As a teetotal Christian, I would not want to sell alcohol. If I worked at Marks & Spencer, and had politely asked a customer to pay another member of staff for her champagne, I doubt that it would have led to a national media story. Marks & Spencer’s policy on this issue has hit the headlines because of a staff member who made such a request – and who is a Muslim. This conveniently suits the agenda of the right-wing media, obsessed as they are with portraying Muslims as weird.
Come January, the right-wing media in the UK might have some explaining to do. The Daily Mail (and their friends in UKIP and the Conservative right) have been telling us that Britain will be flooded by immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria, as the last restrictions on their immigration to the UK are lifted.
As chairman of the Co-operative Bank, Paul Flowers shared responsibility for the decisions that led to a situation in which most of the bank is to be bought up by hedge funds. Last week, Paul Flowers was filmed buying cocaine. Bafflingly, many people seem to regard the second offence as worse than the first one.
Social mobility: Cameron is ignoring Major, not listening to him
David Cameron has today (14 November 2013) declared that lack of social mobility is a problem. He was responding to comments by his predecessor John Major, but he ignored the main point that Major seemed to be making – the power of private schools.
UK ministers and their allies are fond of talking about the need to reduce the welfare bill. They give the impression that the welfare bill goes to feckless scroungers, but almost never mention any statistics about who is actually claiming the money.
Last week, I appeared in court – alongside Chris Wood, Dan Woodhouse, Chloe Skinner and James Clayton – charged under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. We had knelt in prayer in one of the entrances to the London arms fair on 10th September.