Friday, 24 August 2007

Long live the ECHR!

The case of Mr Chindamo, the murderer of headteacher Mr Lawrence in north London in 1996 has provoked significant debate in the media this week, after it was decided at a Tribunal that he could not be deported to his country of birth upon release. That well known 'liberal' Mr Cameron, scented blood, and within a few hours, the odious Mr McNulty, Minister for Security, Counterterrorism and the Police, was assuring the public that the Government would appeal.

It was, however, reported on Channel 4 news that Mr Chindamo has lived in this country since he was six years old, speaks no Italian, and has no family in Italy.

I do not know if this is true, but if so it seems to me that we should take responsibilty for an offender who was largely a product of London gang culture.

Or would those who feel he should be deported be prepared to accept a similar offender from the Italian court system, just because he was born in Britain?

Because of increasing travel and migration, Europe - and increasingly the whole developed world - is necessarily becoming a single, unified administrative entity. We should accept common standards with our fellow humans, stick to them, and encourage others to stick to them by our example.

Long live the ECHR!

Friday, 3 August 2007


Prominent among the critics of British Airways' carbon offset scheme is Tory MP for South Suffolk, and Chairman of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Timothy Yeo. The failure of BA to market the scheme adequately is, he claims, "little short of scandalous".

Constituents of Mr Yeo's will recall that his commitment to protecting the environment did not always run so deep. He was once banned from driving after accumulating too many speeding convictions in his expensive Japanese sports car, and was known for a while to some in his local area as 'Tim Yeeeeooowww!' (Best said with a swift sideways movement of the head, as if watching him speed past.)

In any case, voluntary carbon offsetting is a curiously limp way to go about saving the planet. Perhaps Mr Yeo's indignation at BA is designed to overshadow his party's complete failure to come up with any concrete policies to achieve carbon reduction?

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Religion or logic; prohibition or permissiveness?

I find it extremely worrying that some Muslim posters on the BBC's current World Have Your Say debate seem to think ALL Western liberals are immoral, fail to care about their extended families and children, are sexually promiscuous, etc.

Clearly their ARE examples of this is Western Liberal cultures, and arguably some of the problems are worse than in more religious societies.

But it seems that some posters are not aware that many of us in the West would subscribe to many of Ali's ideals, even if we do so from an understanding that it is logical to treat one's fellow human beings with respect, rather than because a religious leader tells us that it is right to do so.

My own view is that there are disadvantages to the strict prohibition of even harmful activities. Prohibition breeds secrecy - so you are less likely to know about the hypocritical behaviour of your neighbour.