Friday Five: Pray For Muamba!

The tragic collapse of 23 year old footballer Fabrice Muamba during Saturday’s FA Cup match sent a shock wave through the world of football. After the paramedics failed to resuscitate the player on the pitch, he was rushed to the London Chest Hospital. The game was cancelled and the shocked spectators were left bewildered that this young man could be playing world class football one minute and be fighting for his life the next.

As the news spread, so did a rallying cry, ‘Pray for Muamba’, led by his fiancée Shauna. Over the weekend, 685,000 tweets contained the hashtag #PrayForMuamba, and thousands of get well messages were sent via Facebook and other social media. Continue reading “Friday Five: Pray For Muamba!”

Public Services versus Private Companies

Government reforms in health and education are provoking a sharp debate in Britain when private sector companies start running public services. Although this has been going on for some time (e.g. most GP practices are independent partnerships), the NHS hospital at Hinchingbrook and several new state-funded Free Schools are now being run by private companies.

The classic arguments are that businesses are out to make profits while public sector organisations provide services to everyone, irrespective of users’ ability to pay; these are two different worlds and no one should profit from running public services. Proponents of reform argue that private companies are more efficient, and that savings to the taxpayer more than outweigh any profit made by shareholders. Continue reading “Public Services versus Private Companies”

Davos, Relationality, and Economic Inequality

My friend Jonathan Tame, from the Relationships Global, sends every Friday a newsletter in which he comments on world issues from the point of view of Christian relationality. His new item on 27 January deals with Davos and the problem of growing economic inequality in the world.

Here is an extended quote from this newsletter:

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The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos brings together global leaders, including 800 CEOs whose companies represent 25% of the world’s GDP. So it is perhaps surprising that one of the major topics of conversation this week is pay differentials – a crucial indicator of how fair the economic system is. Despite the economic downturn, CEO salaries of top companies are 145 times the average salary of their employees. Continue reading “Davos, Relationality, and Economic Inequality”

Capitalism Between Legality and Morality

In recent days the prices of many commodities are reaching highs not seen for several years.  The overall commodity food price index has increased by 27% in a year; staple foods have risen even more: wheat by 49%, maize by 53%, sorghum by 33%.

Poor harvests are partly to blame – droughts in Russia, Ukraine, Argentina and the US have reduced grain supplies, and floods in Canada, Pakistan and now Australia have wiped out a large part of their crops.  Falling global stocks, export bans by Russia and India and rising demand from China have all helped to push prices higher. Continue reading “Capitalism Between Legality and Morality”

Pakistan flooding – relationships and relief

Pakistan flooding (source: Time)

I am sharing here with you today’s version of Friday Five, a weekly publication put together by my friend Jonathan Tame, who works for the Relationships Global in Cambridge, UK.

If you are interested to subscribe to this publication, you find the details at the bottom of this text.

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