The rightly respected Henry Porter has set out his thoughts on why in terms of civil liberties we've never had it so bad, see HERE. It was Harold Macmillan who used the phrase “you've never had it so good” in 1957. At that time the UK was still recovering from the effects of WW2. Many people had suffered in the depression of the pre-war years and by the mid-1950s were desperate for a better life. Now 50 years later it is formally recognised that the good years, fought for and worked towards by so many ordinary people, have been replaced with a sustained period of decline of liberty.
The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) is creating its Vetting and Barring database of a minimum of 11 million adults, ostensibly to protect our children. As a result scout jamborees, foreign student exchanges and many voluntary activities are at risk. The papers are full of cases where school workers, who have had stringent police checks, have been convicted of paedophilia, so the protection offered to children by the ISA would appear to be highly debatable.
On the other hand there is a group of children that we know are at risk who seem deliberately not to be offered the protection of our courts. These are the 6,500 girls at risk annually of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This figure is provided by the small charity FORWARD. Health Authorities and the Home Office say that they work closely with FORWARD which does its research and helps with education, cultural awareness and counselling.
Well, who would have thought it possible, see HERE, faith schools larding it up a bit? This will come as no surprise to anyone who thinks that the very term 'faith school' is a step in the wrong direction. It's really funny that the people who would run such a school succumb to the temptation to indoctrinate small children.
Again it should come as no surprise that under Tony Blair's leadership of Nulabour the idea of faith schools took off. For here was a man for whom the subject of religion was a cameo to perform on the world stage. “Look at me,” his body language seemed to say as he met the Pope.
An interesting article by James Kirkup in the Telegraph, it's all about what the incoming (?) Tory government would do about Whitehall, see HERE. Mandarins are an easy target as they can't all have brilliant minds and be working for our benefit. The public, or rather the voter, will be onside here. But is there more?
Newspapers are carrying the story behind the verdict of the RAF helicopter crash during a training flight in August 2007 near Catterick. It makes very solemn reading as it suggests that the RAF were responsible for a gross failure of discipline. Not so many years ago the public perception of the police was an organisation that tried to give good service to the public. Over time that has declined to a point where many members of the public see the police as inept, corrupt and self serving.
First thing this morning The Times called its story by Lord Stern on becoming a vegetarian so as to save the world an 'exclusive', but it's also in the Telegraph and the Guardian! This is an attractive bit of 'news' for a sub-editor and I can imagine by noon all the papers will have it. It may have a grain of truth in it but it's so typically bossy-boots that it's being laughed at and rightly so. Wikipedia has him down as a nephew of Donald Swann, half of the Flanders and Swann duo. They were entertaining too, it runs in the family!
Now, if he'd talked about the environmental and immoral aspects of factory farming and fishing then he'd have had a point
Our horribly pathetic Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has been giving us the benefit of his wisdom. He says the President of the EU should be “someone who stops the traffic in Beijing”. He also thinks the President should be Tony Blair. As a liar and war-monger Blair might be ideal but stopping the traffic takes real courage. I'm thinking of the images that went around the world of 'tank man'. Mind you if such a protest was attempted today in London I'm sure you would be shot by the Metropolitan Police!
If you have had enough of Nick Griffin and the BNP to last a lifetime, there's been a lot of it about, then spare yourself the following. Go out into the fresh air and do something. If on the other hand you, like many others, have spotted that we are into new territory then perhaps you are curious as to which way things will go. Rather like clearing up the mess after a children's party let's tidy up after the British National Party, you never know what you might find.
It has been suggested that climate change denial could be more of a dangerous 'thought crime' than holocaust denial and our own foreign secretary, David Miliband, has called unbelievers the 'flat-earthers of the 21st century.' We are just beginning to see glimmerings of rational scientific argument being reported in some of our papers but the fable is set to continue long into the future. We find that - twelve public artworks commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad will include a small 'island' which will be tugged from the Arctic to England to encourage discussion about climate change and a pair of 30ft crocheted lions.