Battle Readings is a regularly updated compilation of articles, essays, and opinion pieces relevant to the themes of the Battle of Ideas.
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Mr Referendum faces a vote he does not want
Freedom of speech is not within the gift of the First Minster to stay or allow. Its antecedents go back to the Bill of Rights (1689), of which Rangers fans have been known to chant – in a non-sectarian way, of course, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), of which there has been slightly less celebration on the terracings, and, of course, currently under the European Convention of Human Rights.Michael Kelly
, 13 October 2011
Crime and punishment: what are prisons for?
When he was Conservative home secretary in the 1990s, Michael Howard famously declared that ‘prison works’. But what is it for prison to ‘work’? And how can we tell whether or not it does?Piers Benn
, 9 October 2011
Taming the tabloid beast: reining in the press after Hackgate
Phone-hacking has been recast as an aggravated invasion of individual privacy. The previous, ineffectual inquiries have been recast as the casualties of huge, dirty conspiracies of silence. Unfortunately, this pursuit of concerns about Murdoch’s companies is going to take lumps out of all of journalism. Like Larkin’s parents, it may not mean to, but it will.Sean Bell
, 8 October 2011
Silencing sectarianism: football’s free speech wars
No-one would describe Old Firm games as being like a polite tea party and sensitive souls should really choose another sport if they want to stand quietly in polite company.Kevin Rooney
, 6 October 2011
Why Animal Rights Campaigners are Wrong About Shark Fin Soup
Even if one doesn't like the taste or idea of shark fin soup, what is at stake is the individual's right to choose what to eat within the confines of the law, regardless of whether its production is offensive to some campaigners, celebrities or politicians.Kirk Leech
, Huffington Post
, 5 October 2011
The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition Since 1800
The prohibition of alcohol in the USA was a notorious fiasco. The War on Drugs has been a deadly failure. Bans on alternative nicotine products keep people smoking cigarettes. Attempts to suppress legal highs result in more drugs hitting the market. Prohibition doesn't work but the world is filled with prohibitionists. Why?
Chris Snowdon, Little Dice,
3 October 2011
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