Symon Hill's blog

Government minister to argue First World War was "a great British victory"

Andrew Murrison MP is the government’s special representative on the World War One Centenary Commission. At Exeter University tomorrow (14 November), he will propose the motion “This house believes that World War One was a great British victory.” I have been asked to oppose the motion.

Iraq, 38 Degrees and everyday militarism

One sign of the impact of militarism is the number of progressively minded people who express a belief in peace but support war once it is proposed. This is rather like being teetotal until you're offered a drink.

Will a Yes vote in Scotland mean the end of Trident?

I wrote yesterday, 16 September 2014, about attitudes in England towards the Scottish referendum.( England, Wales and Northern Ireland – as well as places further afield – will be affected by the result. Like many English people hoping for a Yes vote, I’m motivated mainly by a desire to get rid of Trident.

English people and the Scottish referendum

I've been wary of blogging about Scottish independence, not least because I'm well aware of how many English people are writing about it in a way that implies they know more than the Scots. It seems that the referendum debate is engaging thousands of people in Scotland who were previously seen as apolitical. I don't doubt that they know more about the issues than commentators in London.

Ian Paisley and reconciliation

The political figures of my youth are gradually dying off. Ian Paisley has joined Tony Benn, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the ranks of dominant figures of the 1980s who are no longer with us.

Terror threat: Let's not fall for it again

Do they expect us to believe it all again? With weary familiarity, I have been reading the government’s claims that we face a heightened “terror threat”. UK governments have been making this claim every so often since 2001. It is usually followed by a fresh restriction of civil liberties or the departure of British troops to yet another war zone.

Misreading the parable of the talents

There are few passages in the Bible that I feel more strongly about than the parable of the talents. This is partly because of the worrying ideas that are justified by the way it is usually interpreted. I am convinced we have been reading the parable “upside down”.

After Beeching, where are the bisexual Christians?

Vicky Beeching's decision to come out publicly as a lesbian is so important because she is such a prominent figure in evangelical circles. As I mentioned on this blog yesterday (, there is good evidence that the news has given many other gay Christians the confidence to come out.

Vicky Beeching and the EA: Who represents evangelicals?

It’s five days since top Christian singer Vicky Beeching came out as gay. Evangelical Christianity in Britain is still shaking with the impact of this earthquake, whose effects will be felt for years and probably decades.

Nick Baines is mistaken: Cameron's policy is coherent, but morally foul

This morning, I was invited onto BBC Ulster’s Sunday Sequence programme to discuss my response as a Christian pacifist to the situation in northern Iraq. Our discussion followed headlines reporting that English church leaders have criticised the UK government’s response to Islamic extremism.