Chris Hedges, American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer.
disagrees Basic IncomeThe oligarchs do not propose structural change. They do not want businesses and the marketplace regulated. They do not support labor unions. They will not pay a living wage to their bonded labor in the developing world or the American workers in their warehouses and shipping centers or driving their delivery vehicles. They have no intention of establishing free college education, universal governm... See More
Karl Brenke, Economist at the German Institute for Economics (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaft DIW) in Berlin
disagrees Basic IncomeThe idea of freedom, which is connected with UBI, is essentially the opposite: namely the loss of freedom. It is no longer individual citizens who take care of themselves, but the state. The citizen thus becomes the subject of an increasingly powerful state. And because the state provides its citizens with income – which it has previously taken out of their pockets in the form of taxes – all futur... See More
Emmanuel Macron, French PresidentI do not believe that autonomous vehicles will exist without any drivers at all. For me, that’s pure imagination. You already have fully automated programs to drive planes. Therefore we technically could have planes with no pilots. But you still have two pilots in every plane. Even if almost everything is automated. That’s because you need to have responsibility, precisely. So what we will reduce ... See More
Emmanuel Macron, French PresidentBeing focused on protecting jobs is not the right answer. It’s the people you need to protect. You do so by giving them opportunities and by training and retraining them again to get new jobs. Don’t block the change because it’s coming and people will accept it. But try to be at the fore-front of change to better understand it and deal with it. Change can destroy jobs in the very short run, but cr... See More
Emmanuel Macron, French President
agrees Ban Autonomous WeaponsI’m dead against [autonomous weapons]. Because I think you always need responsibility and assertion of responsibility. And technically speaking, you can have in some situations, some automation which will be possible. But automation or machines put in a situation precisely to do that would create an absence of responsibility. Which, for me, is a critical issue. So that’s absolutely impossible. Tha... See More
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analystThere are resilient ways to solve problems, say feed the world, without complicated technologies that entail fragility and unkown possibilities.
It remains the case that far too many people are unaware of just how badly some of these schools fail their pupils. All over the country there are children whose education is being severely limited, whose understanding of the world is being fatally undermined, and whose individuality and identity are being constrained.
Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of CanterburyThe often-forgotten fact that church schools are the main educational presence in some of our most deprived communities means that it simply can't be said that these schools somehow have a policy of sanitising or segregating.
Peter Hitchens, Author, journalistAnd I have little doubt that these schools are generally better than their secular equivalents partly (but not wholly) because they are selective. Selection, alas, is the foundation of authority in schools, and those which have little or none tend to be anarchic, unless they come under the leadership of those rare charismatic heads whose personality is so strong that they could have quelled the Mu... See More
All education should be secular. But failing that, religious indoctrination - which in a free society will occur, because one cannot outlaw religion itself, though one should argue against it vigorously – should happen at the private expense of those who choose to inflict it on their children. It should emphatically not be happening at public expense.
If you think about that, somehow saying that, well, anything goes, we shouldn’t offend religious beliefs by requiring kids to know – to understand reality; that’s child abuse. And if you think about it, teaching kids – or allowing the notion that the earth is 6,000 years old to be promulgated in schools is like teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet. That’s how big an ... See More
But it doesn’t matter what the definition of “science” is: the First Amendment prohibits pushing religion in the classroom, and creationism is religion. Scholars don’t have the right to “explore” the role of God in the history of life. As I said, I’d object to scholars lying to their students, but would try to take legal action only against lies that violate the Constitution. The courts have defin... See More
The creationists have also changed their name, this time to “Intelligent Design Theorists” who study “irreducible complexity” and the “abrupt appearance” of life, yet more jargon for “God did it.” This is what ignites my ire about the creationists — their disingenuousness about their religious motivations. Make no mistake about it. Creationists do not want equal time. They want all the time. Their... See More
Tariq Ahmad, British Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United NationsWe must educate our children to understand other religions, in the hope that the next generation will be wiser than those that have come before it. And schools can play this role, including faith schools.
