Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Top British Leftist wants to stymie young people who try hard to get a job
He claims to be moderate but sounds more like a Marxist. He wants to abolish a pathway to work for the really keen: unpaid internships
Nick Clegg will call for sweeping changes to internships today to try to break the ‘sharp elbowed’ middle-class stranglehold on the professions. Firms that fail to provide ‘financial support’ to interns could face investigation by HM Revenue and Customs over their compliance with the minimum wage laws.
Launching the Coalition’s social mobility strategy, the Deputy Prime Minister will also warn that the ‘well-connected’ middle classes enjoy an unfair advantage in getting work experience for their children. He will argue that internships have become a closed shop in many professions.
Mr Clegg will also criticise the practice of expecting interns to work for nothing, which he believes discriminates against youngsters from poorer backgrounds.
The Lib Dem leader will say: ‘For too long, internships have been the almost exclusive preserve of the sharp-elbowed and the well-connected. ‘Unfair, informal internships can rig the market in favour of those who already have opportunities. A country that is socially mobile bases opportunity on your ability and drive, not on who your father’s friends are.’
Lib Dem sources said Mr Clegg is determined to break the ‘old boys’ network’ that dominates many of the professions, such as the law, accountancy and architecture.
Research shows that just a quarter of working-class boys go on to get middle-class jobs. The 7 per cent of children at private schools account for more than half of the top level of most professions.
But the move will leave the Lib Dem leader open to charges of hypocrisy. The son of a millionaire banker was educated at £30,000-a-year Westminster School, and went on to enjoy three internships.
Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Warsi will announce plans to provide internships in every Whitehall department for youngsters from poorer backgrounds.
Employers are being asked to sign up to a ‘business compact’, which encourages the advertising of internships in state schools and provides at least basic living expenses. Ministers insist the strategy will improve social mobility across society, not just give a leg up to the poorest.
But the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies warns that the focus will involve ‘downward mobility for individuals from rich or middle-income families’.
How a "homeless" British man was barred from home town... only to have order overturned as it breached his human rights
Since he was prone to minor crime, the barring was a good low-key preventive
A homeless man has won the right to walk through the streets of an affluent Lancashire town after overturning an ASBO against him... because it breached his human rights. Simon Frodsham, 41, has been arrested more than 160 times for breaching the terms of his ASBO by walking through his home town of Lytham, in Lancashire.
For eight years, privately-educated Mr Frodsham had been banned from walking in the town and had spent much of the time in jail as a result. The cost of arresting him, keeping him in jail and time spent prosecuting him in court had escalated to more than £1.4million, Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard.
Mr Frodsham applies for his ASBO to be lifted - not because he was behaving himself, but because the order was not working and he claimed it infringed his human right to walk in his home town.
Steven Townley, representing him in court, said: 'My client believes the original order was made maliciously because he is the only homeless man in Lytham. 'This is a town with a high proliferation of millionaires with multi-million pound houses. This is a nimby ASBO. 'Had Mr Frodsham lived in Manchester or Liverpool or Blackpool there would be no order.'
Mr Townley told the court the first ASBO even banned his client from going into churches and drinking water in the streets. That order lasted for five years and the police successfully had it extended for another five years until 2013.
Mr Townley added: 'He is not anti-social, he merely walks into his home town, crossing an invisible line and gets arrested. 'It is the town where he has friends, where his mother lives and where he gets support. Apart from that, he is a man who likes to sleep under the stars.'
Steve Finnigan, Chief Constable of Lancashire Police, formally opposed the lifting of the ASBO. Chris Kehoe, representing the police, said: 'In many respects it would appear that this man breaches this ASBO because he wants to get arrested and get a meal and bed for the night. 'When the order was not in place he turned to crime and anti-social behaviour so in terms of protecting the public the order is working.'
Lifting the ban on Mr Frodsham, Judge Lowe said: 'Mr Frodsham should not be criminalised for walking down the streets of his home town, there is no evidence he has done anyone any harm of late.'
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Frodsham said: 'I have felt like a political prisoner who lost eight years of his life for nothing other than walking into my home town. 'I shall be taking up a compensation claim against the police for what I have lost.'
Some conservative views from Australia's Leftist Prime Minister
JULIA Gillard has reassured leaders of Australia's 20 major Christian churches that she supports traditional values and freedom of religion, and is listening to their concerns about the Greens' social agenda on legalising same-sex marriage and euthanasia.
