My regular readers (thank you, all of you) will remember my post from last month about the 17 members of parliament who have been supplied with interns funded by the homophobic charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education). I’ve since been on a little mission in persuading the most local of the MPs, Sharon Hodgson (MP for Washington and Sunderland West) to sever ties with CARE.
I am more than overjoyed to announce that both Ms. Hodgson and Catherine McKinnell (MP for Newcastle North) have withdrawn from the scheme, making statements denouncing the views of the charity.
“If it does, John and I will be doing cartwheels. And that’s not easy at our age.”
Professor Daniel Whitmire of the University of Louisiana on research which may prove the existence of another ninth planet in our solar system; Tyche, thought to be four times the size of Jupiter
“There’s no question about it, there’s no answer to it other than people were greedy and they took advantage of a system. That is what happened. And they disgraced themselves. What annoys me is that they disgraced the Parliament that I have tried all my life to cherish and fought hard for.”
Former Speaker of the House Baroness Betty Boothroyd comments on the continuing expenses scandal among MPs, one of which was imprisoned this week
“This is a question of survival. I don’t smoke, but I have to protect those who do because I don’t want to end up unemployed.”
Restaurant owner Fernando Tejedor, who is campaigning against the smoking ban in Spain which went into force yesterday
There has been a lot of media coverage recently over prime minister David Cameron’s trip to China, through which he is seeking to forge stronger commercial links with the country. While there are billions of pounds at stake, it’s easy to understand why Cameron is eager to make Britain appear a good choice of partner to the Chinese government. However, given the increasing concerns over human rights and political freedom on the mainland, he is being questioned for his priorities; and rightly so.
I’m not a political expert. I’m just an ordinary person, and not Chinese at that. I haven’t seen what is happening first hand in the country. But what I have seen is enough to make me worry about the message Cameron is sending. This, for example, is not enough. “Deeply held concerns” is not strong enough a phrase to do justice to how the British people feel, or should feel, about the situation of human rights in China.