« Previous | Main | Next »


Post categories:

Sequin | 06:00 UK time, Thursday, 9 July 2009


Welcome to the AM Glass Box - your chance to help shape tonight's PM.

You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

Perhaps a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

Just as the PM Glass Box emulates the meeting we have AFTER the show, the AM Glass Box will be like the real meeting we have every day at 11.00, in that all ideas are welcome.

Just like the real meeting, most ideas that are suggested will not make it on air. But we would like to try this to see how it works. It's best that you make your suggestion before 10am.


  • 1. At 08:37am on 09 Jul 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Shirin Wheeler - I think it was her the other day on the Parliamentary Channel and a fascinating discussion on what Margaret Thatcher got out of one of those European get togethers back in the day. It was a victory for Mrs T - she got our money back allegedly - but certain French personnel beg to to differ. I was given a different slant on our Iron Lady. I will think on.

    But my point Carolyn - I hope you mention the level of discussion has seemingly gone downwards since.

    Shirin Wheeler - is in the news for reasons of a more recent interviewee. Mister Nick Griffin and his suggestion how to stop immigration from one particular quarter of the world.

    I am fascinated to see if the full unabridged interview is broadcasted.

    But I tried to warn Britain. This is a World spokesperson for our country now and what a stage he has got.

    I do NOT plan to throw any rafts of comfort to anyone.


    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 08:52am on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    Big story has to the News of the world, and particularly why the police/public prosecutor failed to take action against them for breaking the law telephone tapping. Sacrificing one private detective and letting all the journos continue as before smells fishy. Doubtless Prescott will make enough noise since he's one of the targets.

    One expects the state to eavesdrop...

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 09:44am on 09 Jul 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    Heard Charles Clarke on Today effectively saying that News International had been regarded as too powerful to annoy by a little thing like investigation for criminal activities. More investigations please.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 09:46am on 09 Jul 2009, Dr Bee wrote:

    Morning :-) Carolyn, another big meeting at which target emmissions for greenhouse gases will be discussed... can you put some questions on -how the 80% decrease that the G8 accept is required by 2050 will be achieved if some of the rich nations are not prepared to meet the cuts that scientists suggest are required by 2020 for the longer term targets to be met.

    Not only does this make the longer term targets less credible, but it also sends a dangerous example to the poorer nations of the world who need to be a part of the solution.

    Just as background, and in case anyone thinks that meeting the 80% target is unrealistic or not achievable, there have been a number of pathways set out in this country on how to go about it - one of them proposed by Lord Turner and the UK Climate Change Committee.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 09:48am on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 09:50am on 09 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 09:52am on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    3. Anne P

    Untouchable Murdoch. He who prime ministers consult on policy...

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 09:59am on 09 Jul 2009, U14056677 wrote:

    'Next, he called the government deficit "extraordinary". He went onto say: "if the economy were to recover along the path assumed in the budget projections of GDP then I think the time over which deficits need to be reduced is likely to be faster than was implied by that projection."'

    That, which I quoted yesterday, GB, post 24, is from the BBC News city diarist. 'He' in the quote is the Governor of the Bank of England.

    Today, the news is that the Bank is pumping in another 25 billion of quantitative easing money.

    Does one and one make three?

    The deficit the Governor wants paid down quickly includes all that money the Treasury gave the banks.
    Which could be re-cooped if the government sold the shares it owns in the banks, if the shares themselves recover enough.

    And the quantitative easing is the Bank of England buying up government debt (sic) so that there's plenty of money about that the banks can lend the 'investment' companies, to buy shares.

    The government will then sell it's bank shares, putting the markets back to square one and the Bank of England with a 125 billion debt from 'printing money'.

    All this sounds to me like a very bad conjuring trick that everyone can see through.

    Willing suspension of disbelief seems in short supply, for on Tuesday, Larry Elliot, in the Guardian, said

    'One of the UK's leading economic think tanks, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said it had been forced to revise its view that the recession bottomed out in the spring after news of a 0.6% drop in industrial output in May.'

    So isn't the hill from March onwards here:


    is due to the Bank's conjuring trick which gives us the illusion of recovery, and the illusory effect lasts as long as the Bank of England is actually pumping billions in.

    And the stock market crash returns as people see through the trick and try a little sneaky profit taking, and returns with a vengeance when the government sells its shares.

    I fear I may be telling it how it is, here, above. Can PM help out a bit?

    Is there really any real sign of recovery at all?

