Tag Archives: human-rights

Demerara Sugar


“Dammit!” He whispered, quiet enough for the in-car mobile not to pick it up — or so he thought. “What the hell does Beccy want.”

“Sorry to interrupt your musical interlude Edward but will you pick up some demerara sugar on your way home, I need some for the desert.”

“Light or dark?”

“Light.”

“Will do.”

He abruptly cut her off, annoyed that she had interrupted the performance of Parsifal that he was listening to on Radio Three. Read more of this post

Heaven’s Gate — The Great Plains


This week on Facebook: My attention was drawn to the death of Michael Cimino who died early this month, remembered more for his epic disaster in directing the film Heaven’s Gate than his cinematic successes that led him to it. I am an aficionado of western movies and despite its critics Heavens Gate was no exception. I saw the demise of the Great Plains as being implicit to Cimino’s theme of the Johnson County war. Hollywood has exploited the origins of this despoliation of the Great Plains in films such as Dances With Wolves and Cimino’s Heavens Gate. His allusions in Heaven’s Gate are still valid in the history of the Great Plains which, in less than 200 years, the intervention of man — unwitting or not — has endangered its environmental stability and continues to do so.  Read more of this post

State Surveillance


This week on Facebook: I decided to conclude my research into aspects of the internet and especially those involving social media by focusing on State surveillance. Initially prompted by what I am sure was intended as an innocuous remark about an age of transparencyeach step that I have taken has led to posts that have drawn me deeper into the morass that is the internet and particularly that associated with social media. My research into surveillance by the State reinforces my dystopian view of the future regarding the changing of democracy in the UK.

It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. [Aldous Huxley — 1962 U.C. Berkley]  Read more of this post

Social Media and Terrorism


This week on Facebook: Posts on terrorism and the social media are easy to find given the obsession with jihadism in the global media where it is seen as the most prominent threat to the stability of any State and in particular to those States that espouse democracy. Those that the West call jihadists have a common interest with social media companies in wanting to reach a global audience. Read more of this post

Social Media as a Safe Space


This week on Facebook: It seems that however careful you are in your use of the internet it’s wrong to assume that you are in a safe space. This is particularly true if you interact with the social media and assume it to be the bastion of free expression that democracy allows. The  free expression and the rule of law assumed by you may not be interpreted the same way by others. Read more of this post

Justice Scalia Meets T.E. Utley


This week on Facebook I posted six abstracts taken from a 1968  paper by T. E. Utley with the title What Laws May Cure. Some Eighteen years later, in 1986, Justice Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court of The United States. Both men held morality central to their tenet and were both pragmatic conservatives, but whereas the former was concerned with politics formulating the law, the latter was concerned with the law dispensing justice. Discovering Justice Scalia’s views on morality and the law seems an apt moment to reintroduce the views of T.E. Utley¹.

Laws may be capable of doing little good, but we have learnt that they are powerful engines of evil, of consequences which their authors never intended or foresaw but which press hardly and deeply into the lives of ordinary people. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure Read more of this post

Conclusion


One of the most important tasks of the wise legislator in the field of morality is to do away with unnecessary restrictions which merely discredit authority. T.E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

In the end, it is not government which supplies the content of morals or even plays the main part in conveying them from one generation to the next. In Western civilisation it is the function of the family. How to strengthen that institution by emphasising instead of persistently diminishing its responsibilities is one of the main questions now facing us. Though it is much too large to be debated here, one aspect of this question must be briefly mentioned. Read more of this post

Issues Of Principle


The one fact which surely does emerge clearly is that legislation about morals, which so often raises passionate controversy, is peculiarly unsuitable for the attentions of either confirmed, profes­sional ‘reactionaries’ or confirmed, undiscriminating ‘progressives’. T.E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

We could, I am convinced, have spared ourselves a good deal of emotion and reached, on various matters, much sounder conclusions had this truth been recognised. Read more of this post

Liberty And Law


To an extent which is not generally realised, current controversy on the whole question of the relationship between legislation and moral­ity is still dominated by the thinking of John Stuart Mill a nineteenth century liberal intellectual. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

Since liberty was a good to be preserved, it followed that self-regarding actions were wholly outside the proper sphere of the State. A man’s liberty could only reasonably be curtailed in order to protect the liberty of others. It could never be right to coerce him for his own good. Could it really be assumed utterly wrong in all circumstances to restrain a man’s actions for the sake of safe-guarding his own interests? Read more of this post

The Conservative Dilemma


The notion that, if the function of the State is not precisely to make men good, then at least it is to establish the conditions in which they will be helped to be good and to present them constantly with a pattern of what constitutes good living, is far from wholly extinct. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

Today, it receives expression in such maxims as society being held together by a common moral tradition which the law must express and maintain. How can the laws be obeyed if they are not loved, and how can they be loved if they flout or even fail to assert the deepest moral convictions of the people? Burke’s admonition to Government was that it must tolerate frailties until they have festered into crimes. How can a party which is so deeply concerned with the dangers of State interference in economic affairs look with favour on the intrusions of government into far more intimate sectors of life? Read more of this post

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