Saturday, 21 November 2009

Why is a label important?

Trawling through the BBC's website I came across this article about a mother convicted of child cruelty upon her daughter. It says:

A mother who struck her 12-year-old daughter with a computer cable, a broom, a wooden spoon and her fists has been given a suspended jail sentence.

The 37-year-old asylum seeker was jailed for 12 months suspended for two years at Preston Crown Court after she pleaded guilty to child cruelty.
And it's good that she should receive such a sentence.

But what does get me wondering is why 'asylum seeker'? Is there something about asylum seekers that makes them more partial to a bit of physical chastisement of their offspring, a bit more handy with their fists? Something perhaps that sets them apart, as somehow different from 'us'?

I expect better from the BBC.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Against All Odds

Could this be the next Labour Party political broadcast?

I thought it was good until Kinnock and the architects of New Labour came into view, their stories undo the victories of the past. Did the producer see the irony?

Aside from that some interesting images, and it's got Lansbury in it!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Some Other Blogs

Not a carnival or anything like that I'm afraid, just some links to other blogs that I inflict upon this interweb.

So this one you're at now is all about my politcs, knocking capitalism on the head and creating a fairer world.

For my technical ramblings there's Plans to Prosper.

And for my thoughts on faith in today's world there's a new one called The Sign Of The Cross.

Enjoy. Or not as the case may be.

The Times They Aren't A Changing

Just been looking back at one of my old sites on the wayback machine. What stands out is a posting I made in June 2001.

Surely I can't be the only person on this planet who's bored to tears with the glut of reality tv programmes at the moment?
I still feel the same nowadays. :(

Sunday, 1 November 2009

I'm with Alan

To date two of the panel that were appointed by the Government to advise the Government on drug policy have handed their cards in. Seems that there's a bit of bad feeling over Alan Johnson's decision to give Prof Nutt, the Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs his P45.

So what's it all about? The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is a panel of experts that advise the Government on Drug policy, providing evidence and expert opinion which will assist the Government in putting together a coherent and viable policy. Lately the panel have been advising the Government on the reclassification of Cannabis from a Class C to a Class B narcotic. But the Government have decided to continue with the reclassification which goes against the provided evidence from the panel.

So certain members of the panel, specifically Prof Nutt have decided that they will try and alter Government policy by acting outside of the panel. He had criticised the fact the Home Office had moved cannabis back to Class B, against the ACMD advice, and warned alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than both it and ecstasy.

In other words Prof Nutt has crossed the fence and entered the dirty world of politics. So Alan Johnson has put the mockers on Nutt's attempts to influence policy by sacking him.

So I'm with Alan.

Whether weed needs to be a Class B or a Class C has become irrelevant and not really something I care about. But I do care about democracy and that the formulation of policy has to lie with our elected leaders, not with scientists. How we live goes beyond science, beyond things that are black or white. I want to know that should I disagree with those who rule over us and create policy, that my vote can build them up or knock them down. Appointed scientists are beyond my reach.

Prof Nutt needs to understand that he was brought on board to advise, not create policy. Prof Nutt was appointed, he was not elected and his required impartiality was undermined by his own actions. And the other members who are jumping ship need to get a sense of their own importance or lack of it in the democratic process and stop throwing their toys out of the pram.