the friend online
25 July 2008


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Citizens income
I sympathise with Alan Sealy's concern for the status and well- being of young people (11 July) but I fear that his solution would make things even worse
  • If the minimum wage 'development rate' were the same as the adult rate then the rate of unemployment for young people might leap ahead and it might lead employers to prefer older employees with more work experience for the same wages

  • It is very important that young people get early work experience that they can use to gain skills and to choose careers and appropriate training
  • For some to benefit at the expense of many other young people would be unfortunate

  • Barney Smith & Symon Hill

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    Stevie Krayer, 31 July
    I was depressed but not entirely surprised to read about our Friend Symon Hill's (25 July) experience of discrimination as a non-member. What did shock me, though, was the revelation that a letter had been sent to attenders coming to Yearly Meeting 2008, discouraging them from ministering.

    I attended my first YM in 1992. There was no letter suggesting that I remember my status. It wasn't necessary; I was completely overawed, and remarked to the seasoned Friends who had taken me under their wing that I could not imagine how anyone found the courage to minister in such a gathering. That was on the Saturday. On the Sunday, I experienced a powerful force literally pushing me to my feet – utterly against my will. Miserable and shaken, I stood there hoping I wouldn't be called, but no such luck!

    For the first time in my life I was convinced – also somewhat against my will – that there really was such a thing as the Spirit with a capital S, and that I had experienced Its prompting. As a direct result, I was led to apply for membership and was accepted that same year. Had I received that warning letter, I might still have ministered at YM, because I could not help myself – but I doubt that I would ever have had the chutzpah to consider myself potentially eligible for membership.

    (Note: this comment appears in the 1 August 2008 letters page).


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    News round-up
    Facing down the Obama-crunch
    Oliver Robertson
    Ethical investment for Quaker bodies
    John Marsh
    Barney Smith & Symon Hill
    ‘We’ve seen a ground shift every day’
    Jez Smith
    New light and truth
    Rowena Loverance
    Reviews - Poetry of Silence / Better with lead?
    Andy Stoller & Judy Kirby
    Starved of green
    Colin George

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