Friday, July 30, 2010

Telling a Robber About Jesus

Brilliant! It's amazing how these things work in the US and a sign that the Gospel still carries weight no matter what people think

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Congratulations to Alex and Comrades

Further to my last post, although I am sure you know already, they won the libel case against them

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 23, 2010

Supporting Alex Hilton Today

If you can, support Alex Hilton today. They will be judged in this 3 year libel action over an article written on LabourHome and the result can affect all political blogs in this country in how we write.
Judgment Day is 2pm, Friday, Court 4, St Dunstan's House, Fetter Lane.
Everyone welcome - please spread the word!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Parish Notice

As of tomorrow I will be on a week-long family holiday in Cornwall, so I'm afraid this blog won't be updated for a week, but have fun and we meet again next week :-)

New BBC Series: Sherlock

I am very much looking forward to this, being a big Sherlock Holmes fan. The modern day twist will either work or not, although given the trailer it should work


Reluctant Hat Tip to the Daily Mail

I have said before that politics creates strange bedfellows, but today The Daily Mail has highlighted two stories that do not show Cameron and Osborne in a good light.
The first is Cameron's comments regarding Britain being a "Junior Partner" to the US during the Second World War, now whether that is broadly true or not, it has caused offence and shows a lack of proper awareness of how the Allies operated at that time or the influence Churchill was able to wield.
The second is with regards to Osborne being criticised by the Conservative-dominated Commons Treasury Committee. Not only does this echo Labour's concerns at the time and the reality behind Sir Alan Budd's departure, but it also highlights Osborne's lack of competency in the role of Chancellor and that he is someone who freely ignores advice when it doesn't suit him and is probably likely to blame others when things go wrong. Trust me, when Osborne starts getting an array of negative headlines he will be caught trying to shift the blame onto Danny Alexander

Total Politics Blog Poll

It's that time of year again where Total Politics are launching their Poll for the Top Political Blogs in this country.

All can vote but you must follow the rules listed below:

1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and ranks them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite).
2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.
3. You MUST include at least FIVE blogs in your list, but please list ten if you can. If you include fewer than five, your vote will not count.
4. Email your vote to
5. Only vote once.
6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents or based on UK politics are eligible. No blog will be excluded from voting.
7. Anonymous votes left in the comments will not count. You must give a name
8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2010. Any votes received after that date will not count.

Happy voting

"Teachable Moments"

I can see how easy it would be for the White House to have a knee-Jerk reaction here, but as some have said it is a "Teachable moment". What they do need to bear in mind however is that not only do Fox News and it's kin have an agenda to bring down the Obama Administration, but that, as in the Clinton years, they will latch onto anything to try and do it, which means they will sometimes not check their facts properly or, more likely, deliberately take something out of context. The aim therefore is to go for the original story and show up the perpetrators

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Al Megrahi - The Buck Stops With the SNP

I appreciate and share the concerns the Americans have and BP have a lot of awkward questions to ask, and no doubt the Coalition will be sorely tempted to blame the previous government, but lets stick to the facts.
Al Megrahi was held under Scottish custody, the decision to release him was made by the Scottish Executive which is SNP controlled, therefore one should really be asking the Scottish Executive some awkward questions, in particular to Alex Salmond and the Scottish Justice Minister. I am sure they have a plausible sounding explanation but as I have said before, sometimes the crime is so great that life-long imprisonment is the best option

Monday, July 19, 2010

Khrushchev Vs Nixon

Check out this argument at an American Fair in Moscow in 1959 between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and the then Vice President Richard Nixon on capitalism Vs Communism. Entertaining and inspiring

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tom Jones's Latest Album

Whether it was a publicity stunt or not has helped draw attention to the album and you know what, good on Sir Tom for doing this album. Why should he stay in a box of simply producing songs like "Sexbomb" and "It's Not Unusual", he's an artist and if he feels confident enough to sing other stuff and broaden his range then why stop him? It's like saying to Leonardo Di Vinci; "Would you please stop doing those designs of those helicopter thingys!"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Latest Violence in Northern Ireland

On our last full day in Dublin, Ruth and I went to a small bar near O'Connell Street and had an Irish Breakfast for brunch (well it was nearly midday), as we were given our plates, Ruth mentioned her passion for the Ulster Fry, to which the waitress said made her feel homesick (being from N. Ireland) . It made me reflect on how things has improved over the border and how settled things were becoming between N.Ireland, the Irish Republic, and the UK.
Maybe I was a bit premature in thinking that but I am hopeful that such events will clear up, especially given the general picture. The dissident Republicans have hardly much support, they are peopled by individuals who are involved in criminal activities such as drug dealing, and one suspects this is more of an excuse to use violence rather than any ideological and/or political beliefs. If they were truly serious about that they would have been more supportive of the peace process and have had a keen sense of what little progress decades of violence have done in the Province.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Women Bishops - The Latest

