Jill Segger's blog

August: silly season or a time for the challenge of holiness?

August: silly season or a time for the challenge of holiness?

August 2015 seems to have experienced some kind of identity crisis. Not only did the weather pass from night frosts to baking hot days via torrential rain and flash floods, but the 'silly season' appears not to have happened at all.

Jeremy Corbyn and the changing times

Jeremy Corbyn and the changing times

It has been said that when the Conqistadors' ships first sailed along the coast of Chile in the 16th century, the indigenous South Americans were unable to 'see' these vessels because they were so outside their frame of reference. Whether this is true or not, it does seem to illustrate the phenomenon of the political establishment’s reaction to Jeremy Corbyn's candidature in the contest for leadership of the Labour Party.

The rivers of Babylon and the prison of bitterness

The rivers of Babylon and the prison of bitterness

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, and there we wept when we remembered Zion.” The song of the Israelites, exiled and captive, have spoken to the heart through millennia.

Holidays, the uses of travel and the challenge of re-creation

Holidays, the uses of travel and the challenge of re-creation

The great holiday get-away weekend has come and gone. Two million holidaymakers thronged the roads and airports. Gridlock was predicted on many major roads, Heathrow expected the busiest day in its history and the travel association ABTA (Association of British travel Agents) warned people to leave “a lot of extra time” to complete their journeys.

Fox hunting, fracking and the categorical imperative

Fox hunting, fracking and the categorical imperative

If an outcome pleases, do you ask questions as to how it was achieved? Politicians depend upon us not doing so and there is therefore a responsibility to interrogate our own reactions.

£50 million for school cadet units will not improve the prospects of young people

£50 million for school cadet units will not improve the prospects of young people

The prospects for young people have not been improved by the Summer Budget. Let me count the ways of failure.

'We are many': war, anger and optimism

'We are many': war, anger and optimism

Yesterday, I wept in a cinema – something I had not done since, at the age of 10, I was utterly undone by the death of Bambi's mother. The cause of tears on this occasion was a scene from Amir Amirani's film 'We are Many', a documentary about the global protest against the Iraq War.

Armed Forces Day: propaganda and quiet processes

Armed Forces Day: propaganda and quiet processes

Clichés are usually truths which have somewhat lost their impact through repetition. That repetition takes place because the truths concerned were originally mordantly appropriate. Try out 'If war is the answer, what is the question?' and ' if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail'.

Magna Carta, 'heritage' and delusion

Magna Carta, 'heritage' and delusion

We have a tendency in these islands – particularly in England – to prefer our history packaged as 'heritage'. Pageantry and grandiose words may easily replace rigorous and realistic analysis with a warm fuzzy feeling. It can also make us look both foolish and false.

Charles Kennedy: the last (lower case) liberal?

Charles Kennedy: the last (lower case) liberal?

When Charles Kennedy died last week, alone in his Fort William home, the shock and sadness was felt far beyond his party. More than a warm, amiable and likeable man, more than an extraordinarily capable politician before illness hollowed him out, he was that rare animal, a genuine liberal. The lower case is deliberate.