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Social- Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund
Updated: 22 May 2013
Four steps to making a bid for Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund
21 May 2013
Dr Les Goldman outlines how to apply for new funding for caring for the homeless
Earlier this week Public Health Minister Anna Soubry announced £10 million of new funding for projects aimed
at improving the care that homeless people receive on discharge from hospital.
1 It is estimated that currently, 70% of homeless people are discharged from hospital back onto the street
without their health and housing problems being properly addressed.
The Department of Health has finally got the message that by investing in some preventive to deal with this
problem, it might actually save money by reducing further A&E attendances and revolving door readmissions.
The Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund is offering a mixture of capital and revenue funding.
This is targeted principally at two kinds of project.
The first is the approach that has been pioneered by Pathway in their work in a number of hospitals in London
This is to make sure that all patients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are identified as soon as
possible on admission.
A hospital-based Homelessness Team then works with the patient and a wider multidisciplinary team (involving
agencies such as housing, drug and alcohol services, mental health and social services) to get a clear plan is
in place to meet the patient’s housing needs and needs for on-going health and social support on discharge.
The second is to encourage the development of Intermediate Care facilities for homeless patients who no
longer need the intensive support of a hospital, but who are not yet ready to be discharged to a hostel or to live
Examples might be an elderly homeless man recovering from a severe pneumonia or someone with newly
diagnosed TB who needs an extra week to get properly established on therapy.
Both types of work have clear need for GP involvement. GPs along with CCGs will have a vital role in the
development and planning of these new services. And GP clinical input will be essential once services are set up, either doing hospital in-reach sessions with homeless patients, or providing clinical leadership and hands-on care for patients in new Intermediate care facilities.
How then can GPs get themselves involved?
1. Team up with the voluntary sector
A crucial thing to note is that this Fund is open only to applications from voluntary sector organisations
(including charities and social enterprises) which work principally with homeless people or from voluntary
sector-led partnerships. So for example a specialist GP practice for homeless people run as a community
interest company could apply directly for funding.
However, in more usual circumstances interested GPs, CCGs and their local hospitals would need to work in
close partnership with a local homelessness charity or other organisation to develop a bid for funding.
This voluntary sector organisation would then lead the application to the fund and administer the grant if
2. Establish local need
It is important to be able to demonstrate a clear local need for any proposed new services. This would involve
looking for example at numbers of homeless admissions and readmissions, homeless A&E attendances.
This process in itself can often be problematic, as many homeless people attending hospital are not recorded
Any application must show how high standards of clinical practice, including service user involvement, will be
3. Demonstrate sustainability
The third key element of any proposal is sustainability – how will new services continue to be funded from
2014? This is where CCG and commissioner input to any proposals will be essential for their success.
4. Move quickly
Finally, the closing date for applications is July 8th. That gives less than two months to get a lot of work done
on producing a business case. Developing this kind of service could make big savings on hospital spending
as well as making a huge impact on health inequality. So if you are thinking about making an application to this
fund, you will need to get networking fast.
Dr Les Goldman is chair and acting medical director at Bevan Healthcare CIC and a GP in Bradford
1 Details of how to apply to the 2013-14 Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/homeless-hospital-discharge-fund-2013-to-2014
2 Details of Pathway’s work with homeless people can be found on their website www.pathway.org.uk
Social- What makes men flirt ?
Updated: 16 May 2013
What makes married men flirt ?
Woman who don’t or can’t keep them satisfied !
Woman with children who have all they want !
No further need for the “father” !
Believing the grass is greener on the other side !
In the West, a meal cheque at divorce !
All this adds up to selfish women
Whose own interests out weigh all others including their children.
The result is they are not a fit parent !
Men only flirt to get their partner to pay more attention to them.
So read this from the top
The story goes round and round.
Social - Attendance Allowance for the over 65 disabled
Updated: 07 May 2013
the £200-plus a month many elderly people miss out on
It is a tax-free benefit for ill and disabled over-65 – but many either do not know about it or are unsure about claiming
Tom McLeod, 90, says attendance allowance makes it possible for him still to live on his own.
Many ill or disabled people over the age of 65 are missing out on getting attendance allowance, worth up to
£73.60 a week for the most severe cases, because of misconceptions about the entitlement conditions,
according to leading charities.
Attendance allowance is a tax-free benefit paid to people over 65 who need help to look after themselves
because of physical or mental disability.
But don't be put off applying if you don't receive help from a carer; the allowance is based on the help you need,
not the help you actually get, and you can get it irrespective of your income.
"You don't have to have someone caring for you in order to claim, and you can spend the money however you
want," says Age UK. "It does not matter if you live alone or with other people, or whether you have a carer – what
matters is that you need help with personal care, supervision or watching over.
Whether you are actually getting any help is irrelevant."
Age UK views AA as a well-targeted benefit which helps many older people with disabilities stay independent in
their own home for as long as possible.
"Many older disabled people could be missing out on this allowance and we are keen to encourage those in
need to put in a claim," says Age UK's charity director, Michelle Mitchell.
Currently claimed by nearly 1.8 million people and costing around £5.4bn a year, AA is designed to help with the
extra costs of disability; take-up is strongest among older people on lower incomes.
The benefit is not means-tested, so it is not affected by any savings or income you may have, and receiving it will
not reduce other benefits you may receive.
You may qualify for AA if you are over 65 and have a physical disability (including sensory disability, such as
blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both and your disability is severe enough for
you to need any of the following:
• Help with things such as washing (and getting in or out of the bath or shower), dressing, eating, getting to and
using the toilet or communicating your needs;
• Supervision to avoid putting yourself or others in substantial danger, for example needing someone to keep an
eye on your medical condition or diet.
AA is paid at two weekly rates: £49.30 if you need help with personal care or supervision during the day only or
during the night only; or £73.60 for those who fulfil both the day and night condition.
Just over a million current claimants get the higher rate while just under 800,000 people get the lower rate.
You can get a claim form by calling the benefit inquiry line on 0800 88 22 00 (textphone: 0800 24 33 55) or
download a form or start a claim online.
You need to describe on the form how your disability affects you; a medical examination should not normally be
A government spokesman said AA is not one of the state benefits currently under review, but organisations such
as Age UK would like confirmation that its availability will not be adversely affected by proposed welfare reforms.
Mitchell said: "This non-means tested cash allowance gives people independence. At a time of spending cuts
and tightening eligibility criteria to access local authority social care, attendance allowance is something that
older disabled people can depend on at a time of great need."
What do people spend attendance allowance on?
An Age UK survey of 700 older people claiming AA showed that the majority (60%) spent it on help in the home,
for example on cleaners and gardeners. Just over 27% spent it on household repairs and decoration and 25%
used it to buy care services.
Of those surveyed 46% spent extra money on heating their homes, 36% spent it on more or better quality food or
food relating to a special diet or having pre-prepared or cooked meals delivered.
Some 14% used the money to buy clothes and shoes and 13% also spent some on travel, for example, a mobility
scooter or adapted car, paying petrol money to people who gave them lifts and hiring taxis when public
transport was not an option.
Social- Young Adults in debt rely on parents for cash and support
Updated: 07 May 2013
Under 30s rely on parents for cash, support and even help with DIY
Survey of young adults finds that debt is becoming a normality –
even with rising withdrawals from 'Bank of Mum and Dad'
Young people are growing into their 20s without a fear of being in debt.
The under-30s are struggling to break free emotionally and financially from their parents and even rely on them
for basic, practical help with cleaning, DIY and transport, according to a new report.
Research by the Co-operative Group has identified a 'lost generation' of 18 to 30-year-olds in the UK for whom
debt is normality – a so-called debt-eration – and who are finding it hard to become independent in the UK's
More than eight out of 10 (84%) young adults in the UK admit to having received financial support from their
parents since "coming of age".
Young adults in the 18-30 age range have asked their parents for financial help for a range of things from food
shopping costs (43%) to holidays (36%) to debt payments (16%) and house purchases (8%).
Even beyond financial support from the 'Bank of Mum and Dad', a high proportion of young adults (80%) still rely
heavily on their parents for help with basic tasks and decision-making.
The most common areas for support including transport (40%), chores such as cleaning and ironing (34%) and
help with finding a job (27%).
The traditional pattern of youngsters leaving home when they go to university has made way for a new
generation of those staying near or at home for their higher education and then staying put.
The research highlights that money is an issue for young adults, with nearly a third (31%) not feeling financially
The report has identified a "debt-eration", with nearly two thirds (60%) of 18 to 30-year-olds admitting to having
The findings reveal that for this generation debt is normal, with 77% not alarmed or worried by it.
Yet, despite parents and guardians helping their offspring repay debt, nearly a third of young adults are hiding
their debt from their parents, amounting to an average burden of £3,579 of secret debt.
The main sources of debt for this age group are: student loans (63%), credit cards (31%), personal loans (23%), overdrafts (19%) and money borrowed from parents (18%).
In addition, the group's earning expectations do not live up to reality.
Over two-fifths (41%) earn less than they thought they would in relation to their age and education level and, on
average, people aged 18-30 take home £7,187 less than they thought they would.
Also, according to the findings, more than a tenth (16%) of 18 to 30-year-olds do not feel they have a job that
matches their qualifications.
On broader issues, the report found that two-fifths (40%) are dissatisfied with their lives so far.
The main stress for this ambitious age group (40%) is a feeling that they should have achieved more in their
Other significant stresses include not having enough money to buy luxuries (38%), weight anxieties (33%) and
lack of sleep (32%).
Martyn Wates, the Co-operative Group's deputy group chief executive, said: "The findings of our study into 18 to
30-year-olds living in Britain today offers a unique insight into their view of the world and their prospects for the
It should not be forgotten that it is these young adults who are ultimately going to shape the future of Britain for
years to come, so they need support and encouragement to thrive."
Psychologist Donna Dawson added: "In order to help this generation to cope better, parents should encourage
independence, initiative and self-sufficiency.
This in turn will generate the self-confidence needed to tackle work and money issues, as well as help them to
develop a more realistic outlook during an uncertain economy."
• The research was conducted by ICM in March questioning 1,500 British adults aged 18-30 in a nationally
Social- Aims of Families Need Fathers
Updated: 07 May 2013
Aims of Families Need Fathers
Families Need Fathers is a registered UK charity which provides information and support to parents, including
unmarried parents, of either sex.
FNF is chiefly concerned with the problems of maintaining a child's relationship with both parents during and
after family breakdown. Founded in 1974, FNF helps thousands of parents every year.
The annual subscription costs less than a few minutes of a solicitor's time, and gives access to a wide range of
information and support that is beyond the scope of some lawyers.
What we believe
- Children have a right to a continuing loving relationship with both parents
- Children need to be protected from the harm of losing contact with one parent
- Both parents should be treated equally and shared parenting should be encouraged
- Each parent has a unique contribution to make to their children's development
- The Family Courts should be backed by a nationally funded mediation service
- Litigation is not the preferred route for resolving post separation children's matters
What we do
- We work to increase awareness of the problems of family breakdown
- We produce booklets, leaflets, a website and a regular newsletter
- We hold local self-help branch meetings throughout the UK
- We provide support to members through our internet forums
- We operate a national helpline as a member of the Telephone Helplines Association
- We have a network of volunteer telephone contacts
- We run Parenting Support workshops
- We provide speakers and case studies for the press and media
- We participate in family policy forums and seminars
- We respond to government consultations
- We lobby Parliament and the legal profession
- We collate and promote relevant research information
Social- Bedroom Tax -GP's and Patient Requests to back Benefit Claims
Updated: 30 Apr 2013
'Bedroom tax' and other benefits requests pile pressure on GPs
26 April 2013 | By Sofia Lind
GP practices are seeing a rising number of patient requests to supply information to back their benefits claims,
with the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ proving particularly problematic.
LMC leaders have been forced in one area to produce a leaflet for local practices that tells patients GPs are ‘not in
a position to adminster or police the benefits system’ and that they will not reply to requests for letters of support.
Birmingham LMC have also supplied a letter for patients to give to any agency that requires a GP letter to tell them
that they are not contracturally obliged to do so, after requests rose due to benefit cuts introduced this month for
those in social housing with a spare room. Click here to download the poster and letter.
Birmingham LMC executive secretary Dr Robert Morley said the leaflet was based on material orginially produced
by Glasgow LMC.
He said: ‘This has always been a problem but the recent changes have brought about an increase in numbers,
and specifically regarding the bedroom tax.’
The GPC reminded GPs that it is not part of their job to solve benefits disputes, even if they are asking about
medical conditions - such as sleep apnea - that could mean they are protected from benefit cuts.
GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘We are concerned that many patients are having benefits withdrawn
inappropriately. That is demonstrated by the large amount of claims that are successful in the appeals process.
But, that said, it is unnecessary for benefits agencies to encourage patients to see their GP, because the evidence
that a GP can provide is not what they need to determine whether to withdraw their benefits or not.’
‘[Sleep apnoea] could be one reason but there could be a variety of reasons why carers find it very difficult to
sleep in the same room as their partner. But that is not necessarily something which would require a GP letter.
‘GPs can provide a diagnosis and information about a diagnosis, but what they should not be asked to provide is
an assessment of how that affects that particular person, because that becomes a subjective view.
That is for the medical assessors to do as part of the benefits assessment.’
Dr Vautrey said that should they decide they wanted to write a letter on their patient’s behalf GPs could demand a
fee for doing so.
‘That has always been the case, because it is outside of the contractual arrangement, that you can make a charge
for anything beyond that.
But GPs are not wanting to do that, they don’t think it is necessary for them to do this work in the first place.’
But he advised against doing so, adding: ‘GPs would routinely end up writing a supportive letter by the very
nature of a GP being an advocate of their patient.
They are very biased in that process.
The key thing about assessing benefits is that it should be an independent process so they get a fair hearing.’
Social- "Give us a handout to revive us again"
Updated: 26 Apr 2013
UK food bank users triple in a year as economic problems continue
UK food bank users triple in a year as economic problems continue.
Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:50PM GMT
More than 350,000 hungry Britons have turned to food banks last year, almost triple the number who has received
food aid in 2011, charity says.
The Trussell Trust, the largest food bank provider in the UK, warned the dramatic increase in the number of food
bank users is to continue in the coming months due to the government's welfare reforms, including the 1 percent
benefit cap, the bedroom tax, and the 10 percent cut in council tax support.
"Politicians across the political spectrum urgently need to recognize the real extent of UK food poverty," said the
charity’s executive chairman Chris Mould.
The Trussell Trust said between 400 and 650 more food banks are needed to cope with expected demand. The
charity added it is opening three extra outlets a week to support financially vulnerable households in the country.
The charity predicted earlier that the number of people relying on emergency food rations will increase to more than
200,000 in the whole of 2012-13
Social- Racism is....
Updated: 22 Apr 2013
Being judged by
Racism is racial discrimination, discriminating
against you or bullying you because you’re a
different colour, religion or because you don’t
come from their country.
Racism is like, making fun or
not liking other people’s faiths
because it’s different to your faith.
Racism is anything to
do with calling people
Social- A Hidden Cost of Austerity -Psychological Stress that threatens a nations long term health
Updated: 20 Apr 2013
Cost of cuts: Austerity's toxic genetic legacy
Psychological stress brought on by the economic crisis may trigger genes that threaten the long-term health of
Editorial: "The hidden costs of austerity"
FROM financial breakdown in Portugal to the UK's so-called bedroom tax, the harsh effects of austerity measures
are hitting people in ways unseen in decades.
Many are focused on the most imminent challenges to their well-being – increased costs of living and job security,
But new insights into how genes linked with disease are triggered in times of stress suggest that we should be
paying just as much attention to the long-term effects of austerity on our health.
The more immediate health impacts of economic cuts were documented last month in The Lancet (doi.org/k4c),
revealing that suicides in Europe have soared since the financial crash in 2008, with 1000 extra deaths in England
alone by 2010.
Likewise, the incidence of mental health disorders has increased in countries worst hit by debt crises, such as
Greece and Spain. Greece has also seen a surge in HIV infections among intravenous drug users, from about 15
per year before 2010 to 314 in 2012. Some people in Greece are even suspected of purposefully infecting
themselves with HIV to obtain healthcare otherwise unavailable as a result of budget cuts.
But there are more subtle, and just as concerning, effects on health.
A review published last month highlights research demonstrating how psychological stress leads to long-lasting
changes in genes that trigger chronic inflammation.
This is bad news – chronic inflammation can raise the risk of heart attacks, depression and even cancer.
While the studies focused on stressors such as loneliness and social rejection, the biological mechanisms
involved are thought to be triggered by any sudden or chronic psychological stress, such as losing a job, home or
"Insofar as our genomes are responsive to such threats, there exists the possibility that our genes may be partly
responsible for links between financial crises and health," says George Slavich of the University of California at
Los Angeles, a co-author of the review (Clinical Psychological Science, doi.org/k4f).
There is already historic evidence of increases in mental health problems and heart attacks following job losses.
A study as far back as 1979, for example, showed that in the UK between 1936 and 1976, deaths from heart disease
began to rise between two and three years after periods of high unemployment, and continued for a decade.
A 2006 study in the Netherlands covering the years 1815 to 2000 showed that generations born during recessions
have abnormally high rates of early death.
So what's going on?
During stressful events, the brain and other parts of the central nervous system flood the body with stress
hormones such as cortisol.
These activate cell surface receptors that instruct the cell to switch on genes that stoke inflammation.
The result is a surge of chemicals that accelerate wound healing and combat infections.
While these mechanisms can be crucial to our survival, persistent stimulation brought on by psychological stress
– which includes the anticipation of unpleasant events, such as the threat of unemployment – may lead to
detrimental levels of ongoing inflammation.
In 2010, Slavich demonstrated the link by exposing volunteers to acute social stress.
Those who were shy or abnormally sensitive to social rejection were more likely to show activation of pro-
inflammatory genes – presumably because they found the situation more stressful (PNAS, doi.org/cvcq2c).
The link is also supported by experiments in animals.
Jenny Tung and her colleagues at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, deliberately manipulated social
status and stress levels in macaques.
The lower the animal's social rank, the more active their pro-inflammatory genes.
Tung says it was even possible to identify an individual macaque's rank purely by measuring their gene profiles in
white blood cells (PNAS, doi.org/k4g).
Because white blood cells often stick around for years in the body, the impact of the initial stress could remain
genetically and biologically embedded long afterwards, Slavich says.
"The connection between chronic stress and illness is pretty clear," says Terrie Moffitt, also at Duke University,
who studies the long-term impact of maltreatment on children.
The idea that this connection is mediated by altered gene regulation is "a great hypothesis", she says, "but a
series of connections has to be made, from measured stress to measured gene regulation, and from gene
regulation to disease vulnerability."
Stress could even have an impact across generations, according to research presented this week at the British
Neuroscience Association Festival in London.
Megan Holmes at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and colleagues genetically engineered mouse fetuses to lack an
enzyme called 11-beta-HSD2.
This normally protects pups from exposure to cortisol from the mother.
The pups were born underweight and showed evidence of shyness and withdrawal in adulthood.
Stress has been shown to affect levels of this enzyme in humans. Vivette Glover at Imperial College London found
that 11-beta-HSD2 levels were 30 per cent lower in the placentas of women who had reported the highest levels of
prenatal anxiety (Psychoneuroendocrinology, doi.org/csmmtc).
Whether this had any effect on the mental health of the children is unclear, but Glover says it supports the idea that
stress during pregnancy could possibly reprogram fetal development.
"There is more and more research showing the effects of prenatal stress on the long-term development of
children," says Glover.
"It's likely that if people are feeling more stressed because of austerity, unemployment and so on, it will have a
damaging effect on the next generation."
"There is no hard data on this, but it is very likely that austerity can have persistent effects across generations,"
agrees Isabelle Mansuy of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, who has previously demonstrated
that the effects of stress can be passed down through three generations of mice.
Whether gene-reprogramming affects the immediate victims of recession alone, or their descendants too, all
researchers contacted by New Scientist agree that further investigation is vital.
"We need to know a lot more about the long-term consequences of these stresses," says David Stuckler of the
University of Oxford.
This article appeared in print under the headline "Austerity's toxic genetic legacy"
Social- How the bargaining power of men and women has evolved
Updated: 17 Apr 2013
The origins of our gender roles
Alison Booth sees how the relative bargaining power of men and women has evolved.
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2013 11:03
ANU Public Policy Fellow. She is the author of The Jingera Trilogy.
Has the relative bargaining power between men and women been shaped by our evolutionary
history? Economist Paul Seabright explains how, in his book The War of the Sexes: How Conflict
and Cooperation Have Shaped Men and Women from Prehistory to the Present (2012).
Millions of years ago our ancestors began to colonise what Seabright terms "a very risky
evolutionary niche: the long childhood". This needed more cooperation between the sexes in
order to ensure the survival of the offspring, and sex became not merely reproduction but also a
We all know the profound differences between male and female sex cells. Women's are large,
scarce and relatively expensive to make. Men's are small, abundant and cheap to manufacture.
Because of the relative scarcity of women's eggs, and their costliness once fertilised, women
have to be selective about the source of the sperm. A woman carries and nurtures the foetus in
her body for over nine months. Once the baby is born, she has to feed and protect the child for a
long time afterwards. She does not want to waste her opportunities on unsuitable men; they
have to be screened out. So we have female selectivity on the one hand and male persistence
on the other hand.
What were the large brains for?
From Charles Darwin onwards, sexual selection - for reproduction - has been seen as distinct
from natural selection - for survival. Large brains are for perception, cooperation, reciprocity
and the cognitive challenge of keeping track of mutual obligations. These are functions that
might be thought of as for natural selection.
Long childhoods are related to large brains. Because a baby's skull only just fitted through the
mother's pelvis, birth had to precede brain and body development. Consequently, complex social
arrangements became necessary, for it was costly to feed and protect the child who was
dependent for so long. Both mother and child needed meat and calories to support the growing
brain. Foraging for this diet required more ambitious and cooperative hunting and gathering
arrangements. The longer childhood, even in hunting-gatherer groups, meant greater female
cooperation with men.
But the human brain has additional capabilities. The mind can produce works of art (music,
painting, sophisticated stories) as well as complex language skills and wit and humour. These
brain functions are not for survival and are therefore not thought of as part of natural selection.
Many evolutionary biologists and evolutionary psychologists see these functions instead as being
for sexual selection; that is, for reproduction. (For example, see: Geoffrey Miller's book, The
Mating Mind: how Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature). Matching (or sexual
pairing) based on creative courtship behaviour is, it is argued, a key part of sexual selection in
human mental evolution.
"That the peacock can survive
and be healthy - despite its enormous rear end - indicates its good genes."
How might this work? Complex human courtship behaviour can be viewed as part of the creative
human mind, and arose for the same reason that male peacocks have such gorgeous tails - for
mating purposes. That the peacock can survive and be healthy - despite its enormous rear end -
indicates its good genes. In displaying its tail it signals its potential to be a fine mate.
Male and female brains
The differences between male and female hominid brains are very small and there are negligible
sex differences in the "g-factor" underlying IQ test performance. This does not imply that sexual
selection is irrelevant, but rather that both sexes are choosy - and that there is mutual mate
choice. Brains are good indicators of nutritional state and general health: they represent 2
percent of body weight but consume over 25 percent of adult metabolic energy (60 percent in
This similarity between male and female hominid brains suggests that they faced equally
sophisticated cognitive challenges throughout almost all of our evolutionary history.
As Seabright argues:
"On this view, the subordinate and dependent condition of women that has characterised relatively recent centuries cannot have obtained for most of the time since we diverged from the chimpanzees and bonobos."
How did bargaining power alter?
What happened to relative bargaining between males and females with the introduction of
agricultural cultivation? The bargaining power of women was to weaken. Why was this the
case? Danish economist Ester Boserup (1970) distinguished between two forms of soil
cultivation to prepare the ground for planting in her book, Woman's Role in Economic
The first form is the labour-intensive shifting cultivation, which uses hand-held devices such as
the hoe and the digging stick. The second form is the more capital-intensive plough cultivation,
which requires upper-body strength to control the plough. Consequently, the latter form of
cultivation gave men a comparative advantage relative to women and led to a division of labour
in which men worked in the fields while women specialised in work in and around the home. This
gender-based division of labour then gave rise to a culture which codified women's place as
being in the home.
Testable predictions of this theory are that cultures based on plough cultivation are
characterised by less equal beliefs about gender roles. Some recent economic studies empirically
test the hypothesis that different agricultural practices influenced the historical gender division
of labour, and that they also contributed to the evolution and persistence of gender norms.
One example is the 2012 paper "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough" by
Alesina, Giuliano and Nunn. The study shows that individuals, ethnicities and countries whose
ancestors engaged in plough agriculture are characterised by greater gender inequality today,
as well as by lower female participation in a range of activities outside the domestic sphere.
The codification or culture that a woman's place is solely in the home has, since the middle of the
20th century, been losing force in many parts of the world. We are shifting to a post-industrial
world in which the bargaining power of women is again changing. In many societies we are
moving towards greater equality and cooperation between the sexes. Will we eventually see,
everywhere on our planet, an equalisation in the bargaining power of men and women? Let us
hope our descendants do not have to wait too much longer before finding out that this is indeed
Alison Booth is Professor of Economics at the Australian National University and an ANU Public
Policy Fellow. Her academic research is in labour and behavioural economics, and she is the
author of The Jingera Trilogy
Social- Better off on Benefits ? -Some children live on £2.20 per day
Updated: 03 Apr 2013
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Better off on benefits?
The benefit cap will leave some children living on just £2.20 per day.
I live in Croydon - one of the four London boroughs (the others are Bromley, Enfield and Haringey) that since
yesterday is piloting the benefits cap, before the national roll-out on 15 July.
This policy means that no household - no matter how many people live in it, and no matter their situation, can
receive more than £26,000 per year in benefits.
The Work & Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith MP, says:
"It’s sheer madness that people on benefits can be getting as much as a higher-rate taxpayer earns.
We need a welfare state that acts as a safety net and encourages people back to work, not traps them in out-of-
work dependency." (reference)
He says this without presenting any evidence, and it is loyally parroted by his backbench MPs - including
Croydon Central's Tory MP, who says:
Gavin Barwell MP ✔ @GavinBarwellMP
.@InsideCroydon But on this issue I often meet constituents who are fed up paying for
others to have a better lifestyle than themselves
8:28 PM - 01 Apr 13
So is it true - and how could it be? Let's try to calculate.
Let's start with three variations of a two parent family of three (all figures rounded to nearest £; tax credits figures
via HMRC Tax Credits calculator).
Firstly where one parent works and the other doesn't (assume the youngest child is under 3 and the second
parent is caring for them). To make work as low paying as possible, let's put that parent on the minimum wage of
£6.19 per hour.
If they're working a full-time job (37 hours per week).
So here is their annual income:
Child Benefit: £2,449
Child Tax Credit: £94
Working Tax Credit: £27
Total household income: £14,480
Secondly, where both parents work.
To make work as low paying as possible, let's put both parents on the minimum wage of £6.19 per hour.
One working a full-time job (37 hours per week) and the other part-time (21 hours per week).
So here is their annual income:
Child Benefit: £2,449
Child Tax Credit: £94
Working Tax Credit: £21
Total household income: £21,233
Finally let's have a household where neither parent works.
Both are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance:
Child Benefit: £2,449
Child Tax Credit: £94
Working Tax Credit: £0
Total household income: £8,338
So where's the benefit in not working?
Really I'm at a loss to find it.
What about more unusual households?
Just to give the Daily Mail a chance, let's re-run the out-of-work household with eight children:
Child Benefit: £5,933
Child Tax Credit: £242
Working Tax Credit: £0
Total household income: £11,970
So even with eight children our unemployed household still only has an income equivalent to one adult working
full-time on the minimum wage - and that's split between ten people - each living on the equivalent of £23 per
That is the reality of our generous benefits system.
Politicians add in what I call 'landlord subsidy' (officially known as housing benefit).
This of course does not make the family 'better off'.
The transaction is between the state and the private landlord - the family sees none of the money at any point.
If rental prices dropped they would see no money, if rental costs rise they see no less.
According to the Rightmove website, the cheapest five-bedroom property (the bare minimum for a family of 10) in
Croydon is £1500 pcm or £18,000 p.a.
Added to the total household income that makes £29,970 pa - over the £26,000 benefit cap. So the household
income through social security will be capped at £8,000 instead of £11,970.
This means each of the ten people in the house (2 adults and 8 children) will be living on just £15.38 per week or
£2.20 per day.
This is the brutal reality of the benefits cap: £2.20 per day to eat, pay the bills, and buy clothes.
This is why the Child Poverty Action Group calculates that an additional 200,000 children will be living in poverty
this year, rising to an extra 1 million by 2020.
Posted by Andrew at 16:33 3 comments:
Social - Divorce - 70% initiated by women -why ?
Updated: 02 Apr 2013
Women initiate 70% of divorces.
What does this say about women as a sex?
Greed comes into it, so does selfishness, and self before any children.
But vituperation accounts for the psychological violence,
which often leads to a physical response.
However this comment must be addressed.
They are victims of misandry..
Yes, sexism hurts us all.
Feminism devolved into misandry.
Misandry And Misogyny Are Wrong Because They Are Both Hatred
“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity.
Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the
ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.” Martin Luther King Jr.(MLKJ)
Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misandry is the hatred or dislike of men or boys.
Information on misogyny is widely available but often of little value due to its widespread adoption as
propaganda to promote hatred.
The inappropriateness of misandry is every bit as unacceptable up as the inappropriateness of misogyny.
As MLKJ said, both values and objectivity are destroyed by hate.
This makes societies vulnerable to manipulation through propaganda.
“If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. ” Joseph Goebbels.
These are commonly repeated statements made by misandrists that reflect their values and objectivity, or lack
Such statements are clearly designed to incite hatred:
"All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman." -- Catherine MacKinnon
"The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race." -- Sally Miller Gearhart
"Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience." Catherine Comins
"I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig." -- Andrea Dworkin
These statements constitute hate crimes. Sections 318 and 319 are the relevant sections of the Canadian
The Criminal Code of Canada says a hate crime is committed to intimidate, harm or terrify not only a person, but
an entire group of people to which the victim belongs.
The victims are targeted for who they are, not because of anything they have done.
A hate crime is one in which hate is the motive and can involve intimidation, harassment, physical force or threat
of physical force against a person, a group or a property.
In Canada it is also a crime to incite hatred. Propaganda, like the misandrists statements above, is information of
a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
Social- Fitness to drive in the Elderly -a medical assessment
Updated: 30 Mar 2013
Ten top tips - fitness to drive in the elderly
27 March 2013
Professor Desmond O’Neill offers his tips on assessing fitness to drive and how to broach this subject with your patient.
1. Do not assume that frail patients don’t drive
Do not assume that the presence of a significant burden of frailty means that the patient does not drive. Cars are very important in helping older people to continue living at home. So people are often reluctant to stop driving and lose this aspect of their independence.
2. Consider how you can make driving safer for older patients
Older drivers have the safest driving record of any age group, but older patients attending your surgery are likely to have a range of conditions which are relevant to driving. GPs have an important role in supporting patients in getting around safely, for example a medication review, rehabilitation and cataract surgery are just a few interventions which can make driving safer and more comfortable for older patients. Driving cessation is associated with significant negative health and social outcomes - including nursing home placement, depression and death - preserving the ability to drive safely should be a clinical priority.
3. When assessing fitness to drive, prioritise the most significant conditions
The ‘at-a-glance’ guidelines on medical fitness to drive from the DVLA are very helpful. But it is likely that older patients, or those with illnesses affecting their fitness to drive, have many morbidities. So you need to consider the conditions relevant to driving and prioritise those that are likely to have the most significant impact on fitness to drive for an individual patient.
4. Use the Adelaide driving self-efficacy scale
A key factor in whether a patient is safe to drive is the likelihood that they will deal with their illness and driving in a prudent and strategic way. Divergence between the score and what you are observing with the patient or being told by a relative or carer should alert you to potential problems with the patient’s insight and judgment.
5. Be opportunistic in asking patients about driving
Ideally you should routinely enquire about driving and transport with older patients who attend your clinic, or those who have illnesses which cause loss of function. Ask whether they drive and if they don’t, ask how their transport needs are met. GPs are generally accustomed to developing an awareness of housing conditions of their patients, and transport availability is an important part of wellbeing.
6. Make use of specialist support
Make use of the specialist support available. For example, referral to geriatrician, old-age psychiatrist, ophthalmologist or occupational therapist can provide valuable insight, support, and solutions to concerns over fitness to drive. It can also help to share the load of the difficult situation when a patient with whom you have had a long professional relationship is likely to need to stop driving.
7. Get a witness history where possible
A witness history of driving behavior from a relative or carer is a very important aspect of assessing fitness to drive in patients with cognitive impairment - as well as being useful for confirming the cognitive impairment and establishing a diagnosis. Ask about changes in driving behavior, getting lost, accidents (including ‘minor’ bumps) and whether the witness feels safe when driving with them. This will help you to decide whether the patient should stop driving while awaiting an assessment, or whether there it is reasonable to continue driving as long as the assessment takes place quickly.
8. Advise regular on-road testing for patients with early dementia
Once a diagnosis of early dementia has been established, there is no office-based test or battery which can predict which patients have preserved driving abilities. The patient should have on-road testing every six months and should start planning for eventual retirement from driving 1. On-road testing is available through the forum network of mobility centres.
9. Encourage anyone who witnesses dangerous driving to report it to the police
When there is evidence of dangerous driving, it is a misguided kindness to pursue an exclusively medical approach. Dangerous driving is a statutory offence so relatives or carers who might be providing a witness testimony to you, who witness dangerous driving, should be encouraged to report to the police. The medical issues can be pursued later.
10. Remember that patients who aren’t fit to drive probably can’t use public transport either
If your patient can no longer drive, the condition or conditions responsible almost certainly preclude them from using public transport as well, and alternative options will need to be found. Family members may be able to help, but some patients will not have such support available. So it is worth being aware awareness of alternative methods of transport that exist in your local area. In some areas, Dial-a-Ride systems have been developed.
Professor Desmond O’Neill is a consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine and professor in medical gerontology at Tallaght Hospital, and Trinity College, Dublin.
Social - Pensioners face a lifetime of paying off debts
Updated: 29 Mar 2013
Pensioners face a lifetime of paying off debts
One in five are in the red on the day they retire, with debts averaging £31,000.
Many still owe hundreds of thousands of pounds on interest-only mortgages,
caught between endowments that failed to deliver and lenders demanding repayment.
We look at the options for Britain's indebted pensioners
Workers are retiring into debt Photo: Ian Jones
Those approaching retirement are hitting the milestone in poor financial shape, with nearly one in five expecting
to be in debt on the day they receive their gold carriage clock.
Figures from Prudential released this week show that the average owed by people retiring is more than £31,000,
spread over a mixture of credit cards, bank loans, overdrafts and mortgages.
Twelve per cent of them do not expect that they will ever clear the debt, while it will eat into the income of others
for several years before they pay it off.
The charity StepChange, formerly known as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, said it had seen a 44pc
increase since 2009 in the number of over-sixties contacting it with problems paying their mortgages. "With
many older people taking higher levels of debt with them into retirement, this could be the start of a long-term
trend," warned Delroy Corinaldi, a director of StepChange.
Disturbing figures from Key Retirement Solutions, which provides equity release mortgages, also suggest that
for some pensioners the debt problem is severe.
The company's survey of its clients found that some retired people had unsecured loans running into six
figures, while others were struggling with huge mortgages. Pensioners with debts are putting an average of £198
a month towards debt repayment, said Key director Dean Mirfin.
That amounts to 13pc of the average pensioner's income.
Mr Mirfin said pensioners were feeling the effects of the endowment mis-selling scandal, with many coming to
the end of their mortgage term and struggling to pay off their home loan.
"It all adds up to a major squeeze on incomes," he said.
Because lenders have tightened both their lending criteria on interest-only mortgages and in many cases the
maximum age at which customers can borrow money, older people will struggle to find a new mortgage deal if
they have not paid back all they owe, experts said.
Despite the fact that we are expected to live and work longer, it is still difficult to remortgage in your later years.
Five years ago mortgage lenders offered loans to people well past the age of retirement, but new rules intended
to stop another financial crisis have seen mortgage options for borrowers heading into later life dry up.
Other indebted pensioners may have to consider a more expensive way to borrow money – equity release.
This product allows you to take money out of your home while you are still living in it, but, because the interest
"rolls up" over the years, borrowing this chunk of money can be very expensive.
However, these plans are changing and there are now more flexible ways to use them that may be cheaper.
If you still have a regular income, and could pay off some of your debt, you may wish to consider an "interest
payment plan" version of equity release.
These plans work more like an ordinary mortgage, so you make interest payments every month on the money
that you have borrowed. Some retired people are using these plans instead of remortgaging so that they can
have more money now while still ensuring that they can pass on the bulk of their property to their beneficiaries.
With most interest payment plans, you can choose the size of the payments you make every month.
Each pound you pay off reduces the amount that your equity release provider takes out of the value of your
home when the plan comes to an end.
When you are ready to stop making interest payments – and this can be at any time – you can convert your plan
so that the interest is added to the debt instead.
This way, there are no repayments to make during the remainder of the plan.
However, if your circumstances change and you decide to stop making payments earlier than planned, you may
end up paying charges and a higher interest rate.
Another type of equity release is the drawdown plan, which means that you do not just take a lump sum from
your housing equity immediately.
Drawdown allows you to draw money down in stages as and when you need it, rather than taking out a larger
The advantage of this option is that interest is applied only to the money you have taken.
This can reduce the overall cost.
However, anyone interested in equity release should take financial advice before considering these products,
which can be expensive.
You should also ensure that there is no way that you could be removed from your home if the value of your
As well as mortgage debt, the Prudential figures showed an increase in pensioner credit card debt, as well as
More than half of those planning to retire this year who are in debt owe money on credit cards, while 21pc have
outstanding bank loans and 19pc have overdrafts – an increase from 13pc since last year.
With pensioners' incomes forecast to fall in the next few years, it is vital that those approaching retirement with
debts plan for a way to deal with them.
Vince Smith-Hughes, a retirement expert at Prudential, said: "When people's finances are still under pressure,
with expected retirement incomes at a six-year low, it's important to ensure debt repayments do not eat into
retirement incomes too much or for too long.
"Paying off debt as early as possible – preferably while still working – will help to ensure that retirees have more
disposable income, in turn enabling them to enjoy a more comfortable retirement."
Social- How to manage your sex life
Updated: 29 Mar 2013
How to manage your sex life
If there is a vacancy for Ms Right in your love life, or if you need a painless exit strategy, then welcome to MH's
sexual HR department. We've used the principles of hiring and firing to help you find the most talented candidate
(and avoid any nasty grievance claims)….
1. Advertising the role
If you're recruiting someone in your love life, use the rules of business to land your perfect partner. After all, headhunters have refined the art of finding the person you really want.
“Clients may think they have an image of their ideal candidate and go to the market looking for exactly that, but we tell them all the time, ‘I don’t think that’s what you want,’” says recruitment specialist Charlie Ryan.
Scrutinise the rationale behind your list of ‘need-to-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. If you’ll only consider 5ft 10in blondes with a penchant for high hemlines and loose morals, you’re not necessarily wrong. But you’ll see far fewer applicants sashaying through your door. And you’ll have to do the job yourself in the meantime.
2. Attracting candidates
Sometimes, outstanding talent knocks on your door unsolicited. But even if you’re not currently in the market for a new girlfriend, it’s worth being open to her overtures. You never know when a vacancy might arise, after all.
Recruitment consultant David Chappell says: “We tell our clients to keep their eyes and ears open to anyone making waves in the industry,” he says. “If someone’s stock is on the rise, make sure you get in there first.”
Once you’ve introduced yourself, watch how she reacts. “If she creates situations for you to help her – holding an empty glass, say – she’s hinting that she’s interested,” explains Dr Max Blumberg, a psychologist at Goldsmith’s University. What better excuse to keep a close eye on her body language?
3. Screening applications
According to a 2011 survey by research consultancy Inventium, 68% of us stretch the truth in interviews in order to portray ourselves in a better light. Equally, when it comes to confessing her level of experience in the bedroom, she is likely to be sugar-coating her past.
“Most women are excellent at hiding their sexual history because they perceive that guys prefer non-promiscuous women,” says Blumberg. “Generally, they are right.”
If this is a concern, speak to a male friend of hers before things get too serious. “Men are more likely to understand what information you’re after and will be far more willing to pass it on than her female friends, who will be inclined to paint her as a paragon of virginity.”
4. Probationary period
Of course you enjoyed the first few months and all the strings-free sex that came with them. But occasionally it doesn’t work out. Even those burning brightest with potential and initial energy to blow all your performance targets can lose their lustre.
“If you’re just after a sexual relationship and she’s not, it will be over the moment you tell her. Therefore, if that’s your intention, you’re probably better off not saying anything,” warns Blumberg. On the other hand, if you decide not to take things further and you don’t want to put your reputation on the line, then at least lie about your real reasons for ending things.
“Tell her that you don’t feel good enough for her or that you’re still not fully over an ex,” says Blumberg. “She’s won’t believe you of course, but it’s a hell of a lot better than telling her she’s not worth more to you than sex.” And, whatever the circumstances, give her a good reference – bad-mouthing her won’t reflect well on you.
Give the right feedback at the correct moment and you will be rewarded with more of what you want, exactly how you want it. “The best time to schedule in a performance review is immediately after a good performance,” says management consultant at HSBC Lewis Guest, who specialises in risk analysis.
In the 60 minutes after sex, her system is flooded with oxytocin, the hormone that promotes human psychological bonding. That’s your cue to tell her what she’s doing right and what you’d like to try in the future.
“She will link positively-phrased feedback with the longevity of your relationship as a result of her hormonal levels, making her more invested in meeting your requests,” says Blumberg. Remember that your ‘afterglow’ lasts five minutes or less, so fight the urge to postpone the appraisal until after some refreshments
It can start with something seemingly trivial – a sarcastic aside about her BFF, or a casual quip about her choice of attire. But once she’s upset, things can quickly escalate. Major companies enlist the help of third party professionals, such as mediator David Liddle, whose clients include BT and M&S. Not yet at DEFCON 5? Follow Liddle's 'triple-D' strategy to put an end to grievances without the need for any written warnings.
DISTRACT “Break the cycle of attack and counter attack by making a cup of tea. First, it gives you both breathing space to reflect. Then when you sit down to talk, you’re at eye level. It all helps the adrenaline to dissipate.”
DEBRIEF “Give her a jolly good listening to. Then start to reframe negative language into positive. If she says, ‘This won’t change,’ ask what she needs to happen differently for her to feel better. It’s a simple but crucial psychological trick.”
DEPERSONALISE “Concentrate on the issues – or, in football parlance, play the ball, not the man. Once you’ve tackled the problem at hand, make a positive move such as taking her out for dinner or to the cinema.”
In employment law, you need to offer your employee the chance to rectify a situation before you can sack them. And while we’re not suggesting a full-scale disciplinary hearing in your relationship, this can be a useful strategy when trying to assess whether or not you can work through a problem. If you do decide you’ve got to let her go, use employment law consultant Tara Daynes’ advice to make sure the end is as painless as possible.
Don't even think about constructive dismissal
Trying to manipulate her into leaving of her own volition is cowardly. “That’s when you end up with messy claims of unfair dismissal. Some people will give up and go quietly, but some won’t go down without a fight.”
Do expect at least one more convesation
“She probably won’t take in most of what you say, so wait until she’s calmer before going into more detail. It’s about making sure she’s got realistic expectations – and that one of them isn’t that you’ll take her back.”
Don't give her false hoope about the future
“Give a reason: she’s not right for the role, you don’t work well together. Make it a statement of fact: then there’s less scope for a discussion because it’s much harder for someone to challenge your position.”
8. Holiday entitlement
Just as you get 25 days’ leave from work, you also need time out from your relationship. Social psychologist Dr Terri Orbuch followed 373 married couples over a 25-year period and found that, where they were unhappy, the reason was twice as likely to be lack of time alone [11.5%] as a poor sex life [6%].
A ‘holiday’ from a relationship is key: “When partners have their own set of interests and friends, it makes them happier and less bored,” she says. The trick is in how to ask for it, without triggering any paranoia. “Don’t just say, ‘I need space’. Be specific – tell her why more space will make you happy. Don’t keep secrets, enjoy the time and don’t feel guilty.”
Performance-based bonuses are always well-received, but if you pay out too much there’s a risk that the supply of Louboutins will be all she’s interested in. Instead, think on an emotional level, not a financial one.
“It’s good for someone senior to be seen going out of their way now and then,” says Guest. It’s exactly the same at home. “Doing something for her that you don’t particularly like doing is a combination of effort, selflessness and forethought.”
Not a keen cook? An impromptu meal will work wonders. “It might feel mundane, but it stimulates the same psychological region that makes a woman flirt with you in the first place,” says Blumberg. Save the new heels for 14 Feb.
Finally, if you think she has the right skill set to keep your love and sex life in profit for years to come, then consider making her a permanent offer. “High-level employees generally receive years of screening,” says Newberry. “But firms should be assessing a candidate’s ability to move to the top from the very first interview.” It’s worth considering advancing her sooner rather than later.
Married men earn 22% more than single colleagues according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study and experience faster promotions at work. Research in The Lancet found that married couples have more sex, too. Which, all things considered, is an investment worth banking on.
Social-CALM-"Suicide numbers among young men now higher than road accidents & HIV/Aids put together"
Updated: 26 Mar 2013
Elsewhere the Metro reports that suicide is now the biggest killer of young men in Britain.
According to a report from the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), three young males take their own life every day.
