Features

  • 31 Oct 2013

    A renewed 'Claim of Right' for Scotland would invoke popular sovereignty and more than nationalist is also social democratic, liberal, green, feminist and much more, says commentator Gerry Hassan. It is the Scotland of boldness, determination and self-determination, which is larger than labels and beyond being small-minded about differences. It is also a challenge to the fading 'high Scotland' which talks the people's talk while remaining paternalist, and a step beyond the limitations of the current referendum campaign.

  • 26 Oct 2013

    The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) begins at the end of October and promises to be one of the most diverse gatherings of Christians in the world. The assembly will be an opportunity for renewing the worldwide ecumenical movement – infusing it with honesty, humility and hope, according to the WCC General Secretary.

  • 24 Oct 2013

    There are three important lessons that we need to learn from the industrial dispute-going-on-catastrophe at the Grangemouth oil refinery, says Robin McAlpine from the Jimmy Reid Foundation. Firstly, industrial ownership in Britain is broken. Secondly, industrial relations in Britain is broken. Thirdly, London's capacity to understand or take an interest in the rest of Britain seems problematic.

  • 19 Oct 2013

    Many uncertain – and as yet unanswerable – questions prey on commentators' minds about Turkey today. Can it indeed play a constructive global (read: stabilising) role in the Middle East and North Africa region or is it merely a spoiler at best and a bully at worst? Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian explores the issues around and behind Turkey's current situation.

  • 12 Oct 2013

    Today, with the disarmament experts in Syria trying to dismantle the stockpiles of chemical weapons, let us not forget that the actual challenge is to stop the conventional war, says Ekklesia associate and regional commentator Dr Harry Hagopian. Given the facts on the ground, now is perhaps the intelligent time to contain the horrendous deaths as well as raw anger. Why? Because the alarming alternative for this 30-month war will be a macabre spectre that continues to haunt Syria, extend to its neighbouring countries, with more refugees, further radicalisation of society and a Somalia-like failed state, he says.

  • 16 Sep 2013

    In his book The Great Tax Robbery, Richard Brooks notes that "the institutions that shape the tax system have been captured by the tax industry and corporate interests. Policy is determined through committees and consultation processes in which the tax avoidance industry’s representatives dominate, before being nodded through by parliament without proper debate. This cosy cartel urgently needs dismantling," he declares. Wendy Bradley argues that replacing recently resigned David Heaton with someone on the General Anti Abuse advisory panel (GAAR) who represents ordinary people rather than the tax wizards would be a good place to start.

  • 10 Sep 2013

    The war in Syria is illegal. If a criminal had poisoned someone, our concern would be how to protect the public from future poisonings and how to arrest the criminal and bring him (or her) before a court of law. And civil society needs to be directly involved in the talks. Mary Kaldor, Professor of Global Governance at the LSE, says that the military action versus diplomacy standoff represents a tired form of geopolitics that misses the humanitarian dimension enshrined in international law.

  • 1 Sep 2013

    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?

  • 31 Aug 2013

    The videos and photos showing children suffering and dying in what appears to be a poison gas attack in a Damascus suburb shock the conscience and may serve as just cause for taking military action says Tobias L. Winright. However, when invoking the 'just war' tradition, as some have, directly and indirectly, other criteria must also be met for an intervention to be justified. They are not being so met.

  • 29 Aug 2013

    War rhetoric in the media this week seemed to imply the impending end of Syria’s Assad regime and the spread of Syria’s civil war into a larger regional conflict, while key players carefully chose their words to try to emphasise the limits of conflict, and responses to any breach, writes Arthur Bernhoff, an international affairs analyst currently based in Beirut.