Sunday, 10 May 2015

UK SOS! Our human rights are under attack


'Among Michael Gove's first tasks will be to scrap Labour's Human Rights Act' - The Telegraph

Michael Gove has been appointed 'Justice Secretary' and 'Lord Chancellor' to see through the new Conservative government's manifesto pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act; introduce a new UK Bill of Rights, and sever links with the European Court of Human Rights.

Law Society president Andrew Caplen responded yesterday:
'The Human Rights Act is a fundamental safeguard of many of our basic rights and freedoms.  We will be pressing for the government to retain it.'

Monday, 4 May 2015

Can’t vote or don’t vote?

• Russell Brand previously said voting was 'a waste of time' - then he changed his mind.

Russell Brand, previously the self-proclaimed, 'Mr Don't Vote', changed his mind just days before the UK's General Election and urged people to vote.

The reason?  Because Russell belatedly acknowledged that voting can make a difference -  to get rid of the government he didn't like, and to put into power one he'd prefer.  Despite this, almost 16 million people who could vote didn't vote.  

(Russell urged people to vote Labour in the 2015 UK General Election.  But in a sense his choice of party was not as important as his admission that, actually, voting matters - and can result in the government of the day being fired).

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Can UK become the richest economy?

• Conservative Minister, Jo Johnson, brother of Boris, said the UK can never be the world's richest economy
Tory Chancellor George Osborne said Britain can become the world’s richest economy.  

 But three years ago Jo Johnson, MP, author of the Tory's 2015 manifesto, told me Britain can never again be the world's richest economy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Charlie Hebdo: All is forgiven

Can the surviving journalists of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, really forgive the terrorists who last week brutally murdered ten of their colleagues and others at their Paris office?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

We are chemistry, so do humans have free will?

Doctors now believe that a type of medicine - called dopamine receptor agonists - can cause some patients to become compulsive gamblers, binge shoppers or sex addicts.

It’s thought the drug causes this adverse reaction by over-stimulating the ‘pleasure seeking’ chemistry of the brain.  But many people find this hard to believe: how can a drug alter your behaviour against your will? If you do bad things, that’s your choice, and we shouldn't blame a drug.  After all, don’t humans have ‘free will’?

And yet, we are all composed of chemistry that controls everything we do. If your body’s chemistry changes, because of say a serious illness, or a profound injury, or the effects of a powerful drug, is it so difficult to believe that your behaviour and personality could consequently change too?

Friday, 10 October 2014

Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

• Should all prisoners be refused the right to vote?
In the UK all convicted prisoners are denied the right to vote. 

But the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Britain's blanket ban on voting for all convicted prisoners is a breach their human rights. Allowing only some categories of prisoners to vote would be ok, states the Court; but refusing the vote to all convicted prisoners is unacceptable. What do you think? (What I think is posted at the end of this article)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Last guests at the 'spy hotel'

Way off the beaten track and nestling high on the cliff tops of the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England, is one of the strangest hotels I've ever stayed in. 

The building used to be a Ministry of Defence underwater weapons facility that, back in the late 1950s, was mysteriously infiltrated by Soviet spies, causing an international scandal.  Known as 'The Portland Spy Ring', the core of the traitorous network was finally detected in 1961 and the five main perpetrators arrested by Police Special Branch in collaboration with the secret services. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Daily Express Fury About Illegal Immigrants

Today’s Daily Express front page headline screamed, ‘Fury over Britain’s 2m illegal migrants’.  

Yet, on closer scrutiny, the ‘fury’ should instead be about the Express’s careless journalism.  The ‘exclusive’ statistic, claimed the Express, came from 'think tank' Migration Watch – yet Migration Watch this morning denied this, and announced that they, “declined to cooperate in this story”.

The UK government described the Daily Express number of 'illegal migrants' as a 'guestimate' and fact-checking organisation, today reported that nobody actually knows the true statistic, but previous estimates put the number of illegal migrants in Britain at between 417,000 and 1.1 million. The FullFact headline read, 'Think tank says it didn't estimate Express '2 million illegal migrants' figure

Friday, 4 July 2014

Desperate for health care in the richest country

• Journalist Jon Danzig with British philanthropist, Stan Brock
Last night I met Stan Brock, founder of ‘Remote Area Medical’ which gives free acute medical care to hundreds of thousands of poor people in the world’s richest nation – the USA.