The charity blames the recession for many of the deaths, which rose significantly in 2011, to 4,552 men.
Most are in the age group 33-44 years, in which suicide now reportedly accounts for more deaths than road
accidents, murder and HIV/AIDS combined
Social- Facebook- Happy Hour but only for Subjugated Morons
Updated: 12 Mar 2013
Tuesday 12 March 2013
Facebook ‘Likes’ predict lack of personality
How tedious you are in real life can be gleaned from the things you ‘Like’ on Facebook, according to a new study.
Researchers at Cambridge University used complex algorithms to predict how awful your company would be if
we happened to actually know you.
The research, published in the journal PNAS, forms surprisingly accurate personal portraits of the most god-
awfully dreary people across society, researchers said.
The study used 58,000 volunteers who provided their Likes on Facebook, before being subjected to a short five-
minute conversation with a normal human being.
- researcher David Stillwell told us, ”It became clear very early on that if you’re the sort of person who ‘Likes’ photos of children asking for Likes in order to secure a kidney, then you are a borderline simpleton.”
“If you ‘Liked’ any photo which thanked God for something that is easily explained as coincidence then you
were probably a bit preachy.”
“And frankly anyone who Liked something to do with Justin Bieber would struggle to get through the 5 minute
interview without making the other person want to smother them with a pillow.”
Facebook Likes predict personality
Stillwell went on to describe how the new algorithm could provide a useful tool to society moving forward.
He said, “We have built a clear picture of how to assess someone’s tediousness coefficient, a tool we are confident will prove valuable to people everywhere.”
“Want to know if the girl you made friends with in the bar on Friday is worth the hassle?
Run the algorithm, and we’ll tell you within a few minutes if you’ll be chewing your arm off to escape her inside a
Social- Old People -Why does Society treats them so badly
Updated: 07 Mar 2013
Why does society treat old people so shabbily?
Tuesday 05 March 2013
Now and again we get a wake-up call over how badly our society treats its most vulnerable citizens.
Shocking revelations of abuse at Winterbourne care home or Mid Staffs lead to inquiries and promises of action.
But the culture in which these terrible abuses take place is seldom questioned.
Attacks on the "burden" of pensions for the elderly - in order to whittle away at their value and raise the age at
which they can be claimed - easily translate into seeing the elderly themselves as a burden.
This isn't a new issue - Phyllis McCormack's 1966 poem Crabbit Old Woman takes the voice of a woman in a
nursing home who feels that when her nurses look at her they don't "see" her as an individual with a past but
simply as a "crabby old woman."
The legend around the poem is that it was found in the personal effects of a woman in a Dundee old people's
home after her death. It traces her entire life - through being a young girl, mother and grandmother - and presents
someone who has lived life to the full, and should be respected and looked after in her old age, not either pitied
or treated as a second-class citizen.
The poem strikes a chord because it goes right to the heart of the disgraceful way our society treats the elderly.
When a person hits 60 society's attitude changes - they go from being a contributor to a cost.
The years of taxes and National Insurance contributions are forgotten.
This has become more prominent in recent years, with much of the media presenting the old as an unjustifiable
cost borne by younger generations.
This isn't to say that the young are better off.
They too are on the sharp end of callous government cuts.
But this coalition, which on public and private-sector pensions or jobs, on the employed and the unemployed or
on the British-born or immigrant worker has proved expert at divide-and-rule tactics is playing the same trick with
So the mantra goes that the baby-boomer and preceding generations had the good times.
They bought their houses, wrecked the planet and now enjoy comfortable pensions.
Their largesse means the young may never own a home, have mounting debts and face environmental catastrophe.
This argument is slanted to an incredible degree. Pensioners have paid their dues over the years.
If Britain "can't afford" to maintain its welfare state that's due to the bankers' crash and the government's refusal
to tax the wealthiest - who are making bigger profits today than ever before.
Attacking the elderly also betrays a lack of recognition for the enormous contribution pensioners make to our
Any valuation on the unpaid childcare provided alone would run into the tens of billions.
Without it - since the availability and price of professional childcare in Britain leaves so much to be desired - far
fewer parents could work.
Add to that the prominence of pensioners in the voluntary sector, providing the backbone of socially useful
labour for many charities, churches and other organisations.
The increasingly contemptuous attitude to the old reflects the "throw-away" instincts of consumerist society.
Once an individual is of no further use to the economic wheel they are cast aside.
The model of the nuclear family itself is in some ways a product of capitalism.
Once a grandparent has served his or her purpose they can be shipped off to a care home.
Dutiful visits follow every so often.
The "problem" of mum or dad is nicely dealt with.
And so often it's "out of sight, out of mind."
"They really like the home, you know."
"I can't visit - there's my job, the kids."
Every child owes a debt to their parents.
The care and the sacrifices involved in raising a child to adulthood are enormous.
Care homes used to be a rarity - the old extended family model kept child, parent and grandparent living together,
often in the same house, if not probably in the same street or area.
The support network was there.
It isn't easy for modern families of course.
But care in the home could be funded to a much greater degree by the state than it is.
Economic change has contributed to breaking up that old model - now many need to travel far from where they
were brought up to get work.
Sticking with your roots is not easy - though perversely, as house prices remain out of reach for many people,
the extended family may re-emerge out of economic necessity.
The extended family was not a perfect model by any means, but it did promote responsibility to one's nearest and
dearest, just as the rarity of long-term jobs has undermined old senses of community.
Modern Britain has lost all that.
We need to reassert the importance of the role of the elderly in our society - and address the cruelty of the social
system that has shut them out.
Social-Too many are drowning their sorrows by drinking to much alcohol
Updated: 28 Feb 2013
The Daily Mail asks us if we are in ‘drink denial’ as reports show that millions of adults drink too much alcohol
yet barely a quarter admit to doing so.
Researchers at UCL found a huge mismatch between the amount of alcohol we say we are consuming and
what is actually being bought. 40% of sales are unaccounted for when the two figures are compared.
The study suggests that around half the adult population are binge drinkers, drinking more than six units once
a week for women and eight units for men.
However, only 13% of women and 22% of men admit to being in this category.
Researchers used a computer model to estimate the true amount being drunk - basing it on the Health Survey
for England and the General Lifestyle Survey.
They found that 43% of women and 51% of men were binge drinkers, though the latest figures from the
Government found only 13% of women and 22% of men drank more than the recommended amounts.
The researchers concluded that many people completing the official surveys underestimate, forget or even lie
about the amount they drink, and drastically underestimate their intake as a result.
Sadie Boniface, lead author of the study and based at the department of epidemiology and public health at
UCL, said: ‘This study was conducted to show what alcohol consumption would look like when all of what is
sold is accounted for, if everyone under-reported equally.
‘What is seen in the surveys and sales potentially has enormous implications for public health.’
Social- The Leaving of London
Updated: 21 Feb 2013
The consequence, as revealed by the latest census, is that white Brits are now in a minority in London, making up just 45% of its residents.
So where have they gone to - and why did they leave?
I've been analysing and mapping the census data, and what emerges is a much more positive story than some headlines would make you think.
The movement of the white British is often characterised as white flight - the indigenous population forced out of their neighbourhoods by foreign migrants. That may be part of the story, but I think the evidence suggests it is also about working class aspiration and economic success.
Trying to track internal migrants is never easy. Just because the population of one place has fallen and another has risen does not mean residents moved between them. But there are some clues as to where London's white British migrated to between the censuses of 2001 and 2011.
While the capital's white British population fell by 620,000, the white British population in the rest of England and Wales increased by 220,000. (The overall fall of 400,000 is explained by a low birth rate and emigration.)
These maps show the change to the white British population in local authorities in England and Wales between 2001 and 2011. (Click between the three headings to see how the white British population is seemingly shifting around the country.)
London's dramatic loss of white British residents is represented by a splash of yellow and orange. Outside the capital, the dominant blues tell a story of an increasing white British population. In some places the rise is quite marked.
Areas with biggest increase
North Kesteven, Lincolnshire
West Lindsey, Lincolnshire
Forest Heath, Suffolk
St Edmundsbury, Suffolk
The dozen authorities with the highest percentage increase in the white British population are almost all found in eastern England. Only mid-Devon falls outside a horseshoe of largely rural authorities extending south and east from the Fens.
It would appear that, in the first decade of the 21st Century, the dream of escaping to the country became a reality for tens of thousands of urban white Britons. But did they leave willingly or were they forced to move?
To find out, I have been to Barking and Dagenham, a London borough which has seen a phenomenal change in its cultural make-up over the past decade or so. In 2001, the census records that more than 80% of residents were white British. By 2011, it was statistically in the minority - just 49% of people in the area described themselves as white and British.
The story of Barking and Dagenham is the story of the white working class EastEnders. In the 1920s and 30s, tens of thousands of families were moved out of the inner city slums and into the huge council estates which had been built in the borough.
The 27,000 houses on the Becontree estate were described as homes for heroes, often allocated to the families of World War I servicemen. Another wave of Cockney sparrows built their nests in the area, having been bombed out of the East End during the Blitz in WWII.
The Becontree estate in 1950
This was a real step up for many families. Their new homes had indoor toilets and often a small garden. When Ford opened its giant plant at Dagenham in 1931, tens of thousands of jobs provided income security in the midst of profound economic depression.
Although Barking and Dagenham's population declined slightly in the 1960s and 70s, the last years of the 20th Century saw it rise again. Many families took advantage of the right to buy their council house at 30% of its market value - at least two-thirds of the Becontree estate was sold to the private sector.
In 2000, the borough was among the very few places in Greater London where you could still buy a three-bedroom house for under £100,000. The capital's buoyant property market meant that anyone who got on the housing ladder would see their home become a valuable investment during the first 10 years of the new millennium.
The decade also saw the Ford plant contract and ultimately the company announced it was closing down. The economic engine of the borough was being switched off, leading many of the local people to think about their future. In the first 10 years of the new century, the number of full-time jobs in Barking and Dagenham fell by a quarter.
Ford is cutting jobs at its Dagenham factory
For many white British households, the 2000s had left them without a job but with a sizeable chunk of capital in their home. Some had also benefited from redundancy pay-outs and pension deals offered by Ford. It was a cue for the families who had left London's East End in the middle of the 20th Century to move on again at the start of the 21st.
A closer look at London reveals how many neighbourhoods in the outer boroughs have seen significant falls in the white British population - Newham, Brent, Haringey, Enfield, Ealing, Hounslow, Merton and Lewisham almost form a ring around the capital. Only the affluent boroughs of Richmond and Kingston along the river to the west prevent the completion of the orange doughnut.
Change in white British population in London between 2001 and 2011
Inner London saw some places losing the white British population, but quite a number - coloured blue - bucked the trend and recorded an increase.
Even central boroughs that experienced a decline in white British may have seen an increase in the number of white residents. Kensington and Chelsea recorded 17,300 fewer white British residents but the category "white other" now makes up 28% of the local population. The immigrants here are rich white Europeans and Russians.
Tea rooms and restaurants have been replaced by takeaway chicken shops and halal supermarkets serving the new arrivals”
It is a different story in Barking and Dagenham.
The people moving into the borough tend to be of black African heritage. I was introduced to Victor and Victoria, whose parents came to Britain from Ghana in the 50s. He works for London Transport and she is a nurse in the NHS - typical of the professional black families who've arrived from inner London to take advantage of available housing as the borough's white residents leave.
With a time-lapse camera, it would appear that London is pulsing as generations and ethnic groups move up and move out.
On Dagenham's main shopping street, I met a number of white locals who were planning to leave the borough. One male pensioner was hoping to relocate to Clacton - a seaside town on the Essex coast now nicknamed Little Dagenham. A local councillor told me how his parents had sold up and bought a large cottage with a quarter-acre of garden in Lincolnshire. Another woman says she had her eyes set on a little cottage in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend.
Leigh is a particular favourite. Many residents from Barking and Dagenham will have taken the train along the Thames Estuary towards Southend on a work excursion - the old beano to the seaside. Some still do, looking out of the window as the industrial landscape gives way to green fields and open wetlands teeming with birds.
Over the past decade or so, towns along the railway line between Fenchurch St and Shoeburyness have seen significant increases to the white British population. In Westcliff, part of Southend, I met a family who recently cashed in their three-bedroom house in Barking for a six-bedroom home by the sea. They keep bumping into old school friends, realising that they were joining a sizeable population of migrants from the borough.
Polish is the second most common language spoken in England
The years between the last two censuses have witnessed significant cultural change in London, particularly in the outer boroughs. Some white British may have moved because their neighbourhood has been culturally transformed, the tea rooms and restaurants replaced by takeaway chicken shops and halal supermarkets serving the new arrivals.
But there is also a story here of white working class families that escaped from the slums and bombed-out East End in the middle of the last century, found new opportunities in London's outer boroughs and then, in the past decade - often having prospered from the housing boom and the capital's economic growth - cashed in their assets and bought themselves that little cottage in the countryside or by the sea.
It is a story of aspiration. It is a story of success.
Social-The Nasty Party Politics of Care-" As credible as a Findus Lasagne" say the NPC
Updated: 14 Feb 2013
Social care plan lacks sufficient funding
to make a difference to people’s lives
Posted on February 12, 2013 by admin
Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has described the
government’s plan to reform social care funding as “about as credible as a Findus Lasagne” because it lacks
sufficient funding to tackle the problems that pensioners face.
Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said:
“The social care system needs urgent and radical reform, but these proposals simply tinker at the edges.
The current system is dogged by means-testing, a postcode lottery of charges, a rationing of services and poor
standards and nothing in the plan looks like it will address any of these concerns.
Setting a lifetime cap on care costs of £75,000 will help just 10% of those needing care, whilst the majority will be
left to struggle on with a third rate service.
The government needs to be much braver and bolder if it is really going to sort out the problems – otherwise in a
few years’ time we’ll be back again having another look at the issue.
Using inheritance tax or money saved from the state pension system simply won’t raise enough money to bring
about the change that’s needed. It’s time we merged health and social care and had a truly integrated system
which was funded through general taxation – like the NHS – rather than put all the responsibility on pensioners
and their families.
Getting older and needing care isn’t a lifestyle choice – so why should the cost of care not be shared by society
as a whole? Frankly, the plan as it stands is about as credible as a Findus Lasagne.”
A detailed briefing paper on the Government’s proposals can be downloaded here.
NPC research entitled The Politics of Care, has analysed the issues facing existing and future generations and found:
· An unfair postcode lottery of charges for care at home
· Inadequate standards of care in both nursing and domiciliary care and a lack of robust and effective regulation
· Lack of adequate training and qualifications amongst care staff, linked to poor terms and conditions
· Little support for family carers, leading to inadvertent neglect
· A false separation between NHS funded medical care and means-tested social care, which has removed thousands of frail elderly people from receiving free care
Social- Women sabotage marriage,men get the damage
Updated: 01 Mar 2013
Below are five ways that women unwittingly sabotage their marriages,
along with the proven remedies for restoring the love and closeness you once shared.
1. Rejecting his efforts to make you happy
Husbands and wives bring different strengths and desires to marriage.
For women, feeling cherished and desired is vital.
For a man, respect and sex are of utmost importance.
Men also have a powerful drive to make their wives happy -- it contributes to their feeling of success.
You might think that your husband is the exception -- that he doesn't care about delighting you -- but he may just
be discouraged because he doesn't feel that he can please you.
You have the power to transform your relationship by becoming pleasable, which means showing appreciation
for his efforts instead of rejecting or dismissing them -- and by extension, him.
When you reject his efforts because they aren't what you had in mind (e.g., a present that isn't what you want,
cleaning that's not to your standards, or a compliment you don't agree with), there's nothing he can do to
improve the situation, but there is something powerful you can do: receive graciously.
Remedy: Try an experiment for the next two weeks:
However small or imperfect his efforts, receive what your husband offers when he is trying to please or help you.
Thank him for his thoughtfulness.
Notice how quickly this creates more intimacy as you practice the skill of receiving graciously.
2. Taking the same approach at home as you do at work
We women can create a gratifying culture of intimacy, if we know how.
If all we've ever been taught is how to get ahead in school and career, but not how to foster intimacy, it's pretty
hard to change hats when the work day is done and we want a loving, supportive home.
At work we have to manage projects and staff, move the bottom line and get that promotion.
At home the goals are different; we want to feel appreciated and wanted and get more help around the house.
But if you treat your husband like an employee, he will rebel.
Respecting your husband by saying what you want instead of telling him what to do gives him the opportunity to
make you happy in a way that no amount of managing ever will.
Remedy: For two weeks say what you want, but not what he should do or how he should do it.
Be patient and allow him to find his own way of pleasing you.
Remember, he wants to.
Let him, and he will.
3. Withholding sex
Most men need sex more than women to feel intimate.
You are his only source for that vital form of connecting, and when you withhold -- whether to punish or because
you're exhausted -- you miss a chance to receive the intimacy that you both crave.
Remedy: Over the next two weeks as you start experiencing more intimacy, consider making yourself available
for sex at least once a week in support of your mutual goal of connecting.
4. Initiating divorce when the problem isn't insurmountable
Women initiate between 66% and 90% of all divorces.
You might think that's because men do things to make marriage untenable -- like cheat or hit them -- but I hear
about women divorcing because he didn't help with the baby, he was emotionally unavailable, or because they grew apart.
Countless women tell me they divorced because their husbands weren't capable of meeting their needs.
When the women I work with learn intimacy skills, it changes the way they see a previous marriage.
Some women tell me that they realize they were married to a good guy, but divorced because they lacked the
skills to have a happy relationship.
Sometimes it causes them enormous grief.
It is heartbreaking to see marriages end because of a simple lack of skills.
It's no different than seeing someone try to drive a car without a single lesson: A crash is inevitable, but it's preventable.
Remedy: Consider taking divorce off the table just for the next two weeks, keeping in mind that intimacy needs
safety to thrive. In my experience, any woman who has a good guy can bring her marriage back from the brink of
divorce and transform it into a happy, loving relationship by practicing the intimacy skills.
You can do the same.
5. Waiting for him to improve
You might wonder why there's no article for men explaining what they can do to improve their marriages. Even if
there was, you couldn't make your husband read it or do what it says.
You can change yourself, and he will respond to you differently.
Remedy: Instead of pleading, criticizing or demanding that your husband change, try the remedies above for two weeks.
Social UK-Suffer the Children,Cameron's Reserve Army of Labour - One Million Unemployed today
Updated: 03 Feb 2013
Although the idea of the industrial reserve army of labour is closely associated with Marx, it
was already in circulation in the British labour movement by the 1830s.
The first mention of the reserve army of labour in Marx's writing occurs in a manuscript he
wrote in 1847 but did not publish:
"Big industry constantly requires a reserve army of unemployed workers for times of overproduction.
The main purpose of the bourgeois in relation to the worker is, of course, to have the commodity labour
as cheaply as possible, which is only possible when the supply of this commodity is as large as possible
in relation to the demand for it, i.e., when the overpopulation is the greatest.
Overpopulation is therefore in the interest of the bourgeoisie, and it gives the workers good advice which
it knows to be impossible to carry out.
Since capital only increases when it employs workers, the increase of capital involves an increase of the
proletariat, and, as we have seen, according to the nature of the relation of capital and labour, the
increase of the proletariat must proceed relatively even faster.
The... theory... which is also expressed as a law of nature, that population grows faster than the means of
subsistence, is the more welcome to the bourgeois as it silences his conscience, makes hard-
heartedness into a moral duty and the consequences of society into the consequences of nature, and
finally gives him the opportunity to watch the destruction of the proletariat by starvation as calmly as
other natural event without bestirring himself, and, on the other hand, to regard the misery of the
proletariat as its own fault and to punish it.
To be sure, the proletarian can restrain his natural instinct by reason, and so, by moral supervision, halt
the law of nature in its injurious course of development." - Karl Marx, Wages, December 1847
Social- Our Rotten Society
Updated: 03 Feb 2013
Our Society - Rotten to the Core?
Can we in Britain trust anyone these days?
Scandal after scandal shows us what a corrupt society we have become.
The Jimmy Saville allegations which has not onlybeen going on for many decades with rumours
constantly being aired yet noindividual, the entertainments industry, the BBC, the NHS, the police, the
CPS,the media or even an individual would stand up for the victims.
And yet these rumours were as serious as youcan get the sexual abuse of minors
The Hillsborough disaster where the victims wereblamed for their own fate, yet so many in authority were
willing to go on with a conspiracy.
Senior police officers being jailed or resigning under a cloud.
New revelations of political and police wrongdoings during the miner’s strike yet so many in authority told lies
MPs with their snouts in the trough.
Bankers behaving in a caviller fashion with ourmoney yet they end up with bonuses and the savers with
0% interest on their savings.
The massive abuse of children by the clergy and thecover-ups that followed.
Who can we trust?
Is our society rotten to the core?
Social- Divorce ?-The Break up of a Family -The Permanent Damage
Updated: 03 Feb 2013
‘always talk of the misery of spouses bound to each other
against their will’:
They think only of two individuals and forget the family.
They forget that nearly every dissolution of a marriage is the dissolution of a family and that the children and
what belongs to them should not be dependent on arbitrary whims, even from a purely legal point of view.
If marriage were not the basis of the family, it would not be subject to legislation, just as friendship is not
Social- How to help a drunk driver ?
Updated: 24 Jan 2013
Social- Why so many Divorced Fathers lose touch with their Children
Updated: 20 Jan 2013
WHY AREN'T DIVORCED FATHERS MORE INVOLVED
WITH THEIR CHILDREN?
So if most fathers have much to offer and since most dads are so upset about being separated from their
children, why do many men spend so little time with their children after divorce?
The answer seems to lie in five areas:
(1) Our society’s attitudes about fathering;
(2) the ways in which we idealize mothers and motherhood;
(3) the legal system’s treatment of divorced fathers;
(4) differences in the mother’s and father’s parenting styles; and
(5) the mother’s attitudes and behavior.
Societal beliefs about fathers and fatherhood
While we chastise fathers for not being more involved with their children, we simultaneously promote
beliefs that make it more difficult for many fathers to be as close to their children as are most mothers -
especially after a divorce.
Among the most insulting and damaging are that men are “naturally” or “instinctively” inferior to
women when it comes to caring for and raising children and that fathers are far less interested in and committed to
their children than mothers. Indeed while many of us are offended if someone claims that certain races are
genetically or “instinctively” superior to others, we often seem to accept the assertion that men are genetically or
“naturally” inferior to women as parents
(Farrell. 1994; Fine & Kurdek. 1994; Griswold. 1993; Lamb. 1997; Osherson. 1995;
Parke. 1996; Pittman. 1993; Warshak. 1992).
Moreover, the assumption that men are inferior to women as parents is not supported by the research.
To begin with, most of what women know about mothering is learned, not instinctive -
as is true for men and fathering.
And there are human mothers who do not love, bond with, or take care of their children
(Allport. 1997; Blakely.1994; Eyer. 1994; Parke. 1996; Parker. 1996; Thurer. 1994).
Likewise, among other mammals there are mothers who
ignore, abandon and even kill their young, while the fathers take charge of the feeding and nurturing
(Redican. 1976;Tavris. 1992).
More to the point, how human fathers and mothers relate to their children is heavily influenced by what
their particular society and their ethnic culture at a particular time in history has taught them.
For instance, in colonial America fathers were generally considered more important than mothers when it came to
the moral, religious, and intellectual upbringing of children.
As a result, most books and advice on child rearing were addressed to fathers, not to mothers.
But as our country became more industrialized, most fathers and mothers were no longer able to work in
or near home providing equally for the family’s economic needs.
As most men were driven further from home into salaried jobs, most women were gradually left at home in charge
of the children.
But the tide changed again during World War II when mothers were needed in the workforce.
Only when returning veterans needed their jobs back were we told that “good” mothers should not be employed
and that “good” fathers should provide 100% of the family’s income.
Yet even during this brief period of the 1950s, only 60% of all parents were able to achieve this
concept of “good” parenting
. By the 1960s the majority of fathers and mothers once again returned to our traditional
definitions for the “good” family - a family where both parents provided for the family’s economic needs.
But the point is that the way fathers and mothers relate to their children is heavily influenced by what they have
been taught- not by their genes or by instincts
(Coontz. 1997; Griswold. 1993; Marsiglio. 1995; Parke. 1996; Pleck & Pleck.1997; Thurer. 1994).
Neither is it true that most fathers are less interested in and less committed to their children than are most
First, many fathers resent having to be away from their children so much because of their long work hours
and the demands of the job
(Barnett & Rivers. 1996; Coltrane. 1996; Gerson. 1993; Griswold. 1993; Larson. 1993;
Levant & Kopecky. 1995; Osherson. 1995; Pleck. 1997).
Second, when both parents are employed full-time, fathers and mothers generally do similar amounts of
housework and childcare
(Deutsch. 1993; Pleck. 1997).
Third, many Divorced dads fathers are more stressed and more worried about their children than about work-
As experts who have reviewed the research put it:
“It is simply not true that a job is more important to a man than his family”
(Barnett & Rivers, 1996, p. 56).
For example, many fathers suffer from just as much separation anxiety as do mothers when
leaving their young children in day care
(Deater, Scarr, McCartney, & Eisenberg. 1994).
Fourth, when given equal time with their children and when not having to shoulder the family’s financial burdens
alone, fathers are generally just as nurturing, attentive, and involved with their children as are mothers.
So although most men interact differently than women do with children, fathers are not inferior parents
(Barnett & Rivers. 1996; Bozett & Hanson. 1991; Coltrane. 1996; Feldman. 1990; Griswold. 1993; Lamb. 1997; Marsiglio. 1995; Osherson. 1995; Parke. 1996; Shulman & Collins. 1993).
When it comes to the commitment of divorced fathers, two other findings are worth noting. First, divorced
fathers who give their children lots of time and attention seldom receive much credit or public recognition
(Teachman. 1991; Van Wert. 1992; Warshak. 1992).
Second, when a couple is having marital problems, the husband often reacts by spending less time with the
children and less time at home; while the wife often does the reverse
(Belsky, Youngblood, Rovine, & Volling. 1991; Cummings & O'Reilly. 1997; Cowan & Cowan. 1992; Hinde &
Stevenson. 1995; Pleck. 1997; Scarf. 1995).
So in some cases where it might seem as though a father is losing interest in his children prior to divorce, he may just be reacting differently than the mother does to their marital stress.
Finally, upper and middle class white beliefs about motherhood can make it more difficult for fathers to
remain closely bonded to their children after divorce.
Compared to other races and to lower income groups, these white mothers are less likely to believe
"it takes a whole village to raise a child."
That is, the white mother from a middle or upper class background is the most likely to be too possessive and
uncooperative when it comes to sharing “her” children with other adults, including their own father
(Ahrons. 1994; Bell-Scott. 1991; Crosbie-Burnett &
Lewis. 1993; Debold, Wilson, & Malave. 1992; Reddy, Roth, & Sheldon. 1994).
Social-Divorce & Despair-It must be shattering for the law to still believe that "Mother knows best"
Updated: 19 Jan 2013
Protection from a Depressed Mother
Having a close relationship with their father can also be a protective buffer for children whose mother is clinically
depressed or has extremely depressed ways of thinking and behaving.
In such cases the father can teach the children less depressive, less self-defeating ways of thinking and behaving
(Buchanan & Seligman. 1994; Downey & Coyne. 1990; Seligman. 1991; Waxler, Denham, Iannotti, & Cummings.
The father can also help to counteract the overly indulgent,
lax parenting that is common among depressed mothers
(Ahrons. 1994; Chapman, Price, & Serovich. 1995; Cummings & O'Reilly. 1997; Downey & Coyne. 1990;
Hetherington. 1991; Hops & Biglan. 1990; Rubin, Lemare, & Lollis. 1990; Silverstein & Rashbaum. 1994).
Staying involved with his children after a divorce can also be especially beneficial because a depressed mother
tends to relate to the children in ways that interfere with their social skills and self-reliance
(Ahrons. 1994; Bassoff. 1994a; Gottlieb.1995; Harrington. 1994; Hetherington. 1991; Karen. 1994; Miller. 1994; Pittman. 1993; Scarf. 1995; Wallerstein &
The father might also be the only parent who can help the children recognize and deal with their
Divorced dads own problems because a depressed mother often ignores or denies whatever problems her
children are having
(Ambert. 1996; Block. 1996; Downey & Coyne. 1990; Dreman & Aldor. 1994; Pittman. 1993; Radke-Yarrow. 1991;
Scarf. 1995; Silverstein & Rashbaum. 1994).
For example, depressed mothers whose sons continue to have serious psychological problems as adults often
claim that there is nothing wrong with their sons other than being “shy and sensitive” or “needing a little more
time to grow up”
(Block. 1996; Silverstein & Rashbaum. 1994).
A depressed woman is also the least likely to get remarried after her divorce -
which is unfortunate for her children, for reasons we will soon discuss
(Ambert. 1996; Chapman, Price, & Serovich. 1995; Dreman & Aldor. 1994; Emery. 1994; Garvin,
Kalter, & Hansell. 1993; Hetherington. 1991; Wallerstein & Blakeslee. 1989).
Sadly too, the depressed mother is often the least willing to share her children with their father after the divorce
(Ambert. 1996; Downey & Coyne.1990; Pelham. 1993; Radke-Yarrow. 1991; Todorski. 1995).
In the words of one depressed mother,
“I can’t bear the thought that anyone else can do as good a job parenting my children as I can”
In any case, a close relationship with their father can be a special blessing for children whose mothers are
depressed or chronically unhappy and discontented with their lives
Social- Our Father ? - Divorced but not easily Dismissed
Updated: 19 Jan 2013
Self-reliance, self-discipline, and self-motivation
In most families it is also the father who contributes most to the children’s becoming self-reliant,
self-disciplined, and self-motivated.
For instance, teenagers of divorced parents say it is their father who gives them the best advice,
who teaches them the most, and who pushes them more to do their best
(Munsch, Woodward, & Darling. 1995).
And after parents divorce, those girls who live with their unmarried father have higher educational goals and
higher achievement test scores than girls who live with their unmarried mother
(Downey & Powell. 1993).
Although most teenagers talk more to their mother than to their father about their social lives, they usually turn to
their father to solve other problems, to get advice on education and jobs, and to get encouragement for self-reliance
(Almeida & Galambos. 1993; Hosley & Montemayor. 1997; Larson. 1993;
Montemayor, McKenry, & Julian. 1993; Parke. 1996; Shulman & Klein. 1993; Snarey. 1993; Welsh & Powers.
So although teenage children might see their father are more demanding or more judgmental than their mother,
those who remain close to their father often end up being the most self-reliant, self-disciplined, self-motivated,
academically and vocationally successful, and achievement oriented
(Coulter & Minninger. 1993; Downey & Powell.
1993; Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan. 1997; Hosley & Montemayor. 1997; Lamb. 1997; Minninger & Goulter. 1993;
Marsiglio. 1995; Parke. 1996; Pittman. 1993; Pipher. 1994; Secunda. 1992; Snarey. 1993; Warshak. 1992).
Social- When will they ever learn ?- Women and the Law are wrecking children's lives ?
Updated: 18 Jan 2013
Dating, Sexuality and Social Maturity
Children who are able to maintain a close relationship with their father also tend to be more socially mature and to
have fewer problems related to dating and sexuality -
particularly if their divorced mother has not remarried
(Bassoff. 1994a; Bingham. 1995; Caron. 1995b; Debold, Wilson, & Malave.
1992; Flaake. 1993; Glickman. 1993; Hirschmann & Munter. 1995; Maine. 1993; Mens-Verhulst, Schreurs, &
Woertman. 1993; Thompson. 1995; Tolman. 1991).
For example, many daughters who live with an unmarried mother and have little or nothing to do with their father
either tend to grow up too fast by dating, having sex, or getting married at an early age or behave as if they are
afraid to grow up and are extremely uncomfortable with dating and sexuality
(Aquilino. 1991; Debold, Wilson, & Malave. 1992; Hetherington. 1991; Maine. 1993; Minninger &
Goulter. 1993; Pipher. 1994; Secunda. 1992; Tasker & Richards. 1994) .
Generally though, the son seems to pay a greater price than the daughter when he has little or no relationship
with his father after divorce.
Usually those boys who live with their unmarried mother and see little or nothing of their father are more socially
immature, aggressive, delinquent, defiant, and psychologically or emotionally disturbed than other boys their age
(Baker. 1992; Blaise. 1993; Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch. 1997; Biller. 1993; Cherlin
& Furstenberg. 1994; Corneau. 1991; Emery. 1994; Furstenberg & Cherlin. 1991; Guttman. 1993; Hetherington.
1991; Hetherington & Jodl. 1994; Kalter. 1990; Lansdale, Cherlin, & Kiernan. 1995; Parke. 1996; Scull. 1992;
Wallerstein. 1991; Thomas & Forehand. 1993; Weiss. 1994; Zimiles & Lee. 1991
Social- Free Speech protected by Rowan Atkinson and Civil Rights Campaigners
Updated: 16 Jan 2013
Blackadder preserves our right to be insulting:
Ministers agree to amend laws
after campaign led by Rowan Atkinson
- Home Secretary says the government will ditch contentious words from the Public Order Act
- Comedian Rowan Atkinson led a coalition of campaign groups complaining about the legislation
By Tim Shipman and James Slack
UPDATED: 01:35, 15 January 2013
Comedian Rowan Atkinson blamed the law for creating a society of an 'extraordinarily authoritarian and controlling nature'
Ministers agreed to scrap a law outlawing ‘insulting words or behaviour’ last night after a campaign led by
comedian Rowan Atkinson.
Home Secretary Theresa May announced a dramatic U-turn yesterday saying the government would ditch the
contentious words from the Public Order Act amid fears that they are strangling free speech.
The Blackadder and Mr Bean star led a coalition of campaign groups complaining that the legislation has been
abused by over-zealous police and prosecutors to arrest Christian preachers, critics of Scientology, gay rights
campaigners and even students making jokes.
The government caved in yesterday after suffering a humiliating defeat in the House of Lords before Christmas.
Mrs May told the Commons that the word ‘insulting’ would be removed from Section 5 of the Public Order Act, as
part of the Crime and Courts Bill.
She told MPs: ‘Looking at past cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions could not identify any where the
behaviour leading to a conviction could not be described as “abusive” as well as “insulting”.
'He has stated that the word “insulting” could safely be removed without the risk of undermining the ability of the
CPS to bring prosecutions.
‘We will issue guidance to the police on the range of powers that remain available to them to deploy in the kind of
situations I described, but the word “insulting” shall be removed from Section 5.’
The climbdown was welcomed by civil liberties campaigners.
Tory MP David Davis said: ‘I welcome this sensible decision by the Home Secretary.
The only effect of this law was to chill public debate and depress freedom of speech.’
Reform Section 5 campaign director Simon Calvert said he was “very pleased” by the Government’s statement,
‘This is a victory for free speech.
People of all shades of opinion have suffered at the hands of Section 5.’
Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said:
‘It should not be the police’s role to intervene when someone feels they have been insulted and the Home
Secretary and her Coalition colleagues should be applauded for accepting this important change.’
Comedian Rowan Atkinson blamed the law, introduced in 1986, for creating an ‘outrage industry’ and a society of
an ‘extraordinarily authoritarian and controlling nature’.
The Daily Mail has repeatedly highlighted the most egregious abuses of the old law.
A sixteen-year-old boy was arrested under the legislation for peacefully holding a placard that read ‘Scientology is
a dangerous cult’, on the grounds that it might insult followers of the religious movement.
In 2005, an Oxford student was arrested for saying to a policeman:
‘Excuse me, do you realise your horse is gay?’.
Thames Valley Police said the arrest had taken place because he had made ‘homophobic comments that were
deemed offensive to people passing by’.
Gay rights campaigners from the group Outrage! were also arrested under the Act when they protested against
supporters of the Islamist fundamentalist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which was calling for the killing of gays, Jews and
In a victory for the Mail, the Bill also contains a commitment to shake-up Britain’s lopsided extradition laws.
The legislation says there will be a so-called ‘forum bar ‘which means more suspects are likely to face trial in
the UK - rather than be packed off to America.
A hearing will take place before a judge to examine the details of any offence which the Americans want to end in
If prosecution is possible in both the UK and abroad, the courts will have the power to bar prosecution overseas.
This will be done of it is ‘in the interests of justice’.
Supporters believe that - if the ‘forum bar’ had already been in place - Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon could
have been spared his decade-long fight against extradition.
He was only saved, in October last year, after the Mail’s lengthy Affront to British Justice campaign.
Social- Divorce Decisions Damn the Children who suffer Depression,Anxiety and Eating Disorders
Updated: 16 Jan 2013
Depression, Anxiety, and Eating Disorders
Teenagers and young adults who have close relationships with
their fathers are less likely to become clinically depressed,
to develop eating disorders, and to develop anxiety disorders
(Caron. 1995b; Cooper & Cooper. 1992; Putallaz & Heflin. 1993; Scarf. 1995; Silverstein & Rashbaum.
1994; Steinberg & Steinberg. 1994; Warshak. 1992).
So for example, teenage girls often become less clinically depressed
after they start spending more time with their divorced fathers
(Bassoff. 1994a; Maine. 1993; Pipher. 1994).
And since depression is much more common among girls than boys, especially during adolescence,
having a close relationship with her divorced father might be especially important for a daughter
(Brown & Gilligan. 1992; Ebata,
Petersen, & Conger. 1990; Gilligan, Rogers, & Tolman. 1991; Harrington. 1994; Nielsen. 1996; Orenstein. 1994;
Social- Sharing Mum and Dad - Dispatches Ch4 with comments
Updated: 15 Jan 2013
Channel 4 Dispatches Sharing Mum & Dad
Repeated Thursday 01.35
Today, one in three children in the UK grow up in a home with only one parent.
But are we doing what's best for the children of separated parents?
Dispatches follows presenter Tim Lovejoy, a divorced father of two, as he investigates the current
situation surrounding shared parenting following divorce or separation.
Tim speaks hears a wide range of voices and explores the psychological effects of parental separation
on children, talking to teenagers about their personal experiences.
The programme investigates the roles of mums and dads in 2013, asking whether current legislation in
this area is up-to-date with the way in which modern families operate, and exploring different ways
of sharing parenting post-separation.
Tim uses social media to generate debate, much of it incorporated into the film. And, in a first for
Dispatches, Channel 4 is showing behind-the-scenes clips of the production process online, to help
inform the debate
: Most fathers do not get a choice in the matter, it is often made impossible for the father to fight such a biased system.
The pain of trying to fight the system and the costs emotionally and financially become all to much.
So the blame game is on the mother's side and they should be ashamed of their blackmailing and abducting ways, it is immoral.
Social-Divorce Damages Children ! Who have few rights-Single Parents & Judiciary not fit for purpose
Updated: 13 Jan 2013
Single-parent families so common in today's Britain
that couples are now a minority
• Seven constituencies in the country constitute more single-parent families than couples
• Britain has highest proportion of single parent families in Europe
Society and the Law have gone mad ! -
1. Women with children who ask for a divorce should be listened to by Solicitors and the Courts and sent away for Counselling. The Men too! The Children rights and opinions in the matter should be paramount.
2. Divorce Settlements are given for those who have children, so give the financial settlement to the children,not the Parent,through a legal guardian if underage. Has a Study been done on what Women spend their divorce settlement on ? ---100% it is not only the children !
3. The presumption of custody should be a central issue in any divorce case and a presumption made that women, with children,who apply for a divorce are the unfit parent ,until proved to the contrary.
4. Unreasonable behaviour ? Who is being unreasonable ? That should require concrete evidence and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
5. The legal presumption that when a divorce is applied for the marriage has broken down
makes the Law the Ass !
6. Too many Solicitors put profit before people !
Has a Study been done into Divorce costs to show who benefits most ?
By Daniel Martin
| UPDATED: 23:55, 3 August 2012
Single-parent families are now so common that couples living with their children are the minority in some parts of the country.
Data shows there are seven Parliamentary constituencies where single-parent families make up the majority of households.
There are close to 2million single-parent families in the UK and we have the highest proportion of children
brought up in one-parent families of any major European country.
The seven areas where single-parent families are the majority are in the urban hearts of London, Liverpool,
Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.
In one constituency, Lewisham Deptford, 58 per cent of households with children are headed by lone parents.
At the other end of the spectrum, in the rural district of South Northamptonshire just one in every 20 family units
is headed by a single parent.
The figures, from a Freedom of Information request to the Office for National Statistics, were greeted with concern yesterday.
Jill Kirby, a social policy expert and former director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: ‘Children need input
from both parents in order to thrive.
‘Research shows children growing up in fatherless homes are much less likely to do well at school and are at
twice the risk of getting into problems with drink or drugs, or involved in crime.
The UK welfare system has been partly to blame, by providing a substitute breadwinner rather than encouraging
parents to stick together.’
Two years ago a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which represents
industrialised nations, exposed Britain’s shocking record on broken homes.
It found we have more children living in one-parent families than any other European country and more of our
single mothers are unemployed and on benefit than anywhere else on the Continent.
The study revealed 23 per cent of British children up to the age of 14 live in single-parent families, behind the US
on 26 per cent. And 48 per cent of single mothers in Britain are unemployed, the highest rate in the OECD apart from Turkey.
Britain's broken families
The Parliamentary constituency with the highest proportion of lone-parent families is Lewisham Deptford in
South East London, which includes such places as New Cross, Brockley and Honor Oak.
There are around 8,000 lone-parent families in the seat – represented by hard-left Labour MP Joan Ruddock –
making up 58 per cent of the total.
Next comes Lewisham East and Liverpool Riverside, both on 56 per cent. Manchester Central and Vauxhall are
on 54 per cent, while Birmingham Ladywood and Leeds Central are on 53 per cent.
The area where children are most likely to live with two parents is South Northamptonshire, which covers small
towns such as Brackley and Towcester.
Just 5 per cent of families in the seat, represented by the Tory Andrea Leadsom, are headed by a lone parent.
North East Hampshire and Wycombe are next on 7 per cent, while Devizes and South Norfolk are on 8 per cent.
Social-The Custody Question! Divorced Women soon discover how much Children miss their Fathers
Updated: 13 Jan 2013
The Benefits of Fathers versus Mothers
The belief that children benefit far less from a relationship with their father than with their mother can also
be demoralizing to divorced fathers.
Moreover, this demoralizing belief is not supported by our best and most recent research on child and
Social- Men's Punishment by Women Seeking Divorce-The Emotional Impact
Updated: 13 Jan 2013
The Emotional Impact of the Divorce
A number of us -
including the millions of children whose parents are divorced -
also do not seem to understand that fathers suffer as much or more emotionally as mothers after a divorce.
Indeed it seems as if people more readily envision the divorced father as a carefree “swinging bachelor”
rather than as a depressed, lonely, disoriented human being.
Many children, therefore,
might be surprised to learn that men are more likely than women to become depressed,
commit suicide, or develop a stress-related illness after their divorce.
Most divorced fathers are extremely lonely, overwrought, and disoriented - mainly because they have lost daily
contact with their children.
Unlike mothers, almost all fathers are essentially rendered childless as soon as their marriage ends.
In part because men are so reluctant to let people know how miserably unhappy and depressed they are or to
ask for help, many people -including their own children -
do not appreciate the extent to which most men suffer after a divorce
(Beer. 1992;Bender & Brannon. 1994; Buehler & Ryan. 1994; Depner & Bray. 1993; Flynn & Hutchinson. 1993; Kitson &
Holmes. 1992; Kruk. 1991; Pledge. 1992; Pruett. 1992; Warshak. 1992).
Social- Men Women & Adultery-Little Girls ?-More Sugary & Spicey than Nicey- But all things Scheming
Updated: 12 Jan 2013
Men, Women and Adultery
Still another way in which divorced fathers can be demoralized and demeaned is through our misconceptions
about divorce itself - misconceptions which must surely have a negative impact on many children’s views of
For example, do you believe that men are more likely than women to leave their marriage because they have
fallen in love with someone else?
And do you believe that men are generally the ones who initiate divorce?
If so,you’re wrong.
In reality 75% of all divorces are initiated by the wife.
And though in many cases the wife initiates the divorce for such reasons as the husband’s alcoholism or
physical abuse, in many cases the wife wants the divorce because she has fallen in love with someone else or
because she does not feel emotionally fulfilled enough in the marriage.
Indeed women are now almost as likely as men to commit adultery and are more likely than men to get
divorced because they have fallen in love with someone else.
Some women also leave their husbands for a man with whom they have had little, if any, actual sex.
So while claiming that they did not technically “commit adultery”, these wives have nonetheless betrayed and
been unfaithful to their husbands (Adler. 1996; Pittman. 1990).
As one such divorced fathers explains: “ She would tell me about her boyfriend to impress on me that she didn't love me.
I just couldn't take it anymore, so I finally had to move out" (Vaughan, 1990, p. 175).
In any event, the point is that less often than his children or the general public might assume, the divorced father
is often not the person who was unfaithful or who caused the divorce due to such serious problems as alcoholism or abuse (Adler. 1996; Berman.
1992; Braver, Whitley, & Ng. 1993; Flynn & Hutchinson. 1993; Gigy & Kelly. 1992; Gottman. 1994; Kincaid &
Caldwell. 1995; Kitson & Holmes. 1992; Pittman. 1990; Reibstein & Richards. 1993; Ripps. 1994; Vaughan. 1990
Social - Misconceptions about Divorced Fathers
Updated: 11 Jan 2013
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DIVORCED FATHERS
Contrary to the popular image of "deadbeat dads", 75% of divorced fathers are fully meeting their financial
obligations to their children.
Four million fathers are paying 12 billion dollars a year in child support.
Moreover, those divorced men with the highest incomes are usually paying for most, if not all, of their children’s expenses
- especially when the mother did not work full time outside the home throughout their marriage (Artlip, Artlip, &
1993; Farrell. 1994; Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan. 1997; Sheehy. 1998).