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 10:16am on 09 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Carolyn and Team

    Perhaps you might like to look at the G8's commitments in 2005 at Gleneagles to double aid to Africa by the end of 2010.

    Italy has so far only provided only 3% of it's 2005 commitment. Overall as a group, they seem to have met half of the commitment made four years ago.

    There's little point in them making new commitments, when they can't adhere to previous promises.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 10:26am on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    8. ThinkerRetired


    Since the edifice is based on confidence [particularly the confidence of the rich that they won't lose their wealth], it's all about 'restoring confidence' so all the talk of green shoots is precisely that, with a bit of wishful thinking added. Does anyone seriously think a major recession could possible be over so quickly?

    Given the environmental constraints which are increasingly factors in everything, we may be in for a very very long recession. Anyone remember Limits to Growth? Published in 1972 by the Club of Rome, it was a far sighted report that got little attention from governments who didn't want to hear the message [and still don't] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 10:42am on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    The Mods strike again [5] but without saying why. Inexplicable. Are we not allowed to quote small sentences from anbother news site [Reuters]? Was it because it was suggesting doing a piece about the [only] pig in Kabul Zoo being released from quarantine?

    Is it because pigs are haram to Muslims? There's no way of knowing. If only the mods were capable of explaining, a short sentence would do, rather than the blanket 'broke the house rules' which are too vague to provide a clue as to reason. Yet I am invited to rewrite it without knowing which part to leave out.

    It was just a suggestion for a story for goodness sake. I thought that was what the AM Glass box was for.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 10:44am on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    6. Richard_SM

    Having read this post before it was modded off, I found nothing at all anyone could object to. Curiouser and curiouser. Perhaps a mod might care to explain here why they do this, and elaborate on the house rules.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 10:52am on 09 Jul 2009, U14056677 wrote:

    Harmon and Hague toe to toe yesterday.

    Capital expenditure cut? No, just brought forward, to ease unemployment now.

    The money brought forward saves jobs, apparently. Which apparently will disappear when the time comes for the money that has been brought forward, to be spent.

    (Build a hospital now instead of in five years and in five years those builders won't have the work they would have had)

    So more spending will be needed, then, won't it?

    So instead of a deficit spending problem we have a deficit in deficit spending problem, don't we?

    Could we look at public opinion on this?

    which do people prefer:

    Huge government spending with huge government debt or a tight budget with far less spending?

    When these effects, below, are mentioned, what difference do they make?

    (a) The credit crunch (b) The unemployment (c) Public services

    Has PM got the money to commission such a poll? I think it would get to the heart of the political debates for the next year up to the General Election.

    John Curtice and Peter Kellner would be limbering up at the very thought of such a commission, and Nick Robinson would be polishing his spectacles in eager anticipation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 11:10am on 09 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Carolyn and Team,

    Mainstream media conveys one impression; the factual sources give another.

    Voice of America reported last night: "..the G8 leaders are losing patience with Iran's refusal to meet its international obligations to give up its suspected nuclear weapons program."

    Reliable sources say different:

    The IAEA's November 2003 report states that it found "no evidence" of weapons development

    In 2007, the head of the IAEA, stated that he had seen "no evidence" of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

    In March 2009 U.S. National Intelligence Director told a Senate Committee that there were "no indications" Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 11:29am on 09 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Re-post of #6 with amendments to address moderators earlier objection

    Carolyn and Team,

    It's no surprise a 'NewsoftheWorld' employee engaged in telephone tapping, for which he was been prosecuted and jailed in 2007. It was his choice to take the risk of breaking the law in search of news stories, and take the consequences of being caught.

    What is a surprise, is that the Police appear to have known the full the extent of the activities, and done little or nothing about the additional breaches. Why?

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 12:10pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    Carolyn and team,

    The Farm Animal Welfare Council, FAWC, is an advisory body to the UK government on farm animal welfare issues. Their report in May of this year included this point:

    Recommendation 201: Council considers that slaughter without pre-stunning is unacceptable and that the Government should repeal the current exemption.

    The Government response was: Do not accept. The Government does not intend to ban the slaughter of animals without prior stunning by religious groups. We agree with FAWC that the scientific evidence indicates that animals that receive an effective pre-cut stun do not experience pain at the time of slaughter. The balance of current scientific evidence also suggests that those cattle which receive an immediate post-cut stun are likely to suffer less than those that do not. However we recognise that this latter conclusion is disputed. The Government is committed to respect for the rights of religious groups and accepts that an insistence on a pre-cut or immediate post-cut stun would not be compatible with the requirements of religious slaughter by Jewish and Muslim groups.

