“I'll get you a nice cup of tea.” There can be few people in these islands – particularly in England – who have not heard these words at a time of distress. In shock or bereavement many of us will have smiled through our tears at being gently offered the national sacrament of solidarity.
Nothing justifies the vicious murder of a British soldier that took place on the streets of Woolwich this week. We are right to condemn it. Consistency and integrity mean that we must also speak out against the killing of innocent people by the US and UK government in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
All the news coming out of Syria at present seems negative, and bound up with remorseless cycles of violence and the huge refugee and internal displacement crisis, which is impacting millions of people.
I’ve just returned from the annual general meeting of BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest arms companies. I was forcibly carried out of the building after challenging the board on BAE’s arms sales to the brutal regimes of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Ten years ago today, he joined millions of other people around the world in marching against the planned invasion of Iraq. This week, Symon Hill was effectively banned from his local branch of Costcutter for trying to buy newspapers. It’s been a strange decade, he writes.