And when the mother grants the father some voice in how his child support money is being spent, the father
rarely fails to pay and often pays more than is legally required of him (Arditti. 1992; Bender & Brannon. 1994;
Depner & Bray. 1993; Blau. 1994; Dudley. 1991;
Kelley. 1995; Maccoby & Mnookin. 1994; Mandell. 1995; Parke. 1996; Pasley, Ihinger-Tallman, & Lofquist. 1994;
Seltzer & Brandreth. 1994; Teachman. 1991).
The one million “deadbeat dads” who create such a negative image of divorced fathers are usually the most
poorly educated men with very low or no incomes and men who never married the mother of their children (Arditti.
1992; Pettys. 1993).
This isn’t to say that because a man is poor or because he never married he should be allowed to
abandon his children financially.
We might, however, wonder why poor fathers are legally required to pay child
Divorced dads support whereas poor mothers are not required to pay anything when the children are living full-
time with the father
(Meyer & Garasky. 1993).
It’s also worth noting that some fathers who refuse to send any more money to their exwife
for child support have their children living with them more than a third of the year, and have an ex-wife who
lives with the man she committed adultery with while married (Mandell. 1995). In any case, official government
statistics underestimate how much money most fathers actually provide because only court-ordered child
support is documented and because the money that fathers give voluntarily for such things as college is not recorded at all
(Arditti. 1992; Cohen. 1994; Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan. 1997; Teachman. 1991).
Moreover, a father is often required to pay much more in child support than he would have been spending on the children if he was still married
(Bender & Brannon. 1994).
Another potentially damaging misconception is that divorced fathers are enjoying a much higher standard of
living than the children and divorced mother.
But in reality most mothers lose about 20%-25% of the income they had access to before their divorce, while most fathers lose 10%-20% (Stroup & Pollock. 1994).
Also 80% of women remarry within a few years and regain a standard of living at least equal to what they had before their divorce
(McLanahan & Sandefur. 1994; Maccoby & Mnookin. 1994).
In contrast, most divorced men who remarry can not provide their new family with as high a standard of living as they gave their former wife and children (Artlip, Artlip,
& Saltzman. 1993; Bender & Brannon. 1994; Ganong & Coleman. 1994)
Yet despite these realities, too many children are still operating under the assumption that after their parents’
divorce their father “got everything” while they and their mother “got nothing” (Beer. 1992; Blau. 1994; Einstein. 1994; Frieman. 1994; Ganong & Coleman.
1994; Jones & Schiller. 1992).
Social- Divorced Fathers get rights -But Not their Children
Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Fathers finally get equal access rights to children.
So why now?
At last we are moving towards a better domestic world where fathers and mothers are
equally supported by the state
Financial settlements are made to support children -
So the money should go to the chidren - in trust if necessary. -
Why? Equality !
The Divorced father gets no financial state support, so why should women get it ?
All the support (including State support ) should go directly to the Children through a "Guardian"if necessary
Settlement money to support the children is abused by Women.
Support does not necessarily have to involve paper money either.
Think on that !
- Jack O'Sullivan
- guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 June 2012 17.25 BST
// http://resource.guim.co.uk/global/static/file/discussion/5/fill-comment-counts-swimlaned.js', dataType : 'script', type : 'get', crossDomain : true, cache: true });
The right of divorced fathers and mothers to see their children is to be enshrined in UK law for the first time as
part of changes to family justice.
The glaring injustice suffered by many children and (principally) their fathers when paternal relationships are
destroyed without a murmur from the state has been obvious for decades to anyone who cared.
Yet this seems an unlikely moment for the government to attempt to enshrine in law the rights of both fathers and
mothers to see their children after separation.
True, the fathers' rights movement has been vociferous at times, but latterly it has been relatively quiet and
seemed politically marginalised.
No apparent groundswell of pressure for change has come from the voluntary sector, rather the opposite –
plenty of negative reaction from some children's charities and from Labour to the government's proposals.
So why is this change happening now?
Perhaps, most simply, because it appears to be common sense to both Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers.
Male Conservative MPs are typically highly privileged with a background in business and the professions.
They are used to exerting control over their own lives and over others.
They do not expect to find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
So when they and their colleagues go through divorce, it is a shocking and unfamiliar experience for them to feel
semi-criminalised as fathers and to be blocked from being with their children.
Changing the law likewise seems to make sense to the straightforward values of gender equity held by Lib Dems.
Like the Tories, they are led by a privileged public schoolboy, who can't understand why he can run the country
but, if things got difficult with his wife, he might not be able to see his own children.
Behind the scenes, the fathers' rights movement, ranging from the highly visible Fathers4Justice to the more
measured Families Need Fathers, which has campaigned for 30 years as a self-help group for separated fathers
and built the arguments that have demonstrated the depth of the crisis, worked conscientiously on the Tories
before the general election.
It received a sympathetic hearing in numerous meetings with people such as the then shadow children's
minister, Tim Loughton, who fashioned the party's children's and family policy in opposition.
In contrast, Labour has never got to grips with the tragedies of separated fatherhood.
The party has been keen to support fathers' rights in the workplace, with enhanced paternity leave to level the
gender playing field at work and enable dads to support mums getting back to work.
But Labour's key concern in all of this was women and, as a result, it was not interested in championing fathers' rights in the home.
So Labour was never going to take this step, certainly not while it was led by fathers with antiquated parenting
styles such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In contrast to them, Cameron and Clegg, despite the workaholism
of the political breed, look modern and engaged with parenting.
There will over the coming months be lots of kicking and screaming about the proposed change in the law.
But the significance of this equalisation does not really lie in what happens in the courts.
That probably will not change a lot. But changing the law will send out a message to fathers that the state is not their enemy.
It will no longer ignore the dismantling of relationships with their children.
This will give confidence to the thousands of fathers who never go to court but just accept what they are given in
terms of paltry time with their children because they fear no one will support them in seeking a better settlement.
This is indeed a monumental moment.
For decades, the state has rightly been tackling inequality in the workplace and patriarchal abuses in the family
by confronting, for example, domestic violence and ensuring that mothers have sufficient income after divorce.
But this is the first time the state has come forward to challenge matriarchy in the family and its abuses with
respect to access to children.
We are moving to a better domestic world where paternity, not patriarchy, is supported and, where maternity, not
matriarchy, is equally supported.
I expect many worrying and apocalyptic warnings about the risks to children of this legislation.
Amid the noise and resistance, we should remember gender equality is now one of the key values of the public working world.
We should not tolerate anything less in the domestic, family arena.
• This article was amended on 14 June 2012.
It originally referred to Families Need Fathers as Fathers Need Families.
This has now been corrected
Social-Divorced Dads-50% of Children,don't live with their biological father-The Law encourages it !
Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Disenfranchising, Demeaning, and Demoralizing Divorced Dads :
A Review of the literature
Dr. Linda Nielsen
Journal of Divorce & Remarriage - 1999, vol.31 pages 139-177
More information on this topic can be found in Dr. Nielsen’s book:
Embracing Your Father: Strengthening Your Father-Daughter Relationship (McGraw Hill, spring 2004)
In our country today only 50% of children under the age of 18 live in the same home with their biological
Roughly 15% live with their mother who has never been married; 15% with their divorced mother who has
not yet remarried, and 18% with their mother and stepfather.
Only 2% live with their father and stepmother.
By the year 2000 it is estimated that only 25% of white children and 10% of black children will live in a home with
their father until the age of 18, while 40% will end up living with their mother and stepfather.
Put differently, within the next few years the majority of fathers will not be living in the same home with their
children - and even now, the majority of fathers and teenaged children are not living together (Cherlin. 1992; Furstenberg. 1994).
Sadly most fathers see very little of their children after divorce.
Only 8% of divorced fathers get to live with their children for as much as a third of a year.
For example, only half of the 2200 children in a survey from the late 1980s had seen their father in the past year and only 15% had seen him once a week (Furstenberg & Cherlin. 1991).
On a happier note, compared to 20 years ago, almost twice as many divorced fathers now legally arrange for their
children to live with them part-time (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch. 1997; Guttman. 1993).
Still, when parents divorce, most fathers end up “childless” and their children end up "fatherless" in many ways (Blankenhorn. 1994;
Cohen. 1994; Cooney & Uhlenberg. 1990; Depner & Bray. 1993; Friedman. 1994; Hoffman. 1995; Warshak. 1992).
Although researchers and the general public have been quite focused on those fathers and mothers who
never get married and on divorced mothers, much less attention has been given to divorced fathers (Bender &
Brannon. 1994; Blankenhorn. 1994; Cohen. 1995; Depner & Bray. 1993; Flynn & Hutchinson. 1993; Lamb. 1997;
Mandell. 1995; Pruett. 1992; Warshak. 1992).
Even school counselors and therapists working with children usually exclude and ignore the divorced father,
acting as if the children only have one parent - their mother (Blau. 1994; Butler. 1995; Caplan. 1990; Feldman.
1990; Frieman. 1994; Lazar, Sagi, & Fraser. 1991; Phares. 1997; Tillitski. 1992).
The good news is that some younger, recently graduated therapists with non-sexist views about men’s and
women’s roles are making an effort to include fathers in their children’s therapy (Lazar, Sagi, & Fraser. 1991).
Nevertheless, as one of the leading experts puts it: “It is time that clinical researchers and clinical therapists stop
serving as gatekeepers who prevent the father’s involvement in research and therapy” (Phares, 1997, p. 283).
In an effort to demonstrate the ways in which many of us unintentionally disenfranchise, demean, and
demoralize divorced fathers, let us examine:
(1) Some common misconceptions about divorced fathers
(2) Reasons why divorced fathers do not have closer relationships with their children
(3) Ways in which divorced mothers influence the father-child relationship and
(4) Characteristics of mothers who are the most supportive of fathers after their divorce
Social- Many Women need a man more than a husband - and sod the consequences
Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Third of children never see dad after a divorce
By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 09:11, 16 November 2009
More than one in three children never see their father again after their parents split up,
research into family breakdown shows.
And nearly one in ten is so traumatised by the separation that they have considered suicide.
Children are often used as ‘emotional footballs’ and left feeling ‘used, isolated and alone’, with many turning to
drink, drugs and truanting.
The pain of divorce:
Many children never see their father again
Sandra Davis, head of family law at Mishcon de Reya, which carried out the survey of more than 4,000 people,
said: ‘This research highlights that despite their best intentions, parents are often using their children as
‘They can be seen as tangible objects.
There has to be change to give our children a voice that’s meaningful.
‘The process now encourages an adversarial approach, but it needs to be about communication between the parents.
‘Therapeutic input, not litigation, is the answer and will reduce the emotional and financial cost of separation.’
For 38 per cent of children, separation meant they never saw their father again.
Although 70 per cent of parents said their children’s welfare was the most important factor in a divorce, a quarter
of children said they had been forced by one parent to lie to the other.
Some 15 per cent had been asked to spy on one of their parents
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1228144/Third-children-dad-divorce.html#ixzz2HVYBz7Ql
Social- Some women need a man about the house, others need a wet rag ?
Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Sexism or ignorance?
Men who fail to do housework often don't see the need
Female breadwinners who do most of the housework have to ask
themselves why they don't talk to their other half about helping out more,
writes Louisa Peacock.
By Louisa Peacock
12:04PM GMT 09 Jan 2013
A friend of mine once played a game with her husband.
Well, it was more of a test.
She said to herself that she wouldn't empty the kitchen bin for a while, to see how long it
would take for her other half to do it.
Not surprisingly, the kitchen bin was brimming full by the end of the week.
It had got to the point where you had to stuff a tea bag down any old nook and cranny in the
sack full of rubbish.
Still, her husband didn't notice the overloaded bin.
He happily stuffed tea bags and empty cartons in there, until one day, he realised it was full,
emptied it and carried on as normal.
Apart from being a hilarious interlude to the daily grind, this little series of events suggested
something about the male psyche.
It's not at all the case that this man was sexist or
expecting his wife to do the chore; simply that he didn't think it needed to be done until it
really needed to be done.
It is funny then, that a new study makes much noise about female breadwinners still doing
most of the housework.
The research, based on 30 cohabiting but unmarried couples, found that where women were
the primary earners, they also ended up doing most of the household chores.
Men still left the majority of housework to them, the study from the University of Indianapolis
It would be easy to jump to conclusions that the men in the study expected their wifey to do
the cleaning for them; that it is a woman's job.
It would be easy to moan about how career women are expected to do it all at home, be good
mothers and homemakers. In some cases, this may be true.
But actually, this study could reflect the simple sentiments of my friend and her unknowing
husband. It turns out that one man in the study said he just didn't see the dirt – "I just don't
see that it needs to be done," he said.
None of us, men and women, enjoy doing housework, so leaving the chores until the last
possible moment it needs to be done is not such a bad strategy.
It has nothing to do with sexism.
Just because the man isn't the main breadwinner doesn't mean he hasn't also had a
challenging day, and prioritises the sofa over emptying the bin.
As long as couples talk about what's expected of both of them, regarding the household
chores, I don't see why this should be a problem.
I'm sure in my household that my other half would also fail the bin test.
But he'd excel in other areas.
I walked in last night, late from work, to find my husband mid-cooking.
He'd also tidied the lounge.
The clue to what really might be going on in this study is this: the women who earn more
than men but still did most of the house chores had "essentially given up" trying to get their man to do his fair share.
This is downright outrageous.
Does she actually talk to him about this?
Does she ask him to help?
Perhaps he just forgot.
Of course there will be some men set in their ways and who truly believe housework is a woman's role.
They may have been brought up that way; no one may have ever challenged them on their belief.
But the chances are if that particular bloke is living with a woman earning more than him,
he's already accepted that traditional societal expectations are no longer the norm.
A recent study found that women spend half as much time on housework today compared to
the 1960s; suggesting times have changed and expectations have changed.
Where couples talk through the sensitive matter of the daily dishes, they can come to a
compromise about who does what based on realistic expectations.
That's what relationships are all about. Not just assuming that the other one knows what they
should/ shouldn't be doing around the house.
The study calls for more open conversation too:
Amanda J Miller, one of the researchers, highlights "how important it is to talk to your
partner before you move in together".
Of the couples she studied "very few sat down and had a conversation about who was going to do what and when".
This had led to one primary-earner woman doing all the chores to "avoid arguments".
Perhaps it is naive of me, but so many of these silly domestic arguments could be sorted by
a quick, open chat about who does what around the house.
There's no point assuming your partner will do something you think he should do.
I for one would vote for the sofa any time over emptying the bins - so can you really blame
him for doing the same?
Social-Violent UK Criminals enjoy an Indian Summer -as we forgive them that trespass against us"?
Updated: 07 Jan 2013
Violent criminals go scot free in UK
Sun Jan 6, 2013 10:51AM GMT
"Horrendous" figures show hundreds of violent criminals, including rapists, are walking free from British courts after lenient community sentences.
Figures for 2011 disclosed by prisons and rehabilitation minister Jeremy Wright show 340 people convicted of
grievous bodily harm (GBH) and eight rapists received almost no punishment.
The majority of those with GBH offences were given community sentences, while some received curfew orders,
which require the convicts to simply stay indoors at night.
Most of the rapists on the other hand were given the community orders, which could require them to wear an
electronic tag, attend rehabilitation courses, or work without being paid.
Critics believe the British courts are failing to consider deterrent punishments on violent crimes, saying that the sentences are more like a “slap on the wrist”.
“These figures are horrendous .... To endure a rape trial is a further violation of your dignity, and for your rapist to be found guilty and then simply given a community sentence is the final slap in the face,” Jo Wood, a trustee of the charity Rape Crisis, said.
“Rape victims receive life sentences for the crimes against them,” she added
Social- An Epidemic of Low Morale exists throughout Britain -but Teacher said it first !
Updated: 04 Jan 2013
British teachers’ morale hits all-time low
Wed Jan 2, 2013 4:50PM GMT
Morale among British teachers has declined dramatically as they do not trust the government’s education
policies, according to a recent survey.
The survey by YouGov for National Union of Teachers (NUT) indicated that spirits in the profession have
dangerously declined in recent months.
According to the study, more than half of British teachers -about 55 percent- described their morale as low or very low.
The survey which was conducted online last month revealed that about 77 percent of teachers considered the
government policies on education as “negative”.
Many British teachers are unconvinced by Education Secretary Michael Gove’s reforms, saying that ministers are
taking education in the wrong direction.
"This survey paints a very sorry picture and is a damning indictment of coalition government policies.
Michael Gove has been allowed to rush through educational reforms and his academies and free schools
projects based on little or no evidence,” the NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said.
Social-Vituperation-She stood there an inch from my face screaming "Hit me,Hit Me"-So I did !..then.
Updated: 30 Dec 2012
Record numbers of men are being hit
by their stressed-out wives and girlfriends
'I went frantic, punching him'
By Sophie Goodchild , Chief Reporter
For centuries, women have been stereotyped as the passive victims of violence and aggression.
Yet experts are now warning that record numbers of men are being physically abused by their stressed- out wives and girlfriends.
New figures show that the number of calls to domestic violence helplines from male victims has more than doubled over the past five years.
And now one of the world's leading feminist journals will investigate the issue of male abuse for the first time in its
history: the Psychology of Women Quarterly will devote a whole edition to research on violent women and their behaviour towards men.
Until now, domestic violence has been seen by police and ministers as an issue which blights the lives of women rather than men.
Their policies are based on Home Office figures, which show that one in four women suffer abuse in the home compared with one in six men.
Incidents such as the arrest earlier this month of Rebekah Wade, the editor of The Sun, after an alleged assault on
her husband, EastEnders actor Ross Kemp, are generally treated as trivial and a source of amusement by social watchers.
However, experts say that although attacks by men are more common and extreme, there is increasing evidence
that women are lashing out and adopting behaviour traditionally associated with men.
This trend is fuelled partly by an increase in binge-drinking and drug- taking among women as well as the pressure
of juggling motherhood and career success.
ManKind, an organisation which campaigns for equal rights for men, receives more than a thousand calls a year to
its helpline from male victims of domestic violence as well as from doctors worried about patients they suspect are
being abused by their girlfriends and wives.
The charity Snap, which runs a gender-neutral helpline, says it receives up to 25 calls a day from battered men.
There are only four places in the country which offer shelter to male victims of domestic violence, which men's rights campaigners say is not enough.
"The ones who are the perpetrators are in the caring professions - social workers, nurses, carers," said Anne Harris, a spokeswoman for Snap.
Research to be published next year will also show that more men report being victims of domestic abuse - and
fewer women - in countries where there is greater gender equality.
Based on an analysis of UN data on gender equality, the study by the University of Central Lancashire will show
that more women carry out attacks on their male partners in Western nations such as Britain and the US compared with countries such as Pakistan.
Professor John Archer, an expert on both male and female aggression, who carried out the study, attracted huge
controversy with a report five years ago showing that women were likely to lash out more frequently than men during rows.
He says that battered men are treated as figures of fun by society and that policymakers must treat domestic abuse against both men and women with equal seriousness.
"There is a strong cultural ethos drummed into men from an early age that it's wrong to retaliate but these attitudes
are not drummed into women," said Mr Archer, Professor of psychology at the University of Central Lancashire.
"The Rebecca Wade case was treated as a joke which typifies the differences in attitudes.
The male victim is seen as a subject of fun."
But Professor Sylvia Walby from Lancaster Uni versity, who has carried out extensive research on domestic
violence, says that women are still overwhelmingly the victims and suffer far more than men.
"Women are far more vulnerable because they do not have the same financial security as men and they are the
ones who suffer more severe and far more sustained attacks."
Dr Malcolm George, an expert on the brain and human behaviour, says there is evidence that "husband abuse"
dates back to Elizabethan times. Historical records that he has unearthed show that men who were beaten by their
wives were publicly humiliated in a special ceremony called a "skimmington procession", named after the ladle
used to skim milk during cheese making.
"No one disputes the fact that there is a group of men in society that are highly violent," says the retired lecturer in
neuroscience at London University.
"But it's nothing new for women to be violent and aggressive- it's just society considers it a travesty of femininity
for women to be violent so they get stereotyped as passive victims."
Claire Stewart is one of a growing number of women who are seeking professional help to manage their anger.
The nursing student, 37, from Leicester says she has head-butted Graham, a builder, tried to strangle him and
thrown furniture at him.
Their relationship has always been confrontational and at one point they split up.
Mrs Stewart believes her problems stem from not coming to terms with the death of her father.
"Having spoken to professionals, I think the anger goes back to my dad dying when I was 11," says the mother-of-
four, whose name has been changed to protect her identity.
"I was brought up to believe that if you cry it's a sign of weakness.
I am booked in to start cognitive behaviour therapy. I think in the end we will get through.
When the couple got back together, she says that she felther life had fallen apart. "Our relationship had always
been a bit up and down but I thought it would stop when we got married," she says.
"When he came back I felt like he was laughing at me. I completely lost it. I went frantic, punching him in the head and body.
I head-butted him and tried to strangle him.
I only stopped because my eldest daughter came in and shouted at me to stop."
Social- Domestic Violence Against Men
Updated: 30 Dec 2012
Domestic violence against men
Men were victims of just over a quarter of incidents of domestic violence in 2010, according to the British Crime Survey.
Find out about the signs of domestic violence, and where to get support if it’s happening to you.
Anybody can be affected by domestic abuse, and anyone can be an abuser. It doesn't just happen to women – men
can be victims too, whether their partner is a man or a woman.
If it's happening to you, it's important to tell someone and to remember that you're not alone.
Ippo Panteloudakis is helpline manager for the Men's Advice Line, which offers help over the phone or via email.
"We spoke to 800 male victims of domestic abuse in 2010," he says.
"More men are coming forward than a few
years ago, and the services to support them are improving very quickly."
The Men's Advice Line can refer men to local places that can help, such as health services and voluntary organisations.
Talking to someone
It can be difficult for men to say they need help, and to know where to go once they've decided to talk to someone.
"Men can be reluctant to say that they are victims, and they worry that they won't be believed," says Ippo.
"What I'd say to these men is: there's more help out there than you think.
The key is to talk to someone. A lot of men who call the helpline have seen our website first or emailed us, and we've responded.
Some men email and ask us to call them back, which we do."
Find out where to go for help.
Domestic abuse is very serious, whether it happens to men or women.
Don’t feel that you have to put up with it.
How do I know if I am experiencing abuse?
There are different kinds of abuse.
The person abusing you may:
- belittle you, or put you down
- blame you for the abuse or for arguments
- deny that abuse is happening, or play it down
- isolate you from your family and friends
- make unreasonable demands for your attention
Threats and intimidation
The person abusing you may:
- threaten to hurt you or kill you
- destroy things that belong to you
- stand over you, invade your personal space
- threaten to kill themselves, and/or the children
- read your emails, texts or letters
- harass or follow you
The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways. These could include:
- slapping, hitting or punching
- pushing or shoving
- biting, kicking
- burning you
- choking you
- throwing things
- holding you down
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female. The person abusing you may:
- touch you in a way you don’t want to be touched
- make unwanted sexual demands
- hurt you during sex
- pressure you to have sex
- not have safer sex (using a condom)
Your partner may also accuse you of flirting or cheating on them. If you ever feel scared of your partner or you have changed your behaviour because you’re afraid of what your partner might do, you could be in an abusive relationship.
"As well as talking to someone when you realise you're in an abusive relationship, try to gather evidence about what's happening," says Ippo. This could include taking photographs of any injuries or bruises, and reporting it to your doctor. "You could also keep a diary of what happens, and the story of the abuse will show."
Try not to respond with violence. "Violence breeds more violence, and if you retaliate then this can make the abuser's violence worse," advises Ippo. "There's also the risk that they will call the police, and you will be seen as the abuser."
Where you can go for help
You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to get help. You can:
- talk to your doctor
- call Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 (10am-1pm and 2-5pm, Mon-Fri, or email email@example.com)
- in an emergency, call 999
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential, freephone helpline for men who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse from their partners or ex-partners. It’s available to all men in the UK.
The Men’s Advice Line staff are trained to listen and look at ways of helping you. These might include :
- providing information and practical advice
- giving you time to talk through what’s happening
- signposting you to other specialist organisations, such as: domestic violence units, mental health organisations, emotional support services, services for gay, bisexual and trans (GBT) men, and organisations providing immigration, housing and legal advice, parenting advice and support, and help with child contact issues
Forced marriage happens to men as well as women. For forced marriage and “honour” crimes, contact Karma Nirvarna (0800 5999 247) or The Forced Marriage Unit (0207 008 0151).
Broken Rainbow UK (0300 999 5428) provides support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.
If you decide to leave
The first step in escaping an abusive situation is realising that you're not alone and it's not your fault.
Try to get advice from an organisation such as the Men’s Advice Line or Mankind before you go.
If you're considering leaving, be careful who you tell. It's important that your partner doesn't know where you're going. Planning is very important. If you decide to leave, it will help to take:
- documents, including birth certificates for your children, passports, any medical records, benefits books, and mortgage or rent details
- your address book
- house keys
- if you have young children: baby items, some clothes and a special toy for each child
Men and women who have been sexually assaulted can get confidential help, treatment and support at a sexual assault referral centre. Find your nearest sexual assault referral centre.
Social- Immigration- Ok for Me but not for You- says No.1 &2 Bigots
Updated: 17 Dec 2012
The people behind the prejudice
As part of Red Pepper's special issue on migration,
Guy Taylor tells some stories of migrants' real lives
Montage: Louise Thomas
UK mainstream politics presents a gruesome prospect for would-be migrants.
The driver of immigration policy is not human rights or economic concerns but the desperate need to please the anti-immigration lobby.
The coalition government’s approach to immigration can be summed up thus: be tough, be seen to be tough.
Labour’s approach in the current climate is to have no specific policies but attack the government for not being tough enough.
The Liberal Democrats have a policy of saying nothing about the laws and rules they are helping to implement under Cameron and Clegg.
This sorry state of affairs has effects on real lives.
Meet Everton. Everton is eight. He’s having a tough time at school at the moment.
He comes from the Caribbean but is trying to get a visa to stay in the UK while his mum works here; she has
permission to do so until the end of next year.
He is distraught as his dad is in the UK’s armed forces, stationed abroad, and he desperately wants to stay with
his mum for as long as she is working here. He doesn’t want to live with his elderly grandparents any more, and
they are getting to the stage where they are unable to care for him properly.
The good news is that a judge of the first-tier tribunal has ruled that Everton can stay with his mum – for slightly more than a year.
The bad news is that the Home Office is appealing against that decision.
The expense of appeal, the work involved and the turmoil caused to this little boy has been deemed justifiable by
the Home Office, all in the interests of keeping a schoolchild out of the UK for 13 months.
The driver is the coalition’s promise to reduce net migration to ‘tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands’.
Another person you should meet is Jemma. Jemma works in a well paid job (she pays a higher rate of tax) and has no financial issues.
She wants her elderly father to join her in the UK as he has no other family at home in Australia.
She is a British citizen.
There’s no likelihood of her father being dependent on benefits if he were to come here; Jemma is even happy to
sign a document declaring that she will provide for his every need.
But the new rules brought in by home secretary Theresa May in July insist that if Jemma’s father is capable of
dressing himself, washing and cooking, he cannot come to the UK.
If he has any other family in Australia he cannot come to the UK.
If Jemma can pay for his care in Australia, he cannot come to the UK.
In fact, Home Office staff have been unable to outline which, if any, circumstances would fulfil the criteria needed
to get a visa for her dad.
Good and bad immigrants
Perhaps the most obvious measure to discourage people from coming to the UK is the attack on the ability of
universities to recruit outside the EU, as in the case of London Metropolitan University (see page 22).
In this dreadful example of the collective punishment of more than 2,500 students for what is essentially a
disagreement between the UK Border Agency and the university administration, those students had their studies,
their livelihoods and their prospects thrown into uncertainty.
There is now a clamour from the academic world to discount students and boarding school pupils from the immigration figures.
This may seem tempting to the government as it struggles to meet its ‘tens of thousands, not hundreds of
thousands’ target, but it would also set up a divide between ‘good’ migrants (so good, in fact, that they’re no
longer migrants) and others.
Least desirable of all are foreign-national prisoners.
It is policy to consider any prisoner serving a term of 12 months or more for deportation after the sentence has been served.
But a large number of such offenders were brought up and schooled in the UK and may have spent most of their lives here.
How can it be right to doubly punish such people?
While ministers and tabloids like to focus on the spectacular and high profile cases, I’d like to introduce you to WM.
WM came here at the age of one to join his father, a refugee, in London.
He suffered abuse, got taken into care, and is very much a product of the UK care system. He has learning difficulties.
He’s 24 now. He got caught up in a robbery.
Although he wasn’t the one holding the knife he got an 18-month spell inside.
He’s now being considered for deportation to the Ivory Coast.
He only speaks English and has no relatives or friends there, but Theresa May has a need to be seen to be tough.
Labour’s shadow justice secretary, Sadiq Khan, has been saying to anyone who will listen that Labour used to
deport more foreign national prisoners and that the current government should raise its game.
These stories, real stories of real lives, are not how the home secretary prefers people to think about immigration.
For her it’s a matter of using extreme examples to justify extreme measures in what is primarily a numbers game.
Sometimes there is a liberal dressing for some of the measures.
The English language requirement for spouses and civil partners, for example, brought in two years ago, is
claimed to be in the interests of integration and as a measure against the isolation of, especially, women in family homes.
Ministers are keen to tell you what a low level of English is required to satisfy the requirement.
But having had Skype conversations with one of the repeated failures, those with far more than a smattering of
English are liable to flunk that test.
The UK Border Agency insists that it only wants to test an applicant’s listening and speaking capabilities, but the
majority of the tests it recognises to demonstrate these also test reading, writing and computer literacy.
Two years after the introduction of the language requirement, it is astounding that the Home Office has not
provided one standard test that people can take.
Meanwhile, the UKBA is getting tougher when it comes to raiding workplaces.
Its newsfeed provides a constant stream of stories reporting the arrest of irregular migrants.
In October six were arrested in Blackpool, nine in Brighton and Hove and two in Sittingbourne.
Obviously numbers like these are going to make little difference to an estimated 700,000 irregular migrants
currently in the UK, but the consequences for employers are getting more severe with larger fines being handed
out to those who employ people without the right documentation.
These measures will drive irregular migrants even further underground, into sex work and criminal activity as
established employers refuse to employ them.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has long been a proponent of a human rights-based approach to policy making.
When people are given the facts about the reality of immigration into the UK, and about the proportion of the
population made up by migrants, fear and concern are significantly allayed.
Such an awareness would provide the space to implement a rights-based approach whereby those coming to the
UK would be recognised as real people with real lives and real rights, not a burden to be tolerated by the host population. The contribution of immigrants to the economic and cultural life of the UK is immense.
But there are some that would have you believe the opposite is true.
Which brings me to introduce to you one more character.
Mark is a government minister and an MP. He represents the Forest of Dean, not an area known for its large numbers of migrants.
He got the job of immigration in the last reshuffle.
He spins the truth like a seasoned Tory might be expected to: ‘We want to ensure that taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for immigrants who bring their families into the country.’
Mark, a man who lives a different world to the people we’ve met so far in this piece, might do with checking out
what the words ‘no recourse to public funds’ actually mean.
He might then discover the current reality of immigrants and their relationship to the welfare benefit system.
Guy Taylor is campaigns and communications officer at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
Social- Fuel Poverty- Shilling in the Meter heating is doubly expensive too !
Updated: 17 Dec 2012
Cold Christmas for 300k more families
Monday 17 December 2012
Britain's "spiralling" fuel poverty crisis risk shutting another 300,000 families out in the cold this Christmas,
government advisers warned David Cameron yesterday.
The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group told the PM that household energy bills have shot up 7 per cent this year,
leaving many having to choose between heating and eating.
Official estimates predict that by 2016 more than nine million households will be in fuel poverty, defined as
spending 10 per cent of a family's income on heating.
Group chairman and former EDF financial chief Derek Lickorish warned that millions were "living in misery"
because of high energy bills.
"With a cold winter, welfare reforms cutting incomes, and all at a time of austerity measures and other rising
household costs, the plight of the fuel poor has never been more serious.
"A toxic cocktail of rising wholesale prices, the high cost of energy reforms and cuts in incomes for many
households means fuel poverty levels are set to sky rocket without radical action."
Mr Lickorish said the government needed to assess how its attack on the welfare system would affect fuel poverty
and make sure councils meet their fuel poverty targets.
Around half of Britain's fuel-poor households are made up of pensioners, while a third include people with a
disability or illness and a fifth are home to a child under five years old.
Campaign group Fuel Poverty Action protested outside the Treasury earlier this month to mark 24,000 cold-related
deaths in England and Wales over the last winter.
And the Neil Duncan Jordan of National Pensioners Convention told the Morning Star that people would die
because of the energy industry's decisions and MPs must think seriously about taking them back into public
Social-Rowan Williams on the Elderly - Second Class Citizens ? - No longer fit for Purpose ?
Updated: 16 Dec 2012
'We are waiting for old people to die',
says Rowan Williams in his last speech as Archbishop of Canterbury
By Niamh O'doherty
UPDATED: 09:00, 15 December 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury has appealed for an end to damaging stereotypes of older people, which he says have created a climate in which they suffer abuse.
In his final speech in the House of Lords, Dr Rowan Williams said attitudes of 'contempt and exasperation' towards the ageing population were contributing to a range of abuse, from patronising and impatient behaviour to physical mistreatment.
He referred to estimates that a quarter of the older population experience elder abuse in some form and called for the Government to appoint a national Older People's Commissioner, the Independent reported.
Dr Williams, who will step down from his role at the end of the year to be replaced by the Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, said:
'Too often we want to rush children into pseudo-adulthood; too often we want older citizens either to go on as part of the productive machine as long as possible or to accept a marginal and humiliating status, tolerated but not valued, while we look impatiently at our watches, waiting for them to be "off our hands".
'We tolerate a very eccentric view of the good life or the ideal life as one that can be lived only for a few years between, say, 18 and 40.
'It is assumptions about the basically passive character of the older population that foster attitudes of contempt and exasperation, and ultimately create a climate in which abuse occurs.'
The public are becoming 'dangerously used' to speaking and thinking about the ageing population as a burden on both public and private resources, he added, despite half of over 60s carrying out volunteer work worth the equivalent of at least £50billion.
He believes expecting and valuing their continued contribution to society will end damaging stereotypes and older people will no longer be viewed as dependent on the state, their families or their neighbourhoods.
There are one million people over 65 living alone in the UK.
Last week, a study by the Friends Of The Elderly charity showed that half a million elderly people will spend Christmas alone this year in Britain.
Throughout the year, one in six of senior citizens hear from family and friends barely once a week, and for one in ten it’s less than once a month.
The Friends Of The Elderly survey showed that despite 87 per cent of people feeling it is the responsibility of family to look after older relatives, worries about the financial burden (19 per cent), being too busy (45 per cent) and living too far away (36 per cent), mean that almost half of those surveyed (47 per cent) are dreading the day their grandparents or parents need to be cared for.
Richard Furze, Chief Executive of Friends of the Elderly, said: ‘We can all make a special effort at Christmas and it will make such a difference, not just with our relatives but with older people in our communities.
'Our Christmas campaign “Friends Open Doors” is focused on encouraging people to show a simple gesture to older people, such as simply checking in on an older neighbour regularly, popping a card through their door or having a chat with an older person at the shops.
This can be enjoyable for both young and older people, only takes a moment and can make a real difference.
'If you live far away or can’t afford to travel to see an older relative regularly, a phone call can really make the difference for those who live on their own and can’t get out as much as they would like.'
The survey results also showed that 47 per cent of people feel local communities should take more responsibility for looking after older people.
Almost half of those surveyed believe people in the UK should have a legal responsibility for looking after their parents in older age, as they are in France, while 27 per cent of people think it is down to the Government to take care of the elderly
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248520/We-waiting-old-people-die-says-Rowan-Williams-speech-Archbishop-Canterbury.html#ixzz2FC6SBrNu
Social- What is a disability ? Not to be confused with poor health
Updated: 05 Dec 2012
What is a disability?
A disability may be generally defined as a condition which may restrict a person's mental, sensory, or mobility functions to undertake or perform a task in the same way as a person who does not have a disability.
It does not mean that a person with a disability is unable to perform all the important requirements of a job and exceed the expectations of their employer.
Disabilities affect people in different ways.
Many people associate the 'disabled' with someone who is in a wheelchair, or who is blind or deaf.
They have the attitude that people with a disability are totally different and therefore need to be treated differently. Unfortunately, this kind of stereotyping is in itself a form of discrimination.
People with a disability come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, sex and cultures - just as we all do.
The only thing that separates a person with a disability is that, for one reason or another, they are unable to do certain things in the same way as the mainstream of society.
They may require some form of adaptation or alteration to assist them to overcome the effect of their disability.
A person's disability is always specific to that person.
A Disability is generally a condition either caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease, which may restrict a person's mental processes, senses or mobility.
A Handicap is a physical or attitudinal constraint imposed on a person regardless of whether or not that person has a disability.
In the context of employment, someone may have a disability, but it may not be a handicap to them performing the job.
Types of disability
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) identifies and defines the following categories of disability:
• Physical - affects a person's mobility or dexterity
• Intellectual - affects a person's abilities to learn
• Psychiatric - affects a person's thinking processes
• Sensory - affects a person's ability to hear or see
• Neurological - results in the loss of some bodily or mental functions
Also included are disabilities resulting from physical disfigurement or from the presence of organisms causing or capable of causing disease in the body.
We should not equate a disability with poor health.
Social- Disability History Month - Remploy and the hated hatchet man (IDS) Ian Duncan Smith
Updated: 05 Dec 2012
Remploy - end of an era?
23rd November 2012
As part of a series of features for Disability History Month, Val Graham, LRC National Committee member and Remploy campaigner, looks at the history of the Remploy factories
Remploy, derived from re-employ, was set up under the 1944 Disabled Persons Employment Act by Ernest Bevin, then Minister of Labour. It formed a plank of the welfare state.
A ‘land fit for heroes’ could not contemplate a repeat of the street scene after the First World War, when limbless soldiers played mouth organs to support themselves.
Originally the Disabled Persons’ Employment Corporation, the first factory opened in 1946 in Bridgend, Wales and the brand name Remploy was soon adopted.
Remploy was welcomed by disabled people who wanted to work and be active economically and in their communities.
The first factory manufactured violins and furniture and many employees were disabled ex miners. Remploy enjoyed both government and community support.
At its height, Remploy had around 100 factories spread across England, Scotland and Wales and employed over 10,000 disabled workers.
A wide range of goods and services was produced and Remploy workers were skilled in many sectors from textiles to motor components.
A Tory Government with its privatising agenda, struck the first blow when, in 1994, Minister Michael Portillo ended a scheme whereby Remploy was guaranteed priority for government contracts and compulsory competitive tendering was imposed.
Within 18 months, the value of contracts into the textile sector alone had dropped from £18 million to £3 million.
Calls from the Tory benches for Remploy to be privatised began.
The trade union consortium representing Remploy Workers lobbied successive governments concerning the management of Remploy.
Since 1995 the number of disabled workers employed had fallen to 2,500 in 2011 with only 54 factories still working.
Yet the number of senior managers had grown from 250 to over 400 while their pay and bonuses escalated, and perks such as private healthcare, cars and allowances were introduced for all senior managers.
The average differential between disabled shop floor workers and senior managers had increased from £18,000 to £35,000 per annum.
The trade union consortium put forward proposals which would have saved millions of pounds over the years.
Opportunities were lost such as when a manager in Cornwall objected to the relatively small set up cost of fulfilling a contract worth £1 million to make T-shirts for the Glastonbury Festival.
Activism in defence of Remploy was born: workers and supporters mounted a successful campaign in 1999 against closure and merger of factories.
But managers failed to make use of the opportunity for one reserved public contract and the decline continued.
A renewed campaign greeted the 2007 announcement under Labour of factory mergers and closures.
Teams of activists travelled the country by coach to every site on the hit list, from Inverness to Cornwall.
Yet 30 factories closed and 2,500 workers lost their jobs.
Many took voluntary redundancy and after three years 85% had not found other work.
Labour’s Peter Hain effectively put Remploy on notice and it is arguable that the Tories see themselves as finishing what New Labour started as with so much else they have done.
Their ideological hatred of the welfare state was however, in this case, masked in the rhetoric of progressive ideas and practice.
As Owen Jones points out, they are clever in a very manipulative way!
The new coalition government commissioned Liz Sayce from the disability charity Radar to review employment support for disabled people.
She concluded that Remploy was not efficient and the subsidy should not be renewed but directed to supporting disabled workers in mainstream employment. Remploy factories were presented as ghettoes, a barrier to inclusion.
In my opinion, some disabled activists have been equivocal about supporting the Remploy Crusade because of their support for inclusion.
Disabled workers at Remploy have nothing but contempt for the six disability charities which supported the Government’s decision to close Remploy.
They believe that these charities have a vested interest because they want to compete for a bigger slice of Access to Work funding.
For the King’s shilling, they have been prepared to see disabled workers thrown on to the dole, facing a lifetime of poverty and bullying by the DWP and Atos.
This funding increase is not guaranteed and an Access to Work grant is only of use to a disabled person if they have a job and an employer who will match fund.
Remploy workers know they will be at the back of the queue for any job going and that subsidising their employment costs a lot less than benefit and lost tax revenue.
Inclusion should be a right not a stick with which to beat disabled workers, especially at a time when unemployment is high, public expenditure is being slashed, and all workers rights are under attack.
The Tories who bay for an end to supported employment are the first to be outraged when the closure of special schools is mooted.
When I was collecting money for Remploy, many of the givers were the parents of children with a disability who feared for their future after school.
At Whittington Remploy, some workers had tried mainstream employment.
Others were there because they needed a sheltered environment to recover from mental health problems.
There was a deaf community using sign language and non deaf employees had learned it too.
Remploy workers had exercised a choice for sheltered employment and now most of them are on the dole with only 18 factories left operating.
Given this government’s cruel, vicious, ideological and material attacks on disabled workers, unemployed workers and those whose disability or limiting health condition prevents them from working, it is not surprising that Iain Duncan Smith arouses such hatred.
The DWP is getting away with its welfare cut because welfare has been discredited in the popular mind, but it has also largely succeeded in destroying Remploy against the tide of public opinion.
The fact that the sale of Chesterfield and Springburn factories has been put on hold while serious questions are answered may be a candle in the wind but it is the flame that two disabled working communities will warm their hands by this Christmas after their first strike in 65 years.
Thanks to Remploy activists – especially Bombastic Spastic – and to the GMB for the information on Remploy’s timeline.
Social- Disability History Month -"Euthanasia Killings"
Updated: 05 Dec 2012
1st December 2012
As part of a series of features for Disability History Month, we present part two of Ian Malcolm-Walker’s harrowing look at the Nazis’ treatment of disabled people
Forced sterilisation in Germany was the forerunner of the systematic killing of the mentally ill and disabled people.
In October 1939, Hitler himself initiated a decree which empowered physicians to grant a “mercy death” to “patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health.”
The intent of the so-called “euthanasia” program, however, was not to relieve the suffering of the chronically ill.
The Nazi regime used the term as a euphemism: its aim was to exterminate the mentally ill and disabled people, thus “cleansing” the “Aryan” race of persons considered genetically defective and a financial burden to society.
The idea of killing the incurably ill was posed well before 1939. In the 1920s, debate on this issue centreed on a book co-authored by Alfred Hoche, a noted psychiatrist, and Karl Binding, a prominent scholar of criminal law.
They argued that economic savings justified the killing of “useless lives” (“idiots” and “congenitally crippled”). Economic deprivation during World War I provided the context for this idea.
During the war, patients in asylums had ranked low on the list for rationing of food and medical supplies, and as a result, many died from starvation or disease.
More generally, the war undermined the value attached to individual life and, combined with Germany’s humiliating defeat, led many nationalists to consider ways to regenerate the nation as a whole at the expense of individual rights.
In 1935 Hitler stated privately that “in the event of war, [he] would take up the question of euthanasia and enforce it” because “such a problem would be more easily solved” during wartime.
War would provide both a cover for killing and a pretext—hospital beds and medical personnel would be freed up for the war effort.
The upheaval of war and the diminished value of human life during wartime would also, Hitler believed, mute expected opposition.
To make the connection to the war explicit, Hitler’s decree was backdated to September 1, 1939, the day Germany invaded Poland.
Fearful of public reaction, the Nazi regime never proposed a formal “euthanasia” law. Unlike the forced sterilisations, the killing of patients in mental asylums and other institutions was carried out in secrecy.
The code name was “Operation T4,” a reference to Tiergartenstrasse 4, the address of the Berlin Chancellery offices where the program was headquartered.
Physicians, the most highly Nazified professional group in Germany, were key to the success of “T-4,” since they organized and carried out nearly, all aspects of the operation.
One of Hitler’s personal physicians, Dr. Karl Brandt, headed the program, along with Hitler’s Chancellery chief, Philip Bouhler. T-4 targeted adult patients in all government or church-run sanatoria and nursing homes.
These institutions were instructed by the Interior Ministry to collect questionnaires about the state of health and capacity for work of all their patients, ostensibly as part of a statistical survey.
The completed forms were, in turn, sent to expert assessors physicians, usually psychiatrists, who made up “review commissions.”
They marked each name with a “+,” in red pencil, meaning death, or a “” in blue pencil, meaning life, or “?” for cases needing additional assessment.
These medical experts rarely examined any of the patients and made their decisions from the questionnaires alone.
At every step, the medical authorities involved were usually expected to quickly process large numbers of forms.
