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Brecon Political and Theological Discussion group programme

January-June, 2006


Monday 9th January, Pilgrims Tea Rooms (Brecon Cathedral Close), 7.30 p.m. Brecknock Peace and Justice Group meeting. Ben Gregory of the Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign will introduce the film The World Stopped Watching about what has happened to Nicaragua, scene in the 1980s of a confrontation between the Socialist 'Sandinista' government and the US backed 'Contra' rebellion.

Tuesday 17th January, Kensington Baptist Church Hall, 7.30 p.m.. FILM. The Art of Eric Gill. A straightforward presentation of Gill's work as sculptor, engraver and typographer and of his thinking - moral, religious and artistic - as reflected in extracts from his great Autobiography.

Thursday, 26th January, Three Horseshoes Inn, Llanfaes, 7.30 p.m. Ross Hendry: Can the trades unions again become a focus for political thought? Ross Hendry works for the trade union UNISON and stood as a Labour candidate in Carmarthen East. He is also a lay preacher so the discussion may touch on the relations between politics and religious belief.

Tuesday, 7th February, Three Horseshoes Inn, Llanfaes, 7.30 p.m. Satya Claire: India ­ Spirituality and Reality Therapy or Breaking my rose-coloured specs. Satya, a frequent participant in our meetings, lived in India for ten years often in conditions of considerable hardship. She saw at first hand the underside of a culture which for many people is still a source of hope and inspiration.

Thursday, 16th February, Three Horseshoes Inn, Llanfaes, 7.30 p.m. Richard Solly: Defending the Earth, defending the People: a
spirituality of resistance to the companies destroying the planet.
Richard has lived and worked with peasant and indigenous peoples in Colombia, Canada and the United States. He is a member of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign and the Oxford Catholic Worker Community and is on the Editorial Board of the Mines and Communities network website

[Tuesday, 21st February, Pretty Village, Pretty Flame]

Thursday 2nd March, Kensington Baptist Church Hall, 7.30 p.m. Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom): Confession as Encounter with God. Few Christian leaders gained as much affection and respect among all denominations as Metropolitan Anthony of the Moscow Patriarchate cathedral in London. This is a video recording of a talk he gave shortly before his death in 2003, starting with reflections on the story of the Prodigal Son.

FRIDAY 10th March, Three Horseshoes Inn, Llanfaes, 7.30 p.m.. Barbara Harriss-White, Director, Queen Elizabeth House, Department of International Development: Poverty and Capitalism. Barbara Harriss-White, who spoke to us last year (in April) on India, argues that poverty is intrinsic to the capitalist system and that this poses practical problems for those who would like to 'make poverty history'.

Thursday, 23rd March, Three Horseshoes Inn, Llanfaes, 7.30 p.m.. Max Fuller: Death Squads in Iraq ­ Who is behind them? Max, a regular participant in our meetings has argued in an influential article on the internet that the pattern of death squad activities in Iraq, often attributed to Shi'i militias under the control of the Iraqi Ministry oif the Interior, replicates the pattern of US trained death squads operating in South America, most obviously El Salvador.

Thursday 30th March, Kensington Baptist Church Hall, 7.30 p.m.. Sid Jefferies: Does Astrology Work? ­ An Illustrated Examination and Short History (with slides): "Astrology has been around for over four thousand years, like bread and beer but while millions avidly scan their Star Signs in the newspapers, just as many scorn anything not founded on scientific principles. This talk will address the sceptical and the convert alike with a balanced view, supporting both sides and springing a few surprises !"

Tuesday, 4th April, Three Horseshoes Inn, Llanfaes, 7.30 p.m.. Peter Brooke:
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict ­ the need for a one state solution. Arguing that the two state solution supported in principle by the 'international community' and by most 'moderate' Israelis and Palestinians is in fact impossible and the insistence on it can only prolong the bloodshed and suffering. Proposing instead one democratic state from the river Jordan to the sea with equal rights for all its citizens.

Tuesday, 2nd May, Three Horseshoes Inn, 7.30 p.m. Brendan Clifford: Britain's role in the Second World War. Brendan Clifford has written extensively on Irish and world history and has also edited a wide range of reprints of texts of historical importance. In this talk he will be developing the argument advanced in his previous talk on Britain's role in the First World War.

Thursday, 18th May, Three Horseshoes Inn, 7.30 p.m. Tim Saunders: Comrades and Romans - The Welsh, who are we? who are they? Tim, well-known as a Cornish language poet (The High Tide, Francis Boutle publishers, 1999) previously spoke to us about the history of the Hebrew language. Now he brings his reflections on the relations between language, culture and politics rather closer to home.

Thursday, 1st June, Three Horseshoes Inn, 7.30 p.m. David Morrison: Iran and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. There can be no doubt that under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the right to master the uranium cycle. David Morrison's website is an indispensable source of careful analysis of government policy both foreign and domestic.

Thursday 15th June, 7.30 pm at The Three Horseshoes, 7.30 p.m.
Charles Gordon Clarke: The contribution of the natural sciences to liberal values. Charles Gordon Clark worked as an Anglican clergyman in Kent before moving to the Brecon area in 1986 as a professional dry stone waller (under the name Philip Clark). He gained an Open University BSc in 2002 in Geosciences, and has been interested how learning about scientific attitudes and methods has reinforced the liberalism he acquired with an arts education and practiced in the ministry.