ChatPolitics Column: The Game-Changer

Every good television scriptwriter knows that the key to successful drama is suspense; the ability to weave multiple plot lines through a narrative, develop them carefully to a point of climax, build expectation and anticipation, and then – cut to credits. The audience is held in the palm of the writer’s hand, and there’s a narrative thread for everyone. Everyone comes back for more next Saturday night on BBC One at 8 o’clock. It is in this vein that we excitedly await the end of Parliament’s annual summer recess.

For any true believer in the power of democracy, the general election in nine months time offers a glimmer of hope for a higher turnout than we’ve seen for years as every vote looks set to count more than ever. Continue reading


Women Bishops: not far enough? Roundtable Discussion

The General Synod of the Church of England has passed a motion in all three of its houses to allow women priests to become bishops – news that has been met with widespread acclaim. We thought we’d get together our own panel of sorts to talk it over.


What strikes me is that this motion seems to be a way to avoid some much weightier issues. My theology may be dodgy – in which case, I’d welcome education – but as far as I’m aware God is a man, Jesus is a man, the Holy Spirit (unless women have the power of immaculate egg-fertilisation) is a man, and the Bible is littered with the ‘he’ pronoun and its associated implications.

Has the time come to realise that true gender equality can never be achieved in a religion that is perhaps intrinsically sexist, or at least paternalistic, from the outset? Continue reading