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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Starting with a citation from a distinguished Mennonite scholar who constructively engaged Just War perspectives from a pacifist Christian one, Catholic theological ethicist Tobias Winright sets out the issues in relation to the current crisis over Syria. He does not see how military intervention can be morally justified on the full range of criteria.
Despite what may or may not be discovered by the UN Inspectors in Syria in the days to come, all the signs are that Obama and Cameron are not in any mood to pause, says Caroline Lucas MP. She sets out details of her own parliamentary motion on the subject, and issues a call to the Prime Minister to publish solid legal advice.
Clarence Jones, a principal aide to Martin Luther King Jr., who had collaborated in drafting a speech for the March on Washington, described that event in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday 26 August 2013 during a week when the 50th anniversary of the speech was being commemorated world-wide. Theodore A. Gill, World Council of Churches' senior publishing editor sets the scene and shows how the dream of change through nonviolence remains alive today.
In a substantial address given at the launch of Just Festival 2013, Bishop John Armes explores the relationship between peace and justice, the struggle against poverty and exclusion, key themes in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and the challenge of particular global situations like the one in Zimbabwe. Dr Armes is also chairing a conversation on 'A Good Society' on Tuesday 20 August.
In the early run-up to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, fear and chauvinism have often defeated creative and inspirational 'constructivist' approaches, suggests Dr Michael Marten of the University of Stirling. But there are also examples of the reverse happening. In a detailed examination of the emerging political terrain, he looks at how the competing discourses are faring, and where the room for more imaginative approaches is emerging.