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My Political Views I regard myself as a social liberal, and wear the label proudly. I believe in equal and universal rights for both men and women, for people of all races and religions. I don't believe that anyone should be excluded from any position for reasons of biology or conscience.

I believe gun control is an absolute necessity - in fact, I am totally for the banning of guns throughout society, except for the army and specially-trained firearms officers in the police. At this point it is worthy to note that I live in Britain, where the police don't carry guns anyway, so this actually changes nothing in my country. I have never been able to swallow the idea that more people would be killed if there were less guns. Nor can I swallow the idea that anyone can buy armour-piercing bullets and claim they are for hunting.

I believe birth control should be freely available to everyone. I also believe that it should be a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, up until the age at which a fetus is viable outside its mother's womb (I believe that is currently around 22 weeks, though if I find myself to be wrong I will change it. Regardless, I believe that once the baby has a good chance of survival outside its mother's womb, an abortion is no longer acceptable unless it is necessary to save the mother's life). I do not believe in the labels "pro-life" and "pro-choice" - "pro-life" implies that those holding contrary opinions are "pro-death", whereas "pro-choice" implies that those holding contrary opinions are "anti-freedom".

Homosexuality is not a concern of mine. As far as I'm aware, homosexuality as a concept or lifestyle does not harm me or affect my rights, so why should I be offended by it? What consenting adults get up to behind closed doors is none of my business.

My Religious Views I am an absolute atheist. I do not, nor shall I ever, believe in any supernatural being. I consider it superstition and nothing more, and I trust my life to science and rationalism.

That said, I cannot deny that religion has brought a number of good things to our society. I just don't believe it has any place in my life, and indeed it can have bad effects on modern society, not least of which is stopping people from living how they want to live. That said, I don't believe I have any right to dictate anyone's religious beliefs to them.

I am absolutely against the teaching of religion in school. Teaching any religion not only offends those of different religions, but it also prejudices the children to a certain way of thinking. I want my children to discover (or reject) their own spirituality, not have it forced on them by their school.

My Economic Views Economically, I am an extreme conservative. I believe in the free market system, allowing people to make their own success or failure and keeping the government out of it except where intervention is absolutely necessary to protect the people. It should be the right of every person to make a profit, and anyone who earns any money should have the right to spend it however they want, after tax of course.

My one leftist leaning in this area is that I believe in a higher rate of tax to help society's less fortunate. There is a tendancy among some to believe that poor people are poor through their own fault - that they are too lazy or stupid to find well-paying jobs. The sad truth is that often it is our hardest-working or brightest who, by virtue of the free market system, have ended up at the bottom of the ladder. The government must help these people, and charity simply won't do it. This is an inevitable side-effect of the free market system, and a system where some become poor is favourable to a system where everyone becomes poor (as in communism).