    So without consultation with the electorate, the government puts the views of religious fantasists and their dietary preferences above animal welfare and suffering.

    Do we care animals are being hung by their back legs and their throats slashed, then left to bleed to death in terror and pain?

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 12:13pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    There is evidence that meat from animals killed in the kosher/halal way is finding its way into the shops unlabelled, as well as being fed to schoolchildren and prisoners without their consent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 12:35pm on 09 Jul 2009, U14056677 wrote:


    So the Bank of England is holding it's deficit spending at 125 billion rather than printing an extra 25 billion as was 'widely expected' (leaked?).

    Is that because now they don't believe in their own conjuring tricks or thin we don't?

    Or is it because 'the worst of the recession is over', with production down on the previous month in May, house prices back down again in June and unemployment up?

    I would like to know when we were first told that 'the worst of the recssion is over' in one of those
    Date, Time, Source
    histories of changing (semi-) official narratives that PM does so well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 12:52pm on 09 Jul 2009, Thunderbird wrote:

    (16 & 17) What you need to do is find a link between the slaughter of animals to meet religious needs and global warming.

    That'll put a stop to it, or at least cut it by 80%

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 1:10pm on 09 Jul 2009, seniorcoconut wrote:

    Regarding recent unrest in Xinjiang. I think we need to look at and try to understand more fully the mentality of the Han Chinese to their minorities. I have been travelling in Xinjiang since the 1980's, and the Uigurs have always felt oppressed by the Chinese. In Kashgar the Chinese have systematically and ruthlessly been bulldozing the Uigurs' historic architectural heritage into the dust for decades. The most beautiful mediaeval buildings in the old city have been flattened to make way for a hideous plaza beneath an enormous statue of Mao. In any civilized nation such structures would be listed and have have preservation orders placed upon them.

    We have all been well informed about the plight of the Tibetans, but there is a curious indifference when it comes to the plight of the Uigurs. In Kashgar's famous Sunday Market a decade ago, two Chinese soldiers were lynched for lewd behaviour towards Uigur women. The Chinese authorities responded with great force. The entire, sprawling, outdoor market was summarily shut down and only allowed to re-open years later on a much diminished indoor site, thereby all but eliminating a crucial cultural and economic event for Uigurs from the surrounding area.

    I took a party 17 of Chinese people trekking in the Nepal Himalaya in 2008, and was astonished by their indifference - bordering on callous disdain - for anything to do with Tibetan culture. It was as if it was invisible to them. An old university friend has lived in Shanghai for years, and while he is fond of the Chinese, he holds that they are the most racist people he has ever encountered.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 1:26pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 22. At 1:59pm on 09 Jul 2009, johnindundee wrote:

    I can't believe the whole of Westminster is concerned about a bloke listening to voicemail messages by guessing a PIN code. If it it's as unsecure as that they shouldn't be using it!

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 2:08pm on 09 Jul 2009, Redheylin wrote:

    19 - Of course there is a massive link between meat-eating per se and global warming - the methane, the cleared forests.... And do not kid yourself that there's any such thing as humanitarian slaughter. There's just a lesser evil - halal itself was designed exactly as a lesser evil.

    People love to be disgusted by the way other people eat meat, whether it's dogs, sheep's eyes, witchety grubs ot just tripe.... the thing is; we have to be conditioned as small children not to find the whole thing disgusting. Because nature in its infinite wisdom has given us a mind that tells us eating meat IS disgusting. Killing animals IS also disgusting. Most people who take an abattoir job do not last a day. Not that I want to deny folks the joy of scrabbling in the dirt for a way of hating their fellow man, of COURSE!

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 2:28pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    23. redheylin

    I don't eat meat, I find the habit disgusting. I do object to what animal welfare standards we do have being trampled on for religious/fantasy reasons though. What's your point?

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 2:29pm on 09 Jul 2009, Dr Bee wrote:

    invisibleatheist @16, @17, Thunderbird @19 & redheylin @23 (phew!)

    Yes - eating meat has direct links to global CO2 emissions - in fact so much so that the head of the IPCC recommended that people be encouraged to reduce their meat consumption. Meat production accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than all transport emissions combined (18% for meat compared with 13% for transport).

