Tag Archives: humanrights

My del.icio.us bookmarks for January 4th through January 7th

Catholic threat on slave rights law

The Catholic Church today caused widespread controversy when it issued a statement urging the Government to overturn a law made two hundred years ago.

Clive Adams, standing outside Saint Johns Cathedral in Norwich, read the statement: “The Catholic Church is unable to comply with the Slave Trade Act, the 1807 Act of Parliament abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire. This law is incompatible with the teachings of the Bible and we cannot in clear conscience operate under such restrictions. We ask the government to consider an opt-out clause in revised legislation.”1 Adams, an unpaid volunteer reporting to Cardinal Michael Osborn, denied that he himself was a slave.

The church suggests that past ill treatment of slaves was merely due to an incorrect interpretation of the Bible. “Sentiments of kindness and understanding vastly outnumber passages advocating beating servants and selling your daughter.”

The release also notes that the Blair administration has already repealed the Slavery Abolition Act in 19982 and suggested that it wasn’t such a stretch to go “as far as common sense leads us.”

The government has not officially commented, although some senior members of the Cabinet are rumoured to have suggested that passing new legislation might be easier if MPs “be obedient to them that are [their] masters.”

  1. In case it’s not absolutely obvious, this is a parody on the recent story that the Catholic Church is, with some support in the Cabinet, seeking an opt-out of equality legislation on religious grounds. []
  2. This is actually true — Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1998 — although staunch Catholics should note that this does not mean that Slavery is legal. []

Protect The Human

Secret Policeman's BallLast night we went to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Secret Policeman’s Ball, a charity gala in aid of Amnesty International. Despite the great cast — everyone from The Mighty Boosh to Eddie Izzard — beforehand I was worried that the “charity” aspect would take too prominent a position compared with the comedy. Obviously there’s a need to make people remember what the show is all about but often these events become preachy and, ultimately, a little dull.

I need not have worried. There were a few “cut sequences” as they re-arranged the stage, but even they provided laughs. (I particularly liked the QVC-style advert for the AK-47.)

There were many memorable moments so it’s certainly worth watching when it comes on TV in a few weeks. Personally I liked the sign interpretation of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” and Eddie Izzard’s demolition of so-called Intelligent Design.