Sunday, April 22, 2012
Christian radio ad banned by order of a British Cabinet minister: So much for the 'Christian fightback', Mr Cameron
This ban would seem to prove the point that the Christian group was trying to make
David Cameron's 'Christian fightback' has been undermined in the courts by one of his own Cabinet ministers.
A radio station was barred from broadcasting an advertisement on the rights of Christians at work after an intervention by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Hunt said the advert should be kept off the air because it was 'political'.
A High Court judge agreed yesterday and said that Premier Christian Radio was 'trying to make changes to society'.
Mr Justice Silber ruled that the station should be banned from airing the advert, which asked for information from listeners who feel marginalised at work.
Mr Hunt is the second of Mr Cameron's ministers seeming to go against the Prime Minister's claim earlier this month that a 'Christian fightback' is under way and that 'the values of Christianity are the values that we need'.
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone has opposed the rights of Christians to wear crosses at work in a submission of the Government's views in two test cases to the European Court of Human Rights.
She has told the European judges that the Government believes Christians denied the right to wear a cross at work should find another job.
In his judgment in the Premier Radio case, Mr Justice Silber said that 'it must be stressed that it has not been suggested in any way that the stance of the Secretary of State is in any way anti-Christian, or that his reasoning would not apply to any other religion'.
But radio station chief Peter Kerridge said the ruling was 'wholly reminiscent of a totalitarian state' and 'a direct threat to the democratic right to freedom of speech'.
The case was brought after the radio advertising regulator said the 30-second advert should not be broadcast because it was 'directed to a political end'.
The advert said that, according to surveys, 60 per cent of Christians think believers are being increasingly marginalised at work. It asked listeners to report their own experiences to its website because 'we are concerned to get the most accurate data to inform the public debate'. The advertisement said: 'We will then use this data to help make a fairer society.'
The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre, an industry-funded body which checks radio ads to ensure that they comply with the law, said the appeal should not be broadcast.
When the radio station went to court to challenge the decision, Mr Hunt stepped in to ask the judge to enforce it.
Mr Justice Silber said in his ruling: 'The advertisement was seeking to obtain information and it stated that such information would be used to inform the public debate and to help make a fairer society. 'This information which it was seeking would be used so as to try to make changes to society.'
He said the regulator was right to halt the advert because it was political, and he added that the rules did not break European human rights guarantees of freedom of expression.
Mr Kerridge said after the ruling: 'Our application was dismissed because we planned to inform the public debate and help make a fairer society. 'The decision represents a direct threat to the democratic right to freedom of speech and we intend to continue the fight through the appeal process. 'It greatly reduces the right of ordinary people to have their say in democratic debate and, regrettably, seems to be wholly reminiscent of a totalitarian state.
'Surely all reasonable and decent people from all walks of life would wish to see a fairer society and to engage in a robust debate as to how that society would look.'
Christians have notably failed to win any of a series of legal clashes over the past two years. Losses have included those of an Islington registrar who declined to conduct civil partnership ceremonies and a Relate counsellor who refused to give sex advice to gay couples.
In a further case, Christian hoteliers were refused the right to decline to let rooms to unmarried couples.
Unfortunate woman gravely misled by Leftist ideology
All the research says genetics is the major influence on behaviour, with family influence virtually nil. But Leftists preach the opposite. So the woman below was misled into adopting two little girls born of a feral mother
Cherry and John believed bringing up the sisters in a stable and loving home with all its middle-class trappings — a large five-bedroom house, a village school and supportive grandparents — would conquer all. They had hoped to create a happy family life and raise well-adjusted girls.
Sadly, the reality couldn’t have been more different. Despite the couple’s utmost devotion, today both daughters, now in their early 20s, are in prison.
Maryann’s crime was so shocking — she was one of a vicious gang who burnt and tortured a vulnerable woman with a red-hot iron and slashed her with a kitchen knife — that it made national newspaper headlines.
Today Cherry, 52, still struggles to comprehend what happened to her children — and admits that in many ways the adoption has ruined her life. Her marriage to John crumbled under the strain and she suffered a stroke, which doctors put down to severe stress.
So where did it all go wrong? And does this story demonstrate a child’s genetic make-up determines their future, rather than the love and care lavished on them?
