Monday, February 19, 2007


In an email to Benny Peiser, economist Alan Peacock [] -- now aged 84 -- compares religious education of the past with Greenie education today. An abridged version appeared in "The Scotsman". A few days ago, Sir Alan Peacock celebrated his fiftieth anniversary of becoming a Professor of Economics, successively at Edinburgh, York, Buckingham and Heriot-Watt

On Friday 2nd February at the University of Edinburgh the Secretary of State for Environment etc. delivered an excellent piece of propaganda on the virtues of the latest UN report on climate change, with all the usual arguments for an apocalyptic view, succinctly presented. He revealed an interesting fact about the 'global' nature of his department's campaign to keep us on the straight and narrow - the issue of a pamphlet for schools. This is already claimed as a great success, getting the young in line to be in profound agreement with the Climate scientists backing the Minister.

Irreverent thoughts hit me at this moment in his disquisition. Did they use rhyming couplets - remember "coughs and sneezes, spread diseases"? I recalled the naughty cautionary tale attributed to Hilaire Belloc, suitably adapted by yours truly -"Uncle George and Auntie Mabel, fainted at the breakfast table, let this be an awful warning, never counter global warming!" No prizes to the elderly multitudes who remember the original last line!

The next thought I had was even more subversive. Could those of us who questioned whether the UN predictions were firmly based on best practice science and economics be permitted to enter the 'market' of ideas and issue schools with an alternative view? Of course, tender minds must be guarded against the threat of inflammatory documents that would corrupt the morals and manners of the young but this is no argument for 'zero tolerance' of views counter to officially approved scientific nostrums.

A reasonable case can be made out against inundating schools with a confusion of different standpoints on fundamental issues regarding our future. However, I would be less suspicious of raising barriers to entry against a different view on climate change had I not read, to my immense surprise, the written evidence of the Government Chief Scientist, Sir David King, to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs (2005) concerning climate change. He categorizes sceptics who have no 'scientific training' (undefined) and other 'professional lobbyists' as likely as not to be hired guns, and, as some of other establishment figures have suggested, in the pay of the oil companies.

When some of us recently issued a detailed critique of the much-acclaimed Stern Report, which gives its economic blessing to the establishment view and is endorsed by the Royal Society, it was perhaps hardly necessary for us to state quite clearly that none of us received any financial or institutional support for our work. But it seemed advisable to do so. (See the journal, World Economics, October - December 2006 , p. 166)

I received a sound elementary education at the Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry (1928-33!) in grammar, spelling, arithmetic, singing, and bible studies for which I am immensely grateful. Of course, our daily input of religion was according to the doctrines of the Church of Scotland, but no attempt was made at converting us. I only remember one curious case where our routine was given over to the Band of Hope who were allowed to proselytize in a sensational manner on the moral and physical damage resulting from the consumption of alcohol. We were given an afternoon off in order to be conducted round a macabre visual display in large jars showing the corroding effect of alcohol on the human body with all the attendant excitement of a trip to Dundee, and then, some weeks later, were obliged to write an essay on The Dangers of Drink , and in school time .

I admit that there would be some teachers who would regard the Band of Hope's mission as entirely consonant with Christian doctrine, other than in regard to the medicinal properties of whisky. Likewise, environmental studies, which appear to be rapidly replacing traditional doctrine as the kernel of religious observance in schools, will admit the occasional display of the wares, say , of the World Wildlife Fund- much admired by the Secretary of State - or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, as friendly sects, whatever misgivings one might harbour about the effects that animal behaviour could have on emission of carbon and methane gases.

Use of `Mom' and `Dad' Too "Homophobic", Scottish Nurses Told

We read:

"Nurses and other health care professionals should avoid using the terms `mom' and `dad' to refer to family relationships since the terms could be offensive to homosexual couples with children, a new directive published by Scotland's National Health Service recommends.

Issued in conjunction with the country's leading homosexual activist organization Stonewall Scotland, the publication is entitled Fair For All - The Wider Challenge: Good LGBT Practice in the NHS. Americans for Truth reported Feb.11 on the publication's release.

The booklet calls for a "zero-tolerance policy to discriminatory language" among Scotland's health care system. Included in discriminatory language is the use of terms that assume a traditional family structure of mother, father and children, according to the NHS directive....

Along the same lines, the directive points out, use of the terms `husband', `wife' and `marriage' is not acceptable since such terms exclude lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Instead, health care workers should use the terms `partners' and `next of kin'. Since `next of kin' is often understood to mean nearest blood relative, however, the booklet recommends that it may be preferable to use `partner, close friend or close relative' to avoid confusion.


Brits less generous under socialism: "The Economist follows up Tony Blair's philanthropy speech yesterday with a big feature on the issue headlined BRING BACK THE VICTORIANS. It tells us that the most generous towns in England are Sunderland, Motherwell and Blackpool, and the meanest are Croydon, Ilford and Kingston-upon-Thames. Is it a coindence that the former are all in the North and the latter are all in the South?! The graph also shows that Britain is far more generous than other major European countries when it comes to philanthropy, but way behind the United States. But the right hand graph is possibly even more illuminating. It shows that since Labour came to power the number of people giving to charity has fallen by 12% from 70% to 58%"

Lying statistics cannot conceal the constant failures of British gun control: "A man in his mid-20s was shot dead in London overnight in the latest in a series of fatal shootings that has fuelled public concern over gun crime and youth gangs. The latest victim was attacked by two men in Hackney, east London, according to a police. In Manchester, an 18-year-old was shot in the back late on Friday. He was taken to hospital and his injuries were not said to be life threatening. Two more men, aged 19 and 27, were shot and wounded as they sat in a car at traffic lights in the Longsight area of the northern city. Chief Superintendent Dave Keller, of Greater Manchester Police, said overall levels of gun crime in the city have been falling, although there has been a rise in recent months. "Clearly there are tensions in the area," he said. "This problem is only caused by a small number of individuals. We are actively targeting those individuals."

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