It’s my body…

September 15th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

So, Nadine Dorries, who wants to interfere with womens bodies and say what women can and can’t do with them when it has nothing to do with her, doesn’t like being told what she can and can’t do with her body

I applaud the society of Chiropodists for pointing out to me the dangers of this; however, having done so I now respectfully ask them to leave it me and every other high heel wearing woman in the land to decide whether or not we wear high heels in the workplace..

[and yes. Dorries did put a double full stop at the end of that sentence. Probably the equivalent of ‘hrumph’]

I realise that aborting a feotus(sp?) and wearing heels are slightly different but the principle is the same. It’s about autonomy over your own body.

Once again, Dorries dismisses the medics.

Smoking burns fat, apparently

May 6th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Daily Mail

The endless snacking could be a way of keeping hands busy. Or maybe food finally tastes good again.
But the real reason why people pile on the pounds after quitting smoking could lie in our DNA.
Scientists have identified a fat-burning gene that becomes more active when exposed to cigarette smoke.
The finding could help explain why slim smokers find their weight starts to balloon after the final cigarette is stubbed out. The scientists studied smokers who had an existing personalized medical weight loss program, which, they they didn’t follow regularly.

The reason people put on weight when they pack in the fags is because most people think that smoking is an appetite supressant. I do not know if it is or not, but most smokers will feed their addiction over having a snack.
When someone packs in smoking, they think they are hungrier more often and just nibble and snack on things because that feeling they get when they want a cigarette for the first couple of days, that barely perceptable feeling in the chest/stomach area, is the same as slight hunger pangs.

There may well be something in smoking that burns calories quicker, but if there is is doesn’t burn many, by the amount of overweight smokers about.

“Dear Diedre…”

January 29th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

The Mail

An agony aunt has been appointed to a taskforce aimed at improving social services following the Baby P tragedy.

No. No. You’ve got to be kidding?

This week, ministers announced the 11 people who will join chair Moira Gibb and vice-chairs Andrew Webb and Bob Reitemeier on the taskforce, which is due to report this summer.

Unison and BASW on social work taskforce

Along with The Sun’s agony aunt, Deidre Sanders

Not everyone’s happy about it on CommunityCares’ discussion forum (the individual posts don’t have permalinks unfortunately)…


My colleague has just suggested that if the social workers go out to collect information they could then write to Diedre and she could in her commonsensical way tell us what to do next! She clearly has both the common touch and the ear of the government, what more could we want to help transform our profession? [Wink]


More frontline social workers? What would we know about social work? No, the appointment of Dierdre Saunders is clearly inspired and anyone who suggests it’s a populist concession to tawdry media-led witchhunters is obviously a middle-class elitist with a dubious value base who should be drummed out of the profession forthwith.

I look forward to the day when scriptwriters from Casualty and Holby City are appointed to the professional bodies of nursing, medicine and allied health professions to raise standards of practice. It can only be a matter of time before one of those nice actors from Waterloo Road is appointed to the General Teaching Council.

No, it is clearly so eminently appropriate to have celebrities on professional bodies that I am left with only one question: why can’t we have Jeremy Kyle too?


I’m also concerned about what message this sends to people about the function and role of social workers more generally if an ‘agony aunt’ is on the task force. Are we to be perceived as ‘talkers’ rather than ‘doers’. Actually the more I have thought about it, the more irritated I become.


Let’s get one thing straight – the summary dismissal of Sharon Shoesmith was not in the public interest – we had a right to hear the facts – we could have learned some vital lessons in safeguarding children and that this evidence could have been heard within the disciplinary context and this would have established whether Ms Shoesmith is a culpable party in this matter.

The Sun’s campaign against her was clearly a witch hunt – people did not just write into The Sun to complain of this evil woman, The Sun actually invited people to write in and tell them the politicians how evil she is.

As for Dear Diedre’s statement “those working in the professions in the public sector can get cut off from what are seen as common-sense values in the real world where, if you get something wrong, you lose your job. It’s what would happen to me and it’s what would happen to most of our readers”

What planet is this woman living on? I have been spat at, kicked, punched, abused, chased by dangerous dogs all in the line of my duty of protecting children; for these reasons, I stopped this area of work years ago (but I really do admire most of my children and families colleagues for having to do such a dreadful job. I guess most of us have to such nasty sharp-end violence, and that this demonstrates that if anyone is cut off from reality it is her! As for the bits about losing one’s job if you get something wrong – then all the country would be unemployed and unemployable.

As for The Sun getting things wrong – it does it all the time – it is a paper which always seem to be in the courts over allegations of lying and invading privacy – such is the moral compass and voice for the downtrodden masses.