The Christian leaders urged the Prime Minister to ensure that freedom of religion in public continued to be protected by law and a clear human right.
Ms Gillard repeated her personal opposition to same-sex marriage and euthanasia, while the church leaders told her of their concerns about changes to the anti-discrimination act that could make it more difficult for Christian schools to hire on the basis of religion.
Australia's Catholic leader, George Pell, told The Australian last night that the Prime Minister "as always" was "friendly and gave us a good hearing".
Cardinal Pell said the leaders told Ms Gillard: "We are very keen to ensure that the right to practise religion in public life continues to be protected in law. It is not ideal that religious freedom is protected by so called 'exemptions and exceptions' in anti-discrimination law, almost like reluctant concessions, crumbs from the secularists' table. What is needed is legislation that embodies and recognises these basic religious freedoms as a human right."
Cardinal Pell also asked Ms Gillard to do "what she could to protect the rights of religious minorities in Islamic countries, particularly for Coptic Christians in Egypt, whose situation has deteriorated in the last few months and worsened since the revolution".
The meeting with Ms Gillard in Canberra yesterday - which came as Tony Abbott took part in a charity bike ride part-sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons - was organised by Australian Christian Lobby chief Jim Wallace. Mr Wallace had organised similar meetings with Kevin Rudd when he was prime minister.
Leaders of the Catholic, Anglican, orthodox and evangelical churches all raised concerns about social policy agendas that threatened Christian values, and appealed for help for refugees.
The meeting came as Ms Gillard continues her fight with the Greens over "traditional family values", and as her Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, overturned a ban on giving religious books such as the Bible or the Koran to newly sworn-in citizens of Australia.
In recent weeks, Ms Gillard, who has publicly declared she is an atheist, has told parliament she can still recite scripture learned at her Baptist Sunday school and opposes euthanasia and same-sex marriage on the basis of maintaining traditional values.
The Prime Minister has portrayed herself as socially conservative and last Thursday attacked the values of the Greens, who "wrongly reject the moral imperative to a strong economy". "The Greens have some worthy ideas and many of their supporters sincerely want a better politics in our country," she said. "They have good intentions but fail to understand the centrepiece of our big picture - the people Labor strives to represent need work. And the Greens will never embrace Labor's delight at sharing the values of everyday Australians, who day after day do the right thing, leading purposeful and dignified lives, driven by love of family and nation."
Some moderation in Muslim-run Malaysia
Malaysia’s government said it would allow Malay-language Bibles to be printed locally, in a major concession to the country’s minority Christian community to soothe anger over seized shipments of their holy books.
The government’s announcement late Saturday comes ahead of an April 16 election in Sarawak state on Borneo island, where Christians account for more than 40 percent of the population. The poll is seen as a crucial barometer of support for Muslim-majority Malaysia’s ruling coalition that may determine whether it will call early general elections.
Christians have been angered over the seizures of tens of thousands of imported Malay-language Bibles by Malaysian customs authorities, some since 2009.
The seized Bibles violate a government ban on non-Muslim texts that use the word “Allah” as a translation for God amid concern it could confuse Muslims or be used to convert them. Malaysian Christians say the ban is unfair because the Arabic word is a common reference for God that predates Islam.
Idris Jala, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said in a statement that Bibles in all languages, including Malay, can now be printed locally. The move extends an olive branch to Christians, who previously had to import Malay-language Bibles from Indonesia.
Jala pledged there would be no restrictions on Malay-language Bibles in Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo, where there are large Christian communities.
However, he said books that are imported or printed in peninsula Malaysia must carry the words “Christian publication” and the sign of the cross on its front cover, in a move likely made to appease the country’s Muslim community.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia, which represents most of the country’s churches, said Sunday that church leaders will meet next week to discuss the government’s offer.
One of the Christian Federation’s leaders, the Rev. Hermen Shastri, said the proposal did not address the group’s call to revoke a long-standing government order that deems the Malay-language Bible a threat to national security. “The fact that the government is maintaining that position is a denial of our rights because the Bible is our holy book that enlightens people and not a threat to security,” he told The Associated Press.
It is unclear how the move would affect an ongoing court case on whether non-Muslims have the constitutional right to use the word “Allah.”
The government is appealing a December 2009 court ruling that religious minorities have the right to use “Allah.” The verdict caused a brief surge in tensions last year, when 11 churches were attacked amid anger among some Muslims. Muslims comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 28 million people, while Christians are about 10 percent.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.