There was an extremely depressing and revealing Channel 4 TV 'Dispatches' documentary this evening, documenting the way in which the 2005 liberalisation of gambling by New Labour (Gordon Brown pulled back on 'super-casinos', but not the rest of it) has exposed poor communities in particular to businesses that take many thousands of pounds out of the local economy every day.
This morning I took part in Meeting for Worship in the small 18th century Friends Meeting House at Calf Cop in North Yorkshire. Situated in that area known to Quakers as '1652 country' where the borders of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria come within a few miles of each other, the Meeting House stands in a quiet burial ground bordered by pine trees and looks across an open landscape to the massive flat-topped mountain of Ingleborough.
We are experiencing a crisis of trust in our public institutions, says Jill Segger. She suggests that The Society of Friends could play a significant role in preventing a slide into destructive cynicism.