‘It seems naive now but we did think time and lots of love would be enough,’ says Cherry. ‘The first sign something was wrong came shortly before we adopted the girls. We’d been to visit them at the foster parent’s house, where we saw Maryann suddenly turn on her foster mother and scratch her face.
‘It was a shocking attack — she violently grabbed the woman’s chin and really dug her nails in. But the social worker just brushed it off. She told us “once she’s in a permanent and loving home, she’ll soon settle down”. John and I believed her.’
They put the incident out of their minds, just overjoyed to be parents at last. ‘From a young age, I’d always yearned to be a mum. But when I met John I had to tell him I couldn’t give him any children. I’d already had five miscarriages in a previous relationship. I’d also had two stillborn babies and lost both of my fallopian tubes in ectopic pregnancies.’
After she and John underwent two failed courses of IVF, they decided to adopt. A year later, in January 1992, having undergone rigorous checks with social services, Cherry and John, 34, were finally approved for adoption.
Within three months, following several visits to the girls, they brought their new daughters home.
Cherry, from Bath, recalls: ‘For years I’d watched enviously as friends and family all had babies. Now I threw myself into being a mum, determined that Maryann and Nicola would have the very best of everything.
‘John and I painted the spare room pink, splashed out on brand new prams and dressed the girls in designer clothes. When I went out passers-by commented on how gorgeous they both were and I was so proud.’
The girls appeared to settle well. ‘Maryann called us “new Mummy and new Daddy” at first, but within weeks she was just calling us Mummy and Daddy.’
However, six weeks after they arrived, there was a chilling sign of the mayhem to come.
‘I had given Maryann a box of dolls,’ recalls Cherry. ‘I could hear her in her bedroom singing to herself, but when I went in I was horrified. Every single doll had been dismembered — their limbs had been wrenched off and their eyes gouged out. It must have taken all her strength. Yet, Maryann just sat there looking angelic.’
When she began playgroup, her frightening behaviour quickly escalated.
‘She couldn’t play properly with other children. If she wanted a toy, she would hit them violently. She swore and she kept soiling herself. After a matter of only weeks, the playgroup expelled her.’
Shortly after, the couple moved from their luxury flat into a large 17th century five-bedroom house in Wiltshire with rambling and formal gardens.
Maryann began at the local village school — but the same problems occurred.
‘I would turn up at school to find the teacher with a bag of stinking clothes where Maryann kept soiling herself,’ says Cherry. ‘And it wasn’t long before we were called in to see the head teacher. Maryann was out of control — she couldn’t concentrate on her work, she kept running off and taking off her clothes inappropriately in the playground. She even climbed a builder’s ladder onto the school roof.
‘She was slapping other children and stealing from them. Heartbreakingly, she had no friends — we invited people to her birthday party and no one turned up.’
Worse, the school head and social services pointed the finger at Cherry and her husband. 'Humiliatingly we were asked if we had problems in our marriage that were making Maryann like this.’
By now Cherry had discovered in a newspaper that the girls’ biological mother had recently been imprisoned for 15 years for murder. For legal reasons, the Mail cannot reveal the full circumstances of her crime.
‘That terrified me — could Maryann have inherited any of her traits? And yet when we asked social services for help, all they gave us were parenting tips such as making reward charts. All our requests for professional help were ignored.’
Maryann’s behaviour got worse. ‘She destroyed her bedroom, pulling all her furniture apart and swinging on it and breaking it.’
With hindsight, Cherry says that as she got older Nicola, too, was prone to tantrums. ‘We didn’t realise she, too, was having behavioural difficulties, such as finding it hard to concentrate at school, because our attention was so taken up with Maryann.’
The older girl’s behaviour increasingly wore the couple down.
‘John was old-fashioned. He’d been educated privately and believed sterner discipline was the key, such as sitting on a naughty chair for long periods. But Maryann didn’t care — she could sit there for hours.
‘I believed hugging her when she had a tantrum was the answer. Nothing worked, but discussing what to do for the best caused endless heated rows between us.’
Soon John and Cherry were sleeping in separate rooms.
By the time Maryann was nine, Cherry took her to see her GP, who referred them to family counselling – but once again they were simply ‘lectured on parenting techniques’. Aged ten, Maryann was seen by an educational psychiatrist.