A Catholic school is a response to the proper and legitimate expectations that parents can look to the state to help them to educate their children in the faith and way of life which is precious to them. In this way a Catholic school contributes to social cohesion by respecting the rights of parents and by maintaining educational diversity. This parental right is enshrined in European Conventions ... See More
Steve Sinnott, Former general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, UKThere is a view that the promotion of greater influence of faith groups in running our schools could be detrimental to community cohesion and social cohesion and could promote ethnic segregation.
Jonathan Romain, Rabbi, writerThere is a real danger that the growth in faith schools today will be blamed in 30 years’ time for the social disharmony then. It is not too late to reverse that trend, if we want a society that has diversity within unity, not at the expense of it.
Margaret Knight, Psychologist, humanist...in a climate of thought that is increasingly unfavourable to these beliefs, it is a mistake to try to impose them on children, and to make them the basis of moral training. The moral education of children is much too important a matter to be built on such foundations.
The glaring hypocrisy of our integration agenda is that our most important public institutions actively encourage segregation. Faith schools make up one third of all schools in Britain. Our government is proposing that they have even more power to discriminate by selecting more of their places based on religious belief. Public funds are being used to separate children by faith. What could be more ... See More
Justin Welby, Archbishop of CanterburyWe live in a country where an overarching story, which is the framework for explaining life, has more or less disappeared. We have a world of unguided and competing narratives, where the only common factor is the inviolability of personal choice, which means that for schools that are not of a religious character, confidence in any personal sense of ultimate values has diminished. Utilitarianism ru... See More
Humanists UK, Humanist organisationReligious selection stunts social mobility, discriminates against children on the basis of their assumed religion, and segregates them along religious and ethnic lines too. It is a stain on our education system and the sooner both the Government and the schools themselves realise this, the better.
We oppose faith schools in principle. Parents are entitled to raise their children within a faith tradition, but they are not entitled to enlist the help of the state to do so. The state should not fund proselytisation or allow the schools it funds to inculcate children into a particular religion. There are other reasons why organising children's education around religious identities is a bad idea... See More
Keith Porteous Wood, President of the National Secular Society...faith schools generally have higher standards: broadly because of their unique ability to operate religiously selective admissions policies, which are known to work against children from less affluent backgrounds. Were that privilege to be taken away, the preference for faith schools would soon evaporate.
So long as parents want their children to get the best qualifications, so long as politicians of left and right support parental choice and high academic standards, and so long as faith schools maintain these standards, the debate can rage, but faith schools are not going away.
Tina Beattie, Writer, broadcasterThere’s a difference between religious schools (which teach religion) and faith schools (which teach the national curriculum). I support state funding for the latter. Religious parents pay taxes and are entitled to a reasonable choice in education. Where is the evidence that religious instruction is ‘bad for society’? Secular society must accommodate a genuine plurality of beliefs and values in ed... See More
Faith schools force-feed their pupils in the same way foie gras producers force-feed their geese, except instead of fat livers you get closed minds. Picking one faith to demonise for all that while overlooking the same offences by others is, well, uneducated. We have a system of education which everybody in Britain pays into, but does not have an equal right to access. Faith schools exist purely b... See More
Catherine Bennett, JournalistDivisiveness is, after all, the point. Until devout parents decide, as they will not, that their religions are interchangeable, the very existence of a faith school belittles rivals and heathens alike. And even within a church as carefully non-discriminatory as the Church of England, there can be no knowing how individual teachers talk about people who, as a token of devotion, they regard as steep... See More
I have always felt uneasy about fervently religious schools. They seem to teach exactly the opposite of what education should be about — to give pupils all the facts and allow them to discover their beliefs for themselves... it is an anomaly to allow publicly funded schools to choose their intake, overtly or covertly, on religious background only. No other state-funded institution is exempt from t... See More
...engagement with children and young people in schools will, in the words of the late Lord Runcie when he was Archbishop of Canterbury, enable the Church to: “Nourish those of the faith; Encourage those of other faiths; Challenge those who have no faith."
David Cameron, Former UK Prime MinisterI think faith schools are an important part of our system, I support them and I would like if anything to see them grow. I think faith organisations bring often a sort of culture and ethos to a school that can help it improve and I’m a strong supporter personally and politically.
