Blog

Dumping the past – and moving on

So the British Library has apologised to the widow of Ted Hughes, after suggesting that he may have benefitted from the slave trade through his ancestors. What? Apparently the poet laureate was named, as one of around 300 people and institutions that may have profited from slavery, or colonialism. My first response – so what!…

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Fitting into Society

The word ‘autistic’ has often been seen as derogatory – referring to children and adults who do not easily fit with society’s idea of normal. An article by Alice Thomson (Times, 24.11), focusing on Simon Baron-Cohen’s book, ‘The Pattern Seekers: A New Theory of Human Invention’, attacks this out-dated view. Thomson’s article cites Greta Thunberg,…

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Whatever Happened to Free Speech?

Hasn’t Britain always been a place where citizens can express their views, albeit in a respectful way? Yes – I thought so too until I read the article (Times, 17.11, Melanie Phillips), stating that an actress has been sacked from her role in the musical, ‘The Colour Purple’,for saying that she didn’t believe that homosexuality…

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Pioneering for Equal Rights

Before the publicity I had (to my shame) never heard of Mary Wollstonecraft. Now, 223 years since her death, I, and many more of us, wonder why her trailblazing and pioneering spirit has been buried for so long. How wonderful that a statue now allows her to live on. The statue itself has invited much…

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Levelling the uneven playing field

Can society ever have a completely levelled out system of educational opportunity? It seems unlikely – given that it would need a sociological earthquake to remove those stubborn, historical lumps and bumps. Research shows that family background has always had a profound effect on educational success. Is it always going to be inevitable that children…

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