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John Palin

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About John Palin

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  • Birthday 10/23/1947

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    School History Text Books.<br />Local and Family History.<br />Theology<br />Environment
  1. I want to try looking at this topic differently. People with a religious faith ( and I count myself as an Anglican Christian amongst them) must and do accept that governments need to legistlate from time to time on matters which relate to moral beliefs and values. They will also, largely accept that any discussion or debate will expose the ethical philosophies of the participants; differences of moral position which people are rightly at liberty to hold. The main difficulty is that religious believers are freqently mis-represented in debate as trying to impose their beliefs on others who do not hold them. Now while not denying that there are plenty of examples of that tendency to be found in history and in some counties in the present day, this is not an approach which we find in our own domestic political world. What religious believers will do in such debates is point out the basic moral values upon which our society has been built. Moral principles are never self-evident and depend upon philosophies of human life. In other words what we should do depends upon who we think we are. Thus a Christian view of the sacredness of the human person is very different from rank individualism and from collectivist Marxism. Thus the believing debate participant will try to find common ground with the non-believer who is also heir to the same commonality of values. For his/her part the believer must recognise that religious ideals may not be held by others, that some who hold them may fail, and that legistlation is needed to address less than ideal situations. For e.g. holding a high doctrine of marriage does not mean having no legal divorce. We then have to recognise that some people in public life hold philosophies which are a direct threat to traditional values. Here believers will debate with vigour. Perhaps the most worrying of these philosophies is the one which exalts individual autonomy as an absolute principle. For example this stance is taken by the pro-euthanasia camp (often combined with a utilitarian view on financial resources in the NHS) Christians will oppose measures thus based because this philosophy is opposed to the traditional view that what defines the human person is not his/absolute freedom but his/her relationships with others and wider society. My conclusion is that believers and non-believers alike have a right to free debate in political life and governement office. The airing of their differences is important because the philosophical basis of ethical and political decisions must be examined. Otherwise there is real danger to our heritage of civilised values in national life. John Palin
  2. Is it morally right for top wage owners to pay more than a 40% rate of income-tax?" The real question here is whether it is right for governments to tax people's income so highly. I think it is arguable that in a society in which we share many benefits and have a mutual responsibility to each other that the rich should pay more direct tax than the less rich or poor. The principle of progressive direct tax means that high earners pay more as a proportion of their income. But this is less fair if benefits are not means tested. Why should a rich family for example have the same child benefits as the poor? As a general principle direct tax is fairer than tax on expenditure but I also recognise that taxing income above 40 per cent acts as a disincentive to those with rare skills. In any case employers would avoid its burdan by pushing up the income of high wage employers and this would be inflationary. Thus taxing above 40 percent is probably not a real option for governements abd would probably not make a substantial increase to government income. Lastly I would just add the real moral point that the rich have a moral responsbibility to the poor but there are limits on the rights of government to translate this moral point into a high taxation policy. The individual has to be left with some free moral responsibility. John Palin
  3. I may well be a Conservative in the sense that I dislike social engineering carried out in the name of some abstarct noun like Liberty or Equality. Sooner or later any regime brought in to create a more equal society by means of standardising our social and econimic relationships will lead to a power elite of the committed rather than the talented. This in turn will ignite a counter movement. Politics as Aristotle knew well is a branch of Ethics. It should be concerned with the moral duty of people towards each other rather than about attempts to redefine their status or minimise their vaiety. That moral duty can only encouraged by a sharing of basic values which transcend class and wealth. Governement can encourage that moral sense but cannot impose it nor can it create it by political change. Human beings are not made good by revolutions violent otherwise and are capable in each generation of the same amount of good and evil. On the wholeI favour principled pragmatism rather than visionary zeal. Its the latter that has a habit of spilling blood! Socialists replace duties and obligations with impersonal taxes and benefits while Liberals fail to understand that one has to have a shared moral framework if a society is to function well.
  4. From time to time someone will send me an interesting question from my website www.knowingbritishhistory.co.uk which I cannot answer without help. Maybe someone in this Forum has some ideas. Here's the message:- "NAME=mike sharpe E-MAIL=metal_mike@tiscali.co.uk WEB PAGE= COMMENTS=I have a number of issues of "Pictorial Education " dated 1930's, pub originally by Evans Bros ltd.all are A3 size and printed in sepia. Any idea of possible value to a collector.? good condition.can you suggest liks to anyone interested please,thanks" No doubt there are people who value such things and collect them. I certainly hope so as it would be a great shame to lose such things. Do let me know of any ideas and thoughts. Best Wishes John Palin
  5. The great interest in the on-line 1901 Census inspires me to test my theory through the Forum. I maintain that most present day extended families will know something of what family members were doing during World War 1, and so when they turn to the 1901 census they know some of the family members they are looking for? Am I right? What is my reasoning? 1. The impact of the two world wars on family oral history. 2. Many families were established in the same areas throughout the twentieth century. 3. The emergence of smaller definitions of "family" in the early twentieth century and the "turning away" from memories of the Victorian period. 4. Photography. Of course the irony is that 19th century family history is easier to unearth from documentation than 20th century history because of the census access rules. Can members help confirm my theory or will it be exploded?! John Palin www.knowingbritishhistory.co.uk
  6. Hi! I'm John Palin. I'm not a teacher but I am married to Christine who is! I do teach adults on a regular basis within the NHS. I am very interested in the teaching of history in schools and I am currently involved in a new website project which I hope will interest users of the forum. The website www.knowingbritishhistory.co.uk celebrates the history school text books of S.L.Case with a special emphasis on the Knowing series which was very popular at one time, designed for the less able students and covering a very wide range of history topics and periods. Though these are now out of print they can still be found in schools and I know they are much photocopied for classroom use today. I want to encourage discussion and particularly want to hear from people who know the books, can remember them or still use them. They are now difficult to locate and since Christine does have the copyright and co-authored one of the books, we are interested in whether they could be adapted to the National Curriculum and perhaps used as differentiated resources. In the course of time we also want to include a braoder range of informative pages on the website which would be helpful to teachers and others interested in history. I'll be happy to hear from you! Do try the Website please! Edited to activate hyperlink
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