Welcome to London Tonight Tonight.

This is the official website of London Tonight, on ITV1 in London and the South East every weeknight at 6pm.


London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon to you. Right - lots on the programme, as ever, but the 'talking point' is what I want to concentrate on for a minute or two...

A 14-year-old Sikh boy has been told he can't wear his "holy dagger" to school and so has been withdrawn by his parents. The Compton School in Barnet say they fear the 5-inch long 'kirpan' could be used as a weapon, while the parents say it's no more dangerous than a pair of scissors. A blow to religious freedom or a victory for common sense? Discuss...

Info first...and the 'kirpan' is one of the five 'articles of faith' in Sikhism that must be carried at all times by those baptised into the religion. Symbolically, it represents the power of truth over lies, but also reflects the wearers' commitment to protect the defenceless. The school has suggested the boy wears a smaller version of the kirpan, with the blade safely welded into the sheath, a compromise that has been reached in similar cases in America. But the family say that isn't acceptable.

Two short arguments for you to consider.

1) The school has got it absolutely right. The knife may not be any more dangerous than canteen cutlery, as has been suggested, but it's the message that allowing anyone to carry a knife in school gives off. You've seen us report on the increasing numbers of knife related deaths and injuries in the capital over recent years as well as the subsequent initiatives trying to stop young people carrying knives. There is, of course, no suggestion that this A-grade student is anything other than a responsible young adult, but while we're imploring young people not to carry knives, to allow anyone to do so, for whatever reason, at best sends out mixed messages and at worst is irresponsible.

2) When we heard that cub scouts were no longer allowed to take penknives to camp for fear of accidental amputation, 'Political correctness gone mad' was the cry from much of Middle England. Trusting them to carry and use a knife safely and responsibly was an integral part of their outdoor education, we were told, and banning them from doing so was to judge them by the actions of others. Similarly then, doesn't banning a committed Sikh from carrying what is a key symbol of his religious commitment to truth, honour and decency, show a similar level of prejudice and preconception? Maybe his are exactly the type of values we should be trying to promote in schools?

Over to you. Get in touch and we'll bring you a snapshot of London's opinions later.

Other areas of note tonight, quickly? Murray Dron has donned (or should that be 'dronned'?) his wellies down on one of the nearly five hundred farms in the capital. Plus, award-winning rapper "Chipmunk" joins us on the show. His real name is Jahmaal, by the way. I'd rather hoped it might be Simon, Alvin or Theodore.

Matt and Katie.


Follow us at http://twitter.com/londontonight and http://www.itvlondon.com

To Unsubscribe from London Tonight Tonight please send a blank e-mail with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line to londontonighttonight@itvlondon.com

Please note that this is automatically processed by our mail system. If you have any comments about London Tonight then e-mail londontonight@itvlondon.com
Please Note:

Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent
those of Independent Television News Limited unless specifically stated.
This email and any files attached are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual
or entity to which they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error, please notify postmaster@itn.co.uk

Please note that to ensure regulatory compliance and for the protection of our clients and business,
we may monitor and read messages sent to and from our systems.

Thank You.