The Pope's recent visit to the UK seems to have captured the imagination of many people and surprised the British press who found that their negative take on the event was not in tune with all public feeling. So, although it's taken me a while, I wanted to check out what he actually said.
His speech to politicians at Westminster Hall is worth reading. I like it because he puts across the importance of the Christian faith as a contributor to political debate in a very reasonable and reasoned way which I think only people who are unreasonable could reject! Take a few minutes to read it yourself. I read it in the Church Times, or it's here at the BBC.
As my Christian faith develops I find myself increasingly expecting the faith to seem reasonable to others, not just impressive on the basis of (say) experience of miracles. Afer all, since Richard Hooker, the Anglican Church has sought to weave together the authority of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.
I also found it interesting that during the Pope's visit those opposed to the “intolerance” of the Roman Catholic Church seem at times to have made themselves look intolerant. (See my earlier article.)
If you want to stop for people at the side of the road when you are driving, especially if you are a woman, is it safe?
There's an email doing the rounds at the moment. I'm not sure I want to live in a society where we distrust and never help everyone, yet common sense is needed. It's also useful to realise there are sites out there that try to work out whether such emails are hoaxes.
Take a look here at the email and the comment on it, and make your own judgement.
I'm impressed to see an announcement that the government is going to allow teachers to comfort pupils. By abandoning “no touch” rules introduced some years ago this will also allow appropriate restraint of pupils and shows the government are making a start on dismantling parts of the “nanny state.”
I was pleased to attend a networking breakfast in Chippenham this morning, organised by Monahans Accountants, where Duncan Hames had been invited to speak about his experience of his first few months of being an MP. He is the Lib Dem MP for our constituency and he is new to the job. As he said, building empathy well with his audience, becoming an MP is in many ways similar to starting a business (for example because a new staff team has to be built).
It was good to meet him again, to chat about the importance of continuing with those parts of government support for business that are going well and to hear his commitment to ongoing support for business, and to hear his talk. I was impressed that he spoke for some while without notes. He did so in an interesting and cogent way which put across well his understanding of key issues for our country, and the perspectives that need to drive current strategy for the economy.
I was interested in his comment along the lines that the government do not create jobs through employment in the public sector, because the money to pay for those jobs is always financed by the public sector. Therefore job creation has to be done by private sector businesses (his audience this morning) and government have to foster that. There were entertaining stories too of his first few months in office.
I'm in the business of helping people to find work in which they will thrive, and to thrive in the work that they do. So I was pleased and moved to see our new MP getting to grips with his new role and relating so well to his audience of constituents. It's never easy starting a new job, particularly a high-profile public one (do MP's have coaches?!) so all the best to him.