Benjamin Barton

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Benjamin Barton was a 2010 independent Parliamentary candidate for Nottingham East.

Skeptical Voter Questionnaire Response

1. Do you support the use of NHS money to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy?

No, I believe it would divert much needed resources away from conventional theories that are proven.

2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?

No, as an ardent Catholic we were always taught that Darwin's "The origin of species" was the definitive work on evolutionary theory.

3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule?

It depends on what is classed as ridicule. A comedian telling a joke or me describing translations of the bible from the ancient greek could be considered ridicule. I think that when someone wishes to comment about religion they should be guided by morality, and not the law.

4. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly?

Absolutely.

5. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?

The is no room in our legal system to accomodate Shariah. As is my understanding, I don't think a Beth Din Torah would want to be recognised as a British Court of Law. I certainly don't think with Judaism being as exclusive as it is, that their cases should hold any overall precedent in legal proceedings. I do think there is a need for discussion about how these things could serve as community courts and about how our courts could better accomodate Islam. Certainly in Nottingham we have a large Asian community, and, for instance, while Jummah is something offered by banks, there is no legal application if it were not adhered to.

6. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines?

Life Vital medicines, yes. Cosmetics and non-vital medicines, no.

7. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?

Again, it's quite a broad question. It would depend to what end the scientific evidence was being used.

8. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?

I think it should be rolled back to when the first indepndent cognostics of the child can be identified, presently at twelve weeks.

9. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords?

Not in their present format, no. I do not know how Bishops are chosen within the Anglican communion but their ability to sit in the Lords should not be automatic on the basis of their position within religion.

10. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?

I am not versed well enough in libel laws to comment.

A little footnote, I am and always will be governed by the interests of my constituents as after all, it is them I am representing.

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