Notepad on Life

September 6, 2013

The Maldives – another crappy day in paradise

If this Amnesty International text I received wasn’t so serious, you’d be tempted to laugh at the lunacy of it all:

“MALDIVES – After action from people like you, 15-year-old rape survivor will not be flogged for ‘fornication'”

Enjoy your holiday.


May 23, 2012

Criminal right to vote? You can say that again

English: European Court of Human Rights at Str...

English: European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Different entities they may be but there’s a depressingly similar theme whenever the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights flex their muscles these days. A nonsense is made of democracy.

The EU? Its most vociferous opponents are still to be given a vote on their country’s place at its table. Pure coincidence, I’m sure. Then there are the Irish, made to vote twice for an EU Treaty until they provided the correct result.

And now we have the ECHR, which believes that one man, one vote is worth fighting for, as long as the man in question is a burglar, bank robber or murderer.

It is, of course, the most blindingly obvious consequence that when someone’s criminal behaviour spits in the face of the country that gives him a home, his right to any say in its governance should be temporarily forfeit. There is something so rational in this proposition that only the most gushing of bleeding hearts could imagine that Civilisation would be better served were it to be turned on its head.

Cometh the hour, alas, cometh the nitwits, prompting the suspicion that we Brits are ignoring the elephant in the room, as long as we focus on Greece and the question of  if and when it might default on its debts.

A more pertinent question, surely, is whether we should be contemplating a default of our own. For when those entrusted with administering the European Convention on Human Rights seem so hell-bent on blurring the distinctions between Strasbourg and La-La Land, maybe it’s time we were taking our ball home until common sense re-enters the building.

November 10, 2010

Nature, nurture and raised voices

Filed under: foreign,politics — - @ 11:16 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m looking at the evening’s football fixtures; he’s bombing airfields in a Stuka, courtesy of PlayStation.

We talk about David Cameron‘s interesting perception of the term ‘getting tough’, heatedly discuss the reasons why big business should make do with profits that are merely disgraceful instead of obscene until such time as China decides to join the rest of us in the 21st century and then we agree that hell will freeze over first.

“I like ranting with you, Dad,” he says. “It’s bonding.”

I should be touched by this. Instead, I’m slightly uneasy.

January 14, 2010

Finally, those ‘o’s in ‘Google’ look like balls

Better late than never: Google finally sees the futility of trying to appease tyranny, as “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on [its] corporate infrastructure originating from China” aimed at hacking into email accounts of  human rights activists, prompts the search engine monolith to stop playing ball in allowing censored search results on its Chinese website.

How much more creditworthy this sudden insistence on free speech would have sounded had Google made it the sine qua non of its involvement in China from the outset.

True nobility is prompted by ideals bigger than yourself, not by a fit of pique at having your firewalls tampered with.


Still with Google, an interesting point was made on a recent Dogma Free America podcast.

Google “Christianity is”. You’ll see a dropdown panel appear with helpful suggestions as to how you might like to complete the phrase: eg “a lie”, “bulls**t”, “false”, “not a religion”, “wrong”, “dead “.

It’s much the same if you replace “Christianity” with Buddhism, atheism, Sihkism or Hinduism.

Now search “Islam is”. If you get anything other than a big fat blank where all those pejorative labels were, you’ve been luckier than me or the guys on DFA.

Now I’m prepared to be realistic here. Some people in the Islamic world are known for blowing people up first and asking questions afterwards and I can understand it if Google executives don’t fancy having to look over their shoulder whenever they leave the house for the rest of their lives.

If they’re making the concession for one philosophy, however, then they must make it for all of them. Expediency is one thing; one-eyed kowtowing very much another.

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