Tuesday, 8 May 2007

The new 'we'

Just back from British Quakers annual conference / gathering and buzzing in my mind is a quote from Tariq Ramadam, who I had the pleasure of hearing speak earlier this year. He talks about a 'new "we"' ... thus: (From Manifesto for a new "WE")

Our societies are awaiting the emergence of a new “We”. A “We” that would bring together men and women, citizens of all religion-and those without religion-who would undertake together to resolve the contradictions of their society: the right to work, to housing, to respect, against racism and all forms of discrimination, all offenses against human dignity.

Lots more good stuff in his writings, and I think a fitting note on which to mark the 1st anniversary of this blog.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Glimmers of hope

A few things to be less pessimistic about... (perhaps)

- The latest IPCC report ... according to the BBC: (Climate change 'can be tackled') The growth in greenhouse gas emissions can be curbed at reasonable cost, experts at a major UN climate change conference in Bangkok have agreed. Boosting renewable energy, reducing deforestation and improving energy efficiency can all help, they said.

- The election results: The BNP have been a lot less successful in the local elections than they had hoped and many had feard (although they seem to have done worryingly well - percentage-wise) in North Wales (see Guardian report) , which states: "A coordinated effort by the main parties to minimise the electoral threat from the party seemed to have paid off after the BNP was forced to concede "a mixed result"."

- Change of mindset: Paul Rogers, on OpenDemocracy, speculates that the change of Prime Minister (presumably Gordon Brown) opens up the opportunity for a change of thinking at the heart of power on foreign and security policy - we shall see.

- Reith Lectures: Jeffrey Sachs, in the latest Reith Lecture, "Economic Solidarity for a Crowded Planet".... "Let us resolve to honor our commitments in the fight against poverty, hunger, and disease. Our commitments are small compared with our vast wealth, and the benefits will be vast. We have the power to save millions of lives each year, to help slow a burgeoning population growth in the poorest countries, and to reduce, if not end, the conflicts and wars caused by extreme poverty, which threaten peace everywhere. This, truly, is the work of our generation. "