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Thought for Palm Sunday – Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8 via BibleGateway.com.

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CentreRight: Surely the Big Society is about more than volunteering?

Yesterday, I received a sneering email from an obviously partisan campaign group which implied that the Big Society is about nothing more than people giving their time. I beg to differ. If society is “the sum of human conditions and activity regarded as a whole functioning interdependently” (Concise OED), then it comprises everything we do. Society includes family, friendship, volunteering, giving and exchanging.  It is a rich and comprehensive tapestry of human relationships which includes business. Read the rest of my article: CentreRight: […]

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Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty

The Ethics of Liberty by Murray Rothbard is a difficult book to which few could subscribe in full. It is difficult partly because it is concerned only with ‘that subset of the natural law that develops the concept of natural rights, and that deals with the proper sphere of “politics,” i.e., with violence and non-violence as modes of interpersonal relations.’ The book is not concerned with the ethics of personal morality, simply ‘a political philosophy of liberty’. In confining itself […]

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Engineering, politics, Labour and reality

As I sit here on the train, reading a book on ethics, I am mindful of being an engineer in politics. Engineers are quintessentially pragmatic. We get things done, in the circumstances we face, with the resources we have. We may accept falling short of perfection, but we deliver things which work and improve them. However, we don’t flounder around uninformed. Aeroplanes do not fly thanks to fairy dust and software does not write itself. Aerospace engineering requires the application of […]

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An invitation to consider some fundamental questions

I have often said that politics is, or should be, a serious conversation about society. Here are some fundamental questions to consider: Should society be organised by peaceful or forceful means? Who owns each person’s life? That is, is your life your own? Ethically, can you compel people to do good? Should people freely choose to do what good they can? Is every decision made objectively or are some or all decisions subjective? What is the purpose of democracy? For […]

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“Sex and drug lessons from age 5”

Via Sex and drug lessons from age 5 – Telegraph, another forcible attempt to reengineer society, irrespective of the wishes of responsible parents: Under the new curriculum, pupils as young as seven will learn about puberty and the facts of life and five-year-olds will be taught about parts of the body, relationships and the effects of drugs on the body. Once they reach secondary school, pupils will learn about contraception, HIV and Aids, pregnancy and different kinds of relationships – […]

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The Abolition of Man

C S Lewis’ book The Abolition of Man is presented as three lectures examining the ultimate outcome of a philosophy which seeks to abandon the Tao: the body of natural law. In his first lecture, Lewis illustrates the trend of his time to disregard values and emotions: to dismiss them, encouraging instead a subjective approach. He explains that those who lack these values are “men without chests”, not having the trunk which unites intellectual man with animal man. He goes […]

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We’re in danger of entering a new Dark Age – Telegraph

As I was saying to Beth only the other day after reading Roche*: Distracted by celebrity, softened up by the education system, we have also succumbed to what you could call intellectual relativism. We have reached a state of affairs whereby people believe that the validity of their views is determined by the strength with which they hold them, not by any reference to empiricism. And so we hear phrases such as “Well that is your truth – it’s not […]

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Gordon Brown, the G20, hyperinflation and economic incompetence

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Gordon Brown promises increased economic intervention by the G20, including sales of gold reserves, and the emergence of “a new world order”: Janet Daley looks for comfort: Gordon Brown has announced – in his best portentous tones – that the G20 summit concluded that “global problems require global solutions”. What the summit actually proved was, to adapt Margaret Thatcher, you can’t buck national electorates. There will be no World Government today, thank heavens. The critique of Mr Brown’s summit (as it presumably must […]

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Right, wrong and education

Consider these news stories: Pupils will no longer have to be taught the difference between “right and wrong” under draft plans put forward by England’s exams regulator. via BBC NEWS | Education | ‘Right and wrong’ lessons to end. Parents should avoid telling their children what is “right and wrong” when discussing sex education, according to a new government leaflet. via Parents advised to stay away from ‘right or wrong’ in sex advice – Telegraph. In the context of this […]

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