The doomed were bussed to killing centres in Germany and Austria walled-in fortresses, mostly former psychiatric hospitals, castles, and a former prison — at Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Grafeneck, Bernburg, Hadamar, and Brandenburg.
In the beginning, patients were killed by lethal injection.
But by 1940, Hitler, on the advice of Dr. Werner Heyde, suggested that carbon monoxide gas be used as the preferred method of killing.
Experimental gassings had first been carried out at Brandenburg Prison in 1939.
There, gas chambers were disguised as showers complete with fake nozzles in order to deceive victims — prototypes of the killing centres’ facilities built in occupied Poland later in the war.
Again, following procedures that would later be instituted in the extermination camps, workers removed the corpses from the chambers, extracted gold teeth, then burned large numbers of bodies together in crematoria.
Urns filled with ashes were prepared in the event the family of the deceased requested the remains.
Physicians using fake names prepared death certificates falsifying the cause of death, and sent letters of condolences to relatives.
Meticulous records discovered after the war documented 70,273 deaths by gassing at the six “euthanasia” centres between January 1940 and August 1941.
(This total included up to 5,000 Jews; all Jewish mental patients were killed regardless of their ability to work or the seriousness of their illness.)
A detailed report also recorded the estimated savings from the killing of institutionalized patients.
The secrecy surrounding the T-4 program broke down quickly.
Some staff members were indiscreet while drinking in local pubs after work.
Despite precautions, errors were made: hairpins turned up in urns sent to relatives of male victims; the cause of death was listed as appendicitis when the patient had the appendix removed years before.
The town of Hadamar school pupils called the gray transport buses “killing crates” and threatened each other with the taunt, “You’ll end up in the Hadamar ovens!”
The thick smoke from the incinerator was said to be visible every day over Hadamar (where, in midsummer 1941, the staff celebrated the cremation of their 10,000th patient with beer and wine served in the crematorium).
A few physicians protested. Karl Bonhöffer, a leading psychiatrist, and his son Dietrich, a Protestant minister who actively opposed the regime, urged church groups to pressure church-run institutions not to release their patients to T-4 authorities.
In response to such pressures, Hitler ordered a halt to Operation T-4 on August 24, 1941.
Gas chambers from some of the “euthanasia” killing centres were dismantled and shipped to extermination camps in occupied Poland.
In late 1941 and 1942, they were rebuilt and used for the “final solution to the Jewish question.”
Similarly redeployed from T-4 were future extermination camp commandants Christian Wirth, Franz Stangl, Franz Reichleitner, the doctor Irmfried Eberl, as well as about 100 others - doctors, male nurses, and clerks, who applied their skills in Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor.
The “euthanasia” killings continued, however, under a different, decentralized form.
Hitler’s regime continued to send to physicians and the general public the message that mental patients were “useless eaters” and life unworthy of life.” In 1941, the film Ich klage an (“I accuse”) in which a professor kills his incurably ill wife, was viewed by 18 million people.
Doctors were encouraged to decide on their own who should live or die,
Killing became part of hospital routine as infants, children, and adults were put to death by starvation, poisoning, and injections.
Killings even continued in some of Germany’s mental asylums, such as Kaufbeuren, weeks after Allied troops had occupied surrounding areas.
Between the middle of 1941 and the winter of 1944-45, in a program known under code “14f13,” experienced psychiatrists from the T-4 operation were sent to concentration camps to weed out prisoners too ill to work.
After superficial medical screenings, designated inmates Jews, Gypsies, Russians, Poles, Germans, and others were sent to those “euthanasia” centres where gas chambers still had not been dismantled, at Bernburg and Hartheim, where they were gassed.
At least 20,000 people are believed to have died under the 14f13 program.
Outside of Germany, thousands of mental patients in the occupied territories of Poland, Russia, and East Prussia were also killed by the Einsatzgruppen squads (SS and special police units) that followed in the wake of the invading German army.
Between September 29 and November 1, 1939, these units shot about 3,700 mental patients in asylums in the region of Bromberg, Poland.
In December 1939 and January 1940, SS units gassed 1,558 patients from Polish asylums in specially adapted gas vans, in order to make room for military and SS barracks.
Although regular army units did not officially participate in such “cleansing” actions as general policy, some instances of their involvement have been documented.
In all, between 200,000 and 250,000 mentally and physically disabled persons were murdered from 1939 to 1945 under the T-4 and other “euthanasia” programs.
The magnitude of these crimes and the extent to which they prefigured the “Final Solution” continue to be studied.
Further, in an age of genetic engineering and renewed controversy over mercy killings of the incurably ill, ethical and moral issues of concern to physicians, scientists, and lay persons alike remain vital.
Social- Disability History Month- First they came for the disabled people- no one took any notice
Updated: 05 Dec 2012
First they came for disabled people ... and no one took any notice
27th November 2012
As part of a series of features for Disability History Month, we present part one of Ian Malcolm-Walker’s harrowing look at the Nazis’ treatment of disabled people
Over 200,000 disabled people were the first victims of the Holocaust.
The atrocities caused by Hitler and the Nazi regime are well known in the Jewish community.
Most people think only of the great losses suffered by the Jews when the word “Holocaust” is mentioned.
But Hitler and the regime despised disabled people because an impairment of any kind was an abhorrent to the future of his dream of a perfect race.
In his lunacy, Hitler believed by eradicating every disabled person, he could wipe out disability.
Babies born deaf, blind or with even the slightest “imperfection” were immediately disposed of, and abortions were common if the parents’ genetic lineage was in question.
Hitler ordered the making of propaganda films to persuade the public of the necessity of eliminating people with genetic defects.
The film “Victims of the Past” was made on Hitler’s explicit orders and he made sure the film was shown in Germany’s 5,300 cinemas.
Special lighting effects distorted features so disabled people were portrayed as grotesque and could only survive at the expense of healthy people.
The Nazis also sterilised nearly 400,000 Germans believed to have genetic impurities.
During the 1930’s, disabled people in Germany were referred to as “useless eaters”.
Nazi Germany targeted disabled people and older people as a drain on public resources.
Doctors, not soldiers, were put in charge of killing older people and disabled people, since they had first-hand knowledge of where they lived, and if their medical condition was temporary or not.
Those deemed “curable” were transferred to special hospitals for slave labour and experiments.
Dr Josef Mengele was the most famous of these “researchers”, torturing hundreds of children, especially those of a multiple birth, i.e. twins.
The lives of institutionalised children were further brutalized.
Members of the SA, SS, Hitler Youth and League of German Maidens were taken on tours of institutions.
The visitors regarded these tours as “freak shows” and there were many instances of nasty and brutal behaviour towards the children who lived in the institutions.
More than 20,000 visitors came to the Eglfing-Haar institution.
Dr Pfannmuller, the director, took his visitors to the wards and lectured them (in front of the children) about the necessity of killing disabled for the “good of the nation”.
Pfannmuller advocated killing children long before the child euthanasia program was put into effect and used starvation as his preferred method.
The “sterilisation Law” explained the importance of weeding out so-called genetic defects from the total German gene pool:
“Since the National Revolution public opinion has become increasingly preoccupied with questions of demographic policy and the continuing decline in the birthrate.
However, it is not only the decline in population which is a cause for serious concern but equally the increasingly evident genetic composition of our people.
Whereas the hereditarily healthy families have for the most part adopted a policy of having only one or two children, countless numbers of inferiors and those suffering from hereditary conditions are reproducing unrestrainedly while their sick and asocial offspring burden the community.”
Some scientists and physicians opposed the involuntary aspect of the law while others pointed to possible flaws.
But the designation of specific conditions as inherited, and the desire to eliminate such illnesses or handicaps from the population, generally reflected the scientific and medical thinking of the day in Germany and elsewhere.
Nazi Germany was not the first or only country to sterilise people considered “abnormal.”
Before Hitler, the United States led the world in forced sterilisations.
Between 1907 and 1939, more than 30,000 people in twenty-nine states were sterilised, many of them unknowingly or against their will, while they were incarcerated in prisons or institutions for the mentally ill.
Nearly half the operations were carried out in California.
Advocates of sterilisation policies in both Germany and the United States were influenced by eugenics.
This sociobiological theory took Charles Darwin’s principle of natural selection and applied it to society.
Eugenicists believed the human race could be improved by controlled breeding.
Still, no nation carried sterilisation as far as Hitler’s Germany.
The forced sterilisations began in January 1934, and altogether an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 people were sterilised under the law.
A diagnosis of “feeblemindedness” provided the grounds in the majority of cases, followed by schizophrenia and epilepsy.
The usual method of sterilisation was vasectomy and ligation of ovarian tubes of women. Irradiation (x-rays or radium) was used in a small number of cases.
Several thousand people died as a result of the operations, women disproportionately because of the greater risks of tubal ligation.
Most of the persons targeted by the law were patients in mental hospitals and other institutions.
The majority of those sterilised were between the ages of twenty and forty, about equally divided between men and women.
Most were “Aryan” Germans.
The “Sterilisation Law” did not target so-called racial groups, such as Jews and Gypsies, although Gypsies were sterilised as deviant “asocials,” as were some homosexuals.
Also, about 500 teenagers of mixed African and German parentage (the offspring of French colonial troops stationed in the Rhineland in the early 1920s) were sterilised because of their race, by secret order, outside the provisions of the law.
Although the “Sterilisation Law” sometimes functioned arbitrarily, the semblance of legality underpinning it was important to the Nazi regime.
More than 200 Hereditary Health Courts were set up across Germany and, later, in annexed territories.
Each was made up of two physicians and one district judge.
Doctors were required to register with these courts every known case of hereditary illness.
Appeals courts were also established, but few decisions were ever reversed. Exemptions were sometimes given artists or other talented persons afflicted with mental illnesses.
The “Sterilisation Law” was followed by the Marriage Law of 1935, which required for all marriages proof that any offspring from the union would not be afflicted with a disabling hereditary disease.
Popular films such as Das Erbe (“Inheritance”) helped build public support for government policies by stigmatizing the mentally ill and disabled people and highlighting the costs of care.
School mathematics books posed such questions as: “The construction of a lunatic asylum costs 6 million marks. How many houses at 15,000 marks each could have been built for that amount?”
Social- 82% of Britains support Assisted Suicide
Updated: 03 Dec 2012
82 PER CENT OF BRITS 'SUPPORT' ASSISTED SUICIDE
Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane, before he passed away
Friday November 30,2012
By Jason Taylor
THE vast majority of people in the UK are in favour of allowing assisted suicide, according to new research.
More people in Britain than in any other European country believe doctors should be allowed to help terminally ill people take their own lives.
It comes just months after the death of Tony Nicklinson, who died from pneumonia just days after losing a landmark legal battle for the right to end his life after a long battle with 'locked-in' syndrome.
Father-of-two Tony, 58, stopped eating and refused medication in August. He died six days later.
The pan-European Gallup poll for the Swiss Medical Lawyers Association (SMLA) found that 84 per cent of Britons felt it would be wrong to prosecute medics who helped people die - with only nine per cent in favour of prosecution.
Almost as many - 82 per cent - actively supported euthanasia, with just 13 per against.
Father-of-two Tony, 58, stopped eating and refused medication in August. He died six days later
But nearly a third - 28 per cent - admitted they worried that they could themselves be put under pressure to end their own lives if diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Support for euthanasia varied widely across the continent.
In Greece, only 52 per cent of people agreed that the dying should be given the option to take their own lives.
The poll questioned more than 1,000 people in each country including 1,013 people in the UK between the end of September and beginning of October of this year
Social- BBC host accused of sexually abusing children
Updated: 01 Dec 2012
Another BBC host accused of child sex abuse
A former radio presenter for the state-run BBC has been accused of sexually abusing children
.Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:56PM GMT
A former radio presenter for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Norfolk has been accused of sexually
abusing children, another case which could possibly be linked to a paedophile ring.
Michael Souter, 59, from Norfolk, is charged with 18 offences including serious sexual misconduct and indecent
assault against boys, as well as a charge each against a man and a woman, which occurred between 1979 and
1999, the British media reported.
Souter was granted conditional bail by magistrates in Norwich and was ordered to appear at Norwich Crown Court on 14 December.
The former presenter worked for the BBC’s Radio Norfolk since its launch in 1980 until the 1990s.
This comes after a recent major crisis surrounding the BBC as questions were raised about the corporation's
decisions over sexual abuse allegations involving former broadcaster Jimmy Savile, as a special Panorama
report on the issue was aired.
BBC’s Newsnight program investigating Savile’s sex crimes was mysteriously stopped from being aired in 2011.
Critics believe that the BBC was well aware of Savile’s abuses and had covered up his crimes for many years, as
well as the claimed involvement of other BBC stars and members including former rock singer Gary Glitter and
former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis
Social- Too many preconceived ideas and prejudices about domestic violence
Updated: 26 Nov 2012
Dangerous Dating When Men are Abused by Female Partners
Many people have preconceived ideas and prejudices about domestic violence.
The first thing that usually springs into their minds is an image of a man beating a woman.
However, the picture of domestic violence can also include a woman who is hitting her boyfriend or husband.
As a result, few people realize that a man can be the partner that is victimized in an abusive relationship.
Domestic Violence Against Men
Many times women begin abusing their male partner in a non-physical way, primarily because the woman is physically weaker than the man.
Women typically begin abusing men through control tactics and manipulation, which over a long enough period of time can escalate to include such things as physically abusive misconduct.
In less frequent instances, a woman’s abuse may spill into both categories of emotional/manipulative abuse and physical abuse at the same time.
It is important to make a distinction between women in relationships who merely have a controlling demeanor and those who commit true abuse.
While women who are controlling and manipulative are not always pleasant to be around, this behavior does not technically cross into full-fledged abuse.
If, however, the female takes on a tone that is threatening, intimidating, or commanding, the relationship can be categorized as one that comprises abuse.
Women who abuse their partners normally fit into two categories.
They are either abusive consumers or abusive controllers.
Women who are abusive consumers seek to control their partner so that they can eventually have access to all of their partners possessions.
An abusive consumer uses her partner as a tool to elevate her own lifestyle and life.
Women who are obsessive and want to control all aspects of their partners life, similar to an overbearing caregiver, are abusive controllers.
An abusive controller sees her partner as nothing more than an extension of her own self, one to be manipulated and managed in the way that she sees fit.
Social- Writers focus on men as abusers,research shows women abuse just as often
Updated: 26 Nov 2012
Drinking Alcohol and Domestic Abuse
by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.
There is a general correlation between alcohol consumption and violence toward a spouse or partner: They sometimes occur together.
But does drinking actually cause abuse in a relationship?
Researchers and other experts warn against jumping to the conclusion that it does.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that a relationship between two things means that one causes the other. For example, the number of people who drown is correlated with the consumption of ice cream.
But neither causes the other.
In warmer weather more people eat more ice cream and more people go swimming, which increases the chances of drowning.
Experts emphasize that there is no research evidence that alcohol consumption or even alcohol abuse causes domestic violence.
Furthermore, the majority of alcoholics and other men who abuse alcohol don’t abuse their partners and most instances of abuse occur in the absence of any alcohol consumption at all.
So why is alcohol consumption associated with domestic abuse at all?
The Women’s Rural Advocacy Program says that the higher incidence of alcohol abuse among men who batter results from the overlap of two separate social problems.
Highly Effective Program
Learn about the most effective alcohol dependence and alcoholism program in the world.
In “The False Connection between Adult Domestic Violence and Alcohol,“ Theresa Zubretsky and Karla Digirolamo report that “economic control, sexual violence, and intimidation, for example, are often part of a batter’s ongoing pattern of abuse, with little or no identifiable connection to his use of or dependence on alcohol.”
Alcohol does not and cannot make one person abuse another.
Many authorities explain that “men who batter frequently use alcohol abuse as an excuse for their violence.
They attempt to rid themselves of responsibility for the problem by blaming it on the effects of alcohol.”
Although most writers focus on men as abusers of women,
research also indicates that women abuse men about as often.
And there’s no reason to believe that alcohol causes women to abuse men.
Social - Men being Abused- How do you know ?-
Updated: 26 Nov 2012
Domestic violence against men: Know the signs
Domestic violence against men isn't always easy to identify, but it can be a serious threat.
Know how to recognize if you're being abused — and how to get help.
By Mayo Clinic staff ( Radical -There are no good UK sites on the subject)
Women aren't the only victims of domestic violence.
Understand the signs of domestic violence against men, and know how to get help.
Recognize domestic violence against men
Domestic violence — also known as domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship.
Domestic violence against men can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse.
It can happen in heterosexual or same sex relationships.
It might not be easy to recognize domestic violence against men.
Early in the relationship, your partner might seem attentive, generous and protective in ways that later turn out to be controlling and frightening.
Initially, the abuse might appear as isolated incidents.
Your partner might apologize and promise not to abuse you again.
In other relationships, domestic violence against men might include both partners slapping or shoving each other when they get angry — and neither partner seeing himself or herself as being abused or controlled.
This type of violence, however, can still devastate a relationship, causing both physical and emotional damage.
You might be experiencing domestic violence if your partner:
• Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
• Prevents you from going to work or school
• Stops you from seeing family members or friends
• Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear
• Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
• Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
• Threatens you with violence or a weapon
• Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets
• Assaults you while you're sleeping, you've been drinking or you're not paying attention to make up for a difference in strength
• Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
• Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it
• Portrays the violence as mutual and consensual
If you're gay, bisexual or transgender, you might also be experiencing domestic violence if you're in a relationship with someone who:
• Threatens to tell friends, family, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation or gender identity
• Tells you that authorities won't help a gay, bisexual or transgender person
• Tells you that leaving the relationship means you're admitting that gay, bisexual or transgender relationships are deviant
• Justifies abuse by telling you that you're not "really" gay, bisexual or transgender
• Says that men are naturally violent
Children and abuse
Domestic violence affects children, even if they're just witnesses.
If you have children, remember that exposure to domestic violence puts them at risk of developmental problems, psychiatric disorders, problems at school, aggressive behavior and low self-esteem.
You might worry that seeking help could further endanger you and your children, or that it might break up your family.
Fathers might fear that abusive partners will try to take their children away from them.
However, getting help is the best way to protect your children — and yourself.
Break the cycle
If you're in an abusive situation, you might recognize this pattern:
• Your abuser threatens violence.
• Your abuser strikes you.
• Your abuser apologizes, promises to change and offers gifts.
• The cycle repeats itself.
Typically the violence becomes more frequent and severe over time.
Domestic violence can leave you depressed and anxious.
You might be more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs or engage in unprotected sex.
Domestic violence can even trigger suicide attempts.
Because men are traditionally thought to be physically stronger than women, you might be less likely to talk about or report incidents of domestic violence in your heterosexual relationship due to embarrassment or fear of ridicule.
You might also worry that the significance of the abuse will be minimized because you're a man.
Similarly, a man being abused by another man might be reluctant to talk about the problem because of how it reflects on his masculinity or because it exposes his sexual orientation.
Additionally, if you seek help, you might confront a shortage of resources for male victims of domestic violence.
Health care providers and other contacts might not think to ask if your injuries were caused by domestic violence, making it harder to open up about abuse.
You might also fear that if you talk to someone about the abuse, you'll be accused of wrongdoing yourself.
Remember, though, if you're being abused, you aren't to blame — and help is available.
Start by telling someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, relative, health care provider or other close contact.
At first, you might find it hard to talk about the abuse.
However, you'll also likely feel relief and receive much-needed support
Domestic violence against men: Know the signs
Create a safety plan
Leaving an abuser can be dangerous.
Consider taking these precautions:
• Call a domestic violence hotline for advice.(Radical- one for men by men exists in the UK? )
Make the call at a safe time — when the abuser isn't around — or from a friend's house or other safe location.
• Pack an emergency bag that includes items you'll need when you leave, such as extra clothes and keys.
Leave the bag in a safe place.
Keep important personal papers, money and prescription medications handy so that you can take them with you on short notice.
• Know exactly where you'll go and how you'll get there.
Protect your communication and location
An abuser can use technology to monitor your telephone and online communication and to track your physical location.
If you're concerned for your safety, seek help.
To maintain your privacy:
• Use phones cautiously.
Your abuser might intercept calls and listen to your conversations.
He or she might use caller ID, check your cellphone or search your phone billing records to see your complete call and texting history.
• Use your home computer cautiously.
Your abuser might use spyware to monitor your emails and the websites you visit.
Consider using a computer at work, at the library or at a friend's house to seek help.
• Remove GPS devices from your vehicle. Your abuser might use a GPS device to pinpoint your location.
• Frequently change your email password. Choose a password that would be impossible for your abuser to guess.
• Clear your viewing history. Follow your browser's instructions to clear any record of websites or graphics you've viewed.
Where to seek help
In an emergency, call 911-( Is that 999 or the Harbour Master)— or your local emergency number or law enforcement agency.
The following resources also can help:
• Someone you trust. Turn to a friend, relative, neighbor, co-worker or religious or spiritual adviser for support.
• National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE or 800-799-7233.
The hotline provides crisis intervention and referrals to resources.
• Your health care provider. Doctors and nurses will treat injuries and can refer you to other local resources.
• A counseling or mental health center. Counseling and support groups for people in abusive relationships are available in most communities.
• A local court.
Your district court can help you obtain a restraining order that legally mandates the abuser to stay away from you or face arrest.
Local advocates may be available to help guide you through the process.
Domestic violence against men can have devastating effects.
Although you may not be able to stop your partner's abusive behavior, you can seek help.
Remember, no one deserves to be abused.
Social- Men abused by Women
Updated: 26 Nov 2012
Men abused by women
With so much about men abusing women
I am offering the opposite view
And why nobody sees this,or is seldom seen
Why men don't tell
Why nobody knows how much goes on,
As it needs someone to research it better.
The Goading woman,
Why Men react violently ( because they cannot reason with the illogical )
And why they don't leave,
Not only the children
Or for the old saying “ the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know”
Or “Jumping from the frying pan into the fire”.
But also because of the law that is stacked against them
But other men know
And there lies another message.
Its men who seek out women.
Men make the decision to take a woman on
And its so easy for the woman to put on the charm and drop her pants.
So the answer is ...... as Dylan said “Blowin’ in the Wind” ?
No it’s not is it !
Social- Domestic Violence against Men ?-Don't See ?Don't Tell ?-Don't Know !
Updated: 26 Nov 2012
About Domestic Violence Against Men
Revised: July 10, 2012
Domestic Violence Is Against The Law In Oregon
Statistics About Domestic Abuse And Violence Against Men
Very little in known about the actual number of men who are in a domestic relationship in which they are abused or treated violently by women.
In 100 domestic violence situations approximately 40 cases involve violence by women against men.
An estimated 400,000 women per year are abused or treated violently in the United States by their spouse or intimate partner.
This means that roughly 300,000 to 400,000 men are treated violently by their wife or girl friend.
For more information see www.dvmen.org
Why Do We Know So Little About Domestic Abuse And Violence Against Men?
There are many reasons why we don't know more about domestic abuse and violence against men.
First of all, the incidence of domestic violence reported men appears to be so low that it is hard to get reliable estimates.
In addition, it has taken years of advocacy and support to encourage women to report domestic violence.
Virtually nothing has been done to encourage men to report abuse.
The idea that men could be victims of domestic abuse and violence is so unthinkable that many men will not even attempt to report the situation.
The dynamic of domestic abuse and violence is also different between men and women.
The reasons, purposes and motivations are often very different between sexes.
Although the counseling and psychological community have responded to domestic abuse and violence against women, there has been very little investment in resources to address and understand the issues of domestic abuse and violence against men.
In most cases, the actual physical damage inflicted by men is so much greater than the actual physical harm inflected by women.
The impact of domestic violence is less apparent and less likely to come to the attention of others when men are abused.
For example, it is assumed than a man with a bruise or black eye was in a fight with another man or was injured on the job or playing contact sports.
Even when men do report domestic abuse and violence, most people are so astonished men usually end up feeling like nobody believes them.
The Problem With Assumptions About Domestic Abuse And Violence
It is a widely held assumption that women are always the victims and men are always the perpetrators.
Between 50 and 60% of all domestic abuse and violence is against women.
There are many reasons why people assume men are never victims and why women often ignore the possibility.
For one thing, domestic abuse and violence has been minimized, justified and ignored for a very long time.
Women are now more organized, supportive and outspoken about the epidemic of domestic abuse and violence against women.
Very little attention has been paid to the issue of domestic abuse and violence against men - especially because violence against women has been so obvious and was ignored for so long.
What Is Domestic Abuse And Violence Against Men?
There are no absolute rules for understanding the emotional differences between men and women.
There are principles and dynamics that allow interpretation of individual situations.
Domestic abuse and violence against men and women have some similarities and difference.
For men or women, domestic violence includes pushing, slapping, hitting, throwing objects, forcing or slamming a door or striking the other person with an object, or using a weapon.
Domestic abuse can also be mental or emotional.
However, what will hurt a man mentally and emotionally, can in some cases be very different from what hurts a woman.
For some men, being called a coward, impotent or a failure can have a very different psychological impact than it would on a women.
Unkind and cruel words hurt, but they can hurt in different ways and linger in different ways.
In most cases, men are more deeply affected by emotional abuse than physical abuse.
For example, the ability to tolerate and "brush off" a physical assault by women in front of other men can in some cases reassure a man that he is strong and communicate to other men that he can live up to the code of never hitting a woman.
A significant number of of men are overly sensitive to emotional and psychological abuse.
In some cases, humiliating a man emotionally in front of other men can be more devastating than physical abuse.
Some professionals have observed that mental and emotional abuse can be an area where women are often "brutal" than men.
Men on the other hand are quicker to resort to physical abuse and they are more capable of physical assaults that are more brutal - even deadly!.
Why Does Domestic Abuse Against Men Go Unrecognized?
Domestic violence against men goes unrecognized for the following reasons:
- The incidence of domestic violence against men appears to be so low that it is hard to get reliable estimates.
- It has taken years of advocacy and support to encourage women to report domestic violence.
- Virtually nothing has been done to encourage men to report abuse.
- The idea that men could be victims of domestic abuse and violence is so unthinkable to most people that many men will not even attempt to report the situation.
- The counseling and psychological community have responded to domestic abuse and violence against women.
- Not enough has been done to stop abuse against women.
- There has been very little investment in resources to address the issues of domestic abuse and violence against men.
- In most cases, the actual physical damage inflicted by men is so much greater than the actual physical harm inflected by women.
- The impact of domestic violence is less apparent and less likely to come to the attention of others.
- Even when men do report domestic abuse and violence, most people are so astonished, men usually end up feeling like nobody would believe them.
- It is widely assumed than a man with a bruise or black eye was in a fight with another man or was injured on the job or while playing contact sports.
- Women generally don't do those things.
What Are The Characteristics Of Women Who Are Abusive And Violent?
The characteristics of men or women who are abusive fall into three categories.
- Alcohol Abuse. Alcohol abuse is a major cause and trigger in domestic violence.
- People who are intoxicated have less impulse control, are easily frustrated, have greater misunderstandings and are generally prone to resort to violence as a solution to problems.
- Women who abuse men are frequently alcoholics.
- Psychological Disorders.
- There are certain psychological problems, primarily personality disorders, in which women are characteristically abusive and violent toward men.
- Borderline personality disorder is a diagnosis that is found almost exclusively with women.
- Approximately 1 to 2 percent of all women have a Borderline Personality disorder.
- At least 50% of all domestic abuse and violence against men is associated with woman who have a Borderline Personality disorder. The disorder is also associated with suicidal behavior, severe mood swings, lying, sexual problems and alcohol abuse.
- Unrealistic expectations, assumptions and conclusions.
- Women who are abusive toward men usually have unrealistic expectations and make unrealistic demands of men.
- These women will typically experience repeated episodes of depression, anxiety, frustration and irritability which they attribute to a man's behavior.
- In fact, their mental and emotional state is the result of their own insecurities, emotional problems, trauma during childhood or even withdrawal from alcohol.
- They blame men rather than admit their problems, take responsibility for how they live their lives or do something about how they make themselves miserable.
- They refuse to enter treatment and may even insist the man needs treatment.
- Instead of helping themselves, they blame a man for how they feel and believe that a man should do something to make them feel better. They will often medicate their emotions with alcohol.
- When men can't make them feel better, these women become frustrated and assume that men are doing this on purpose.
A Common Dynamic: How Violence ERUPTS
There are a number of commonly reported interactions in which violence against men erupts.
Here is one example that illustrates a common dynamic.
The woman is mildly distressed and upset.
The man notices her distress and then worries she may become angry.
The woman attempts to communicate and discuss her feelings.
She wants to talk, feel supported and feel less alone.
She initially attributes some of her distress or problems to him.
The man begins to feel defensive, shuts down emotionally and attempts to deal with the problems rationally.
He feels a fight is coming on.
The woman feels uncared for, ignored and then gets angry.
She wants him to share the problem and he doesn't feel he has a problem.
The man will attempt to remain unemotional and stay in control of himself.
He avoids accepting any blame for how she feels.
He is also worried that she may explode at any moment and that she will certainly do so if he talks about his feelings.
The man will start talking about her problem as if she could feel better if she would only listen to him and stop acting so upset. He fails to understand how she feels and tries to remain calm.
He tells her to calm down and ends up looking insensitive.
She begins to wonder if he has any feelings at all.
She tells him that he thinks he's perfect.
He says he is not perfect.
She calls him insensitive.
He stares at her and says nothing but looks irritated.
The woman is frustrated that he won't reveal his feelings and that he acts like he is in control.
On the other hand, the man feels out of control and like there is no room for anybody's feelings in the conversation but hers.
Communication breaks down and the woman begins to insult the man.
When the man finally expresses his disapproval and attempts to end the fight.
The woman becomes enraged and may throw something.
The man will usually endure insults and interactions like this for weeks or months.
This whole pattern becomes a recurrent and all too familiar experience.
The man becomes increasingly sensitive to how the woman acts and becomes avoidant and unsupportive.
The man begins to believe that there is nothing he can do and that it may be all his fault.
His frustration and anger can build for months ike this.
This risk of violence increases when the woman insults the man in front of their children, threatens the man's relationship with his children, or she refuses to control her abusive behavior when the children are present. She may call him a terrible father or an awful husband in front of the children.
Eventually he feels enraged not only because of how she treats him, but how her behavior is harming the children.
At some point the man may throw something, punch a wall, or slam his fist down loudly to vent his anger and to communicate that he has reached his limits.
Up till now she has never listened to what he had to say.
He decides that maybe she will stop if she can see just how angry he has become. Rather than recognizing that he has reached his limits, expressing his anger physically has the opposite effect.
For a long time the man has tried to hide his anger.
Why should the woman believe he really means it?
After all, he has put up with her abuse for a long time and done nothing.
Instead of realizing that things have gotten out of control, the woman may approach him and say something like, "What are you gonna do.
I'll call the police and you'll never see your children again."
Once he expressed his anger physically, the situation became dangerous for him and for her. The door to violence has opened wide.
He should walk away.
When he does walk away, she ends up more angry than ever, will scream obscenities at him and strike him repeatedly.
She may even strike him with an object.
Why Do Men Stay In Abusive And Violent Relationships?
Men stay in abusive and violent relationships for many different reasons. The following is a brief list of the primary reasons.
- Protecting Their Children.
- Abused men are afraid to leave their children alone with an abusive woman.
- They are afraid that if they leave they will never be allowed to see their children again.
- The man is afraid the woman will tell his children he is a bad person or that he doesn't love them.
- Assuming Blame (Guilt Prone).
- Many abused men believe it is their fault or feel they deserve the treatment they receive.
- They assume blame for events that other people would not.
- They feel responsible and have an unrealistic belief that they can and should do something that will make things better.
- Dependency (or Fear of Independence).
- The abused man is mentally, emotionally or financially dependent on the abusive woman.
- The idea of leaving the relationship creates significant feelings of depression or anxiety.
- They are "addicted" to each other.
Who Can Help If You Are In An Abusive or Violent Relationship?
Help for men who are victims of domestic abuse and violence is not as prevalent as it is for women.
There are virtually no shelters, programs or advocacy groups for men.
Most abused men will have to rely on private counseling services.
Community resources for breaking the cycle of violence are scarce and not well developed.
National Domestic Abuse Hotline
1 (800) 799 - SAFE
National Child Abuse Hotline
1 (800) 4 - A - CHILD
Social- As Divorce is such big business,- Tory MP's wants to pay people to marry ?
Updated: 18 Nov 2012
Matrimonial tax breaks:
paying people to marry is divorced from any reality
MPs who want to reward marriage through tax
are expressing their unreasonable horror of the many
who don't conform
Sunday 18 November 2012
Asked for advice on a successful marriage, the prime minister has just shared two tips from the Cameron household: "Don't go to bed on an argument," he says, "and share the cooking."
Very sensible advice I am sure, even if it comes too late for some of us, and absolutely consistent with his government's plan to make more people get married.
If, as he once argued, "commitment is a core value of a responsible society", to the point that marriage should be rewarded through the tax system, it is only reasonable for his government to follow through with help for couples whose discord might put their tax bonus in jeopardy.
So with luck there will be many more of these semi-professional insights.
Although we can probably guess where Mr Cameron stands on the central importance to a happy marriage of a trained nanny, reliable cleaner and regular date nights, how does he feel about prenups?
Should a husband ever see his wife flossing?
What does he consider to be the first signs of an affair?
And how often, roughly speaking, does Mr Cameron think a married couple should make love?
Given the importance of the last activity to the long-lasting commitment of which he has spoken, would it not make sense for the state to offer some modest cash incentive, one that would not, obviously, be available to unmarried partners?
But, first things first, before it puts a price on acts of marital intimacy, the government clearly needs to procure more marriages, by delivering what it promised in its 2010 manifesto and subsequent coalition agreement, "budget resolutions to introduce transferable tax allowances for married couples".
Last week, a group of 15 concerned MPs addressed Mr Cameron much in the spirit of Austen's Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, when she berates her husband for his levity about their daughters' prospects: "The business of her life was to get her daughters married."
In a letter published in the Telegraph, the MPs evinced similar anxiety about contemporary spinsters.
"Recent research in America," they write, "has shown that college graduates who become single parents are likely to be less well off financially than those who only complete secondary education, but go on to marry."
Their plan, if I have interpreted this right, is that once these prospective single parents hear about a matrimonial tax break worth, in some cases, an annual £150, they might realise, like Austen's Charlotte Lucas, when she accepts the ghastly Mr Collins, the wisdom of putting security before happiness.
"I am not romantic," Charlotte says, "I never was.
I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr Collins's character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.
"In fairness to the 15 MPs, who include Aidan Burley, last heard of attending a Nazi-themed stag party and describing the Olympic opening ceremony as "leftie multicultural crap", the campaigners stress that the tax breaks for marriage are "a vital weapon in combating child poverty".
Not for all kinds of partners, naturally: the letter-writers include some notable opponents of gay marriage.
Tim Loughton has said: "It is difficult for me to accept that the solemnity of a marriage as a religious institution can be anything other than between a man and a woman." "There's got to be one of each sex," explains Julian Brazier.
Gay parents holding out for marriage are free, you gather, to bring their children up in as much poverty and insecurity as they like.
Heterosexual parents, however, should be urged, with the help of this subsidy, to weigh their own marital inclinations against evidence of breathing problems, weight gain and the higher probability of accidents among very young children who live in what are routinely described as "broken homes" and "broken families".
In a recent speech on the longer-term consequences, Iain Duncan Smith described the collective threat to society posed by parents who do not follow his own model: "Children from broken homes are nine times more likely to become young offenders."
Maybe people should remember this the next time Prince Harry is caught stripping or throwing snowballs – at the same time they consider the risks of letting a child from a broken home inherit the throne.
Pro-marriage campaigners have recently fallen upon an illustrated report about the family from the Economic and Social Research Council, which finds "parental separation in childhood is consistently associated with psychological distress in adulthood during people's early 30s", as further evidence that everyone involved in cohabitation and single-parenthood can, whatever their personal track record in offensiveness, safely be summarised as a threat to the social fabric.
At the same time, it is reported, the number of children who are at risk of such ill-health, psychological distress and criminality continues to increase.
The Social Justice Outcomes Framework has found that just under half of 15 year olds– 45% – do not live with both parents.
In fact, if this trend is not arrested, there must come a point when, however regrettably, the broken variety can no longer be described as aberrant.
Maybe, when you get to a level of 45% substandard, it is time to stop name-calling?
Unless, since the two varieties of family must be compared, the more praiseworthy type could be characterised, instead, as something inoffensive like "club" or "business", making clear the difference in quality without insulting people who had little choice in their family's second-class status?
As it is, marriage campaigners will surely understand how it feels for the children of single parents to have their homes routinely characterised by politicians, the media and even by thoughtless schoolteachers as "broken" – that euphemism for an inferior, impaired, basically crap kind of family.
The most publicly acceptable type of single parent – abandoned, abused or bereaved into this state – may also feel that "broken" is not the most sensitive description of a family that is surviving misfortune, even if, to the great satisfaction of pro-marriage MPs, studies promise its innocent members quite as much grief and financial doom as bad, intentional single parents.
But however vexing it is to be described as broken by public figures who have finally learned not to say chavs or gypsies, it does not come close to the prospect of being fined, on this account, as an inducement to non-broken families, by a party that detests what Aidan Burley calls "meddling government".
Could it work?
If the various US experiments in marriage promotion are fairly discouraging, it's not certain, without trying it, that the £150 hand-outs won't reverse the historic decline of marriage.
Maybe, in a recession, a weekly bag of wine gums each is all it would take to stop a warring couple from breaking up.
Which may be some consolation to the broken; at least the government doesn't think they can be bought
Social-A Men's Rights Movement?-The rights and wrongs of equality-but men are getting a raw deal
Updated: 13 Nov 2012
Do we need the men’s rights movement?
Some claim that feminism hasn’t just worked, it has worked too well.
We take a look at whether men need their own rights movement
You will have heard of women's lib, feminism and calls for gender equality by women's groups.
And you'll probably be aware that many women are still fighting a battle for equality.
They cite a raft of statistics - from the pitiful number of female chief executives to the lopsided gender division in housework - to back their argument.
The picture could hardly be clearer, they say.
In many areas Western society still gives privileges to men that it denies to women.
Women are the put-upon gender.
But now there's another side to the story.
A growing body of men (and some women) are taking the opposite view.
To the men's rights movement (MRM), feminism hasn't just worked, it has worked too well.
In many areas, the MRM argues, men are actively prejudiced against, and in others the prejudice against women has been hugely exaggerated or misrepresented for political ends.
So where did this burgeoning movement spring from, what are its aims, and do we really need it?
It's hard to say exactly from where the MRM sprang, but when radical feminism started to make headlines in the 1960s and 1970s, a number of men's rights groups (some supportive of feminism, some hostile) also appeared.
It's fair to say they didn't make too many waves. Women's liberation was, rightly, the main event.
Men's bugbears seemed trivial by comparison.
But one issue refused to go away, and has turned more recently into headline news.
The father's rights movement has attracted attention because of a series of comic book stunts (in the UK), but also because of its clear central message: when mums and dads split up, dads too often get a raw deal when it comes to access to kids.
As a message, it has powerful appeal.
When a hitherto committed and hands-on father is told he can only see his children once every other week, you can see why he might get angry.
"The men's equality movement has gained confidence from the father's rights movement because it showed that, if there was a clear case to be made, then people would listen," says men's equality campaigner and editor of The Rights of Man website who goes by the name Skimmington.
"The combination of very distinct groups with very distinct tactics such as Fathers4Justice and Families Needs Fathers broke new ground, which has allowed other groups to start up."
Father's rights groups have had some success.
Only this month the Government signalled its readiness to give divorced and separated fathers stronger rights to see their children.
How many friends do you need?
But the wider MRM sees father's rights as just one campaign in a much larger war.
In fact, at the more radical end, the MRM sees itself almost as a guerrilla army operating behind the lines of an entirely feminised society.
Matt Campbell, founder of the Men's Activism information site, talks of "socially mandated male disposability, sometimes termed 'The Titanic Syndrome'".
The MRM can see why the captain of a sinking ship might cry "children first" but not why women should have an automatic right to a seat in the lifeboat.
They also point to worrying statistics that show men are more likely to commit suicide than women, are far more likely to be victims of serious crime and will die, on average, between three and five years earlier.
One fundamental issue is education.
The MRM claims, and some experts agree, that education discriminates against boys.
The dearth of male teachers in primary schools is one obvious example; the widening gap between boys and girls in educational achievement another.
This might explain why young women are now paid more than their male counterparts.
However, this doesn't necessarily point to some grand feminist conspiracy.
Men tend to send other men to war, run governments that decide education policy, and act as the perpetrators - as well as the victims - of violent crime.
Nevertheless, that these issues and others (like paternity leave and reproductive rights) need further investigation is difficult to deny, according to MRM proponents.
It's when the MRM starts contradicting feminist concerns that it becomes more contentious.
It's regularly reported, for instance, that women earn less than men and make up just a tiny percentage of top management in big companies.
Studies also suggest that women do far more housework than men, even when both partners work.
The MRM doesn't agree.
"Studies have shown that women's personal choices around how they want to spend their time or what profession they choose to pursue have much more to do with how much they earn than their gender," claims Matt Campbell.
"Similarly, women capable of being CEOs generally choose not to pursue such a position for the reason that it takes time from friends and family and they simply choose not to give up that time."
There's some evidence to back Campbell up.
Women tend not to go in for high paying, physically dangerous jobs, and more female professionals tend to choose lower paying careers like education rather than high paying ones like IT.
To Campbell, that makes the salary gap a 'myth'.
But is that the whole story?
Maybe the long-hours culture of certain careers put women off, knowing full well that they'll also be expected to do the lion's share of the housework and childcare when they get home.
That's certainly what opponents of the MRM would argue.
But the MRM also questions the notion of a gender gap in housework.
You'd think they had their work cut out on this one.
A recent study - one among many - found that, in the UK, women do an average of 17 hours housework a week compared to just under six for men.
But Campbell says this is simply a matter of what you include as housework: "Men, in fact, do as much 'housework' on average as women if you count the things that are usually not lumped in with 'housework', such as fixing things around the house (or paying someone else to do it) or ferrying kids back and forth from events, etc."
There are more serious areas of dispute.
For example, some will claim that, while male violence against women is always heinous and widely covered in the media, female violence against men is an under-reported issue.
But it's as much the origins of these inequalities as their existence that marks MRM thinking out.
The state of modern masculinity, it claims, is the result of a feminist agenda that has infiltrated all sectors of government and society.
"There is a hugely powerful women's movement in the UK and it is growing," claims Skimmington.
"Unfortunately it has mutated from being a movement about equality to one that is now anti-male and demands more rights than men."
Some men would doubtless agree, but not so many - yet - as to make the MRM a mainstream force.
That may be only a matter of time.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of specific arguments, a growing number of men think society is dealing them a losing hand.
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Social-Men's Rights?-We are ruled by a group of "mothers boys" their sisters, even their mothers ?
Updated: 13 Nov 2012
Just who are men's rights activists?
By Tom de Castella BBC News Magazine
An increasingly vocal men's movement argues that anti-male discrimination is rife.
Who are the activists and what do they want?
Feminists have spent decades trying to get equal pay and rights for women.
But while, in the West at least, discrimination against women is rigorously challenged, a growing band of men's rights activists say no such protection is afforded to men.
Many of these activists also believe that the media allow women to objectify and ridicule men in a way that would be unthinkable if the gender roles were reversed.
A new book argues that on a whole range of fronts - from government, the courts and schools - men are being discriminated against.
David Benatar, head of philosophy at the University of Cape Town, argues in his polemic The Second Sexism that across the world men are more likely to be conscripted into the military, be victims of violence, lose custody of their children, and take their own lives.
UK Activist group Fathers 4 Justice campaigns for men's rights for access to their children.
US organisation National Coalition for Men "raises awareness about the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys".
Save Indian Family Foundation is a men's rights group in India, engaging "primarily in supporting men trapped in false cases by women".
Custody law is perhaps the best-known area of men's rights activism, with images of divorced fathers scaling buildings in Batman suits familiar in the UK.
Benatar asserts that in most parts of the world custody rights cases are stacked firmly against men.
"When the man is the primary care-giver his chances of winning custody are lower than when the woman is the primary care-giver.
"Even when the case is not contested by the mother, he's still not as likely to get custody as when the woman's claim is uncontested."
Education is another area where men are falling behind, the activists note.
Tests in 2009 by the Programme for International Student Assessment showed that boys lagged a year behind girls at reading in every industrialised country.
And women now make up the majority of undergraduates, Benatar says.
"When women are underrepresented as CEOs of companies that is deemed discrimination.
But when boys are falling behind at school, when 90% of people in prison are male, there's never any thought given to whether men are discriminated against."
All men are worthy of respect. We don't believe in cultural definitions of men”
If sexual equality is to be achieved then male discrimination must be taken as seriously as sexism against women, he argues.
Equal pay is the barometer in developed countries like the UK.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the gender pay gap is still pronounced within professions. Women earn on average £8,000 less than a man as lawyers, £14,000 less as a CEO and £9,000 less as a doctor.
But the picture may be changing.
Last year the the Universities and Colleges Admission Service discovered that women aged 22-29 have overtaken men on pay for the first time. And a survey for the Chartered Management Institute found that female managers in their 20s were earning 2.1% more than their male counterparts.
Such controversies are feeding a sense that men need to set up their own support structures. The Men's Network, a charity in Brighton, aims to help "every man and boy in our city to fulfil his greatest potential".
Movember, a campaign in which men grow facial hair for a month, taps into a feeling among some men that male diseases like prostate and testicular cancer are not taken as seriously as women's.
