Three Things for Tuesday 7th September 2010

There are a few things I wish to draw your attention to from when I was reading newspapers earlier.

Michael White’s parliamentary sketch in today’s Guardian entitled ‘May sticks to autocue as Labour looks for revenge‘ is an excellent summer of yesterday’s major proceedings in parliament. I couldn’t help cheering Labour for their attacks on the Tories yesterday. This is the first major scandal that the current government has had to face and they aren’t dealing with it well.

Whether Andy Coulson is guilty or not is now almost mute at this point. The problem that the Tories have is that their head of PR is becoming the story. There are echos of Alastair Campbell here. You cannot operate a government if the problems that individuals in your party have, or have had, are overshadowing official government business.

I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly‘, is the title of George Monbiot’s Guardian column this week. Broadly I agree with it, and have argued some of these points in the past. It makes no sense, to me, to waste viable grasslands or upland regions where cows, sheep and pigs can convert food inedible to humans into edible food. Just as it is terrible for the environment to grow tomatoes in the British winter using intensive farming methods it is equally terrible to not put the environment that we have made over the past five thousand years or so to its full use.

The ethical concern of is it right to eat meat is a different argument entirely, and is one that is attacked in much detail by both sides in the comments of this article.

Magnulus has produced a video on weekday vegetarianism which offers one way to cut down eating meat.

The crimewave that shames the world‘ by Robert Fisk, is in today’s Independent. Read it. There is no analysis of the problem, but that isn’t the point. When you have read this piece the phrase “honour killings” will no longer be just two words, but instead it will evoke this list of horror.

In August of 2008, five women were buried alive for “honour crimes” in Baluchistan by armed tribesmen; three of them – Hameeda, Raheema and Fauzia – were teenagers who, after being beaten and shot, were thrown still alive into a ditch where they were covered with stones and earth. When the two older women, aged 45 and 38, protested, they suffered the same fate. The three younger women had tried to choose their own husbands. In the Pakistani parliament, the MP Israrullah Zehri referred to the murders as part of a “centuries-old tradition” which he would “continue to defend”.

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