Then Dear Diedre goes on to state “A big problem after Baby P was that Haringey didn’t even want to say sorry to start with, didn’t seem to accept responsibility”

Well in the climate of hysteria generated by The Sun, individuals and organisations get immobilised by the moral panic with which they are beleaguered – apologies – my guess is that no one in the Local Authority wanted to get in Sun’s firing line, for fear a mob would be beating a path to his / her with a view to stringing him / her up from the nearest lamp post.

Dear Diedre concludes

“If our campaign was seen as a mere witch-hunt in the social work sector, it illustrates the communication gap we have in society”

This is exactly the problem – I have this to say The Sun’s campaign against Ms Shoesmith was vindictive and vitriolic – it harked back to Cromwell’s England when Major Generals, our own Taliban, wandered the burning witches or drowning them in ponds. The Sun is a very much like that – it breeds a climate of fear – sure, there is a communication gap between us and The Sun and this is for good reason. An entire city, Liverpool, has stopped this nasty little rag following its rather nasty little piece on Liverpool following the Hillsborough Tragedy.

As for Dear Diedre saying that she was not responsible for the editorial content with regard to Ms Shoesmith, this is bit like saying “I am not responsible for the gas chambers in Auschwitz, I merely stoked the ovens” These “no flies on me” kind of statements sound quite disingenuous.

And as a parting shot to all those those Sun apologists, what kind of filthy little rag has headlines “only ten days to go, Lads, before we can bare Lisa’s boobs?” Surely, it encourages filthy old men to commit sexually illegal against young women.

The interview “fx7” references is here.

I’ll leave you with the notion that it could just be a damage limitation exercise by ministers, as Emma Maier muses…

… giving The Sun the inside track on the taskforce could be a clever because it is always more difficult to slate something you are involved in.


On fags

December 9th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

So, in another ‘looking after the children’ move, fags are going the same way as dodgy pr0n: under the counter.
And the reason?
The Guardian:

[Health Secretary Alan Johnson said] “When they [children] see a point of sale display and as a result of seeing of it they take up smoking … it’s the key evidence as to why 200,000 11-15 year-olds are smoking,” said Johnson.

You what? Is Mr Johnson seriously trying to tell me that spotty youths are going about their business, of buying football cards and Special Brew, spy this:
and suddenly, they are stood there, jaw open, dribble running down their chin, staring, mesmerised by the beauty of the cigarette display. The only thought running through their heads is “Pretty packets. Gotta have”.

That can’t be right, can it? If it is, then surely the logic follows that if you hide the spirits and booze, that’ll be the end of Binge Drink Britian.
It’s a good job kids don’t spend much time in pharmacists, their shelves are positively sexy.

Dying to get that bargain

November 28th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

New York Times:

A Wal-Mart employee in suburban New York was trampled to death by a crush of shoppers who tore down the front doors and thronged into the store early Friday morning, turning the annual rite of post-Thanksgiving bargain hunting into a Hobbesian frenzy.

At 4:55 a.m., just five minutes before the doors were set to open, a crowd of 2,000 anxious shoppers started pushing, shoving and piling against the locked sliding glass doors of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., Nassau County police said. The shoppers broke the doors off their hinges and surged in, toppling a 34-year-old temporary employee who had been waiting with other workers in the store’s entryway.

People did not stop to help the employee as he lay on the ground, and they pushed against other Wal-Mart workers who were trying to aid the man. The crowd kept running into the store even after the police arrived, jostling and pushing officers who were trying to perform CPR, the police said.

FFS. It’s only stuff. Nothing is worth that.

What’s that on your foot, honey?

November 25th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

The Lay Scientist:

“Healing therapist” Russell Jenkins tragically died after a minor injury to his foot became gangrenous when he refused to seek medical attention, an inquest has heard.

As local Portsmouth newspaper The News describes: “Russell Jenkins injured his left foot treading on an electrical plug at his home. The wound later became infected, but the 52-year-old shunned conventional treatment, saying his ‘inner being’ told him not to go to hospital. Instead he tried treating it with honey, an ancient remedy for the treatment of infected wounds.”

Fair play for sticking to his beliefs.

Anyone called the people at the Darwin Awards?

The war on drugs: Coming to an end?

November 6th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Reposted from Mike Power:


Millions of Americans nationwide cast votes Tuesday in favor of marijuana law reform, approving nine out of ten ballot measures seeking to liberalize penalties on cannabis use and possession.

In Massachusetts, 65 percent of voters approved Question 2, which replaces criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana (punishable by up to six-months in jail and a $500 fine) with a civil fine of no more than $100. More than 1.9 million Massachusetts voters (and all but three cities) backed the measure – a greater total than the number of voters who endorsed President Elect Barack Obama (1.88 million)…

In Michigan, 63 percent of voters approved Proposal 1, which legalizes the physician-supervised use and cultivation of medicinal cannabis by state-authorized patients. More than 3 million voters endorsed the measure, which received approximately 150,000 more votes in Michigan than did Obama. Proposal 1 goes into effect on December 4th, at which time nearly one-quarter of the US population will live in a state that authorizes the legal use of medical cannabis.

