Monthly Archives: May 2011

Irish Friends and Bad Parents

A bit of fun to start off with because this story made me laugh out loud. Anachronism Queen Liz will be visiting the Irish Republic next week and she’s taking along her Prime Minister, David “Call me Dave” Cameron. That wasn’t what made me laugh though. This was:

Mr Cameron has described her visit as a symbol of the “strong partnership and friendship” between the two countries.

Yeah. Right! All those jokes down the pub about Paddy and Mike that we English don’t tell are certainly not returned with a general feeling of discontent with the English that has pervaded Ireland for well over two centuries. No, we’re the best of friends.

The thing is that the Irish and English aren’t enemies and we aren’t an occupying force in their country any more (OK, maybe a little bit) so there really is good reason to strengthen political and economic ties for both our benefits. Pretending that we’re all chummy is just silly though. Like Dave.

Bad parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are courting the media again with an open letter in the Sun asking David Cameron (him again) to please do something about finding poor Madeleine McCann. Curiously Kate McCann’s book was released on the 3rd May but let’s not be cynical about this. If it were up to me these neglectful parents would be lamenting the loss of their innocent daughter from behind bars but we don’t prosecute people for abandoning children in a foreign country so that they can get pissed with their mates, do we?


Filed under Bad things happen, Reasons to be cheerful

Super *yawn* injunctions

So the news of the day seems to be all about super injunctions. A process where the press aren’t allowed to publish the truth in order that the sensibilities of the wealthy are protected. They are still allowed to publish lies though as long as they make it clear that they are only reporting rumour.

My hope for the media and, really for the human race, is that news of who has slept with whom and which celebrity has had an affair with which celebrity will simply not be interesting enough to report. I don’t care who celebrities sleep with as long as they aren’t breaking the law. I don’t care if they are at one another like randy dogs in the street. Actually I don’t care about celebrities at all but that is besides the point.

What I object to is the suggestion that Jeremy Clarkson is having sex. It isn’t a thought that I want to have in my head. In particular I don’t want to imagine his sex face.


Sorry about that.


Filed under Modern Etiquette

No Muslim woman casts vote

This is an example of sexism and religion at work. Not that the two don’t often go hand in hand anyway.

Purulia (WB), May 7 (PTI) Not a single Muslim woman today cast vote in two booths specially arranged for them with women polling staff in Para assembly constituency in Purulia district today.

“It is unfortunate that none of the 641 Muslim women came out to vote in two polling booths despite posting women polling personnel as desired by them,” Sub-divisional officer who is in charge of Para constituency, Abid Hussain said.

While Sk Omar (55), a local male voter, told PTI that the women were willing to vote, but their husbands did not allow them to come out, Mohammed Unus (60) tried to argue that the women boycotted the vote for non-development of the area.

Unus, however, cast his vote.

The women had not voted earlier on the plea that they did not have Electoral Photo Identity Cards since they were unwilling to be photographed by a male photographer, District Magistrate A Singh said.

Honouring their wishes a female photographer had been employed to take their photos for the EPICs, Singh said. PTI CORR PR

Their husbands didn’t allow them to vote. Imagine that. Imagine not being permitted to exercise your right to vote. Imagine having your husband limit your freedoms in such a dogmatic way. Imagine being a man who felt that he had to control his wife to such an extent that she was not allowed to travel to the polling station to vote, even though special consideration for your faith had been made.

That doesn’t sound like a positive, loving relationship, does it? Isn’t it past time that the feminist movement reached beyond the West?


Filed under Atheist, Bad things happen, Religion

Sally Army Cheats

The city council of Wellington, New Zealand granted permission to Wellington Rape Crisis for their annual fund raiser. This one day appeal brings in around 20% of the charity’s annual income and goes to help the victims of rape, sexual assault and abuse. They provide support and counselling as well as advocacy for victims and medical centres, police and the courts. They also provide educational resources and referrals to other agencies. Source. All good work and unfortunately necessary.

Wellington require any organisation to get permission to collect money on council land (public highways, shopping centres, etc) which is quite reasonable and no doubt helps to limit swindlers and other bogus charity collections as well as keeping the charity workers in some kind of organised pattern so that everyone doesn’t descend over a single weekend.

The Salvation Army don’t care about that though. They don’t seem to care about the victims of rape or about giving smaller charities a fair chance to collect money. What they’ve done is to compete with Wellington Rape Crisis and defy the council rules by collecting in the middle of the charity’s week long appeal. Another example of Christian charity no doubt.

It makes me wonder if the Salvation Army isn’t getting too big to do good any more. There was a time when I considered the charity to be one of the better Christian charities out there (not that I’d give to a religious charity when there are so many good secular ones out there) but this news is just disturbing. It comes only a fortnight after The Poppy Project was reported to have lost their funding to the Sally Army too (as reported by tenderhooligan). Of course they also have a record of promoting superstition rather than actually helping victims of rape and hold an

International Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for the Victims of Sex Trafficking.

I’m sure that’s a great help. NOT!

If you give to charity please choose one that does some good with your money and treats people fairly. Thank you.


