Disabled and sick people's experience, views and expertise is frequently filtered out of skewed debates and discussions about welfare and benefits. Here researcher, blogger and campaigner Sue Marsh explains what it's like to negotiate the media circus as a person living with a deeply debilitating condition, how the mainstream media fails those most impacted by government-driven cuts and stigma, and why "we must make our own media".
Nearly one hundred representatives of the German member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC) met from 16 to 18 January 2014 at the Evangelical Academy of Loccum in order to share their experiences from the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Korea, and to discuss how they would continue their way together on their pilgrimage of justice and peace. Christina Biere, a former WCC Central Committee member, summarises and shares their reflections and findings.
This is the full statement from an Ecumenical Consultation on Syria, involving churches from across the world, hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, from 15-17 January 2014, ahead of the upcoming Geneva II international talks on resolving the Syrian crisis.
It's time to talk about, and talk up, monetary reform – to ensure that the public good that is our money system once again serves the interests of wider society, not just those of private wealth. So says groundbreaking political economist Ann Pettifor, whose new book 'Just Money' demystifies the nature of money and the finance system, showing how and why it needs to be reconstructed.
The Lobbying Bill being debated at Westminster will do nothing to expose corporate lobbying, says Tamasin Cave, a director of SpinWatch, author, and leader of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency coalition. If we are going to diminish corporate commercial influence in government, we need to understand its tactics better and call them out.
The Robin Hood Tax campaign is facing a tough opponent – not just from the usual source of the financial sector and their allies, but from legislation currently going through the House of Lords, says Richard Carr, a Policy Adviser at Stamp Out Poverty. He highlights why the Lobbying Bill matters to anti-poverty campaigners, among many others.
In recognising the human endurance, perseverance, vision, humility, lack of bitterness and political ability that characterised Nelson Mandela, analyst and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian looks at the response of Palestinians and others from the Middle East and North Africa region to his passing. There are uncomfortable truths to be faced in all this, he suggests.
History was made at the UN climate talks last week – not by the achievement of a breakthrough in negotiations, unfortunately, but by the unprecedented walk-out by 800 civil society groups and trade unions, says Caroline Lucas MP, assessing what has happened and what needs to happen next.
What worries many powers today are Iranian encroaching attempts to enrich high-grade uranium. Has the deal that has just been done alleviated those fears, or merely been a piece of window dressing? Regional commentator and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian examines the complexities, political dynamics and regional (global, indeed) implications of the Iran nuclear deal.
Forget what self-appointed experts might tell you or what political bureaucrats might suggest either. Just cast a quick look for yourself at the Middle East North Africa (MENA) map today, says regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian. The inescapable conclusion – the revealing truth, if you will – is that things are not going well at all. In fact, things are quite messy – and perilously so too.
Joseph Stalin once asked an advisor rather perfunctorily, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Dr Harry Hagopian, Middle East commentator and Ekklesia associate reminds us. Christians are part of the Middle East and North Africa region and their strength need not lie in their physical might alone, he suggests, surveying the implications of some recent interventions.
There is much talk from some quarters about “reconciliation” after the Scottish independence referendum, and the need for politicians to move the country forward, says Dr Michael Marten. But the way this is framed misses several important points about participatory democracy, very the real divide between the powerful and the disenfranchised, and differences between governors and governed.