The BBC’s Sunday Morning Live is a topical debate show that discusses moral issues on broad number of topics. They often include ethical issues around healthcare, civil liberties, and dominant news stories of the day. Last weekend the panel of guests were faced with a number of interesting topics and the most interesting of these, in my view, was the following question: is there enough understanding of transgender issues? As the discussion progressed I found myself getting slightly enraged at the neutrality that BBC has to show because in my mind the answer was so clearly obvious. So let me elaborate.
The Conservatives called this general election because their polling suggested that they would win a landslide victory, with some polls putting Tory support at close to 50% and Labour’s support hovering around 30%. No matter what Theresa May says about Brexit or “strong and stable leadership” it is clear that the election was called for her own political purposes. It was therefore widely thought that manifesto week would be a formality where the Tories are characteristically ambiguous and thus would maintain their lead. The popularity of Labour’s policies and the surprise announcement about Tory changes to pensions and social care have cast doubt on the idea of a coming landslide. The media is now changing their emphasis to focus on the Tory own goal.
After Theresa May’s announcement on the steps of Downing Street yesterday, the UK is going back to the polls. The snap general election will take place on 8th June, thus giving the parties a month and a half to put their case to the country. To be honest this took me by surprise because, having come out against a general election a few months ago, I believed that it would be too politically risky for May to blatantly go against her own word. Nevertheless we are where we are, and now the press needs to step up.
Since the election of Donald Trump people from across the political spectrum have been scrambling to explain how Trump’s message was spread and why it was so potent. As a result there has been a lot of talk about ‘fake news’ and how it is a scourge that needs to be eradicated. However I believe that ‘fake news’ is a loaded term invented by centrist liberals to easily whitewash dissenting opinions and redefine existing concepts. In short, we shouldn’t use the term ‘fake news’.
Uzbekistan is one of the most repressive countries in Central Asia and various NGOs have openly criticised the government for a number of years. The landlocked nation has been accused of various human rights violations from a plethora of fairly reliable sources but this is particularly true in terms of freedom of speech. However after years of meticulous censorship of all websites that could be seen as critical of the government, which has often resulted in blocking overseas-based news sites, it appears that the times are a changing.
Since taking power what has Theresa May substantively done? The only thing I can think of was the passage of the Snoopers’ Charter, which incidentally received remarkably little coverage given that it is the most extensive restriction of individuals’ privacy rights. However other than this what has Theresa May done since taking office? Don’t get me wrong, if the Tories won an election and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing I wouldn’t mind that much, the problem with Tories is their horrible policies. Inaction can be good, but in this case it is not.
Across the world lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are gaining political rights in the same way that other oppressed groups had in previous centuries. This progress is not uniform, particularly in parts of the world where conservative religious views are commonplace, but certainly in the Western world LGBT acceptance occurring at a rapid pace. I believe that framing other political discussions in this way will push back the encroaching forces of intellectual laziness. Continue reading →