Tuesday, August 05, 2014
BBC 'angers Muslim staff' by hosting hog roast to celebrate Commonwealth Games under the windows of Arabic TV service
The BBC has enraged Muslim staff after holding a hog roast to celebrate the Commonwealth Games - under the windows of the Arabic TV service.
An entire pig was spit-roasted in the courtyard of New Broadcasting House, central London, with wafts of meat drifting up to the predominantly Muslim office.
Staff in the department whose religion bans them from eating pork blasted the 'horror' at spotting the carcass on their lunch break.
The event on Friday, celebrating the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, was held just days after the close of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims for spiritual reflection.
Sharing a photo of a scorched pig's head covered in juice, an Iranian journalist wrote: 'Horror in my lunch break at BBC New Broadcasting House.'
The Corporation routinely promotes 'diversity' values, and issues all employees with a welcome pack, that includes a survey with questions about their religion, sexual orientation, financial background, and any disabilities.
However, an insider berated the hog roast as 'disrespectful', claiming the hog was 'being flaunted', according to The Sun on Sunday.
A BBC spokesman said: 'We have received no complaints'.
The food festival set up outside the John Peel Wing, where the Arabic TV service is based on the fourth floor.
The Arabic TV service is one of the Corporation's flagship channels, covering 32 countries.
The team has been significantly expanded since 2008, when it officially launched.
RSPCA could stop prosecuting foxhunters
The RSPCA may give up prosecuting foxhunters after criticism that it spends too much money pursuing offenders.
Donations to the animal charity have fallen sharply in the past year, prompting a wide-ranging review that could see it focus more on cruelty to domestic pets.
Two years ago, the RSPCA spent £326,000 winning a case against the Heythrop hunt, based in Oxfordshire, but the judge questioned whether the money had been well spent.
After the ruling, the Charity Commission warned the RSPCA that pursuing other expensive actions held a “reputational risk”. Dominic Grieve, then attorney-general, wrote asking it to review its prosecutions policy.
One change the RSPCA is considering is whether to take the decisions about when to prosecute away from staff who were once field inspectors.
Ray Goodfellow, the RSPCA’s chief legal officer, told The Sunday Times: “We are upholding the Hunting Act, the law of the land. But others want to repeal it and we have been caught up in their political campaign. “This is an issue we are looking at. There are also issues of proportionality and the economic impact on our other activities. If we spend money on hunt cases, that is less money for other work including prosecutions relating to pets.”
The possible move comes amid a marked fall in donations, from £112 million in 2012 to £105 million last year. In June, the charity announced a major restructure after it experienced what it calls a “net cash outflow” of £6.1 million last year. The restructure could put more than 100 jobs at risk.
A series of senior figures have left the charity in recent months including Gavin Grant, the chief executive; John Grounds, his deputy, and David Cowdrey, the communications director.
Tim Bonner, campaigns director of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, welcomed the RSPCA’s review and proposed changes. “We believe it is impossible for the RSPCA to both be involved in political campaigns and make objective prosecution decisions on the same issues,” he said.
Marriage Won’t End Poverty. But It Will Help (A Lot).
Marriage isn’t the answer to poverty. That’s the argument made last week in The New Republic by Carter Price, who asserts conservatives are too preoccupied with marriage in anti-poverty efforts.
Price takes particular issue with a Harvard study by Raj Chetty and colleagues that suggests children, regardless of whether they come from a single- or married-parent family, have greater social mobility when raised in a community with a higher share of married parents. Price notes that some areas of the country with high shares of single mothers are doing better (or worse) than Chetty’s study would predict. In other words, marriage doesn’t explain everything. But neither does any other factor.
Price restates the common progressive argument that poverty leads to marital breakdown rather than the other way around. Yet, even Harvard professor William Julius Wilson, whom Price cites in his article, can see this is false. Wilson, who is no conservative, makes the case in his book When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor that economic factors aren’t solely to blame for marital decline, specifically among African Americans.
“Although there is a strong association between rates of marriage and both employment status and earnings at any given point in time, national longitudinal studies suggest that these factors account for a relatively small portion of the overall decline in marriage among African-Americans,” Wilson says. Economic and cultural norms work together, he says. “The weaker the norms against premarital sex, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and nonmarital parenthood, the more that economic considerations affect decisions to marry.”
There is a strong connection between the breakdown in marriage and child poverty. Living with two working parents raises household income. Children in single-parent homes are more than five times as likely to be poor, regardless of parental education level. They also are more likely to drop out of high school, spend time in prison, abuse drugs and alcohol, and have an unwed birth.
Price actually has it backwards. While the War on Poverty has paid too little attention to marriage over the last 50 years, marital breakdown and unwed childbearing have soared, particularly in low-income communities. Today, more than 40 percent of children are born to single mothers, up from less than 10 percent in the under 10 percent in the 1960s.
Of course other factors matter. In fact, The Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity examines the multiple factors that contribute to opportunity: a strong economy, a thriving work ethic, access to quality education, as well as strong families. These factors work together, not independently of each other.
A sound anti-poverty strategy must include: self-sufficiency through work, implementing policies to encourage job creation, improving access to quality education, and taking steps to restore a culture of marriage. Combining these efforts will help create a society where more individuals have the opportunity to succeed and flourish.
