Symon Hill's blog

We need to cut military spending, not protect it

The Daily Telegraph’s campaign for high military spending has gathered momentum.

Conscription - in 1916 and today

Ninety-nine years ago today (2 March 1916), every unmarried man aged between 18 and 41 in England, Scotland and Wales was “deemed to have enlisted” in the armed forces.

Low pay in church: I hate to say it, but the Sun's right

It's a rare day that I find myself agreeing with the Sun.

The bishops' election letter is mild, not radical

The Church of England's bishops have issued a letter giving advice to Christians about issues to take into account when casting their votes in May.

Trident poses the question for us: what is security?

What is security?

If your family is going hungry because your benefits have been cut, security might mean knowing that you have enough to eat. But Prime Minister David Cameron wants to make you secure by renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system at a cost of £100 billion.

Sex, violence and Margaret Thatcher

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is generally considered a 'slow news' period by the media, as not much is happening (in reality of course, lots of things are happening; just not the sort of things that most editors tend to consider newsworthy). The week, however, is always livened up by the release of government papers under the 30-year rule. Government documents from 1985 have just entered the public domain.

If you can play football on Christmas Day, why shoot each other on Boxing Day?

Shortly after Christmas 1914, an order was issued by John French, the general in charge of the British troops on the Western Front. He had heard of the informal truces that had broken out along the front on Christmas Day. He ordered that such events must never be repeated. A year later, ahead of the following Christmas, soldiers were reminded that they would be charged with disobeying orders if there was another truce.

Hypocrisy, sexism and anti-porn laws

In recent years, Britain has slowly begun to wake up to the reality of sexual abuse. The Jimmy Saville scandal triggered shocking revelations about abuse carried out by respected entertainers in the 1970s and 80s. Child abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church have been followed by increased reports of similar outrages in the Church of England. Only this week, it was revealed that the Scout Association had paid out thousands to settle legal cases brought by survivors of sexual abuse.

Hypocrisy at the heart of the Thornberry controversy

Welcome to the baffling world of political priorities in 2014.

Exeter students reject arguments in favour of First World War

I had the privilege last week of speaking at Exeter University Debating Society, opposing the motion that “This house believes that World War One was a great British victory.” I am pleased to say that those present voted against the motion by seventy votes to forty.