Symon Hill's blog

Charles flies to Saudi Arabia and ignores human rights

Charles flies to Saudi Arabia and ignores human rights

At a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan yesterday (13 March), a visitor expressed his shock at what he saw. It was, he said, an “unbelievable and heartbreaking situation”. The visitor was Charles Windsor, commonly called the Prince of Wales. His wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, praised the “strength of spirit” of the women refugees at the camp.

Benefits and bishops: What IDS didn't say

Benefits and bishops: What IDS didn't say

I have often been critical of the Church of England’s leadership for being slow to speak out on issues of economic justice. I’m therefore delighted that 43 CofE bishops have criticised the coalition for cutting benefits (or technically, for raising them by one percent, which is below the rate of inflation and therefore a cut in all but name).

Celebrating a royal tyrant

Celebrating a royal tyrant

While reading the Church Times in bed last week, I flicked over to the adverts and saw an announcement that disgusted me. It was advertising the “Commemoration of the martyrdom of King Charles I”. It listed two eucharistic services, in London and Edinburgh, each led by a bishop, to mark this “martyrdom”.

No (tax) credit for Iain Duncan Smith

It's New Year's Eve, newsrooms are quiet and casual comments by ministers are enough to make top headlines. Today, Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has made the news with some vaguely worded attacks on the system of tax credits.

Homophobia is alive and well

It’s been a good Christmas for opponents of marriage equality. They managed to make headlines on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Beware of prime ministers quoting the Bible

Beware of prime ministers quoting the Bible

Beware of politicians quoting random Bible verses at Christmas. Earlier this week, on Christmas Eve, David Cameron said:

Disability, abortion and UKIP

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.

Equal marriage: Essex court case will not help

Equal marriage: Essex court case will not help

I am disappointed to see that a same-sex couple in Essex say that they plan to sue the government over the ban on same-sex weddings taking place within the Church of England.

Digital activism and the 24-hour Facebook boycott

Digital activism and the 24-hour Facebook boycott

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.

By-election candidate misleads voters over same-sex marriage

By-election candidate misleads voters over same-sex marriage

I have today sent the following letter to Winston McKenzie, the UKIP candidate in the Croydon North by-election (due on Thursday):