15 December 2017

Grace & truth


The BBC has a mindset that assumes Christians’ views are lunatic, one of its own broadcasters has said. Roger Bolton, former Sunday programme host, said a liberal secular elite are dominating television.

He said: “just because somebody is against gay marriage or against IVF doesn’t necessarily mean they are a lunatic.” Mr Bolton also thinks the BBC unfairly pokes fun at Christianity but would not dare with Islam.

He said: “other faiths do not have to put up with what Christianity has to put up with. Muslims in particular ought to be mature enough in this country to take that humour. Christians do have a right to say it’s about time that the satire which applied to them ought to be applied to others.”

A BBC spokesman said Mr Bolton’s view is incorrect. The spokesman said: “BBC religion and ethics provide over 170 hours of programmes. These provide the audience with a rich mix of programmes that reflect society’s relation to religion today.”

Mr Bolton has said in the past that BBC television executives are “secular and sceptical.” He said they see religious coverage as “a rather tiresome obligation to be minimised rather than a rich and promising area to explore.”


The new deputy chairman of the British Medical Association has been revealed as a strong supporter of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Dr Kailash Chand, who was elected as the deputy chair of the BMA last week, said in August this year: “we must enact legislation to decriminalise acts of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.”

Dr Chand is also a member of Health Professionals for Assisted Suicide and in 2009 backed a motion at the BMA’s annual meeting pushing for assisted death.

Dr Peter Saunders, the CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, commented Dr Chand had said in 2009 that “he was determined to move the position of the BMA and would be trying again.”

Dr Saunders noted that the BMA “has never supported the legalisation of either euthanasia or assisted suicide throughout its 180 year history” and “I for one will be watching Dr Kailash Chand very carefully indeed.”

In a blog on the British Medical Journal website dated 20 August 2012, Dr Chand wrote: “I, like many in the profession, would like to see the law on assisted suicide amended to allow doctors to provide the choice of an assisted death only to those who are terminally ill, mentally competent, and who have expressed ‘a clear and settled wish to die.’”

He also claimed there were compelling reasons to bring in assisted suicide and euthanasia. The deputy chairman of the BMA is elected each year and is voted for by the organisation’s ruling council.


Tayside Police have spent almost £3,000 on a survey which asks people whether they are transgender. The survey, which also asks people for their perception of policing, has been criticised as a waste of money.

And one householder commented: “What has my sexuality got to do with the police? If I was mugged, would it matter if I was a transgender Muslim or a bisexual Buddhist?”

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser commented: “Tayside Police are entitled to survey the public about their experiences of crime. But you have to question why they need to know the sexuality or ethnic origin of those responding. Whether folk consider themselves transgender must surely be irrelevant to their views on fighting crime.”

Included in the survey was the question: “do you currently, or have you ever, considered yourself as transgender?” A spokesman from the force said the information was gathered to understand “how people from different sections of the community perceive Tayside Police.” He added: “without monitoring, the force would not be able to measure improvements and remove practice or procedure which may impact negatively on some people. The survey will assist in providing an effective and fair police service to the diverse communities in Tayside.”

Last year in England, Islington Council asked people wanting to a join a library if they were transgender. And a grandmother living in North Norfolk was questioned about her sexual orientation after she complained about her council’s bin collection service.


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg landed in hot water over his slur that opponents of gay marriage are just ‘bigots’. His sneering remark appeared in a draft speech which he was due to give at an event in September. The speech was circulated in advance to the media, but 90 minutes later his aides tried to cover up the gaffe by issuing a revised version without the ‘bigots’ jibe.

Mr Clegg originally intended to say: “continued trouble in the economy gives the bigots a stick to beat us with, as they demand we ‘postpone’ the equalities agenda in order to deal with ‘the things people really care about.’”

But the revised version issued by Mr Clegg’s officials replaced “the bigots” with “some people.” In an editorial comment, the Daily Mail newspaper said: “in an unguarded moment of frankness, Nick Clegg reveals his true feelings about opponents of gay marriage. Never mind that they include ministers of every religion, academics, lawyers, charity workers and countless other thoughtful Britons, straight and gay. In the view of the Deputy Prime Minister, one word sums them up. They are ‘bigots’, who use the excuse of the economic crisis to say the Coalition should be concentrating instead on the issues that really matter. Could there be a more damningly revealing insight into the arrogance of a student politician who doesn’t begin to understand the issues involved in altering the age-old definition of marriage, or the honest concerns of those who oppose change?”

Nick Clegg’s official spokesman tried to defuse the row, saying: “this was not something the Deputy Prime Minister has said. It’s not something he was ever going to say, because it’s not something he believes. It was removed from the draft copy, that should never have been sent out, for that very reason.”