Thursday, 23 March 2017

Devon Voice Says … Shop Local This Easter!

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• CHECK OUT these previous Devon Voice E-Posters:

• FOR ALL the latest local, national and international news stories and debates, check out the National Liberal Party’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/

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Shop Local In Acle!

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Sexuality And Politics (Part 2)
THIS is the second and concluding part of a highly personal article, from South Derbyshire-based Liam Clarke. In the first part – http://nationalliberal.org/sexuality-and-politics-part-1 – he warned of the dangers posed by both ‘left’ and ‘right’ – but particularly from the ‘extreme right’ who seem to feel that it’s impossible to be a gay patriot.
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To demonstrate his point, he cited several examples – the most notable probably being Alexander the Great. Whilst Alexander had many wives, his greatest “beloved” was his male bodyguard, Hephaestion.
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In this concluding article, Liam Clarke looks at another well-known gay patriot, Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954). Turing was the brilliant computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theorectical biologist of Bletchley Park (Buckinghamshire) fame.

Queer Patriotism: From Alexander The Great To Turing And Beyond …
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Alan Turing (1912 – 1954), founder of computer science, mathematician, code breaker, patriot … and gay.

It may seem strange that I mention these ancient figures when I am trying to condemn those who claim that lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) people cannot be patriotic.  But do you not see the irony here?  All of these men are among the most revered and loved people in their respective nation’s histories.  They have become the very symbol of patriotism and national pride, yet all of them had great love for another man.  Alas, the point should be emphasised that the word “Homosexual” means attraction to people of the same sex, not someone who merely has in their mind that they want to explore the deepest most private insides of the same gender!

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Perhaps then, after these heroic and legendary figures we must turn our attention to the slightly more obscure.  Now, without wanting to bore readers to death I’d like to discuss, perhaps the most upsetting story relating to the overall subject of sexuality and patriotism.  Have you ever looked at your iPod, or MacBookand seen the symbol for one of the world’s most prosperous businesses?  Take a look, because, as one theory claims, behind the Apple symbol lies a very poignant story (1).
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Sculpture of Alan Turing at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire. It was from here that Turing helped to break the Enigma code used by National Socialist Germany.

The Second World War lasted from 1939-1945.  Some analysts say it might have lasted much longer if not for the genius and talent of one man and his team.  Alan Turing was a maths genius.  Together with his team, he invented the world’s first ever automatic computer (2 – 3).  With this he cracked the infamous Enigma code that the Nazi’s were using.

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After the war, Churchill recieved a Knighthood, honarary citizenship of the US and numerous statues of him have been erected around the world.  I agree that he probably deserved all this.  However, what Turing achieved – compared to what Churchill achieved – is completely different but equally as great.  This is worth thinking about.  How many lives did Turing (the gay man with his side parting and the brain of a genius) save?
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But what was Turing’s reward?  First, the threat of prison and later, suicide.  I believe that – in 1952 – Turing was harrased by police and threatened with imprisoned for ‘perversion.’ This was (and still is) an age old term for being gay.  Later (in 1954) he was driven to suicide because of his love for another man.  But I don’t believe that he died a coward.  His suicide was akin to sticking two fingers up to the system as (it’s believed) he bit into a cyanide-laced apple replicating the story of Snow White. This was after he recieved hormone treatment to make him more ‘manly.’
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All of the men that I’ve mentioned did something great for their nations.  It could be said that their lives were shaped by a love of their nation and the wish to see them  strong, prosperous and great.  The success they had was not because of their love of people of the same sex – but neither was it a hinderence.  Both ‘left’ and ‘right’ make Homosexuality a big issue, but it shouldnt be.  Sexuality is what makes people who they are.  It gives them their character.  And even when some of these men were persecuted for the way they were born, they stood by their flag, their fellow countrymen and women and their nation.  Who they loved shouldn’t matter to anyone else, but it was for the love of their nation that puts them in the history books as some of the greatest men to have ever lived.  And believe me, I think that there will be many, many more.
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(1) http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/06/opinion/apple-logo/

(2) http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/scrapbook/computer.html

(3) http://www.turing.org.uk/bio/index.html
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The Isle of Wight Voice Says … Shop Local This Easter!

.• CHECK OUT these previous Isle of Wight Voice E-Posters

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The IoWV Says … People Before Profit!  Hands off the NHS http://nationalliberal.org/the-isle-of-wight-voice-says-people-before-profit-%E2%80%93-hands-off-the-nhs
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The Isle Of Wight Voice Says … WE WANT WORK! http://nationalliberal.org/the-isle-of-wight-voice-says-%e2%80%a6-we-want-work
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The Isle of Wight Voice Says Shop Local This Christmas! http://nationalliberal.org/isle-of-wight-voice-shop-local-this-christmas

• ALSO CHECK out the National Liberal Party’s Twitter feed @NationalLiberal
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Distributism: An Idea Whose Time Has come? (Part 1)

NATIONAL LIBERALS believe that the ideals of National Freedom and Social Justice are indivisible. For a healthy society to flourish a nation and its people must have both. National Freedom without Social Justice – or Social Justice without National Freedom – simply won’t do.


So is it possible to have both? The National Liberal Party – NLP – believes that it is and that Distributism provides the key. So what is Distributism? Distributism may be described as a political philosophy based on the contention that a just and sustainable social order can only exist in which the ownership of property and the means of production, distribution and exchange are widespread.