The popularity of breast cancer campaigns such as Moonwalk led to Movember for testicular cancer
As the old certainties break down, a masculinist movement claims men need their own equivalent to feminists.
Aoirthoir An Broc, founder of the International Association of Masculinists, says there are thousands of male activists in India fighting the country's unequal divorce laws.
An Broc, a web designer in Cleveland, Ohio, is planning to set up the first domestic violence shelter in the US for male victims. He says there's an assumption that women are always innocent and men the aggressor. In response he's coined the term "all men are good" to counter the negative perception.
"We say that all men are men, all men are good, all men are worthy of love and respect regardless of race, sexuality, religion. We don't believe in cultural definitions of men."
There's a cultural context, too. Some of the men's rights-type concerns echo those of feminists - male body image is a growing issue.
And there are some who feel that while feminism has addressed discrimination against women, outdated attitudes towards men have not been tackled.
Tom Martin gained attention last year after suing the London School of Economics' gender studies department for sexism.
He says he was radicalised while working as a barman in a club in Soho. "I could see that male customers were being abused at every point," he says.
Men had to queue and often pay while women got in free. They were goaded by bouncers to leave, while women were treated with respect. But worst of all, he believes they were used by women to buy drinks.
But Martin says it is all about sex.
"Since the pill, women have been told they can and should be having orgasms. And because they haven't been, they categorise that as men's fault."
He concludes that "it's women's job to make themselves sexually happy, it's not a man's burden."
The psychologist Oliver James believes men are feeling "sexually threatened".
Where women rule the roost
• In Greek mythology, the Amazons are a race of war-like women
• In the Indian state of Meghalaya, property names and wealth pass from mother to daughter
• Women determine family line and only women have right to inherit in the Mosuo tribe in China
• Minangkabau people in Indonesia are matrilineal - women own key land and property
• The male beauty contest judged by women
Women are no longer reticent about sex or their expectations from a lover. Furthermore they are now more likely to evaluate a man's sexual performance in public and even deride men who "aren't particularly imaginative or clever" in bed, he argues.
For feminists the men's movement is more straightforward. "It's the same old point that feminism has gone too far," says Mail on Sunday columnist Suzanne Moore.
The continuing gender pay gap and the fact that men dominate senior positions in public life, show up where the real discrimination is, she argues. There are problems with the way boys are educated but "you can't make sweeping statements about all men being discriminated against", she says.
Kat Banyard, author of The Equality Illusion, says men make the mistake of fearing feminism when it offers them liberation from an outdated masculinity. "There's a belief that feminism is a zero sum game and that men are losing."
To argue that men are now the victims of the gender struggle is absurd, she says. "For thousands of years women were subjugated as second class citizens. We've just started to change that in the last two centuries and there's a long way to go. The men's activists are denying history."
Male rights campaigners have struggled to shed their "cranky" image, argues Tim Samuels, presenter of BBC Radio 5 live's Men's Hour.
Most men don't see themselves as part of a movement, Samuels says. But they do want to talk to each other with a greater emotional complexity than previous generations of men - "even if it's not like Oprah".
And whatever one thinks about the spectrum of men's rights activism, there are important issues, like the fact that young men are three times as likely to die by suicide as young women.
"The men's movement tends to be dismissed as blokes scaling buildings dressed as superman. Whereas the women's movement is given credibility," Samuels says
Social- Child Sexual Abuse- A cover up by Politicans,Police, Courts, Media and the Inquiries ?
Updated: 09 Nov 2012
airs claims of child abuse against 'leading Tory politician'
A senior Conservative politician has been accused by the BBC’s current affairs programme Newsnight of abusing under-age boys at a children’s home in north Wales.
Steve Messham told Newsnight that he was abused by a leading Conservative politician while he was a child in care Photo: BBC/Newsnight
By Patrick Sawer
9:41AM GMT 03 Nov 2012
The unnamed politician was said to have taken part in the rape and abuse of young boys from the homes, as part of a paedophile ring operating in Wales during the 1970s and 1980s.
One of the men who was sexually abused while he was a child in care has now called for a new investigation into the true scale of the abuse and who was involved.
Steve Messham was one of hundreds of children whose claims of abuse were later examined by the Waterhouse Inquiry Report in the north Wales care home scandal, published in 2000.
He told BBC Newsnight the inquiry uncovered just a fraction of the abuse. He and another victim also told the BBC a leading Thatcher-era Conservative politician took part in the abuse.
But there was criticism of Newsnight’s handling of the latest revelations, after Iain Overton, one of the contributors to its investigation, Tweeted earlier yesterday that the programme would expose “a very senior political figure who is a paedophile”.
• Victims of abuse are best served by the law
06 Nov 2012
• Tory abuse victim 'fairly optimistic' about inquiry
06 Nov 2012
• New BBC row over Newsnight 'paedophile politican' probe
02 Nov 2012
• Senior political figure threatens to sue BBC
02 Nov 2012
• Police search Freddie Starr's home as Savile inquiry widens
02 Nov 2012
• Savile: BBC inquiry not asked Mark Thompson for evidence
01 Nov 2012
That set off a frenzy of unsubstantiated speculation on social networking sites, with several politicians being named as the likely suspect. Newsnight did not name the politician in its broadcast on Friday night.
Mr Messham told Newsnight: “In the home it was the standard abuse which was violent and sexual. Outside it was like you were sold, we were taken to the Crest Hotel in Wrexham, mainly on Sunday nights, where they would rent rooms.
“One particular night that I always recall is when I was basically raped, tied down, and abused by nine different men.”
He added: “You were taken by car, where basically you were sexually abused. Various things would happen, drink would be involved, it was basically rape. But it wasn’t just him, there be other people involved as well”.
When asked how many times he was abused by the politician Mr Messham said: “Off my head I couldn’t give an exact number as it goes back many years but certainly more than a dozen.”
The politician at the centre of accusations has denied the claims and said he is prepared to sue the BBC for libel.
He told The Telegraph the allegations were “totally untrue”, saying: “The BBC ain’t what it used to be.
"I’ve never been to this children’s home. The fact is that if they publish anything about me they will get a writ in the morning, I wouldn’t wait two minutes.”
Since the Jimmy Savile sex abuse allegations surfaced, politicians have been raising questions about other historic abuse cases.
For over 20 years almost 40 children’s homes in north Wales were the scene of horrific child abuse in which youngsters were raped and abused by those paid to look after them.
Allegations of the abuse started to surface in the mid 1990s and in March 1994 Clwyd County Council commissioned an independent inquiry into claims of widespread abuse across north Wales.
However, the inquiry’s report was never published and the copies were pulped to ensure that the local authority was able to maintain its insurance cover.
Amid growing public pressure the Secretary of State for Wales at the time, William Hague, ordered an inquiry into allegations of hundreds of cases of child abuse in care homes in former county council areas of Clwyd and Gwynedd between 1974 and 1990.
The tribunal, led by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, heard evidence from more than 650 people who had been in care from 1974 and took almost three years to publish its report.
In his Newsnight interview Mr Messham also said that he had gone to the police in the late 1970s to report the abuse, but that he was not believed.
“I was called a liar," he said. "I was pinned up against a wall. I could still name to this day the police officer who had done it.”
“The police denied it and when they looked back, they finally admitted in the inquiry [that] statements were made. That’s all they would say. They wouldn’t say who was named in them. But they did admit I did make a statement of sexual abuse.”
Mr Messham also insisted that his statements to the police included allegations of sexual abuse against the politician.
Another victim had told Newsnight in 2000 that he was abused by the politician while he was at a children’s home.
The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, told reporter Angus Stickler: “We went out for something to eat and he pulled over in a lay-by and then, hey presto, oral sex took place.”
He said that in the early 1990s, he went to North Wales Police to report the abuse, showing them faxed photographs of the senior Tory politician. However, he said that the two police officers he showed the photograph to dismissed his claims, saying that since the pictures were faxed they were not sufficiently reliable evidence and no further action was taken.
The Waterhouse inquiry, which cost £12m to stage, promised to leave no stone unturned in its endeavour to uncover abuse.
However, there have been complaints that the terms of reference were too narrow, restricting investigations to abuse taking place within the care system, not beyond it.
“I don’t understand why on Earth we had an inquiry when we had to leave out 30% of the abusers,” Mr Messham said in his latest interview.
“And basically I was told to do that. I was told I couldn’t go into detail about these people, I couldn’t name them and they wouldn’t question me on them.”
Mr Messham now says he wants a new investigation into what happened:
He told Newsnight: “I would like a meeting now with David Cameron. He’s made a statement, a sweeping statement that abused people need to be believed, we haven’t been believed, we’ve been swept under the carpet.
“It’s time he knew the truth. It’s time a full investigation took place and until I can meet with him and get some reassurance I don’t believe we will get anywhere.”
Richard Scorer, a solicitor with Panone and Partners, who represented 30 victims at the Waterhouse inquiry, said the original remit of the inquiry and attitudes at the time hampered a full investigation.
He told the BBC: “The terms of reference were an important restriction. It’s also fair to say at that time, and we’re going back to the mid to late 1990s here, at that time the idea that senior public figures; politicians; celebrities could be involved in child abuse was seen as a bit far-fetched.
“We now know of course from recent revelations that it isn’t far-fetched at all – and that’s part of the reason why it’s important that these allegations are looked at again.”
The investigation comes after the BBC was accused of covering up a previous Newsnight investigation into allegations that Jimmy Savile abused children.
Journalists at the flagship current affairs programme accused the BBC of pulling their report last December because the Corporation had planned Christmas tribute shows about the late presenter and DJ.
Two of Newsnight’s three most senior editors have left in the past fortnight. Peter Rippon was forced to step aside as editor last week after the BBC said there were “errors” in a website blog he wrote about why he halted the Savile investigation, and deputy editor Shaminder Nahal joined Channel 4 News this week.
Tom Watson, the deputy chairman of the Labour Party, claimed in the House of Commons last week that a paedophile ring may have had links to Downing Street under a former Prime Minister.
Mr Watson said there was “clear evidence” that a Number 10 aide was connected to Peter Righton, who was convicted in 1992 of importing child pornography, and urged police to investigate the allegations.
He has not named the aide or said who was Prime Minister at the time.
A Scotland Yard investigation set up last month to examine alleged historic sexual abuse by Savile and others has identified about 300 potential victims, all but two of them women, and is following up more than 400 lines of inquiry.
Social- Women who Smoke - Unfit for a long life (and unfit to be mothers)
Updated: 06 Nov 2012
Smoking drives women to an early grave
30 October 2012
by Andy Coghlan
Radical asks - Are women who smoke fit for purpose to be mothers ?
Preventative health campaigners should look at and report on the damage done to children of mothers (and fathers) who smoke.
Each cigarette a woman smokes pushes her closer to an early grave.
Women who smoke heavily into middle age cut their lives short by around 10 years.
But quitting early pays off; kick the habit before 40 and the risk of premature death drops by 90 per cent (The Lancet, doi.org/jng).
Do it before you're 30, and the risk is even lower at 97 per cent.
The findings, from a study which followed 1.3 million British women for an average of 12 years each, mirror results from a study of male smokers from 2004.
Men took up smoking en masse in the UK around 10 to 20 years earlier than women, encouraged by free cigarettes supplied to servicemen during the second world war.
As a result, the effects on health in men who smoked have taken two decades longer to show up in women.
"Whether men or women, smokers who stop before middle age will on average gain about 10 years of life," says Richard Peto of the University of Oxford, head of both studies.
Meanwhile, the health benefits of legislation banning smoking at work, and in restaurants continue to accumulate.
A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that in one Minnesota county, heart attacks dropped by a third 18 months after the introduction of anti-smoking laws.
Further, a review in Circulation of 45 studies covering 33 smoke-free laws around the world found that the number of people taken into hospital because of lung diseases dropped by almost a quarter and far fewer are being admitted after heart attacks and strokes since anti-smoking laws came into force
Social- Women in Love-Women with or without Money- Women of Fortune
Updated: 06 Nov 2012
Women in Love- With or without money- Women of Fortune
To reduce divorce rates at a stroke.
Give all settlement money from men to their children, in trust if necessary.
There are two schools of thought as to why women want children.
I will settle that ---the majority are bored.
This maternal clap trap is just a front.
Women are quite happy caring given the right conditions for a pet or a pet man.
Its just that these two are not noisy enough at one end and have little enough responsibility at the other.
Go to any Supermarket and see the number of female shopaholics they out number men 10 -1 and why ?
Because look at the wardrobes of men and women at home. It’s a no brainer to see that women “need” some many pairs of shoes, handbags, dresses and dare I say it pants ?
But when the boredom kicks in with their marriage as well as their off spring they sue, believing they can provide a live for the children without them having a father figure about.
Neither is the case.
Most divorced women soon look for another sucker.
I have said so many times
When a women with children sues for divorce, the judge should listen to her and then send her away to reflect on her decision for 12 months and to insist on the children having a say in the matter.
Asking to deprive children of their father should be a criminal offence.
Solicitors are not fit for purpose. I mean to adjudicate on a settlement.
To them its only about money !
If the children are too young then they should be appointed with a guardian.
Social services and the law should deal with assault.
And remember assault is not only physical violence.
We used to call them fishwives but check out the word vituperation.
Women are past masters of the practice.
Yes the children interests should be the priority not the women’s.
We have thousands of Women of Fortune, in wrecked marriages, with damaged men and children the only result.
Are women selfish.
You bet they are !
Social- Men take it more seriously, as women just £ take it
Updated: 24 Oct 2012
Men take it more seriously, as women just £ take it
The Daily Mail reports today that it does seem possible to die from a broken heart –
that is if you are a man.
A study found that grieving husbands are 30% more likely to die after being widowed ( or divorced ) but women had no increased risk.
The US research published in Economics and Human Biology also found that a woman who loses a child is
three times more likely to die in the two years afterwards. ( Loss of income )
Study leader Professor Javier Espinosa, said: ‘When a wife dies, ( or leaves ) men are often unprepared.
They have often lost their caregiver, someone who cares for them physically and emotionally, and the loss
directly impacts the husband’s health.’
Social- Big Age Gap Socials - "BAGS" - Keeping the Dream Alive
Updated: 23 Oct 2012
Big Age Gap Socials or “BAGS”
“KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE”
Large age gaps in a relationship-
-Seen in guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 15 August 2012
Saw this article and a chance to start a Social Group – ( not a Swingers Club )-
- Of couples with big age gaps
The "Radical and his Rose" have been partners since May 2008 and married for four years.
The Radical is now 69 and the Rose 27
That is a 42 year gap
Like all relationships, it has its ups and downs but we work at "keeping the dream alive" and so far so good.
If you would like to be founder members of BAGS please “Get in Touch” here.
Members of any class race or creed who have a "big age gap" are welcome
The group could have less to do with opinions of the arrangement, and more to do with supporting,
comparing notes and meetings, either in smaller or larger groups.
I am sure the girls and boys will enjoy comparing experiences.
Social-8 years for aborting an unborn child-stinks of religious hypocrisy, and a failure of society
Updated: 18 Sep 2012
Woman jailed for eight years after aborting full-term baby
Emma Bamford Tuesday 18 September 2012
Sarah Catt was turned down by an abortion clinic as she was five weeks past the 24-week limit
A woman has been jailed for eight years after taking drugs to abort her baby just days before it was due.
Mother-of-two Sarah Catt took a drug which she bought on the internet to induce her labour.
Catt told a psychiatrist she had taken the drug while her husband was away and delivered the baby boy, who was not breathing or moving, by herself at home.
A court heard she wanted to terminate the pregnancy because she believed the father of the child was her lover of seven years, rather than her husband.
She had previously tried to have an abortion at a Marie Stopes clinic, but was refused as she was five weeks beyond the legal limit of 24 weeks.
Catt, 35, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty earlier this year to administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.
Yesterday she was jailed at Leeds Crown Court by Mr Justice Cooke, who said she would have been charged with murder if the baby had been born a few days later and she had then killed him.
The court heard she had previously given a baby up for adoption and terminated another pregnancy with the agreement of her husband.
She also concealed a fourth pregnancy from her husband before the child's birth. After being turned away by Marie Stopes in March 2012, she made several searches on the internet about illegal abortions and abortion drugs, including:
"Where can I get an illegal abortion?" and "Inducing an abortion at 30 weeks", the court heard.
She bought drugs online from a company in Mumbai in April 2010 and it is thought she took them around May 26.
She said she buried the body but would not tell police where.
Frances Oldham QC, mitigating, described the case as "highly unusual" and said Catt was a "supportive and loving mother" to her two children and was sorry for her actions.
Mr Justice Cooke told her: "What you have done is rob an apparently healthy child, vulnerable and defenceless, of the life which he was about to commence."
Chief Inspector Kerrin Smith, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "Catt has proved to be cold and calculating, and has shown no remorse or given an explanation for what she did, lying to the police, health professionals and her family throughout the investigation."
What is Modern Slavery
Updated: 14 Sep 2012
What is modern slavery?
Millions of men, women and children around the world are forced to lead lives as slaves.
Although this exploitation is often not called slavery, the conditions are the same.
People are sold like objects, forced to work for little or no pay and are at the mercy of their 'employers'.
Slavery exists today despite the fact that it is banned in most of the countries where it is practised.
It is also prohibited by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery.
Women from eastern Europe are bonded into prostitution, children are trafficked between West African countries and men are forced to work as slaves on Brazilian agricultural estates.
Contemporary slavery takes various forms and affects people of all ages, sex and race.
Common characteristics distinguish slavery from other human rights violations. A slave is:
forced to work -- through mental or physical threat; owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or threatened abuse; dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property';
physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement.
What types of slavery exist today?
Bonded labour affects millions of people around the world.
People become bonded labourers by taking or being tricked into taking a loan for as little as the cost of medicine for a sick child.
To repay the debt, many are forced to work long hours, seven days a week, up to 365 days a year.
They receive basic food and shelter as 'payment' for their work, but may never pay off the loan, which can be passed down for generations.
Early and forced marriage affects women and girls who are married without choice and are forced into lives of servitude often accompanied by physical violence.
Forced labour affects people who are illegally recruited by individuals, governments or political parties and forced to work -- usually under threat of violence or other penalties.
Slavery by descent is where people are either born into a slave class or are from a 'group' that society views as suited to being used as slave labour.
Trafficking involves the transport and/or trade of people -- women, children and men -- from one area to another for the purpose of forcing them into slavery conditions.
Worst forms of child labour affects an estimated 126 million** children around the world in work that is harmful to their health and welfare.
Social- To Young for a Pension- Too old to work
Updated: 01 Sep 2012
Too young for a pension, too old to work –
TUC warns of sharp rise in pensioner poverty
TUC analysis of official employment statistics concludes Coalition is wrong to raise the state pension age without first addressing health inequalities which force people out of work well before they can draw state pension.
by Pete Murray - 31st August 2012, 7.10 BST
Disability and poor health are preventing nearly half a million people approaching retirement from working, according to the TUC.
It says that figure will increase as the state pension age starts to rise.
TUC analysis of official employment data has found only around half of all men in their early sixties have a job, with 62% of women aged 56-60 having in work.
It is feared that many older people are unfit or will find it hard to find work and so will end up in a new limbo zone – too young for a pension, and too old to work.
Nearly two in five of those approaching the state pension age are economically inactive – which is defined as someone who has not sought work in the last four weeks.
Long-term sickness and disability are cited as the main reasons for those people not being able to work.
The TUC says people formerly working in skilled trades, heavy industry and low-skilled jobs are most likely to be inactive due to disability and ill-health, while managers and senior officials are far more likely to be inactive because of early retirement.
Nearly a hundred thousand more people are currently inactive due to long-term sickness and disability (470,325) than to taking early retirement (375,368).
In contrast, around a quarter of a million of all economically inactive older people say they actually want to work.
The TUC argues that government is wrong to raise the state pension age without first addressing health inequalities which officials believe are forcing many people out of work well before they can draw their pension.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “While more people are working past their state pension age, often as the only way to get a decent retirement income, a far greater number of older people are unable to work due to ill-health or because they are trapped in long-term unemployment.
“Accelerating the rise in the state pension age will simply push more people into poverty.
“With a benefits system that gets meaner and tougher each year, even 66 year olds who have worked for decades before stopping work will be treated as work-shy scroungers.
“By raising the state pension age and ignoring persistent health inequalities, the government risks overseeing a dramatic rise in pensioner poverty.”
The TUC is also concerned that planned rises in the pension age are being accompanied by tighter controls on social security support that will force many older people to actively look for work or risk losing their benefits.
It says ministers should focus on tackling age discrimination, extending access to flexible working and supporting those who are actively seeking work to re-enter the jobs market.
Tags: age discrimination, Brendan Barber, Jobcentre Plus, retirement age, state pension age, TUC, Unemployment
1.Unions warn of post-recession rise in deaths at work
2.“Come and have a go if you think you’re young enough”
3.Tribunal fees will damage equality at work, warns TUC
4.Long-term unemployment at crisis levels, warns TUC
5.Young people face toughest outlook since 1994, says TUC
Social- The Apologist !
Updated: 13 Aug 2012
EVERYMAN: THE APOLOGIST
By Chris Sav
“Saying sorry is definitely one of my favourite pastimes, and my lack of spatial awareness and tendency to say the wrong thing means that I can indulge in this hobby on a regular basis.
It is a very interesting word indeed, for it springs from the most banal of occurences to the most tragic.
Sometimes it is a meaningless word, and sometimes it is imbued with more feeling and meaning than any other word one utters."
Social- Who are the 1%, if we are the 99%
Updated: 07 Aug 2012
Inequality: Who are the 1 per cent?
30 July 2012 by Alison George
"We are the 99 per cent" is the slogan of the Occupy protest movement.
It highlights the fact that 1 per cent of the US population controls 40 per cent of the wealth. So who are these super-rich?
The world now has more billionaires than ever - 1226 of them, according to Forbes magazine.
But you don't need billions to be in the top 1 per cent of earners.
As of 2010, annual earnings before tax of around $350,000 sufficed in the US.
£149,000 put you in that slim top tier in the UK.
The real concern for everyone from Occupy protesters to US president Barack Obama is not how rich these people are, but how much richer they are than everyone else.
In recent decades, surging wages for top earners - and stagnation of pay for low earners - has widened the gulf between the haves and have-nots.
We've been here before. In the early 20th century, wealth was likewise concentrated in the hands of the few - mainly a class of "rentiers" whose income largely derived from inheritance and land ownership.
Since that time, at least in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, the share of income accrued by the very richest people has followed a U-shaped trajectory (see graph), dropping after the Great Depression and the second world war and plateauing until the late 1970s, when the "Great Divergence" began.
What's more, the composition of the top 1 per cent has completely changed.
Now most of the wealthiest people aren't rentiers, but entrepreneurs or highly paid employees.
In the UK, two-thirds work in finance, while in the US a third are company execs, 14 per cent work in finance and 16 per cent in the medical profession.
Together, members of the richest percentile take home a fifth of all income in the US, according to data from economist Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley.
What caused top-tier wages to soar is debated, although globalisation and the impact of technology on the way we work are key factors.
Changing social norms may also play a role, says Saez, pointing to the recent lifting of the "outrage constraint" that once kept exceptionally high pay in check.
Being in the top 1 per cent takes on a new significance when you consider the global picture.
The poorer half of the world's population hold just 1 per cent of global wealth.
Even those who scrape into the richest 1 per cent in the US, earning $350,000, are easily in the world's richest 0.1 per cent, earning more than 300 times the global average, according to the anti-poverty organisation, Giving What We Can.
These dramatic figures capture the vast distance between the very wealthiest and everyone else.
The 1 per cent are not simply at the pinnacle of material wealth, they are also on the outermost edge of a widening chasm.
Alison George is an opinion editor at New Scientist
Social - Is marriage worth the effort ?
Updated: 04 Aug 2012
Is marriage worth the effort ?
As a report suggests that boredom,
rather than infidelity,
is now the main reason for divorce,
staying the course is more of a challenge than ever.
By Angela Neustatter
When the singer Tammy Wynette belted out her hit song Stand By Your Man, it seemed she was offering up afﬁrmation that her marriage vows really did mean she was in it for the long haul.
In fact Wynette, before she died in 1998, had been married ﬁve times, which suggests a low tolerance threshold.
In which case, it seems Wynette was a forerunner of a trend that has, according to new research, taken root today.
One hundred and one family lawyers, interviewed by the consultancy ﬁrm Grant Thornton, concluded that intolerance – that is, boredom – has become the greatest threat to couples staying together.
Inﬁdelity, which formerly topped the list of reasons for marriage breakdown, has been surpassed by couples saying they no longer felt in love and had “grown apart”.
As a sign of the times, this appears depressing beyond words.
Can we really have reached the stage where an erstwhile commitment to love and to cherish until death do us part has come down to so casual and seemingly frivolous a reason for walking out on the union, and quite possibly children, too?
Have the past money-obsessed, self-indulgent decades really created such narcissism that we will not put up with a relationship that doesn’t give us perpetual bliss?
Divorce statistics, although they appear to have levelled out after rising steadily for decades, suggest that sticking with marriage is yesterday’s game.
On average, marriages end after 11 years, with little heed, it seems, for Leo Tolstoy’s wise words: “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with that incompatibility.”
Rather, the sentiments given prominence today come from people such as Malcolm Brynin, co-author of Changing Relationships, a ﬁve-year study of research into family life published by the Economic and Social Research Council, who says that people come together and stay together only when this is to their individual advantage.
Meanwhile, Rachel Morris, psychotherapist and author of The Single Parent’s Handbook, has come up with the idea that modern culture is counter-intuitive to sticking with marriage through the long haul, saying that to do so is “totally at odds” with modern messages of choice and freedom and ambition.
“People realise that they grow and change every 10 years,” she says.
Romance and courtships in which, like cartoon characters, we have stars circling around our heads, are what we are encouraged to want.
In films, television and popular magazines, you find couples trilling on about how romantic their mate is, how they are cherished, adored, admired – and hey, who wouldn’t like a bit of that?
The trouble is that not everybody shows their ardour that way. The wife of one of the happiest couples – after 45 years – that I know, says her husband used to call her “mate” and treat her like an old friend while they were courting.
Yet while couples apparently believe romance is what makes them happy, they very quickly give up on making the effort.
On average, a study by One Poll managed to show, couples give up on romance just two years, six months and 25 days into marriage.
It all adds up to what I call chic nihilism – a belief that living according to the fashionable ethos of the age is more important than sticking with something that, at times, may feel less than rewarding.
And yet if we do pursue this me-ﬁrst approach doggedly, we may actually forfeit far more than we gain.
Penny Mansﬁeld, director of One Plus One, a relationship research organisation, agrees.
“There is, in our culture, a powerful expectation that your partner should provide all kinds of satisfaction for you,” she says.
“But we also ﬁnd a lot of people coming to our website wanting help with making their relationships work when they don’t feel good, or when they worry they are not in love any more.
One of the important things is helping people to understand what it means to work on a relationship and to withstand periods of adversity.”
At which point I shall get personal.
My husband Olly and I hit the classic “down” time for a relationship when our children left home.
We didn’t seem to be any good at changing the shape of our life together to suit the new circumstances, and we seemed to get more and more irritated with each other, to drift further and further apart. Indeed, we reached the stage of wondering whether we should separate.
But at this point we stopped and realised what would be lost if we parted.
It was not just that we might actually miss each other after two and a half decades, we would also lose the family home we had so lovingly built up, fashioned to our taste, and which was our children’s home even though they had become adults.
We could easily lose all of the history of our lives together, we realised.
And so we discussed what we needed and decided it was a bit of separate togetherness – private spaces in our home to retreat to, allowing us to choose when we wanted to be together.
It was the best thing we could have done.
We went back to behaving as we had much earlier in our relationship, making special meals for each other, going on dates to the cinema, organising short holidays à deux and initiating Sunday lunches with our children once a month.
And as we grew closer, we were able to talk about having felt we’d grown apart and the pleasure in growing together again.
This is something that Dr Janet Reibstein, Professor of Psychology at Exeter University and a marital therapist, understands.
She set out to discover what it is that makes marriage work for her book The Best Kept Secret, interviewing couples who had stayed together over decades.
She is very clear that there is no such thing as the perfect match and finds that these days people tend to assume that there is something mundane about long-term love.
But she is distrustful of the new research which suggests that couples simply split up because they have fallen out of love, and that marital inﬁdelity is less important.
“Almost always, you will ﬁnd that people cite irreconcilable differences as the reason they are breaking up when it comes to divorce,” she says, “and it will usually be the end of a process, not a frivolous discarding of a relationship.
So perhaps there has been an inﬁdelity and they have tried to work through it, but that hasn’t worked and at the end of it all, the couple feel they have grown apart.
“Or it could be some other event in the marriage that has been part of a narrative leading to the feeling they cannot stay together.
It is certainly not as simple as falling out of love versus inﬁdelity.”
Shouldn’t we, she suggests, be asking why, in a climate when it is widely seen to be acceptable to separate, be making a far greater effort to help people understand what they lose when they leave, perhaps in search of new thrills?
There is now so much research demonstrating that if people can manage to survive their tough patches, and make time and energy to focus on what they have together rather than what is missing, the hidden psychological and physical beneﬁts are enormous.
It’s not a question of morality versus narcissism – making your bed and lying on it, rather than heading for the hills – but understanding what will ultimately make us happiest.
The actress Simone Signoret expressed it beautifully, I think: “Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.”
Social- Are you being cheated on ?
Updated: 19 Jul 2012
10 signs you're being cheated on
Thinking your partner might be unfaithful can wreak havoc on relationships.
But pretending everything’s fine when you just can’t shake that nagging suspicion can be just as dangerous. –
Don’t pretend everything’s fine.
If you suspect your partner is having an affair, look for these telltale signs.
Of course, they’re not absolute proof your other half’s playing away but they may indicate something is amiss between the two of you.
Leaving the room to make a call
Usually your partner is happy gassing on the phone while you’re together but if you’ve noticed he or she leaves the room every time the phone rings then it could be because there’s something to hide.
If your partner’s work patterns have changed, it could be down to a new project or heavier workload, but you should also be wary that it’s not because of the appeal of spending late nights at the office with a favored work colleague or heading out with someone else. Don’t jump to conclusions but rather show an interest in what your partner’s working on to suss out whether the excuses seem realistic.
If your partner is cheating on you then the devil is in the detail. Changing from being open with you to a being difficult to pin down on who he or she’s been talking to or going out with and reasons for getting home so late, might mean your partner’s not be being straight with you.
Avoiding future plans
Not wanting to commit to anything can be a sign of doubts. If your partner’s less enthusiastic than usual about a holiday you had in mind, or keeps on trying to put off plans you had together, such as moving house or booking festival tickets, then it’s worth asking why.
Sudden need for privacy
Being in a couple brings a certain amount of intimacy and sharing. If you feel your partner is becoming distant from you, either emotionally or physically, then it could be because there’s something to hide.
Behaviour that doesn’t add up
Use your intuition. If there’s something puzzling you about your partner’s behaviour then maybe you have good reason to be suspicious. It could be that an excuse for being late doesn’t tally with the facts or claiming to be short of money when you know it’s just been payday, but little inconsistencies tell their own story. Trust yourjudgment and if something makes you uneasy, bite the bullet and ask about it.
A change in tastes or opinions
One of the joys of being in a couple is discovering new things together and being on the same page. It can be jarring if your partner suddenly develops a passion for activities, foods and TV shows you’ve never seen and starts mouthing off with opinions you’ve never heard. If alarm bells are ringing, probe further about where these new found loves and opinion came from, and be on the lookout for clues of a third party.
Making more of an effort
You might appreciate your partner’s newfound attention to grooming but did it come out of the blue? In long term relationships, love may indeed be a little blind and a few too many of those cosy meals on the sofa often take their toll on your waistlines. But if your usually lazy partner starts buying new clothes, hitting the gym or booking beauty treatments, it could be to impress someone else.
Be aware of presents bestowed on you for no reason. Yes, it could be that your partner saw that fragrance and thought of you, but it could also be a sign of a guilty conscience.
Spending less time with your friends and family
If your beloved starts dropping out of plans you’ve made with your friends or family, and thinking up excuses not to see them, be wary. It could be a sign that you’re partner isn’t interested in making an effort with people in your life, which is bad enough, but it could also be because seeing the people who love you most only makes the guilt feel worse.
Social- 12 tips on starting a new relationship
Updated: 14 Jul 2012
12 tips on starting a new relationship
Make sure you are ready
When you're broken hearted, it's natural to want someone else's arms around you. But you are unlikely to form a good relationship while you're still hankering after your previous partner. So give yourself six months to be single. Try to enjoy it. Catch up with old friends. Decorate your home. Throw yourself into your job. Once you feel happier in your own skin, you'll be more ready for romance.
Play the numbers game
If you're not having much luck in the dating game, try building up your number of friends of both genders. Most of us find romance at work or through our network of acquaintances. If this isn't happening for you, you may need to extend your friendship circle.
Best way to do this is to spend more time on leisure activities that you enjoy, so you speak to other individuals who like the same things. The more friends you have, the more chances you have of meeting that special someone
Nowadays, we are pretty choosy when it comes to finding love. Few of us meet someone in our home town and stay with them through life. Also, most people have careers and are busy. This can mean finding a special person just doesn't seem to happen.
Loads of people now use lonely hearts ads and online dating sites to find love. Just make sure when do meet face-to-face, you do so in a public place, you let at least one friend know where you're going and you have your mobile with you.
As for speed-dating, this can be fun - especially if you take a mate along. And you never know, that perfect person could be there too.
Introduction agencies are a more heavy-duty way of finding a partner. But when individuals aren't having much luck and are keen to settle down, a good introduction agency can narrow the search for you.
Fees can vary enormously and if you're aiming for the elite end of the market, you might be asked to part with anything up to £10,000. If you do go down this route, make sure the agency is a member of the Association of British Introduction Agencies
How to approach someone you like
If you want to get to know someone better, a good ploy is to involve him or her in some group social event. Indoor bowling is a fun evening for most people. Or you might organise a trip to the theatre and then on to a pub afterwards, so everyone can discuss what they've seen.
With luck you should be near the person you like and be able to talk together without the pressure of it being a 'date'. If things go well, you might progress to suggesting a cup of coffee sometime. And if that is successful, you'll probably feel ready to suggest a cosy dinner for two.
How to tell if someone likes you
People's body language can tell you a great deal about someone's response to you. When someone is interested in you it's likely there'll be lots of eye contact. They will also stand close to you when they speak. And they will possibly squeeze your arm or touch your hand when you're chatting.
As well as smiling, other good signs are if someone breathes with you, and if he or she mirrors your gestures or your posture. And if someone nods when listening to you, this means they are empathetic and pleased to be engaged in conversation with you.
First dates can be frightening and fraught, so don't expect too much. All you really need to establish is that you are comfortable with the other person and you don't feel physically repelled by them.
Try to do something that does not expect too much of either of you. A movie is a good choice and then dinner afterwards. That way you can at least chat about the film.
Or you might prefer just to meet for a quick drink. Better to underestimate how much time you'll want to spend together than be lumbered with each other for a whole evening.
Contact after the first date
If you've had a good time, there's no harm in texting or phoning to say how much you enjoyed it.
But don't insist on another date if the other person seems less than keen. A gentle 'Would you like to meet up again some time?' should be enough to establish if there's any spark.
If you don't want to meet again, it's good manners to gently let the other person know the truth. Try: 'I thought you very nice, but I don't think we could have the kind of relationship I'm looking for. Good luck for the future.
When to take things further
Plenty of people have sex on the first date - and this is fine so long as they are both happy with that and use contraception so neither person picks up an STD or gets pregnant.
But plenty of people do not want to rush things. And no one should be coerced into sex if they're not ready. Always remember that sex should be worth waiting for. If someone isn't prepared to wait, this person is unlikely to be right for you
Mistakes and misunderstandings
We all have off days in any romance, so try not to be too quick to jump to the conclusion that it's over just because he or she is late for a date, or hasn't phoned when you'd arranged. A new relationship is bound to have its fair share of mistakes and misunderstandings while you get used to each other.
But if the bad days or lack of consideration persist, you may need to ask yourself if this relationship is doing you good. If it's not, you'll probably feel better about yourself if you're the one who ends it rather than wait to be rejected
If things go well
Your good friends should be with you for life. Unfortunately, your relationship may not last that long. So even if you are thrillingly and passionately in love, don't forget to make time for mates.
It's never a good idea to lose sight of who you really are as an individual person. So take time off from being a couple and see your pals. They will remind you that you're you - and not just part of a magical couple.
Social- Want to live to 100 ? Are you an Autumn baby ?
Updated: 14 Jul 2012
Autumn babies more likely to hit 100
15:14 12 July 2012 by Catherine de Lange
Good news for autumn babies: those born between September and November are more likely to live to 100 than those born in other months of the year.
The month in which you are born can influence the environment in which you develop – inside the womb and out.
Evidence suggests that this can affect your behaviour and genetics and have a lifelong impact on your health.
Previous research has suggested that those born in the autumn are more likely to live longer than those born at other times of the year.
However, researchers could not rule out the possibility that this advantage may have been due to differences between the families studied, such as socioeconomic status, which also influences early environment.
So Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova, both at the University of Chicago, gathered data from more than 1500 centenarians born in the US between 1880 and 1895.
They compared birth and death information with that of the centenarians' siblings and spouses – the siblings would have experienced a similar early environment and genetic background and the spouses would have a experienced a similar environment in their adult life .
The pair found that more centenarians were born in the autumn than in the spring.
They also analysed all births in the US over a year within this period to rule out the possibility that this was because more people were born at this time of year.
There was no significant fluctuation during autumn.
Most centenarians were born between September and November, and the fewest number were born in March, May and July. The results were more pronounced for babies born between 1880 and 1889 than those born between 1889 and 1895.
"The most popular hypothesis to explain the finding is that seasonal infections in early life are creating long-lasting damage to human health," says Gavrilov, who recently presented his work at the Population Association of America annual meeting in San Francisco.
Other possible explanations include seasonal vitamin deficiency or seasonal variation of hormone levels, he says.
The seasonal-infections hypothesis tallies with the finding that the effect was more pronounced before 1889 than after.
"Mortality from infectious diseases was decreasing over time during the end of the 19th century, and this is particularly the case for summer infections ," says Gavrilov.
Gavrilov's findings chime with previous research by Alexander Lerchl at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, who studied the relationship between birth month and life expectancy in Germany.
"[This] data is in almost perfect agreement with my data, which found that people born between October and December had a statistically significantly older age at death.
The overall picture is the same," he says.
Journal reference: Journal of Ageing Research, DOI: 10.4061/2011/104616
Social- Your Face(book) is not your fortune
Updated: 10 Jul 2012
Facebook can make you fat
By: Mitch Felipe Mendoza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:51 am | Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
PEOPLE are said to get more affected by Facebook photos of others because these are real, un-Photoshopped photos of people they know.
We use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and blogs to virtually “connect” with people, updating each other with regular status reports and giving (and receiving) feedback about them.
Social networking sites readily provide us with what we personally, professionally and socially need—and everything for free.
However, we should also be aware of the negative impact of social networking in our life.
Staying on those sites takes so much of your time, especially if you have no self-discipline.
And notice how painful comments affect our thoughts and actions.
Several articles and studies worldwide have shown how social networking sites like Facebook can create a negative perception of one’s body and weight when comparing one’s photos with the photos of friends.
Facebook users usually post photos of themselves at their best body shape and clothes.
People with self-esteem and body image issues can become easily affected by these hard-to-reach images, just like when seeing photos of models and celebrities in television, magazines and newspapers.
According to mental health specialists, people get more affected by Facebook photos of others because these are real, un-Photoshopped photos of people they know, like family members and friends.
Results of an online survey for 600 Facebook users age 16-40 conducted by the researchers of Center for
Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore show that:
• 51 percent became more conscious of their body and weight after looking at photos of themselves;
• 44 percent wish they had the same body or weight as a friend when checking Facebook photos;
• 37 percent feel that they need to alter some parts of their body when they compare their bodies to their friends’;
• 32 percent feel sad when comparing their own Facebook photos to their friends’ photos;
• 31 percent have prevented themselves from eating specific food items, food groups or entire categories of food in an attempt to control their weight;
• 17 percent have engaged in binge eating;
• 12 percent have or have had an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia)
• 7 percent have tried purging (such as vomiting in bulimia);
• but only 25 percent are happy with their present weight.
Eighty percent of the respondents visit Facebook once a day and more than half of them log on numerous times a day.
This implies that constant Facebook use may affect one’s body image, and can lead to weight obsession and preoccupation, unhealthy dieting practices and eating disorders as results of social comparison among Facebook peers.
Both young and old can be negatively affected by constant Facebook visits.
In fact, a study this year conducted by professors at the University of Haifa shows that the more frequent an adolescent girl (average age: 14.8) spends on Facebook, the more chances of developing various eating disorders and negative body image.
How to use Facebook to avoid body image and self-esteem issues:
• If you easily get affected by Facebook photos of your friends as they show their best life and body shapes, take a break and observe how it shows in your thoughts and actions.
Then make time and effort to resolve your body and weight issues by talking to a counselor, friends, loved ones or someone you find comfortable sharing your concerns with.
• Instead of social networking, engage in activities that will improve your body image, like exercises that can make you feel good about yourself (dancing, yoga, running) and reading self-help books that will modify your thinking.
• Always put in mind that your own thoughts and feelings are important to your overall health.
Knowing this, you will not allow updates and photos of others to cause you more stress and negative emotions.
• Learn to manage your time when using Facebook.
Set a schedule and just give yourself a few minutes to update your status and/or check updates you find meaningful and important to you.
• Avoid focusing too much on physical appearance and interactions that include weight obsession, too much dieting and over-exercising. Shift your attention to positive feelings and thoughts.
Say, “Wow, you look so happy and fulfilled spending your weekend with your family.
You inspire me!” instead of, “You look so thin and sexy in your outfit!”
• Instead of allowing yourself to feel insecure about others’ looks and accomplishments, restructure your thoughts. Believe that you can always be at your best without comparing yourself to others.
Better yet, be an inspiration to others.
• Parents, be involved in your children’s online activities.
The study conducted by the University of Haifa shows that parents who were aware of their adolescent daughters’ media usage showed more personal empowerment of their daughters, leading to a protective guard against eating disorders.
Social- Facebook- Bitching and Biting -What little girls and boys are really and made of
Updated: 06 Jul 2012
Richard Fisher, technology features editor
In the internet age, it is the ultimate snub.
So why do people unfriend each other?
Obviously, what people post can strain their online relationships, but not having a mutual female friend is much more likely to lead to the ties being severed.
The word "unfriending" entered common vocabulary only a few years ago, and since then researchers have been trying to understand why and when it happens.
The answers relate to a bigger outstanding question in web science: are online social relationships fundamentally different to physical world ties?
The likes of Facebook also want to know what drives unfriending, because decaying friendships is bad for business.
Up until now, the evidence suggested that unfriending on online social networks was driven mainly by too-frequent posts about polarising topics.
Too much religion?
Support gay marriage?
And in a recent survey of US adults, 55 per cent said they unfriended people because of their offensive status updates or comments.
That was the most popular reason, followed by "not knowing the person well" (41 per cent), and "tried to sell me something" (39 per cent).
So far, so unsurprising.
Yet Daniele Quercia at the University of Cambridge had doubts about whether politics and rudeness really were the most common reasons for severing Facebook ties.
After all, he says, these recent studies and surveys were based on self-reported behaviour, not hard data.
And more importantly, the reasons people gave for severing their Facebook ties are not the same factors that lead to the dissolution of offline relationships.
For example, studies dating back to the 1980s show that friendships have always been more likely to decay when there are fewer common ties with others in a social group ("embeddedness") and a disparity between age, occupation and education.
So while your buddy might make the occasional sexist joke you dislike, that is much less likely to influence the fate of your friendship than whether or not you have mutual friends, are the same age and both work in IT.
So Quercia and his colleagues analysed the dynamics of more than 34,000 Facebook relationships to find patterns that correlated with unfriending. He presented the results at the Web Science conference in Evanston, Illinois, last month.
Sure enough, a lack of similarity, especially between ages, and few mutual friendships were the dominant factors correlating with unfriending - all of which mirrors the decline of physical-world relationships.
Quercia also found that having a mutual female friend makes unfriending less likely than sharing a male friend. Clues as to why come from research conducted by Robert Bell in the 1980s on gender roles in friendship.
In short, Bell showed that women tend to form deeper, stronger friendships, and they strengthen relationships beyond their direct ties in their social network.
Finally, Quercia also showed that personality type matters.
Perhaps not surprisingly, a relationship is more likely to break if one of the people is neurotic or introverted.
Facebook may be a new environment, but the age-old rules of friendship apply there too.
Social- Suffer little children as the Tories walk by on the other side
Updated: 06 Jul 2012
Con-Dem cuts set to hit million children by 2015
Thursday 05 July 2012
A million children will be in "vulnerable" families by 2015 unless urgent action is taken, children's charities warned today.
Unemployment and changes to tax and benefits mean that worst-off families will be hit hardest and face being £3,000 a year out of pocket.
A joint report commissioned by Action for Children, the NSPCC and The Children's Society found that a far greater number of families were struggling with problems such as unemployment, depression, poor quality housing and poverty than government estimates suggest.
The Children's Society chief executive Matthew Reed said: "The government's austerity measures are hitting the most disadvantaged children in our society the hardest.
"When too many children go to school hungry, have no permanent home or proper shoes, it is clear we are not all in this together.
These latest figures make shocking reading and must act as a wake-up call to those with the power to reverse this trend."
Social- The Post Feminist Era and the damage caused !-Questions for the House ?
Updated: 04 Jul 2012
WHY DO married women initiate divorce 70% of the time?
