Anneliese Dodds is a Labour Party MEP for South East England. She was first elected to the European Parliament in 2014. She previously stood in UK parliamentary elections in Reading East and Billericay.
Skeptical Voter Candidate Survey
In response to the Candidate Survey sent on the 9th April 2010, Ms Dodds responded as follows.
1. Do you support the use of public funds to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy?
Not homeopathy which lacks any evidence base. However where treatments have a relatively good evidence base they should be offered to patients where relevant (i.e. some acupuncture treatments).
2. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?
Yes, although given the degree of apparent conflict on such issues I suspect that decision-making in this area will always be to an extent 'political'. (NB My reading of current evidence is that it supports the continuation of the current system).
1. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines?
Yes- although where possible the use of animal experiments should be reduced, as there does appear to be some evidence that they are currently used in circumstances where other approaches might have been possible.
1. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?
No, absolutely not. [NB I understand that the Conservative MP for Reading East does support this- so I would be interested to find out how he responds to this...].
2. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?
3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule?
Not from ridicule, no, but sadly religion is used by fascist groups as a synonym for race, so I support the Government legislation that was recently passed on this issue.
4. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords?
1. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly without fear of being sacked?
Yes, of course, it should be important for advisors to express their concerns about policy, although one would expect that such disagreement would normally occur internally initially. If a Government advisor consistently disagrees with policy however, one can legitimately ask the question why they wish to remain as a Government advisor.
2. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?
Yes provided the scientific evidence is sufficiently robust.
1. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?
Yes. The current system is not working and is giving powerful people too much control.
Digital Economy Bill
1. What are your views on the digial economy bill?
I have to be completely honest with you and state that I am really not an expert in this area. I have had a number of discussions with constituents about it and would hope that if elected I can meet with them again and find out if there is anything they feel I could do to remedy the situation. Above all I am concerned that (regardless of the detail of the Bill- which again, I have to honestly state I am not very knowledgeable about), there seems to have been a great deal of ignorance about the topic within the Commons, and very few MPs were even in the chamber when it was voted on. Given it appears to have been a significant piece of legislation, this is not acceptable. In addition, I was surprised that this particular piece of legislation was pushed through (again, regardless of its merits which pathetically I do not really understand) when there were other measures which to my view were far more pressing. (E.g. I was very annoyed to see that the Govt was apparently unable to push through requiring schools to provide children with a decent sex education- which is the one measure which is consistently indicated to help reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy; and there were other matters as well which really needed to be dealt with e.g. the Flooding Bill).
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