October 21, 2010
Today’s bold headline in the Daily Mail lambasts George Osborne’s decision in yesterday’s Comprehensive Spending Review to hit the UN target of 0.7% of Britain’s national income to Foreign Aid.
Among all the stories of job losses, pupil premiums, the pension age and police funding, this is what the Mail decided to headline with.
Criticising the decision to honour the UN’s goal and to help other countries who really know what poverty is, is pathetic. The tone is playground stuff, wailing ‘Why should other people benefit while we suffer? It’s not fair!’
Let’s not forget why many of these countries are underdeveloped. A people colonised, abused, manipulated and traded as slaves, then left largely to look after themselves. Sorry, you mentioned something about fair?
The Coalition have got this one right and I applaud them for it
May 18, 2009
Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons, today gave his speech in the face of adversity, over calls for him to stand down
Barraged by MPs, both from within the Government and without, Mr. Martin stumbled through the questioning after an unconvincingly delivered speech. Yet the bumbling buffoon image that he portrays (no smoke without fire) may have worked in his favour, as he looked increasingly victimised, each MP growing in boldness in calls for him to stand down.
Tory Mp Douglas Carswell outrageously voiced his concerns that the leadership who dragged the house into this mess, would be unable to have the moral authority to drag the house out of it. Unfortunately Mr. Carswell, MPs have dragged themselves down.
It was Bob Spink (Independent) who was the voice of reason, pointing out that the public don’t want to see the Speaker made a scapegoat, while MPs get off scot-free. Now, I don’t claim that Mr. Spink speaks for the public, but he speaks for me. It was unimpressive to see MPs attempt to deflect the whole of the blame onto this man, who although he has made many many mistakes throughout his time, and should stand down on the basis of his unprovoked attacks last week alone, is not responsible for the food claims, the invisible mortgages, the lightbulbs etc etc.
I don’t buy into the public fury on the whole thing, but we must not allow a full house of MPs to sleaze seize the opportunity to deflect blame away from themselves and onto the Speaker.
May 12, 2009
The Guardian’s University guide lists UU in 75th place, out of the 117 Universities listed. Queen’s drops three places to 49th. Queen’s have particularly underperformed. With an average entry tariff of 353 points there is no university with a higher tariff below them, while several universities with lower entry requirements are above them, such as Heriot Watt (22nd, with an average entry tarriff of 346)
% satisfied with teaching – % satisfied with feedback – Student/Staff Ratio – Career prospect – Avg. Entry Tariff
Queens – 85 – 58 – 16.0 – 76 – 353
UU – 76 – 60 – 17.9 – 63 – 269
May 7, 2009
Where are you?
For the past month, these four names have only appeared in the news on two occasions.* Once was to tell us that they were giving evidence on the Eames-Bradley Report to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
And the other instance is in the debacle surrounding the appointment of Bertha McDougall as Interim Commissioner, an appointment now deemed as “not lawfully made.”
Their website shows a slowing down of diary appointments from early February, with 23 appointments in February, and 13 in March. There are none listed for April or May.
So, where are these Commissioners, and what are they doing to justify their £65,000 salary? And if they are working, why aren’t we being told about it? Where’s the accountability?
*Google news search
May 7, 2009
In a response to his paper’s article on Saturday, David Aaronovitch entitles this week’s regular column, ‘Rumours of God’s return are greatly exaggerated,’ well worth a read. Discussing the rise of Christianity in Africa in China, he attributes this to “a mark of mobility.”
Aaronovitch curbs optimistic talk of a church on the rise with a reality check
In this country, for example, the British Social Attitudes Survey showed that 74 per cent of Britons belonged to a religion and attended services in 1964, but only 31per cent did so in 2005
May 2, 2009
In my previous post I quoted from an article in today’s Times, which stated
evangelical missions sometimes spend more time trying to convert poor people than trying to help them.
It’s speaking of missionaries in Africa, yet the same applies to Christians here. There is a Christian culture of helping someone’s ‘spiritual’ needs first before meeting their ‘non-spiritual’ needs such as their hunger, their lack of job, their need for comfort.
Gordon McDade (Ballynahinch Baptist) argues that there is no distinction between the sacred and the secular, and that God is not just concerned with issues of justification, but also issues of justice.
A column in Wednesday’s Times by the Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, reveals a side of Christianity that is concerned with the needs of the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed. He writes
The treatment of refugees is about the obligation – which civilisations much older than ours have known in their bones – to care for the stranger in need. What’s the point of “human rights” becoming a mantra for every special-interest fad if we ignore the most basic human rights of deeply vulnerable people?
In Isaiah 58 God sets out what he thinks righteousness is
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
See also Tony Campolo – The Fast that God Requires (one page)