Talking points: 25 February


Conservative leader David Cameron’s eldest son Ivan has died. The six-year-old, who had cerebral palsy and epilepsy, became ill overnight and was taken to hospital where he died earlier today. David Cameron was quite public about his son’s illness and talked about how it affected his political perspective. Should he have kept this private? We’ve discussed dying in public last week with Jade Goody’s story, but what about having a disabled child, should that be made public?

Privacy vs Safety.
Sir David Omand, the Cabinet Office’s former security and intelligence coordinator said that finding out other people’s secrets is going to involve breaking everyday moral rules .This editorial  expresses anxiety over these comments. Would you give up your privacy to be safe? And are we actually too hung up on privacy? Don’t we give a lot of ourselves away on Facebook, Twitter and on-line banking anyway?

‘We Will Rebuild’

Madeleine has been working on this for a couple of days now and some of you got in touch with your companies’ stories, we asked that in a time of financial crisis what should companies do when the sums don’t add up? There were many suggestions on the blog post. In his speech to a joint session of congress yesterday President Obama said:
“While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, …we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

Do you share his optimism? If you run a company in these turbulent financial times what are you doing to keep it afloat?

Are we scared of disability?
The answer is yes according to Lucy Mangam’s blog post where she argues that it’s actually the parents that are uncomfortablewith children’s presenter Cerrie Burnell having one arm. However the responses that we got when we put the blog post up yesterday seemed to confirm the opposite. All the comments that we received so far were along the lines that it was unbelievable people felt uncomfortable with Burnell’s appearance on TV. Doesn’t seem like much of a debate so far, what do you think?

The archbishops of Canterbury and York have written a joint article describing how Robert Mugabe has destroyed Africa’s beacon of hope and urged people to continue donating in order to help the church feed the hungry and treat the ill. Does a country’s regime affect the way you give to charity or do you donate merely on humanitarian needs basis?

5 Responses to “Talking points: 25 February”

  1. 1 VictorK
    February 25, 2009 at 12:43

    Sad news re Ivan Cameron. It can be a matter of indifference how some things are handled. I think this was the case with David Cameron’s decision to make public certain aspects of his family life.

    The privacy vs safety debate largely misses the point (though I don’t think privacy & liberty should be sacrificed to safety). A government will only try to ensure safety at the price of civil liberty when it lacks the will to take firm measures, measures that don’t encroach on privacy and freedom, to deal with the problem of Muslim terrorism (which is what I presume this all relates to). Government, like Britain’s, that often seems more concerned to propitiate Muslims than to act against the terrorists amongst them has tied its hands; it has no option left – having ruled out measures that, however effective, would offend the Muslim community – but to fall back on the lazy expedient of placing the entire population under surveillance in the name of ‘safety’.

    I oppose charitable donations from one government to the people or government of another country precisely because it’s indiscriminate. There are countries and causes that I would not donate to (e.g. the Palestinians), that the UK government and EU support. This should always be an individual choice.

  2. February 25, 2009 at 13:05

    Every family across the world grieves with David Cameroon.

  3. 3 gordon
    February 25, 2009 at 14:06

    very sad about David Cameron’s oldest child, I’m sure everyones thoughts go to the rest of the family at this unhappy time.

  4. February 25, 2009 at 15:37

    I think people in government as else where have the right to lead normal lives. If it is okay for others to inform the public about sicknesses in their family, why is it not okay for the Cameron family?
    Sadly the boy did not leave long to see what his Dad and other politician will be able to do about the global financial crisis.

  5. February 26, 2009 at 04:46

    I’m sure everyones thoughts go to the rest of the family at this unhappy time.

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