Rehabilitation revolution? The Tory mission to change the prison system

Michael Gove promises “wholesale change” of the prison system. Is his reform agenda One Nation Conservatism in action or just more empty social-justice rhetoric from the Tory government?   The prison service is in crisis and getting worse. As a report from Nick Hardwick, the former chief inspector of prisons, shows, more prisoners were murdered, committed suicide, self-harmed or assaulted in 2015 than in 2010. “It cannot go on like this,”  he said.  The report, published last July, quoted an …

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You never know when a story’s over … especially when you’re in it … perhaps most especially when you’re trying to tell it …

Nearly every week, a church story seems to scream out from the front page of the News Letter or the Belfast Telegraph. Religious views are being discussed in the public square. It’s not all wholesome. And it’s not all presented with a great deal of context. But it’s a trend, and circulation figures will prove to the editors whether the stories are selling papers. Gareth Higgins and Brian McLaren are over in Northern Ireland from the US to lead a …

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Ulster says Yes to marriage equality.

Local poet, theologian, group worker and Leader of the Corrymeela Community , Pádraig Ó Tuama, wrote this blog about yesterday’s Marriage Equality march in Belfast and with his permission has allowed us to re-post on Slugger. Here is his story.  So yesterday was a beautiful day. Sun. Celebration. Support. Story. Hope. I gave a cúpla focail at the marriage equality gathering in the city. It was organized by the wonderful people at the Rainbow Project, Amnesty and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Over 10,000 …

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John Kyle on faith and loyalism

Councillor John Kyle (PUP)

John Kyle – Belfast City councillor, well known East Belfast GP and evangelical Christian – addressed a large crowd at Contemporary Christianity last Tuesday evening. The strapline for his thirty minute address was Where Faith and Loyalism Collide You can listen to his talk on the Contemporary Christianity website or through the embedded audio player below. John Kyle explained how he joined the Progressive Unionist Party in 2000 “to support David Ervine”, a man who he found to be “refreshingly …

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The Faith-Based Vote

Confidence in the results of election polls is fundamental to encouraging public participation and preventing the kind of legal challenges that led to the “hanging chad” fracas around the 2000 US Presidential count in Florida and NI’s own Fermanagh & South Tyrone court cases. Over the weekend, Slate published an interesting article that describes the continued use of electronic voting systems in the upcoming US mid-term polls and the “faith-based results” that will be relied on. Whoever the machines report …

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