    Combine that with the fact that at every stage in the food chain there is a massive conversion inneficiency and it becomes clear that plant crops can sustain more people than land put aside for meat production. That is even before considering the needless slaughter of animals for food.

    I used to eat meat, and I enjoyed it - when I stopped I found it hard to imagine that I would manage without and expected to miss it so much that I would soon be back to it... but the reality is that I eat so well as a vegetarian that I have never looked back.

    Sometimes I try to imagine what the future people of our planet will think about these things. I can't help wondering whether they will look back on our period and be a little shocked by many of our habits... maybe they will have horror 'museums' where they show some of them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 2:37pm on 09 Jul 2009, Dr Bee wrote:

    I also believe that as a secular society we should lay down our moral codes and rules in the first instance - and that believers from any religious group should have to adhere to them.

    If I were to have a 'faith' that also sanctioned stealing or the harming of other people then our society couldn't excuse it on the grounds of religious belief. I can't see why it should be any different for any other issues - so I am with you on that 100% invisibleatheist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 3:25pm on 09 Jul 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    Dr Bee #26

    I also believe that as a secular society we should lay down our moral codes and rules in the first instance - and that believers from any religious group should have to adhere to them.

    Does that also extend to arresting conscientous objectors as with JW's in WWII?

    What would be the secular punishment for ritual male circumcision?

    Should Christians be expected to work on Sundays, Jews on Saturdays and Muslims on Fridays?

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 3:57pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    25. Dr_Bee

    Assuming there will be a future with hominids in it. A big assumption.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 4:01pm on 09 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    ia 24, As you find it disgusting to eat meat, your arguments go out the window. I eat meat, but disagree with allowing animals to be killed in a certain way for religious purposes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 4:02pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    27. T8-eh-T8

    Does that also extend to arresting conscientous objectors as with JW's in WWII? IRRELEVENT, NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SUBJECT, THEY ARE ALREADY ALLOWED IN THE UK.

    What would be the secular punishment for ritual male circumcision? THERE'S ALSO SECULAR CIRCUMCISION, IT'S FOR HYGENE, A NON ISSUE

    Should Christians be expected to work on Sundays, Jews on Saturdays and Muslims on Fridays? I EXPECT PEOPLE TO WORK WHEN THEY WISH. YOUR POINTS ARE ALL SPURIOUS AND TRIVIAL.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 4:08pm on 09 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    ia 30, I was circumcised in 1940, as were most Americans born in that period. Nothing religious about it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 4:10pm on 09 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    ia, PS No, you can't see.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 4:12pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    21. At 1:26pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist
    This comment has been referred to the moderators.

    So which PC rule have I transgressed now, and who is the complainer? Got the bottle to reveal yourself and make your case? Perhaps it's the racist I picked on the other day...

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 4:21pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    31. David_McNickle

    Shouldn't you be directing that to the originator of those remarks? - that was 27. T8-eh-T8

    And what can't I see David? I'm genuinely mysified by your remark. I too was circumcised, in 1941, so?

    Also 29. my argument doesn't 'go out the window' at all. As I said, I object to what animal standards we do have being trampled on for religious/fantasy reasons. And you appear to concur [I would, of course, prefer no one ate meat, but I'm a realist]. Are you picking on my posts, and if so why?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 5:00pm on 09 Jul 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    #30 invisibleatheist.

    Does that also extend to arresting conscientous objectors as with JW's in WWII? IRRELEVENT, NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SUBJECT, THEY ARE ALREADY ALLOWED IN THE UK.

    This was precisely to do with the subject. If the state is secular and the religious are to abide by it's standards, if there is a conflict in the state standards and the religious standard should this result in criminalisation? The example being that JW's were against conscription on religious grounds and many were arrested for their convictions.

    What would be the secular punishment for ritual male circumcision? THERE'S ALSO SECULAR CIRCUMCISION, IT'S FOR HYGENE, A NON ISSUE

    Yah, which is why I specifically said ritual circumcision. There are secularists who believe that ritual circumcision is abusive, and this view is in direct contradiction with Jewish/Muslim religious practice.

    Should Christians be expected to work on Sundays, Jews on Saturdays and Muslims on Fridays? I EXPECT PEOPLE TO WORK WHEN THEY WISH. YOUR POINTS ARE ALL SPURIOUS AND TRIVIAL.

    I don't get to work when I wish. I work when my employer tells me to. The reason why we have ionherited a day off on Sundays originated in religious observance. If there is no neccessity for religious observance, say in a secular society with purely secular values, should this day off continue? Why should Sunday be treated any different from any other day?

