Tag Archives: liberty

Through the Poet’s Eyes

We are going to hell in a handcart”
Has for long been a theme of art.
Intellectuals do, sometimes, over intellectualise.
Yet, the poet’s eyes
May, with foresight see
The slow, death, of liberty.

The Netherlands Advises Single People to Find Corona Sex Buddies

The BBC reports that:

“The Dutch government has issued new guidance to single people seeking intimacy during the pandemic, advising them to find a “sex buddy”.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) says singletons should come to an arrangement with one other person.

But pairings should avoid sex if one of them suspects they have coronavirus, the advice says.

The guidance comes after critics said there was no sex advice for singles”. (See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52685773).

This advice strikes me as humane and eminently sensible. It is unknown how long the COVID-19 (the Corona Virus epidemic) will persist, with many believing that there will be periodic outbreaks until a vaccine is available and widely distributed.

Some scientists remain sceptical that a vaccine will be discovered in the near future. Whilst others point out that no vaccine for the common cold has ever been found and that this may be the case with COVID-19.

Here in the United Kingdom those in relationships where advised (when the Lockdown was introduced) to choose one place of abode and move in together rather than moving between different houses/flats. However social distancing rules mean that those not currently in a relationship should not be entering into one.

Whilst individuals (both single and those in relationships) have differing sex drives, and some have very little desire for sex, sex is (for most people) an inate (and frequently) strong drive. Denying those who happened to be single at the time of lockdown the right to find intimacy with a willing partner strikes me as cruel, as it denies a section of humanity the right to indulge their desire for sex with a willing adult with the same desire.

There are, of course risks with contact of any kind during the COVID-19 situation. However these need, in my view to be balanced against the psychological damage which may, I believe be caused if those single people (who wish to) are not given an outlet for their healthy desire to express themselves sexually.

It simply is not reasonable to say to people wait until a vaccine (which may never be found), is in place before you find a long (or short-term) sexual partner.

Should We Abolish Private (fee paying) schools?

At the recently held conference of the UK Labour Party, delegates voted to abolish private (I.E. fee-paying schools), https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/sep/22/labour-delegates-vote-in-favour-of-abolishing-private-schools.

The above decision strikes me as iliberal and an attack on the freedom of the individual to spend their own money as they see fit.

The philosophical underpinning of the decision is the belief in equality. Why (proponents of a ban on private schools argue) should a tiny minority (a privileged one to boot) be able to avail themselves of private education when the vast majority of the population do not possess the resources to do so. They further argue that many leading positions in society (for example the judiciary) is packed full of individuals who enjoyed the advantages of private schooling, whilst only a small proportion of top judicial appointments are held by those who attended state (non-fee paying) institutions. Private education does, they contend assist in perpetuating and widening the “class divide” in the UK.

If one accepts the logic of the position outlined above, why stop at the abolition of private schools? Should not parents who possess the resources to buy a home in an area with good state (I.E. non-fee paying schools) be prevented from doing so, and if not, why not, for it is surely unfair that some people can aford to move to areas with good schools whilst others can not? And what about parents who (whilst they do not send their children to private school) do pay for private tuition in music, maths, literature etc? Such tuition may well give the ofspring of such parents an advantage. Is not such an advantage unfair and as such should a prohibition not be placed on parents paying for private tuition? If the answer given to the last question by those delegates who voted for the ban on private schools is “no”, on what logic do they base their opposition to private schools, whilst accepting the right of parents to pay for private tuition often (but not always) in their own homes?

I myself do tutor a friend’s son most Saturdays in poetry. Whilst no money is paid (I wouldn’t accept it even where it to be offered) it is, nonetheless private tuition. If I can provide tuition to a friend’s son free of charge why then should not those (if any exist) wishing to pay me for the provision of said tuition be entitled to do so?

I was incredibly lucky and grew up in a house full of books. From a young age I experienced the delight of being read to by my grandfather and other family members. If we follow the extreme Socialist logic to it’s logical conclusion should we not take away some of the books from those households lucky enough to possess them and redistribute them to families with no (or few) books? And if not, why not?

Life is, in the final analysis unfair. Whilst its surely right that proper funding is provided to the state education sector (which is not always the case), that is not an argument in favour of abolishing the right of those who can aford to pay for private education to do so.
Variety is the spice of life and both private and state sectors can learn from one another, with the best aspects of both systems being incorporated (on a voluntary basis) by both institutions. Its also surely right that private schools who enjoy charitable status should prove their commitment to the local community by, for example opening up their facilities (such as swimming pools and playing fields) to local state schools.

I myself was lucky enough to attend a school part funded by the Catholic Blind Institute and part funded by the state. The largest class I remember consisted of perhaps 10-12 children, with other classes being smaller. The ethos of that school (which catered for both boarders and day pupils) was excellent and yes, I do feel privileged to have attended it.

As always I would be interested in the views of my readers.

Kevin

Should Prostitution Be Decriminilised?

Below is a  discussion regarding the decision of Amnesty International to support the decriminilisation of prostitution. There are some interesting points made on both sides of the argument.

(In  the UK it is legal for someone over the age of 18 to buy or sell sex provided the sex worker is not subjected to coercion. It  is an absolute offence to pay for sex with a  person who has been forced into prostitution irrespective of whether the person handing over money is aware that the prostitute is being forced.

Many of the activities associated with prostitution are illegal. It  is illegal to profit from another’s involvement in prostitution and brothels are prohibited).

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/2437312-Amnesty-International-policy-on-prostitution?pg=1