Another fundamentally anti-female culture...
A Japanese feminist has beenbanned from speaking at a lecture series by the Tokyo Municipal Government:
"Last July, Professor Ueno was chosen by a citizens’ group in the Greater Tokyo district of Kokubunji as the first speaker in a series of lectures on human rights; the events were to be sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. But according to the group, Tokyo officials objected to the choice of Ueno because she might use the phrase "gender-free" – a poorly defined term originally intended to mean free from sexual bias. The citizen’s group refused to find another speaker and instead cancelled the series of events. ...
"Gender-free" is an imported English phrase that has been used in Japan since the mid-1990s. Some progressive teachers and local education authorities have used the phrase to promote liberal sex education, and the mixed listing of boys and girls on school roll calls. The latter is contentious in Japan where traditionally boys' names are read out first.
Nothing like telling kids from an early age who is regarded as important...
I eat organic food (as much as I can, while also trying to take account of "food miles") primarily because I think the form of farming needs to be encouraged. (And organic yoghurt tastes MUCH better than the plastic non-organic stuff.) But like the author of this article whether there is any actual direct harm from the pesticides in food I'm not sure. But he offers an interesting parallel:
He cited the long-burning, but now resolved, debate about the health impact of smoking: "An official at Brown & Williamson, a cigarette maker now owned by RJ Reynolds, once noted in a memo: 'Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the "body of fact" that exists in the mind of the general public.' Toward that end, the tobacco manufacturers dissected every study, highlighted every question, magnified every flaw, cast every possible doubt every possible time ... It was all a charade, of course, because the real science was inexorable. But the uncertainty campaign was effective: it delayed public-health protections, and compensation for tobacco's victims, for decades."
Pesticide campaigners say that they see some parallels in their own struggle to get pesticides banned or severely restricted.
You might make the same parallel with those proclaiming their doubts about the reality of global warming.
Some interesting figures on immigration, legal and illegal:
* There are between 310,000 and 570,000 illegal immigrants in the UK, according to Home Office estimates
* If allowed to live legally, they would pay more than £1bn in tax each year
* Migrants fill 90% of low-paid jobs in London and account for 29% of the capital's workforce. London is the UK's fastest-growing region
* Legal migrants comprise 8.7% of the population, but contribute 10.2% of all taxes. Each immigrant pays an average of £7,203 in tax, compared with £6,861 for non-migrant workers
* There were 25,715 people claiming asylum last year. If allowed to work, they would generate £123m for the Treasury