Redefining the United Kingdom

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Not content with redefining marriage, as if this wasn’t presumptuous enough, the powers-that-be have now painted themselves into a corner, in which they may end up having to redefine the United Kingdom.  And this, to my horror, less than a year after I acquired the domain JohnAllman.UK for this blog.  And they will have to re-define the UK in such a way that an independent Scotland can remain in the UK, and hence in the EU, and in such a way that the British Commonwealth, like too many children nowadays, can have (so-to-speak) two mothers (i.e. mother countries).

IdeaWhen did the United Kingdom come into existence?  Was it in 1603, when James VI of Scotland started to wear a second crown on his one head?  Or was it in 1707, when the Scots and Westminster parliaments both voted to merge?

If the former, cannot Scots independence be viewed merely as redefining the UK to be the nation it was from 1603 to 1707?

I have not heard anybody comment upon the significance of a “yes” vote in the Scots referendum upon the Privy Council, for that matter.  Nor whether there will be two Royal Prerogatives in future.  And so on.

It is surely inconceivable that the monarch, to whom the armed forces swear allegiance, should have to risk the conflict of interests that allowing Scotland and the rest of us to have different foreign and defence policies might lead to, potentially finding ourselves on opposite sides in a future war.  We would not surely want the supreme commander of two armies, the constitutional monarch, on the advice of different ministers, to have to order two of her armies to fight one another.

(Before you say it, yes, I do realise that we are already at this risk in theory, in that we could get into a squabble with Canada.)

What we are going to need is a sort of meta-parliament of the UK, that decides those few policies, and enacts those few acts, that, subsidiarity notwithstanding, simply have to be decided at UK level, rather than in Scotland, England, or Wales, or Northern Ireland, or England-and-Wales-and-Northern-Ireland.

One cheap, fair and rational solution (which I remember thinking of when I was ten years old, in one of those “Why don’t they?” daydreams that children have) has surely always been to have only one parliamentary election.  (You may say I was a dreamer, but I wasn’t the only one.)

The Scots parliament thus becomes defined as the subset of MPs elected to Scottish seats of the UK Parliament, the English parliament becomes defined as the subset of MPs elected to English seats, the Welsh parliament becomes the subset of MPs elected to Welsh seats and the Northern Ireland parliament becomes the subset of MPs elected to Northern Irish seats.  There would also be a virtual parliament of Great Britain, all the MPs except those from Northern Ireland, an England-and-Wales parliament, and, theoretically, a Northern UK parliament, consisting of Scots and Northern Irish MPs, plus every other combination.

Presenting the same solution viewed from the opposite perspective, instead of defining (say) the Scots parliament as a subset of the UK parliament, the UK parliament could be defined as a union (in the sense of the word within the “set theory” of mathematics, sometimes called a “superset” by non-mathematicians) of the English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scots parliaments, but with each MP casting a block vote equal to the population of his constituency in his one-of-four homeland, rather than a single vote.  Whichever of the four countries one lived in, one would only need to vote for a single MP, in that country’s own local parliament.  Synods (so-to-speak) of all or some or the four parliaments could meet at Westminster, sitting as the UK parliament, or as (say) the Great Britain parliament, etc.

Thus the unity of the UK would be maintained, in the eyes of (say) the EU (and the domain registrars who have me down as now owning a dot UK domain).  The four sub-nations of the greater nation would be being treated absolutely equally.  A great deal of money would be saved.  Exemplary subsidiarity would be achieved.

Little that affected (say) only Wales or Scotland would ever again need to be decided partly by English MPs, but the little that did still need to be decided at UK level could continue to be decided at UK level.

The EU would not be able to insist that Scotland applied for EU membership.  We could continue to have one currency. The banks with their headquarters in Scotland would not feel the need to evacuate to London in a panic.  Englishmen would not need work permits to work in a Scotland that had left the EU, and Scots would not need to be placed in no better a position than (say) Nigerians, if they wanted to work in Wales, or Germany for that matter.

