Poverty and hope abandoned: learning again the spiritual value of each other
"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" (Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.) The words Dante places over the gates of hell are terrifying. And to turn that cause and effect around is to remind ourselves of the devastation wrought in lives where hope has gone.
Aspiration, Labour's failure and the long road to understanding
Shock does not produce reasoned reaction. No one was expecting a majority Conservative government and, despite the fact that Labour increased its share of the vote by 1.5 per cent over the Tories' 0.8 per cent, the parliamentary arithmetic meant that Friday's news was defined as a Labour wipe-out.
Beyond the ballot: a spirit that will not be broken
A desolate day follows a long night and the metaphors are a measure of the shock: “ a tsunami”, “ a landscape changed out of recognition”, “ sweeping all before them”. The reality is that the polls were wrong and we were ill-prepared for a Conservative majority.
It seems that quite a lot of candidates don't like getting too close to voters. To me, the revealing thing about Gordon Brown's little brush with Gillian Duffy five years ago were the words "...they should never have put me with that woman".
Many of us inherit our politics and our religion. For that reason, both require examination and re-evaluation from time to time. It can be difficult to accept that familial and tribal loyalties may, if not subject to discernment, become barriers to truth, fidelity and justice.
At the end of the week in which the party manifestos were published, I attended a hustings in a nearby church. The five candidates standing in this rural seat – Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Ukip – all took part.
The noise made by poetry and why power is afraid of it
Ask most parents what they want for their children and the answers will be overwhelmingly on the lines of wanting them to be happy, good, well-balanced and fulfilled individuals. The younger the child, the more likely this is to be centre frame.
General Election 2015: 'How doth the Truth prosper among you?'
Last night, three East Anglian Quakers sat round the kitchen table of their Area Meeting Clerk. We were stuffing envelopes – an activity which will be replicated in many kitchens and committee rooms over the next five weeks.
Inequality 1987-2015: what has changed and what must never change
Sometimes it seems as though nothing much changes. In 1987, London Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends issued a public statement in the month before the General Election of that year. It expressed anger at the polarisation of the country; condemned inequality and expressed Quakers' belief that urgent action was needed to “promote debate and to stimulate action”.