Tomorrow (19 September 2014) it will be exactly eight months until the United Kingdom general election. It is also the day on which the provisions of the new Lobbying Act come into force, imposing significant restrictions on how charities, NGOs and other non-party organisations are seen to campaign for their causes and concerns during this designated pre-election period.
One of the most ingrained, and mistaken, ideas about the 'Yes' side of the Scottish independence referendum is that, as a friend from England wrote to me, "really its all about nationalism, identity and flag-waving."
I wrote yesterday, 16 September 2014, about attitudes in England towards the Scottish referendum.(http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20831) 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.
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.
One of the big last-ditch Scottish referendum pitches by the three dominant Westminster parties and their friends in the City of London is to appeal to voters to reject self-government and instead accept the opinion and sway of the giant transnational banks – the likes of Goldman Sachs, J P Morgan and Deutsche Bank.
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.
When I was young, my father often used to repeat a saying his mother had told him, “To whom much is given, of them much is expected.” It was long time before I realised that this early version of “check out your privilege” was in fact quoting Jesus in the Bible (Luke 12:48), but I have never forgotten it, and I always try to live by it.
There has been widespread anger since an inquiry revealed that at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham from 1997-2013. Yet many adults in Britain are still in denial about the extent and seriousness of child sexual abuse.