Jill Segger's blog

Seeking truth: the blunderbuss and the still small voice

Seeking truth: the blunderbuss and the still small voice

It gets harder by the day to hear the still small voice. There is a stridency in our culture which makes dialogue, the resolution of conflict or even simple understanding increasingly difficult.

Peter Cruddas: rotten apple or tainted barrel?

Peter Cruddas: rotten apple or tainted barrel?

“A hundred grand is not premier league. Two hundred grand to 250 is premier league.” The language of the huckster employed by Tory Treasurer Peter Cruddas in relation to access to the Prime Minister is ugly and dispiriting.

Chloe Smith and the 'two nations'

“Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets. The rich and the poor.” These words from Disraeli's 1845 novel 'Sybil' could have been written for Norwich MP Chloe Smith.

Silence: a healing tool for the secular believer

Silence: a healing tool for the secular believer

Not speaking unless you can improve on silence is something with which most Quakers are comfortable. This may mean holding your peace even when you have an opinion.

Charles Dickens: a writer for our Hard Times

Charles Dickens: a writer for our Hard Times

“Even the burial of his body in the Abbey was a species of theft when you come to think of it”. George Orwell's words came into my mind as I watched the ceremonies surrounding today's 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

An open letter to Iain Duncan Smith

Dear Iain

You once described yourself as “the quiet man”. It didn't quite work for you at the time, which is a pity, because quietness implies a capacity for reflection, listening and, in the words of our Quaker 'Advices and Queries', for finding space to “consider it possible you may be mistaken”. These are not qualities which are much in evidence among our noisier politicians.

Tesco, schadenfreude and the spirit

Tesco, schadenfreude and the spirit

Schadenfreude is a disagreeable trait in human nature. But most of us will at some time have fallen victim to the spiteful little voice which ricochets around the outer edges of our consciences, whispering gleefully, “Good. Serves them right.”

New Year, polemic and asterisks

New Year, polemic and asterisks

New Year was not kept in my childhood home. My parents believed that every day was the beginning of a new year.

Questioning Cameron: a Quaker method

Questioning Cameron: a Quaker method

If power is ever to change its mind or examine its thinking, it needs to be taken out of its comfort zone.

November 30: the day 'divide and rule' was exposed

November 30: the day 'divide and rule' was exposed

“We're all in this together” has never seemed so cynically mendacious as it does today (30 November) – the day after the Chancellor's Autumn Statement and the day on which public service workers are taking part in the largest organised day of action for a generation.