Jill Segger's blog

Buccaneering, deal making and democracy: Cameron at the CBI

Buccaneering, deal making and democracy: Cameron at the CBI

“A buccaneering, deal making, hungry spirit”. These are the qualities which our Prime Minister advocated in his speech to the CBI recently (19 November 2012).

Remembrance: penitence or pageantry?

Remembrance: penitence or pageantry?

“All war represents a failure of diplomacy.” Tony Benn's words are no less true for being so widely and frequently repeated. That the failure brings immeasurable suffering which cascades down through the generations, is beyond dispute.

The US presidential race and the condition of integrity

The US presidential race and the condition of integrity

During our Quaker Meeting for Worship this morning, a Friend asked that we hold in the Light the people of the United States as they choose their next president.

'Incentivising' pensioners: Lord Bichard and the fifth commandment

'Incentivising' pensioners: Lord Bichard and the fifth commandment

Today (24 October), a man with a substantial pension and a seat in the Lords demonstrated either his ignorance of, or indifference to, values which almost all cultures understand as underpinning the cohesion of a decent society.

Political speeches and the true 'greatness' of a nation

Political speeches and the true 'greatness' of a nation

Writing in the Observer on 14 October, the paper's chief political correspondent Andrew Rawnsley presented readers with a composite of the speeches given by the leaders of the three main parties at their recent conferences. It is an amusing swipe at the banalities and dog-whistles of political rhetoric, which you can read here: http://bit.ly/UVtj78 but it is also a reminder of something ugly and delusional which underlies that rhetoric.

Bringing an informed mind and a generous spirit to party conferences

Bringing an informed mind and a generous spirit to party conferences

For those outside the bubble of partisanship, the party conference season is likely to induce varying degrees of irritation and despondency.

Manners and the Minister: the insolence of power

Manners and the Minister: the insolence of power

It may appear graceless to ask the question, but how likely is it that Andrew Mitchell would have managed even the evasive partial apology heard today if he had thought he could get away with his arrogant loutishness towards officers of the Diplomatic Protection Group and retain his job?

Hillsborough: the long injustice of stereotype

Hillsborough: the long injustice of stereotype

Our minds tend towards the creation of categories. The capacity to classify and order is the engine of learning and enquiry. When permitted to go unexamined, it may also be the source of prejudice and injustice.

London 2012, a reshuffle and the honours system

London 2012, a reshuffle and the honours system

'Honour' is both an abstract noun and a verb. These characteristics have become somewhat confused as sacked government ministers are rewarded and Olympic and Paralympic athletes feted for the achievements which have delighted and inspired so many over the last few weeks.

The brave new world of paralympian defiance

The brave new world of paralympian defiance

“A millionaire with a private cinematograph, all the necessary props and a troupe of intelligent actors could, if he wished, make practically all of his inner life known. He could explain the real reasons of his actions instead of telling rationalised lies, point out the things an ordinary man has to keep locked up because there are no words to express them. In general, he could make other people understand him.” So wrote George Orwell in his 1940 essay 'New Words'.