Sunday, 24 June 2012

So sorry

It has just come to my notice that my predecessor but one inadvertently flooded the country with a load of foreign Johnnies who don't really count for diversity purposes being pallid and blonde (and probably a bunch of fascists if truth be told) and can't even vote for me. I would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused by his carelessness. Please be assured that your votes are important to me. Thank you and good night.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Gay marriage: a hypothetical

[This post is one that I never got round to finishing it, but I hope there is enough of it to make its point - and to serve as a reminder that today is the last day for submissions to the Government's consultation on redefining marriage (which can be entered here).]

Imagine that human beings reproduced asexually. That each of us was able to produce offspring at will without involving a second party. And that we could trace our lineage all the way back to the origins of life through a succession of asexually reproducing species.

To forestall an obvious objection to the point I am making, I will allow my asexual humans to have a capacity for pleasurable mutual stimulation, but this serves no reproductive purpose whatsoever.

Do you think that under these circumstances the institution of marriage would have evolved?

If you can see any compelling reason to expect that it would have done, let me know. I can't.

More than likely people would set up households consisting of more than one adult with their respective children. But there would be nothing special about the number two. It could be three parents with their kids, or ten. And there would be absolutely no reason why the parents should not be siblings - indeed it's very likely that they would be.

If reproductive arrangements provide no basis for anything resembling marriage, what about that pleasurable mutual stimulation? Would it give rise to the expectation of an exclusive partnership? Would there be the further expectation, or at least aspiration, that such a partnership should be lifelong? And would it, still further, be the business of state and religious authorities to affirm that aspiration by bestowing official recognition on it?

Well, why on earth should it? I enjoy playing chess with Mr Happy, indeed he is my favourite opponent, but that doesn't mean I want to agree with him that we will both forsake all other players till death us do part. And naturally the state doesn't give two hoots either way. So why would the stimulation thing be any different?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Gawd bless yer, ma'am, and all that

Frances Crook must have been spokespersoning for the Howard League for Penal Reform for nearly as long as the Queen has been queening. Things won't be quite the same after she's handed the reins over to Mr Modelcitizen.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Was that really what you wanted to happen?

Who is this about?
[He] reminded the audience about last year’s events in Great Britain “when it all came to mass riots, torched cars and robbed stores”. “As the society guarantees the right to express their opinion, including by street events, to some of the citizens, it must protect other citizens and the society as a whole from radicalism,” he said.
Answer: Vladimir Putin, announcing that he has granted himself swingeing powers to arrest and fine anti-government protesters.

So all the people who tried to portray the riots as some kind of political protest have helped hand Putin a useful argument for more repression. The blurring of distinctions always cuts both ways.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

BBC stands corrected (a small victory)

Sent to the BBC on Tuesday:-

{Complaint title:} BPAS's vested interest in abortion not flagged

{Complaint:} This news item on abortion statistics includes quotations
from spokespersons for Life and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.
Life is correctly described as an "anti-abortion charity". The BPAS is
referred to only by its name, which conceals the fact that it derives
the bulk of its income not from providing advice but from performing
abortions, and is thus anything but a source of impartial comment.
Readers should be enabled to put the BPAS's views in context by some
such description as "leading abortion provider the British Pregnancy
Advisory Service".

Received yesterday:-
Dear Fred, [Mr Grumpy to you, if you please, but let that pass]

Very important point, we have amended,

Best wishes

BBC Health
And they are as good as their word. So it's worth complaining. The watchwords are concise, factual, rational and don't tell them they're the Devil's spawn (even if you think so). And really they're not; of course the collective bias is left-liberal, but they do have journalistic standards.