    I am not making any points. Just asking questions which I think are pertinant to Dr Bee's statement. I do not see tham as spurious or trivial but moreover they are relevant and illustrative.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 5:28pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    35. Well ok, I may have been a bit harsh. And as explained further you do make some points.
    1. This is historic, and concientious objection is recognised by law now. It doesn't have to be religious since plenty of COs are not religious.

    2. As long as the ritual isn't doing harm I personally think it's down to the parents if they want to indulge in nonsense. If any harm is involved then it's abuse and should be dealt with appropriately.

    3. I thought the traditional week was largely gone now with flexible working, shift working, weekend and nighttime working. People with strong reasons for objcting to working on particular days would be advised to find work that is conducive to their beliefs. We all have to make compromises in our lives, and I don't see that someone's 'faith' - essentially a set of beliefs not founded in fact - should make them special and worthy of special treatment.

    There are some who like to wear their hair long and flowing, unfettered by nets, they can't work in a wide range of factories, especially food factories, yet their faith in long hair may make it important to them to never have it restrained.

    As a recovered catholic, I am still British, that is, my culture is embedded in me. I would hate to have the bells on Sunday morning silenced, or the practise on Friday evening, they are the sound of the country, which has more peals of church bells than any other in the world [I know this as I recently produced a book on precisely this subject], during medieval times Britain was known internationally as The
    Ringing Isle'. I would really object to it changing, and I suspect so would the majority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 6:30pm on 09 Jul 2009, Dr Bee wrote:

    T8-eh-T8, invisibleatheist & David - sorry I wasn't able to respond sooner.. I understand your point T8-eh-T8, and I don't believe in trampling on religious beliefs - that is why I specifically mentioned moral codes and rules.

    In fact, our laws currently protect people with religious beliefs very strongly (particularly in the workplace) and I believe that this is right. However, those protections exclude some fundamental things - for example, regardless of political belief it is criminal to incite violence. I believe that there are some core moral issues within a secular society that shouldn't ever be transgressed for any reason (for example murder, and in my own opinion unecessary suffering to animals).

    Regarding the issues that you raised, I believe that the correct moral balance in our society is that conscientious objection should be allowed, that there is room for religious ritual male circumcision and that nobody should be forced to work on a day of the week if it contravenes their religious code. I also believe that is the moral climate of the time and that current laws reflect that.

    However, I happen to agree with ia that our society should make needless suffering to animals morally dis-allowed regardless of religious faith. I include the manner in which animals are slaughtered for human consumption.

    ia you are quite right about my assumption regarding the future existence of hominids - I do try to remain positive about us not bringing things to an abrupt end - even if my rational analysis suggests that any animal that is the product of evolution cannot act sufficiently on the power of foresight to guarantee its own survival. Call that delusion if you will ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 7:04pm on 09 Jul 2009, Redheylin wrote:

    (Woops) scuse me folks, I was just commenting on meat and global warming. I certainly did not mean to deny the obvious truth that good old British Christian forms of abuse and cruelty are all cuddly and stirringly traditional. Nor in any way to slight the merrie, time-honoured custom of diverting attention from the wrongs of my own kind by pointing and shouting about worse stuff that other folks do. Not at all! Obviously, there are NICE, BRITISH ways to kill, destroy the earth and so forth, and there are NASTY FOREIGN ways. No! When I see a decent, democratic, traditional, familiar bobby kill an innocent bloke, I just turn to YouTube and watch the Iranians kill ten. It makes me feel all warm and slushy somehow.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 9:15pm on 09 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    You miss the point, it's what's happening in OUR society we are concerned with, and I wish I could concentrate on abhorrent British habits, but the issue was halal and the refusal of the British government to enforce British laws with regard to animal welfare. Your heavy-handed sarcasm isn't very impressive you know, rather immature. I am in no way attempting to 'divert attention away from my own kind' by which I assume you mean British. You weren't just commenting on meat and global warming, you were making a flippant remark about slaughter methods employed by certain sects and global warming, there is none. For all I know and care halal is carbon neutral. Raisng animals for food is certainly a major contributor to atmospheric greenhouse gases, particularly cows.
    I think on balance, we are more civilised than those who slit an animal's throat whilst fully conscious then slide their fingers into the cut to ensure all sinews and arteries have been cut, refusing to accept stunning as a 'humane' prelude because in their ignorant fashion, they refuse to accept anything scientific. If you doubt this anti-science stance, google halal and read the Q&As about the subject from those who practice and regulate it. Of course, the fact that bleeding an animal to death doesn't remove all blood from the carcass hasn't occurred to them. Why should it, they don't trust science which could prove it to them. But blood is haram so they would have to give up eating meat, and mind become Hindus.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 00:10am on 10 Jul 2009, Redheylin wrote:

    39 IE - I am not missing any point. Many British people are Muslims. Many British people are Jews. Those religions have methods of slaughter similar to those that, theoretically, Christians ought follow also. They were designed in the first place to fix minimum standards of hygeine and humanity. Nowadays, in theory, it is possible to do better. But religions are mostly started by progressive, compassionate people and continued by reactionary legalists: that is universal.

    However, as I said, animal slaughter is inherently disgusting and your lurid descriptions rely on that fact. Further, while abbatoirs are potentially compassionate and pain-free, in fact they are often far from it. Meanwhile we breed cows that are in constant pain, remove their calves and after two years knacker them. We keep hens in batteries and many other things.

    The language of "us and them" that you employ tells its own story and deserves all the immature sarcasm that it gets.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 00:13am on 10 Jul 2009, Redheylin wrote:

    PS as far as "anti-science" goes, look up the origins of words such as chemistry, algebra, algorithm, alkali, the names of the stars...

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 09:31am on 10 Jul 2009, nocircni wrote:

    We currently have legislation which protects girl from female circumcision on religious or cultural grounds male children must have the same protection.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 12:58pm on 10 Jul 2009, TerryS wrote:

    Having just quickly scanned through this thread, I would like to lend my support to 'invisibleatheist' - it is appalling that cruel and anachronistic methods of so-called 'religious slaughter' are allowed in this country. Pre-stunning should be compulsory and the production and sale of Halal/Kosher meat should be banned.

    Wherever possible we should strive to minimise animal suffering and, in this respect, the best scientific evidence available confirms that Halal/Kosher ritual slaughter inflicts unnecessary suffering.

    All citizens of a country should be equal before the law and it is fundamentally wrong that some groups within society should enjoy privileged treatment (manifested as special legal exemptions from laws to which all other citizens must comply) simply because of the opinions they hold.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 2:08pm on 10 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    42. nocircni

    Female circumcision is mutilation for the purposes of removing pleasure from sex for women. Circumcision for males is for hygene purposes, so to compare the two is ludicrous. This one size fits all attitude is anti-intellectual jobsworth reasoning.

    Are you sure girls are protected in the UK? Sure there isn't a special dispensation from the law for Muslims?

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 2:14pm on 10 Jul 2009, invisibleatheist wrote:

    41. redheylin

    You're confusing Arab civilisation [thousands of years old] with Islam, hundreds of years old. Those words and the learning behind them have nothing to do with Islam. Easy to get confused though.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 2:44pm on 10 Jul 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Re: religious slaughter methods.

    It would be interesting to know if pre-stunning is unacceptable to all sectors of the relevant communities, the conservative minority of the communities, or somewhere in between. Not being familiar with "end of life" procedures for animals, I'd assume the pre-stunning doesn't actually kill the animal, but renders it unconcious. So if the animal was stunned before having its throat slit, then presumably the slit throat would still be the cause of death...

    As for the debate over whether we should just all go veggie, I'd say that would be tricky to implement. We are biologically designed to be omnivores (i.e. we don'the have the physiological traits of either a carnivore or herbivore - we're somewhere in the middle, but also occupy a specialist niche in that we've adapted to prefer both meat & veg cooked). However, it's a fair bet that (certainly in the early history of our species) we consumed a lot less meat than we do nowadays - and as there are far more of us than there used to be, we really need to be weaned onto a reduced meat diet.


    IA@45 - one minor correction - although Arab culture has been around longer than Islam, the religion itself is about 1,400 years old (its founder lived in the 7th century)

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 6:46pm on 10 Jul 2009, nocircni wrote:


    It is against the law to circumcise a female child in the UK and in numerous other countries.

    Male circumcision involves the removal of sexually erogenous tissue and densentitizes the penis by externalising the glans which become tougher.

    It was introduced into medical practice to curb male sexuality.

    The two practices are the same both generally remove tissue from the bodies of minors on cultural/religious grounds.

    International conferences on male and female circumcision are held biannually and the two practices when performed on unconsenting children are contary to numerous human rights treaties and conventions.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS


Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.