About Me

There seems to be no area of our lives, whether public or private,that is not subject to the scrutiny of the 'Equality People' Yet, no one ever defines Equality. So, how will we know it when we see it? Is it definable? And are the principles of equality, however we define them, attainable?.Is the ever extending range of government regulation over our lives 'progress'Or,are we on the road to totalitarianism. Are we hindered or helped in our quest for rights and justice through membership of the E.U., U.N.,e.t.c. or, would a strengthening of our own Parliamentary Democracy serve us better. This Blog will comment on equality and related issues with the hope of making some small contribution to the debate. Feel free to post your opinions and share your thoughts and experiences. That way we can get a better idea of how we, the little people really feel about things. And,just maybe,we might even influence the debate!

Monday, 23 April 2012

23rd of April-must be-St George's Day!!!!

It's St George's day today, England's patron Saint. You would hardly know it though from the lack of attention paid to it by our media. you know-that media which is supposed to represent the whole of Britain, it's people's, history and traditions.Oh well,

                                          We know what day it is. 

                            HAPPY SAINT GEORGE'S DAY

                               HAPPY SAINT GEORGE'S DAY

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Freedom of Speech-not if a politician thinks your views are intolerant

Freedom of speech and expression is supposed to form the bedrock of a liberal, tolerant and democratic society. And here in the U.K. we strongly believe we are a liberal democracy. After all didn't this country produce the likes of John Stuart Mill with his famous treatise, On Liberty. Written in the nineteenth century, it still reads like a breath of fresh air in a dungeon, reminding us of part our heritage, and those before us who struggled to be free from 'truths' imposed by so called betters; church, state, school.

However, the latest clampdown on people's right to free expression could see Mill's words eventually becoming to be seen as subversive which, God forbid, some one, or some group may at some future time try to ban.

The case in question is the intervention of London Mayor Boris Johnson,(Con) in a campaign by the Christian group Core Issues Trust to advertise their views about homosexuality on the side of  London buses.  This form of advertising is a common enough thing to do; you pay, you get your avert on the bus and any one in London can read it, ignore it or follow through to find out more.

The advert in question was in response to Stonewall's (campaigners for gay rights) campaign a while ago, which also used London buses.Their slogan ' some people are gay-get over it' was plastered all over the place.

The Core Issues Group, using a similar design poster to Stonewall wanted to say something on the lines of-'Ex-gay,post-gay and proud-Get over it'

Following complaints that some people were offended by the message, Boris Johnson has stopped the campaign from using London buses claiming that London 'is a tolerant city and will not put up with intolerance'

So there we have it, offence is not a matter of personal feeling but a question of fact, to be decided on by Boris, with the power to ban opinions.

Now, I don't have any interest in the debate between Stonewall and the Core Issues Trust on the nature or otherwise of what makes someone gay. I simply don't care. I do however, care very strongly about the right to express opinions and beliefs, and the freedom to try and persuade others to a particular point of view. How else would gay people have been able to end their persecution. To shut down debate says to the rest of us- or to me at least- whatever I don't agree with, you must not hear, you cannot decide for yourselves the merit of someone's argument. If you disagree you might go out and commit violence, so I'm protecting you. On the other hand, if you agree, you will join the other side and I will lose power over you.

That is not a free country. I think we need some reminding of Mill's words. Here are a few quotes. If any one has time or the inclination, read his works.

From; On LibertyOf Thought and Discussion-

' They have no authority to decide the question for all mankind and exclude every other person from the means of judging'

'All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility'

'To call any proposition certain, while there is any one who would deny its certainty if permitted, but who is not permitted, is to assume that we ourselves and those who agree with us, are the judges of certainty, and judges without hearing the other side'

'Strange it is that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being pushed to an extreme, not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case'