Wednesday 31 December 2014

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Immortal Diamond

...all the past mistakes must be included as teaching moments and not just something to hate.
As befits one who seems to spend most of his days sat in the bedroom working on his laptop - I work from home, honestly - when I recently (or should that be finally?) finished reading Immortal Diamond I updated the status on Goodreads, which being linked to my Facebook account posted an update there. And then I had this extraordinary thought, given the subject matter should I add a comment to the effect that I’m not “one of them”.

I’m only half joking too, such are the negative connotations associated with religious belief amongst many of those I know. Nevertheless I’ll occasionally feel duty bound to correct the extremes, when feeling particularly bullish to remind some that atrocities supposedly in the name of religion (and there’s an argument to be had there too) pale in comparison to those of the last century, the bloodiest we’ve yet managed; it’s an old repeated argument I know, but theirs is much older. Still, even then I’ll sometimes mitigate my offense; I’m not “one of them”. Is this to add weight to my argument or am I sometimes the coward?

It was interesting, though a difficult book to read. Those moments that made me stop and think were outweighed by those of frustration at repeated references to scripture. I was disappointed, as if being excluded from the obviously decent and inclusive nature of Richard Rohr. Well, it is a Christian book so I can hardly complain. Was I any better than those silly people who interpret the Bible literally rather than spiritually or, if you will, metaphorically? Next time, if there is a next time, I must try harder.

Monday 6 October 2014

I, Atheist

Atheist; it’s at best a useless description, carrying as it does a hint of the passive aggressive. I think we’re better off stating what we are rather than what we’re not. We can do without conveniently attributing the root of our ills to some other social group, you know, the one to which we don’t belong. Let’s show the courage, the common decency, to take ownership of the evil with which we’re troubled. It’s not that it’s our fault, but neither is it theirs.

Sunday 5 October 2014


Sign - Use us or lose us

Thursday 31 July 2014

It’s the economy

For some time now I have been perplexed by that seeming lack of correlation between those polls asking voter intent, and those asking who they most trust with the economy. When it comes to the economy the Conservatives have a healthy lead, when it comes to how people intend to vote...

I asked a friend, a Socialist, why this might be and she came up with the rather surprising reply that people could be selfish. It hadn’t occurred to me to ascribe this particular motive, though I confess my own suspicion - that people could be stupid - is hardly less provocative.

There are of course other measurements, yet it is a strong economy that enables our love for education and the health service to be more than empty gesturing. It is a strong economy that enables our support for the vulnerable. Those things we live for, by which we measure ourselves, are made possible by that thing that enables us to live. So perhaps I should expect the ill-advised “they’re privatising the NHS” scare-mongering (otherwise known as bollocks) from my Labour friends; imputing evil to their opposition is all they have to offer.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

How much?

My daughter, who may as well be a teenager, though that age will be soon enough upon me, recently rescinded a previous decision over a school-arranged French exchange by deciding she now wished to go. Naturally, on being told the cost I exhibited as much horror as I could muster. “I could”, I suggested, “sell part of my liver”. To which she replied “you’ll get more for a kidney”.