Green Party's anti-GM stance is just kneejerk technophobia

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Opinion digest: the Green's GM problem, prisoner voting, and America's attack on privacy

LAST UPDATED AT 11:07 ON Fri 25 May 2012

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GREENS ARE ANTI-SCIENCE, NOT PRO-EVIRONMENT
TOM CHIVERS ON GM RESEARCH
The Green Party are well-meaning, but they're scientifically illiterate and seem to have a fear of technological process, says Tom Chivers in The Daily Telegraph. The one big thing they've got right, that human-induced climate change is a threat to human wellbeing, "they seem to have got right by accident". In a new low, members of the Greens are intending to "decontaminate" (vandalise) the Rothamsted experiment on genetically modified wheat. "This is ugly, idiotic Ludditism." This non-profit research is attempting to find ways to make wheat farming less environmentally damaging by using gene technology to create insect-resistant plants which are less reliant on pesticide. Fears of cross-pollination are based on a lack of understanding, as wheat rarely crossbreeds in the wild. Besides, this is a controlled experiment, an attempt to find out more about how the world works, and possibly feed more people. "Actual supporters of environmentalism, as opposed to kneejerk technophobes, should support the efforts."

WE MUST DEFY STRASBOURG ON PRISONER VOTES
DAVID DAVIS AND JACK STRAW ON THE EUROPEAN COURT
Just over a year ago, after robust debate, the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of the current law that convicted prisoners cannot be on the electoral roll, write David Davis and Jack Straw in The Daily Telegraph. This emphatic statement of Parliament's will did not stop the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) from declaring that Britain's ban on prisoner voting is unlawful. The Court has ordered us to legislate to give prisoners the vote within six months. "We should do no such thing." The Court cannot force us to comply or expel us from the Council of Europe. The Court's job is to apply the principles of the Human Rights Convention as originally intended by those who signed it, not expand their powers as they see fit. In this instance, the Strasbourg judges have exceeded the limits of their proper authority. "Where the court infringes our constitutional rights, we will not back down."

'WAR ON WOMEN' IS PART OF A WAR FOR STATE CONTROL
NAOMI WOLF ON PRIVACY AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Across America a well-funded legislative war on women is being unleashed, says Naomi Wolf in The Guardian. Many of these newly proposed bills, or recently passed state laws attack women's rights to ownership of their bodies and their basic life choices. The targets are planned parenthood and abortion rights. Funds are being cut, women's access to abortion is being restricted and in some cases criminalised. A bill that was under consideration in South Dakota last year would have recast killing an abortion provider as "justifiable homicide". But this flurry of legislation isn't about the sanctity of life, nor even just controlling women. The coordinated campaign is "part of the larger crackdown we see on privacy, private space, freedom and personal choice". Popular rebellions, from the Occupy movement to Athens have worried authorities and "made the gatekeepers seek every kind of method of control available to them" · 

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