Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”?

Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”? The chances are that you have: the story that the Revd Steve Bailey, team rector-designate of St Peter’s Church in Oadby, Leicestershire, has banned the Victorian hymn from this year’s Remembrance Sunday service has been reported widely, including in the Leicester Mercury, Daily Mail, […]

If Theresa May really wants to tackle abuse in Westminster, Michael Gove will be sacked today

I don’t like calling for people to be sacked. It isn’t nice when people lose their jobs; and in any normal walk of life due process and fair practice should be followed. But cabinet ministers are not in normal jobs. Their “job” is that of a Member of Parliament – and it is for the […]

Rape and sexual violence support: Time to stick my oar in

When Jill Saward died in January, I lost my wife; my sons lost their mother; her siblings lost a sister; her nephews and nieces lost an aunt. That loss is real. And it is palpable. But another group of people lost something too: some members of this group met her; many didn’t. And the group […]

Now we’re fact-checking opinions

The Gurdian journalist Owen Jones shared a message he received from a member of the public in an election news report. And his image has been shared multiple times on social media. This incident is yet another being used to decry ‘fake news’. I don’t know the source of the original clip; I don’t know […]

Brexit, law and politics, and nonsense

Much has been said about yesterday’s High Court judgement about the mechanism that the government must use to trigger Article 50. Much of it is nonsense, both legally and politically. The saddest part of the judgment, for me, is paragraph 105. In it, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, says that counsel for […]

A solution to the constitutional crisis in our parliamentary Opposition

The Labour party will elect a new leader next week and – according to all the predictions from political hacks – it is likely to be the same leader that they currently have. Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party last year; but a few months ago the party’s MPs delivered a devastating […]

Britain is in crisis. We need a government of national unity

Our Parliament, in its wisdom, decided to give the British people a referendum to let us decide whether or not we remain in the European Union. The country decided – albeit narrowly – to leave the EU. Our political leaders must now accept the view of the public and work to build a bright strong […]

Game over for Julian Assange’s sexual offence charges? Perhaps not!

UPDATE (9 September 2015): the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice have been in contact with me to say that the provisions of Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 only apply to crimes committed against people aged under 18. This means that the entire premise of this blog post is wrong. […]

Can we PLEASE have some honesty from our politicians?

One of the things that you become aware of as a writer on religion is how much religious illiteracy there is in the country. But over the past few months, as my writing has veered more towards politics rather than religion, I have noticed that there is a far greater political illiteracy – particularly so when […]

You may not have heard, but there was an eclipse of the sun today…

…and this was the scene from Salford Quays in Manchester – taken from the car park at the rear of the Ramada Hotel.  

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