(Do you think divorce is harder on men than women?)
i was reading an article about how divorced men are more prone to suicide than divorced women and single men.
When a man gets divorced he looses his home, his money, his assets, his kids, and his self esteem.
Women get more emotional support after divorces and break ups...men are told to man up, pay child support(sometimes alimony) and find a gold digger in her 20's he wont have much in common with.
And the worse part of this is women are the ones who initiate marriage and than initiate divorce 70% of he time, and its because they don't have much to loose.
This makes me upset, its more Relate of a post feminist era.
This is why a lot of single men(including myself) don't want to get married, its just a bad move career wise and emotionally.
We have nothing to gain from it and a lot to loose.
Why is it like this?
Best Answer -
Here's my take - not all of which will agree with what you've said.
Women are more apt to file for divorce because they aren't as accustom to handling adversity as are men.
That may be changing, but even if it is changing it will take a hell of a long time.
Men are more accustom to facing problems at work and generally outside the home -
so having a problem at home is just another problem.
Generally speaking women react emotionally quicker and to a greater extent that do most men.
Ergo, they reach the "can't stand it" stage sooner - thus the filing.
(So are they fit to be in a long term relationship ? Or is it they are just more selfish ?)
Second Best Answer ?
Because they are greedy.
Women of fortune care little about their children.
If any settlement was always awarded to the children or in trust to the children, the divorce rate would fall rapidly.
Also if Judges listen to the women and instead of giving her a divorce sent her back to compulsory counselling with her partner, it would save Court time, lots of money and heartbreak and deprive solicitors of a small fortune.
Finally the presumption of custody. How “unreasonable” can a women get to deprive her children of father. I submit that it should be the children who decide.
Without influence and by an independent adjudicator. Just the thought that a woman might lose her children would be an enormous deterent.
Does anyone feel a campaign coming on ?
Social- Fathers rights ? Its a joke ?
Updated: 02 Jul 2012
Fathers finally get equal access rights to children.
So why now?
At last we are moving towards a better domestic world where fathers and mothers are equally supported by the state.
Radical says - Is this the best the law could do ?
Nothing on Custody rights
Nothing on Childrens rights
Nothing on Settlements to Children (in trust) especially in short marriages.
Women deny children a male roll model and this goes on through school and life.
No wonder their are so many bitter twisted and damaged children
Never mind how many fathers suffer
And all to appease a womans decision on a whim.
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 June 2012 17.25 BST
The right of divorced fathers and mothers to see their children is to be enshrined in UK law for the first time as part of changes to family justice.
The glaring injustice suffered by many children and (principally) their fathers when paternal relationships are destroyed without a murmur from the state has been obvious for decades to anyone who cared.
Yet this seems an unlikely moment for the government to attempt to enshrine in law the rights of both fathers and mothers to see their children after separation.
True, the fathers' rights movement has been vociferous at times, but latterly it has been relatively quiet and seemed politically marginalised.
No apparent groundswell of pressure for change has come from the voluntary sector, rather the opposite – plenty of negative reaction from some children's charities and from Labour to the government's proposals. So why is this change happening now?
Perhaps, most simply, because it appears to be common sense to both Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers. Male Conservative MPs are typically highly privileged with a background in business and the professions.
They are used to exerting control over their own lives and over others.
They do not expect to find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
So when they and their colleagues go through divorce, it is a shocking and unfamiliar experience for them to feel semi-criminalised as fathers and to be blocked from being with their children.
Changing the law likewise seems to make sense to the straightforward values of gender equity held by Lib Dems. Like the Tories, they are led by a privileged public schoolboy, who can't understand why he can run the country but, if things got difficult with his wife, he might not be able to see his own children.
Behind the scenes, the fathers' rights movement, ranging from the highly visible Fathers4Justice to the more measured Families Need Fathers, which has campaigned for 30 years as a self-help group for separated fathers and built the arguments that have demonstrated the depth of the crisis, worked conscientiously on the Tories before the general election.
It received a sympathetic hearing in numerous meetings with people such as the then shadow children's minister, Tim Loughton, who fashioned the party's children's and family policy in opposition.
In contrast, Labour has never got to grips with the tragedies of separated fatherhood.
The party has been keen to support fathers' rights in the workplace, with enhanced paternity leave to level the gender playing field at work and enable dads to support mums getting back to work.
But Labour's key concern in all of this was women and, as a result, it was not interested in championing fathers' rights in the home.
So Labour was never going to take this step, certainly not while it was led by fathers with antiquated parenting styles such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
In contrast to them, Cameron and Clegg, despite the workaholism of the political breed, look modern and engaged with parenting.
There will over the coming months be lots of kicking and screaming about the proposed change in the law.
But the significance of this equalisation does not really lie in what happens in the courts.
That probably will not change a lot.
But changing the law will send out a message to fathers that the state is not their enemy.
It will no longer ignore the dismantling of relationships with their children.
This will give confidence to the thousands of fathers who never go to court but just accept what they are given in terms of paltry time with their children because they fear no one will support them in seeking a better settlement.
This is indeed a monumental moment. For decades, the state has rightly been tackling inequality in the workplace and patriarchal abuses in the family by confronting, for example, domestic violence and ensuring that mothers have sufficient income after divorce.
But this is the first time the state has come forward to challenge matriarchy in the family and its abuses with respect to access to children. We are moving to a better domestic world where paternity, not patriarchy, is supported and, where maternity, not matriarchy, is equally supported.
I expect many worrying and apocalyptic warnings about the risks to children of this legislation.
Amid the noise and resistance, we should remember gender equality is now one of the key values of the public working world. We should not tolerate anything less in the domestic, family arena.
• This article was amended on 14 June 2012. It originally referred to Families Need Fathers as Fathers Need Families. This has now been corrected
Social- Suicide methods
Updated: 27 Jun 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A suicide method is any means by which a person purposely commits suicide, taking his or her own life.
Suicide methods can be classified according to two modes of interrupting one's life processes: physical or chemical.
Physical modes of interruption typically act by incapacitating the respiratory system or the central nervous system, usually by destruction of one or more key components.
Chemical modes focus on interrupting biologically significant processes such as cellular respiration or diffusion capacity.
Chemical methods of suicide produce latent evidence of action, whereas physical methods provide direct evidence.
See also: Self-injury
Suicide by exsanguination involves reducing the volume and pressure of the blood to below critical levels by inducing massive blood loss. It is usually the result of damage inflicted on arteries. The carotid, radial, ulnar or femoral arteries may be targeted. Death may occur directly as a result of the desanguination of the body or via hypovolemia, wherein the blood volume in the circulatory system becomes too low and results in the body shutting down.
Juliet: O happy dagger! [Takes Romeo's dagger.]
This is thy sheath. [Stabs herself.]
There rust, and let me die. [Falls on Romeo's body and dies.]
– Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene III
Persons considering a suicide attempt, or trying out the weapon to ascertain its effectiveness, may first make shallow cuts, referred to as "hesitation wounds" or "tentative wounds" in the literature. They are often non-lethal, multiple parallel cuts.
Wrist cutting is sometimes practiced with the goal of self-mutilation and not suicide; however, if the bleeding is copious and/or allowed to continue unchecked, cardiac arrhythmia, followed by severe hypovolemia, shock, circulatory collapse and/or cardiac arrest, and death may ensue, in that order.
In the case of a failed suicide attempt, the person may experience injury of the tendons of the extrinsic flexor muscles, or the ulnar and median nerves which control the muscles of the hand, both of which can result in temporary or permanent reduction in the victim's sensory and/or motor ability and/or also cause chronic somatic or autonomic pain. As in any class IV hemorrhage, aggressive resuscitation is required to prevent death of the patient; standard emergency bleeding control applies for pre-hospital treatment.
Arterial bleeding is identified by the rhythmic gush of blood (in unison with the heartbeat) that is bright red in color. Venous bleeding produces a continuous stream of blood of a darker red color. Arterial bleeding is more difficult to control and usually more life-threatening.
Main article: Drowning
Suicide by drowning is the act of deliberately submerging oneself in water or other liquid to prevent breathing and deprive the brain of oxygen. Due to the body's natural tendency to come up for air, drowning attempts often involve the use of a heavy object to overcome this reflex. As the level of carbon dioxide in the victim's blood rises, the central nervous system sends the respiratory muscles an involuntary signal to contract, and the person breathes in water. Death usually occurs as the level of oxygen becomes too low to sustain the brain cells. It is among the least common methods of suicide, typically accounting for less than 2% of all reported suicides in the United States.
See also: Suicide bag
Suicide by suffocation is the act of inhibiting one's ability to breathe or limiting oxygen uptake while breathing, causing hypoxia and eventually asphyxia. This may involve an exit bag (a plastic bag fixed over the head) or confinement in an enclosed space without oxygen. These attempts involve using depressants to make the user pass out due to the oxygen deprivation before the instinctive panic and the urge to escape due to the hypercapnic alarm response. It is impossible for someone to commit suicide by simply holding their breath, as the level of oxygen in the blood becomes too low, the brain sends an involuntary reflex, and the person breathes in as the respiratory muscles contract. Even if one is able to overcome this response to the point of becoming unconscious, in this condition, it's no longer possible to control breathing, and a normal rhythm is reestablished.
Because of this, one is more likely to commit suicide by breathing toxic gases, instead of preventing breath. Helium, argon, nitrogen and carbon monoxide are commonly used in suicides by suffocation. Breathing inert gas quickly and painlessly renders a person unconscious, and may cause death within minutes.
Main article: Hypothermia
Suicide by hypothermia or by cold, is a slow death that goes through several stages. Hypothermia begins with mild symptoms, gradually leading to moderate and severe penalties. This may involve shivering, delirium, hallucinations, lack of coordination, sensations of warmth, then finally death. One's organs cease to function, though clinical brain death can be prolonged.
Main article: Electrocution
Suicide by electrocution involves using a lethal electric shock to kill oneself. This would cause arrhythmias of the heart, meaning that the heart would not contract in synchrony between the different chambers, essentially causing elimination of blood flow. Furthermore, depending on the amount of electrical current, burns may also occur.
"The evidence here shows that electrocution inflicts intense pain and agonizing suffering," (Justice William M. Connolly, Nebraska Supreme Court)
Jumping from height
Main articles: Jumper (suicide) and Self-defenestration
Jumping from height is the act of jumping from high altitudes, for example, from a window (self-defenestration or auto-defenestration), balcony or roof of a high rise building, cliff, dam or bridge. This method, in most cases, results in severe consequences if the attempt fails, such as paralysis, organ damage, and bone fractures.
In the United States, jumping is among the least common methods of committing suicide (less than 2% of all reported suicides in the United States for 2005).
In Hong Kong, jumping is the most common method of committing suicide, accounting for 52.1% of all reported suicide cases in 2006 and similar rates for the years prior to that. The Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of the University of Hong Kong believes that it may be due to the abundance of easily accessible high rise buildings in Hong Kong.
There have been several documented cases of suicide by skydiving, by people who deliberately failed to open their parachute (or removed it during freefall) and were found to have left suicide notes.
A common suicide method is to use a firearm. Generally, the bullet will be aimed at point-blank range, often at the head or, less commonly, into the mouth, under the chin, or pointed at the chest. Worldwide, firearm prevalence in suicides varies widely, depending on the acceptance and availability of firearms in a culture. The use of firearms in suicides ranges from less than 10% in Australia to 53.7% in the U.S., where it has been the most common method of suicide.
A failed suicide attempt by firearm may result in severe chronic pain for the patient as well as reduced cognitive abilities and motor function, subdural hematoma, foreign bodies in the head, pneumocephalus and cerebrospinal fluid leaks. For temporal bone directed bullets, temporal lobe abscess, meningitis, aphasia, hemianopsia, and hemiplegia are common late intracranial complications. As many as 50% of people who survive gunshots wounds directed at the temporal bone suffer facial nerve damage, usually due to a severed nerve.
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the National Academy of Science found an association between household firearm ownership and gun suicide rates, though a study by one researcher did not find a statistically significant association between household firearms and gun suicide rates, except in the suicides of children aged 5–14. During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a strong upward trend in adolescent suicides with a gun, as well as a sharp overall increase in suicides among those age 75 and over.
Two separate studies, in Canada and Australia, conducted in conjunction with more restrictive firearms legislation, demonstrated that while legislation showed a decrease in firearms suicide, other methods such as hanging increased. In Australia, the overall rate of suicide continued along an increasing trend, not decreasing until measures specifically aimed to provide support for those intent on suicide were implemented.
Research also indicates no association vis-à-vis safe-storage laws of guns that are owned, and gun suicide rates; and studies that attempt to link gun ownership to likely victimology often fail to account for the presence of guns owned by other people. Researchers have shown that safe-storage laws do not appear to affect gun suicide rates or juvenile accidental gun death.
Shotgun suicides tend to be extremely messy, and can even cause body matter to go under closed doors. Suicides committed with some hollow point bullets can essentially cause the head to explode.
Suicide by hanging.
Main article: Suicide by hanging
When hanging one's self, the subject uses some type of ligature, as in a rope or a cord, to form a noose (or loop) around the throat, with the opposite end secured to some fixture. Depending on the placement of the noose and other factors, the subject will strangle and/or suffer a broken neck. In the event of death, the actual cause often depends on the length of the drop; that is, the distance the subject falls before the rope goes taut.
In a "short drop", the victim may die from strangulation, in which the death may result from a lack of oxygen to the brain. The victim is likely to experience hypoxia, skin tingling, dizziness, vision narrowing, convulsions, shock, and acute respiratory acidosis. One or both carotid arteries and/or the jugular vein may also be compressed sufficiently to cause cerebral ischemia and a hypoxic condition in the brain which will eventually result in or contribute to death.
In a typical "long drop", the subject is likely to suffer one or more fractures of the cervical vertebrae, generally between the second and fifth, which may cause paralysis or death. In extremely long drops, the hanging may result in complete decapitation.
Hanging is the prevalent means of suicide in pre-industrial societies, and is more common in rural areas than in urban areas. It is also a common means of suicide in situations where other materials are not readily available, such as in prisons.
Committing suicide by deliberately placing oneself in the path of a large and fast-moving vehicle, resulting in fatal impact
Social- Suicide for John Simpson as a way out of being no futher use to self or society
Updated: 27 Jun 2012
BBC broadcaster John Simpson says he plans to commit suicide
rather than allow young son to see him as a 'gibbering wreck' in old age
The veteran correspondent said "I don’t want my 6 year-old son to have his only memory of me as a gibbering wreck"
Tuesday 26 June 2012
The BBC broadcaster John Simpson has revealed that he is making plans to take his own life rather than allow his young son to see him become a “gibbering wreck” in his old age.
Simpson, 67, said that he had acquired pills which would allow him to commit suicide, should he ever become so inacapacitated that he loses control of his physical and mental faculties.
The BBC World Affairs Editor said he was not advocating euthanasia as a public policy.
But he did not see why MPs should prevent him from taking the ultimate decision over his own life.
Simpson, who has a six year-old son with second wife Dee Kruger, spent four days at a residential care home, living alongside Alzheimer’s disease sufferers, for a BBC1 documentary, When I Get Older.
At a screening of the film, he said: “I’m already working on ways of ensuring that I don’t end up dependent on someone else. I have a couple of bottles of pills handy. I’m not advocating it for anyone else.”
“I don’t want my 6 year-old son to have his only memory of me as a gibbering wreck.
I’d rather take an early ‘out’ than just hang on for the sake of keeping on breathing and all the other bodily functions.”
In the BBC film, broadcast in two parts next Wednesday and Thursday, Mr Simpson breaks down in tears when he confronts the idea that he may be too infirm to play rugby with his son Rafe, when he is a teenager.
He discloses his plan to take fatal pills on screen, after living alongside residents suffering dementia at the home.
His experience inside the care home convinced the BBC correspondent that he could live his remaining days inside such an environment, if he retained control over his faculties.
Mr Simpson praised the nursing care he observed being given to the residents.
He believes that society will ultimately allocate considerably more resources to care for the elderly over the next 30 years because of the demographic shift towards an ageing society.
Mr Simpson’s revelation follows a BBC documentary in which author Sir Terry Pratchett, a sufferer from early-onset of Alzheimer’s, followed a 71 year-old motor–neurone sufferer who went to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to end his life.
Sir Terry said the “vast majority” of people in Britain supported assisted suicide and revealed that he had begun the formal process of applying to end his own life at the clinic.
Mr Simpson’s disclosure will be broadcast during a primetime BBC1 season looking at the reality of life for older people in Britain and the choices that the elderly have to make.
The BBC journalist joined other “OAP celebrities” Gloria Hunniford, Tony Robinson and actress Lesley Joseph, who spent time inside care homes.
Ms Hunniford said she had allocated financial resources to ensure that she could live in her own home even if she becomes infirm.
She said her aim would ultimately be to die at peace inside her own home.
Ms Hunniford expressed concern at cuts in staffing levels at residential care homes, citing the treatment of her sister, a dementia sufferer, who had to be taken to hospital and rehydrated on six occasions because of neglect at her care home.
The broadcaster said: "When push came to shove there wasn't enough nursing staff to make sure she ate and drank the fundamentals.
It's a huge problem."
Social- England doesn't Care - Rejected Children is a State disgrace
Updated: 19 Jun 2012
England care system suffers serious weaknesses
Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:1PM GMT
1. Leave it to the charities-Wrong
2. Failing to find out from children what their needs are -Wrong
3 Failed families - The UK Court system is divorced from reality -Wrong
4 Poverty in the home(if they have a home-Wrong
5 Youth Unemployment- Wrong
6. A Lack of Youth development centres - wrong
7. A lack of social justice - Absolutely Right
A report has revealed that England’s care system suffers serious weaknesses as children’s homes failed to protect runaway youngsters.
MPs have investigated that youngsters located far from home may encourage them to attempt escape, exposing them to further risk of sexual abuse.
The all-party parliamentary group placed much of the criticism on the subjects of runaways, children under care and missing people, as approximately only 5,000 of the 65,000 of those supervised are looked after.
A report was highlighted on British television earlier this month saying that the system of residential care is “not fit for purpose” for children who go missing.
It also said that many older children who have complicated needs are placed in residential care often a long way from home that is unsuitable and of poor quality.
In many parts of Britain, these disturbed children can be extremely vulnerable and demand support, but the situation becomes more problematic if they are to face further abuse or assault.
The investigations are found a month after the conviction of nine men in Rochdale for sexually abusing young girls. Most of the girls were said to have been previously known to social services and one of the girls was in care at the time.
Social- Children in Separation and Divorce cases
Updated: 18 Jun 2012
Children Involved in the Separation or Divorce of their Parents
The Children Act 1989 aims to encourage parents to agree about the child’s welfare in the event of separation or divorce by providing for the continuation of parental responsibility for divorced parents and by requiring the courts to refrain from making orders unless they are desirable in the child’s best interests (the ‘no order’ principle).
This approach is reinforced by the development of conciliation and mediation processes to assist parents to reach agreement.
Where there is agreement between parents they are not required to attend court in divorce proceedings in relation to the children.
The court must simply be satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made for children having received a written declaration to that effect and the divorce is granted.
In cases where the court is concerned about the plans for the children it can order a welfare report but this power is very rarely used.
However it is concerning that in an uncontested case there is no formal way in which children can express their views if they wish to do so.
In 2001 the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) was established. CAFCASS has a number of functions.
In this context the most important is the provision of Child and Family Reporter to carry out conciliation and reporting functions in disputes between parents over residence and contact.
Parents making applications for residence or contact with a child may be required to attend a conciliation appointment with a mediator or child and family reporter.
The purpose of the conciliation stage is to assist the parties to resolve their disputes.
If this is not possible then the Court may order a report to be prepared on the matter of residence or contact.
A child and family reporter involved at the conciliation plays no further part in the process and does not participate in the preparation of any reports for the court.
In addition to applications for residence and contact, which are made under section 8 of the Children Act 1989, parents can also apply for a specific issue order requiring a particular action by another parent or for a prohibited steps order to prevent a parent from taking certain steps, for example removing a child from the other parents care and control. Section 8 applications often involve the use of child and family reporters to provide the court with an objective assessment of what is in the child’s best interests.
Children and young people may apply to court for section 8 orders provided they can demonstrate sufficient maturity and understanding.
However, the court does not have to grant a child leave, and retains a discretion to refuse an application of a competent child.
The concept of welfare is not defined in the Children Act 1989 but the following factors which constitute the ‘welfare checklist’ are used to assist the Court in its determination:
•The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child – in light of his or her age and understanding;
•The physical, emotional and educational needs of the child;
•The likely effect of any change on the child’s circumstances;
•The age, sex, background and any other characteristics which the court considers to be relevant;
•Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
•How capable the child’s parents (and/or any other relevant person) are of meeting the child’s needs; and
•The range of powers available to the court.
The child and family reporter is also required to take the welfare checklist into account in the preparation of his or her report.
Article 8 of the ECHR – the right to respect for family life – impacts on this decision making process in that a court must be aware of the parents’ right to respect for their family life.
The courts have taken the view that while a balance must be struck between the competing interests of parents and children, the welfare principle continues to predominate under the Children Act 1989.
See also – THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
Representation of Children in private law proceedings
The law has recently been amended to provide for the separate representation of a greater number of children subject to private law applications under the Children Act 1989 (eg applications for residence or contact orders in respect of children.
However, a 2006 DCA consultation paper proposes to restrict the separate representation of children in family proceedings to where there is a ‘legal need’, and questions the need for a child’s representative to be present at all hearings.
In most cases such children will not participate directly but will be represented by a children’s guardian appointed by CAFCASS.
Most children’s guardians have worked as social workers but they are appointed to act independently and to represent the child’s interests.
A guardian works in partnership with the child’s solicitor and where it is considered appropriate they can instruct independent professional experts such as psychiatrists or psychologists to prepare assessments and reports to assist the Court.
Further, the courts are increasingly recognising the right of children to participate directly in proceedings that affect them. In the Mabon case, in 2005, three children (aged 17, 15 and 13) appealed against a judge’s refusal to remove their guardian to enable them to instruct a solicitor independently.
The appeal court found they were plainly entitled to separate representation.
Where children have sufficient understanding the court must have regard to their rights under Art 12 UNCRC and Article 8 ECHR.
The question of how much contact a child should have with a non-residential parent is a difficult matter for the court to resolve to the satisfaction of the parents and the child.
Under the Children Act 1989 contact is expressed as a right of the child although the ECHR has recognised it as an element of a parent’s family life.
In striking a balance between the competing interests the courts are guided by considerations of the child’s welfare as the paramount consideration but the view in the vast majority of cases is that maintaining a relationship with both parents is in the child’s best interests.
Terminating direct contact between a child and a non residential parent is a rare occurrence and usually only happens where there has been violence or abuse of an extreme nature or where for other reasons the child does not wish to continue to have a relationship with his or her parents.
More recently, the Children and Adoption Act 2006 has given the courts greater powers to enforce orders for contact (although at the time of writing these have not yet come into force).
Social- Work or Workhouse for the Elderly- Takes the British poor back to the dark ages
Updated: 14 Jun 2012
Elderly working ‘nearly doubles’ as north-south retirement split deepens
Official statistics forecast changes to state pension age
could have differing implications for peoples’ healthy retirement prospects,
depending on whether they live in more deprived or affluent areas
.by Pete Murray - 13th June 2012, 14.48 BST
Official figures show the number of older workers – those working beyond state pension age – has nearly doubled from 753,000 in 1993 to 1.4 million last year.
It comes as separate statistics show the health gap widening between elderly people in the north-east and the south of England.
The government’s own statisticians say there is ‘a compelling case’ for monitoring the effect of Coalition social and economic policies on the widening health gap among the UK’s elderly population.
It warns: ‘The impending increase in the state pension age is likely to have disproportionate implications for the length of retirement which is spent disability-free for both men and women living in the North East region compared with the South East.’
Pensions campaigners say government policies are forcing poorer people in the UK to ‘work in back-breaking jobs till they drop’.
The ONS forecasts for people living a life in retirement without disabilities are starkly different, depending on where they live.
The report says a man living in the North East from the age of 16 can expect and average live of 45.3 years disability-free.
For those in the South East it is 51.5 years.
Men in the South East can expect to spend around 80% of their lives after retirement disability free, compared with only 74% in the North East.
For women the figures are around 77% and 70% respectively.
This is despite the fact that people can also expect to live longer in the South East.
So, men and women in the North East not only experience shorter life expectancies, they also spend longer periods of time living with a limiting illness or disability than those in the South East.
According to the ONS, the numbers of people working beyond state retirement age were relatively stable until 2000 but rose quickly after the millennium to a peak of 1.45 million in 2010.
Almost two thirds of those people were women, the majority of them working in low-skilled, relatively poorly paid jobs.
A high proportion of older workers were self-employed: in the last quarter of 2011, 32% of workers aged above state pension age were self-employed, compared with just 13% of those below that age.
The ONS found that of the 1.4m older workers at the end of last year, 61% were women, compared to 39% among men.
However, around two-thirds of these men worked in jobs classed as higher skilled – ranging from company chief executives, property and marketing managers to farmers and taxi drivers – while almost two-thirds of the women worked in lower skilled jobs.
Among women working beyond state retirement age, the most common job was cleaners, followed by administration assistants, care workers and retail assistants.
Miles Barter from the union-backed ‘68 is too late‘ campaign said:”We live in a society where rich people retire when they like while poor people are forced to work until they drop in back-breaking low paid jobs.
“All the statistics show that most people are already suffering health problems by the time they reach the state pension age.
“Everyone should have the chance to receive a decent state pension at an age when they are healthy enough to enjoy it.”
Children- Mothers who refuse fathers access to their children are "not fit for purpose"
Updated: 13 Jun 2012
Parents' right to see children after divorce will be enshrined in law
Ministers hope to ensure children have meaningful relationships as stiff new penalties are introduced
Sam Masters Wednesday 13 June 2012
Children- Mothers who refuse fathers access to their children
are "not fit for purpose" says Radical-
And that is only half the story !
The Children should receive in Trust any settlement and where feasible
decide in law, whom they wish to live with,which makes this ruling
absurd, because the Courts can't cope now,so how will they in the future ?
Divorced mothers who refuse to give their former husbands access to their children could be hit with travel and driving bans or placed under home curfew, under plans to be announced today.
The stringent new penalties will be introduced with changes to the law which will establish a legal right for both parents to have a meaningful relationship with their children after a marriage breakdown.
Ministers will today propose different ways to establish the notion of "shared parenting" after separation in law.
Judges will be expected, where possible, to ensure that fathers are given time with their sons and daughters and mothers who defy court orders requiring them to give such access will face a range of penalties including the removal of passports or driving licences and the imposition of home curfews.
"The Government believes that there should be a level playing field on enforcement so that denial of maintenance or refusal to facilitate contact both give rise to the same or very similar penalties," the consultation document to be published today states.
Despite some grandparents reportedly being legally warned not to send birthday cards to grandchildren last week, laws will not be changed to ensure grandparents are granted access to grandchildren.
Ministers will announce that mothers will in future be warned that they may lose custody of their children if they repeatedly defy court orders.
"We want the law to be far more explicit about the importance of children having an ongoing relationship with both their parents after separation, where that is safe and in the child's best interests," said the Children's minister, Tim Loughton.
Campaigners say that without a legal right to see their children, fathers can be excluded. Over the past decade, Fathers 4 Justice has staged high-profile protests including climbing on to the roof of Buckingham Palace.
According to the Government, studies show that following a divorce, 90 per cent of children reside mainly with one of their parents – with just 12 per cent of these children living with their father. Under the four options proposed by the Government, family courts will have a legal duty to ensure that parents have a continuing relationship with their children if a marriage breaks down – because a "child's welfare is likely to be furthered".
Ministers point to a 2008 study which claimed children with "highly-involved dads develop better friendships, more empathy and higher levels of educational achievement and self-esteem".
According to the study children with involved fathers are less likely to become involved with crime or substance abuse. Earlier this year, ministers had rejected the advice from the economist David Norgrove, who chaired an independent official review into family justice, and warned of the situation in Australia after the country introduced "shared parenting" rights. There a series of legal claims and counter-claims led to severe delays in child custody cases.
"Amending the law will allow people to appeal. It's really not needed as judges already take into account these factors," said Matt Bryant, of Resolution, which represents 6,000 family lawyers
Social- Protecting men from women who cheat- Lock them up ?
Updated: 13 Jun 2012
Menstrual huts protect Dogon men from cuckoldry
10 June 2012
ENSURING your partner doesn't cheat is a perennial problem.
Perhaps one solution is religion.
Beverly Strassmann at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has spent years studying the Dogon people of Mali, west Africa.
Women who practise the traditional Dogon religion, unlike those who are Muslim or Christian, spend five days a month around the time of menstruation in a highly visible "menstrual hut".
Strassmann tested paternity in 1700 Dogon father and son pairs and found that those who practised the traditional religion were four times less likely to be raising someone else's son than those who practised Christianity (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.073/pnas.1110442109).
The findings suggest that the huts make it easier for husbands to monitor wives close to fertile periods.
No differences were observed between the Dogon and the Muslim group, perhaps because women are required to tell their husbands when they menstruate.
Strassmann suggests that these traditions may have developed as a way to boost reproductive success
Social - UK Pensioners among poorest in Europe
Updated: 09 Jun 2012
UK pensioners among poorest in Europe
Sat Jun 9, 2012 10:20AM GMT
British pensioners are the 4th worst poorest among the 27 European countries, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.
According to ONS, Britain is only behind Cyprus, Bulgaria and Spain in terms of pensioners’ poverty and more than two million elderly in Britain are already struggling to keep poverty at bay.
The ONS said the latest figures show 21.4 percent of British pensioners were facing the risk of sliding into poverty in 2010, which is “significantly higher” than the EU average of 15.9 percent.
This comes as the massive austerity cuts by the current coalition government are feared to have pushed Britain even further down the poverty scale in Europe.
"We have had a system of state pensions that has been systematically cut over the years, trying to offload responsibility on to the private sector,” Ros Altmann, director of Saga Charitable Trust, said.
“It is another demonstration of why radical reform of our pension system is long overdue,” Altmann added.
Social- Life after Lust-the appeal of a sexless marriage
Updated: 09 Jun 2012
Life after lust –
the appeal of sexless marriage
As yet another survey paints a picture of a nation consumed by lust in our middle years and beyond,
is it time to admit marriage without sex suits many couples just fine?
guardian.co.uk, Friday 1 June 2012 22.28 BST
There are not an awful lot of things to look forward to as one ricochets towards middle age. The one silver lining is a renewed passion for sex. This you will know if you are a reader of sex surveys.
The latest to spring to mind (there have been so very many) is the so-called Sex Census 2012.
While we are too bogged down in our 30s and 40s with child-rearing and worrying about the mortgage, the findings of this survey – jointly funded by Relate and "adult shop" chain Ann Summers, and published last month – suggest that when we hit our 50s we are absolutely raring to go.
As for our sexual confidence, that supposedly peaks between the ages of 60 and 69.
Really? Who are these middle-aged chandelier-swingers?
Where do they winkle them out from? And can they really be telling the truth?
In my not-so-meagre experience, if there is one thing we lie about once we get to a certain age, this is it.
And if we are not exactly lying (as, quite clearly, the friend of mine is who keeps reiterating, loudly and long-sufferingly, how she still has to tell her husband "once a day is perfectly sufficient") then we are being, shall we say, economical with the truth.
Admit to having shoplifted. Admit to having a bit of a drink problem, or being bankrupt.
But living in a sexless marriage?
Never. Fidelity, monogamy, still sleeping with the same person after however many years – that is what we are all supposed to value most.
To admit to anything else, is to admit to a societal failing so profound, so deep, so … almost spiritual, it's beyond the pale. It is something that cannot be acknowledged, maybe not even to each other, let alone to one's friends.
As one 44-year-old married woman, whom I interviewed for my own little informal survey, wrote in an email (anonymously, of course): "It's such a blissful scenario: separate beds, or even bedrooms, deep love for each other, friendship, shared parenting but NO PRESSURE TO HAVE SEX!
The couples who are living it – you think they are going to let on? Men and women are far more prepared to talk about having extramarital affairs than about having a celibate marriage. There's far less shame in having loads of sex than there is having no sex at all."
Sex. Or rather the lack of it. It could be the nation's sordid secret. Perhaps even the world's. Instead of running a cover story on mothers breastfeeding six-year-olds, as Time Magazine did last month, celibate marriage is the taboo they should have addressed.
How for millions of us supposedly happy, fulfilled, hand-holding couples, the spare room isn't the spare room anymore; how whenever we are cuddled up on the sofa and a torrid sex scene crops up on the TV, we both inwardly go "ewww".
Of course, there are those of you out there in your 50s, 60s and 70s still going like stink. Such as, for example, the nice lady I met at drinks the other evening who volunteered how she had her first orgasm at the age of 50, and has been merrily bonking ever since.
But what of the swathes of who are very much not? Those of us who have been there and done that, with bells on, but at this point can think of nothing we would like to do together less, thanks all the same. Those of us who, yes, have sexual urges – many women find themselves suddenly becoming obsessed by sex during the perimenopause; it's like Custer's Last Stand – but find ways other than having a shabby, predictable affair to satisfy them.
Why should we be the ones made to feel as though we are "living in sin", when we still hold hands, still basically respect each other, and still very much have stuff to say to each other over the dinner table?
Everyone – sigh – knows the drill: schedule it in; push through the repulsion/exhaustion/irritation barrier; engage in some roleplay; use it or lose it.
But after one's broken the novelty shower-cap rule (I've got a cow and a frog one, you?), after one has spent 15-20 years cohabiting with the same perfectly delightful, perfectly attractive person, seeing them walk nude around the house about five million times, it can feel, frankly, a little … inappropriate. There's a reason, in other words, why kids retch at the idea of their parents doing it.
Oh dear. I might be out on a very long limb here. But there comes a stage in any relationship when the prospect of ordering your breakfast together the night before becomes far more the point of a saucy weekend minibreak than does the prospect of uninterrupted bonking.
As Alain de Botton observes in his latest self-help manual, How to Think More About Sex, it was not until the 18th century that the idea of a love-based marriage took hold. The idea of sex being the cornerstone of a marriage came way, way later.
One couple I know, who are the same age as me, have children and live in the US, have not been having sex for a few years now. They seem to have arrived at a way of dealing with it. He goes to massage parlours for a "happy ending" every now and then, but would not dream of getting involved with anyone else. She, who is still as attractive as she was 30 years ago, doesn't ask.
He doesn't tell, and they are fine. Ditto the 50-something friend with grownup children who, though happily married, has not had sex with her husband (or anyone else) in eight years. "People say sex cements a relationship," she says. "But at this stage of our lives together, I think it would actually impair it."
Then there are all those couples out there who, yes, can frequently be found at it – as it were – of an evening. Him downstairs in front of his flickering computer, her upstairs, er, reading her book. In other words, yes they are both having sex under the same roof, just not necessarily in the same room.
And what of the affectionate wife I know, now in her 50s, who cheerfully confides: "My husband? Hah! He hasn't seen a nipple for years."
The saucy sex survey is only partly to blame for this schism between myth and reality – the pretence that we are doing it every week, when in truth it is more like every six months (and even that might be an exaggeration).
With a media that kids us into thinking ageing is negotiable, that so fetishises youth and beauty and so inaccurately represents what most of us walking down the street are actually like (not to mention our inability to talk about it without poking fun at it), is it any wonder?
"As a nation we are sexually inhibited," offers Sue Newsome, a sex educator, tantra adviser and trainee psychosexual therapist. "We don't have frank, honest conversations about it with each other. It's not part of our national character.
The upshot is that we create myths around our friends. Everyone is better than I am, everyone is having this wild sex life, while I am not. The grass is greener. Compound that with the images we are bombarded with via the media, where lots of young people are having fantastic sex and having orgasms exactly the same time as each other, and no wonder there is this rift between how we present ourselves and who we really are."
"Shampoo advert" sex. Yes. How shrivelling, how alienating that can be. As can all those American sitcoms where the cupcake-making mommy still wears a negligee to bed and is still hot for the daddy.
Perhaps we need to take our cues from Scandinavian culture, where sex seems to be just part of your everyday routine, like brushing your teeth: a kind of Health & Efficiency thing, as opposed to this unbelievably momentous, fireworks-inducing event that nobody – not even Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig, I'll wager – can live up to in real life.
And even then, as the evolutionary anthropologist Helen Fisher, aka the "doyenne of desire", noted, romantic love – when you've got all that dopamine and PEA (phenylethylamine) coursing through your veins – can only physically last for a few years.
A married, male friend in the publishing business – 39 with one child and another on the way – still enjoys sex with his (extremely beautiful) wife, but is already aware of it becoming just another thing on the "to-do" list.
"The whole reason why it is so exciting in the first throes is because you can both objectify each other – that's really the whole fun of it, each of you both being able to treat each other as a piece of meat." He adds how the one-stop-shop pressure for a partner to be everything – a best friend, a fantastic lover, a fruitful provider and so forth – hardly helps.
"How can you be that Milk Tray man or that Bond Girl you were when you first met for ever? It's finite. You can't fulfil every role."
Right now, in the Venn diagram of sociosexual dynamics, he is in the most favourable position of all, where all three circles of fanciability, love and parenthood overlap (for me it was probably soon after the birth of my first child), but he can perfectly foresee a time when sex will dwindle to nothing. "Shared history is lovely and cosy, but ultimately it is not terribly sexy."
Or as Anthony Robbins, the motivational expert put it, in a slightly different way: "It is in the realm of uncertainty that your passion is found."
"There's a huge societal pressure at all ages to be more sexual," says Dr Petra Boynton, a psychologist specialising in sex research, "and that doesn't mean just having sex. It means having sex that is always exciting, different and novel.
That, in a sense is why these surveys are so pernicious, because they are using image to stack up a myth, a myth which is in turn used to sell an aspiration about achievement and performance that one is never going to measure up to. This idea that we should be using those 18-30 years as a benchmark, that we should be scheduling date nights and going on sexy minibreaks to France; that if you aren't bonking like rabbits some terrible thing will befall your relationship."
So, then, can it be agreed, that not having sex after a certain point is normal?
"I wouldn't say it's 'normal', but then I hate that word," offers Guardian sex columnist Pamela Stephenson Connolly. "Normative, certainly.
Of course, it's ubiquitous, and is a couple's right to choose that if it works for them. Not having sex is often a painful secret, though, because people always imagine there's something wrong with them (after all, since no one wants to confess, many couples think their friends are all having more sex than them).
"Many people go through a period of mourning for their lost sex life," she continues. "Even if they don't want it any more. Lots of things can happen psychologically. It's not the same for everyone, but I have come across many happy, sexless marriages."
"If you are having a lot of sex, and you are enjoying it, obviously I'm not going to talk you out of it," says Boynton, "but in this environment where we vet or measure our relationships by the amount of sex we are having, I think that is disingenuous for people who have lots of other ways to express intimacy.
There are a number of things which connect people, but we are constantly spun this line that the glue to a relationship is sex, and without it one's relationship will fall apart, and I think there are a lot of commercial reasons why that message is put out. That's not just insulting, it's pernicious."
A post-sex state, then? A world where it's OK for marrieds to have separate beds, just like they did 50 years ago, and if they still sleep in the same one, do so in the manner of Morecambe & Wise?
Is it such a sentence? Or might it not give us the freedom to fixate on something else, something we couldn't fixate on when we were younger because we were too busy fixating on you-know-what?
"We might be better off if we didn't have a sex drive," De Botton writes in his conclusion, "for most of our lives, it causes us nothing but trouble and distress." Gardening, then? It's not so bad after all.
Social - 68 is- Too Late-Too long to Work- Too Late to Retire
Updated: 02 Jun 2012
68 is too Late
Too long to work
Too late to retire
We will retire into ill health
Medical advances mean we live longer, but healthy life expectancy is increasing more slowly.
In fact the healthy proportion of our lives is decreasing, according to official figures.
In the 20 years to 2001, life expectancy for women increased from 76.8 years to 80.4, and for men from 70.9 to 75.7.
But healthy life expectancy increased from 66.7 to 68.8 for women, and from 64.4 to 67 for men.
As the pension age rises, the proportion of retirement spent in poor health will increase.
There is a strong relationship between income level and healthy life expectancy. The poorer you are the lower your healthy life expectancy after age 65.
The most deprived 40% of the population - around four million people - spend on average 25-30% of their retirement with a serious health problem, and 45% with a disability.
All the official research suggests that plans to increase state pension age in line with life expectancy will mean a higher proportion of retirement spent in ill-health or with a disability. The hardest hit will be the poorest.
They want our children to work to 80
68 will be the highest state pension age in Europe.
And the formula for further increases outlined in this year's Queen's speech will mean our children and grandchildren work to at least 77:
· Daily Mail: Babies born today won't retire until the age of 77 and their children will work into their 80s, shock report claims
· Telegraph : Queen's Speech 2012: Children born today 'will work to 80' under pension reforms
No European country is planning to raise their pension age this high - and new French president, Francois Hollande, has promised to reduce the pension age from 62 to 60 for many workers.
In Poland there has been civil disobedience against plans to raise the pension age to 67. The BBC has reported that Polish trade unions plan protests during the Euro 2012 football tournament.
In a poll carried out for the '68 is too late' campaign 77% of people said it would be unfair to have a higher state pension age than our neighbours.
Read the poll results in full.
Current pension changes are explained at the Directgov website, which includes a pension age calculator.
· Women - who until recently retired at 60 - will, like men, have to work to 65 by 2018
· Those aged 58 and under receive the state pension at 66; those 50 and under must wait to 67; and everyone under 35 must work to at least 68.
The formula for further increases was laid down in the budget and the Queen's speech.
The government also wants to link the public sector pension age to the state pension age.
The UK is the seventh richest country in the world - but ministers plan to make us work longer than anyone else in Europe
Our young people on the scrapheap
There are more than one million young people out of work. If we don’t free up jobs for these people we risk abandoning a generation to worklessness.
The increases in pension age will mean a higher proportion of older people in the workforce.
Statistics from 2010 show that more than 80% of men aged between 55 and 59, and nearly 70% of women, were economically active.
If this proportion of the workforce were to stay economically active to 64, a further 1.2 million jobs would be needed. If they worked to
70, a further 2.7 million jobs would be required.
Forcing people to work longer will tie down millions of jobs, stunting the employment market and preventing the transfer of skills to new generations.
These figures do not take into account projections for population growth.
It is highly unlikely that the UK economy will create additional jobs at anywhere the speed necessary to employ these additional workers.
The most likely consequence of the government’s plans to increase state pension age will be an increase in unemployment, particularly for those young people entering the workforce.
Pensioner poverty will also increase as older people are turned down for jobs – but are denied the state pension.
You can email David Cameron to tell him '68 is too late' - it's quick and easy.
Social- Child Sex Grooming : The Asian Question
Updated: 10 May 2012
Child sex grooming: the Asian question
Special Report day one: As nine men are jailed for a total of 77 years for abusing young girls, what do we actually know about the cultural side of such crimes?
Paul Vallely Thursday 10 May 2012
According to Crop (the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping) as many as 10,000 children in the UK may be victims of sexual exploitation
Outside Liverpool Crown Court a large group of protesters gathered as the trial began of the nine Asian men from Rochdale who have just been jailed for grooming underage girls for sex.
The demonstrators carried printed banners that read: "Our Children Are Not Halal Meat".
Some had more improvised, handmade posters saying "Paedo scum", "Lock 'em up" and "Hang 'em".
These were the combined pride of the British National Party, the English Defence League and a couple of other far-right groups – called the North West Infidels and the Combined Ex-Forces.
They had been brought together by websites claiming there would be a media blackout of the trial of what they described as "Muslim paedophile grooming gangs" charged with "countless abhorrent sexually motivated charges against children and minors".
Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP and a Member of the European Parliament, was there to give a video interview for the BNP website.
"The mass street grooming of young girls from the English community is only being carried out by Muslims.
All the paedophile groomers in this particular sort of crime – on the street, in gangs – are Muslims.
That's the common denominator," he explained fluently.
"You only have to read the Koran or look at the Hadith – the expressions of what the Prophet did in his life– to see where Muslim paedophilia comes from," he continued.
"Because it's religiously justified so long as it's other people's children and not their own."
This is pretty poisonous rhetoric. And the BNP website prefaces it with an atmospheric recording of the Muslim call to prayer.
Some of the protest placards are written in cod Urdu script.
The message is clear.
The overall statistics give the lie to such claims.
Greater Manchester Police, in whose area the offences took place, has declared that 95 per cent of the men on its sex offenders register are white.
Just five per cent are Asian.
But things do look different when the focus is narrowed to crimes involving groups of men grooming girls on the street. In 18 child sexual exploitation trials since 1997 – in Derby, Leeds, Blackpool, Blackburn, Rotherham, Sheffield, Rochdale, Oldham and Birmingham – relating to the on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16 by two or more men, most of those convicted were of Pakistani heritage.
Sentencing the Rochdale gang yesterday, Judge Gerald Clifton appeared to give credence to the idea that cultural issues were involved.
"All of you treated [the victims] as though they were worthless and beyond respect," he told the men.
"One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion."
But the judge also made it clear that such an interpretation should not have too much weight placed upon it. "Some of you, when arrested, said it was triggered by race," he continued. "That is nonsense. What triggered this prosecution was your lust and greed."
With MPs announcing the launch next month of an inquiry into grooming (which will involve visits by home affairs select committee members to Rochdale and other northern towns), the underlying question is more pertinent than ever: are there more Asians involved in this kind of crime than might be expected, as a proportion of the population?
And, if so, are there any cultural factors that would account for it? I have spent the past two months trying to pick a path through a thicket of racial prejudice, on one side, and political correctness, on the other, to find an answer to these questions.
