Jill Segger's blog

The 'perfect host' and the true word of welcome

The 'perfect host' and the true word of welcome

Yesterday I received an email from John Lewis inviting me to “be the perfect host this Christmas”. This would apparently be facilitated by the purchase of “cookware” and “serveware" which would enable me to “cook with ease from morning to night.”

Frogs, tadpoles, delusion and Boris Johnson

Frogs, tadpoles, delusion and Boris Johnson

The fright wig and jester's mask slipped last Wednesday. Boris Johnson, delivering the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture, showed the ugly reality behind the motley as he made his bid for the support of the Tory right and attempted to position himself as successor to David Cameron.

A new political discourse: difference without mendacity and incivility?

A new political discourse: difference without mendacity and incivility?

During last week's Prime Minister's Questions, Michael Meacher, MP for Oldham West and Royton, asked the Prime Minister an entirely reasonable (and, it has to be said, foreseeable) question about inadequate levels of business investment. The reply was a disgrace.

Difference and misrepresentation: a reply to Nick Cohen

Difference and misrepresentation: a reply to Nick Cohen

Consider these two excerpts: “Writing for the religious website Ekklesia, Jill Segger explained why good people must not show solidarity with ex-servicemen and women.” and “The brutalising experiences of combat lead many to harm themselves and others when they return to civilian life. These people deserve our compassion and support.”

Political slogans: making squares into circles

Political slogans: making squares into circles

Propaganda could be described as persuasion without morals. It has been a tool of power for centuries and in our own time, its use in inculcating a state of belief which is not in proportion to evidence, is most clearly seen in politicians' choice and use of slogans.

Lose your job, lose your home? An open letter to Iain Duncan Smith

Lose your job, lose your home? An open letter to Iain Duncan Smith

Dear Iain Duncan Smith

I believe you live in a beautiful house – a 16th century Tudor farmhouse which belongs to your father-in-law. Perhaps you'll expect me to be angry or envious. But I'm not. It's natural for people to want to help their children and the more you have, the more you can give.

The 'heat of the moment' and loutish politics

The 'heat of the moment' and loutish politics

It hasn't been a good fortnight for forbearance and self control in the political arena.

Rachel Reeves, Ian Katz and the value of seriousness

Rachel Reeves, Ian Katz and the value of seriousness

Last week, Newsnight editor Ian Katz mistakenly made public a Twitter comment intended to be private. In describing the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury as “boring, snoring Rachel Reeves”, he went beyond embarrassing himself and his programme, he pointed up a tendency which diminishes a great deal more than politics.

Thoughts from a small island

Thoughts from a small island

“The English the English the English are best, I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest”. It seems that the spirit of Flanders and Swann's 'Song of Patriotic Prejudice' took possession of David Cameron during the G20 meeting in St Petersburg last week. It is a pity he was not capable of sharing its tongue-in-cheek take on national braggadocio.

'What canst thou say?' Syria, cliche and creative non-violence

'What canst thou say?' Syria, cliche and creative non-violence

The World Council of Churches, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Quakers in Britain and senior figures in the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church have all spoken out in either condemnation or warning against military strikes on Syria.