Friday, November 26, 2010

Won't someone think of the children?

The Grauniad had a teaser about Gillian McKeith on its front cover: something about the woman who has united public opinion (in disapprobrium, I imagine).

Well, having seen some of her antics in I'm A Celebrity .. Get Me Out of Here, it'd be hard to defend her, and I was already rather negative about her looooonnnng before that, ever since it came out about her misleading use of the honorific "Doctor".

But while commentators and the public wind themselves into ecstacies of ridicule, I just keep flashing on the picture of her pale-faced sixteen year old daughter. So the interview she did worked on someone.

From time to time I love a good bitching session, especially about someone who seems a charlatan, but it's all dust and ashes when I think about that teenager. Bah.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good news? Jailed for 'false retraction': part 2

The Grauniad reports that the woman who was jailed for falsely retracting rape allegations has been released from jail. This is great news, but it's ridiculous and obscene that she's ever been anywhere near a jail cell. The judge, er, Lord Judge, judged that the judiciary* have a duty of "compassion for a woman who has already been victimised" and appears to accept that she has been in an abusive relationship for nine years.

So she's got a community service and supervision order instead. Argh. Head-desk. Criminal record and still being punished, albeit differently and less harshly.

While her estranged husband failed to give the children of the marriage into the custody of her sister as agreed while she was in jail.

* Theres a whole lot of 'judging' going on in this sentence.


I've never really found this before, but it's been borne in upon me today that it's really hard to get a doctor's appointment.

If you phone between 8.30 and 9am, you can get an emergency appointment that day. If you want a routine appointment, you have to wait over three weeks for a late-night one or four weeks for something at a reasonable hour for a child. There's no intermediary step. Bleurgh...

It's not an emergency, but neither do I think it can wait 4 weeks so it forces my hand. I end up snaffling an appointment that perhaps someone else might need more. It's a rubbish system.

The receptionist asks you what you want to see them for, and maybe I'm just being unreasonable, but I don't think it's any of their business. It probably is exactly their business, but I hate it.

Stamp stamp, pout pout.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Abortion debates rarely raise a smile, but this comment: "Seriously, what's with this obsession with potentiality? If monkeys could potentially fly out of my butt, does that mean I should be forced by law to hoard bananas for when they do?" at Pharyngula did make me laugh out loud.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And your Royal correspondent reports...

I think it was quite a canny move on William Windsor's* part to give fiancée Kate Middleton his mother's engagement ring. Spending a whole crapload of money on a new ring would have fuelled antagonism in these times of cut-cut-cut by the ConDems. And the sentimentality of remembering his mother through it plays well with those that kind of thing plays well to.

Of course, I'm being unduly cynical on the latter part and I don't mean it.

I do appreciate the not flashing the cash tho (beyond having access to a big old sapphire ring to give in the first place, haha), good move.

* Or his advisors.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

O Cod

Cod fillets. Another case for Wonko the Sane.

Sorry that the picture's not too clear. The legend reads:

Cod, water (as protective ice glaze).
Caught in the North East Atlantic Ocean.
Allergy advice: contains fish."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Jailed for 'false retraction'

A woman tried to drop charges against her husband for rape and has been jailed for falsely dropping those charges.

  • In November, she contacted the police, accusing her husband of raping her multiple times.
  • Two months later, she told them that although she was telling the truth about the rapes, she wanted the charges dropped.
  • This the police refused to do, and continued action against the husband.
  • A couple of weeks later she claimed the allegations she had made were untrue and she was arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice.
  • By July, she explained that pressure from her husband and his relatives had made her try to retract the allegations, which she says are true.
So we have a woman who says she was in an abusive relationship, raped multiple times, who was put under pressure from that violent husband and his relatives to withdraw her accusation. Her attempts to do that mean she's now in jail.

If what she is saying is true, jailing her is unfathomably cruel. It's devoid of compassion, devoid of justice.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Not so Wright on

Watching the Wright Stuff this morning, one discussion was of Minister Tim Loughton's puffing off* about making it easier for children from ethnic minorities to be adopted by people not belonging to that ethnic group.

A woman phoned in and tried to put across the point that she felt that the adoption process is harder on people from minorities who try to adopt. I think in part she was also saying she felt the Social Services are more likely to put children from ethnic minorities into care than those of white parents.

Wright cut her off rapidly and didn't seem to want to entertain the notion that racism could play a part in the difficulties of finding adoptive parents of similar backgrounds. Now in fairness, the woman wasn't particularly clear and was having difficulty wording her point, and to keep the show moving sometimes it is necessary to cut off the hesitant and obviously fazed**, but I thought it was remarkable how little he wanted to even listen to her premise. He quickly threw in that the adoption process is hard on everyone, talking of a white couple he knows who are trying to adopt. When someone claiming to work in the social services called in later, he asked her whether her experiences bore out the previous caller's comments, which she denied. His immediate acceptance of this and dismissal of the experiences of the first caller was pretty marked.

What is so threatening about taking a moment to consider whether there might be obstacles to adoption which are peculiar to particular ethnic groups? Much as we might wish it, we aren't in a post-racist society, (even if black people can now theoretically join the BNP*** if they want to). Why not explore what might be reasons for a dearth of potential adopters from diverse backgrounds and the disproportionate amount of children from ethnic minorities in care (and how long they stay there)?

Sure, The Wright Stuff has fifteen minutes max to expound per topic, but really it was astounding how fast he shied away from whether prejudice or other issues specific to a given ethnic group might play a part.

*This, despite there being no bar on inter-racial adoption currently, just guidance that 'significant consideration' should be given to the issue. According to the Grauniad, " Social workers say they follow the agreed guidance. If there are, to quote the minister, "no other issues", minority children can be and are adopted by white parents. They suggest that Loughton might better work to recruit more adoptive parents and desist from "social-work bashing"."

** Although Wright often cuts off people he disagrees with as well.

*** Mwhahaha about the news N!ck Gr!ff!n is facing bankruptcy over his party's debts. He will no longer be able to serve as an MEP if he does become bankrupt. As Nelson would say, ha ha.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Oh Mr Fry

Edited to add (8/11):

Stephen Fry explained his side of what happened here (on the 4th) and I'm happy to accept he was misrepresented and hung out to dry by the media. Sorry I took it at face-value. Whoops. Shoulda known better.

"Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I am sitting on an aeroplane writing a blog which tries to reassure the world that I am quite aware that women enjoy sex. No one can say my life isn’t unpredictable, interesting and … well, Fryish…"

Quite so.


Previous post (1/11) begins:

“I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want. They want a boyfriend and then they want commitment.

“Of course a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh, no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?

“Gay men are the perfect acid test. If they want to get their rocks off, they go into a park where they know they can do it.”

And how right he is. The Girl with the One-Track Mind and other women like her lie. And lesbians do not exist. [/sarcasm]

Oh Stephen. Oh dear.

(He claims to have been misquoted and is stropping that
"everyone thinks [he's] the Anti-Christ").

Not so, just explain yourself (this may be hard) - or go do some reading (try a bit of Feminism 101) - or better yet, say "Whoops, I frivolously mis-spoke and frankly I know zero about female sexuality, as you so rightly" ended with the patented Fry knowing look.

We'd all laugh and it'd be at an end.

(The man has bucket-loads of good will in the general populace), so Stephen, just say you did a whoopsie.