Monday, January 30, 2017

Balanced news? Balanced protest?

In the past few days two things have been done by the governments of major powers which I have a lot of concerns about.

I won't bother linking to the story of Donald Trump's executive order about immigration from seven countries as nobody reading this can possibly be unaware of it. A million people have signed a petition to block him from making a state visit to Britain as a result.

But did you know that Russia's equivalent of the House of Commons, the Duma, has just voted by 380 to 3 to make domestic violence legal?

When I first read on Twitter that this proposal was coming forward I wondered if it was a joke or fake news but the progress of this bill has been reported by a few serious news channels as  here in The Economist magazine. But not nearly as comprehensively as Trump's travel ban.

But I spent some time looking for an -up=to-date account of the story on the BBC website and could not find one - the most recent they appear to have is this story dated 25th January at which point the bill had been given it's second reading but not yet completed its passage through the lower house, which it did on Friday.

Nor have I found an up-to-date report about it in the Guardian. They did report on 19th January the horror of women's groups that this sickening proposals was coming forward. And on Wednesday that the bill had  passed an earlier stage. But if they have written anything about the story in the three days since the lower house of the Russian parliament actually passed the bill, I cannot find it.

I don't know that it is easy to look at two dreadful proposals on different subjects by different governments and say "this one is worse than that one."

Personally I'm not terribly happy about either.

But I think we should ask ourselves why our news channels including most of social media are giving a lot of attention to the fact that President Trump has signed a very illiberal travel order and virtually none to the fact that Russian legislators are in the process of something very close to the legalisation of wife-beating.

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