Hello and welcome to the TCC Weekly – the Friday bulletin for people who know their Saudade from their Hiraeth.
This week, in the wake up of Irma and public debate about the causes of the hurricane, we bring you advice about how to engage a climate change denier. Plus, we’ve got a Values analysis on religion and why the Values segment Settlers are more likely embrace tradition but not religious practice. And from the ecclesiastic to the iconoclastic, we put the spotlight on promiscuous political tweeters whose party loyalty is under question.
And of course, there’s Charlie’s Attic, the TCC chapel to memes and miscellany, where you'll find an obscure guide to finding London's best noses.
If you see a link that belongs in The Weekly then email it to us and we’ll give you a free TCC exclamation mark to say thanks.
Tony Blair made headlines this week when he appeared on the Andrew MarrShow, making a passionate plea to the Government to ‘broaden’ the options it considers as part of the Brexit negotiations – including the option of not leaving at all.
Unsurprisingly, the intervention stirred controversy – with some saying it was an instance of ‘hypocrisy beyond the pale’ whilst others heralded it as visionary. Whatever view you take, it’s worth reading this piece by Politics Professor Chris Hanretty. His argument is that there are considerable obstacles to making a Brexit U-turn possible. Click here to find out more.
Irma & Harvey: How to convince a climate change denier
The devastating effects of Harvey and Irma have dominated headlines in recent weeks. Questions have been asked about the causes of the two hurricanes and tensions have flared between climate-change deniers and those who believe climate change is manmade: the former accuse the latter of politicising human suffering; the latter say deniers need to wake up and smell the coffee.
So, what’s the best way of taking the heat out of the argument and convincing the other side? This blog paves the way to answering that question (although it does assume you believe in manmade climate change, so perhaps don’t click through if you don’t).
The number one tip: don’t expect to ‘win’ the argument. All you can really hope for is laying the groundwork for the other side to eventually change their mind. But there is much more you’ll need to digest before going in for the face-off. Click here for some other top tips.
Image taken from source Findings this month from The British Satisfaction survey reveal that the UK is, for the first time, majority “no religion” – with 53% saying they are of no faith. This figure is up from 2015, when just under half didn’t have a religion. In this light, we thought we’d put Godlessness under the values microscope.
% who say, to some degree, agree that “Religious belief is very important to me. I try to do what religion requires.”
The question is about those for whom religiousness is important, and provides a guide for living life. We added together everyone who to some degree felt this way. The findings show a Godless majority which is proportionally larger than the British Social Attitude’s total. However, this may be to do with the framing of our question, which is more to do with “practising” a faith than with “identifying” one. This is a subtle distinction, but it meant our question set a higher bar.
Far and away the most religious group here are Prospectors. This perhaps comes from a sense of conformity with social norms, but also from the simple demographic fact that BME groups are more likely to be Prospectors.
The really interesting thing, however, is quite how unreligious Settlers are. Indeed, those who did endorse the statement were more likely to “slightly” (instead of “strongly” agree) than Pioneers. Even religious Settlers are comparatively lukewarm in their faith. The surprise here is that Settlers are also the most focused on tradition and the most opposed to change. Perhaps what it really shows is that Britain’s status as a Christian country matters for their sense of continuity and shared history – even if they’re less likely to follow religious scripture…
And finally this week, Charlie’s Attic, the loft-turned-internet madhouse where the world is both Upside down and Downside Up: