Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
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By office_tramp
Membership Days Membership Days
#35225
Melanie, please run for office. Your accurate and commonsense assessments are always a pleasure to read - even though the subject matter is invariably depressing. Labour in the Sixties, and this latest bunch of liberal-minded lot have destroyed the very fabric of a country that set the standards for all that is good in a society. True, there were inequities that needed to be addressed, though nothing that 'compassionate conservatism' could not have achieved in due course. The saddest thing of all, though, is that the voting public elected this bunch of morons, and not only once. How sad that the general public are more interested in soap opera's, the gutter press and the lives of 'celebrities', rather than the future of their country.

The intentional 'dumbing-down' of the electorate through destruction of an excellent educational system by Wilson and his appalling cronies in the 60's and 70's, set the stage for the dreadful situation that the country presently finds itself in.

- Robert Scott, Vernon, Canada
What is it about right-wing nutbags and their inability to correctly apply the apostrophe?
By Mr Mordon
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#35246
Fair enough pull apart their bairy (how long did it take you :shock: )

However, i have to take issue with this bit:
Quote:
It would have been pleasing had Sir Al focused his distress upon the truly lamentable state of affairs where people in Britain now think twice before confronting a misbehaving 12-year-old in case he pulls a knife on them.

Absolute bollocks.
Mail readers may be scared shitless, but there are often stories of people who confront teens.
I'm not a Mail reader and i AM scared of these little thugs! People who do confront them all to often end up like Garry Newlove. Mel maybe out of her tree with some of her comments but she is totally correct here.

And how many times have we heard the tiresome excuse 'were bored, we've got nothing to do', pathetic. I used to get bored as a kid, didn't feel the need to go out drinking and knife and innocent member of the public though.

These problems are serious, thats why they have been raised in better quality media as well as the Mail and shouldn't be just viewed as the latest rantings of a loud mouth malcontent.
By bairy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#35255
Mr Mordon wrote:Fair enough pull apart their bairy (how long did it take you :shock: )
Bout half hour. I'm very quick at navigating tabs and copy pasting.
I'm not a Mail reader and i AM scared of these little thugs! People who do confront them all to often end up like Garry Newlove. Mel maybe out of her tree with some of her comments but she is totally correct here.
You are correct, I didn't really make a good point there. There are going to be people, mail readers and otherwise, who are scared of what might happen if they confront teens and although it's easy to say "oh what are the odds", if you get the wrong person you could end up in serious trouble, that is true.

However I disagree it's "all too often". I think it's pretty rare - you only really hear about the worst cases though.

Mel would have us believe the entire country is under siege from teens who all carry knives with the intention of using them and I think that's very overblown.
And how many times have we heard the tiresome excuse 'were bored, we've got nothing to do', pathetic. I used to get bored as a kid, didn't feel the need to go out drinking and knife and innocent member of the public though.
I tend to agree that people don't stab people simply because they're bored. But I think it might be a contributing factor. For example there could be a connection between lack of facilities & entertainment, and drug taking. There might also be a link between drug addiction and theft.

In any case, I very much doubt it goes like:
Question: So why did you stab him
Answer: I was bored.

That answer is likely to be in response to "Why are you loitering in gangs"

Shitty journalists and columnists love to use that line to emphasise their 'beat the bastards up' arguments.

These problems are serious, thats why they have been raised in better quality media as well as the Mail and shouldn't be just viewed as the latest rantings of a loud mouth malcontent.
They are serious and they do deserve serious debate.
By bairy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#35256
More comments and all of them are 'well done mel, love you mel, have my babies mel'

The mail has many sensible readers too, I reckon they're censoring out any against- comments.

Why doesn't someone in Government have the same common-sense approach to this problem that Melanie Phillips has?

- Anon, Haywards Heath, W.Sussex
ARGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
By tc-obo
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#35257
Look, the problem is too many people are banging on about LOCK EM AWAY STRING EM UP and no-one really is bothering to put two and two together here. If you treat someone like shit, they will probably behave like shits towards you. So if you treat an entire section of the population like shit, it's hardly surprising that they then start behaving like shits. The solution is not conflict, which is apparently what Mel and the rest of the loonies want, it is effective dialogue and mutual respect. It might sound like "namby-pamby leftism" but it works. There's a lot of utter cunts out there, it's true, but the vast majority are not mentally ill and therefore are cunts for a reason. If you can find that reason and, thereby, change the circumstances, they will stop being cunts. Not difficult.
By bairy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#35258
tc-obo wrote:Look, the problem is too many people are banging on about LOCK EM AWAY STRING EM UP and no-one really is bothering to put two and two together here. If you treat someone like shit, they will probably behave like shits towards you.
Exactly. That's one element of it.

I've just been reminded of something rhetorically speaking said a while back:
"melanie phillips: the problem with diplomacy is the shortage of gun-boats"

'The way to solve crime by teens is the beat the shit out of them'
By Citizen Cain
Membership Days Membership Days
#35341
I used to work as a paper boy in a large village/small town of a couple of thousand population, where about 2/3's of all the papers I delivered were the Mail. This place had about...lets say 50 kids under the age of 18, and was usually a favoured weekend home of London stockbrokers and property speculators.

It was like living in Hobbiton, only with more expensive pubs, thanks to the Londoners. I never saw a single cop in 5 years, and crime was next to nil, unless being young is a crime, which some people there seemed to believe (I recall once getting threatened for walking my dog through a residential area while it was dark, for example).

So, at least within my experience, there is a huge disconnect between what the Mail reports on, and the lives its readers actually enjoy. I'm not sure how they manage to cope with the cognitive dissonance, but I don't really care for their mental well-being much,
By Citizen Smith
Membership Days Membership Days
#36710
Evil bitch!

Why Shannon is one more victim of the folly of 'lifestyle choice'

It's easy to see what's wrong with the world, says Mad Mel. All we have to do is take people like Fiona MacKeown and Karen Matthews and put them in a people-we-don't-like box. It's no wonder the daughters of people like this get murdered and abducted, apparently.
 
By jonnyhead
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#36994
Ah, good old Mel has weighed in on the hybrid embryo debate, with her considerable scientific knowledge. Go on, guess which side she's on?
Scientists claim that the protesters are irresponsibly scaremongering, since the proposed hybrids would not be grown into "monsters" but would be used only as primitive cells for research.

In their arrogance, such scientists fail to understand the nature of the objection. It is the idea of creating such a hybrid embryo at all that is so abhorrent.

Experimenting on human embryos is bad enough; it destroys an individual life in order to serve the interests of others and thus degrades and brutalises us all.

But creating an animal/human embryo breaks an even deeper taboo. It negates the acknowledgement of what it is to be human and, by obliterating the difference between animals and humans, destroys the concept of human uniqueness.
The last bit seems curious to me; scientists recognise the uniqueness of humans, which is why they're using so much human material to get stem cells for this research. Indeed, one of the reasons for this type of research is that we can use DNA from the actual person with the disease, in order to research how it's affecting them uniquely.

Her objection though seems to be that humans are totally different from animals, to the extent that any acknowledgement that our bodies work the same way as theirs to some extent is problematic.
In the House of Lords' debates on this Bill, it became crystal clear that the Government is indeed doing nothing less than redefining a human being. In a remarkably revealing admission, the health minister Lord Darzi said that, after some thought, the Government had decided that the hybrids in question were "at the human end of the spectrum".
That feels a tad misleading to me; Lord Darzi was simply attempting to define the terms we should use for this type of embryo:
The term “human admixed embryos” has been suggested as a more accurate collective term to describe those entities, which the Bill seeks to bring clearly within the regulation of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. It was felt that the word “human” should be used to indicate that these entities are at the human end of the spectrum of this research. The term “mixed” was considered, but concerns were raised that such a term could be taken as referring only to those embryos that are a mixture of cells, such as chimera embryos, where the term also needed to include those embryos in which all the cells contain human and animal material but are genetically identical.
(taken from the Parliament website, Lord Darzi's bit on that page is quite interesting I thought)

So, he's not redefining a human being, he's simply trying to quantify the amount of human DNA in the proposed embryos, recognising that 'inter-species embryo' was a misleading term which implies more equality between human and animal material than is actually there. Human beings shall remain human beings.
Just think about that for a moment and you can see how grotesque this all is. It appears that an animal/human hybrid embryo can be said to be more human or less depending on the proportion of animal material in the mix, like a Delia Smith recipe.

But you can't be a little bit human. This is the way humanity is dehumanised. Indeed, since this Bill would allow the creation of embryos that are half animal, half human, they would have no claim to be more human than animal.
The whole reason Lord Darzi had said that bit she quoted was because he was trying to emphasise that these are not half-animal, half-human embryos. Indeed, as Darzi says just two sentences prior to the 'human end of the spectrum' bit she quoted:
...to make it clear that the Bill is not intended to apply to the whole spectrum of human, animal experimentation but only to those embryos that are predominantly human, resulting from modified human embryos or are the result of mixing human and animal gametes
And yet she wonders why 'scientists' are accusing her side of 'scaremongering'. Again this 'you can't be a little bit human' stuff is missing the point; the bill is not about creating modified human beings, but almost completely human cells from which we can then extract stem cells to conduct research.
Alan Johnson cynically suggests the Bill will bring about cures for such terrible afflictions as motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's. Yes, of course, everyone would like to bring such suffering to an end. But there isn't a shred of evidence that this will be the case.
There is some preliminary evidence that it might eventually be the case. That's what research does though; it could be that all this goes nowhere. It could be that we end up exclusively using adult skin-derived stem cells or stem cells obtained from amniotic fluid...time will tell. But if we knew the outcome of the research we wouldn't need to fucking do it!
The destruction of hundreds of thousands of human British embryos for research has not led to any such major breakthroughs - for which there is more hope from taking stem cells from adult tissue.
Surprisingly, Mel here doesn't follow this up with an in-depth analysis of the difference between types of stem cells, citing the various different levels of pluritpotency, multipotency and totipotency between them. She seems to be under the impression that scientists don't think there's any benefit to using embryonic stem cells instead of adult-derived ones...does she think they're doing it just to wind up the Catholic church or something?
What's more, only last summer the former Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, told a committee on this Bill that there was "no clear scientific argument" in favour of creating such hybrids and it would be "a step too far" for the public.
Again not true; he was referring to 'true hybrids'. Time to get the parliamentary records out again (apologies for the massive quote - the full thing is worth a read because it shows that there is a debate going on within science about how far this should go, and what amount of human/animal DNA is both ethically and scientifically acceptable):
Robert Key: Thank you, Chairman. The Science and Technology Select Committee in their recent report took a lot of evidence and they came to conclusions about the whole question of inter-species embryos. I wonder if you could, please, explain to us, Sir Liam, the reason behind the Government's decision to prohibit entirely true hybrids (that is using human and animal gametes) whereas a lot of the other types of organisms are allowed. Why did they decide to exclude true hybrids?


Q244 Chairman: And do you support that?

Sir Liam Donaldson: I do support it, yes. Again, going back to the original report that I produced which led to the legislation on therapeutic cloning, the question of mixing of animal and human material was discussed and there were two essential strands to that. The first one, which was given consideration, was the area of the so-called "cybrid", which is something that I know you know about. There were deliberations about whether research in that area would be facilitated because of the number of human eggs that would be required as an alternative strategy and whether those would be available. On balance, the Committee decided, it advised me, that there would not be a problem of a shortage of human eggs and, therefore, they did not make any recommendation in that area. On the other question, of full-blown hybrids being created between animal gametes and human gametes, there was a degree of repugnance, even among scientists on the Committee, to that idea at that particular time, and it was felt—and I think is still felt—that this would be something where (a) there was no clear scientific benefit; there was no clear scientific argument as to why you would want to do it, and, secondly, a feeling that this would be a step too far as far as the public are concerned. I think we do have a responsibility to ensure that we take the public with us in the other important areas of research that we want to do, and do not lose their confidence by moving forward with something which is much further out, as far as acceptability is concerned, and where the scientific arguments for wanting to do it are not particularly strong or convincing, or even existent.
What you see there is Liam Donaldson referring to something that has specifically been prohibited by the bill. Now, Melanie Phillips is not an idiot; she can read as far I'm aware. So, if she's at all checked that quote in context, she would be aware that he's talking about something which is not in the bill, which may suggest some intellectual dishonesty on her part. From a Mail journalist? Perish the thought!
In short, it should be renamed the Dehumanising, Brutalisation and Freakology Bill.
That is admittedly way cooler.
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