Telly gets you pregnant

November 4th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

The Mail:

Teenage girls who watch a lot of TV shows with a high sexual content are twice as likely to become pregnant, a study said yesterday.
Boys watching similar shows are also much more likely to get a girl pregnant

‘Twice as likely’ and ‘more likely’. Hardly a damning first paragraph, there is it?

The study of more than 2,000 American youngsters between 12 and 17 is the first to directly link programmes such as Friends and Sex And The City to pregnancy.
It warned: ‘One problem is that these and similar programmes glamorise sex while hardly mentioning its downsides, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.’

‘Linked’ not a firm claim of causality? Linked implies that there is something in common with the two things, rather than one is the cause of the other.
I’m no expert on the only two programmes the researchers named (why name only two programmes?), Friends and Sex in the City, although I’ve been forced to sit through enough Friends on it’s endless cycle of repeats to claims of “I haven’t seen this one”. Yes you have you’ve seen them all at least four times. Sorry, I digress.
Where were we? Ah, yes, the programmes. Well, Friends I thought never had an overtly sexual theme or content to it. Yes they went on dates, they even slept with people, but nearly always in a relationship and when it wasn’t there was always some problem or other. Like Rachel getting pregnant by Ross, for instance. I can’t comment on Sex and the City because I do not watch it, and am surprised they managed to drag a full lenght film out of it, but it’s hardly aimed at 12 year olds.

Dr Chandra, a scientist with the RAND Corporation, a respected non-profit research group, said even cartoons with a sexual content can have the same effect.

Ok. Somebody enlighten me. Educate me as to which cartoons on the telly have a sexual content?
What ever you do, don’t mention abortions…too late, here she comes!

Tory MP Nadine Dorries said last night: ‘It would be interesting to see if a similar study in the UK revealed a trend. Information such as this empowers parents when making difficult decisions as to what they do and don’t allow their young daughters to watch.
‘Last year we saw girls as young as 12 aborting. Any information which could help stop even one child aborting her child has to be welcomed.’

Thanx for that excellent renta quote Nadine. But is it all the fault of the girls? Don’t the young boys have any say about whether girls get pregnant or not? How are you going to inform parents of which programmes are going to get you child up the duff, a mail shot every couple of weeks rating new programmes or inform them via the everso informed press?
All sorts of things happened last year so I don’t deny one or two 12 year old girls had abortions, but i) Are twelve year old girls really into Sex and the City? And ii) Unity has talked about abortion rates of under 14s’, to put things in perspective rather than the vague abstract of Nadiness statement, here

For the latest study, published in the American Journal of Paediatrics, researchers interviewed 2,003 youngsters three times between 2001 and 2004, asking about viewing habits, sexual behaviour and pregnancy.
By the last interview 718 said they were sexually active.

35% sexually active.

A separate analysis of programmes determined the frequency and type of sexual content. Researchers focused on 23 programmes popular with teenagers which contained high levels of sexual content – both depictions of sex and dialogue or discussion about it.

Be nice to know what programmes and what constituted ‘high levels of sexual content’.

They named only Friends and Sex and the City, but the shows included dramas, comedies, reality programmes and animations

Damn. But I do notice it says ‘They’, as in the researchers. Why would researchers on release the names of two of the programmes analysed? What else have they not released?

About 25 percent of those who watched the most sexual programmes became pregnant compared with 12 per cent of those who watched the least sexual shows

This paragraph is a bit ambigious. Does it mean 25% of the whole group who watched the most sexual programmes became pregnant? Does it mean 25% of the 35% (8.75% of the whole study group) sexually active teenagers? How many teenagers were watching the most sexual programmes. After all, the most popular programmes aren’t neccersarily the most sexual. How many of the 35% of the sexually active teenagers were girls? Your chances of getting pregnant are seriously reduced if you’re a boy.
That statement above is meaningless.

The study also found that teenagers living in a two-parent household were less likely to get pregnant, while those with behaviour and discipline problems were
more likely.

And a dig at one of the Mails favourite targets, single parents. But these two groups that have been singled out, they are more an less likely to get pregnant than who? Doing what? A girl with two parents watching lots of these progammes could be less likely to get pregnant than a girl in care who doesn’t watch any of them. These statements mean nothing on their own.

So. To sum up: Stop scaring us you bastards!!

Chips, Skips & Strawberry Whips

October 31st, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

The OCD Diet:

This was a bit like being at a finger buffet. The chips were in dire need of some tomato ketchup, but I did burp a little sick into my mouth half way through the meal that was tinged with the taste of tomato soup from this morning, which went some way towards filling that gap. Altogether a not-unpleasant meal (apart from the moment of sick).



October 28th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I wonder if herbal tobacco is that bad…?

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