Emma Jackson's story is typical. She was chatted up in Meadowhall shopping centre near Sheffield by a couple of Asian boys a year or so older than her.
But then she was introduced to their older friends and then to a glamorous suitor called Tarik, who gave her gifts and drinks, cigarettes and drugs, and rides in his smart car.
He encouraged her to try the drugs because, he told her, she was old enough, whatever her parents said.
She was his princess.
He was the only one who understood her: her parents were just fuddy-duddies who wanted her not to have any fun.
But one night Tarik raped her, and everything changed.
Confused, and thinking it must be her own fault, Emma was easy prey when he passed her on for sex to other men.
She was repeatedly raped, exploited, beaten and told that if she refused to co-operate the men would firebomb her home or rape her mother and make her watch.
Various newspapers have quoted research by two academics at the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London (UCL).
Their research, which examined the 18 trials mentioned earlier, showed that of the 56 people found guilty of crimes including rape, child abduction, indecent assault and sex with a child, 53 were Asian.
Of those, 50 were Muslim and a majority were members of the British Pakistani community.
Most of the victims have been white, although in one case several Bangladeshi Muslim girls were also abused.
However, the picture presented by the academics, Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley, looks a lot less clear. "The citations are correct but they have been taken out of context," says Ms Cockbain.
"Nor do they acknowledge the small sample size of the original research, which focused on just two large cases."
So is this a particular problem in the British Asian community?
The question touches on so many sensitivities about race in contemporary society that it is hard to find anyone prepared to tackle it clearly and sensibly. Perhaps that is not surprising.
When the former Home Secretary Jack Straw raised the issue last year – claiming that "there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men... who target vulnerable young white girls" seeing them as "easy meat" for sexual abuse – he found himself in political trouble. He was criticised by one fellow MP for "stereotyping a whole community".
Something similar has happened to a support group called Crop (the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping), for the parents of sexually exploited girls.
Since 2002 the group, which is based in Leeds, has supported the families of 400 victims, including that of Emma Jackson. Last year it was saying that the families had suffered mainly at the hands of Pakistani men.
"The vast majority are white families and the perpetrators are Pakistani Asians," the organisation's chair of trustees, Hilary Willmer, was quoted as saying.
Sources inside Crop placed the percentage as high as 80 per cent, although Kurdish, Romanian and Albanian gangs were also involved.
But today Crop has become nervous about making public statements on the racial dimension of the abuse. "We've been accused of being a cover for the BNP," Ms Willmer told The Independent.
The girls whose families Crop tries to help aretypically targeted between the ages of 11 and 15. Accounts of their experiences still fill the organisation's website. Story after story shows how subtly and insidiously the grooming is done.
Crop believes, based on limited reporting data, that as many as 10,000 children in the UK may be victims of sexual exploitation. But on the cultural background of the predators, Crop has gone suddenly silent. So too have the police.
Lancashire Police are so nervous about the subject that they would not even talk about a pilot project which is considered the national model for how to deal with the grooming of unsuspecting children.
Called Engage, and based in Jack Straw's Blackburn constituency, it brings together a range of services – police, social workers, nurses, sexual health and drugs workers and Crop parents – to prevent, protect and prosecute.
The project carries out surveillance operations against men suspected of exploiting children sexually.
It also issues legal warning notices to suspect adults and tours secondary schools with its own film, aimed at young teenaged girls and warning them – as Emma Jackson puts it – about the dangers they face "when they are 13 and so naïve and trusting about what can happen".
In the four years since it was formed Engage has rescued 80 children from sexual exploitation and got many back into school. It has had a conviction rate of 90 per cent.
Working in the Eastern Division, which had the highest figures for missing children – and where only one offender had previously been convicted – the project uncovered, in 2008-2009 alone, a total of 100 offences of child abduction, rape and sexual activity with minors involving 36 individuals.
Strangely, however, Lancashire Police refused several requests over the past two months to talk to The Independent about the success of the project.
So too did Nick McPartlan, the team manager at Engage.
So did the project's parents' representative. All this hyper-sensitivity has led to accusations of political correctness from right-wing newspapers, whose anti-immigration agenda is neatly fed by suggestions that on-street grooming is a peculiarly Asian phenomenon.
"Police and social services have been accused of fuelling a culture of silence which has allowed hundreds of young white girls to be exploited by Asian men for sex," the Daily Mail has said.
"Experts claim the statistics represent a mere fraction of a 'tidal wave' of offending in counties across the Midlands and the north of England which has been going on for more than a decade."
It reported that one senior policeman, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards of West Mercia Police, had called for "an end to the 'damaging taboo' connecting on-street grooming with race", quoting him as saying that "these girls are being passed around and used as meat".
The response of the Government was for the Children's minister, Tim Loughton, to warn that that "denial" over racial grooming did nothing to help victims.
"Political correctness and racial sensitivities have in the past been an issue," he said, and the authorities still "have to be aware of certain characteristics of various ethnic communities and be sensitive as to how we deal with them."
All cases must be vigorously investigated, he insisted, though he added that grooming underage children for sex was not a problem exclusively associated with one particular community.
So: what are those "certain characteristics of various ethnic communities"?
And where does the truth lie?
Last year, the government's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre launched a five-month investigation into the issue.
It took the broadest definition of underage grooming, describing it as any situation where a child or young person receives something in exchange for performing sexual favours.
The centre identified 2,379 potential offenders who had been reported for grooming since 2008. The vast majority were men. Most were aged 18 to 24.
It could fully identify only 940 of the suspects. Of these, 38 per cent were white, 32 per cent were recorded as of unknown ethnicity, 26 per cent were Asian, 3 per cent were black and less than 1 per cent were Chinese.
These figures were reported in the media with various degrees of sensationalism.
The 2001 census recorded 92.1 per cent of the general population as white, 2 per cent as black, 3.1 per cent as Indian or Pakistani, 1.2 per cent as "mixed" and 1.6 per cent as "other".
But what was not prominently noted was that the centre's findings were heavily qualified by phrases such as "where ethnicity was recorded". What about the cases where it was not? The overall data was poorly recorded, inconsistent and incomplete, expert academics say.
"[The centre] drew data from a whole range of groups, like the children's charity Barnardo's, and as a result all the figures compiled have to be treated with caution as they were not all compiled in the same way," say Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley from UCL.
"There is no criminal offence of 'on-street grooming'. Consequently, it is very difficult to measure the extent of this crime based on court statistics," they say.
As with their own report, they worried that "findings were being overextended from a small, geographically concentrated sample to characterise an entire crime type".
But the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre deliberately refrained from drawing conclusions about ethnicity, admitting itself that the data was "too inconsistent".
"Focusing on this problem simply through the lens of ethnicity does not do it service," said its chief executive, Peter Davies.
The organisation has passed the buck on this delicate issue to the government's Office of the Children's Commissioner, which is nine months into a two-year inquiry into child sexual exploitation by street gangs.
Until that inquiry reports, those who are reluctant to rush to racial stereotyping may, as Ella Cockbain puts it, "not be involved in a culture of silence so much as a culture of caution".
So what can we know about these victims and predators?
Wendy Shepherd, child sexual exploitation project manager with Barnardo's in the north of England, says that most abusers are white and most child sex exploitation happens in the home.
White males who are predators on the street tend to work alone, though they also prey in internet grooming rings, she says.
"When I started this work 12 years ago," she says, "the problem was mainly young people being put on the street by their older 'boyfriends'.
An older man is anyone [who is at least] five years older than the girl.
All ethnicities and professions were involved.
Today it's much more hidden, with young girls being groomed at takeaways, in parks, shopping malls or bus stations.
"There has been a shift from the men selling children in ones or twos to something that is much more organised in groups and networks.
The networks of men come from different backgrounds: in the North and Midlands many have been British Asians; in Devon it was white men; in Bath and Bristol, Afro-Caribbeans; in London, all ethnic mixes, whites, Iraqis, Kurds, Afghans, Somalis.
"The danger with saying that the problem is with one ethnicity is that then people will only be on the lookout for that group – and will risk missing other threats."
The gifts given to girls in grooming are breathtakingly trivial. Often the presents involved are nothing more than a bag of chips, a cigarette or two, or a few illicit swigs of vodka.
"Gifts such as mobile telephones are far less common," say Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley.
Attention, affection and excitement are often enough.
And for all the talk about "gangs" of offenders, the two researchers from UCL's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science say a lot of grooming has little to do with organised crime. "The offenders abused their victims casually, almost as a hobby-type behaviour," they say.
"While some cases have involved the commercial exploitation of victims this is not the norm.
When victims have been sold for sex this has typically been at prices below the market rate."
The big problem that the police have in prosecuting over these offences is that many of the abused girls do not see themselves as victims.
When questioned by the police they continue to describe their abusers as their "boyfriends". In the case that ended at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, one of the teenage girls, who was made pregnant by her abuser, had said earlier, under cross-examination, that she was still in love with him.
Such attitudes are commonplace.
Child sex abuse can involve brutal and savage behaviour, but most instances, according to the UCL researchers, the abusers are coercive in more subtle ways, using confusion, peer pressure and emotional blackmail as well as alcohol and drugs.
"Grooming is best understood as a cumulative process: the way a victim is treated by one offender may affect their response to another," say Cockbain and Brayley.
Girls can draw their friends into the offending groups, sometimes to feel safety in numbers, though sometimes to distract an abuser
. "You are dealing with teenagers," says Cockbain, "and most teenagers do stupid things.
It is just that generally those stupid acts do not lead them into serious danger."
That explains why Crop, the support group for the parents of sexually exploited girls, is so keen to emphasise that victims are not just dysfunctional kids from broken homes or children in local authority care – though most victims are – but can also be middle-class girls who have ponies.
"It can happen to any child in any family," says Hilary Willmer, Crop's chair of trustees. Indeed, girls from more sheltered backgrounds, who are less streetwise, may be easier targets.
"Affected families come from right across the social spectrum.
What they have in common is that their child has been 'caught' by clever manipulative criminals who know exactly what they are doing.
Part of the grooming involves alienating the child from her family.
Parents are bewildered, angry, and feel guilty but they are then often judged and blamed as well for what has happened. The whole family become victims."
What cannot be denied in all this is that – whether the percentages are disproportionate or not – significant numbers of British Pakistani men are involved in such abuse.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre report hinted at that when it said that many offender groups "were related to each other in some way, either as friends, family members or work colleagues" – noting that "where offenders worked together, the place of work was either a takeaway restaurant or a taxi firm".
Martin Narey was the director-general of Britain's prisons for seven years, after which he became chief executive of Barnardo's, the charity which cares for vulnerable children and young people.
"When I began at Barnardo's I was resistant to the idea that there was a racial or cultural dimension to child abuse," he says.
"If anything, my experience in running the Prison Service taught me that sex offenders were generally white.
But some time ago I decided that in not exploring that we were leaving children at risk.
I found the picture not to be constant, but certainly in the North the repetitive evidence of Asian men as perpetrators could not be ignored."
This is not to buy into the British National Party's "Our Children are Not Halal Meat" anti-Muslim agenda.
The BNP refers to this type of offending as "Muslim paedophilia", but, as Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley point out: "This is misguided for two reasons.
First, it is not paedophilia since the victims are not pre-pubescent.
"There is also no indication that the offenders are exclusively or preferentially sexually attracted to minors. Secondly, religion seems to be a red herring here, in that many offenders seem to be Muslim only in a nominal sense.
Prior to arrest many drank alcohol, took drugs, did not have beards, and all engaged in extramarital sex with underage girls.
Hardly the hallmarks of a strict Muslim."
The evidence that the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science has gathered suggests that victims are targeted not because they are white but rather in a haphazard opportunistic manner – with the perpetrators cruising the streets for whatever girls they happen to see hanging about there.
Convenience and accessibility, rather than race, appear to be the primary drivers.
The men go for the easiest targets.
"Indeed, though most of the victims are white British," the researchers say, "the proportion of black and minority ethnicity victims was actually higher than what might be expected, given the local demographics." Martin Narey agrees.
"I have never subscribed to the view that these men have some sort of moral code and would not abuse Asian girls," he says.
"They'd abuse any child over whom they could exert power. The reality, however, is that the girls who make themselves vulnerable on our cities, particularly at night, are generally white. Asian girls, more strictly parented, are at home."
Even so, it is clear that some Asian men do target underage schoolgirls and attempt to groom them for sex.
The exact proportion may be unclear because the statistics on these crimes are so incomplete and inconsistent.
But there is a serious problem within parts of the British Pakistani community.
What is to be done about that?
Wendy Shepherd, Barnardo's on-street grooming expert is clear.
"As with any community where child sexual exploitation is occurring," she says, "you need to engage the community and its leaders to combat the problem".
Social- Fathers to get Rights over Children after marriage break up
Updated: 10 May 2012
Fathers get more rights to see kids after break-ups
17 years too late for this father
But Will Mothers get any less Rights ?
Wednesday 09 May 2012
The coalition looks set to hand more rights to fathers to see their children following family break-ups yesterday under new proposals.
Parenting groups cautiously welcomed plans announced in the Queen’s speech to encourage more shared parenting arrangements after separation, but they argued that the family justice system and support services also needed to be reformed and improved.
A consultation on legal options to strengthen the law in England and Wales in the Children and Families Bill to ensure that “where it is safe and in the child’s best interests,” both parents can have a relationship with their children after they split up.
Centre for Separated Families counsellor Karen said: “Far too many children are missing out on the input of one parent — usually dad.
“But we also need to see services that support that change, services that can offer parents the information and advice they need to make it work.”
Social- Marriage & Divorce - And a Woman of Fortune
Updated: 08 May 2012
Marriage and divorce: we're pulling ourselves apart
The Marriage Foundation shouldn’t seek to make divorce harder,
but improve the preparation of couples for lifelong commitment.
Piece of cake? For richer, for poorer, but not always for life
Radical -Can you Spot a Woman of Fortune ? Only Requirements - A child at foot.
Solution ? A Vasectomy or "The Pill"and strong resolve not to have children.
There are too many in the world now ! Both Woman of Fortune and Children
7:41PM BST 30 Apr 2012
Judges do not traditionally speak out about the social issues that manifest themselves in their courts.
Their historic role has been to preside over every combination of human wickedness and folly, adjudicate with wisdom and impartiality and confine any private bemusement and shock to their inner circle.
This has proved too much of a restraint to Sir Paul Coleridge, the senior family court judge whose despair at the growing rate of family breakdown and its consequences has driven him to found a campaign for the promotion and shoring up of marriage.
He describes the Marriage Foundation, which launches today, as not a moral crusade but a health campaign.
The nation is suffering from an epidemic of divorce and its devastating consequences.
Sir Paul and the high-powered line-up of divorce lawyers and judges who stand with him will do anything they can to turn back the tide.
I don’t think that any reader of this paper will disagree with the Marriage Foundation that the potential consequences of divorce – misery, financial hardship, children whose entire lives are affected by their parents’ break-up – are awful and to be avoided at all costs.
This knowledge goes on one side of the scale.
On the other side are piled the wreckage of grievance, shattered illusions, betrayal and heartbreak in one incoherent, insurmountable heap.
The overwhelming feelings of the adults are allowed to outweigh the unspoken and unrepresented feelings of the children and the results are often satisfactory to nobody.
I would not like to be in the position of a family court judge, especially because, as an agony aunt, I was often the recipient of the anguish that followed their decisions.
The question is whether the Marriage Foundation is right about the scale of the problem; and, if so, what role do the family courts have in solving it?
And there is another situation that is much harder for it to address – what do we do, if anything, about the growing number of families where the parents are not married and whose problems, therefore, do not come before Sir Paul and his colleagues?
Some 1.8 million adults and children now live in cohabiting families.
The Marriage Foundation hopes to articulate and advocate marriage to those who are avoiding it, but there are a great many social factors to contend with.
It is hard for the law to influence those who have chosen to stay outside it, especially when the decision not to marry is partly influenced by fears of the horrors of the divorce process itself.
To address the problem of divorce first, it is true that, according to the Office for National Statistics, the divorce rate in 2010, at 119,589, was nearly 5 per cent up on the previous year.
It is also true that for the previous six years the divorce rate had been going down, from a high of 153,065 in 2003. The current divorce rate is almost the same as the rate in 1972 after the introduction of the Divorce Reform Act.
So the perception that divorce is increasing is misleading.
In so far as there is any pattern to divorce rates, it seems that the rate may peak during a recession, which, if true, underlines the fact that money is a major potential source of conflict in relationships.
There is some evidence that marriage is a better shield in difficult times.
If you marry, you declare publicly that you will stick by each other for richer for poorer, so a recession should be just one more challenge that you meet and overcome together.
This idea of marriage as a conscious, mutually responsible undertaking that takes a lifetime to consolidate is at the heart, as I understand it, of Sir Paul’s passionate advocacy of the married state.
Unfortunately, the fact that couples stand up in public and make this declaration is no guarantee that any of it will come to mind when the chips are down.
Sir Paul has warned us against the Hello!-style wedding and the celebrity-inspired meteoric trajectory of marriage towards the divorce courts.
Who thinks of “for richer for poorer” when it has taken a year to coordinate the dress and the flowers and when the stag and hen nights involved taking annual leave?
It’s not the best preparation for the day-to-day compromise of marriage to start with the fairy-tale happy ending and, often, a large debt.
You would think that the expense and complexity of the fashionable wedding would act as a deterrent to an unwise marriage and as an insurance policy against a divorce, but it doesn’t seem to work like that. It is as though all the thought and planning goes into the event and not the life that follows.
Sir Paul would like to see compulsory mediation for couples applying for divorce, and so would I – particularly and inescapably where children are involved. But I think this is leaving things rather late.
One advantage of getting married in the framework of a religion, it seems to me, is that there is usually some form of practical and moral preparation.
The last thing that couples heading for the altar in a hormonal haze want to hear is stuff about joint bank balances and conflict resolution, but this is exactly when they ought to hear it.
Vicars may set up classes in marriage preparation, but there is nothing comparable for couples who choose a civil ceremony. Perhaps there should be.
I don’t think that Sir Paul would disagree with me when I say that the kind of skills that will see you through marriage could easily be taught in schools.
Nobody should leave school without some basic practice in resolving conflict and some hard financial skills, such as budgeting.
A more realistic sense of what family life involves combined with the skills to manage it could help to keep people out of the divorce courts.
But there is another side to Sir Paul’s crusade and that is the fact – much harder to regulate – that fewer people are choosing to get married in the first place.
How do you sell marriage to the growing numbers of young people who do not want to spend thousands they can’t afford on a wedding, and who do not see the connections between their private lives and the public good?
These people already think they have the upside of marriage – the love, the closeness, the children – without the downsides.
What can the Marriage Foundation say to them, other than to make sure they are aware of the tax implications of their decisions and that they should all make wills?
Marriage was once the only way.
Not to be married was to be outcast and an object of disapproval. Not any more. Children born out of wedlock used to be stigmatised.
There are many more varieties of unofficial family than the one demonised as the feckless single-mother version.
I believe in marriage, but there are many more life choices than there were when the divorce laws changed in the 1970s. I don’t think divorce needs to be made more difficult.
It is bad enough already.
But I would like to see separating couples go through mandatory mediation, and I would like to see the courts give shared parenting to fathers and support to all children going through family break-up.
Beyond this, I wish the Marriage Foundation luck in turning this particular social tide
Social- Half of Older People Postpone Retirement for 6 or more years
Updated: 08 May 2012
Older people after the age of 50 will be increasingly compelled to continue working after the state retirement age to maintain their standard of living.
New figures released from the report by the Pension Policy Institute show that 45 per cent of those between 50 and the state pension age will have to work at least six years after their pension age and 45 per cent will have to work at least 11 years.
These findings reflect the effects on older people from the economic crisis.
Latest statistics show a 27 per cent increase in the number of unemployed women aged 50 to 64 on this time last year, an age group most affected by unemployment.
The figures also demonstrate an increase of 45 per cent on the unemployment among over 50s in the UK bringing the total to 118,000.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK said: "These figures show that the traditional pattern of retiring and living comfortably on a pension earned over many years of working has broken down.
"Lower annuity returns and other factors mean that more and more people will have to work past their state pension age - and often for many years - if they are to have enough money to live comfortably."
Social- Singapore- Minor in Major Sex Scandal & Licenced Brothels
Updated: 24 Apr 2012
Singapore Minor in Major Sex Scandal
Written by Paul Karl Lukacs
Friday, 20 April 2012
Finding a friend in Singapore
Underage hooker exposes the grime beneath Lion City's gleam
A seamy scandal involving a sexy underage prostitute has become the talk of Singapore.
On Monday, 44 men were charged with “commercial sex with a minor under 18,” a relatively recent law which prohibits men from engaging the services of an underage prostitute.
While the salacious allegations may seem incongruous, coming from a nation best known for its graffiti-free streets, strict laws and squeaky clean image, the story has exposed Singapore’s wild but under-reported sexual history.
It is a history that by and large the government prefers to ignore publicly, instead emphasizing family tourism to its vast Sentosa complex.
However, the city-state has its raunchy side, an underworld teeming with prostitution that the police attempt to regulate carefully.
The government licenses brothels such as those in the Geylang neighborhood.
The nightclub-packed retail section of the Orchard Towers office building is known as “Four Floors of Whores.” There are more than 60 "escort services" listed in the Singapore telephone directory.
Although Bugis Street, known during the colonial era as a promenade for transsexual hookers, has been redeveloped into an imitation of its previous self, the trade migrated to Changi Village and remains there.
While the local age of consent is 16, the age for commercial sexual transactions – prostitution is legal in Singapore -- was raised in 2007 by two additional years.
The government acknowledged at the time that there was little need for the new law.
“Although there is no evidence to suggest that we have a problem with 16- and 17-year-olds engaging in commercial sex in Singapore, we decided to set the age of protection at 18 years so as to protect a higher proportion of minors,” said senior home affairs minister Ho Peng Kee on the floor of Parliament when the bill was introduced.
“Young persons, because they are immature and vulnerable and can be exploited therefore, should be protected from providing sexual services.”
The young woman at the center of the controversy has been identified on Singaporean web sites as a now-19-year-old polytechnic student, Steph Thia Hwee Koon, who worked under the name Chantelle.
The debate is whether she can accurately be described as vulnerable, exploited or in any way a victim.
The young woman’s actions, as described in court documents and media reports, have been ripe fodder for gossip. She charged between S$400 and S$650 (US$320 to US$520) per assignation.
On Oct. 10, 2010, she met with four clients within three hours.
The service’s website described her as “18 year-old. Singapore Chinese student and part time model. 1.60m tall, 48kg. Cup C. Bubbly girl. New to escort trade.”
The agency’s alleged ringleader, 39-year-old Tang Boon Thiew, was charged late last year with 34 counts of living off the earnings of prostitutes and at least one count of having sex with an underage employee, according to media reports.
He reportedly paid one of his recruits S$50 (US$40) to test the quality of her services.
This week’s charges – in addition to the 44 men on Monday, four more were named Tuesday and additional prosecutions are expected -- against the johns appear to have originated when Tang or the young woman traded a diary and cell phone records to authorities in exchange for lenient treatment.
There is currently no indication that the woman has been charged with a crime, an issue that rankles some of the defense lawyers.
“Who are they trying to protect?” asked defense counsel Subhas Anandan (in a televised quote which was later edited out of the state-controlled media).
“As far as I’m concerned this girl doesn’t need any protection.
She’s a hardcore prostitute who got so many people into trouble.”
While prosecutors originally refused to divulge the woman’s name, the Attorney-General’s Chambers announced late Wednesday that it would identify her in amended charging documents but would seek a gag order, which has since been granted , prohibiting the dissemination of her name.
Two mid-level members of the ruling People’s Action Party have publicly requested that the woman not be identified, and the government press has focused its coverage on the men while largely ignoring the girl.
Meanwhile, in addition to the fresh reports identifying Steph Thia Hwee Koon as the young woman, internet postings from 2010 described her by name as engaging in underage prostitution at the rates, circumstances and time periods described by prosecutors.
Photos in which her face has not been obscured and which purport to match cached copies of the now-deactivated escort site (www.theviemodels.com) have appeared on the Singaporean Internet, particularly the Eat Drink Man Woman forum of the Hardware Zone tech site.
As of late Thursday night, multiple internet sites were identifying the woman and posting the alleged photos.
The men caught up in the scandal come from a broad swath of Singaporean society.
The alleged patrons include a low-level PAP organizer, a school principal, a member of the Shaw Brothers motion picture family – one of Singapore’s most distinguished – as well as a police officer and a former UBS banker.
“There is no defense unless doubt can be raised about whether or not the sex took place.
The burden is on the man to satisfy that she is 18 by asking for a passport or identity papers,” said Chia Boon Teck, a local attorney.
While the relevant Penal Code statute for the johns provides for criminal sanctions ranging from a fine to seven years of imprisonment, Chia said “nine months plus or minus is the benchmark we are looking at.”
In the 2009 case of Tan Chye Hin v. Public Prosecutor, the Singaporean High Court affirmed a sentence of nine months, noting that “a custodial sentence should be the norm in order to sufficiently deter such behavior and to reflect the seriousness of such offenses.”
A fine and no imprisonment would be appropriate when the woman was just under 18 and presented convincing forged identity documents to the customer, the court noted.
(Paul Karl Lukacs is legal affairs correspondent for Asia Sentinel.)
Social-113,000 Pensioners angry with Labour' failure to vote to reverse pension changes- RPI to CPI
Updated: 20 Apr 2012
Pensioners say Labour has disappointed them
Thursday 19 April 2012
Pensioners yelled at shadow chancellor Ed Balls during a meeting in Parliament on Thursday for Labour's failure to vote reverse changes to upgrade pensions from RPI to CPI.
Sitting alongside One Foot In The Grave star Richard Wilson, who did not speak, and shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves, Mr Balls attempted to defend Labour's legacy in light of cruel coalition budget proposals targeting pensioners.
The rally and lobby held by the National Pensioners Convention came ahead of a debate on the Finance Bill and an Opposition amendment to withdraw the "granny tax" - the government's decision to freeze age related tax allowances.
Ms Reeves said: "This tax raid on pensioners is going to be used to cut the tax for the very wealthy.
"They are putting multi-millionaires first and pensioners second.
"In Parliament today myself and all Labour MPs will be voting against this tax grab," she added.
But Ms Reeves and Mr Balls were challenged by two pensioners who reminded them that last month only 33 MPs voted to reverse changes which link pensions from Retail Price Index to the lower Consumer Price Index, which will give smaller pension increases each year.
"I don't believe in Father Christmas," said Barnet pensioner Dave Shepherd in response to pledges by NPC members to work with Labour to improve policies for pensioners in the future.
NPC London chairman Barry Todman added: "Most people can understand the disillusionment towards MPs if Labour would not commit to reverse this current problem.
"We want some guarantee and only 33 MPs voted to change the uprating of pensions back again to RPI. The Labour Party should be supporting the people. I think that's an insult."
Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins and chairman of NPC's parliamentary group responded: "Labour needs to commit to reversing the change not just morally but politically.
"Unfortunately these issues often need to be constantly raised for change to finally occur as when politicians are told that two-plus-two-is-four they are prone to responding. That's a very interesting concept I will have to give it some consideration."
An e-petition calling for the tax allowance freeze to be reversed has so far gained 60,000 signatures.
Social - 66% of Divorces are intitiated by Women
Updated: 19 Apr 2012
Women Initiate Divorce 66% of The Time:
Why Do They Want To Get Married?
By Dashing Darné
By Dashing Darné | Love + Sex – Tue, Jan 12, 2010 11:57 PM
Every month it seems articles are written for women giving them tips on how to get their men to commit, propose, or marry them.
Suggestions range from cooking a particular meal, spoiling him to death, to breaking up with him so he'll miss her and realize she's "the one."
Author Sherry Argov took it a step beyond the "break up" technique when she wrote her book "Why Men Marry Bitches: A Woman's Guide to Winning Her Man's Heart"
She states women who are too nice don't get their man.
According to these types of books, seminars, and articles it seems like marriage is something men have to be tricked into, sold on, or given an ultimatum in order to get them to pop the question.
Ironically according to recent statistics it's women that file for the majority of divorces.
(Men on the other hand are likely to "remarry" sooner then women).
"Compared with women, men remarry sooner and more often and generally marry someone a few years younger."
This could lead one to believe that once men have been coerced into marriage by their first wife they see more benefits in tying the knot.
Historically marriage for men meant they would take care of the family's financial needs and women would take care of the household needs.
Sex would take place on a regular basis and most meals would be home cooked.
However if there's a divorce he would be the one moving out of the house, becoming a weekend parent while continuing to support his ex and children financially.
Once the sexual revolution was in full swing and women joined the workforce in record numbers the dynamics of married life changed.
In addition better birth control options for women allowed for an increase in premarital sex while reducing the accidental pregnancies.
Society also became more accepting of couples living together.
Marriage was now an unnecessary legal hurdle in the eyes of many men.
As women became more equal to men in the job force they also began to feel less inclined to get married.at younger ages..
Fairytales Die Hard
Aside from the "biological clock" factor we live in an age where women have most of the same options as men in relationships.
Why do women continue to want to get married in higher numbers than men?
Instead of dropping hints,hoping, praying or trying to manipulate a man into proposing.....etc
Why don't more women just pop the question instead of waiting to be asked?
The real power belongs to the proactive person that's asking.
Sure the response may be "No" but he/she can move on to ask another person long before the reactive/respondent person is asked again.
One theory is the " romantic fairytale" lives on even in 2010.
From childhood little girls dream of some day having a man kneel down on one knee and ask them for their hand in marriage while offering a beautiful diamond ring.
They want to walk down the aisle dressed in a magnificently stunning white dress while everyone's eyes are glued on them.
For just one day in their lives they want to be a "princess"
If things aren't going according to her plans she may turn into a "Bridezilla" according to one TV show.
Most men would rather not deal with the stress of picking colors, flowers, invitations,tasting sample foods, and deciding who will be seated next whom during the reception.
Those men who do want to make some of the wedding day decisions often end up having the first many real power struggles with their future wives.
Men approach the idea of marriage differently from women
When it comes to reception traditions single women quickly stand in packs ready to compete with each other to catch the bridal bouquet.
Single men on the other hand are pushed out on the floor for the tossing of the garter.
Going to "the next level" is often times the last level.
The real thrill is becoming engaged and preparing for one day.
It's as if the real push to have a "wedding day" and not so much the "marriage".
So much excitement and focus is placed on the wedding day as opposed to what life will be like moving forward year after year.
Once the big day is over, the dress has been put away, and the honeymoon is over the day to day marriage begins.
A woman that elects to have children and stay home with them often times becomes resentful of the husband that gets to go out into the adult world each day.
In fact she may feel as though she gave up some of her identity, her dreams, & goals.
Even when a woman decides continue her career more often than not she is still saddled with taking care of the bulk of the home chores, cooking, cleaning, tending to childrens needs while her husband comes home from work to relax.
"The majority of midlife divorces are initiated by women.
Don't believe it?
In the AARP survey, 66 percent of women reported that they asked for the divorce, compared with 41 percent of men. And men more often than women were caught off-guard by their divorce.."
"The perceived benefits of divorce differ by gender.
Women were far more likely than men to say that having their own self-identity was a top reward....
.......43 percent of women said they emerged from the split against remarriage.
Only 33 percent of men said they wouldn't remarry."
" women file for divorce and are often the instigators of separation... Furthermore, divorced women in large numbers reveal that they are happier than they were while married."
Lastly a recent study concerning women's health in marriages indicated the following...
"Women who felt depressed in strained marriages faced a boosted risk of hypertension, waistline obesity, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and low levels of "good cholesterol" HDL - five factors of metabolic syndrome. Male spouses who felt similarly down in the dumps did not see similar risks."
The leading cause for divorce is selecting the wrong mate.
Social-Staying Hitched- For Women boredom is overcome by a-"A Change(or Child)is as good as a Rest"
Updated: 19 Apr 2012
Why can't we stay married?
A survey claims that Britain is full of people who tie the knot late in life,
immediately have children – and then get divorced.
Sarah Cassidy investigates
Sarah Cassidy Thursday 19 April 2012
It could be described as a depressing portrait of a modern relationship: a career-driven couple meet later in life, have a whirlwind romance and settle down quickly to have children.
Then things start to go wrong.
This is the picture painted by research carried out by the parenting website Netmums, which found that modern relationships are most likely to break down after just three years due to the stresses of late parenthood.
Relationship specialists immediately pointed to a growing trend for “fast forward” partnerships as couples leave it later in life to get together – but spend less time getting to know each other before moving in together and having children.
One in 20 couples polled admitted they were expecting a baby within three months of getting together and 15 per cent within a year.
Consequently, the study of 1,500 people found that couples are now four and a half times more likely to split up after three years – earlier than the “seven year itch” traditionally cited as the danger point in a relationship.
More than 20 per cent of couples who split saw their relationship fall apart between two and four years, while only 3 per cent broke up seven years in.
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that women now delay having children until they are nearly 30.
The average age of women giving birth in England and Wales is now a year older than it was a decade ago (29.5 in 2010 compared with 28.5 in 2000).
The figures also suggest an increase in the number of parents who are living together, as the number of those who are married or in civil partnerships continues to fall.
The proportion of births to couples who are married or in civil partnerships was 53 per cent in 2010, compared with 61 per cent in 2000, and 88 per cent in 1980.
But births registered by parents who appeared to be cohabiting – by jointly registering the baby and giving the same address – has risen, reaching 31 per cent of all births in 2010, compared with 25 per cent in 2000.
Penny Mansfield, director of One Plus One, the relationships charity, said: “This poll supports what we know of the changing social patterns that we see all around us.
People are not marrying in the numbers that they did but they are forming partnerships and having children.
“People may have a series of relationships and then get to a certain age and then think: ‘Oh we should have children’ without necessarily having made more of a commitment.
When you get this more informal approach to relationships – particularly when you have children – relationships are much more unstable.
“People also now have much higher expectations of relationships. So when people hit difficulties, often when they become parents, they think: “Things aren’t what they were’.”
Two out of five parents responding to the poll reported that they were so short of time and money that they could only go out as a couple “two or three” times a year.
Fifteen per cent said they “never” went out as a couple anymore, while 14 per cent only had a single night a year together. Only one in 100 parents now spends quality time together a few nights a week.
Leila Collins, a counselling psychologist and lecturer at Middesex University, said: “There’s a great deal of pressure on women to educate themselves and prepare themselves for careers.
Consequently the age at which they are prepared to settle down is a bit older and they may feel the clock is ticking.
Even though they are a bit older and more experienced, when it comes to choosing a partner to start a family with, they may make mistakes.
“If you are going to have children with someone you need to be absolutely sure, no matter how much the clock is ticking.
It is absolutely ludicrous and childish for people to think that they can have a child with someone and move on. You cannot take these risks with other people’s lives on a whim.”
The study also found that two thirds of couples believe it is harder to maintain a relationship nowadays compare to a generation ago.
Almost two in five couples said it was more difficult to maintain a relationship because women were forced to work and had less time for their partners, while 22 per cent thought couples were less committed and too quick to split.
One in 10 believe couples take having children “too lightly”.
Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard said: “Relationships are tough at the best of times, but add in young children, lack of time, work and money worries and it’s little surprise couples are splitting up earlier than ever before.
There is unprecedented pressure on women to be the perfect wife, mother and career woman while men are feeling more and more unsure of their role.”
Having children was shown to be the biggest problem area. Almost half (42 per cent) of people who took part in the research claimed having children made them less close – with only a third saying they became closer after kids.
Four in five people polled said their relationship suffered when they were exhausted after the birth of a new baby or looking after young children. Almost half (46 per cent) went off sex, while two in five felt less attractive after putting on weight.
More than half blamed money worries and debts for problems in their relationship, while a third suffered postnatal depression. One in 14 admitted to starting an affair, while 9 per cent said their partner wanted to become more sexually adventurous when they didn’t.
Social- Crisis in Care- To the Tories the Elderly and Disabled are not worth so much
Updated: 18 Apr 2012
Exclusive: Crisis in care of elderly as £1bn cuts bite
Hundreds of thousands face reduction in their support
Nigel Morris Wednesday 18 April 2012
Hundreds of thousands of elderly and disabled people face cuts to their support and assistance this year as councils struggle to find new savings of £1bn from social-care budgets, an investigation by The Independent has established.
As town halls cut spending on help for the vulnerable by up to 10 per cent, care homes are being shut, social workers made redundant and charges for day care increased.
There are also warnings that the measures could be counterproductive, as they will increase the strain on hospitals required to care for people not well enough to live at home without support. The economies are being forced through as the cumulative effects of austerity measures announced by the Chancellor mount.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) calculates that budgets dropped in England by £1bn last year and forecasts another £1bn in cuts over the next two years.
Council chiefs are wielding the axe at a time when demographic pressures are growing, with the number of people aged over 85 increasing by more than 250,000 in the last six years.
Some councils are trying to minimise the impact on front-line services through efficiency savings from elsewhere in their budgets, but many are still having to cut services or raise charges.
The Independent carried out a survey of more than 30 authorities, establishing that they are planning to reduce care spending by an average of 3 per cent this year. As a result, many are having to make tough decisions on social care. They include:
* Salford Council, which is trimming care spending by 9.9 per cent. It is proposing cutting 87 jobs and requiring some people to make a contribution towards their care;
* Bradford Council, which plans to raise charges for home care, day care, transport and meals in day centres as it looks for savings of £8.5m. It is also reviewing the future of three care centres;
* Norfolk, where cuts of nearly £7m this year have led to charges for using day services and a reduction of £500,000 on spending on independent living for mental-health patients;
* Lincolnshire, which has to identify savings of £39m by 2014-15, has closed eight care homes;
* Hampshire Council, which is cutting the equivalent of 165 full-time care posts and examining ways of designing "cost-effective care packages".
Growing numbers of councils, such as Leeds, Middlesbrough and Hampshire, are investing in "reablement" programmes of intensive help for people to live independently at home so they do not require long-term support.
Others, including Birmingham, favour the use of "telecare" – a system enabling a vulnerable person to raise the alarm if he or she needs help – as an alternative to personal care.
The scale of the continuing cuts emerged nine months after the Dilnot Commission called for an overhaul in the funding of social care. All-party talks have begun on the issue and the Government has promised to publish a white paper on the subject.
Liz Kendall, the shadow minister for Care and Older People, said: "The care system is in crisis and has reached breaking point. Fewer people are getting the care they need – this is distressing for them and their families. Nor does it make economic sense because it costs all of us more when elderly and disabled people have to spend more time in hospital."
Michelle Mitchell, the director general of Age UK, said: "Cuts to social-care budgets are having a devastating impact on vulnerable older people. As a result, vital services are being withdrawn and reduced and this has led to an unprecedented crisis in care, jeopardising older people's health, dignity and well-being.
"Social care provides the fundamental support to enable people to wash, eat and maintain relationships. There are currently nearly 800,000 older people who need care, who receive no support from either public or private agencies. The Government must not shirk from its responsibility, but must address the current funding shortfall, and create a sustainable system for the future funding of social care."
In a speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services today, its president, Sarah Pickup, will warn of tough times ahead because of the continuing squeeze on budgets. "With no chance of an emergency stop, the results will not be pretty," she will say.
David Gower, 76, lives in sheltered accommodation. He has a neurological problem which has left him with severe mobility problems. He relies on carers four times a day
"My local authority has already cut down my home-care service as much as it can. I rely on carers four times a day to help me with my personal care – morning, lunchtime, tea-time and night-time.
"It is very difficult for the carers to get me out of bed, washed, toileted, dressed and breakfasted, with the bed made, in the 45 minutes' time they have been allotted.
"I've also seen a big increase to the charges I pay for the care. I share my home-care costs with the local authority. My contribution has recently gone up from around £234 to £324 a month. I struggle with my payments – on top of my rent and bills – from my pension and dwindling savings. I am just existing.
"I think it is an inhuman way to treat the elderly and people unable to take care of themselves. My hospital consultant recently gave me a letter to give to social services setting out the different ways I needed help every day – in particular putting a special bandage on my arm at night and applying some medicated cream. Social services have refused to help me. There are many people like me who are really struggling. The cuts are making a bad situation even worse."
Around Britain: How the cuts will bite
Bradford City Council
Three care homes under review
Proposing to increase home care from £10.35 an hour to £13.75 an hour.
Salford City Council
87 estimated job losses within community health and social care. Proposals to require recipients of Adult Social Care services to pay a contribution to the cost of their care.
Leeds City Council
Funding for "reablement" (instead of long-term care). Council looking for £5.1m "efficiency" savings.
Norfolk County Council
£600,000 saving from removing the subsidy for community meals.
Charging for day services.
Manchester City Council
£250 maximum charge for non-residential social care services may be removed. 75 per cent of users can expect to see increase.
Lincolnshire County Council
8 care homes closed. Offering less help for those with "moderate" needs. Affects 700-800 people.
Newcastle City Council
Increasing cost of meals at home £2.50 to £3. Aims to cut residential care placements for older people by 10%
Hampshire County Council
165 full-time job equivalents cut. Examining "cost-effective care packages".
Birmingham City Council
Closed outdated care homes.
Is developing "telecare" to support those living at home.
Middlesbrough Borough Council
Proposing reducing the Dial-A-Ride service. Staff cuts.
Luton Borough Council
Moving contracts to external providers. Value for money review of all existing contracts.
Gloucestershire County Council
8% cut to budget. Reducing "reliance on institutional care", moving towards personal budgets.
Camden London Borough Council
10.2% budget reduction. Members of the council say it is achieving a "significant element" of the cuts through "reablement".
Social- Custody of Children in Divorce ?
Updated: 13 Apr 2012
Why, in a divorce, do women typically receive custody over the children?
Can someone please explain to me why, in a divorce, women typically receive custody over the children while the husband pays child-support?
Hypothetically, there should be an equal amount of divorced men who get custody over the children as divorced women, but that isn't the case.
What's up with the gender bias in divorce, favoring women in regards to child custody?
Why are things this way?
Radical says - Half of all women are not good care givers and half of all men give care to children in marriage.
So convenient for the "law"
But the Law is an ASS.
In 50% of all cases men should receive custody of the children
Otherwise the law of discrimination applies
Social - False accusations of Unreasonable Behaviour = 75% of all cases ?
Updated: 13 Apr 2012
When a divorce or separation gets ugly, either party or both parties can begin to fling mud at each other.
They do this to undermine each other’s position, or simply because they are angry and hurt.
Once two people who once felt extreme passion for one another are no longer together, the emotions can quickly turn to hate.
The messiest divorces can become very destructive indeed, as both parties decide that it is all about who ‘wins’ and who ‘loses’. In fact, there are no winners in a divorce.
Both parties are losing something that they thought was permanent, a relationship that they at some point thought was going to last forever.
The Truth About Lies - ( Radical says - But how convenient for the Law - Which is an Ass ! )
Statistically, more than 75% of the accusations that are made during a divorce are untrue. They arise for several reasons:
To cause trouble for the other person or an act of pure revenge
To discredit the other person, so that they are closer to ‘winning’
A combination of the two, to show how much they are ‘in charge’
Types of Lies
Lies about drug abuse are common when relationships break down.
This doesn’t necessarily mean illegal drugs, but also alcohol abuse “she always drank too much, she was embarrassing in public” to “he was addicted to painkillers, without them he became a nightmare”.
Another common type of lie is about illegal behaviour.
Whether it’s tax fraud, animal cruelty, benefits fraud, or flouting planning permission requirements – you might find yourself faced with a whole load of awful allegations that are completely untrue.
A less common allegation is of satanic worship. It may sound far-fetched but in messy divorces it can happen.
All of these allegations are usually a ploy to get you investigated by one or more public or legal authorities. It may be a real nuisance to have to deal with, but in the event that this does happen lies told by an ex-partner are usually very quickly exposed.
Perhaps the most common allegation is of promiscuous behaviour during the relationship.
This could range from alleging internet pornography use, a string of affairs with unknown others, or an affair with someone you both knew.
A high-profile example of this was when Katie Price accused Peter Andre of having an affair with his agent, and had to pay a substantial sum in damages after he brought a claim for libel in the High Court.
Sometimes these allegations can be extreme, such as accusations that you took part in commercially available pornographic films or internet clips. With developments in technology, it’s very easy to see how cropped photographs and forged documents can end up being used to back up these types of lies.
If You Are Accused of a Crime
If you find yourself Falsely Accused Of A Criminal Offence, it’s very important that you know your rights. It is always illegal to falsely accuse someone of a crime, and you should not rest until you have cleared your name.
Your accuser may be wasting police time, Perverting The Course Of Justice or Committing Perjury – if your case ends up in court.
Hopefully, none of this will ever happen to you but if it does, tell your lawyer the truth and be calm but persistent about what you know to be the correct version of evens.
Social- Domestic Violence is not always physical, it can be verbal -Vituperation-ask any women
Updated: 13 Apr 2012
Every year, many people in the UK are falsely accused of domestic violence.
The reasons for this are wide-ranging.
Some partners or ex-partners make up allegations of domestic violence to get out of a relationship that they are otherwise unhappy with, others do it to spite their partners, while some still want to ensure that they stop (usually) the father from seeing the children.
In other circumstances, a stranger, someone you know, or perhaps your child’s teacher could become concerned about an injury to your child or something your child says – and refers Social Services to you.
The tragic fact is that this does happen to people who are totally innocent of any crime.
Sadly, although in this country you are ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the truth is that sometimes people can get charged and found guilty for domestic violence on very little evidence.
What Can Happen
You can be arrested while in your own home, in front of your partner and children, and in full view of the neighbours. Then you can be taken to the police station, your DNA taken and held on file, and interviewed while under caution.