In this article Glasgow-based Andrew Hunter explains the ideas behind Distributism and provides a brief history of the wider Distributist movement in Britain. Please note that the use of the phrase ‘Third Way’ in this introduction does not imply any official link with any organisation or group of a similar name. As explained in the article. it is used to convey the idea of an economic position that is neither capitalist nor communist. This is the first of a two part article.


Distributism: An idea whose time has come? (Part 1)

Distributism is the name given to a socio-economic and political creed originally associated with Hilaire Belloc (left) and G. K. Chesterton (right).

RECENT YEARS have seen economic upheaval in the western world the likes of which has not been experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Once mighty banks have been brought to their knees and in some cases have gone under altogether. National governments have been forced to go cap in hand to international financial bodies to be rescued from bankruptcy. In turn, many across Europe and beyond have lost their jobs or face the threat of unemployment due to businesses failing and governments cutting their budgets. Insecurity and uncertainty over employment and pensions in old age are the fears of many these days.


In the face of these conditions many people have become aware for perhaps the first time in their lives of the forces that govern their livelihoods. People who previously had little or no interest in economic matters are reading the financial pages and looking for some way of restoring security to their own lives. In view of this, it might be apposite to look at a political and economic movement that first flourished during the turbulent days of the 1920s and 30s, namely Distributism.

The origins of Distributism are believed to lie in the 1891 Papal encyclical entitled Rerum Novarum, (‘On the Condition of Labour’). Pope Leo XIII wrote: “A small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the shoulders of the labouring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself”. The Pope’s concerns with the relationship between the owner and the worker were subsequently taken up by pioneers of the Distributist concept such as GK Chesterton, today better remembered for his Father Brown mysteries, and Hilaire Belloc. Both men were seeking a ‘Third Way’ between capitalism, (which tended to concentrate ownership and control in the hands of a few), and communism, (which concentrated ownership and control in the hands of the state). They were also inspired by the examples of co-operatives and friendly societies that grew in Victorian England. Today we still have the Co-Op and credit unions and the building societies that did not succumb to de-mutualisation. Distributists sought to bring about a social and economic system whereby there was widespread private ownership of property and workers controlled industry and participated in the share of its profits.
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National Liberal Debate 21 – Running Scared Of Religious ‘Child Abusers’
THE NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY understands that indegenuos Britons do not practice Female Genital Mutilation – FGM. Therefore, we have to presume that FGM is a ‘by-product’ of immigration from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As the NLP is supported by many different migrant communities in the UK (mainly due to our support for Self-Determination for their various nations) we feel that it’s appropriate that the question of FGM should be debated here.

To kick off our debate, we’ve reproduced an article by NHS psychiatrist Dr Max Pemberton – http://www.maxpemberton.com/ – which originally appeared in the Daily Mail towards the end of last year. It raises many interesting points concerning FGM – not least his belief that UK authorities are too scared to seriously address this issue because they ‘are too scared to offend cultural sensitivities.’

Dr Pemberton’s view – shared by many Britons – also raises a more fundamental question: how tolerant should a host nation and its people be of the religious customs and practices of incomers? The NLP believes that nobody seriously objects to immigrants praticising their religion in terms of praying, observing sacred days and taking part in religious festivals and so on. However many Britons draw the line at practices like the ritual slaughter of animals and FGM.

It goes without saying that there are no official links between Dr Pemberton, the Daily Mail or the NLP. We’ve simply his to stimulate debate, which will be held on the National Liberals Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/

Running Scared Of Religious ‘Child Abusers’

Dr Max Pemberton (right) believes that Female Genital Mutilation – FGM – is tolerated in Britain because the authories are ‘are too scared to offend cultural sensitivities.’ What’s your view?

EMALE genital mutilation (FGM) is barbaric.  Over recent years, many celebrities, such as the actress Angelina Jolie, have put pressure on the authorities to ‘do something’ about the horrific practice – and quite right, too.

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This led to a government inquiry two years ago to investigate why there has never been a single prosecution under the anti-FGM legislation in the UK.
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But the ineluctable fact is that that the authorities are too scared to offend cultural sensitivities to look to the communities where this awful practice is a custom and, therefore, routinely carried out.
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Thus, instead of prosecuting those who make young girls and women undergo such operations, the authorities cowardly target the medical profession.
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Last year, there was a farcical legal case against a doctor who was accused of stitching a mother who had just given birth, effectively re-doing the FGM she had suffered as a six-year-old in Somalia.
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The jury took less than 30 minutes to find him not guilty.
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It was a depressing example of legislation becoming politicized, with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), in my view, conducting what was little more than a show trial on the flimsiest of evidence.
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It helped no one and caused untold misery to a dedicated doctor, who was suspended from the medical register for simply being accused.
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Now, the CPS is considering prosecuting doctors who undertake cosmetic vaginal surgery.
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While I do not like this type of surgery, if adult women wish to have the shape of their genitals altered (doing so for personal reasons), that is entirely their choice.
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The idea of criminal prosecutions over adult cosmetic surgery is particularly absurd when baby boys can legally undergo religious circumcision – a painful operation that can have life-long consequences – with-out anaesthetic, carried out by someone who isn’t medically qualified.
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In any other circumstances, this would be denounced as child abuse.  Why is it any different because it serves a parent’s religious beliefs and it’s done on a boy?
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• THIS ARTICLE should be read in conjunction with the following:  http://nationalliberal.org/president-trump-the-death-penalty-the-eu-referendum-international-women%e2%80%99s-day-%e2%80%93-what-do-they-all-have-in-common
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