By some combination of (1) allowing MPs to appoint proxies with (so-to-speak) power of attorney to speak for them and to vote for them in divisions, during proceedings in Cardiff, Edinburgh or at Stormont that they could not attend because of commitments in Westminster, or vice versa, and (2) gloried remote conferencing technology that the likes of British Telecom, Google and Microsoft would love to tender to provide, this is all a great deal more achievable (and cheaper than anything more complicated, that increases, or misses the opportunity to reduce, the population size of the political class) than it would have been in 1603, or 1707.

With a little ingenuity, a similar approach could be used with the non-elected House of Lords, to keep all of the various parliaments bi-cameral.

As usual, I dare say that there is something wrong with how I am thinking.  I need my commenters to tell me what is wrong with how I am thinking though.

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Filed under General chit-chat, Law, Political, Satire and humour

Families Need Fathers meeting in Launceston

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by | Tuesday 9th September 2014 · 22:06

Homophobia – the hitherto elusive “gay cure”

One of the clichés often uttered or written in what nowadays passes for intelligent “debate” of contemporary social issues, is that those who are most vociferous against the evils of homosexuality (the behaviour, not the recently postulated “orientation”), are often people who have experienced most strongly the temptation to engage in homosexuality themselves.  Homophobes are accused of being “gay people” who are “in denial”.

That cliché isn’t always well-received by those on the – er – receiving end (a homoerotic turn of phrase if ever there was).  But I think there’s an element of truth in this cliché.  I find it entirely plausible, based upon my own experiences and those of the brother of the woman I love, that there really is a correlation – though how to measure it is another thing entirely – between homosexual child sex abuse victimisation, thoughts, feelings, impulses or deeds during one’s formative years, and so-called homophobia in one’s mature character.

Many homophobes accused of being “in denial” of their having a “sexual orientation” that is homosexual, tend to confirm the facile observation that they are indeed “in denial” (speaking literally), by promptly denying ever having been drawn towards homosexual practices.  Undeniably, denying something one hasn’t actually thought, said, felt or done in the first place, still surely amounts to “being in denial”.  The Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six were “in denial” from the moment they were accused of the crimes of which they were wrongly convicted, weren’t they?  What else is pleading “not guilty”, but “being in denial”?

I would never be so rude as to flatly contradict a homophobe who denied ever having experienced same sex attraction, by accusing him of lying.  I would certainly not insinuate that he was homophobic because he possessed a repressed homosexual “orientation”, but was in denial about that.  However, were it to have been as he insists that it had not, this would be, to me, all the more reason to congratulate him for his wise choice to flee from homosexuality, not greater reason to condemn him for resorting to homophobia to help him to flee.

Homophobia is a jolly effective defence mechanism – a coping mechanism – which I am almost certain most homophobic people adopt, usually on purpose, as an exercise of their free will, and from which they benefit themselves and others enormously.  I would like to promote an increase in homophobia in society.

Homophobia isn’t a bigotry or a hatred. It isn’t caused by wicked or unhealthy repression of one’s own homosexual inclinations.  Rather, repression of one’s own homosexual inclinations – working up a righteous fear or hatred of those inclinations in oneself and others – is actually all that so-called homophobia really is, at heart.

As such, homophobia meets a personal need.  It arguably meets a social need.  It often is perceived to meet a spiritual need.  And it is no more illegal than any other thought crime.  There is no Clause 28 prohibiting the promotion of homophobia.  Not even amongst youth, provided that this promotion of homophobia is done in an age-appropriate manner.  Nor should there be.

Anybody who says that there is no such thing as a “gay cure”, cannot have given homophobia a serious try yet. Choosing homophobia, working on one’s homophobia, and in time perfecting one’s homophobia, cures and prevents one from choosing homosexual behaviour – either from choosing that behaviour for the first time, or from choosing it again, for example in a moment of drunken lust, just to get through one night, when it wasn’t what one chose when sober, in the cold light of day, when sitting down to plan one’s whole life, if not also one’s eternity.

