Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 16 October 2002

House of Lords reject The Adoption and Children Bill

The House of Lords has voted 196 to 162 to reject the amendment which would have permitted unmarried heterosexual couples and gay couples (male or female) to adopt jointly. The motive, according to Conservative spokesman Lord Howe, was to protect children.

It is expected the Bill will now return to the House of Commons where the Lords vote will be overturned, but probably too late for the Opening of Parliament on 13 November.

It is clear that the Conservative Party's pretence that it is now pursuing 'inclusive' policies is just so much hot air, designed to persuade voters that the party has reformed itself.

But it has not.
Britain's House of Lords today debates The Adoption and Children Bill

I've posted a lengthy article about this today in my main website - click here to read it.

However, I noticed yesterday that Andrew Sullivan had posted a brief reference to an interesting story about a milk protest at an Aberdeen school, which he had noticed in one of the blogs written by Iain Murray.

The remarks about the milk protest were interesting in themselves, but what interested me more was what appears to be Iain Murray's extreme euro-scepticism (bordering on europhobia, I'd say) - fair enough, this appears to tie in with what I have gleaned in the past to be Andrew Sullivan's doubts about further European integration. Not a view I share, of course, but no matter. However, in one of Iain Murray's other blogs, called Conservative Revival, I was able to read with interest his intellectual gymnastics trying to explain why the Conservative Party policy, under its present leader Iain Duncan Smith, of opposing repeal of 'Section 28' is correct. Frankly, I am not convinced in any way by his arguments - unless he has some method of restraining the biological urges of adolescent boys and girls. His argument seems to be that sex education in schools should be avoided as much as possible. Restoration of Victorian values is all very well, but it does not strike me as particularly practical. Having gone to the same university college is no excuse for Andrew Sullivan, as a gay man, seeming to support this man's views!

Monday 14 October 2002

British MP George Galloway reveals US and UK dastardly plot - alternatively he shows himself to be even more deluded than I had imagined

The Tehran Times carries a report of a speech made by Labour MP George Galloway to students at the American University of Beirut. Just a flavour of what he tells us is really going on: "American and British leaders are in the process of carrying out plans to break up Saudi Arabia and Sudan, and also expand Jordan's borders to areas in central Iraq." Personally I think the man is a deluded fool, but you make up your own mind.

Thursday 3 October 2002

Slick Willie at the Labour Party conference

Former US President Bill Clinton gave a keynote speech at the Labour Party conference in Blackpool today (2nd October), the British seaside resort on the Irish Sea coast that doesn't quite have the style of Atlantic City (irony alert!).

As with his speech some months ago for the 'Dimbleby Lecture', President Clinton gave a typically polished and wide-ranging speech; highly impressive, provided one refrains from subjecting its content to too much rigorous analysis. As a loyal American, he gave public support to President Bush in his efforts to combat terrorism, and called upon those at the conference (obviously mainly of a left-wing tendency) not to reject the policies of the US Administration in this regard because they have disagreements over the ideology of much of the rest of the Republican programme - Clinton said that he, too, has disagreements with much of the Bush administration's policies.

However, apart from this support (welcome as it no doubt is) his remarks about Bush, the Republicans and the British Conservatives were almost entirely negative; naturally, his remarks were received with some rapture in the hall. He cast strong doubt upon the validity of the election as President of George W Bush (alluding to the 5/4 Supreme Court vote and the fact that two of the four were Republicans who had "praise the Lord" voted against their Party); his allusions to his own predecessor as President, President Bush Sr, were equally double-edged. His remarks, too, about the Conservatives in this country were decidedly acerbic, no doubt at least partly as a result of the support given to Bush Sr by then Prime Minister John Major prior to the 1992 Presidential election (which I thought at the time was certainly not a wise move on Major's part); one assumes he will not soon be invited to speak at a Conservative Party conference. One hopes, too, that his effusive praise for Tony Blair and the 'third way' will not damage his apparent close relationship with the 43rd President - one can imagine that some in the Bush administration will be less than amused by the apparent continuing cosiness of Blair with Clinton.