Posts filed under ‘Human Rights’
Human beings have always tended towards definitions relative to themselves. We feel most at ease with that which is somehow intrinsically the same as ourselves, and when we go searching for something new, it is always in terms of otherness – foreign holidays, alien planets, ethnic cooking, as though our own cooking is not tied to our ethnicity.
Since the RadFem furore, a whole new wave of anti-woman feminism has rolled in, supplied by Julie Bindel. Ironically, I deleted her name from my last blog post before publishing. The paragraph that starts “Dear RadFems” entirely applies to her. Julie’s latest work has elicited some excellent ripostes, but I want to add something from the perspective of an outside observer on this sorry mess.
Its possible that far too much has already been said on the issue of the RadFem conference to possibly contribute anything more. Too many things have been taken and twisted beyond recognition and too few have said anything that really adds to what is becoming a very entrenched shouting match (though here lies a brilliant exception). But I think the analysis of this situation has lacked one critical perspective: the role of the media. (more…)
There’s been a lot of general anger on twitter and facebook over the last 48hours concerning the positioning of missiles on residential buildings for use during the Olympics. Its a terrifying thought in some ways, but its also kind of irrelevant to civil liberties, and a very big distraction from the more worrying, and lasting, changes brought on by the games.
Last Saturday I was out protesting against the Government’s Workfare program. It was, all in all, a good protest, though I have plenty of thoughts on strategy for the campaign in future. One incident stuck out to me – a scene of about five seconds that massively wound me up, in which a mother demanded I not give her daughter a flier. I responded as best I could, but her final words on the matter were “can’t you see she’s only 14?”.
A line in my last blog post, “On the Immovability of Marriage”, got an interesting response based on one line that I wrote that I’m "in support of individual churches, clergy and congregations following their consciences with” offering or denying Gay couples marriage. “ Given that you bring the example up, are you also in favour of them being able to follow their consciences in impose a ban on inter-racial marriage?” Merrick wrote. Here’s my response, which is far too long for a comment.
This post is a republishing of one of the earliest things I put on this blog, but with 2012 upon us, I thought I’d give it a quick dusting down and repost it for people to see. It first appeared in March 2007, and is based on a speech I gave a few weeks earlier. It doesn’t seem like much of the content has been given anywhere enough exposure.
This text was written by the other Graham in Defend Our NHS York in a hurry this morning. Its excellent, so I’m sharing it here. So, to the tune of ‘When I’m 64′…
Happy sixty-third birthday, NHS
(with apologies to John Lennon and Paul McCartney)
Now that you’re older, feeling the strain,
It’s time to look ahead.
We shall still be bringing you our aches and pains -
Influenza, rheumatism, cancers and sprains.
If we need treatment, will you be there
Even if we’re poor?
We still want to use you,
We don’t want to lose you
When you’re sixty-four.
We’ll be older too…
Changing just like you…
There are lots of fat cats looking for loot,
Think you’re up for grabs,
Think they’ve got the government to do as they ask,
Eyeing up those bed-loads of cash.
If we need treatment, will you be there,
Even if we’re poor?
They want to make their profit -
Not if we can stop it -
When you’re sixty four…
We still want you handy,
Free of Andrew Lansley,
Now and evermore!
It is probably one of the most iconic protest photos in history. A single human facing down a huge, ugly symbol of totalitarianism. China’s recent history has shown that capitalism is more than capable of thriving in the absence of human rights and freedoms that many in the West have long contended go hand in hand with economic liberalism. (more…)
in just 6 weeks time, I’m running an event of a fairly unprecedented scale at York Friend’s Meeting House, drawing together over a dozen local campaign groups for an afternoon of talks and discussions spanning the length and width of “Global Justice”. All this seemed so much more urgent before the cuts became the defining issue of the moment, and now its hard to even feel excited about the range of issues beyond our doorstep.