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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 1 May 7:00pm start

Tuesday 1st May: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss a couple of topical issues in the news

First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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News Reviews from 2012

Welfare State: are we too dependent?

The Welfare State: does it develop dependency?

by David Wenham

The road to hell they say is paved with good intentions. State welfare was introduced to help prevent starvation, disease and misery within the poor of the land. It has worked very well, but perhaps too well. We should be proud of the way we look after the vulnerable in this country. There are many cases where our fellow citizens would be in misery if we did not help them and I am very happy to help them through paying my taxes.


But we now have a situation where it is preferable for a significant minority to live on welfare than to work. Welfare has not just eased the lot of the poor and unfortunate but has created a welfare class who have characteristics detrimental to themselves and to society as a whole. Not only that, it has created a schism between those who give and those who receive.

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News Reviews from 2012

Proposed enclosure for Library Walk

Conservation: reflecting a fear of the future?

Mark Iddon on plans for the Library Walk, Manchester


Proposals for a glazed walkway to enclose Library Walk in Manchester have been submitted for planning consent by Manchester architects Ian Simpson Associates (of Urbis and Beetham Tower repute). Library Walk is the curved passage way between two Grade II listed buildings - the Central Manchester Reference Library and the Town Hall Extension.


Manchester Confidential, a prominent What’s On and Reviews guide to Manchester, is unimpressed with the plans and encourages its readers to write in and comment on the proposals during the planning consultation period. Manchester Modernist Society also encourages protest suggesting issues for objection, but are these protests as radical as they appear?

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News Reviews from 2012

Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage, Liberty and Morality

by Stephen Almond


The issue of Gay Marriage and the legalisation of the right to marry for same sex couples has been very much at the top of the agenda for the cultural elite in 2012. Many politicians pride themselves in publicly promoting a society that sets out to prove its moral backbone in regards to equality, freeing homosexuals from years of social exclusion by allowing them to declare their love as couples with a legally binding marital contract alongside hetrosexual couples.


But what does this actually mean for the institution of marriage that has been the corner stone of the family unit? It seems the battle lines for this issue are clear - modern liberal morals or traditional religious ones. However the subject is a not as clear cut as it initially appears.

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News Reviews from 2012

Jamie Oliver, Food Policeman

Who made Jamie Oliver the Emperor of Eating?

By Rob Lyons


The celebrity chef now has such a fattened sense of self-importance that he thinks he has the right to lecture elected politicians.


‘We don’t want bullshit about the big society. We want a strategy to stop Britain being the fifth most unhealthy country in the world. The most unhealthy country in Europe. This is the first generation of kids expected to live not as long as their parents. Tell me, Mr Gove, Mr Lansley, how you plan to change that? Two out of five kids are obese. What is in your arsenal? The fact is, they are doing nothing…’

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News Reviews from 2012

Liam Stacey jailed for Tweeting

Tweet Crime and the zero tolerance society

by Mark Iddon


On Tuesday last week (27th March) 21 year old Liam Stacey, a student at Swansea University, was jailed for ‘tweeting’ comments that would be considered sick by most people’s standards. Although in very poor taste, and you would hope that most people would either challenge or ignore such comments, he did not actually hurt anyone or cause any damage. He was jailed effectively for a thought crime or as Judge John Charles summed up for causing aggravation.


Although the panellists on Question Time this week seemed to be in agreement that the sentence was a bit harsh, there are also many people who think that a custodial sentence was correct in order to send out a message that such racist idiocy is not acceptable and to teach them a lesson. Gary Lineker, the Match of The Day pundit allegedly tweeted a warning to think before you tweet.

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