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.
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?
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.
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.
Class: It's about power and wealth, not tastes in music
This week, I completed a survey on the BBC website to discover which class I belong to. In reality, I don't have much doubt about which class I belong to, so I was really discovering more about the people who designed the survey than I was about myself.
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.
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).
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”.