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Monday, April 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Jon Swaine has a story in the Telegraph about Richard Dawkins at the moment here which reads like one of those sensationalist Sunday Sport (does that still exist?) stories about alien abduction or sightings of Elvis; if you can get past the attention grabbing style of the piece there are some very serious points being made.
The story relates to something that was in the news last week about a recent visit to Africa by the Pope during which he is claimed to have said that condoms could actually increase the aids problem there. In Europe where Catholicism is in free-fall decline I'm sure that most people are educated enough to understand the real sub-text of such a statement, i.e. a rich and powerful bunch of shaman attempting to cling onto influence and power by sprinkling their "voodoo" and rattling a few bones. But somewhere like Africa where the safety net of public health education simply doesn't exist in most places, such pronouncements by figureheads like this could potentially lead to disaster.
I can't help draw a comparison between the press coverage that this has generated and that spun out of the whole "Fred the shred" circus, on the one hand we have a supposed "professional" making utterly false and self serving statements that potentially affects millions of innocent people perhaps across many generations, getting away scot-free whilst smugly profiting handsomely and apparently not feeling the slightest twinge of remorse; on the other hand we have a Scottish bloke who is good at negotiating pension contracts.