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.

‎(“We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a… net. Our constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”
This quote comes from the reader comments under The Telegraph article, and is of John Adams commenting on the American constitution. It seems to me it applies just as well to our British situation just now. I’ve heard political scientists speak of how a people need to be mature enough for a mature political system such as democracy. I’ve often commented that as technology advances ethics need to advance alongside it – so as political systems advance, morality needs to advance alongside it.)
Banksy image showing "rioter" throwing a bunch of flowers
Banksy’s comment on the riots?

Random postings

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/

 

Archbishop stands up for Christian minorities in the Middle East

Good of Rowan to build awareness that the effect of political change in the Middle East (the Arab Spring) benefits some but often not the Christian minorities there.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams says the unrest in the Middle East has made life “simply unsustainable” for many Christians who are leaving their homes.” – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13766009