Christmas, when people who rarely enter a church often pay their annual visit, could be a time to challenge perceptions of Christianity. Unfortunately, says Symon Hill, we seem to respond to their arrival by singing some of the most badly written, incomprehensible and theologically dubious songs ever produced. Perhaps it's time to shred the carol sheet.
Many who support the idea of an independent Scotland but would prefer not to be described as nationalists are motivated by the prospect of greater responsibility, explains Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian and a member of the Scottish Parliament’s economy committee. Here she sets out a vision of a just, sustainable future with a particular emphasis on the vital role of women, children, welfare and work. Among other things, she draws upon examples and models from the Nordic countries.
Austerity measures are causing avoidable illness and death on a major scale, public health experts have shown. In the UK and internationally, harsh cuts in public services and social services are damaging child and adult health and hindering economic recovery, yet some governments are pressing ahead.