A balm for the soul of a Pope in a gilded cage

The Sistine Chapel Choir is launching the first album in its 500 year history. I went to hear it perform in a private concert under the frescoes of Michelangelo, and found that for the first time there is a British man among the Pope’s full time personal singers. The Vatican provokes complicated reactions in me,Continue reading “A balm for the soul of a Pope in a gilded cage”

Thank you Ma’am: a republican writes on why we should all be grateful to Her Majesty

I don’t want a Queen. Hereditary monarchy is unfair, unjust and should have no place in a society that values every citizen equally. She owns all the dolphins in British inshore waters for one thing, and that can’t be right. Want one! But since we have to have a Queen, for now, we should beContinue reading “Thank you Ma’am: a republican writes on why we should all be grateful to Her Majesty”

Gay marriage and God: what we need now is outrageous grace

Can you love and forgive someone who appears to hate you? That is a question many of us are having to answer right now, as explored in this piece for the Independent on Sunday. Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high … there’s a place where people live together peacefully, whatever their differences. That isContinue reading “Gay marriage and God: what we need now is outrageous grace”

Gallipoli – or why the hell do we bother to remember?

Please, take five minutes out with me to sit and think about things that matter. This was written for The Independent On Sunday yesterday. They died in the dark, some of them. Young men, volunteers mostly, cut down by bullets and bombs, fire and fever. Australians, New Zealanders, Brits and Irishmen, Africans and Indians and many,Continue reading “Gallipoli – or why the hell do we bother to remember?”

Inequality

  Come with me on a walk that will ruin your life. It will trash your income and slash your life expectancy by decades, as we stroll from one part of London to another. But it will also demonstrate the gross inequality that is plaguing Britain and that ought to be making people mad atContinue reading “Inequality”