Jill Segger's blog

Brian Haw: a witness to inconvenient truth

Brian Haw: a witness to inconvenient truth

It is in the nature of authority to desire order, predictability and control. It is the nature of truth to refuse to be so confined.

'Slutwalking' and modesty

'Slutwalking' and modesty

Last Saturday, (11 June 2011) during a conference on the future direction of the Labour Party, I was engaged in a tea-break conversation with a town councillor. He had some innovative ideas as to how local authorities could reduce costs by co-operative action and the collective purchase of goods and services. So far, so interesting. Then, without any reason apparent to me, he suddenly introduced a coarse reference to male solo sexual activity.

Mladic and Eichmann: owning the fears of a child

Mladic and Eichmann: owning the fears of a child

On May 31 2011, 16 years after his indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, former General Ratko Mladic was extradited to stand trial at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

A moral covenant with the military

What should be the relationship between a democratic state and its armed forces? It is easier for politicians to play to popular sentiment about “our boys” than to address the moral and constitutional issues.

Time for a bolder vision of our democratic future

Time for a bolder vision of our democratic future

There can be no one who voted or campaigned for the Alternative Vote who believed it to be anything other than a first step towards full reform of the electoral system. Initially, Nick Clegg's petulant description of it as a “miserable little compromise” seemed an example of the perfect being permitted to become the enemy of the possible. However, it now seems that the pursuit of incremental change may have turned out to be a mistake.

Generous love, scarlet tunics and warplanes

Generous love, scarlet tunics and warplanes

The incongruity appeared to raise little comment. At a wedding - perhaps one of the most tender of human ceremonies in its manifestation of love and hope - all the principal male figures wore the uniforms of forces whose business is armed conflict.

Crown or parliament? Time for reflection

Crown or parliament? Time for reflection

“Are you for King or for Parliament?” I was taught at a tender age to ask the burning question of mid 17th century England as a means of assessing an individual's take on society. It seems apposite once again.

'Discrimination', symbols and idolatry

'Discrimination', symbols and idolatry

It was with a slight sense of weariness that I heard the news of the Christian van driver in Wakefield who has cited's his employer's policy of prohibiting employees from displaying personal items in their vehicles, as evidence of anti-Christian discrimination.

Public space and the Golden Rule

Public space and the Golden Rule

Public and private spaces impose differing obligations. That statement might seem so obvious as to be otiose. But many people seem to be unaware that the sharing of space necessitates the exercise of a restraint which manifests and nourishes the mutuality without which any concept of society - big or otherwise - is impoverished.

Simplicity and freedom

Simplicity and freedom

“ 'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free”. The Shaker hymn has always been dear to me; not least because its open-spaced and perfectly poised melody makes such a perfect fit with the spirit of the plain, graceful words.