bishop of Salisbury's Debate, which will take place this evening (Wednesday 19 September) in Marlborough. I've been asked to be one of the speakers.