Friday, 28 February 2014

Local Government Discussion

Our next meeting is on Thursday 13th March at the normal time of 7.00pm at the White Rock Hotel
The subject this month is:  How does local Government work?

I am delighted to welcome Councillor Jeremy Birch to answer our questions on how we manage local issues.

Jeremy was born and bred in Hastings and has been involved in local politics throughout his adult life.  He is a member of the East Sussex County Council and is currently the leader of the Hastings Borough Council of which he has been a member for 18 years since 1995. If anybody can explain the intricacies and limitations of local government, he can.  

He will be joining us for the second half of the evening from 8pm till 9pm, so I think we should limit ourselves to about 10 questions: Please give me your questions in advance so I can organise them.

For the first half of the evening and in preparation for the Q & A, I will prepare some basic information on what things are the responsibility of local government and what budgets are available to meet those obligations, and any other basic information that I can find.

My personal feeling is that England has one of the most centralised governments in Europe and that governments of all political persuasions have progressively reduced the level of local discretion and moved it to Westminster.  That is why we all feel increasingly politically impotent or are reduced to single issue protesting.

Expect an interesting debate, as always…..
Stephen Milton

Friday, 7 February 2014

Darwin Day: Anthropology, Race and Eugenics

Anthropology, Race and Eugenics.

These are the topics for discussion at the Hastings Humanists "Darwin Day" meeting
on Thursday 13 February, 7 to 9 pm at the White Rock Hotel.

The Secretary will introduce these subjects by a look at their history.

There have been many new discoveries regarding human precursors reported over the last years –
in fact only today there is a report in the News of 800,000 year old footprints discovered in Norfolk –  do we have the full story of human evolution yet? – probably not, it's getting more complicated.

The concept of Race has long been controversial – does it have any meaning?

Eugenics got a bad name in the twentieth century – is it making a comeback?

We are not experts – If you have views or knowledge bring them to our discussion.

Here are some links to sources of some of the information in my talk

- of cannibals
- Michio Kaku on CBS
- origins of racist ideology, Gobineau. Lapouge, etc.
- John Mitchel paradox

- I don't think denying races exist is any way to get rid of racism!
- what scientific idea is ready for retirement?
- race according to Nina Jablonski

- eugenics a question of authority
- see the comments too
- can we increase human intelligence
- cause of down syndrome

This is by no means a complete list.