I am not sure that I will maintain a blog indefinitely. But I have decided I should give it a try.
I left the House of Commons after 27 years and am now a free agent. I feel very good about it. It was time for me to move on. I have had a lovely summer being healthy in the west of Ireland, helping to launch the Caux Call to Action in Switzerland, helping rebuild a demolished Palestinian house with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and meeting up with my sister in Kenya during the referendum.
Everyone asks me what I’m doing now. I decided not to look for one all-consuming job. I will retain my involvement with Cities Alliance and its focus on the growth of slums across the world as the poor urbanise. I have agreed to chair the Council on the the follow-up to the Caux Call to Action. I am a patron of ICAHD UK and a trustee of the Welfare Association. I will continue to work for a just settlement to the Israel/ Palestine conflict – I agree with Archbishop Tutu that it is the most dangerous conflict in the world. I’m also a trustee of Africa Humanitarian Action and of Hope Projects (West Midlands), which provides support to destitute asylum-seekers. There are a few other boards on which I serve and I am considering another book.
Kairos Palestine is an appeal for solidarity with the Palestinian people from Christian Palestinians. It is a powerful and moving document. It parallels a similar appeal made by South African Christians in 1985. It asks support for boycott, divestment and sanctions. It can be found at www.kairospalestine.pa. I hope large numbers of people, well beyond the Christian community, will sign up
I favour Ed Miliband. I find David too full of himself and too loyal to all New Labour’s mistakes. If Labour is to renew itself, correct what has gone wrong and recommit to social justice, a reduction of inequality and a reshaping of foreign policy to focus on a more equitable and sustainable world order, I think Ed is the best hope.
I have just read about half of it including the introductory and concluding chapters, and the coverage of 9/11 and the Iraq war. I am afraid we have little to learn from it. He was taken over by hubris in his second down and it is strongly reflected in this book. He claims all the credit for making Labour electable and for all the good things that were done. The chapters on Iraq say nothing new. The chapters on September 11, 2001 is chilling. He buys in to the war of civilizations and ends up as Osama bin Laden’s alter ego.