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Gabriel Webber

Rabbinic student

Gabriel is training as a Liberal rabbi after many years of work for the Jewish community. He is also a freelance journalist with a particular focus on freedom of information.

Requiring ID From Voters Protects Us All

Who knows how our new British experiment will turn out. But a democracy is only democratic if voting is restricted to those entitled to vote. Measures aimed at ensuring that are, in principle, to be applauded.
28/12/2016 15:48 GMT

Petitions and the Curse of Crowdsplaining

Petitions are one of the worst forms of 'crowdsplaining' and they really annoy me. I don't know whether they're so irksome because they're utterly useless, or because if they actually worked they'd be so detrimental to reasoned democracy.
28/06/2016 11:36 BST

Defining Racism: What I Say Doesn't Go

As the scandal of anti-semitism on the British left rumbles on - and in Ken Livingstone's case it's been rumbling for quite some time - we are hearing more and more of the notion that minority groups should have the final say in defining what does and does not constitute a racist attack on them. In other words, this means that if X is a member of racial group Y, and they think that comment Z is a racist attack on racial group Y, it <em>is </em>a racist attack on racial group Y and that's the end of the matter.
02/05/2016 22:17 BST

Who Informs the Guards: Scrutinising the Snoopers' Charter

The snoopers' charter has been much derided. My gut reaction is that the critics are right. But at least our lawmakers are taking the public's concerns seriously and are going to extraordinary lengths to make the right decision.
13/01/2016 11:04 GMT

The Nasty Party: Israel's Nazi Name-Calling Law and Its Benefits to Free Speech

Anything that forces people to think twice before resorting to the laziest, least free form of 'free' speech that is the default knee-jerk Nazi comparison has to be a positive innovation. A properly-legislated version of Godwin's Law would only give more power to humanity's exercise of freedom of expression.
21/01/2014 10:12 GMT

Sussex University: Making the Future or Vandalising It?

How did a British university get to the stage of inspiring such anger and contempt from someone like Geoffrey Robertson, the man who organised war-crimes trials in Sierra Leone, that he would be prepared to spend days of his time working unpaid, dealing with petty academic administrators, instead of making the big bucks in Strasbourg?
20/01/2014 11:30 GMT

What Is Britain Tolerating?

Every time something goes wrong, every time there is an injustice, and we tolerate it, that is shaping our society, and in the worst way possible. When the state stops playing by the rules, we all have a duty to make it start again.
11/12/2013 14:57 GMT

Something Rotten in the State of Sussex

Imagine what would happen to Britain if the Home Secretary had the power to expel anyone from the country "without assigning any reason." Then imagine what it would be like now if the power had always existed: no dissenting voices left, no debate; anyone in a minority either too intimidated to speak out or already deported.
06/12/2013 10:55 GMT

Theresa May Isn't Supposed to Like the Human Rights Act

Nobody enjoys being stopped from doing things they want to do. And government ministers - who like to think of themselves as being 'in charge' - take to it even less. So it was no surprise that at this year's Conservative party conference, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that she wants to repeal the Human Rights Act.
01/10/2013 10:05 BST

Whose Chief Is It Anyway?

Strange as it may seem, the Liberal and Reform movements' model of religious leadership - a conference of rabbis who reach decisions by consensus - is actually closer to traditional Judaism than the Chief Rabbinate...
12/09/2013 12:33 BST