Posts filed under ‘Development’

Normalising Extremism

Human beings have always tended towards definitions relative to themselves. We feel most at ease with that which is somehow intrinsically the same as ourselves, and when we go searching for something new, it is always in terms of otherness – foreign holidays, alien planets, ethnic cooking, as though our own cooking is not tied to our ethnicity.



Tuesday, 4th September 2012 at 22:21 UTC 2 comments

Kony 2012

An awful lot has already been said about Kony 2012, the campaign to draw Westerners’ attention to a hitherto rather forgotten warlord in Africa. Its covered the internet, and has received its share of criticism, primarily its reliance on white people to tell an African story, the focus on lobbying US senators not Ugandan diplomats, and the connections with military interests. But where has this campaign even come from? Who’s actually asking us to give them a voice? Who’s paying the piper and thus calling the tune?


Saturday, 10th March 2012 at 21:55 UTC 3 comments

UK Riots: Hopelessly Violent?

This has certainly proven to be a year of unrelenting, if deeply contrasting uprisings, and it shows no sign of abating, with India the latest to enter the fray with anti-corruption protests that saw more arrests than our riots did. If its possible to make objective comparisons between the #ukriots and all the other uprisings of recent months, then I intend to do it. (more…)

Friday, 19th August 2011 at 10:11 UTC 1 comment

Global Justice in a time of Austerity

in just 6 weeks time, I’m running an event of a fairly unprecedented scale at York Friend’s Meeting House, drawing together over a dozen local campaign groups for an afternoon of talks and discussions spanning the length and width of “Global Justice”. All this seemed so much more urgent before the cuts became the defining issue of the moment, and now its hard to even feel excited about the range of issues beyond our doorstep.


Saturday, 8th January 2011 at 15:10 UTC Leave a comment

The Rise of Neo-Victorianism

I’m sure I wrote a post about the rise of Neo-Victorianism sometime about 2 years ago, concerned with the anti-social behaviour rhetoric that was prevalent in the media at the time. I can’t find it. Either way, during my time at home this Christmas, we watched the recentish BBC serialisation of Dickens’ Bleak House as a family. Somehow this government is managing to make Dickens’ work even more depressing to watch…


Thursday, 30th December 2010 at 0:43 UTC 3 comments

Corporate Tax: A time for Jubilee?

I’ve already written a fairly long political post advocating a movement for a reconnection of the World’s richest with those closer to the bottom of society through correct payment of taxes. This, if you’ll permit me, is a theological post. It feels wrong to divide the politics from the theology, but I’ll admit it took me a while to remember what now seems so thoroughly obvious: Jubilee – perhaps the single most radical command in the Torah, the earliest books of the Christian bible.


Thursday, 18th November 2010 at 17:39 UTC Leave a comment

You shall not suffer a hedge fund manager to live among you?

A week ago, I was at a church service where the 10 commandments were being discussed. We discussed their influence on society today, and the reasons why they might have been important at the time they were written. At the end we had a big shout-out of commandments we could remember, and the Witches one came to mind. This is a verse I really struggle to understand, but then it suddenly dawned on me that there could be very good reasons for it. Let me attempt to explain…


Tuesday, 16th November 2010 at 8:00 UTC 1 comment

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