‘I suggested Maryann needed specialist help — but was refused because although she was causing mayhem, she wasn’t doing anything such as smoking, which they saw as a sign that a child was off the rails.’
Cherry says: ‘All of it took a huge toll on our marriage. John was often away on business and would come home and blame me for not being stricter, while I felt resentful he was away and I was left to cope on my own. The adoption and the worry had just taken over our lives. ‘Any spark John and I had was long gone and replaced by bitter blame and rows. If we hadn’t adopted, I believe we would still be together. But the strain ruined our marriage.’
The strain proved so much that Cherry had a stroke, spending six weeks in hospital while her mother looked after Maryann. ‘Despite exhaustive tests, doctors couldn’t find a cause and told me they believed it was due to severe stress.’
Maryann was to spend the rest of her teenage years going from one care home to another, committing a trail of petty crimes such as theft. Cherry continued to visit her in the homes, and never gave up on her. ‘But no one, no care home, could cope,’ she says.
By now Nicola was also becoming a problem. Cherry says: ‘Although Nicola wasn’t violent like her sister, she’d always had problems.
‘By the age of 14, she, too, was expelled from school. A year later she emptied my bank account and went on a spending spree. It was the final straw and I was forced to put Nicola into a home for troubled teens.’
The problems didn’t end there. ‘In 2010, she met a lad with similar problems and made the mistake of trying to smuggle drugs to him in prison.’
Nicola was caught and sentenced to 18 months in jail. By the time she was imprisoned, in December 2010, Maryann was also under arrest for her part in the gang attack and torture of the vulnerable woman.
She hadn’t calmed down while in care, nor when she’d been given her own flat by the council on turning 18. ‘She smashed it up and allowed drifters in,’ says Cherry. ‘It was just a slippery slope until something terrible happened.’
It did — and in March last year, Maryann, 22, was jailed for eight years after admitting false imprisonment and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
‘Ironically they have followed exactly the same pattern as their mother,’ says Cherry. Today John rarely sees the girls. Cherry occasionally visits them in prison — most recently in October last year.
Urban Outfitters promoting homosexuality
Clothing giant Urban Outfitters, fresh from their previous outing with controversy after stocking supplies from the communist-sympathizing Obey Clothing, has gotten on the wrong side of consumers again, this time with an ad in their April clothing catalogue depicting two women kissing.
In response, the group One Million Moms, which advertises itself as opposed to the exploitation of children in the media, has taken to its website to denounce the picture and call on parents to throw out any Urban Outfitters catalogues they receive.
Australia: A typical Leftist attack on responsible people
People who have saved rather than spending all their money as soon as they get it are to be penalized by not getting the same retirement benefits as the shiftless. And since those who have saved have almost certainly put more into the system by way of taxes, it is doubly unfair
SELF-FUNDED retirees and part-pensioners will be forced to pay more for aged care under means tests from July 2014. But seniors will be protected against over-charging by life time fee caps of $60,000 and new rules to limit costs.
Family homes will be spared from new means tests as long as they have a family member living in them.
The changes are part of a $3.7 billion overhaul of aged care announced by the Gillard Government yesterday to prepare the "creaking" system for growing demand from ageing Baby Boomers.
Julia Gillard said the changes would address a "crisis" in aged care that saw a massive shortage of care packages and expensive upfront bonds imposed on nursing home residents.
She defended the new means tests, saying they would ensure people paid what they could afford. "For the first time in aged care, fairness will also get a look in," Ms Gillard said. "For too long, pensioners have had to subsidise those who are much better off. "Those who can support themselves and contribute a bit more should, and we must look after the needs of those who can't."
The aged-care shakeup would focus on helping older people stay at home and prevent those who go into residential care from being forced into fire sales of their family homes, Ms Gillard said.
More elderly people will be able to live in their homes after the Government creates about 40,000 new subsidised home care packages over the next five years.
But for the first time, people receiving new at-home care will be hit with extra "care fees" of up to $5000 a year for part-pensioners and $10,000 for self-funded retirees earning more than $43,000 a year. The new charges will only affect people who need aged care for the first time after July 1, 2014.
