Gamserve

For his entire adult life, until 2005, Ian Bartlett lived on the wrong side of the law, carrying out criminal activities to support his addiction.  He wasn’t addicted to drugs or alcohol, he was addicted to gambling and that addiction destroyed his personal life time and time again.  Things appeared to be getting better when he came to Faith in 2010 and as baptised but very quickly he returned to his addiction and this time instead of turning to crime he turned to credit, and was soon struggling to climb out of his financial pit.

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A Westminster Diary

I was very happy when I was able to secure an intern position in the office of Stephen Timms who is a Labour MP for the constituency of East Ham (in London), he is the shadow Minister for Employment. I was informed on my first day that the office is famous across Westminster and those working for Stephen are affectionately referred to as ‘Team Timms’.

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Reflections on post-liberalism and post liberal politics

‘Modernity failed our deepest human needs, and comprehensively fouled our physical and spiritual environment in the process; yet the liberalism of modernity, and those other modernists who reacted against it, seem to have exhausted most of what can be said and achieved. There is a sense now of a lack of vision, of aftermath, of epilogue’.[1]

When asked what he thought about the French Revolution Mao is reputed to have said ‘it is too early to judge’. My sense with ‘post-liberalism’ is much of it is too early to judge.  However, we have more than sufficient grounds to explore this concept and ponder the potential for a post-liberal politics.

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Coalitions of Conscience

By Dr. Graham Giles MBE, LCID Executive Committee

Labour Affiliates can punch above their weight on matters of moral responsibility by standing together, not least on the future aid budget.   Christians on the Left are providing resources to help local church groups up and down the country to become more active in local and national politics.  

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Douglas Alexander on Freedom of Religion

On Tuesday night, Christians on the Left held a joint meeting with the APPG on International Freedom of Religion and Belief to discuss Article 18.  At that meeting Douglas Alexander, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, gave a speech. The following is the text of that speech.

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Ukip and asking the wrong question

Fellow clergy will empathise that it is always on the day off that the ‘interesting’ information reaches you.  For me, that dose of said information came when I picked up the junk mail off the mat to find a UKIP flier.  As I went to deliver it to recycling I took a cursory glance to see if I could send it back at cost to the party.  And that is when I saw the face of a churchgoer from one of my congregations.

Two weeks later, we got the news that UKIP had scored a healthy second in the local election.  Around the country I watched UKIP rack up council seats in a lot of areas like mine.  Rotherham had a gain of nine seats, and there were large swathes of Essex which have a purple hue.

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The rejection elections

It looks like UK politics is on the precipice of something new.  The recent round of European elections has been aptly dubbed the 'rejection elections'.  The UK political landscape looks bland, it looks desperate, to many it offers little vision.  UKIP superficially appears to offer a vision of taking control back to the people.  They believe they know what's wrong, offering a manifesto along the lines of 'foreigners have come into our country and taken away our jobs and we're tired of listening to the EU telling us what to do'.  Their rhetoric doesn't take us far beyond this.  Why have they taken the lead position in an important national election?

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Valuing Family

Surprised-Baby.jpgMy heart lifted as I heard Ed Balls announce labour would commit to 25 hours of free childcare, while I stood at the Fabian conference some months ago, bouncing up and down trying to keep my baby asleep. Immediately I wanted to know from what age. I got chatting latter to a woman next to me about the complications of having a family and working. We both agreed we wanted more than a commitment to 25 hours free childcare (from I suspect 3 years) we wanted a comprehensive set of policies that would support families in work and address the competition so many people experience between caring responsibilities and paid employment.

In the lunchtime session with the Fabian Women’s society someone pointed out that the disproportionate effect of the cuts on women had not been mentioned in the main meetings so far and that we needed to mainstream feminist politics. I nearly shouted amen before remembering where I was and giving a polite clap instead. Another point made elsewhere was the rampant nature of individualism and the need to articulate the benefits of collectivist action.

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Radical roots and broad shoulders

2014-04-11_16.19.33.jpgI’ve an admission to make. I’m not at work this afternoon. I was, but I’m not now. Andy has gone down to Spring Harvest and I’m supposed to be manning the office, keeping the ship on an even keel and all that.

But I’m not there.

Oh, I forwarded the phone and email to my mobile. So I’m virtually there. But in reality, I’m sat in the pub. It’s a lovely old-fashioned pub with photographs of music hall performers on the walls, a working polyphon in the corner and even a photo of the Queen mum pulling a pint behind that very bar. I would bet that, barring the odd flat screen tv, the place has changed very little in 50 or 60 years.

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What we owe each other

Drawer3.jpgI call it the Man Case. If you’re a father or husband of a particular age, you probably have one too. Some guys have a Designated Drawer or Bespoke Basket. You know what I mean: the one place in the house that is exclusively yours, the place where you keep all your assorted bumf that is either useful for recurring man-tasks (bleeding radiators), sentimental (that ticket stub from the cup semi-final a couple of years back) or apocalypse-averting (your replica Swiss Army Knife with the built-in horse shoe stone-remover).

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