Friday 9 December 2016

Reasons to Be Cheerful 17

Temple Bar, now in Paternoster Square (sans heads)

In 2016, many seem determined to unravel the liberal project. But we still have some reasons to be cheerful.

We no longer fear and punish internal migrants (vagrants).

Endurance starvation is no longer a spectator sport.

We don’t execute people in public any more, or exhibit their heads on bridges and city gates.

There are no longer “whites only” drinking fountains, bus seats or lunch counters in the Southern States of America. Or notices in British boarding-house windows reading “No coloured, no Irish, no dogs”.

Nobody adds “Esq” after a man’s name any more.

In the US, the death penalty is being eroded by legal decisions.

The world’s top three largest clothing retailers, Gap Inc., Inditex, and H&M, are now completely fur-free.

We no longer threaten our children with the bogeyman or der Kinderfresser if they misbehave.

We don’t run ads like “Every morning’s a Smirnoff morning” (young woman in dressing gown drinks Smirnoff for breakfast).

We can talk about love, and admit that everybody needs it! (And if there are any 80s leftovers still claiming it’s a bourgeois construct, I hope they choke on their bulgur wheat.)

New Labour's Achievements
devolution to Scotland and Wales
Human Rights Act
removal of most hereditary peers from parliament,
minimum wage,
near full employment,
the longest period of sustained growth in 200 years & significant steps towards peace in Northern Ireland

1870 After the public dismemberment of the Babbington plotters against Queen Elizabeth I caused an outcry, this punishment was never used again. It was abolished in England in 1870. The death penalty for treason was abolished in 1998.

1916 Soldiers no longer required to grow moustaches
1924 Native Americans can leave reservations

1961 India outlaws the dowry system (but the law is widely ignored)

1966 Bobbi Gibb is the first woman to run the Boston Marathon

1970s The last all-male brass bands begin to accept women (Most bands, including the Salvation Army, recruited women in WWI because so many men were at the front. Why did Salvation Army women bang tambourines? Because initially they were banned from the band.)

1976 Girls can be Boy Scouts "From 1912 to 1967 the organisation's name was The Boy Scouts Association and until 1976 only boys were admitted to its programs. In 1976, girls were allowed to join the Venture Scouts section for 16- to 20-year-olds. This expanded to the entire organization in 1991, although the admission of girls was optional and has only been compulsory since 2007. Girls now make up 25% of participants with a total of 94,366 female participants aged between 6 and 25 and a further 50,600 women involved in volunteer roles (being more than 1 adult female for every 2 female young people)." 2014 Annual Report, The Scout Association.

We had female Assistant Scout Leaders in 1980 and female Venture Scouts a couple of years after that. (DC)

1991 UK Dolphinariums closed and the dolphins were released into the wild.

1999 Time magazine updates “Man of the Year” to “Person of the Year”

2012 Hen batteries banned. Replaced by “enriched cages”, but these may be phased out too.

2016 The Pope is setting up a commission to discuss women deacons, and the Orthodox Church is  having discussions.

Aug 2016 US Supreme Court bans domestic abusers from owning firearms

Sept 2016 A ban on microbeads in cosmetics is predicted for the end of the year
Sept 2016 Plans to privatise the Land Registry have been shelved.
Sept 2016 The “Liverpool Pathway” (denying the dying food and water) has been scrapped

Oct 2016 Pakistan has tightened laws punishing “honour killings”, but the sentence, if not death, is 12.5 years.

Oct 2016 John Lewis appoints its first female boss (she started in haberdashery)

2016 The Netherlands plans to increase forest cover by 25%.

2016 An all-girl choir is to sing for the first time in Gloucester Cathedral Choir's 475-year history.

Nov 2016 The Tories are defeated over the bedroom tax in the Supreme Court
Nov 2016 Argentina bans greyhound racing


Whatever the outcome of today's ruling on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV we have:
1) No compulsory sex ed
2) No mass testing system
3) No national prevention scheme
(Patrick Strudwick ‏@PatrickStrud)

Aug 2016 Patients mount desperate plea to save Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital
Therapies on offer at Glasgow’s Centre for Integrative Care include:
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy,
Art and Music Therapy,
Therapeutic Massage,
Allergy therapy and
Anthroposophic medicine
and complementary therapies such as
Acupuncture, Homeopathy and Mistletoe Therapy

Wild Animals in Circuses (Prohibition) Bill 2015-16 did not become law

Slavery in the British Isles existed... from before the Roman occupation until the 12th century, when chattel slavery virtually disappeared after the Norman Conquest and was replaced by feudalism and serfdom. From the 17th century until well into the 19th, transportation to the colonies as a criminal or an indentured servant served as punishment for both major and petty crimes in England and Ireland. During the same period, workhouses employed people whose poverty left them no other alternative than to work under forced labour conditions. (Wikipedia)

The British sugar beet industry has quietly collapsed.

African American servicemen weren’t allowed to take British children and mothers home, and they themselves could not stay in the UK. (Bonnie Greer)

1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act (an act of 1948 gave Commonwealth citizens British citizenship)

“Before the Act was passed, citizens of British Commonwealth countries had extensive rights to migrate to the UK. In response to a perceived heavy influx of immigrants, the Conservative Party government tightened the regulations, permitting only those with government-issued employment vouchers, limited in number, to settle. The leader of the opposition in Parliament at the time, Hugh Gaitskell, called the act "cruel and brutal anti-colour legislation". The Act was amended by the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 and another new Act, the Immigration Act 1971... These Acts resulted from widespread opposition to immigration in Britain from a variety of political groups, but most notably the Conservative Monday Club, whose Members of Parliament were very active and vocal in their opposition to mass immigration.” (Wikipedia 2014 Latest UK Immigration Act)

More here, and links to the rest.

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