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Hit for a Six!

Where are the condemnations now? The Church Fathers are quick to call on Muslims (even British Muslims far removed from happenings) to condemn violence. Often noticeable in this lineup is the former Bishop of Rochester,  Michael Nazir-Ali, now President of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue, quick to take the high moral ground…

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Immigration – Britain cannot do without!

          Niki Chesworth in the Evening Standard, 24 November 2014: ‘…the London Ambulance Service (LAS) has been forced to look abroad to fill its vacancies as a result of the shortage of paramedics in the UK, hiring paramedics from Australia and New Zealand after a recruitment drive…However, nursing and midwifery has…

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Afghanistan – Pride & Prejudice – Part X

                      Then and now – what the experts said at the outset of this disastrous venture that has led to such loss of blood and treasure: – that Afghanistan met the ‘just war’ criteria! General Guthrie – ‘Orientals’ preferred treachery and deceit as the best ways to…

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Metrics of Domestic Security

  Dave Smith writing in the Guardian, 11 November 2014: ‘… The role of Netcu [National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit] was to spy on “domestic extremists”, which apparently includes union activists. Responses to freedom of information requests claim that not a single document from Netcu was transferred after the spying unit was subsumed into the Metropolitan police.”…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. “It is a curious coincidence that Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, head of the entire UK domestic extremism spying operations between 2004 and 2010, is now head of security for engineering firm Laing O’Rourke…”. Dave Smith, the Guardian,…

That Special Relationship

    What is the nature of the special relationship between Britain and the US? “Britain’s special relationship with the US is so special only one side knows it exists” – Helmut Schmidt October 2014 Michael Clarke of RUSI: …the British took responsibility for Helmand in 2006. It was a move dictated as much by…

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Syria/Iraq – a time for cool heads

Home Secretary Theresa May’s Tory Conference speech – on Britons travelling to Syria: The threat we face from ISIL is made even greater by the fact that there are at least 500 British nationals who have gone to Syria and Iraq, many of them to fight. Where they have dual nationality, I have the power to…

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Censorship is OK for some!

So there are limits to freedom of expression after all! But not if it applies to Muslims. If Muslims protest, then it becomes a battle to preserve artistic freedoms and the rights of expression, regardless of the insult caused. Catholic theologian banned A female Catholic theologian has been banned by the Archbishop of St Andrews…

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An English spiritualist’s Yezidi encounters

John G Bennett (died 1974) travelled widely in the regions now lying between the Turkish-Iraqi-Syrian borders in the early 1950s, visiting tekkes, zawiyas and other sacred sites, later settling in England to establish the Coombe Springs sanctuary for spiritualist studies. Saturday 31st October 1953 After Nimrud, we had an experience of quite a different order when we went…

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Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers,monks and rabbis! The Churches during the National-Socialist era Charles Marsh’s recent biography on the heroic Pastor Bonhoeffer provides some insights on the less laudable responses of the Churches to the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Christian teachings “could be commandeered in the service of Germany, especially when the German theological establishment prsumed the…