Poppies and the National Anthem: outward forms and inward truth
The relationship between outward forms and inward truth has been at the heart of dissent for centuries. In a secular society, the nature of those forms may have shifted, but the potential for coercion through intolerance remains.
Aylan Kurdi and the moral illiteracy of our government
Rehan Kurdi and her two small children, Aylan and Galip are dead. As the world now knows, they drowned while attempting to flee from the horrors of Kobane for a life of peace and safety in Europe. The picture of three-year-old Aylan's tiny body, face down on a Turkish, beach has shocked millions.
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.
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.
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.