MICHAEL GOVE SPECIAL! But don’t let that put you off. We’ve three pieces about the education secretary including an interview with the teacher Gove attacked for using Mr Men to teach history, a look at Gove’s approach to classic literature, and a piece on how he used PR surveys to justify policy. We also have some exclusive clips from an event celebrating the reform of the libel laws featuring the likes of Dara O’Briain, Nick Cohen, Brian Cox and many more.
Mr Men History (2:36) by James O’Malley (ft Russel Tarr) Gove and Prejudice (11:44) by Sean Ellis Gove and One Poll (18:53) by Marsh Libel Reform Celebration (28:01) by Liz Lutgendoff (ft Dave Gorman, Simon Singh, Chris French, Hardeep Singh, Brian Cox, Nick Cohen, Dara O’Briain and Evan Harris) Cosmic Genome (36:48) by James O’Malley (ft Robin Ince and Trent Burton) Humanist Weddings (45:51) by Blakeley Nixon (ft Pavan Dhaliwal) Homosexuality and DSM (49:17) by Chris Chapman The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two
The Leveson Debate Highlights (1:24) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Nick Cohen, Suzanne Moore, Evan Harris, Natalie Fenton and Helen Lewis) Secularist Court Wins (11:15) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Pavan Dhaliwal and Richy Thompson) Sunday Assembly (26:43) by James O’Malley (ft Sanderson Jones) Bad Charity PR (36:56) by Marsh Django and Spaghetti Westerns (42:35) by Alex Fitch The Death of DVD (54:17) by David Biggins Horse Burgers (63:39) by Sean Ellis
Recorded on the 22nd September 2012, these were the speeches given at the 2012 National Secular Society conference in London. We’re still waiting for permission to broadcast from a couple of speakers but most are there!
Professor Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins is a world famous Atheist, having authored several books and popularising Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. He studies ethology which is the study of animal behaviour and evolutionary biology. Dawkins was the Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 till 2008 at Oxford University. After retiring from this position, he now travels internationally giving lectures and making documentaries to increase Atheism awareness.
Nia Griffith MP
Nia Griffith is Member of Parliament for Llanelli, Shadow Minister for Wales and a campaigner for Lords reform. She is a firm believer in the need for the separation of church and state.
Nick Cohen is a journalist, author, political commentator and eloquent supporter of secularism. He is a critic of the increasing role of religion in state education and of the Left’s tendency to pander to religious fundamentalists. His latest work,You Can’t Read This Book, is on freedom of expression.
Pragna Patel is a secular campaigner, founding member of Southall Black Sisters and co-founder of Women Against Fundamentalism. In 2010 Pragna received the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year on behalf of Southall Black Sisters.
Peter Tatchell has been campaigning for human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice since 1967. Through the Peter Tatchell Foundation, he campaigns for human rights in Britain and internationally. In 2012 Peter was awarded the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year.
Maryam Namazie is a secular campaigner and commentator, spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. In 2005 she was awarded the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year.
Professor Ted Cantle CBE
Ted Cantle is Professor at the Institute of Community Cohesion. His report into the northern riots of 2001 drew attention to the “segregated” ethnic and religious communities living ‘parallel’ lives. His new book confronts the failures of multiculturalism head on and establishes a new concept — interculturalism — for managing community relations in a world defined by globalization and super-diversity.
On Saturday 17th March, the National Secular Society‘s Secularist of the Year award (“The Irwin Prize”) was presented to human rights activist Peter Tatchell by the writer and columnist Nick Cohen. In addition, councillor Clive Bone who was at the centre of the Bideford council prayers case received a special award recognising his work.
This week is a bit of a secularism special – punch your fist in the air at the Rally to Defend Freedom of Expression, find out about the perils of censorship in Nick Cohen’s new book and get the accurate story on the Bideford council prayers ruling. Plus we talk about a new survey showing Christians aren’t terribly Christian, find out why Alan Turing deserves a pardon and solve the mystery of which Sherlock Holmes adaption is best.
Rally to defend Freedom of Expression (2:40) by James O’Malley & Liz Lutgendorff
(ft Richard Dawkins, Nick Doody, Kate Smurthwaite, Rhys Morgan, Joan Smith and Anne-Marie Waters) Nick Cohen Interview (18:10) by Liz Lutgendorff & James O’Malley Census Christians (28:54) by James O’Malley (ft Paula Kirby) Bideford Council (37:35) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Tessa Kendall) Turing Pardon (45:00) by Peter Rowlett Sherlock and Copyright (54:56) by Tom Hodden The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two
In a very chilly Westminster today a rally was held to defend freedom of expression. Organised by the One Law For All campaign, it brought together a number of groups and individuals including many university atheist societies, the BHA, NSS, Richard Dawkins, Nick Cohen, Joan Smith and AC Grayling.
You can hear further coverage of the recent free-speech cases that have provoked this rally on The Pod Delusion’s weekly programme…
Last Saturday was the National Secular Society‘s Secularism 2011 conference at Conway Hall in London. We were there recording the entire day – so here are all of the talks in full. Here’s the first batch – we’re still waiting on permission to broadcast some of the others, but hope to be posting them soon.
Nick is an Observer columnist and author of Cruel Britannia, Pretty Straight Guys: The Strange Death Of Labour England, among others. Nick Cohen is an eloquent supporter of secularism and regularly takes a swipe at the growing number of church-run schools and the Left’s tendency to pander to religious fundamentalists. The Orwell Prize for political writing shortlisted What’s Left? in 2008. His latest book, in 2009, is Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England. Fourth Estate will publish You Can’t Read This Book, his history of modern censorship in January 2012.
Dr Anthony Lempert (Part 1 – on secularism in medicine)
Dr Lempert was at the conference representing the Secular Medical Forum, which campaigns to a secular approach to major health issues such as abortion.
Baroness Mary Warnock
Baroness Warnock was created a life peer in 1985. She is by professional training a philosopher. She has also been a prominent figure in education, a fellow and tutor in Philosophy at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, Head Mistress of Oxford High School and Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge. She is author of a number of books, most recently Dishonest to God: On Keeping Religion Out of Politics.
Baroness Warnock was a member of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) from 1973 to 1981. She was chair of the UK committee of inquiry into special education (1974–78), and from 1979 to 1985, she advised the UK committee on animal experiments. From 1982 to 1984 she chaired an inquiry into human fertilisation, the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, whose final report is often called the Warnock report.
Anne Marie Waters
Anne Marie is spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign which works to end sharia courts and tribunals in Britain on the grounds that they work against human rights and equality before the law. She is a lawyer with a strong interest in family law and human rights, and the interaction of the two.
Paul has been an active secularist and humanist for over twenty years. Paul is Chair of the Labour Party Humanists and runs Right Angles, a PR and Social Media consultancy. He recently was involved in organising last years “Protest the Pope” rally and has been very active in the campaign to remove bishops from the House of Lords. He frequently appears in the media putting forward the atheist/secular position, and is a regular on BBC’s The Big Questions and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2.