Skip to main content

The petition to deport Piers Morgan is little short of a 'fatwa'

There is something distasteful about the way Piers Morgan is being treated both in the USA and in the UK over his vociferous position on gun control. Democracy is in a parlous state when it becomes predicated on the concept that you are only welcome to contribute if you agree. America is surely bigger than this. Wanting to deport someone because they are a threat to security or a danger to others, or that they have committed a crime, is one thing; seeking to deport them because they hold views within the mainstream is repugnant.

We might argue that it is foolish, or culturally and politically unwise, for Piers Morgan to engage in such a contentious issue as gun control in such a full-blooded way, particularly as such an issue is so divisive. But he has been doing nothing he has not been doing on other issues in his TV chat show. He is an opinionated man. I have no doubt he courts controversy. But I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of his views on gun control. There should be no 'no go' areas in political debate other than those that might incite hatred or prejudice. 

Piers Morgan divides opinion, here and in the USA. He is not my favourite personality.  I doubt that the petition to have him deported is representative of public opinion in the USA, although it is gathering momentum. It now has over 81,000 signatures at the time of writing. But such a petition has hallmarks of a 'fatwa' against an individual person. In a civilized society, individuals should not be hounded in this way. It is a hateful petition. 

Nor is it that America or Americans don't interfere with the politics of other countries. America makes its opinions known. Many of the leading politicians and pundits will often rail against policies adopted elsewhere in the world. They will sometimes bomb other countries; a rather more intense interference than Mr Morgan's words. It will often do so to 'protect' the free world. But in a 'free world' people are entitled to engage in debate. TV presenters are at the front line of that freedom, and that includes Piers Morgan, warts and all. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bad trade kills the planet.

One problem with the financial crisis of 2008/9 is that it focused attention on the banking system as if it could be separated from global economics.  It fostered the notion that all that was needed was to reform the banks and all would be well.  The underlying assumption was and is that global economics didn't and doesn't need fixing.  Everything works well but for the financial system.  Let's all keep calm and carry on.

Yet, the focus on a bad banking system hides an underlying economic malaise,  The economy depended on banks lending, and growth was predicated on debt, debt and more debt.  This was not simply a problem of the banking system.  It was, and remains a problem arising from the mythology of economic growth.

Politicians have long fostered the mythology of growth.  Growth became a  mantra.  Growth is good.  Good is growth.  Let's grow! Growth as and is presented as a miraculous cure.

Let's call this the first neoliberal myth.  The second neoliberal myth…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  
Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  
There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow a…