Letter to the government: drop the Health and Social Care Bill 2011

Everyone knows the shocking scale of the Tory-led coalition government's proposed changes to the NHS and degree to which they disregard public and expert concerns.

If you care about public healthcare in the UK, write to your MP. NOW.

Below the fold is the letter I have sent to my MP and to various members of the House of Lords, complete with references.

Continue reading "Letter to the government: drop the Health and Social Care Bill 2011"

Er...

Ahern defends new blasphemy law

Independant.ie writes:

Mr Ahern yesterday defended a fine of up to €100,000 that will be imposed on blasphemers. ... Gardai will now have the power to seize blasphemous material from the home or any other premises used by a person convicted of blasphemy.

Okay, seriously now guys, stop it.

This kind of thing used to be funny. We'd be all "heh, glad I don't live in Saudi Arabia" or "oh, that crazy pope, what'll he get up to next?".  But the joke's run its course and it's time to give it up and move along, ok?

Remember, we're trying to build a better world here, and hilarious though pranks like this are, they're getting a little tiresome.

Labour hates gays, loves Jesus.

Faith Schools Free to Preach Against Homosexuality

Oh fucking hell. The Guardian writes:

[Sir Alasdair] Macdonald said: "What we're trying to do, and I accept it's difficult, is find a balance between young people having an entitlement to knowledge, facts, information but where schools, particularly schools with a particular faith interest or other disposition, also have a right to put that in context of their particular institution. "

Why?

Think about that — a balance between young people having an entitlement to knowledge, and an institution's particular faith interests. This is just so irresponsible.

Ethics versus religion in Berlin

Referendum Pits Ethics against Religion

What a beautifully irony-laced headline from Spiegel Online International.

From the article:

Since 2006, ethics has been a compulsory subject for all high school students in Germany's capital city, while religion is an optional course. The "Pro Reli" campaign wants to change those rules so that pupils would have to choose between ethics and a faith-based religion class. Those classes would be strictly divided along religious lines, with Protestants, Catholics and Muslims being taught separately.

I actually can't believe this.  It's like a piece of science fiction.