Monday, February 20, 2006

Jingoism and the Cabinet Minister

Dr Reid, the UK Defence Minister, makes a spirited call for balance and for the media to be slow to criticise the military in Iraq. The danger here - given the traditional view that British soldiers can do no wrong - is obvious. Perhaps the media should lay off all but the most heinous abuses by troops on the ground and concentrate instead on the culpability of those who sent them there in the first place.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Nude cyclists have balance problems

A group of German naturalists found themselves on the wrong side of the law when they tried to celebrate World Nude Cycling Day in the only way they knew how. The judge in the Karsruhe Administrative Court rejected the group’s claim that it was only exercising its right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and found that the police could prevent the cycle ride because it was in the public interest to prohibit displays of nudity, and, presumably, the risk of exposure to involuntary yodelling when riding over cobbled or other uneven surfaces. In reaching its decision the court found it had to balance the rights of the cyclists to exercise their freedom of expression against the rights of the wider public, which could be offended by an unexpected display of mass nudity in a public place.