Tuesday 2 August 2016

Reasons to Be Cheerful 16

Don't let's go back to the 50s. It's getting better all the time:

Boozy stag dos are becoming a thing of the past as men opt for cookery and life drawing. Streets are safer and better-lit. Railway stations are staffed and well-lit. From 1980 to 2010, the world literacy rate increased from 56% to over 83%. The guerrilla gardening movement has inspired planting on odd patches of land. Fagging in public schools faded, we don’t force children to say prayers or grace before meals, we don’t give them replica guns or candy cigarettes. We don’t wear fur coats. We don’t make yashmak jokes. Bullying by the PC Brigade or did we just move on and grow up?

The elimination of cruelty and humiliation as entertainment, stronger democratic institutions, freer access to public life. (Writer Will Wiles)

The UK's 1998 Human Rights Act isn't EU legislation but Westminster legislation to make it easier to try violations of the European Convention on Human Rights in our own courts instead of the European Court. Neither the European Convention nor the Court are EU things, but something we signed up to in 1950, more than two decades before we joined the EEC. (ND)

1140 Benedictine monk Gratian’s canon law textbook, Decretum Gratiani, required couples to give their verbal consent and consummate the marriage

1836 Marriage Act constitutes marriage as primarily a civil matter

1859 "Armies led by emperors clashed for the last time. Solferino. The awful suffering led to the Geneva Convention & Red Cross" (Dan Snow)

1905 Tennis-player May Sutton Bundy caused uproar by rolling back her cuffs because her sleeves were "too long and too hot".

1930 Mixed bathing allowed in Hyde Park

1986 Canaries phased out of British mines

2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act

2009 A court judgement prevented the Jewish Free School from excluding children who weren’t halachically Jewish (patrilineal)

2016 NHS Liverpool CCG ends funding for homeopathy 2016 Vets sign petition to get vets banned from using homeopathy

2016 Senior clerics in Pakistan issue a fatwa against honour killings. Mufti Saeed Rizvi said that women should be free to marry (the man of their choice).

2016 US military to lift transgender ban

2016 United Reformed Church votes to allow same-sex marriages in UK churches
2016 The Anglican Church of Canada votes in favour of gay marriage in the Church.

2016 Tanzania and Gambia ban child marriage

2016 The number of single-sex Independent Schools in the UK has almost halved in the last 20 years.

2016 Like some other supermarkets, Tesco has stopped selling eggs from caged hens

2016 Royal Troon Golf Club votes to accept women members 

2008 Under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 and the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 men can be both perpetrators and victims of rape.

2016 Dublin City Council bans wild animals in circuses

‏The Night Tube comes to the Victoria & Central line from 19 August, benefitting thousands of Londoners (@SadiqKhan)

Originally, the government only funded Jewish and Christian faith schools, but this was expanded to other faiths in 1997.

2016 In Pakistan, "religious groups continue to oppose legislation that would give greater rights to women, and clerics turn a blind eye when families or tribes take the law into their own hands. Hundreds of Pakistani women are killed each year."

2016 Muirfield Golf Club has lost the right to host the Open Championship after it upheld its ban on female members. (BBC)

More here, and links to the rest.


  1. We need cheering with any positivity we can find.

  2. I know it has been a ghastly year so far, but actually quite a lot of liberal legislation got passed!