I have blogged my views on this before, but I have to say that I think now is the time for both sides to stop and take a short breather before making the next move. It's very easy to forget that some on both sides feel vulnerable on this issue, some on both sides feel they have the theological and moral edge and are in the right, and some in both camps feel the other side are letting the side down and being unchristian. It is therefore important to listen to one's opponents and to try and find common ground and work from there. Although given the comments by Rev Fiona Weaver that might be easier said than done :-(

Monday, July 12, 2010

Alex at the High Court

I was hoping to go and support Alex on Friday afternoon, but a change in work shifts intervened. That said I am one of those who wish him all the best.
For me the case is not just about wanting to see a friend get through this in one piece, it is about the right to publish articles that simply raise pertinent questions. I sincerely hope Alex gets through this and will be sad for him if he doesn't, but equally I will be unhappy about what kind of message the verdict will send.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reckless Being Reckless at Commons Bar

I am surprised about this in so far as, being an elected MP you would have thought he would have looked carefully into Commons life and seen that there are sometimes late-night sittings and opportunities for alcohol consumption, but hopefully he has learnt his lesson and, coupled with this piece of news, another sign for MP's to tidy up their act.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Children Named After Tony Blair

Politics and International events do create some strange situations but I think few compete with this! It does add to the view that politicians who are rarely popular at home are lionised abroad.
It also makes one wonder if there is a precedent for this. Are there are generation of twenty-something women from the Falkland Islands called Margaret for example?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Labour leadership hustings at CSM

Last night I attended the Labour leadership hustings, as hosted by the Christian Socialist Movement, at Westminster Central Hall in London. It went well, although the sight of Ed Balls' supporters outside the entrance lobbying hard, coupled with, at the same time, Lord Heseltine leaving the building from another meeting, made an interesting spectacle. The man who affected Conservative Party history by bringing down Margaret Thatcher passing campaigners for one of the Labour leadership candidates.
It was a well organised meeting and, although all candidates spoke over their alloted times on occasion we finished on time and there was debate on issues such as Trident, Poverty, Climate Change, and International Development. All candidates had something to offer but David Miliband was consistent in being moderate and thoughtful in his approach. Arguing on the importance of social justice and what faith groups have to offer, community organisations having more power and scope (something I noticed in Obama's Presidential campaign), decrying the damage the government are doing already (cutting 2 million pounds out of the climate change budget for example), and the issue of prisons where there are horrors that are not properly acknowledged in debates on this issue such as people trafficking. On the issue of women in politics he did point out an important, but unacknowledged fact that getting more women to the top is not the problem, the problem is they do not have the help and support once they are there that men have.
All in all it was useful and helpful, although I think David Miliband came out best, with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls in 2nd and 3rd place respectively

A History of Referendums

If you think the proposed Referendum on AV is something new then think again. Here, the BBC have a short piece on the history of referendums in the UK

Friday, July 02, 2010

Another Example of Tory Bullying

Was shocked (although I wonder if I should be) to read that Guido has shown pleasure at the thought of having helped drive Gordon Brown to a breakdown.
I appreciate that the former PM might have been overwhelmed in the post. I appreciate also that he may not have been the most pleasant person to work for (and in politics there is a lot of competition there), but in all honesty I think the Tories and their acolytes in the media have run a vile, systematic, deeply personal and abusive campaign against Gordon Brown that, in any other walk of life would have had them hauled up in front of an industrial tribunal.
Maybe, because it is so systematic I should ignore it, but I do find it a cause for concern and whilst I appreciate that those who attack the former PM feel justified, perhaps they should look at themselves and see how they are coming across, as should we all when we attack others

AV Referendum Likely for Next Year

Lets face it, given the coalition majority it is likely to go through the Commons, especially as some Labour MP's want a free vote.
I am looking forward to it. I have supported AV for a while now and at the very least it will help galvanise voter interest. I also hope the main parties will be neutral as a whole and it's members can therefore freely support either motion. The reason being is that it is one of those monumental proposals of change where there may well be a strong division of opinion between activists in each of the main political parties.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Mars Hill Is Now Five Years Old

In the midst of everything else I almost forgot, but five years ago Mars Hill passed it's fifth anniversary. Yes it was in late June 2005 that I started my blog :-)

Doctor Who - Series Five Finale

Well it was good, and there was a lot to commend it. Good to see a host of villains, good (as always) to see River Song and her playful nature, and it was good to see Rory alive and well, at least at the end anyway.
What didn't I like about it? Well I still don't get how the Doctor came out of it at the end, although I appreciate as the Doctor said to Rory, that miracles happen. It does seem however that the easy options get used each time the Doctor is put in a difficult situation.
But it was good fun as always, and whilst I missed David Tennant, I have been won over by Matt Smith and think we are in for some great adventures