Simon Barrow

  • February 8, 2012

    The coalition can force its welfare changes through using procedural measures, minor concessions and ‘financial privilege’ to do so. But the long-term political fall-out from all of this could be immense, says Simon Barrow. The warfare over welfare has shown just how powerful citizens’ action and web-based crowd sourcing can be.

  • January 23, 2012

    The Welfare Reform Bill debate has now given way to open warfare, says Simon Barrow. These latest battles are as much about the soul (or lack of it) of the coalition project as they are about money or the demographics of power. The government can command majorities in both Houses. But it is losing the argument, losing good will and storing up massive costs - financial and political - for the future.

  • December 31, 2011

    The political ride in Britain, in Europe and more widely is set to get bumpier, sometimes alarming, and never less than fascinating, says Simon Barrow. But the key question remains: who does (and who should?) call the shots in shaping the capacity of our key institutions both to respond to popular pressures and to ride the economic tiger?

  • November 16, 2011

    While attempts to 'Christianise' the Occupy movement from above are rightly being resisted within and without the protest outside St Paul's Cathedral, there are profound Christian lessons to be learned from 'the Church of Occupy', suggests Simon Barrow. The juxtaposition of movement and institution dramatises the questions and issues raised by the uneven transition from Christendom to post-Christendom.

  • November 12, 2011

    As with the leadership of the Church of England, the main Westminster parties have struggled to know how to respond to the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp, says Simon Barrow. He questions and deconstructs the idea that the tent protests have been 'unconstructive' politically and 'disastrous' religiously. Quite the reverse, he suggests.

  • October 28, 2011

    The Occupy protests, environmental movements and civic revolutions across the world are suggesting that there is a whole world of politics available outwith the narrow party perspectives that still dominate the electoral machinery of Western democracies, says Simon Barrow. Party posturing is looking increasingly irrelevant. A spirit of change is in the air.

  • October 8, 2011

    The core to Archbishop Desmond Tutu's appeal, and to the opposition he has also elcited, lies in his sheer humanity as well as his fidelity to the core of the Christian message, says Simon Barrow. This is a pattern which holds out hope for the future of Christianity in dark times.

  • September 6, 2011

    The debate on Scottish independence in advance of a mooted 2016 referendum is only just beginning, but Simon Barrow suggests that the contours of a fresh agenda on both sides is already emerging in surprising comments from representatives of the Westminster parties north of the border.

  • August 18, 2011

    Theology is ‘wrestling with the unfathomable mystery of God’, but to enlighten rather than to obscure, says Simon Barrow, paying tribute to two Mennonite scholars and pastors, Alan and Eleanor Kreider, as part of a festschrift entitled 'Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom'.

  • August 5, 2011

    The prospects of settlements in some of the most intractable situations in the world today, as well as in domestic political wrangles over the health service, education and more, depend upon a host of unseen actors, says Simon Barrow. They create the conditions for the more formal political mechanisms to make progress.