Ebola, war, terrorism, injustice, inequality, squalid government, torture. Sometimes the inventory of cruelty and suffering seems overwhelming. The temptation to spiral into despair and the cynicism born of helplessness can assail us all. But sometimes a glimmer comes in the darkness and smallness no longer seems to equal futility.
The outsider tamed: will the Farage style survive parliamentary participation?
Politicians rarely make sense in the aftermath of a by-election. Neither Clacton nor Heywood and Middleton (9 October 2014) were exceptions. David Cameron claims that a vote for Ukip will put Ed Miliband in Downing Street. Nigel Farage suggests that voting Labour benefits the Tories.
'Timor mortis conturbat me' – the fear of death disturbs me. These words, from the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church, first became a literary device in medieval times, bracketing human follies and fears within the ambit of our common mortality.
Yes or No, the UK will change for ever on 19 September
Whatever the result announced on the morning of 19 September, the constituent countries of the United Kingdom will never be the same again. The poll published yesterday (6 September), which
for the first time, placed the Yes campaign in the lead, produced a flurry of activity and comment on both sides of the debate. Those coming from Better Together' revealed an unedifying sense of panic.
To be made to pause and to listen anew can be to experience the subduing of “all our words and works.” It doesn't happen all that often so to have been offered this grace twice in the space of a week demands that I pay attention to blessing.
The recall of Parliament during a recess is a signifier that grave matters are afoot. As the debating forum of a democracy, it does more than make decisions – it expresses itself in full view of the electorate it is there to represent.
PR, a deficit of statesmanship and the centenary of WW1
Last week, the Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury did something which should cause us concern, wherever our political allegiances may lie. I give David Cameron his full title in order to place firmly in the frame the constitutional duties and responsibilities of the head of government in a democratic state.
“Make your mind up”. “You're sitting on the fence”. The culture tends to rebuke us for uncertainty. We are supposed to know where we stand, particularly on important moral issues. But to admit that one is still on a journey and that the destination is as yet over the horizon can be difficult.
Fred Kite is dead: long live cooperation and solidarity
The hundreds of thousands of public sector workers who joined marches, pickets lines and rallies across England and Wales on 10 July have cast into sharp relief the attitudes of those who would divide us, those who cannot see past their own narrow interests and those who have – to varying degrees – an awareness of the qualities of interrelation, solidarity and the common good which are integral to the civilised functioning of complex modern societies.