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First Tuesday current affairs - Tuesday 7 November 7:00pm start
First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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News Reviews from 2012

Rio+20 and Democracy

Rio+20 – The privatisation of democracy

by Craig Thomas


Rio de Janeiro is where the United Nations Earth Summit was born and appropriately in 2012 it has returned to its birthplace to die. Participating governments, overwhelmed by economic fear and corporate lobbying, were powerless to act. In their place, privately run, democratically unaccountable corporations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) dominated the global stage. What happens next is open to question, but here's my take on it.

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News Reviews from 2012

The Queen's Jubilee handshake with Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness' Jubilee handshake

A Meaningless Gesture?

by Denis Joe

 

Well now we're respected in society

We don't worry about the things that we used to be
[Rolling Stones – Respectable]

 

It won’t have escaped anybody’s attention but 2012 is the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen. In that time she will shake the hands of tens of thousands of people, but no handshake will create as much interest as the 3 second connection with ex-IRA chief Martin McGuiness.

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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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