Monday, 9 July 2012

Politics stuff from the week 2-8/7/12

'What's cooking? The UK's potential food crisis'
The UK is one of the few 'developed' countries of the world to have an unmediated but rising population, despite net emigration.
With much of the country's food demands being externalised, and rising temperatures and multi-national corporations' 'land grabs' threatening productivity, food supplies are being threatened.
With a rising global population, overpopulation (definition: too many people with too few resources) seems set to be exacerbated, meaning adaptation, even for relatively-rich UKians will become a far greater struggle.
All of this is contingent on the amount that global temperatures increase by. At present, the paltry attempts made to slow emissions (let alone make them negative) destine us to a 4 degrees rise, which would noticeably change life for UKians.

[video] 'Foreign Office human rights minister praises ‘Illegal to be you’ video campaign'
"In a description of the video Kaleidoscope asks viewers to: “Imagine if it were illegal to have blue eyes or be under 5ft 10ins and if breaking this law meant you could go to prison or face attack or even death. In many countries around the world, gay people don’t have to imagine it. They already face the very real prospect of being criminalised for their sexuality. In no fewer than 78 countries around the world homosexual acts are still illegal. In five of them the maximum penalty is death."

The EU has voted 478-165-38 against the ACTA. Whoop, whoop!
"No emergency surgery, no transplant, no long period of recuperation is going to save ACTA," Martin said. "It's time to give it its last rites. It's time to allow its friends to mourn and for the rest of us to get on with our lives."
I'mno that optimistic - those intellectual-property-ist bastards are going to carry on trying to screw everybody else, but this sets a clear precedent!

The UN Human Rights Council has officially supported freedom of information on the internet, with a resolution on internet freedom.

A damning report regarding 'Great' Britain's shameful colonial history.
"This massive archive charts the end of British colonialism and details the brutality that often accompanied the closing chapters of the British Empire when colonies’ independence movements were quashed by force. The most notorious clashes took place when the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya was violently suppressed by the colonial government during the 1950s.  The massacres and abuses that took place led to a group of Kenyans last year claiming the right to sue the British government for the systematic torture they had experienced"
"In the spring of 1855, the investigation was published and released to the public in what has become know as the Madras Torture Report.  The report found that the use of torture was widespread in India and encompassed not only revenue matters but also police activities, and had been occurring for decades under [the British East India] Company rule."
"The victims complained of a wide range of abuses suffered, from beatings, being tied up and left in the tropical sun, to being suspended from trees, pinched, placed in a sack of chillies, sodomy – the list went on and on.”
"By the 1850s the East India Company had ruled most of India, either directly or indirectly for almost a century and had outgrown its 17th-century maritime and trading origins to become a government in its own right, ruling over foreign peoples many times more numerous than the population of Britain."
And as if to add salt to the wounds, the horrific conservatism that caused States such as the UK and US to commit crimes like these, is framed in a context of 'but these countries claim to be liberal'. Not liberal enough. Many are trying, but the conservative power-grabbers stil hold the reins when it comes to international, xenophobic anempathy.

'European Parliament condemns violence against lesbians in Africa'
We're getting a lot of good stuff out of the EU, this week!

'Free emergency contraception can be posted to London residents'
"If you carry an umbrella in your bag or a spare tyre in your boot no-one would suggest you are hoping for rain or planning on a puncture."
Absolutely right. Good scheme. Let's hope they can keep it going.

'Yes, you should be angry about the Libor scandal. Here’s why'
"When manipulating the rate, Barclays pretended to have a higher rate (making them more money) before the 2008 crash, and then pretended to have a lower rate after the crash to look like they were able to borrow money cheaply.
It meant that before the crash Barclays ripped us off by charging a higher rate on financial products that went through their hands. That affected almost anything we borrowed, including 100% of sub-prime mortgages in the US.
In other words, financial products were priced at a higher rate than they should have been. And Barclays pocketed the difference to line their own pockets."

'Sexual abuse by UK police more common than once thought'
Authoritarian systems will always produce this kind of immorality - 'it's your position in society, you get what you get'

Poor Dorries <s>
'Nadine Dorries fumbles latest attack on abortions'

'Gay-only room adverts ‘may be illegal’'
Of course they should be illegal - it's not okay to exclude Gays; it's not okay to exclude Straights; and it's not okay for either to exclude bisexuals!
Leasing a room is not the same as deciding you want to live with someone - a tenant is a tenant is a tenant. As long as they don't endanger your safety, they can be anything they like.

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