Sunday, 29 January 2012


"The problem with the railway company is that it does not embrace growth and indeed the DfT did not structure it to do so". That is RF's take on the whole Torchgate debacle (not yet utterly cured, just in truce mode). You can offer many angles on Torchgate and blame various elements. But the bottom line I think is that the Northern business in Northumbria is not driven by a burning desire and abilty to seek passenger growth. In turn that reflects the privatisation model we have tried to make work for 17+ years. It is a bad model.

If you would like much more information I have been Facebooking here .

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


As someone who is drawn to struggle with faith in the divine, the logical and most consistent obstacle to belief is that of suffering. In logic this will produce all the obstacles anyone might want who is bent on not believing. God's existence cannot be " demonstrated" nor "justified" in logic in the face of pain although heaven knows people try. A long lasting attempt to do so is that of the Genesis account whereby a male dominated society managed to pin the blame on their female companions. The gall of that is breath-taking so let's be clear, Genesis is a great tale for those wedded to patriarchy. In any modern progressive society, it is exactly that, a tall story. One that even so reveals much about human nature and our duplicitious short-comings in creating stories with which to justify ourselves: " it was'nt me Guv".

The answer is even closer to home. Which of you, as adults, knowing full well the human condition, will say the logic of this situation demands that I must not visit it upon another being without their consent? The logic is clear, to create without consent, new beings destined to labour in pain and die is unreasonable. So why do we do it? Because our nature demands we do and that is the divine spark in us. God the Father behaved in just the same way when time dawned roundabout the Big Bang. And what made Him and us behave so? The mere sexual lust, a need for an old age insurance policy? To reduce humanity to this (does Dawkins do this?) is extra-ordinarily cynical. No, there is something bigger and more embracing of lust called Love.

Love is the hope that it can all be made worthwhile, Love is the joy of being with. A joy so intense that it will create the slave's desire to be with the Dominant and to accept their discipline. That is one intense picture. It is also the Love that enshrines the child, that inspires self-sacrifice, to labour and toil to provide for one's children. Love is the one key that can unlock faith in God and to understand Love you need not look any further than at the best of parenting. Which must include the idea of letting go.

The principle of letting go was built into the creative moment. Kenosis, self-emptying, putting aside the classic human created attributes of the divine. These are what religion creates, the vengeful, angry jealous father. The Old Testament God who will willingly embrace murder to achieve his ends and who still as modern Middle Eastern history shows is abroard on this planet.

Yet His Son showed His true Father's nature to us all 2000 years ago and we do not see the blindingly obvious. Creation without a father may appeal to those who see no need to believe but it is breath-takingly illogical in itself. Far far better in my opinion to believe that persons did press the buttons and that those persons accepted in themselves that they would become part of the process. A process that would need sacrifice to redeem sinful men, blood would be split. Blood to redeem is one of the most basic of human's forces. But that one sacrifice would be enough to vitiate all others and to spit in the face of all who kill in the name of God. God's own Son willingly undertook this task fully knowing what was afoot and knowing, though this age bereft of scientific knowledge could not know this, that the Cross does not just carry human sin. The Cross is also the most utter moment when God subjects Himself publicity to His own creative progress. It is the moment of His death, it is the death of religion too. What happened next in this unique story? What was it that made a Church spring to life? What is the mechanism that continues to inspire people to commit to Jesus Christ?