Last year, I visited the Judean desert and met with people who used a water pipe funded by UK aid money. Before the pipe was fitted, the villagers often had to go ten days without a bath. Now they can bathe every three days. They are also better able to water their vegetables and feed their livestock. The aid money has thus made them more independent, not less.
Children's needs and a new campaign against same-sex marriage
As if there weren’t enough groups already campaigning against same-sex marriage – such as the Coalition for Marriage and Keep Marriage Special – today (17 June) sees the launch of another one. It’s called “Gay Marriage, No Thanks” (yes, really; that’s the organisation’s name).
I’ve just returned from the annual general meeting of BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest arms companies. I was forcibly carried out of the building after challenging the board on BAE’s arms sales to the brutal regimes of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
I blogged earlier this week about statements from the socially conservative lobby group Christian Concern ahead of the local elections. They encouraged people to vote for candidates opposed to same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage and the local elections: Who thinks they're connected?
The “Christian Right” in Britain – inasmuch as it exists – is not like the Christian Right in the US. Over there, conservatism on issues such as marriage and abortion seems to go hand in hand with right-wing views on economics and foreign policy. Over here, we have conservative Christian lobby groups with a far more narrow focus. Organisations such as the Christian Institute, Christian Concern/Christian Legal Centre and so-called Anglican Mainstream focus largely on attacking LGBT rights. They also speak out against abortion, Islam and the supposed marginalisation of Christians in Britain.
I was two years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thirteen when she resigned.
Thatcher’s policies led to mass unemployment, leaving my father on the dole for much of my childhood. I started secondary school the year that Section 28 was brought in, banning schools from presenting same-sex relationships as legitimate.