Discussion topics - Russiagate and Abortion

When: 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wed 21st March
The Black Horse
166 Friargate
The Black Horse

1. Russia is continually in the media and is typically shown in a menacing or corrupt light. This is echoed (or initiated?) by many western politicians, often led by the UK or the US.

Is the Russian Federation really the threat we are lead to believe, or even a “malign influence” as described by Boris Johnson? Or is the US in fact a bigger threat to the stability of the world and a much greater malign influence in terms of both its foreign policy and globalisation of its culture.

The Humanist angle here is that the population’s reaction to events, such as foreign interventions, may be guided by the underlying narrative which may have been built up over many months or more. It is linked to bias / fake news and manipulation of populations by their govenments, ultimately leading the people to care or not care about a foreign population who we might send our troops to kill.

2. One of Humanists UK’s ongoing campaigns about “abortion and reproductive rights” under which header they say that the organisation is pro-choice and that “We are currently supporting the Back Off campaign, which aims to change the law to make it possible to establish protest-free zones around abortion clinics”.

Is it appropriate for Humanists UK to take a firm position on abortion? And if so, is it a good idea to prevent protests at abortion clinics, or would that represent a denial of free-speech?