Friday, May 20, 2011

Council of Dharmic Faiths Launched

A new UK faith body, The Council of Dharmic Faiths, has been launched at the House of Commons to represent Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism.

The event was hosted by Stephen Hammond MP, who spoke on how British Hindus, British Sikhs and other communities are flourishing in the UK in their respective faiths and how well they have integrated into the British culture. The launch was also supported by Gareth Thomas MP and John Hemmings MP.

Leaders from the each faith group recited a prayer and, together with the MPs lit lamps of wisdom. The launch ended with an display of Indian dance.

For more info see

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Life and Near Death of a Magazine

Wonderful article by Alfred Tong about the death and resurrection of his new magazine, 'Eulogy.' A must read if you're in journalism, PR, advertising or religion.

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Defusing the God Debate

Great interview with my client Geoff Crocker on how religion can have value even for atheists like him:

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Pagan Prisoners and Press Prejudices

Excellent commentary on Ekklesia today

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Archbishop in the Wrong Kind of Spiral

The Archbishop of Canterbury has waded into another political row, this time accusing the coalition Government of encouraging social zoning, spiraling people into despair and making them vulnerable through plans for welfare reform, including capping housing benefit and stopping benefits for those who able to do so, yet refuse to give something back to society in return.

I’m furious, not because he’s spoken out – he has every right to express his opinion – but because despite his academic background, he’s clearly just repeating the extreme left-wing line without thinking his argument through.

First and foremost, this deeply offensive rubbish about ‘social ‘zoning’ is particularly insulting coming from the Archbishop. I’m usually happy to put my money, voluntarily, into the collection plate every week to contribute towards keeping him and his fellow bishops living in luxury in their Palaces - when they’re not making daft political statements they usually do a good job. But he has no right to tell tax payers such as myself that we are wrong to question why we should continue to subsidize benefit claimants to the tune of up to £100,000 a year to live in houses we couldn’t even dream of buying or renting. Labour’s election slogan, ‘a future fair for all,’ isn’t remotely fair if people on benefits have better choices that those who aren’t.

Under Iain Duncan-Smith’s plans, absolutely no one is going to be homeless, or driven out of ‘smart’ areas into slums. I did the maths: on a tax-free income of almost £21,000 a year – the ceiling amount the Government will put on housing benefit claims – I could pay my mortgage, my home insurance, water, gas, electric and phone bills, and still have enough money left over to buy a brand new Mercedes ‘C’ class. That’s hardly an ungenerous amount to be given in return for doing absolutely nothing at all. Why shouldn’t you make what contribution you can in return?
Welfare reform will achieve precisely the opposite of what the Archbishop suggests. Not having a job or some meaningful work to occupy your time is what leads to vulnerability, depression and despair. Getting out into the community, living a routine, working with others, means you can get references, boost your confidence, and build skills and experience. I started my working career on unpaid work experience. I knew that was what I was going to gave to do and I did it, and I’m very glad I did. I can’t understand why the Archbishop can’t see this, instead insisting that doing community work in exchange for benefits will somehow make people feel vulnerable.

As I’ve just said to PR Week, members of the Church of England put in countless hours each week to give back to society, often in addition to demanding day-jobs. To suggest this can lead to vulnerability will be something of a kick in the teeth to those of us who try and do our bit.


Friday, October 29, 2010


Well, who’d have thought it? For once I agree with the National Secular Society.

They have accused the Advertising Standards Authority of effectively re-introducing the blasphemy law - abolished by Parliament three years ago – and have protested against the ASA bans on a "mildly satirical advertisement" for Antonia Federici ice cream.

Putting aside the fact I know my friend Matt O’Connor, the genius behind the ads and the ice-cream brand is rubbing his hands with glee at all the free publicity, it is ridiculous that these very funny and creative ads have been ruled ‘offensive to Catholics.’

One ad shows two priests in an embrace with the headline “We Believe in Salivation”, and another a pregnant nun. It’s all clearly a joke and in no way a threat to a powerful Church of 1.2 billion people worldwide.

I think God would have found the ads very funny, and his followers knee-jerk reactions less so.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rescuing the miners: PR and self-effacement

A great piece from Jill Segger on Ekklesia

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