Harriet Hall has so obviously missed the real message of Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscars acceptance speech: that all oppression is wrong, regardless of the race, gender, age, nationality, or species of the victims.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It’s this guiding principle that led Phoenix to use his voice to speak out against injustice as he sees it and to advocate extending our compassion to all victims of violence – including anguished cows whose beloved babies are torn away from them so that humans can consume the milk meant for their calves, as well as other victims of animal agriculture.
No one has the right to exploit or victimise others on the basis of subjectively perceived differences, and we applaud Phoenix for using his moment in the spotlight to shine a light on the suffering of others with an appeal to humanity’s best quality: our compassion.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Elisa Allen, director, Peta Foundation
Black makeup The north remembers
We in the north should be wary of Boris Johnson’s announcement that, whilst the first leg of HS2 will go ahead, the second from Crewe to Manchester and Leeds is under yet another review.
When the Channel Tunnel was first announced in the 1980s, parliamentary support was only forthcoming because an essential part of the proposals was a plan to operate high-speed rail services through it on both sides of the English Channel, enabling passengers to get on a train in Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff or Plymouth and get off in Paris.
A depot for the regional Eurostar services was actually constructed at Longsight in Manchester with a large Eurostar-branded sign attached to the outside that proclaimed to passing train passengers, “le Eurostar habite ici” (French for “the Eurostar lives here”).
As we all know, the plan was never completed and a parliamentary committee declared in 1999 that “the regions have been cheated”.
Black makeup The real tragedy of Delhi’s recent elections
Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has comprehensively trounced the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, in the assembly elections in Delhi, by winning 62 of the 70 seats, a thumping 90 per cent. This has significant ramifications for the future of India.
In doing so, the people have also rejected the divisive and fractured politics of the ruling BJP party, based on religious considerations.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Modi, the prime minister, should counsel his party members to cease indulging in religious politics and whipping up unnecessary frenzy over emotional issues. His own image will get tarnished if his party members do not uphold high standards in their debates and demeanour. The Indian economy is in the doldrums and should be the top priority.
The Congress Party, which had administered the capital city for 15 years, did not win a single seat. Unless the Congress reinvents itself and becomes more relevant, the party once led by national leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi will become irrelevant and face extinction. Rahul Gandhi, the current face of the party, should pick up the gauntlet, roll up his sleeves and work on the ground to resolve the problems of the common people. Tweets give a leader currency, but they do not win elections. However, resolving the sanitation, drinking water, electricity and unemployment issues of ordinary people can win elections.
Black makeup BBC interview styles
The BBC should look at itself. Over recent years, it appears to have appointed presenters with a particularly aggressive style of interviewing, where the presenter adopts the role of the opposition, regardless of who is being interviewed.
Most notable among this group are Andrew Neil, Jeremy Paxman, John Humphrys and Emma Barnett. The result is everyone thinks of them as being biased and would prefer to avoid them.
A style that is focused on open questions to both parties and fewer interruptions would leave the listener to decide for themselves which side had the better case and possibly lead to a greater willingness by politicians to participate.
Black makeup Labour need a clean break with the past
On the 12 December, the nation spoke. Any election always brings winners and losers; but this was no ordinary election, no ordinary loss. This crushing defeat for both Labour and their leader will go down in the history books as their worst defeat in over 80 years!
The leader can blame nothing and nobody else for the scale of his loss. Analysis shows it was entirely his personality, policies and ideologies that were to blame.
Any half respectable politician would have stood down in humiliation, but not Jeremy Corbyn. Here we are two whole months later and he is still hanging around with the sole purpose of trying to influence the party leadership campaign to ensure the continuation of his ideology.
For the Labour Party to survive and once again become a credible opposition, they have to make a break with this sad era. A clean break.
When the nation speaks, listen!
Black makeup England’s forests need protecting too
I wonder how many of those people complaining about the burning of the Amazon rainforest, which indeed is a tragedy, also support HS2 and the destruction of vast swathes of English countryside, including ancient woodland, which is also a tragedy.
Bad news keeps piling up.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe