The no-longer tolling bell

Whenever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Whenever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there… I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build why, I’ll be there.

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (Chapter 28)

Ma Joad and Tom Joad discuss Tom's future.
Ma Joad and Tom Joad discuss Tom’s future. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest British Social Attitudes survey suggests the UK is becoming less charitable; looks like compassionate conservatism is here to stay.

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The Geek shall Inherit

In the UK only one of the six-hundred and fifty Members of Parliament has a scientific background. Homeopathy and chiropractic are available on the NHS, while effective and proven medicines are shunned. Our newspapers and television constantly report non-effective and dangerous practices as if they were fact. Even when they report on scientific work, scientists are misrepresented and used to score political points which leaves the public believing that there is no use in funding research any more. The UK is turning from a centre of excellence, a candle in the darkness, to a Thunderdome where ever-decreasing funds are fought for by our scientific community.

Enough, says Mark Henderson – the head of communications at the Wellcome Trust, and sets forward a manifesto to reclaim our culture of scientific inquiry and build a government where decisions are made based on evidence rather than fear, uncertainty and doubt.

In order to try to force our MPs to listen, Dave Watts pledged to send a copy of The Geek Manifesto to all MPs if enough volunteers stepped up to share the load and, oh boy, did they?  Not only that, Transworld Publishers donated 150 copies to make sure the pledge could be met.

My own copy is now on its way to Julian Huppert (MP for Cambridge), who certainly doesn’t need it but our own MP, Andrew Lansley, was the first to be snapped up. No surprise there. Let’s hope they read and act on it so the country doesn’t fall back into the dark ages.

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This Guitar Kills Fascists

United we Stand
Image by Damien Ryan via Flickr

This Saturday, when the people of Cambridge thought they’d be enjoying their annual Big Weekend, a ragged collection of football hooligans, the ignorant, and the hate-filled is descending on a city with an eight-hundred year history of learning and academic debate.

“The EDL are terrible people, we would always keep these groups under review and if we needed to ban them, we would ban them or any groups which incite hatred.”

David Cameron

Cambridge has spoken.

As Cambridge councillors we do not welcome the decision by the English Defence League (EDL) to organise their event in our city next Saturday, a city of so many special and well integrated cultures and faiths and a city that is at peace with itself.

We reject the views expressed by the EDL and we fully support the right of all Cambridge people to celebrate their cultures, enjoy their places of worship, and to be treated with equality and respect.”

We don’t want your despicable views around here. Go back to your homes and take responsibility for how you’ve wasted your lives.

Immigration isn’t the problem. A doctor from Iran who contributes to society and pays her taxes is infinitely preferable to a third-generation English dole-recipient who spends their benefit on ink to tattoo Love and Hate on his knuckles.

Islam isn’t the problem. In fact they have more in common with you than the so called white England you claim to defend.

Multiculturism isn’t the problem. E pluribus unum, baby. From the many one.  Infinite diversity in infinite combinations only serves to make Britain richer.

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