Oh how wonderful, we have our most esteemed Winterval Wally to date. The establishment's near favourite faith leader Baroness Julia Neuberger has just spouted this untruthful nonsense for the Washington Post:
"Some local authorities in the UK wanted to ban Christmas at one stage,
and tried to invent a 'winterval', a winter festival, with no
Oh no they didn't Julia and you are our latest nominee for Winterval Wally of 2007 for recycling lies in the Phoney War on Christmas. See here, here and here for more details on the award.
Read the article and it seems Julia might be a potential recruit for this year's new culture clash, the War on Halloween. We shall watch with interest.
They may be wrong, but they are also popular. So goes the refrain about faith schools. So how to explain why in Canada when the Conservatives proposed to introduce religious schools into Ontario it became the main election issue, voters objected strongly leading the Conservatives into a crushing defeat. The Conservatives now describe their faith schools policy as "dead as a doornail". Well, fancy that.
Here's a shocking example of how the policy of handing over community schools to religious organisations and other Blair-inspired experiments have destroyed any hope of meaningful school choice for liberal or progressive parents who don't wish to send their children to non-selective, non-sectarian or non-fee paying schools.
"The hon. Gentleman mentioned church schools, which are bedevilling—forgive the pun, which was not intended—education in his constituency. The reason given for establishing academies there is that they will provide more parental choice. My constituency
has three private schools, a girls grammar school, four Church schools,
two foundation schools, a city technology college, Walsall academy, St.
Thomas More Catholic school and a raft of specialist schools. In fact,
the situation has become impossible for a liberal-minded parent who
wants a school for their child that is non-selective, non-sectarian and
non-fee-paying. This is how, in the hon. Gentleman's constituency,
like mine, the choice agenda has resulted not in a wide liberal choice
for progressives, but in a narrowing down of opportunities, which are
restricted basically to those of a regressive understanding of
"Although I have a Christian upbringing, I am not an Anglican, but come
from good nonconformist stock. I have serious misgivings about two of
Colchester's local secondary schools being shut down and their
replacement academy handed over to the Chelmsford diocese. If the
diocese wants to have a secondary school to promote Anglican teachings
then let it, like the Brentwood Roman Catholic diocese, organise its
own school in Colchester to serve the whole of north Essex for those
parents who wish to have such a denominational school—not impose itself
on a particular geographic area of the town whose parents may not
necessarily wish to have their children taught under a religious
regime. What parental choice will there be for those in Monkwick and
Shrub End who do not want their children to attend a religious academy?
Will other secondary schools in Colchester have places available to
Wow, if this story had appeared in a national newspaper we could have declared this year's phoney War on Christmas well and truly open. However, and slightly bizarrely, our latest nomination for a Winterval Wally award for trotting out myths about Winterval goes to Management Today magazine. In an article about a biblical toys franchise the magazine boldly states:
"Yet it seems like an unlikely time to be pushing religious toys,
especially given that the multicultural nature of our country has
already led to many schools ditching the term ‘Christmas’ in favour of
the more inclusive ‘Winterval’."
Excuse me? Schools ditching Christmas in favour of Winterval! Where is the evidence for this, it's a new one on me. Of course, we know there isn't any, as evidence and truth play no part in the phoney War on Christmas.
Anyhow, as no one has put their name to this article, on the online version at least, we will have to award this Winterval Wally award to the guy who signed off this guff, Management Today editor, Matthew Gwyther. Congratulations Matthew, you are our second* Winterval Wally of the season. Happy Holidays!
A creationist talk show host in the US says on air that she doesn't know whether the Earth is flat. Yes folks, perhaps we too often put creationism down to blind faith, when in fact it's often a case of extreme ignorance. Watch this video clip and be amazed. (The celeb is Sherri Shepherd, presenter of ABC's chat show The View):
From the folks who brought you the weekend, a sometimes happy human blogging from the left of centre and keeping it sceptical, freethinking, secular and humanist. Because every reasonable human being should be a moderate socialist – or drinker – or preferably both.
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan.
‘The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. Where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe. And where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.’
The Labour Humanist Group
A Labour Humanist Group exists to spread awareness of humanism and humanists within the Labour Party and to promote humanist and Labour values. Membership of the Group is open to any person, who agrees with the aims of the group and is a member or supporter of the Labour Party, or a member of a group officially affiliated to the Labour Party.
To find out more visit Labour Humanist Group
What is Humanism
Humanism is the belief that we can live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. Humanists make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values. We seek to make the best of the one life we have by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves. We take responsibility for our actions and work with others for the common good.