Why do so many, many people nowadays consider that it is noble to choose homosexuality, but ignoble to choose to refrain from homosexuality, and therefore to cultivate homophobia in oneself instead, as a deliberate defence mechanism?  Homophobia is the defence against homosexuality that works.  It is OK to be fearful of homosexuality, lest one might lapse, or relapse, into a vice in which one has resolved never – or never again – to indulge, and which one recommends that others also eschew or forsake.

Why do those who have chosen homosexuality and become set in their ways in that behaviour, get so angry with those of us who have chosen to run away from homosexuality instead, and have become just as set in our ways?  Why do they hate those of us who use the only defence mechanism that works, to prevent or cure homosexual behaviour in ourselves, and to enable us to keep our resolutions and to resist any and all temptations towards homosexual behaviour that come our way, throughout our lives? Why shouldn’t we who have discovered the joys and liberation of homophobia encourage our young to make the same choice as we did for ourselves, their deliberate cultivation in themselves of homophobia?

Why wouldn’t we fear the recruitment of our young into homosexuality, and fear this all the more when we happen to have been recruited into homosexuality ourselves during our own youths, and are so regretful of our pasts, and so glad that we escaped from that lifestyle?

Before I offer any answers of my own, to my own questions, please may I have some readers’ answers?

To summarise this post as an exam-style question:

“Homophobia is a legitimate, effective and desirable defence mechanism against homosexuality in the individual and in society.”

Discuss.

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Filed under Guest posts, Homophobic

Today’s EU Directive on Euthanasia

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The EU Directive published today on the right to die places the EU Commission on a direct collision course with the Council of Europe, which is still, in its European Convention on Human Rights, rather sold on the outdated notion of humans having a so-called “right to life” (Article 2).

The right to life is incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.  Because today’s Directive has direct applicability, the right to die established in today’s Directive is directly incorporated into UK law, with immediate effect, by the European Communities Act 1972.  This is an Act, which, as the late Master of the Rolls Lord Denning observed, Parliament may not have the freedom to repeal that it imagined it would have, when it passed the Act, even if UKIP gets elected to power.

As from today, therefore, without Parliament having to lift a legislative finger to implement the EU provision, the new British right to die now sits uncomfortably alongside the old British right to stay alive.

In many cases, the right to choose, of the patient himself, in this case to choose whether to stay alive or to be killed, will doubtless govern which of the two conflicting rights trumps the other.  However, in the cases of patients lacking the mental capacity to tell us whether they want to live or to die, some very interesting test cases are doubtless in the offing.

When the individual whose life is at stake lacks the mental capacity to decide for himself, who will decide for him, and on what basis? What if their family members do not agree?  For example, in the case of an unhappy or indifferent senior citizen with dementia, what happens if his son wants him dead, but his daughter wants him alive?  Or, in the case of a child too young to express verbally an informed choice as to whether he would prefer to be killed, or allowed to continue his life for its natural course, what if the mother wants the child dead, but the father wants the child alive?  Which relative’s wishes trump those of the other relative, in such difficult cases, and on what basis?

Happily, the Directive does make some small effort to address these difficult questions, in the brief section towards the end, on “safeguards”.  However, the safeguards seem to have been drafted primarily with elderly candidates for euthanasia in mind.  (Doubtless this is because the economic ill-effects were uppermost in the minds of the EU Commissioners when drafting the safeguards, of denying the right to die to unproductive senile baby boomers whose children are fed up with them losing control of their bowels at home.)

But equality is a well-established doctrine of modern European jurisprudence, reflected both in the cutting edge wisdom of the EU, and the antiquated vestigial impact of the anachronistic Convention of yesteryear.  And one well-recognised “protected characteristic” (to borrow a phrase from the Equality Act 2010) of today’s equality ethos is age.  Age Equality demands that the involuntary euthanasia safeguards promulgated in the Directive should be applied equally to granny, who has lost her mental capacity, and to junior, when junior is still only a baby, and who has thus not yet developed his or her own mental capacity, or (at least) the ability to communicate his preferences.

