Jill Segger's blog

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.

Holy-days, re-creation and the Prime Minister

Holy-days, re-creation and the Prime Minister

Sniping at the holiday choices of politicians is a fixture of the Silly Season. Whatever they do, they lose. They are either self-indulgent and free-loading (Tony Blair) or grimly and self-consciously puritanical (Gordon Brown).

Wise monkeys or vicious beasts? Abuse, cruelty and free speech

Wise monkeys or vicious beasts? Abuse, cruelty and free speech

Our animal natures are in a constant state of tension between the personal and the communal. We have instincts which drive us to gratify ourselves, to dominate for food, status and mates. And then we have the pull towards the good of the tribe, pack or troop and the protection and support it offers.

Emotion, reason and George Alexander Louis

Emotion, reason and George Alexander Louis

Support for monarchy relies more on emotion than it does on reason. It is therefore only sensible to admit that this is not the most fruitful time to be a Republican.

Growing a new politics from the personal

Growing a new politics from the personal

At the end of this month (July 2013), a small change will take place which will make not the tiniest ripple in the political fabric of our country. In fact, it will go completely unnoticed beyond my family and immediate circle of friends. That it represents a significant change in my life, is in that sense, neither here nor there.

Posh boys or bad governance? Invective versus dialogue

Posh boys or bad governance? Invective versus dialogue

“Two arrogant posh boys who don't know the price of milk” Nadine Dorries' opinion of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor gave every appearance of welling up from a deep reservoir of personal peeve. But last week, a Conservative MP expressed an almost identical opinion to me.