I went into Manchester the other day, on the Metrolink, while the car was being serviced. Now Manchester is certainly not the most beautiful city in the world. It was a leader in the industrial revolution, and there is an air of functionality about the place, although the Victorians did put up quite a few beautiful buildings.
There is much modern development going on, so I kept losing my way as I went in search of Manchester Cathedral, although I was once quite familiar with the central area of the city. Eventually I found it. The thing is, the cathedral is usually quite easy to find in most cathedral cities, but here it is hidden away, dwarfed by its surroundings. Here is a photograph of the cathedral, with a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the foreground.
This is a bit of a cheat, as I applied perspective correction to the original wide angle shot from my phone (see featured image). With so many tall buildings around, it is difficult to get a complete framing from street level without using a wide angle lens.
The cathedral is not the grandest building in Manchester, which is probably the Town Hall, larger and more impressive. Manchester’s priorities are clear.
The Gandhi statue was put up in 2019, in memory of the 150th anniversary of the birthday of this great man of peace. A plaque includes the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
An important reminder to each of us. If we want a world of love and peace we have to create it day by day, acting ‘as if’, and it shall happen… But maybe not in our own lifetime
It’s VE day, marking the 75th anniversary of the ending of the Nazi regime and its attempt to take over Europe.
European countries are each celebrating in their own way. Yes, we should thank those whose sacrifice made this possible, and reflect on their achievement. It is a shame that they cannot do this together at this time.
Yet also this is a bitter-sweet moment. In our reflection, should we consider why Europe fell apart into two major wars between 1918 and 1945?
Should we consider the irony that this is happening just as Brexit and economic strains are apparently in the process of destroying that long post-war project (EU) of bringing the European nations together to end the scourge of war that had scarred the continent for centuries?
Should we consider the irony that populist leaders are again controlling many of the world’s major countries? The nazi leader was one such, who believed that he alone had the right prescriptions for his people. How wrong he was, and how wrong they all are.
Originally posted on The Out And Abouter: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Normally you would find a satirical article here. In this case, it would attempt to skewer the fetishization of war so banally common in the world today – and which this week tragically cut short the lives of 176 innocent people – by…
For many years Scilla Elworthy has been putting forward her ideas for a plan for peace. Here Bruce Nixon’s excellent post reviews her recent book. It’s about time the media took more notice of the need to invest in peace, rather than in war.
As I begin to write, it is Armistice Day when we honour the dead on both sides of the conflict. The best way to honour all those who lost their lives in the Great War and subsequent wars would be to commit to end war for good. In her book Scilla Elworthy shows us how this can be done. Her key message is: War is past its sell-by date.
This is a marvellous book both visionary and, as the title implies, hard-headed and pragmatic. It’s based on years of practical experience of peace-making and the prevention of violent conflict.
At the heart of this book is the belief that humans have the capacity to evolve and become more humane. There is a growing change of consciousness centred in Europe and much of North America. Thus peace and a future without mass violence is possible. Journalists on…