Further to my article about what folly really is, here’s a fascinating article about the important difference between scepticism and doubt.
Monthly Archives: August 2011
British religious persecution
Sometimes I find myself reading about how Christians have a hard time in Britain or elsewhere, or about how militant Islam is not always kind to other faiths.
Here’s some interesting balance to the arguments. A recent study shows that it’s not easy being religious in the UK – that the UK is not top of the list of those countries who allow freedom of religion.
Olly Hicks survives kayaking from Holland
Saw Olly Hicks in the paper today. He met Prince Harry on completion of a kayaking expedition from Holland to the UK in memory of an escape from the Nazi’s 41 years ago. Olly was the only British member to complete the journey….
Folly – a definition by example
A discussion about why human beings do things they know will not work – folly – looking at the Eurozone Greece crisis. BBC article.
Islam and democracy
“OF COURSE they say nice things these days,” says a Lebanese woman, a sophisticated Sunni Muslim in her 50s, gliding between English, French and Arabic. “They know who they’re talking to.”
Recent riots in London and elsewhere
My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by the recent riots in the UK.
Here’s a couple of interesting videos as an alternative to those of the events themselves.
Hackney woman slams rioters.
24th April 2010 Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, predicts further riots if the Conservatives get in to power.
And some analysis from the Daily Telegraph, and here.
The British ‘Schindler’ who saved Austrian Jews
A collection of some interesting postings from sites I’m following…
Phil Simpson on the undefended leader (Simon Walker’s books).
Institute for the Study of Genocide. A crucial and harrowing resource. I was unaware how much genocide is going on. “In the 20th century, genocides and state mass murder have killed more people than have all wars.” The newsletters on this site are worth reading, including “Winter 2010” which includes an insightful piece on Islamic Extremism.
Dreaming of a Caliphate Interestingly this article also addresses Islamic hopes of Islamic rule, from an economic perspective rather than that of the Institute for the Study of Genocide.
Pleased by review of decision to abolish cheques
This is an update of this article which I originally wrote on 11th May 2011, because the result of the review was to abandon the plan to abolish cheques. Hooray!
I don't know when the original publicity for this happened, and I've missed the 6th May deadline to join in with the enquiry, but I'm pleased to see that HM Treasury is reviewing the 2010 decision to abolish cheques in the UK in 2018.
Apparently there has been a deluge of correspondence from alarmed people, particularly from charities who are concerned less people will give to them. There also seems to be a move to abolish cash. A while ago I read of a journalist who had tried to live without cash for a day: a poignant issue for her was her inability to give to beggars. How will Big Issue sellers cope?
I think her point is a good one, and what about giving people gifts. “I've transferred some money to your account” does not seem as satisfying as saying “here you are” as you give a cheque or cash. When I mentioned this to someone the other day he said that there is a business opportunity to create bank-transfer-gift-cards!
So, I stand for not making changes that marginalise people who are not part of the mainstream “economy.” The current piece of paper that we call a cheque is just a standardised form of a written instruction to a bank from a customer to pay another customer. What excuse do banks have for refusing to pay “on the order of” their clients? Don't they exist to provide a service to their clients?
The decision to abolish cheques was subject to alternative methods being found. Maybe that has been forgotten about. I don't see effective movement in that direction, but then I wouldn't want to cooperate with it anyway!
More details here: http://www.albany.co.uk/blog/inquiry-into-abolition-of-cheques/