In the famous Factortame test case, the House of Lords considered the effect of the European Communities Act 1972 upon the later Merchant Shipping Act 1988.  The court drove a cart and horse through the doctrine of the Legislative Supremacy of the Queen in Parliament.  The court simply “disapplied” the later Act, as though Parliament had never even bothered to pass the Merchant Shipping Act in the first place.  The entire Merchant Shipping Act became a nullity.  It was as good as repealed, by our highest court, which knew that it and the rest of us were subservient to the EU, and which reminded Parliament in no uncertain terms that so was Parliament, and retrospectively to boot.

If the safeguards in today’s euthanasia Directive, drafted with those near the natural ends of their lives in mind, are applied evenly to those at the beginning of their lives, our new Supreme Court will need to deploy considerable sophistry, in order to avoid disapplying the Abortion Act 1967, by applying the same reasoning as prevailed in the House of Lords in Factortame.

The profitability of the killing industry overall won’t be affected, because what will be lost on the roundabouts will likely be gained on the swings, so-to-speak.  The British Pregnancy Advisory Service and others have the option of diversifying, to save their businesses from bankruptcy, and perhaps even to cash in on the latest change big time. Fewer customers, but much bigger ones, would be carried through their doors.  They could charge the relatives more for each unit of human death service delivered than they have been getting away with charging per capita for the greater number of little ones killed hitherto.

But what about the climate?  In which direction will the calorific yield move, of the sum total of the corpses that fuel the crematoria that nowadays heat our hospitals?   The yield will certainly increase in the short term, as the new law is tested in the courts.  But long-term?  It’s hard to say.  On the one hand, as abortionists love to remind us (as though this was remotely relevant to the ethics of their industry), many of their victims are really quite small when they meet their untimely ends.  But on the other hand, an awful lot of the little ones euthanased have gone up the chimney since the Abortion Act 1967, Roe v Wade, etc.  Eight million or so in the UK the last time I checked, and about seven times that number in the USA.   I will leave to others the task of calculating the net effect upon anthropogenic climate change of today’s surprising change in the law.  Will the change increase or reduce the affect upon the climate wrought by the carbon footprint of humanity’s killing and incineration of its unwanted members?

This is a year that is likely to be remembered in British legal history for many generations.  If the lawyers are on their toes, today’s EU Directive will enrich their beleaguered professions, lead to a resolution of the pension crisis in about twenty five years time, and in the mean time save many a father from the grief of losing a son or daughter to the widespread euthanasia of the very young, at the whim of his son or daughter’s mother.  This change will save more innocent lives amongst the young and small, than the guilty and the innocent lives of the large and aged it destroys put together.  Provided, that is, that the benefits of the euthanasia safeguards, drafted for the benefit of the old, and hidden near the end of the EU Resolutionare extended to the young, in the name of Age Equality.

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Filed under April fool!, Human Rights, Law, Pro-life, Satire and humour

Why foster carers, but not natural parents?

In the House of Lords recently, there was an amendment drafted, and maybe moved, to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, that would have protected would-be foster carers from being denied the opportunity to foster other people’s looked-after children, because the would-be foster carers held dissident opinions about “same sex marriage”.

Amazingly, it seems that none of the peers has thought of a much more serious related issue.  None of them have suggested an amendment to protect real parents from having their children taken off them, because the parents hold dissident views about “same sex marriage”.

For a recent example of this actually happening, you only need to read the following guest post to this blog, by “Gagged Dad”, who will have to conceal his real name, unless and until (please God) a brave Parliamentarian takes off Gagged Dad’s “gag” for him, by mentioning him by name, and his plight, on an occasion of Parliamentary Privilege.  (I have his contact details.)

