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Justice

How Would Jesus Vote?

‘We don’t do God,’ said Alistair Campbell, somewhat famously, cutting off a Vanity Fair interview with his then boss Tony Blair. It’s turned out to be one of his most memorable quotes from his tenure but the irony is, of course, that Prime Minister Blair was an active Christian who prayed into his decisions. At the same time politicians from both sides of the house will mention their own faith in God. And agitators will film videos where they point at the whole system and explain what Jesus would have said about it all. So where do we get any clarity?...
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Monuments…

Anyone who has lived in Newcastle will know the monument. In many ways it’s the epicentre of life in the city; it is the place all directions are given in relation to, it’s the place where people meet, and it’s the place where people gather. There, at the top of a 135ft column, is a statue of Earl Grey. (Yes, the chap they named the tea after.) Earl Grey was the Prime Minister who authored the great reform act and who led the government that passed the 1833 bill for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. On Saturday afternoon,...
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The Dream of Freedom

“We are too young to realise that certain things are impossible,” said William Wilberforce, “So we will do them anyway”. There are perhaps no better words to introduce the life of a man who undertook the improbable, to achieve what seemed impossible, and lived to see his dream realised. We are too young to realise that certain things are impossible, so we will do them anyway. William Wilberforce had a dream, like so many great dreamers, of freedom. It seems that oppression, prejudice and captivity are the breeding ground of hope and dreams; what makes Wilberforce special was that he himself did not...
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The Least of These

I always visit the Place de la Bastille and I’m never sure why; of all the sites in the world of massive historical significance, it must be one of the duller ones. I emerged from the metro, remembered that it’s mainly just a big traffic intersection with a column, and decided to head straight back onto the metro to find somewhere to eat pastries. Priorities. No sooner had the doors closed than I heard a noise that made me shiver. It was the sound of poverty. There, coming up the centre aisle of the metro carriage, was the image of a person in...
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