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Not long ago, a solicitor who has recently started attending Quaker Meetings for Worship told me that over a lifetime of practice, he had on many occasions been impressed by Friends who would put themselves at a legal and financial disadvantage by strict adherence to the truth. Although this is by no means a virtue confined to Quakers, its absence is perhaps more common than its presence and has in recent weeks, come into sharp political focus.
Prime Minister David Cameron, in defending his decision to refuse an official apology for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in India (known popularly as the Amritsar massacre), declared that it would be "wrong" to "reach back into history" and apologise for the misdemeanours of British colonialism.
For several weeks at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron has been asked about foodbanks. Each week he has had a request by an MP to visit a foodbank in their constituency, to speak to the people who run them, and to the people who rely on them to feed themselves and their families.
Quaker Meetings are not hotbeds of the competitive instinct and in most Meeting Houses you will probably find a poster depicting two donkeys tethered to each other, straining in opposite directions to reach bundles of hay. In the second frame, the animals have realised the futility of their actions and are standing side by side munching contentedly from the same manger. 'Co-operation is better than conflict' is the caption.