Two year-old’s contact stopped with “homophobic” dad

By tabling amendments that address the likelihood of discrimination in employment against foster carers and school teachers – a purge of all such dissidents from these professions is almost inevitable if the Bill is passed, the Lords have shown that they have at least woken up to the fact that some people have an agenda of limiting the access of those with traditional opinions about “same sex marriage” to children.  But not one of the peers has had the gumption yet, to work out the worst of where this agenda is heading, not just ultimately, but in the here and now, even before the legislation is passed (if, God forbid, it is ever passed).  Not just preventing those with certain beliefs having access to other people’s children.  Also preventing such people from having access to their own children.

Put simply, the threat to parents, from social workers and the secret family courts, whom none may criticise publicly using his real name on peril of imprisonment for contempt of court, is nowadays stark.  Abandon your beliefs about marriage being what you thought it was, or we will take your children off you and give them to strangers, who won’t necessarily be a couple, one of each sex, like their real mum and dad.  Or, if you are (for example) a father (like Gagged Dad), who disagrees with “same sex marriage”, and your children live with their mother, kiss them goodbye, because we will make sure you never see them again.  We will take them off their mother too, if she doesn’t do what we want her to do (i.e. stopping them from seeing you), or if she doesn’t think what we want her to think.

The solution is simple.  Amend the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, to add an amendment to the Children Act, that protects  natural families from being dismantled as a punishment for dissidence about “same sex marriage” on the part of either or both parents.  (Either that, or to vote down the entire Bill, because no such protection is included.)

Over a hundred members of the House of Lords have accepted invitations to follow this blog, or at least their staff who monitor their email have, on their behalf.  It remains to be seen whether any of them bother to try to do anything, to curtail this interference with family life, and to stop it spreading.

See also:  B*ggers CAN be choosers!

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Filed under Homophobic, Human Rights, Law, Political

Lots in a name

You and me me baby ain’t nothing but mammals.  So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” [Bloodhound Gang]

It should humble us to remind ourselves what we are.  Biologically speaking, humans are animals, who reproduce sexually, by mating.  Some say that that is all we are.  Even those who say we are more than this, admit that we are, at least, this.

Many other species have instincts that determine the mating behaviours used in their sexual reproduction.  These behaviours cover a wide range.

Mating behaviours found in species that reproduce sexually include those which involve parents never knowingly meeting one another or their offspring.  A female lays unfertilised eggs and goes on her way.  Later, a male passes by, notices the eggs (or not as the case may be), and casually fertilises them, before going on his way.  Some time later, the eggs hatch, and the offspring fend for themselves thereafter.

Other species instinctively form life-long pair bonds to do their breeding, with both parents sharing quite intense and long-lasting, offspring-rearing responsibilities.

We humans have less instinct, and more reason, than other animals.  We therefore have choices to make, as to which of the wide variety of reproductive sexual behaviours observed in the animal kingdom we wish to practise ourselves.  We have even had the ingenuity to invent some new reproductive behaviours of our own .

In the past, governments have felt entitled (and perhaps even obliged) to encourage certain choices over others.  Governments have taken into account that some of our sexual reproductive behaviours would be disfavoured by natural selection, if they were instinctive rather than chosen, because they harm children.   One of the longest-lasting and most widespread of governmental encouragements of one particular reproductive lifestyle in preference to another, has been “marriage” as still found in most post-Christian societies, and indeed elsewhere in the world.

So, referencing back to biology, that is what marriage is.  The view of marriage of a secular anthropologist is that is a social convention, encouraging us to mate and raise our young like swans, not like salmon do.

