- oD 50.50
About Simon Barrow
Articles by Simon Barrow
This week's editor
Guest editor Ronan Harrington introduces this week's theme: Spirituality and Visionary Politics.
Ronan is a freelance political strategist and co-creator of Alter Ego, a gathering exploring the future of progressive politics.
No to TTIP
Simon Barrow (London, Ekklesia): For a number of years now the media has both witnessed and rehearsed a ‘debate’ about publicly funded faith schools in which two narratives pass each other in the night and important issues get lost in the shadows.
On the one hand, some say that religious schools are divisive, sectarian and biased, hijacking what should be the secular enterprise of education to perpetuate religion at the taxpayer’s expense. Others retort that faith schools are part of a rich diversity of provision, support community cohesion, give affirmation to minority communities and promote tolerance.
Simon Barrow (London, Ekklesia): Mention the word ‘Jerusalem’ in your local high street and the chances are that the first thing to come to mind will not be a city tragically divided between three faith and two peoples, but Blake’s famous hymn – associated, through many mutations, with the left’s dream of a new society and the right’s assumptions about ‘quintessential Englishness’.
Simon Barrow (London, Ekklesia): The new report commissioned by the Church of England on faith groups, government and social welfare, Moral, But No Compass, has been portrayed in sections of the media as a whining ecclesiastical broadside against Gordon Brown and a plea for special treatment from an Established Church fearful of decline and loss of influence. It’s actually rather more interesting than that, raising a host of thorny questions about how public services are shaped, to what ends, and in partnership with whom.