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Don't Be Fooled: Boris and the Great Distraction

We are now into day five of the nonsense about whatever Boris has or hasn’t said about women wearing burkas. Older white man makes derogatory, ill informed comments about what women wear. That’s not news. That’s every day. 
I am not belittling the impact- but there is some mischief going on here. 
I just finished reading Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened”. It’s not for the feint hearted- analysing loss is an ugly business. But in the midst of the pain she makes a really wise comment about the way the media covered the more outlandish things that Donald Trump said during the campaign. Her view is that it did no further damage to Trump as everyone knew he was a buffoon (my word), but it dominated the news cycle and stopped people talking about real issues for days at a time. 
Over the weekend senior economic types (like the head of the Bank of England) talked about the danger of a no deal Brexit. The pound continues to tank. And the media is dominated- not even by a serious piece about …
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International Women's Day: where are we?

I popped into school this morning, with the aim of getting some soundbites (well markerboardbites) about gratitude in preparation for Sunday’s service (more of that later, or never.. )
It was snowing and so I ended up being a spare pair of hands with a year five class for an hour. It was a lot of fun- I really enjoy being around that age range.
As the remnants of the class appeared from bus and abortive car journeys there were various activities going on in the room; games, a new dance (called the Floss, which I have already consigned to the pile of co-ordinated movements that I will never get the hang of), word searches and some drawing.
It was the drawing that caught my attention. Three girls, all focused and ready to go were setting themselves a fifteen minute time limit. “What for?” I asked. “For our princess drawing competition”, came the reply.
Now those of you who know me, will know that a) that made my soul a little bit sad, and b) how much hard work it was to poker face it…

Oxpresidentgate and a Crisis of Generosity

Its been an interesting start to the year for the third sector. As we all get to grips with GDPR (more later), we have been subject to increased media attention as first we reeled from President’s Club revelations to the far deeper impact of this week’s revelations about Oxfam (and others).
There is much that can be written. Undoubtedly there are some in media and politics who will seek to exploit the 1/3 of us who don’t think aid should be sent overseas to change policy off the back of bad behaviour by some people. We could face a drop in giving to international development, as supporting Oxfam is no longer seen as acceptable (like buying a plastic bag). I suspect this will recover at some point, possibly in different form.
However, there is a deeper moral crisis for third sector organisations and my fear is that Christian charities are not immune.
To explore this let me go back a month. The President’s Club- where charities were set to receive significant amounts of money from an…

Five or Six Days- a follow up post

In my last post I threw out a line- “I am aware that the Anglican notion of working six days a week is ridiculous. The extra half day outside of work is just about a doable thing, but I think we need to shove things into five days for the good of everyone.”
In facebook and other comments that is the thing that seems to have stood out to people- and so I feel that I need to explain a bit more fully why I’ve come to that place in my thinking.
Firstly, this is a personal choice that I’ve made, which has come through a journey of acknowledging that I am a driven sort and finding ways to ensure that I am still alive and functioning in twenty years time.
Secondly, this is a work in progress.
Thirdly, and more expansively- when I say that we should work five days not six this is what I think I mean. (I think it was clear in the first post that I do actually work more than five days)
I realised quite early on in ordained life that I needed to have two days a week where I don’t have to set an alar…