Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
CONTENTS – VOL 168 NO 39 3 Military spending faces cuts 4 New Meeting house in Salisbury 5 Draw near with faith Anne van Staveren 6 Jews for justice Stevie Krayer 7 Time to make a stand against poverty Mid Thames Area Meeting 8-9 Letters 10-11 A visit to Friends House Sam McNair 12 Can Quakers effect global change? Gwen Prince 13 Art for action Jill Jesshope 14 Quakers and sin Richard Bass & Joan Macalpine 15 Everything is connected Marion Hussenbux 16 Q-Eye 17 Friends & Meetings
Cover image: A faithful friend. Photo: Jez Smith. Images on this page: Leiston Quakers celebrated 150 years in their Meeting house earlier this year. One hundred people gathered for a concert and Victorian tea (bottom). Member Gordon Crosse (top) had composed music for the occasion, inspired by text from Quaker faith & practice 2.41, with a quartet playing the piece. Photos courtesy of Di Hinves.
The Friend Subscriptions UK £74 per year by all payment types including annual direct debit; monthly payment by direct debit £6.50; online only £48 per year.
For details of other rates, contact Penny Dunn on 020 7663 1178 or email@example.com
Advertising Advertisement manager:
Tel/fax: 01535 630230
Editor: Ian Kirk-Smith
Articles, images correspondence should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to the address below.
the Friend 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJTel: 020 7663 1010 Fax: 020 7663 1182 www.thefriend.org Editor: Ian Kirk-Smith email@example.com • Production editor: Jez Smith firstname.lastname@example.org • Sub-editor: Trish Carn email@example.com • News reporter: Symon Hill firstname.lastname@example.org • Arts editor: Rowena Loverance email@example.com • Environment editor: Laurie Michaelis firstname.lastname@example.org • Subscriptions officer: Penny Dunn email@example.com Tel: 020 7663 1178 • Advertisement manager: George Penaluna, Ad department, 54a Main Street, Cononley, Keighley BD20 8LL Tel: 01535 630230 firstname.lastname@example.org • Clerk of the trustees: A David Olver • ISSN: 0016-1268 The Friend Publications Limited is a registered charity, number 211649 • Printed by Headley Bros Ltd, Queens Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH
the Friend, 24 September 2010 News
Military spending faces cuts
Aircraft carriers such as this proposed ship might be axed after the review. Photo: Francisco Antunes/flickr CC:BY.
AS MINISTERS BICKER over cuts to military spending, Quakers have urged the government to address Britain’s deeper security needs.
A decision to cut the Ministry of Defence’s budget by between ten and twenty per cent has led to weeks of rumours and counter-rumours about where the cuts will fall. The government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) is expected to report in October.
Suggestions include reducing army numbers, scrapping new aircraft carriers and grounding as many as seventy Tornado jets. But defence secretary Liam Fox has ruled out a merger of the air force with the army or navy. Leaks indicate that he is battling with the Treasury over the size of the cuts.
Philip Austin of the Northern Friends’ Peace Board suggested that ministers are missing the point. He told the Friend, ‘the review is supposed to be about defence and security, but actually it’s defining security purely in military terms. Our concern is about sustainable security.’
He added that there are ‘plenty of other measures’ relevant to greater security and urged ministers to look at issues such as climate change and economic inequality.
The arms company BAE Systems recently cited changes to government spending when announcing around 1,000 likely job cuts in the UK. The trade union Unite has also argued against MoD cuts that would lead to job losses.
But Kaye Stearman of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) disputed claims about the economic benefits brought by arms firms. Questioned by the Friend, she said, ‘the engineering and scientific skills used in military industries would be better deployed in alternative energy technologies and other green industries’ if the government invested in these areas.
Junior defence minister Nick Harvey last week revealed that the government is considering a delay to the final decision to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system. This option would see ministers go ahead with initial Trident spending but postpone the ‘main gate’ decision on buying submarines from 2014 to 2015 – after the general election.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) welcomed the suggestion but said that it did not go far enough. A CND spokesperson told the Friend that when it comes to spending cuts, ‘there’s one very easy movement the government could make and that would be not to renew Trident at all’.
The news was revealed shortly before Liberal Democrat activists met for their annual conference. A poll conducted last week showed that only seven per cent of the party’s members support Trident renewal.
But the comments provoked a backlash from members of the Conservative Party. Tory MP Julian Lewis predicted that Liam Fox would rather resign than agree to the ‘breathtaking betrayal’ of abandoning Trident renewal.
Labour shadow defence secretary Bob Ainsworth reiterated his support for Trident, suggesting that the coalition’s ‘internal squabbles’ are endangering Britain’s ‘future capabilities’.
The Green Party’s Spencer Fitz-Gibbon told the Friend that while opposed to cuts in ‘actual public services’, the Greens are ‘definitely wanting to see’ cuts in military expenditure. He called for investment in ‘green jobs’ and insisted that ‘it’s possible to transform the economy in such a way that we’re not simply throwing people onto the dole’.
Symon Hill the Friend, 24 September 2010