The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'Liberty' Category

07 February
Comments Off on FORGET THE SUFFRAGETTES…..IT WAS THE SUFFRAGISTS WHO WON THE VOTE FOR WOMEN

FORGET THE SUFFRAGETTES…..IT WAS THE SUFFRAGISTS WHO WON THE VOTE FOR WOMEN

 

 

WHEN THE LENS OF WISHFUL THINKING TURNS HISTORY INTO MYTH

 

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Much of the reporting about the centenary of the granting of votes to women has been strong on emotion and weak on historical facts. Most of the narrative has been about the “suffragettes” and their militancy, with various celebs and politicians decked out in purple, white and green, the WSPU (suffragette) colours.

In fact most of the heavy lifting for women’s suffrage was done by Millicent Fawcett’s “suffragists” (NUWSS) who favoured non violent campaigning. It could well be argued that it was the NUWSS effort that won the right to vote. Yet they (and their colours of red.white and green) have today been overshadowed by the Pankhursts and the suffragettes.

Curiously enough the NUWSS was a tad more left wing than the suffragettes. The WSPU abandoned action in 1914 and fully supported WW1. Although Fawcett also supported the war she had to be more circumspect because many of her members were pacifists. Nevertheless today even left wingers were decked out in purple white and green when they should have been red, white and green.

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Maybe the passionate grandstanding of the suffragettes has a greater resonance with 21st century culture than the equally determined but less theatrical behaviour of the suffragists. However, although the current commemorations focus, quite rightly, on women gaining the right to vote and the democrat in me celebrates that landmark, the historian in me does get irritated when facts get….massaged…..

“The failure of a second bill in 1867 led to the formation of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage in Manchester, gradually joined by numerous other branches around the country, which were united in 1897 in the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. The suffragists of the NUWSS were many more in number than the militants who in 1903 set up the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) and adopted direct militant action as tactics. By 1914 the NUWSS had 50,000 members, the WSPU 5,000. The NUWSS retained their focus on peaceful campaigning: petitioning, demonstrating, writing, speaking and teaching, organising and lobbying in favour of the vote. Many of them saw the violent tactics of the suffragettes as bringing the movement and the credibility of women as aspiring responsible members of political society into disrepute and compromising the female values which they argued were needed in government and society and which necessitated that women should have a vote.”

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05 January
Comments Off on “It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances”….At last – a judge with common sense..

“It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances”….At last – a judge with common sense..

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Evangelical Protestant preacher Pastor James McConnell from Belfast is, unlike many 21st century public figures, not a man given to nuance. Such a character, naturally, fits awkwardly with the modern state which increasingly seeks to discourage vigorous and robust debate. Hand in hand with the legions of the easily offended who patrol social media to hunt out and silence anyone who upsets their sensibilities our political and judicial masters are happy to enact and enforce laws to metaphorically cut out the tongues of those refuse to avoid giving “offence”

Thus Pastor McConnell, as a result of a sermon he preached to his congregation in May 2014 that was also streamed over the internet was charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

The state sought to punish him for making this statement.

‘Today we see powerful evidence that more and more Muslims are putting the Koran’s hatred of Christians and Jews alike into practice. ‘Now people say there are good Muslims in Britain, that may be so but I don’t trust them. Enoch Powell was right and he lost his career because of it. ‘Enoch Powell was a prophet and he told us that blood would flow in the streets and it has happened.

‘Fifteen years ago Britain was concerned of IRA cells, right throughout the nation they done a deal with the IRA because they were frightened of being bombed. Today a new evil has arisen. There are cells of Muslims right throughout Britain. Can I hear an Amen?

‘Right throughout Britain and this nation is going to enter a great tribulation and a great trial. To judge by some of what I have heard in the past few months you would think that Islam was a little more than a variation of Christianity and Judaism, not so. 

‘Islam’s ideas about God about humanity, about salvation are vastly different from the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.’ 

Words, claimed the prosecution, deliberately designed to offend Muslims.

Not so, said the Pastor.

no way I was out to hurt them – I wouldn’t hurt a hair on their head. But what I am against is their theology and what they believe in.

