Sunday, 12 February 2017

More Big Questions

Today's 'big questions' on The Big Questions, just like last week's ones, all seemed to spring from a left-liberal standpoint: 

The first focused on the campaign to boycott Israel and the last - hinging around the desire of a married Muslim man (from and to have another wife - discussed whether polygamy might be a good thing?

Here's how Nicky Campbell framed the debates today:

  • On Tuesday, Mrs May held talks at Downing Street with her opposite number in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Increasing trade and investment with Israel was high on the agenda. The day before, the Knesset, Israel's parliament, passed a bill legalising settlements on privately- owned Palestinian land on the West Bank, in direct contradiction of a UN Security Council Resolution. Mrs May was clear that Britain opposes settlement activity and believes the two-state solution is the best way to bring peace to the region. Should we trade with Israel now the settlements have been recognised?
  • This week, the National Health Service has been acknowledged to be in crisis. Hospitals have been failing to meet patient targets for waiting in A&E, waiting for cancer treatments, waiting on trolleys, and waiting for ambulances to arrive. A key factor has been the inability to discharge patients no longer in need of medical treatment, that awful phrase bed blockers, because of the lack of social care in the community. And while the number of people over 65 has risen by more than 15%, budgets for adult social care run by local councils have been cut by 6.4% since 2009. Now local councils, who need to win a local referendum to raise council taxes by more than 5%, are raising or introducing charges for burials, parking, planning applications, and garden waste removal. And the councils with the biggest social care problems tend to be in the poorest areas. Has the time come to raise taxes to cover social care?
  • It's World Marriage Day today, honouring the partnership of husband and wife and their faithfulness to each other as the foundation of the family. But across the globe, monogamy is not the most popular option. Six times as many societies, over 1,000, allow men to have more than one wife. Although only four allow women to have more than one husband. Is monogamy bad for marriage? 

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