The government's new lobbying bill has united charities, unions and other NGOs - as well as civil rights activists - in condemnation for measures that will do too little to combat serious corporate interference in politics, but will provide the pretext to limit and intimidate legitimate policy-based work by non-government and non-party political bodies.
We should turn the crisis over into an opportunity, writes regional analyst and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian. With Russia on a back foot and Syria clearly anxious about the Western reaction, is it not possible to coerce the Syrian regime to sit at the negotiating table for a Geneva II style of negotiations that could usher in the transitional period. Do we not owe it to the people of Syria to try it, he asks?
Having followed some six hours of the House of Commons debate on Syria yesterday (29 August), while channeling news, commentary and media requests for Ekklesia, it was evident to me that concern, questioning and scepticism were the dominant feelings being expressed.
According to the US state department, a strike on Syria could come "within days" as military assets are "ready to go". Simon Barrow looks at what underlies both the accusations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the current US-driven fervour for another military intervention in the troubled region.