Friday, 24 February 2012

Friday Links

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Why is a pancake unlike a marriage?

Yesterday, in the UK and other countries, was Pancake Day, a secular celebration of the tastiness of pancakes.

It was also, of course, Shrove Tuesday, the last date in the Christian Calendar before the start of Lent. Traditionally, pancakes would be eaten to use up stocks of rich foods before the start of Lent fasting and repentance.

The secular co-option of the fun bits of the tradition in a way that almost entirely inverts the point of the tradition is not unique to this particular event, of course, but I wasn't able to find anyone anywhere complaining that the celebration of Pancake Day was taking away from the meaning and seriousness of Shrove Tuesday and Lent.

Meanwhile, the usual forces of Christianity-excused heterosexism were campaigning strongly that their particular current definition of marriage should be the only legally-supported and state-recognised one, on the grounds that allowing other definitions - even trivial amendments which entirely retain the stated1 point of the tradition - would weaken their own.

It's an interesting contrast.


1 There are arguably certain points - more common historically - regarding the control of women which same-sex marriage would subvert, of course. But they will deny if asked that this is the particular point that would be weakened.

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Friday, 17 February 2012

Friday Links

Friday, 3 February 2012

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Keep poor people out

The BBC reports that:

The government has pledged to cut net migration from 242,000 - the figure for the year ending September 2010 - to the "tens of thousands" last seen in the 1990s.

It plans to do this by making the UK such an unpleasant place to live that large numbers of current residents leave.

Well, no. That's just a happy side effect of its other policies. It plans to directly do this by setting a really high minimum salary - over £31,000, or more than 75% of existing workers earn.

Because the Conservatives are a pro-family party, people wishing to live with their non-EU partner in this country will be subject to a somewhat less strict standard. Their partner need only earn around £20,000, or around median wage, to be allowed in.

(Their pro-business and pro-British credentials are going to take a bit of a hit from this "minimum wage increased for foreigners only" policy, too)