Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, has suggested that the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square could be used for a statue of the recently deceased Margaret Thatcher. Personally, I think this is a bad idea. She was extremely divisive, and any statue would likely just be a target for vandalism.
If it is to go ahead, may I suggest an idea for a statue that might avoid the possibility of graffiti and damage?
It has become a tradition in Britain for political parties to accuse the BBC of bias whenever they are put under the pressure of scrutiny. It rarely turns out to be true, if ever, but today I, and many other people, noticed something that seems to give the idea some credibility.
It was a story about a protest in London against welfare cuts for disabled people. The Guardian’s website had the headline “Disability rights protesters bring Trafalgar Square traffic to a standstill“.
It would be inconceivable that the Beeb wouldn’t cover the story, wouldn’t it? Surely they’d lead with it, since it was in the capital. If a sparrow farts in London, it’s a more important story than anything that happens elsewhere.
I watched the BBC news, and I searched the BBC news website. Not a whisper.
Could it be that the BBC’s IT partners would be upset if the story broke? They are the ones who are being paid exorbitant amounts of money to make those welfare cuts, after all.
Edit: Thanks to the commenter “IfIMay” for the link to the BBC’s NewsWatch. If you feel strongly about this issue, please add your voice. Try and be polite though, as difficult as that may be!
Occasionally, just occasionally, I find myself in agreement with Boris Johnson. He is, of course, a politician, so I can console myself with the suspicion that he is being opportunistic, and maintain my slightly leftish equilibrium.
For a while now, Stonewall have been running a poster campaign:
Some Christians have said that the first part of that slogan, “some people are gay”, is a claim that gays are born that way, so they should, in turn, be allowed to run their own version of the Stonewall poster on the side of London buses:
The problem with their argument is that no such claim is made. The ad just says that some people are gay.
The problem with the distorted version of the ad, aside from possible copyright issues, is that it implies that being gay is an illness, and claims that it can be cured.
There is no evidence for this, aside from the anecdotes of people with a vested interest. Whether they are promoting their own, bigoted, religious viewpoint, or they are gay and trying to fit in with the people around them, their “evidence” is worthless.
Anyway, BoJo has banned that distortion from appearing on London buses.
Not everyone is as sanguine about the ban as I am. I can comfortably dismiss the complaints of “persecution” from whiny bigots, but others with a track record of opposing unfair discrimination make the very sensible point that such decisions, if made for the wrong reasons, could backfire on everyone else. I hope that the ban can be upheld for rational reasons. No doubt we’ll find out soon, as the decision faces a legal challenge from “Anglican Mainstream” and “Core Issues”, the groups behind the distortion. In the meantime, here’s the very best response (in my opinion) to the religious bigotry that spawned that hateful message (Note the attire of the man in the middle of the picture):