Thursday, March 10, 2005

Going home!

I'm going home tomorrow (technically today, since it's 1am)! Term doesn't finish until the end of next week, but I've been struggling with a bad bout of M.E. for the last three or four weeks, so I'm finally giving up and heading back for a five-and-a-bit week break.

S is kicking himself for not taking me home at the weekend when he visited, but I needed to make the decision myself, and these things take a while to filter through my reasoning process at the moment! A major problem was that the internet connection at home is two floors above the living room. Since I rely on the internet to keep touch with the outside world (and to study) at the moment, and S's study isn't the tidiest or most welcoming of rooms to be in for an extended period of time, that would mean I was more cut off than I am here, where I can at least keep an eye on MSN Messenger and my email while doing other things. Of course, when I mentioned this to S over the phone, he gave me the verbal equivalent of a blank look and said "I could just get a really long cable and run it from the router to downstairs". Duh.

So thanks to S's brand new 50-foot cable, this time tomorrow I will be sleeping in a double bed that is actually comfortable...I will have my family less than half an hour down the road...I will be in a real house...I won't have to worry about getting to the shops to buy food, or about cooking if I don't feel up to it...laundry won't entail taking everything to a different building and paying £2.60 ($5)...I won't have to put up with flatmates who haven't encountered the concept of kitchen hygiene...there will be no more upstairs parties in the wee small hours to keep me awake...

I could go on, but I think I've made my point. I'M GOING HOME!!!! It's almost worth being ill.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Anti-terrorism bill 2

The Lords are really delivering the goods. There’s hope for us yet!

A wonderful quote from one of them went something like this “The idea that politicians should be given the power to lock up people they don’t like reminds one of the motto for the National Lottery – ‘It could be you!’”


Saturday, March 05, 2005

Today's News

Not feeling too great at the moment, so just a quick comment on a couple of news articles I read on the BBC website today. I've left out the Shabina Begum ruling because that will turn into the topic for a much longer post another time.

Bush offers to help EU over Iran
US President George W Bush has said he is willing to help European countries in their negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme.

Of course he is – that gets him involved and could provide him with an opportunity to invade Iran (which he is itching to do) while adopting the role of the EU’s saviour as he rushes in to graciously supply the firepower to ‘solve’ the problem. Of course, without having to do damage limitation with their new trigger-happy ally, the EU may well be able to solve the so-called problem much more quickly, peacefully and efficiently.

Ministers warned over terror law
Charles Clarke's plans to allow judges to detain terror suspects without trial may still breach human rights laws, a committee of MPs and peers has warned.

What do they mean, ‘may’?! Considering they were surprised when the law lords ruled that the last legislation to detain foreign nationals indefinitely without trial or charge was unlawful, you’d think they’d pay a bit more attention to signs of the same thing happening again. This really shouldn’t be revelatory to MPs or the general public. What planet is Charles Clarke on?

Sweden to allow IVF for lesbians
Swedish legislators are due to amend a law which would legalise fertilisation treatment for lesbian couples.

The world could learn a lot from Sweden in so many areas. I swear they’re at least 20 years ahead of the rest of Western Europe and America in most areas of social and educational policy.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Anti-terrorism bill

The bill scraped through the House of Commons with a measly majority of 14, so obviously some MPs realised what was at stake. Even the Tories came up with some good ideas to at least limit the impact, even if they couldn't stop the bill altogether, but Labour weren't having any of it.

It's up to the Lords now, who so far seem to be doing an encouraging job of decidedly not toeing the line. They vote on it tomorrow.

This article from today's Guardian gives a good update. To me, the most disturbing section is this:

Court hearings may take place without the alleged terror suspect being present or notified, and without him or her being able to make representations.

And this isn't a breach of Human Rights or a person's right under British law to a fair trial. No, of course not.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Today's the day

Last week I wrote about new legislation that our Home Secretary is trying to get passed (see my post "Trials? Who needs them?!")

Today the new anti-terrorist bill is being presented to the House of Commons for their approval or, crucially, rejection.

Now would be the time to hope and pray (not necessarily in that order) that this appalling miscarriage of justice and breach of human rights gets the treatment that it deserves from the MPs we elected to represent us and our interests.