29 Mar 2015

Get housing on the agenda for ITV Leaders' Debate on Thurs 2 April

Housing is one of the top 5 issue in the polls nationally but, according to what I heard, it wasn't mentioned last Thursday on the C4/Sky Jeremy Paxman TV debate. To get it on the agenda for the ITV Leaders' Debate on Thurs 2 April 2015 at 8pm, please e-mail debate@itv.com and put in a question on housing. (Shelter are asking people to do this.)


28 Mar 2015

God Friday, Sydney Carter and John Ball (again)

Good Friday Morning

From 2004/mar/17/guardianobituaries on Sydney Carter (1915-2004) -  famous Quaker, Londoner, composer of Lord Of The Dance (1963) - here is part of "Friday Morning", where the robber, crucified with Jesus, cries out: 
It was on a Friday morning that they took me from my cell
And I saw they had a carpenter to crucify as well.
You can blame it on to Pilate, you can blame it on the Jews,
You can blame it on the Devil, it's God I accuse.
It's God they ought to crucify, instead of you and me,
I said to the carpenter a-hanging on the tree.

15 Mar 2015

Rev John Ball of Colchester - England's original anarcho-syndicalist

John Ball trained as a priest in Colchester, but he's never been mentioned once during my children's combined 18+ years of schooling here. Colchester history mentioned in the classroom is all oysters, the Romans, Boudicca, the civil war siege and the Romans. As Melvyn Bragg explains, John Ball was so subversive he's been virtually airbrushed out of history.

14 Mar 2015

Save Cymbeline Crossing ... continued

Further to Save Cymbeline Crossing this is from Colchester Cycling Campaign's 13 March 2015 Objection. CCC opposes the scheme set out by TRAF/4747 on the grounds that this is obviously intended as a replacement for the Colne Bank Avenue/Cymbeline Way crossing (TRAF/4741). We are not opposing new cycling infrastructure per se but we are against the proposed provision because it is unnecessary and vastly substandard (especially so in a former government-appointed cycling town). To date Essex Highways or the portfolio holder have not answered the criticisms set out in CCC’s objection to TRAF/4741. (The text of our objection to TRAF/4741 is included at the bottom of this letter.)

12 Mar 2015

Cis and Trans

Rupert Read has been criticised for being offensive to transgender people. I think he was saying that trans women, ie men who identify as women, shouldn't dictate to cis women, ie women who are born as women, who is or isn't allowed to be identified as a woman.

10 Mar 2015

Kenneth Boulding on economists and Quakers

"Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." So said Kenneth Boulding (1910-1993), economist, educator, poet, religious mystic and Quaker, who wrote The Evolutionary Potential of Quakerism, published by Pendle Hill in 1964.

7 Mar 2015

#climatemarch Sat 7 March highlights

  1. www.timetoact2015.org
  2. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk
  3. The Politics of Nonviolent Action - three-volume political science book by Gene Sharp, published 1973. A short (145 pages) free download edition is at www.aeinstein.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/How-Nonviolent-Struggle-Works.pdf - recommended by Joy from Amsterdam uni. 
  4. The fabulous FFAB (Food For All Band)
  5. Sambatage  - samba band based at School of Oriental and African Studies - www.samba.soasunion.org - who play at gigs and demos with a political message
  6. Photos (to be posted?) at www.flickr.com/photos/fieldsoflight

2 Mar 2015

Nearly 100,000 children affected by benefit sanctions in 2013/14

Methodist Church - Nearly 100,000 children affected by benefit sanctions in 2013/14

Mon, 2 March 2015
A new report from a coalition of major UK Churches has revealed that around 100,000 children were affected by benefit sanctions in 2013/14. It also shows that in the same period a total of nearly 7 million weeks of sanctions were handed out to benefit claimants. The new data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, will feature in this evening’s episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches, entitled Britain’s Benefits Crackdown.