Kenneth Stevenson, Former Bishop of PortsmouthThe Church of England supports Muslim and Jewish and other faith schools. Their existence will itself be a powerful sign of the secure place of their adherents in Britain. They should promote self-respect and self-confidence in their pupils, the best antidote to discord and violence.
They [faith schools] feel besieged by a Government that is using its statutory powers to challenge their very reason for being: the right to make faith and a commitment to it the deciding factor in admissions. Cristina Odone had it right...when she argued that to defend the rights of faith schools was to defend the right of parents to a school ethos that matches the one they promote at home.
Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK from 1997 to 2007Does it instil respect and understanding, an open mind, open to inquiry, at ease with diversity, ready to learn more about other faiths? Or does it create a closed mind, a mindset vulnerable to fear, distrust and coercion, a world where “error has no rights”? In short is it good religion or bad religion? I believe the overwhelming number of our faith schools fall into the first category. They p... See More
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin (400 companies)Yet, in their zeal for chasing the illusion of a drug-free world, governments have poured billions into tough law enforcement that did nothing to reduce drug supply or demand, or take control from the criminal organisations in charge of the global drug trade.
Peter Hitchens, Author, journalist
disagrees Legalise recreational drugsWhat I'm in favour of is the clear, consistent enforcement of a 43-year-old law, which has fallen into disuse because politicians, judges and police officers have decided they prefer not to enforce it. I do not imagine my preferred policy would end or solve the problem. I do, however, believe that it would greatly reduce it. If people insist on breaking known and enforced laws, they must, fo... See More
Indeed, it is well known, and not disputed, that the very societies that attempt most vigorously to suppress various drugs, and in which users are subject to the most stringent penalties, have seen a vast and continuous increase in the per capita consumption of these drugs. This is tacitly admitted by the vast armed bureaucracies set up to persecute drug users in our societies, which every year de... See More
The BMJ, Weekly peer-reviewed medical journalBut the effectiveness of prohibition laws, colloquially known as the “war on drugs,” must be judged on outcomes. And too often the war on drugs plays out as a war on the millions of people who use drugs, and disproportionately on people who are poor or from ethnic minorities and on women. Prohibition and stigma encourage less safe drug consumption and push people away from health services. Shar... See More
Amanda Feilding, Drug policy reformer and researcherMany of the health risks associated with drug use result from the fact that drug production and drug use is unregulated and controlled by black market forces. People take too much, don’t get help quickly enough, take adulterated substances, and are poorly educated on the substances they are taking.
It is true that Britain does not round up drug users and put them on chain gangs and force them to go out and dig graves, as they do in the prison I went to in Arizona. But we do imprison many people for drug offences – and, even more importantly, our drug trade is 100 per cent in the hands of criminals. They are fighting over it the whole time. How many of the stabbings we read of in the paper... See More
Nick Clegg, Leader @LibDems from 2007 to 2015 and MP.I believe we owe it to both our young people at home and countries abroad – like Colombia – who have been blighted by this unwinnable war, to look at different approaches that could cut the levels of violence, addiction and criminal profit. That is why I have long believed that if you are anti-drugs, you should be pro-reform. We should be led by the evidence of what works, not guesswork.
Owen Jones, Columnist for the Guardian and the New StatesmenYes, politicians who abandon the failed mantra of the drug war risk the incandescent rage of the Daily Mail. But how many lives have to be lost – or simply ruined – before reality and common sense finally prevail? Rather than expanding the efforts of a disastrous policy, the old failed approach must finally be abandoned.
Toby Young, British journalistWhat parents who complain about being excluded from faith schools don’t understand is that the reason they’re above average — which is why they want to send their children to them in the first place — is precisely because of their religious ethos. To a great extent, that ethos depends upon being able to reserve a majority of their places for children of a particular faith. It follows that if the s... See More
Ruth Dreifuss, Former President of SwitzerlandDrugs can be sexy when they are underground ... If you medicalize, it’s no longer sexy. [Users] know now that they are ill persons and not rebels in society. It’s no longer sexy and it’s no longer attractive for future rebels.
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