Fee packages will come with cooling off periods in a bid to end the practice of elderly people being forced to sell their homes quickly to secure a nursing home place.
People who rely solely on the aged pension, who make up about 51 per cent of those in aged care now, will not pay any extra fees above current basic charges of up to 17.5 per cent of the single pension.
Accommodation charges and other fees will be assessed by a new Aged Care Financing Authority modelled on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority.
Five Myths of America's 'Racist' Criminal Justice System
Calling America's criminal justice system "racist" is not confined to "civil rights leaders" like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Then-Sen. Barack Obama, during the 2008 presidential campaign, said it, too. Blacks and whites, said Obama, "are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates (and) receive very different sentences ... for the same crime."
When the man who became president of the United States says this -- the No. 1 law enforcement officer -- it must, therefore, be true. Let's examine five major assumptions behind this assertion.
1) Blacks are arrested at higher rates compared to whites -- but wrongly so.
Not true. While only 13 percent of the population, blacks accounted for 28 percent of nationwide arrests in 2010 and 38.1 percent of arrests for violent crime (murders, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault). But are they unfairly arrested? Studies find that arrest rates by race are comparable to the race of suspect identification by victims.
For example, in a given city, x number of robbery victims describe their assailants as black -- whether or not the suspect has been apprehended. It turns out that the race of those arrested matches the percentage given by victims. This has been found repeatedly across the country, in all categories of crime where the race of an assailant is identified. So unless the victims are deliberately misidentifying their assailants -- unconcerned about whether the suspect is apprehended and knowingly give a false race -- blacks are not being "over-arrested."
2) Blacks are convicted at higher rates and given longer sentences than whites for the same crime.
Not true. Differences in conviction and sentencing rates by race are due to differences in the gravity of the criminal offenses, prior records or other legal variables. A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases in the country's 75 largest urban areas actually found lower felony prosecution rates for blacks than whites and that blacks were less likely to be found guilty at trial.
3) The sentence disparity between powder and crack cocaine is racist and accounts for a large percentage of imprisoned blacks.
Not true. Concerned about the deadly effect of crack within their own communities, black members of Congress led the charge to pass the 1986 federal drug laws. The bill that was passed -- which included the crack/powder sentencing disparity -- did so with the support of the majority of black congresspersons. None at the time objected to the sentencing disparity as "racist."
In 2006, the feds tried 5,619 crack sellers, and 4,495 of them were black -- out of the 562,000 blacks in state and federal prisons at the end of that year. Add in county and city jails, and the figure rises to 858,000. And states' crack cocaine laws are not the culprits. Only 13 states employ differing sentencing guidelines for crack vs. powder -- and their differential is much smaller than that of the feds.
4) The "War on Drugs" accounts for a large number of blacks behind bars.
Not true. In 2010, blacks were 31.8 percent of all arrests for drug crimes. But arrests for drug offenses are only 12.4 percent of all non-traffic arrests in the country and accounted for 14.2 percent of the offenses for which blacks were arrested.
5) More blacks are in jail than in college.
Not true. "More blacks (are) in jail than college, in every state," said Jesse Jackson in 2007. That same year, presidential candidate Sen. Obama, echoed: "More young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities across America."
If Jackson and Obama refer to black men of the usual college-age years, their claim is not even remotely true. The Washington Post "Fact Checker" wrote: "According to 2005 Census Bureau statistics, the male African-American population of the United States aged between 18 and 24 numbered 1,896,000. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 106,000 African-Americans in this age group were in federal or state prisons at the end of 2005. ... If you add the numbers in local jail (measured in mid-2006), you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated young black males, or slightly over 10 percent.
"According to the same census data, 530,000 of these African-American males, or 28 percent, were enrolled in colleges or universities ... in 2005. That is five times the number of young black men in federal and state prisons and two and a half times the total number incarcerated. If you expanded the age group to include African-American males up to 30 or 35, the college attendees would still outnumber the prisoners."
Racism against blacks exists, but it is no longer a meaningful obstacle to success. People are not angels. Some people are rotten. Humans make mistakes -- and always will. But the facts do not show a "racist criminal justice system."
There may be votes in teaching people to think like victicrats. But the problem of the high rates of black imprisonment will not be solved by falsely screaming racism.
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. 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.