But, from the moment he was charged he remained defiant and said that he would not stop preaching the Christian gospel even if the price was finding himself behind bars.

Certainly there were expectations that the state’s aim of shutting him away in a cell would come to pass in this age of tender feelings. But a miracle happened – or rather an equally unexpected manifestation – a justice with common sense in the person of District Judge Liam McNally.

‘The courts need to be very careful not to criminalise speech which, however contemptible, is no more than offensive. ‘It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances. ‘Accordingly I find Pastor McConnell not guilty of both charges.’

I rejoiced at that judgement. I might or might not agree with the Pastor on what he said. But I would be outside the courthouse clapping the verdict. Not because I supported his sermon – but because I supported his right to preach it. Just as I would be perfectly entitled to then stand up on a soapbox and rip into everything he said.

It is incredibly illiberal for the state to police hatred. Hatred might not be big or clever, but it’s only an emotion. And officialdom has no business telling us what we may feel — or think, or say, or write. Allowing the state to monitor belief represents a brutal reversal of the Enlightenment itself. John Locke, in his Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), set the tone for the Enlightenment as an attempt to ‘settle the bounds’ between the business of government and the business of morality. ‘The business of laws is not to provide for the truth of opinions, but for the safety and security of every particular man’s goods and person’, he wrote. That ideal is now turned on its head. Across Europe, governments ‘provide for the truth of opinions’, and in the process they silence those they don’t like and patronise the rest of us, reducing us to imbeciles incapable of working out what is right and wrong, and of speaking out against the wrong.

A small but significant victory in the fightback against a censorship being imposed by those who consider themselves morally superior to the rest of us. But we must resist the temptation to sheathe our swords.

There will be many more Pastor McConnells to defend…..

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04 October
Comments Off on What The Anti Daily Mail Faux Outrage Over Miliband Is Really All About

What The Anti Daily Mail Faux Outrage Over Miliband Is Really All About

 

 

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Believe me, this is why the BBC, the Guardian and the legions of the liberal left are fanning the flames of faux outrage over the Daily Mail. They want all the press to reflect only the “approved” world view of the taxpayer funded BBC.

God help us if that comes to pass….

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16 July
Comments Off on Beware – Cameron’s Plan To Turn Schools Into Child Minding Facilities Is A Ploy To Bind Families Closer To The State

Beware – Cameron’s Plan To Turn Schools Into Child Minding Facilities Is A Ploy To Bind Families Closer To The State

So it’s official – schools exist not to be places of learning where children acquire the social, intellectual and emotional skills to inherit and improve on their common cultural inheritance but are essentially child minding facilities designed to relieve parents of the responsibility of bringing up their own offspring.

The traditional 9am to 3pm school day does not always fit the demands of working parents, and not enough schools offer before- and after-school activities that meet childcare requirements, according to a new Government report. Childcare is a “major concern” for families, with parents often finding it difficult to arrange the right care at the right price, it says.

It’s convenient with employers because it helps to expand the workforce and maintain a pool of cheap labour. It sends a message to consumers that it’s fine to spend rather than save – goodbye deferred gratification, hello I want it now. Above all it binds families closer to the state and undermines the spirit of independence, the sheer awkward bloody mindedness that made our forefathers suspicious of government.

It’s a poisoned chalice – but do we have the will to dash it from our lips?

 

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21 March
Comments Off on Keep The Internet Free – Tell Politicians And Celebrities To “BLOG OFF”

Keep The Internet Free – Tell Politicians And Celebrities To “BLOG OFF”

A free and open world increasingly depends on a free and open internet. The internet empowers everyone — anyone can blog, create, learn, and share. It is controlled by no one — no single organisation, individual, or government. It connects the world. Today, more than two billion people are online — about a third of the planet

Guido Fawkes is convinced that  a sinister cartel of shady politicians, third rate academics and sleazy celebrities is not just out to handcuff  the press but is also  on a mission to emasculate the wild untamed blogosphere and bring the “free and open world” of the internet under the control of the new “Ministry of Truth” so he has launched a call to arms to fight against this threat.

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Tell them to BLOG OFF by signing your support here

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