Britain's already got far too many fatherless families without the NHS deliberately creating more
For years, the NHS has been the pride of this country. Today, though, it has drifted a very long way from the noble principles upon which it was founded.
It now seems willing to pander to every whim of a population that thinks it has a divine right to whatever type of health treatment it wants — regardless of the cost or the morality involved.
The news that a national sperm bank is to be funded by the NHS to make it easier for single women and lesbian couples to have children by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) horrifies me.
Vanity surgery such as breast-enhancement is bad enough, but at least those operations involve only the woman herself.
This new policy reduces babies to commodities and denies the child basic rights and needs, such as a stable family. For a stable family life comes from the commitment of the biological father.
That £300 fee would be significantly less than the cost of attending a private clinic, which can be as much as £2,000.
But the fact that the NHS is offering a service at all to supply ‘designer babies’ is a sign that today’s society is starting to regard children as things that can be bought like a new wide-screen plasma TV.
I am a mother, and I believe passionately that my children are both a gift and a deep responsibility. Their emotional welfare has been my duty. That includes giving them a stable family home, with a mother and father who are married and an extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.
Yet many people in our increasingly self-obsessed society think they can shirk such responsibilities.
A child born by anonymous sperm donation has no chance of growing up with his or her biological father.
The father’s name will not appear on the child’s birth certificate — although by law anyone born via egg or sperm donation now has the right to ask the regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority, for the identity of their donor.
Donors also have the right to find out if their donation has been successful, the number of children born as a result and the sex and year of birth.
Yet the mother herself may, understandably, want the donor to remain anonymous, perhaps out of fear that he might one day in the future want to track down her and his child and potentially complicate their settled lives.
Throughout the history of mankind, there have been compelling reasons, in every society, why couples want or are encouraged or required to make a lasting and public commitment to stay together before they have children.
There is not a society that does not have some formal arrangement, whether it is marriage or something similar, that provides the child with stability, security and a network of family members who care for and feel responsibility for their well-being.
Experience tells us that children suffer if they do not know the identity of their fathers.
In countless cases it has been shown that a child who grows up with no sense of their genetic inheritance can develop an identity crisis or suffer an intense fear of rejection. There are already 1.8 million single-parents households in Britain, mostly fatherless — should we really be adding to the number?
The fact is that boys — and girls — need a father. No mother can replace the father’s unique role in a family.
I know this as the widowed mother to two boys. I had to stand firm as the boys grew and be strict when it was needed. A father has a natural authority over his sons and should be their role model as they grow.
Equally, a daughter needs to see her father behaving properly to his wife and children. It will be critical for her self-confidence when she forms relationships with men as an adult. If a girl grows up knowing that her father was a disinterested and disengaged sperm donor, how will that affect her own future expectations of men?
There is also a deep-seated need to know who you are and what your family history is.
This could be medical — is there a family weakness towards alcoholism, for example, or did a paternal grandfather die of heart trouble in his 50s? — or it could be a desire to know what your father’s grandfather did in the war.
Without these links, a child risks feeling terribly isolated from their family and heritage.
That is an appalling burden to impose on any baby, to condemn it to carry throughout its life — and yet the State is condoning this by allowing the NHS to offer a service that allows women to ignore those concerns while they satisfy their own desires.
Of course, I have enormous sympathy with any woman who struggles to have a baby naturally and who has to resort to IVF, sperm donation or surrogacy. But babies must never be for sale, least of all from the State. The children will not be the only victims.
Every aspect of anonymous donor IVF is exploitative.
The men who donate sperm for money are being exploited and led to believe that they need have no further responsibility to their offspring once they have received a one-off payment. Indeed, the NHS is playing God and sanctioning a negation of the immutable link between the production of sperm and the duties of fatherhood.
This new NHS initiative, I fear, is just the latest trend in a society that increasingly devalues the role of the family.
We have already seen how reluctant politicians are to reward couples who stay together by offering them even the smallest tax break for marriage, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg describing such financial incentives as ‘patronising drivel that belong in the Edwardian Age’.
As a result, countless children are now growing up without the influence of a father — something numerous social studies have proved is detrimental to their future life-chances.
For the State to operate a system where children are denied a future with a father from the moment of the conception is a tragedy.
Another disturbing aspect of this is the drift towards eugenics — the science of breeding ‘superior’ children from a selective gene pool that was favoured by the Nazis in Thirties Germany.
My blood boils at the idea of any potential parent choosing ‘ideal characteristics’ for their designer baby. The sheer conceit of it is breathtaking.
It’s as if potential parents think they have a right to construct a perfect baby, choosing its gender and personal traits like you might order toppings on a pizza.
What happens when, due to some genetic glitch, a baby is born with the ‘wrong’ colour eyes, or skin a shade too light or dark? What happens if it turns out to have a disability, whether it’s a hare lip or something as life-changing as cerebral palsy?
If they return the unwanted baby to the NHS, who will then have responsibility for that child, its upbringing, its education and its counselling?
The answer, I’m afraid, is an easy one: it’s the same people who paid for the initial IVF treatment. Us, the taxpayers.
If the Government has an ounce of moral sense, it will put a stop to this callous exploitation of unborn children.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.