Amid the moral turmoil and instability surrounding News International, there is a message for our own times in the steadfast pursuit of truth shown by the Seekers who gathered to listen to George Fox on Firbank Fell in 1652, says Jill Segger
Point-scoring and opportunist politics alienates the electorate, says Jill Segger. If the "new politics" of May 2010 is to have any meaning, politicians and party activists must find a way of combining the legitimate battle of ideas with a more consensual and creative approach to the common good.
A setting by an 18th century German composer of a translation into his own tongue of a Greek account of the trial and execution of an Iron Age Mediterranean religious radical, performed in a 15th century English church. This cultural, artistic and creative hybrid has enabled Jill Segger to think afresh about the death of Jesus and its meaning.
Neither International Women's Day nor Ash Wednesday usually have any great significance for me, says Jill Segger. The Quaker belief that all days and times carry the sacred within them is usually sufficient. But this year, I am moved to consider it possible that I may have been mistaken.
How much power can Nimbys be permitted to exercise over the long term well-being of their communities? Jill Segger says that 'localism' and the 'Big Society are actually obstacles to the building of the 'Good Society'
The surge of popular feeling generated by the recent Royal engagement has pointed up a public inability to think rationally about the institution of monarchy, says Jill Segger. But the accompanying polls are perhaps a first step towards the logic of a republic.
What must we do to understand the meaning of remembrance, to remember human suffering, and to grasp the human dignity lying so far beyond the ritual words at this time of year?, asks Jill Segger. Only painful truth-telling is adequate to the task, she says.
Politicians of all persuasions wheel out 'fairness' as a justification and a palliative for everything to which the electorate might possibly be expected to raise an objection, says Jill Segger. But the 'f' word is elusive and slippery when compared to the firmer moral, political and religious roots of 'justice' and 'equality'.
To tolerate in the sense of acknowledging that different experiences are likely to produce different outcomes, and that without the experience, we should tread the paths of judgement with great care, is wise and charitable, says Jill Segger. This forbearance is perhaps better perceived as humility than as tolerance.
Voters are weary of spin, contemptuous of the moral deformities of "being on-message" and disillusioned with the journey from managerial "what works" politics to the messianic certainties, says Jill Segger. A different compass is needed in Labour's leadership election and elsewhere in British politics.
The Prime Minister's rapid response to the furore over his proposal to scrap free milk for children under five is revealing, says Jill Segger. But what it shows is political self-regard rather than high principle.
If corporate power groups are permitted to get their hands on our most important and humane social institution, the National Health Service, it will be all but impossible for a future government to restore it, says Jill Segger. The so-called Big Society will have got quite a lot smaller.