1 Comment

Filed under Atheist, Bad things happen, Religion

Boys Denied Cancer Vaccine

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee have rejected a submission requesting that they add the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for administration to boys.

When the HPV vaccine first made headlines I did wonder why it was only for girls. I mean it is fairly obvious that you need a cervix to get cervical cancer but men can carry the virus and HPV doesn’t just cause cancers of the cervix. It caused cancers in whatever body part it takes root in. Just because “normal” sex is between a man and a woman and involves penetration that doesn’t mean that it is the only way to have sex. Seriously, look it up if you don’t believe me.

As a society we should be protecting people from communicable diseases like HPV. It seems to me that immunizing boys and girls will do a better job of this than just immunizing girls. It will certainly help those 5% to 10% of the population who are gay and have sex.


Leave a comment

Filed under Bad things happen

Jesus vs Batman

Jesus vs Batman

Leave a comment

Filed under You decide

Katie Price Upsets Church

Attention seeker, Katie Price, has upset the Archdeacon of Oxford by performing the wrong kind of superstitious ritual in an old building. Price was filming with ITV show Ghosthunting With…. in “a church in Great Tew in Oxfordshire and tried to use a Ouija board to contact spirits”.

Rather than being mocked for wasting her time church officials are upset claiming that talking to the air over a board with letters, numbers and words on was “a rather blasphemous and sacrilegious thing to do”. Presumably Price was attempting to conjure the spirits on career longevity or something.

Not only do I find the idea of speaking to spirits utterly ridiculous (if it wasn’t already apparent) but I find the idea of getting upset about it equally ridiculous. This is especially the case given that the organisation getting upset is another ridiculous, superstitious waste of time. I mean, every week people congregate in the building to try to talk to a spirit. So really who is being the most ridiculous?



Filed under Atheist


According to the US government, our government and the popular media: We are supposed to accept that troops can raid a foreign country without their permission or knowledge; execute a man who has not been tried for his crimes; throw his body in the sea so there is no evidence for what happened; and call this last ‘respect for his religion’.


They don’t have to produce evidence of his crimes or have a trial. There is no need for a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict, what we would call a jury. Indeed there is no impartial and rational examination of evidence at all.

Is this justice? Why are people celebrating it?

He may very well have been guilty of horrible crimes but even Hermann Göring got a trial.

1 Comment

Filed under You decide

Gay activism, Unmarried Rights and Retired Police

Ugandan gay activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera has been given the prestigious Martin Ennals rights award.

In Uganda being gay is such a terrible thing that some people are trying to bring in special laws against it.

In October 2009, an MP introduced a bill that proposed increasing the penalties in Uganda for homosexual acts from 14 years in prison to life.

It also proposed the death penalty for a new offence of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender”.

Nabagesera has campaigned against anti-homosexual treatment despite the murder in January of her colleague, David Kato.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in fear of my life for simply loving someone. It is really good that she has been recognised and that this issue continues to be in the news.

This may have something to do with the prevalence of Anglicanism in Uganda. Traditional Christian values aren’t too supportive of The Gay.

Did you know that “Common Law” marriage is a complete myth? I did (but then I am very clever) but what I didn’t know was that the law gives better treatment for couples if they aren’t married. At least at the moment.

A couple, Jones and Kernott, lived together for several years. During this time they bought a house and had a couple of children. Then they split up. Ms Jones decided to keep the house and continued to pay the mortgage but Mr Kernott remained on the deeds.

Years later he decides that he wants a share of the value of the house. Now if they’d married the law would have given him the proportion of his contribution back (about 10%) but as an unmarried couple they are simply subject to contract law and he gets half.

For unmarried couples though, the court had to apply strict legal principles, so joint-ownership meant the property was shared 50/50.

So now you know.

Nicholas Francis QC, head of London family law chambers 29 Bedford Row, said the judgement would be a very important precedent and would underline the importance of unmarried couples deciding how much of the home each owns in a declaration of trust.

That should make things a bit more equal. Another nail in the coffin of marriage too.

Source BBC News.

Her Majesty’s Government continues to make austerity cuts. Some West Midland police are being forced to retire after 30 years of service. What of age discrimination laws I hear you cry? Apparently the police aren’t covered. Anyway David “Call me Dave” Cameron has so carefully planned his austerity measures that he’s taken the issue of forced retirement seriously. NOT.

Oh yes, all you coppers who were forced to retire, come back and work for free. Ha, I imagine that will go down like a lead balloon.

Tony Fisher, who was forced to retire as a detective specialising in tackling robbery, said the cost-cutting move was a “slap in the face” after 33 years in the force.

The former detective constable is among hundreds affected by the plan as part of efforts to save tens of millions of pounds in the wake of government spending cuts.

“I was a detective for 26 years and I just don’t see how that role fits in any way as a special constable,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a slap in the face to get rid of you and then say ‘do you want to come back for nothing’. It was adding salt to the wounds.”

But he added that the force was “between a rock and a hard place”.

Leave a comment

Filed under Atheist, Bad things happen, Our money