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Research papers in the category .
Both migration and elections are about choices – including, for many who wish to see a more just, peaceful and sustainable world – confronting what is often a depressing lack of palatable options provided by current thinking and vested interests. This paper by Vaughan Jones is about the relationship between migration (usually talked about as ‘immigration’, a one-dimensional term that itself betrays a particular way of looking at the matter) and the 2015 General Election. Its aim is to examine the people and concerns behind migration debates, and to point towards fresh perspectives that challenge deep-seated assumptions: assumptions that lead to less than humane policies and prescriptions, and which mostly ignore the larger geo-political realities impacting people movements. For the fundamental question is one that very few ask: “is migration really the issue?” Or is it a convenient way of avoiding other crucial global and local issues with which politicians find it difficult to engage? One route into these complex and vital concerns is provided by the role and perspective of churches and Christians – as influencers in public moral debate, and as diaspora communities themselves. The way they (alongside other civic groups) press for positive change, challenge widespread misperceptions, display hospitality and hold to a much larger vision can make a significant difference.
With the rise of people-based parties, civic movements for social change, and opposition to debt-deflationary austerity policies, aspects of politics in Europe are shifting in a progressive direction. But there is also a dark side, signaled by social dislocation, the scapegoating of minorities, toxic ideologies, and aggressive xenophobia. As a ‘democratic moment’ in this changing context, the UK General Election is being seen as potentially the most open in years. The major parties are being challenged on all sides. Political pluralism is growing. Will hope or trepidation prevail? This Ekklesia paper suggests that elections should be seen precisely as ‘moments of opportunity’ in a broader and wider political process that needs to be rooted in civic action and participation, rather than dominated by unaccountable elites. Our challenge to Christians and to all people of good faith (religious or otherwise) is to be courageous; to seek to ‘Vote for What You Believe In’, and to act for what you believe in, rather than succumbing to a reductionist narrative that says you can only get something slightly less worse than you fear. Here we offer a rationale for that positive approach, an overview of the changing political scene, Ten Core Values that provide a basis for interrogating parties and candidates, an encouragement to pledge ourselves to a politics of principle, consideration of fostering honest belief in politics and ‘voting as witness’, and extensive references and resources.
Ekklesia is pleased to support the newly-launched Tax Dodging Bill coalition and the changes it is advocating. As a Christian think-tank concerned with changing the agenda on politics and belief to benefit people and planet, and especially the poorest and most vulnerable, we have been commenting, analysing, reporting and advocating on the need for just taxation policies actively since 2008. We support the work of the Tax Justice Network, and we are pleased to co-publish this briefing on the idea of a Tax Dodging Bill.
This third report from the Harries Commission, of which Ekklesia is an active member, indicates that even before the regulated period started in relation to the 2015 General Election, in September 2014, the new Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Act has been limiting charities and advocacy groups from speaking out on important public issues.
The Rev Paul Nicolson from Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP), has written to Lord Heseltine, following his criticism of recent statements from the Anglican Archbishops of York and Canterbury about the reality of poverty and inequality across the English regions and in the UK as a whole. We reproduce here the open letter to Lord Heseltine about the reality of divided Britain, and follow that with a detailed briefing on some of the issues raised by publicity round the book, On Rock or Sand?, together with commentary on who is saying what in the debate, relevant research, resources, and practical values for an alternative approach.
Fear or Freedom?: Why a Warring Church Must Change by Simon Barrow (Ed)
The Subversive Manifesto: Lifting the Lid on God's Political Agenda by Jonathan Bartley
Faith and Politics After Christendom: The Church as a Movement for Anarchy by Jonathan Bartley
Consuming Passion: Why the Killing of Jesus Really Matters by Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley (Eds)
Threatened with Resurrection: The Difficult Peace of Christ by Simon Barrow