Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Westminster MPs to focus on conflict

The ministry for peace group reports:

"After many months of quiet effort, ministry for peace has secured enough support in Parliament to set up an official All-Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues. The purpose of the APPG, as formally stated in the Parliamentary Register, is 'To encourage dialogue, on the basis of expert information and opinion from across the political spectrum, on issues relating to conflict; especially on the practical means to prevent, transform and resolve violent conflict.'"

They obviously see this as a significant achievment and I hope indeed that it might be so. Read more at:, including the list of MPs on the group.

New age?

This week I am attending two funerals of Quakers who have died in their mid 80s and 90s respectively, and was at another one a fortnight ago.

From my perspective (mid 40s), it's unusual to go to one funeral a year, let alone three in a month. The three Friends (Bob Oliver - Eccles, Alun Williams - Bolton, and John Hamilton - Liverpool) had all been conscientious objectors in their time and all three had continued to support peace initiatives right to the end. What also inspired me about them all was the fact that they continued to challenge with their incisive and independent thinking. Thanks to all three for their persistence.

I was also inspired to read about the GOATs (Golden Oldies Against Trident) contribution to Faslane 365. The statistics....
39 Blockading Groups
55 days of presence
408 arrests
4 prosecutions
285 days left

Has anyone seen the debate about Trident that the government is supposed to be organising?

Rational fools?

A couple of nights ago Norman Kember and James Loney were interviewd by Jeremy Paxman on BBC's Newsnight programme. Norman talks about being 'rationally foolhardy' in going there in the first place, and they both talk about their wish to see restorative-style consequences, not only for their alledged kidnappers and for Saddam Hussein himself. At the moment the interview can be viewed online at: