Whatever the result announced on the morning of 19 September, the constituent countries of the United Kingdom will never be the same again. The poll published yesterday (6 September), which
for the first time, placed the Yes campaign in the lead, produced a flurry of activity and comment on both sides of the debate. Those coming from Better Together' revealed an unedifying sense of panic.
The Conservative-led UK government was defeated in the House of Commons yesterday (5 September) after their Coalition partners broke ranks over the controversial bedroom tax. Several Liberal Democrats joined forces with Labour MPs on an Affordable Home Bill.
In Robert Fisk's fine book 'Pity the Nation', he describes encounters with Palestinian refugees, and Israeli settlers. The former fled their homes in response to the arrival of the Israeli army, the latter, survivors of the Holocaust, moved into the land they had been dreaming of all their lives.
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.
Stealing is a crime, but is it always a sin? Christian teaching over many centuries has said that to steal to meet an essential need is not in fact a sin, and that the real sin lies in the human systems and values that create such need.
Many health professionals have gone on strike in Sri Lanka, though this has been suspended for a fortnight by court order. Other workers too are threatening industrial action if their pay is not raised to match the cost of living.
To be made to pause and to listen anew can be to experience the subduing of “all our words and works.” It doesn't happen all that often so to have been offered this grace twice in the space of a week demands that I pay attention to blessing.
UK home secretary Theresa May has promised to get tough on “non-violent extremism” as well as terrorism. Unless this is narrowly defined, such measures may undermine civil liberties and do more to promote than to counter violence.