Sunday 8 June 2014

Reasons to Be Cheerful 12

God calls me God
Doctors expect their patients to ask questions. Fewer surgeons and architects are megalomaniacs. “God calls me God” syndrome seems less prevalent. Authoritarianism is retreating. We even have a friendly Pope.
30 years ago half of Britons thought same-sex relations were always wrong, that figure has dropped to a fifth. (Owen Jones)

From September 2014, evolution will become a compulsory part of the primary school science curriculum in state schools. (Jewish Chronicle)

Clement Attlee (Labour Prime Minister of the UK 1945-51):Created the NHS.
Built the welfare state.
Introduced child benefit.
Equalised right of wives to own property.
Introduced free secondary education as a right.
Helped to create the United Nations.
Granted independence to India.
Brought public services into public ownership.
Nationalised the bankrupt private railways.
Achieved full employment.

50 reasons to love the EU (

1939 King George VI is the first British monarch to visit the United States of America.
1960 Geoffrey Fisher is the first Archbishop of Canterbury to visit the Pope since the Reformation in the 16th century.
1982 The Pope visits the UK for the first time since the Reformation.
2011 Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since it broke away from the United Kingdom.

1824 Test Act of 1673 repealed (It required public officials to be members of the Church of England and subscribe to the 39 Articles of faith.)

1868 In the last public execution, Irish terrorist Michael Barrett was hanged outside Newgate Prison.

1917 Overruling 19th century cases to the contrary, the House of Lords clearly laid down that rational argument against Christianity was not blasphemy; and, more fundamentally, that “the phrase ‘Christianity is part of the law of England’ is really not law; it is rhetoric”. (Lawyers Secular Society)

1923 Intoxicating Liquor Bill states that no one under the age of 18 can purchase alcoholic drinks. (The previous age limit was 14. It was changed thanks to the UK’s first woman MP, Nancy Astor.)

1929 Margaret Bondfield becomes Britain's first female cabinet minister, serving as Minister of Labour.

1971 First women’s refuge opens in Britain. (Unless you count Baroness Burdett-Coutts' Urania Cottage.)

1974 Women in the US can own real estate in their own names. (

1995 Uruguay outlaws duelling.

2014 Alcohol prices rise - binge drinking lessens - injuries due to violence fall. Lowest for 10 years, say police.

2014 Marshfield, USA, lifts ban on video games in place since 1982.

Smacking children is illegal in the following countries. Which one is missing?

Malta (2014)
Honduras (2013)
TFYR Macedonia (2013)
South Sudan (2011)
Albania (2010)
Congo, Republic of (2010)
Kenya (2010)
Tunisia (2010)
Poland (2010)
Liechtenstein (2008)
Luxembourg (2008)
Republic of Moldova (2008)
Costa Rica (2008)
Togo (2007)
Spain (2007)
Venezuela (2007)
Uruguay (2007)
Portugal (2007)
New Zealand (2007)
Netherlands (2007)
Greece (2006)
Hungary (2005)
Romania (2004)
Ukraine (2004)
Iceland (2003)
Turkmenistan (2002)
Germany (2000)
Israel (2000)
Bulgaria (2000)
Croatia (1999)
Latvia (1998)
Denmark (1997)
Cyprus (1994)
Austria (1989)
Norway (1987)
Finland (1983)
Sweden (1979)
Italy (courts)
Nepal (courts)

1517 In “Evil May Day” riots in London, London apprentices attack foreign residents. Wolsey suppresses the rioters, of whom 60 are hanged.

2014 Louisiana House votes to keep unconstitutional anti-sodomy law.

2014 The Garrick Club and the Travellers’ Club still don’t admit women.

And some old farts are kicking and screaming because they are no longer top of the tree with the “freedom” to do what they like to their wives, children and employees.

More here, and links to the rest.

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