Same sex domestic partnerships aren’t equivalent to the traditional marriages that they mimic.   To maintain a linguistic distinction between the real thing and the mimicry, wouldn’t therefore be to belittle the mimicry, as something other than “equal” to marriage.   Still less would maintaining the distinction amount to moralising.  The linguistic distinction doesn’t speak explicitly about sex acts; neither the mating that begets children and consummates marriages; nor the parodies of the mating act with which those who mimic marriage’s domesticity with others of their own sex amuse themselves.   It was a previous and recent British government that introduced this linguistic distinction in the first place, when it invented “civil partnerships” as, in effect, same sex marriages by a different name.  Why did some Labour MPs who had voted to introduce that linguistic distinction in the first place, recently repent of their former decision, and vote to abolish the linguistic distinction that they had proudly helped to introduce themselves in the first place?

Some (myself included) have toyed with the idea that governments should get out of the marriage business altogether.   Sad though it would be to witness the passing of an era that had lasted so long that nobody can rightly remember when it began.  Since many governments (our own included) appear to have forgotten what marriage is, perhaps those governments at least, should get out of the marriage business, and leave it to the multiple cultures of our multi-cultural society, to define marriage for themselves, all of us differently, however we wish.  Would that really be to make the diverse cultures too “equal”?

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Transoriented erasure

Who gets the better deal?  Transgendered people, or transoriented people?

Today, not for the first time, I read a comment complaining that people who are transgendered face problems of non-acceptance.  It reminded me of the non-acceptance experienced by people who are, or who want to become, transoriented.

Transgendered people and transoriented people both experience non-acceptance, and for the same basic reason.

Transgendered people are (for example) male, but want to be accepted in future as female (or vice versa).  In some cases, trangendered people have had their bodies changed, so that they resemble more their acquired gender, and less their birth gender.  Transgendered people experience rejection on the part of people with strong, fixed beliefs.  Beliefs that it is impossible for a man really to change himself, or be changed, into a woman (or vice versa).

Transoriented people (as I am defining the term here) have a similar tale to tell.  They have experienced (for example) same sex attraction, but have decided that they want in future to be people who are attracted to the opposite sex (or vice versa).  They want other people to accept them as they are, complete with their desire to change, or that fact of their having already changed, their “sexual orientation” (so-to-speak).  But, unlike transgendered people, they have changed their minds rather than their bodies, so that their behaviour resembles more that of their acquired sexual orientation than the sexual orientation with which they have formerly identified.  Transoriented people often experience rejection on the part of people with strong, fixed beliefs too.  Beliefs, in this case, that it isn’t possible for somebody who has in the past said that he has had a homosexual orientation really to change into somebody who now has a heterosexual orientation to all practical intents and purposes.

Which do you think is the more unkind? Being transgendered and finding oneself shunned or insulted by people who don’t believe that changing one’s gender by changing one’s body is possible?  Or being transoriented, and finding oneself shunned or insulted by different people, who don’t believe that changing one’s sexual orientation by changing one’s mind is possible?

Despite the obvious parallels between the plight of both transgendered people and the transoriented people, health professionals seem willing to offer transgendered people and transoriented people completely different “help” (if one can call what they offer “help”, in either case).

During the past few years, I think that I have discerned an increase in the tolerance shown to transgendered people.  Those who say that they have changed their gender by changing their bodies are more accepted than they were.  During the same period, I have noticed an increased intolerance shown towards transoriented people.  Those who say that they have changed their sexual orientation by changing their minds are disliked more than ever.

Bus

Click on the picture to access the link

Transport For London banned an advertisement recently, which they had accepted an order to display, on the sides of London buses.  All the banned advert did, was to remind the public politely, that transoriented people exist, and are proud, and suggested that any members of the public with a bad attitude towards transoriented people should “get over it”.   What was so controversial about that?  Yet some of the verbal abuse directed at transoriented people during the discussion that followed in various web places was a sight to behold.

I wonder how the sizes of the trangendered and transoriented populations compare.  Even more, I wonder why transgendered people are better accepted than the transoriented people.  Changing one’s mind isn’t as drastic as changing one’s body, but it seems to be far less socially acceptable.  Why is there such a double standard?

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Filed under Homophobic, Human Rights, Satire and humour