You could find yourself in court, charged with an offence for which you have done nothing wrong. Worst of all, you could end up with a criminal conviction and sent to prison.
The problem is, when emotions are running high after a break up or divorce, one call to the police can have far-reaching consequences.
If word gets around your local community, you could suffer verbal abuse, harassment or worse for being a ‘monster’.
If this happens to you, you need to be aware of your rights.
You are entitled to legal advice at the police station. If you waive your right, you may end up saying something that could be misconstrued, especially if you are tired or are lulled into a false sense of security by the interviewing officers.
There have been many cases that have been successfully brought by the Crown Prosecution Service purely on the basis of an admission in interview at the police station.
If you do speak to a lawyer, tell them the truth because if you are coy, or uncooperative, they are not going to be able to advise you properly.
The police may bail you to return to the police station on another date.
If they do this, you MUST ensure you go back on the day and at the time specified, or you will be charged with an offence of ‘failure to surrender’ and a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
If you are innocent of any crime, be persistent, stick to the truth and try your best not to get angry at any stage.
If you find yourself in court, it is vital that you come across as genuine and sincere about your innocence.
Implications For Your Accuser
If your partner or ex-partner accuses you of domestic violence, when you have in fact done nothing wrong, by the time the police are involved your ex has already committed a criminal offence for which they could receive a prison sentence of up to six months.
If they then go on to falsify evidence to the authorities – the police, social services etc – they are then perverting the course of justice.
If the case actually gets to court, and you find yourself in the dock on trial for something you haven’t done, your accuser would in most circumstances have to give evidence in court.
If they are still lying at this stage, they are committing perjury.
These are all serious criminal offences for which your ex-partner could serve a long prison sentence.
Social Cuba - WHO "Medical Care based on Equity and Social Justice benefits the Elderly"
Updated: 07 Apr 2012
8th gerontology & GERIATRICS CONGRESS
Cuba offers valuable experience
Olga Díaz Ruiz
MANY countries could learn from Cuba’s experience developing a comprehensive approach to medical care, based on equity and social justice, and focused on prevention and the promotion of good health habits beginning at an early age, according to Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), who spoke during the closing session of the 8th Gerontology & Geriatrics Congress, GERONTOGER 2012, held in Havana’s International Convention Center, March 27-30.
In the name of WHO, Chan congratulated the Cuban government for its long-standing international collaboration and solidarity, emphasizing that the country’s experience in public health and care of the elderly constitute important models for studies addressing aging and the well-being of this demographic group, while offering a relevant example of how to confront the issue of escalating costs without affecting quality of services provided.
On her second visit to Cuba, Chan said she appreciated the opportunity to have this interaction and was inspired by the accomplishments of Cuba’s health system, available to all; by scientific progress made in this area and the vision maintained by the country’s leadership which guarantees quality medical care, free of charge.
During the last day of the event, agreements were reached between the WHO, Cuba and the Pan American Health Organization defining priorities to be emphasized in their collaborative work, over the next four years.
Roberto Morales, Cuba’s Minister of Public Health, indicated that the areas of collaboration identified coincide with the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines approved by the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, to continue perfecting the country’s public health system and maintain the commitment to extend the achievements of Cuban medicine to other countries.
During the closing session of the conference GERONTOGER 2012, a panel discussion was presented focusing on Cuba’s centenarians.
Results of a study undertaken with the countries oldest citizens were shared. According to the investigation, the percentage of Cuba’s population which is elderly is on a par with that of more developed countries, and represents one of the fastest growing age groups.
The predominance of women among centenarians was reported, as well as the fact that 104 is the most advanced age recorded.
Generally speaking, these citizens were evaluated as cognitively and functionally normal.
They described their own health as good, carried out basic daily activities and expressed satisfaction with the quality of their lives.
During the session, Dr. Eugenio Selman introduced the book Centenarios en Cuba.
Los secretos de la longevidad, written by a group of authors to honor those who have enjoyed long lives and offer basic information about achieving a satisfactory old age.
Social - In Search of Home by Colin Todhunter
Social- "Money can't buy you happiness"
Updated: 26 Mar 2012
Happy adolescents 'likely to have higher income' as adults
Research finds link between upbeat personalities and earnings
Jamie Doward and Mia de Graaf
A happy childhood can help people to a higher-earning and successful career in later life, according to academic research.
Money, as Spike Milligan noted, can't buy you happiness,
but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
However, new research suggests that the relationship between happiness and money is far more complex than has been appreciated.
Two leading economists claim that happiness makes people earn more, possibly because happier people are more productive and are promoted faster.
Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve of University College London and Professor Andrew Oswald of Warwick University examined the earliest years of thousands of randomly sampled people and found that, even when other factors were taken into account, their happiness levels when young clearly determined the likelihood of whether they would go on to enjoy higher earnings later in life.
The pair's work, the first in-depth investigation into the extent to which happiness is a predictor of income a decade later on, draws on the "life satisfaction" levels of a large sample of adolescents and young adults in America and tracks this against their levels of income later in life.
The results are striking. Their analysis shows, for example, that a one-point increase in life satisfaction (on a scale of five) at the age of 22 is associated with almost $2,000 of higher earnings per annum by the age of 29.
Their study of 90,000 people, to be presented at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference at the University of Cambridge, speculates that one reason for the causal link may be that people with sunny dispositions are more likely to get a degree, get hired and get promoted.
They compare siblings' data to show that happier siblings tend to grow up to earn higher levels of income.
Their results, which consider other factors such as education, physical health, genetic variation, IQ, self-esteem and current happiness, show that the effect of individual happiness on income is greater than the widely acknowledged influence of income on happiness.
"These findings have important implications for academics, policy-makers and the general public," the pair write. "For academics, these results reveal the strong possibility for reverse causality between income and happiness – a relationship that most have assumed unidirectional and causal."
The findings are unlikely to surprise Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of the online retailer Amazon, who claims to have had "an idyllic childhood".
The crime novelist Agatha Christie wrote in her autobiography: "One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood. I had a very happy childhood.''
The economists' research goes some way to suggesting how happiness may influence income. They suggest that people who have happier childhoods are more likely to obtain a degree and a job, have higher degrees of optimism and extraversion, and less neuroticism.
Their branch of economics – known as hedonics – is becoming increasingly popular with politicians and policy-makers.
They claim that their work highlights the importance of promoting general well-being, "not just because happiness is what the general population aspires to (instead of GDP), but also for its productive effects – ie, it may pay off to focus policy on maximising happiness and minimising suffering".
The academics' findings also have important implications for parents. The pair write: "The emotional well-being of children and adolescents is key to their future success, and this research provides yet another reason for the need to create an emotionally healthy home environment."
■ People with sunny dispositions are more likely to get a degree, get hired, and get promoted.
■ Happier siblings tend to grow up to earn higher levels of income.
■ The effect of individual happiness on income is greater than income on happiness.
■ Parents should focus on their children's early happiness to ensure they are successful in adult years.
Social- Vituperation is one form of Violence- When will the Law ever learn ?
Updated: 21 Mar 2012
Women- Why men put up with vituperation ?
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 17:25
Verbal abuse is a form of battery that involves the use of words, rather than blows and punches.
In a verbally abusive situation, words are used to attack, control, and inflict harm on another person.
Verbally abusive behavior goes far beyond mean behavior; it involves inflicting psychological violence on another person, attacking the very nature of an individual's being and attempting to destroy his or her spirit.
Verbal abuse can affect people of all ages and in all types of relationships. However, it is especially prevalent in marital relationships.
A number of behaviors are considered verbally abusive, including angry outbursts, screaming rages, and name-calling.
Verbal abuse often includes blaming, brainwashing, and intimidation.
Hidden aggression is a part of verbal abuse, as well.
Verbal abuse is extremely manipulative, as insults are often disguised as caring comments.
Verbal abuse can be overt or covert, but it is always about controlling and manipulating the victim.
Often, verbally abusive comments are offered as jokes.
When the target of the joke is hurt or insulted, the verbal abuser laughs it off and says that the victim is overly sensitive.
However, the intent of the verbal abuser is to cause this hurt.
After a time, verbal abuse often escalates into physical abuse.
Social - Dennis Waterman Ashamed - as Refuge Charity defends Vituperation
Updated: 21 Mar 2012
Dennis Waterman Utterly Ashamed After Punching Wife
Dennis Waterman has finally admitted to punching his ex-wife Rula Lenska, but claimed "It's not difficult for a woman to make a man hit her".
The actor, now 64, was accused of being a drunken wife-beater by Lenska when she divorced him in 1998, reports the UK's Daily Telegraph.
Waterman has now confessed that he slapped and punched the Polish-born actress during their time together, but said he was "utterly ashamed" of his actions.
Despite the admission, the actor who played Terry MCCann in 'Minder', insisted, "She certainly wasn't a beaten wife, she was hit and that's different".
Even more sensationally, Waterman told Piers Morgan during the interview, "The problem with strong, intelligent women is that they can argue, well. And if there is a time where you can't get a word in ... and I ... I lashed out. I couldn't end the argument".
The comments have enraged Sandra Horley, chief executive of charity Refuge, who said, "I am appalled by Dennis Waterman's comments about his violence towards Rula Lenska, which trivialise the abuse he inflicted on her.
No one can make their partner hit them.
However angry or frustrated Dennis felt, he could have chosen to deal with those feelings another way but he chose violence".
Waterman tried to defend his actions, telling Morgan, "We were going through a horrible time and arguing a lot", but admitted he might have been "drunk too much" to remember the exact details of the fights.
The full interview on Piers Morgan's Life Stories will air next month on ITV.
Social- Lost in Daydreams ? - Or Just Sitting and Thinking ?
Updated: 19 Mar 2012
Lost in daydreams?
It could be a sign you're intelligent as absent-minded children have sharper brains
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 17:40, 16 March 2012 | UPDATED: 02:43, 17 March 2012
Sharper minds: Children who are constantly distracted are able to hold far more information than their diligent peers
People whose minds wander might actually have sharper brains.
A study shows that those who appear to be constantly distracted in fact have more ‘working memory’, giving them the ability to do two things at the same time.
Participants in the study had to either press a button in response to the appearance of a certain letter on a screen, or tap in time with their breath.
The researchers checked periodically to ask if their minds were wandering.
At the end, they measured the participants’ working memory capacity, giving them a score for their ability to remember a series of letters interspersed with easy maths questions.
Daniel Levinson, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said those with higher working memory capacity reported ‘more mind wandering during these simple tasks’ even though their performance was not compromised.
The results of his research, published online in Psychological Science, are the first to show the association with mind wandering and intelligence.
It is thought the extra mental workspace is used, for instance, when adding up two spoken numbers without being able to write them down.
Its capacity has been associated with general measures of intelligence, such as reading comprehension and IQ score.
The latest study underscores how important working memory is in allowing the brain to focus on the most pressing issues.
Social- Double Standards on Rape- Women do know what they don't want ?
Updated: 19 Mar 2012
For attitudes towards rape to change,
society needs to drop its sexual double standard
By James Bloodworth
Notebook - A selection of Independent views -, Opinion
Friday, 16 March 2012 at 11:08 am
One of the most shocking statistics to come out of a recent Mumsnet survey on rape was the astonishing number of victims who felt that society viewed them in a negative light.
Nearly three-quarters of those polled said the media was unsympathetic to women who reported rape, while more than half said the same was true of the legal system and society as a whole.
This perception is not as far from current social attitudes as we may like to think.
A survey of more than 1,000 Londoners in 2010, carried out to mark the 10th anniversary of the Haven service for rape victims, found that more than half of those questioned said there were circumstances when a rape victim should accept some responsibility for an attack.
Whereas social attitudes towards racial equality and homosexuality have tended to become more progressive as the younger generation has come through, attitudes towards the sexual assault of women appear to lag significantly behind.
A 2008 poll of Northern Ireland university students commissioned by Amnesty International found that almost half of those polled believed a woman to be partially or totally responsible for being raped if she had behaved in a flirtatious manner.
And the recent controversy over the website Unilad was perhaps most striking for the fact that the creators of the site did not consider their “banter” to be anything out of the ordinary until they were pulled up on it.
In 21st century Britain, the idea that a woman can dress how she pleases, flirt as much as she wants, and lie in the same bed as a man without being obliged to have sex with him, remains a revolutionary one.
Understanding why social attitudes towards the victims of rape remain so regressive, however, cannot happen without first confronting one of society’s last great taboos: the demonisation of promiscuous women.
Women live with the constant knowledge that arbitrary judgments will be made about them based on how many sexual partners they have had.
When a woman is asked how many men she has slept with (other women don’t count for some reason), she must lie to maintain her reputation.
When a man is asked the same question, he too will also lie, but in doing so add a zero and reserve the right to pass judgement on any women giving an answer similar to his own.
This double standard begins at an early age. As Jessica Valenti points out in her book He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut:
“I was called a slut when my boobs grew faster than others.
I was called a slut when I had a boyfriend (even though we weren’t having sex.) I was called a slut when I didn’t have a boyfriend and kissed a random boy at a party. I was called a slut when I had the nerve to talk about sex.
I was called a slut when I wore a bikini on a weekend trip with high school friends.
It seems the word slut can be applied to any activity that doesn’t include knitting, praying, or sitting perfectly still lest any sudden movements be deemed whorish.”
More worryingly, the latest set of statistics shows that society itself will pass judgement on a woman who has been raped based on similar arbitrary criteria – that is, her real or imagined sexual promiscuity.
For a significant number of people it would seem that if a woman has a reputation as a “slut” or as “easy”, or if she simply wears a skirt that is slightly too short or sends out the “wrong signals” to a man, she forgoes any right to have a say over who impregnates her.
A man seemingly has the right to bring her back into line by asserting control over her wayward sexuality.
If as a society we wish to improve attitudes towards the victims of rape – and in doing so improve the number of women who actually come forward to report rape – we should make a start by putting an end to our sexual hypocrisy.
The number of men a woman chooses to have sex with is the business of nobody else but her, and is unrelated to morality.
More importantly, it in no way compromises a woman’s right to say no – with a boyfriend, a husband or on a one night stand – at any point during any interaction.
It seems an obvious point to make, but rape isn’t caused by anything other than the perpetrator’s decision.
Oh, and women like consensual sex too, so grow up and deal with it
Social- Do you take this "being" to be your lawful wedded partner ?
Updated: 17 Mar 2012
Britain officially axes husband & wife
Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:43PM GMT
Britain is working on a scheme in which the words husband and wife would be removed from official forms as part of reforms to legalize same-sex marriage.
The coalition government's same-sex wedding reforms would axe the words husband and wife from official documents such as tax and benefits guidance and immigration documents, and they would no longer assume a married couple as a man and a woman, British media reported. Reforms also mean private companies will be told to overhaul paperwork and computer databases containing the words. Marriage certificates could even be affected by the coalition proposals, with rules possibly axing terms such as bride and bridegroom. The reforms - promised by Prime Minister David Cameron last autumn and set out in a consultation paper launched Thursday - intend to open civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples for the first time. The proposals have triggered a furious row, with the Church of England accusing the coalition of misunderstanding the law of marriage. But Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone warned religious leaders not to ‘fan the flames of homophobia’ with ‘inflammatory’ language. New versions of documents will ‘replace references to husband and wife with the more neutral terms spouses and partners’. The Church of England said: ‘Arguments that suggest “religious marriage” is separate and different from “civil marriage”, and will not be affected by the proposed redefinition, misunderstand the legal nature of marriage in this country. 'They mistake the form of the ceremony for the institution itself.’ The Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales said in a statement: ‘It is alarming to note that children are not mentioned at any stage in this consultation document about marriage.
Social- A Committment to Legalise Same Sex Marriage
Updated: 16 Mar 2012
Gay marriage proposals welcome but flawed
Ban on heterosexual civil partnerships will remain
Religions barred from hosting gay marriages, even if they want to
London - 15 March 2012
"While we welcome the commitment to legalise same-sex civil marriages, we are unhappy that the government intends to maintain the ban on heterosexual civil partnerships and the ban on religious same-sex marriages, even if faith organisations wish to conduct them. This is not equality. It perpetuates discrimination," said human rights campaigner and coordinator of the Equal Love campaign, Peter Tatchell.
He was commenting on the government's announcement today of the start of its consultation on legalising same-sex marriage.
"We are concerned that the Equalities Minister is unwilling to end the ban on heterosexual civil partnerships. True equality means allowing gay couples to have a civil marriage and straight couples to have a civil partnership," added Mr Tatchell.
"Under government proposals, gay couples will have two options: a civil marriage or a civil partnership. Straight couples will only have the option of a civil marriage. Maintaining this discrimination against heterosexual partners is unacceptable.
"Both civil marriages and civil partnerships should be opened up to all couples, without discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"We believe there are a sizeable number of heterosexual couples who would prefer a civil partnership, on the grounds that it is more modern, egalitarian and has none of the patriarchal history of marriage. In the Netherlands, where both civil marriages and civil partnerships have been open to all couples for a decade, two-thirds of civil partnerships involve heterosexual men and women. If UK civil partnerships were open to heterosexual couples we would expect a similar take up.
"The government has announced that it will maintain the ban on religious same-sex marriages, even if faith organisations wish to conduct them. The Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism want to perform same-sex marriages. The current law says they can't.
"The government plans to maintain this prohibition. This is not only homophobic but also an attack on religious freedom. While no religious body should be forced to conduct same-sex marriages, those that want to conduct them should be free to do so.
"Having last year allowed religious organisations to host civil partnerships in places of worship, it seems inconsistent to now deny religions the option of hosting same-sex marriages," said Mr Tatchell.
Note to Editors:
The Equal Love campaign is pressing the government to end the twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships, and to allow religious organisations that support same-sex marriages to conduct them.
"We are seeking to open up civil marriages to same-sex couples and civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples. Our goal is full marriage and partnership equality, without any discrimination based on sexual orientation," added Mr Tatchell.
"In February 2011, four gay couples and four heterosexual couples, sponsored by the Equal Love campaign, filed a historic joint appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). http://www.petertatchellfoundation.org/sites/files/Equal-Love-Application.pdf
"Our appeal argues that Britain's twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships amount to illegal discrimination, contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. The bans violate Articles 8, 12 and 14 - respectively the right to privacy and family life, the right to marry and the right to non-discrimination," he said.
Social - UK Care Homes care condemned
Updated: 14 Mar 2012
Cheap food diet of care home elderly:
Now nurses condemn the penny-pinching managers
By Jenny Hope
PUBLISHED: 00:03, 14 March 2012 | UPDATED: 00:03, 14 March 2012
Profit-chasing care homes are condemning elderly residents to spend their final months or years having ‘value’ food and squash, a report warns.
Severe funding problems are putting at risk the dignity and safety of those in privately run care homes, according to the Royal College of Nursing.
It found one in four nurses cannot get adequate medical supplies or equipment – including bed linen – while almost one in ten says a healthcare assistant often takes charge of the home.
Disheartened: The care of the elderly in homes is alarming for pensioners and nurses alike
Staffing shortages make some homes feel like a ‘conveyor belt’ where residents are restricted to a bath or shower just twice a week, and night staff have to get them up early to help colleagues on the day shift, says the report.
Financial pressures have led to cuts in fees paid by local authorities – which fund two out of three places – with staff able to get better pay at a supermarket.
The RCN report, which includes responses from almost 600 nurses working primarily in private care homes in England last year, paints a ‘worrying picture’.
Most damningly, it reveals how people who have already lost their health, home and independence must accept cheap ‘value range’ food and drink.
The report says many problems were flagged up in a survey in 2010 – but have got worse.
The Royal College of Nursing found that the state on pension homes is below par
Almost two out of five nurses say there are not enough qualified staff – up from 29 per cent – and 8 per cent claim a healthcare assistant ‘frequently’ takes charge of the home.
Errors by assistants are being overlooked by managers to stop staff from leaving, it claims.
The report warns people are being admitted with more severe care needs, but with inadequate funding to meet them.
Almost half of nurses said care homes are accepting residents in a bid to fill vacant places, despite the fact they might not be able to look after them properly.
One manager said there were pressures from councils and inspectors to provide a ‘Harrods-quality service for Woolworths prices’.
A senior staff nurse said managers are trying to keep up profits by cutting corners, adding: ‘It isn’t fair that an elderly person who has lost so much ... has to spend their final months or years given value food and squash, and at the mercy of homes using, at times, inappropriate methods and broken equipment.’
Paul Burstow is calling for an overhaul to improve care of the elderly
RCN chief executive and general secretary Dr Peter Carter said: ‘This report paints a hugely concerning picture about the many daily challenges that so many nurses in care homes face in delivering high quality care.
‘Following years of underinvestment these issues have now significantly worsened.’
The report warns of ‘appalling’ examples of care such as at Winterbourne View home, Bristol, and the ‘alarming’ failure of Southern Cross Healthcare – the UK’s biggest care home provider before it collapsed last year.
The RCN set out a nine-point plan for the Government including statutory regulation of healthcare assistants, which was yesterday rejected by Health Minister Lord Howe in favour of a voluntary register.
It also wants national guidance on staffing levels and ratios for care homes, a review of workforce planning and re-evaluation of how funding is allocated.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said he agrees the social care system needs to change.
‘We’re making the system more joined up with health and focusing on helping people maintain their independence for as long as possible.
‘We will be publishing our plans for overhauling the system this spring,’ he said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2114602/Nurses-condemn-diet-elderly-care-homes.html#ixzz1p3MKZryI
Social- The law doesn't give a damn about fathers
Updated: 12 Mar 2012
The law doesn't give a damn about fathers
By Louis De Bernières
PUBLISHED: 00:28, 10 March 2012 | UPDATED: 02:58, 10 March 2012
Some years ago, I was outside a pizza restaurant when a young woman turned up, pushing a pram. She was preceded by a small boy who must have been about four years old. He stopped at the door, whereupon she said: ‘Well, open the f***ing door, you little s**t.’
I think my disillusionment with the idea that there was something sacred, sublime and beautiful about mothers and motherhood began on that day.
Shortly after, I spent some years working in a truancy centre, where we tried to give a little general education to children who had missed years at school. In many cases, it was clear that the reason for these absences had been mothers who kept them at home either because the women were lonely or because they needed the children as babysitters.
Equal pressures: While there are many good mothers in the world, there are also many bad ones. However, family law continues to elevate them above fathers (Posed by models)
The point is that while there are many good mothers in the world, there are plenty of bad and often abusive mothers, too, yet we still have a Family Justice system that prizes mothers and motherhood, but devalues fathers.
When David Cameron wrote an article in the Sunday Telegraph one Father’s Day, he made a point of attacking absent fathers. I snarled with contempt and threw the paper across the room. He clearly had no idea that a very high proportion of fathers are absent because they are forced to be so by vindictive and possessive mothers, and the family (in)justice system that backs them up.
David Cameron has young children, and he ought to consider what it might be like, if, God forbid, his marriage ever ended, to find that the courts are against him — and that any orders they made giving him access to his children were unenforceable.
He might win the right to have them for half the time, but if Samantha withheld access to the children, there would be absolutely nothing he could do about it, except apply for another order she could ignore.
More...We will cut through red tape: Cameron vows to get rid of absurd adoption barriers
KATHY GYNGELL: Ditch child benefit, bring back the child tax allowance and end the State’s three decade assault on the family
Ray of hope? Five years on police in Portugal will pore over thousands of case files in new search for Madeleine McCann
Judges of both sexes are the kind of people who have never had to change a nappy in their lives, and don’t see why any man would want to. They also seem to have a strangely warped moral sense.
Now that family (in)justice is under review, any male MPs with small children ought to take note of what might be done to them the moment their marriage or relationship goes wrong, as mine did two years ago.
Since then, as patron of Families Need Fathers, I have received many letters of support, many of them telling dismal and heartbreaking stories.
The surprising thing is that most of them come from grandmothers. They write about their sons’ repeated breakdowns, caused by being separated from their children, or about how children are brainwashed to reject their fathers. This is called ‘parental alienation’ by those in the know.
Bereft: Grandparents often suffer terribly when their sons lose access to their children (Posed by models)
I have had letters from paternal grandparents who are desperate with grief, because ever since their grandchildren were abducted (as they see it, and so do I), they have never seen them again.
Lest I seem misogynist, I should say that the passion you have for your children is the most powerful and overwhelming emotion you can have, and the behaviour of some mothers is entirely explicable because of this.
One of the reasons I became a father was that a friend of mine told me that until you have had children, you know nothing of human love. I have since found out that he was right.
The problem is that when you go through a break-up, this extreme passion results in an equally extreme selfishness with respect to sharing them.
If I had my way, I would have my children all the time. I had a vision of how their childhood was going to be, and I was not going to give it up. The trouble is that your ex feels the same.
Some people resort to dirty tricks, one of the commonest and most successful of which is to accuse the other parent of sexual abuse or violence. The authorities will take several years failing to investigate, during which time the accused will be allowed little or no contact with the children.
Alienation: Mothers seeking sole access to their children frequently argue that they have 'got used' to life without their father (Posed by models)
A judge is then equally likely to rule that the children have got used to the separation from their parent, and should not be disturbed by having it reversed.
It is not illegal or punishable for someone to accuse you falsely in this way, and nor is it illegal for a solicitor to suggest it as a tactic.
The courts are seemingly unaware that women are almost as likely to be violent as men, and so the same accusations against them are less likely to be believed. As I once had a girlfriend who attacked me every time she got drunk, I am not inclined to fall for any myths about the gentler sex.
Another dirty trick commonly employed by mothers is to move a long way away and take the children with her. In this way, while a man may have the right to have the children three days a week, if the mother has moved to the other end of the country, or even abroad, it makes fatherhood impossible.
British Family Law doesn’t, in short, give a damn about men. A judge in Cambridge told me that he was appalled by how often men were simply treated as sperm donors and cashpoints.
The more you can withhold the children from a father, the more maintenance he has to pay because the mother — having turned herself into the primary carer — is less likely to be able to work, and will have more costs to bear.
There seems to be little expectation that mothers should make a financial contribution, even though we all know mothers who successfully go out to work or run their own businesses, and despite school hours meaning it’s perfectly possible to get part-time work. Middle-class mothers will be relieved to know they are considered too delicate to have to go and stack shelves in Tesco like everyone else.
Treasured moments: For many fathers, life is simply incomplete without their children (Posed by models)
There is, therefore, a very strong financial incentive to make sure that fathers have their children as little as possible.
A big part of the problem with Family Law, as practised at present, is that it is adversarial, and this has given rise to hordes of lawyers who exist to exploit the hurricane of emotions that overtakes you.
They raise the level of aggression and acrimony, and some of them will clean you out of every penny you have. They are masters of delay and of creating new things for you to argue about and hate each other for, and the vituperation and litigation will not end until one of you cannot pay them any more.
My solicitor was agreeable to the idea of mediation right from the start, and I estimate that her charges came to about one-third of what my ex had to pay. My solicitor and I were open-mouthed with amazement when, at one hearing, they turned up with three lawyers.
Early on in the break-up, I found myself receiving orders from these enemy solicitors, who seemed to have a fantasy that they actually had some authority over me.
I was to have the children every other weekend, and the weekend was to begin on Saturday morning and end early on Sunday evening. I was not to go and help out in my son’s nursery during the early days, when that was the only way I could get to see him.
I said to my solicitor: ‘Why can’t I just go and kidnap them back?’ But I was advised not to get involved in open warfare.
Even so, I am not the kind of person who reacts kindly to being told what to do by people who knew neither me nor my children, and who, I believe, just wanted my head as another trophy.
Their firm’s propaganda clearly displays their pride in duffing over the eminent or rich. They began a prolonged war without it ever occurring to them to ask my ex if she thought she was really doing the best or the right thing.
Luckily, the judge in Norwich wasn’t going to take any nonsense. The first question he asked was ‘What about a process of reconciliation?’ The second thing he said was that, with all respect, lawyers were part of the problem, and why didn’t we do everything by mediation?
We did sort out the sharing of the children by mediation, which turned out to be quick, easy and cheap, although painful at times. During the inevitable rows, the mediator just looked out of the window until we had finished.
My ex did not want to deal with finances by mediation, however, and that became a fantastically long and expensive ordeal that ultimately took no account whatsoever of the fact that a writer’s income fluctuates wildly from year to year.
Fatherly love: Campaigners are determined to see fathers' rights enshrined in law - for their sake and that of their children (Posed by models)
The general public may not know that family law is ‘judicial’. That is, it is made up by judges as they go along. There is no proper code of practice and no proper code of laws, except that judges tend to follow previous rulings.
You are faced with a situation in which you and your solicitor have no idea what the likely outcome is, because, as I was often told: ‘It all depends on the judge. You might be lucky, and you might not.’
The judge in Norwich I have already described. The one in London dealing with the question of finance was mainly starring in her own show, immensely enjoyed her own robust humour, did not let me speak at all and did not let my barrister finish a sentence.
So what is to be done? Any review of family law has to take account of the fact that times have changed. Fathers now do things that only mothers used to do. We enjoy it, we want to carry on doing it and we want to remove the anomaly and injustice involved in the judicial habit of thinking that mothers count and fathers don’t.
Many countries have equality as a default position, and I have not heard of this causing any problems. Children are sometimes annoyed about having to live in two places at once, but that is all it is — a bit of an irritation.
I’d be mildly vexed if I was halfway through a jigsaw puzzle and had to leave it at one house to go to the other, just as I am certainly vexed when I discover that all my children’s socks have disappeared because they are at their mother’s house.
Equal rights: As women have struggled for equal treatment in the workplace, some men have taken on a more domestic role - and come to love it
Women continue to struggle for equal rights in the workplace, and I have always supported them in this, ever since I became interested in feminist issues in the Seventies.
Women were demanding that men should take more of a share of domestic responsibilities, so that their talents could flourish in the wider world. Well, we have — and a lot of us have grown to love it.
I have my children half the time now, and I only feel truly happy when I have them in the house. The love exchanged between us makes any other kind of love a bit of a sideshow, which in some ways is a pity, but I wouldn’t change it.
My ex and I live harmoniously not very far apart, and the more the legal horrors recede into the distance, the easier it becomes to get along. A pleasant friendship and companionship has reappeared, which help me to push away the anger and resentment that still frequently perturb me.
There was, however, a time when I was utterly bereft. For some months, I was helpless with rage and frustration and an overwhelming sense of injustice, always aware that any extreme expression of my despair would inevitably be used against me in order to show that I was unstable.
Of course I was unstable! Isn’t that normal when you’ve been thrown into Hades? I am very surprised that there are not more murders and suicides relating to parents separating, although there are many such.
I was only able to carry on because I never gave up hope, and I knew that the most important thing was to give the children a good future.
I was also given a cause to fight for. Our children, their fathers and their fathers’ relatives have got to have rights enshrined in law, because our pains and pleasures, our joys in our children, are as pure and profound as those of mothers and their relatives. The children need all of us.
On Mother’s Day next weekend, I hope David Cameron publishes an article in a newspaper pointing out that it is more often fatherless children that become delinquent, not motherless ones.
The film of Louis de Bernieres’ novel, Red Dog, is now released nationwide.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2112905/The-law-doesnt-damn-fathers.html#ixzz1orqmc5VL
Social-Marriage rights are not the sole responsibility of the Catholic religion !
Updated: 12 Mar 2012
Catholic Archbishops urge discrimination against gay couples
Opposition to gay marriage shows perverse moral priorities
Same-sex marriage does not detract from heterosexual marriage
London - 11 March 2012
"Given the many grave problems in the world - war, hunger, poverty and dictatorship - it is bizarre that the Catholic Archbishops have chosen to focus on blocking gay marriage.
They have a perverse sense of moral priorities, said Peter Tatchell, national coordinator of the Equal Love campaign, which is seeking to overturn the twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships.
Equal Love seeks equality for all.
http://petertatchellfoundation.org/campaigns/equal-love and http://equallove.org.uk/
Mr Tatchell was responding to a letter from Catholic Archbishops, Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith, which was read out in Catholic churches in England and Wales today, Sunday 11 March 2012.
The letter opposes government plans to legalise same-sex civil marriages in register offices.
"The Archbishops are preaching a gospel of division and discrimination. They want the law to discriminate against gay couples. Discrimination is not a Christian value," added Mr Tatchell.
"If the church genuinely supports love and commitment, why do Catholic leaders oppose gay couples showing their love and commitment by getting married?
"Gay marriage is about love. By opposing marriage equality, the Archbishops are denigrating, demeaning and devaluing love between two people of the same sex.
"Opening up marriage to same-sex couples does not detract from heterosexual marriage.
"Given that the Archbishops support the institution of marriage, surely they should welcome
the fact that many lesbian and gay couples want to get married?
"Catholics are entitled to believe that same-sex marriages are wrong, but they are not entitled to demand that their opposition of gay marriages should be imposed on the rest of society and enforced by law.
"No one is proposing that religious bodies should be compelled to conduct gay marriages. The government's proposals concern gay civil marriages in register offices - not religious marriages in places of worship.
"The church has no legitimate reason to block same-sex civil marriage ceremonies. What happens in a register office is no business of the church. It is outside their jurisdiction," said Mr Tatchell.
The Equal Love campaign is seeking to overturn both the ban on same-sex civil marriages and the ban on opposite-sex civil partnerships. It seeks full marriage and partnership equality.
In February 2011, four gay couples and four heterosexual couples, sponsored by the Equal Love campaign, filed a historic joint appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). See here:
"Our appeal argues that Britain's twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships amount to illegal discrimination, contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. The bans violate Articles 8, 12 and 14 - respectively the right to privacy and family life, the right to marry and the right to non-discrimination," said Mr Tatchell.
Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation
+44 (0) 207 403 1790
Social- Homelessness jumps by 14% in a year- to 50,000
Updated: 09 Mar 2012
Homelessness jumps by 14% in a year
Almost 50,000 households across England accepted as homeless as repossession rates and unemployment rise
• Simon Rogers
• guardian.co.uk, Thursday 8 March 2012 13.05 GMT
The use of B&B accommodation to house homeless families is up 37% on the previous year.
The number of people officially classed as homeless in England has jumped by 14% – the biggest increase for nine years – as what charities have described as a "perfect storm" of rising repossession rates and unemployment drives thousands more families into temporary accommodation.
Across England, 48,510 households were accepted as homeless by local authorities in 2011, according to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on Thursday.
The data shows 69,460 children or expected children are in homeless households, with three-quarters of the households accepted containing children.
Homelessness had been going down since 2003, with a small increase in 2010, and the scale of this rise has shocked housing campaigners.
Leslie Morphy, the chief executive of Crisis, said: "Our worst fears are coming to pass.
We face a perfect storm of economic downturn, rising joblessness and soaring demand for limited affordable housing combined with government policy to cut housing benefit plus local cuts to homelessness services."
But the housing minister, Grant Shapps, said the figures were still half the average rate seen under Labour and blamed "the debt-laden economy we inherited [which] is leaving a legacy of hard-up households across the country".
He said the government had made an extra £70m available to councils in the past year to assist households facing the prospect of homelessness.
The figures show a 44% increase in households who are homeless after repossession, with the number rising to 1,520.
But this is still a relatively small part of the whole picture, and the biggest proportion – 20% – are those who can no longer stay with a friend or a relative.
In the last three months of 2011, 12,830 households were accepted as homeless, up 18% on the same period the previous year.
"These figures are a shocking reminder of the divide between the housing haves and have nots in this country," Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Shelter, said.
"Amid growing economic gloom and rising unemployment, increasing numbers of ordinary families are falling victim to our housing crisis.
Some may be priced out of the housing market, forced to bring up their families in a revolving door of private let after private let."
The figures come days after official statistics showed the number of rough sleepers in England had gone up by one-fifth.
The statistics show households that local authorities have recognised are unintentionally homeless and have accepted a duty to house.
Increasingly, people are being put up in bed and breakfast accommodation, with the use of this arrangement up 37% on the previous year after years of decline.
Councils are not encouraged to place families in B&Bs, and there is a six-week time limit.
Shelter says the increased use is a sign of the shortage of suitable accommodation as the figures also show a decrease in the use of accommodation leased by the private sector to local authorities, by 6% from 27,730 to 26,080 households, so B&B will often be the only option.
In fact, 8,540 households are homeless because their short lease came to an end, up 39% on 2010.
Under the new Localism Act, councils will be able to discharge homeless households into the private rented sector against their will by offering them temporary accommodation rather than finding them a settled home.
The shadow housing minister, Jack Dromey, said the rise was "inevitable".
"The remorseless rise in homelessness shows how out of touch this government is with the human impact of its economic and housing policies. It is an absolute tragedy that in 2012 so many families do not have a home they can call their own."
Birmingham has the highest number of homeless people, with 925 households, but the highest rate in England is in Waltham Forest, north-east London, where 2.55 households per 1,000 were accepted as homeless in the last three months of 2011, compared to an England figure of 0.59. Across London, homelessness is up by 27.4%.
The full force of the housing benefit cuts – which come in for a million existing claimants from 1 January – is yet to be felt.
However, housing campaigners say the cuts may be reflected in the figures because some landlords will be terminating contracts and taking the decision not to renew tenancies in anticipation
Social- 20% of Brits Borrow to Buy Food
Updated: 06 Mar 2012
“One in 5 Britons borrow to buy food”
Mon Mar 5, 2012 7:36PM GMT
The survey by consumer group ‘Which’ showed that 43 percent of consumers feel they can afford to live on their income, while 36 percent admitted to finding things difficult - twice the proportion who were struggling in 2006.
One in four said they have had to dip into their savings to buy food or other daily essentials, while 19 percent have gone into debt to do this, according to the survey.
A separate study by Scottish Widows found evidence of families subsidising less well-off members to the tune of almost £13,000 in recent years.
The ‘Which’ Consumers’ 2012 report found that more people are socialising at home instead of going to the pub, with 38 percent doing this as a result of the downturn.
‘Which’ referred to the financial crisis as the ‘3D Squeeze’ because it has affected income, life events and spending habits.
“Over half of UK consumers are not coping on their current incomes. Worryingly, one in five people told us they had gone into debt just to buy food and other essential goods”, said executive director Richard Lloyd.
“We know consumers are worried about rising food and energy prices. Our research also highlights significant changes being made to other buying decisions”, he added.
The ‘Which’ research surveyed 2,094 adults in November 2011 and also carried out in-depth interviews with 20 people.
It found that the recession has prompted 29 percent of people to look for bargains in second-hand shops or charity shops, and 29 percent to forgo their annual holiday.
Scottish Widows said family members had given or loaned an average of £12,846 to loved ones since the financial crisis began in 2008.
There is a tradition of relatively well-off older generations supporting adult offspring and grandchildren, but the insurer said this was changing.
Some 9 per cent of adults said they had given money to their parents in recent years to cover living expenses, with the average figure put at £5,900.
Scottish Widows said the scale of financial help needed to support family members in trouble was affecting how much individuals could build up their own savings, leaving them vulnerable.
A total of 5,086 people took part in the Scottish Widows study across the UK in January
Social- Poor, Lonely and cold: life in Britain for the over- 60's
Updated: 05 Mar 2012
Poor, lonely and cold: life in Britain for the over-60s
A mass lobby of Parliament on Tuesday
will aim to get the Government to reform and boost funding for social care
Sunday 04 March 2012
Pensioner Mary Phillips says her pension credit and housing benefit were cut when she took a three-month part-time job at a sixth form college last year
A generation of pensioners face lives of poverty and loneliness, without enough money even to heat their own homes, says the first report on life for the over-60s in austerity Britain.
The future for many of the country's older people is bleak, according to the Age UK report Agenda for Later Life, to be published this week. Sixteen per cent, or 1.8 million, of people over state pension age are living in poverty; 3.3 million are unable to warm their homes (an increase of more than half a million in the past two years); and 800,000 are not receiving the care they need.
Age UK's charity director, Michelle Mitchell, called the report "sobering" and said it will "stop people in their tracks".
More than 30 per cent of over-65s said they find it hard to get treatment from their nearest hospital, nearly a quarter struggle to get service from a bank, and 6 per cent leave their house once a week or less, the report reveals.
More than 60 per cent of people think age discrimination is widespread in Britain, Age UK found.
"The older population is the fastest-growing, with 14.1m people over 60.
This number is greater than the under-16s," Mrs Mitchell said, adding that inequality among the older population has increased, with the gap in average life expectancy between the best and the worst areas now standing at almost nine years.
"For some, later life is a time of enjoyment – many are living into their 80s and 90s in good health, with increasing numbers working later in life. But for others, it is a time of poverty, isolation and loneliness.
Almost two million older people are living in poverty, and millions more are living below the breadline," she added.
An estimated one million over-65s are malnourished, according to the report, which calls for the coalition to draw up an "overarching framework" of policies prioritising older people. It proposes a "simpler" state pension of at least £140 per week; a fuel poverty strategy to support the most vulnerable households; tightening up of anti-age discrimination laws; and wholesale reform of support and care services so that no one would have to pay more than £35,000 for care bills during their lifetime.
Campaigners will express their concern and highlight the need for action on Tuesday when hundreds of older and disabled people are expected to join a mass lobby of Parliament, organised by the Care & Support Alliance (CSA), to urge the Government to reform and boost funding for social care.
While the number of people aged over 85 – the age group most likely to need care – has grown by 300,000 since 2005, funding has fallen by £300m in the past 12 months, and, according to Agenda for Later Life, the "level of unmet need will only increase" in the next few years.
Steven McIntosh, the policy manager at Carers UK, which is a member of the CSA, said there was "mounting evidence that the care system is in crisis" and "worsening" under this Government.
His view echoes an inquiry by the Equality and Human Right Commission last year, which revealed that care for older people in their own homes was so poor that, at times, it breached human rights.
The CSA wants the Government to set aside an additional £5bn of funding for support services.
Over the past three years, there has been a £360 increase in the amount councils charge annually for home help, says Age UK, which is calling for full implementation of last year's Dilnot Commission – including a big increase in the limit of savings and assets above which the state offers no help with care costs.
It says the threshold should rise from £23,250 to £100,000.
Paul Burstow, the care services minister, said older people should get the high-quality care they expect: "We know that reform of the care and support system is needed.
That is why, following the Dilnot and Law Commission's reports, we have been working with organisations such as Age UK to create a sustainable care system.
Our goal is a system that delivers integrated care and gives more choice and control to individuals and their carers."
He added that the Government would be publishing a White Paper on care and support, as well as a progress report on funding and reform, in the spring.
Mrs Mitchell said Age UK was "broadly supportive" of the Government's plans to reform healthcare under the NHS, but added that she was "very concerned" about the "uncertainty that is clearly systemic in the health system at the moment".
Pensioner Mary Phillips, 76, lives on her own in a council flat in south London.
A former proof-reader, she says her pension credit and housing benefit were cut when she took a three-month part-time job at a sixth-form college last year.
Her utility bills have increased by almost £20 in the same period and she worries about whether to "heat or eat"
"The job I took only bought in £1,000, but I lost £16.90 a week pension credit and £81.60 a week in housing benefit. I also had to pay £400 in council tax; I only have £2,500 in my savings.
Over the cold period, I had to put my heating up, but I was worried that it would cost me lots of money. I have started to buy cheaper things; I get the bus to the market and buy food there – some of it's edible, some of it's not, but it's less expensive than the supermarket.
"I definitely feel like I'm getting a raw deal. Since they stopped my housing benefit and I have had to pay council tax, I have to pay for my own dental treatment.
It's like the more that's taken away, the more you have to pay.
I just want a bit of a rest and not to have to worry about things.
I also worry that, if the Government decided to start chucking people out of council housing when they have an extra room, my family wouldn't be able to come and stay.
It's as if we aren't human beings."
Knud Muller, 69, a former local government statistician, lives with his wife, Liz, in Stoke-on-Trent.
Under the previous male default retirement age, he was forced out a job that he'd held for 33 years.
This, he says, was a result of "age discrimination"
"I was told, more or less, to 'shove off'. In the first few months, I applied for a few jobs similar to mine. There was an advert for a job with my employer – I applied and wasn't even given an acknowledgement.
I applied for others and didn't get anywhere.
Things are tighter now.
I supply a bit of information to the local papers about house prices. I'm trying to see how I can make more money from it.
There are so many perks to being employed – for example, when you're at work you don't need to heat your house."
David Gower, 76, a retired British Rail technical manager, lives on his own in sheltered accommodation in the Home Counties. He has a severe neurological condition, which affects his mobility and means that he is reliant on four carers to help him four times a day.
He struggles to pay his costs, which have increased from £260 to £370 a month
"I can only manage a few steps with a walking frame and it is hard for me to do even the simplest tasks like picking things up or opening an envelope.
My local authority has already had to pare down my home care service as much as it can.
I don't feel mine is adequate.
The carers are already hard pushed to get me out of bed, washed, toiletted, dressed and breakfasted, and the bed made, in the allotted 45 minutes. It's a double whammy – a reduction in carer time and a big increase in what I pay for it.
The Government's not fulfilling its responsibility to people who need support."
Social- PCS Pay and Pension Calculator
Updated: 29 Feb 2012
PCS pay and pension calculator -
How much is the government taking from you?
Use the PCS pay and pension calculator to see how much more the government wants you to pay while working longer to receive less.
More than 300,000 people have already viewed the calculator and the new version breaks down exactly how much you stand to lose.
Lynne Arnison, 46, is a Job Centre Plus office performance team leader from North Yorkshire.
Lynne currently earns £24,230 per year and has worked in the civil service for 26 years.
As a result of the government's plans, Lynne will:
Pay £696 more per year and £61 more per month
Lose £20,601 from her current pension
Stand to lose a huge £42,158 from her pension if she works until she is 66
Lynne was stunned to find this out and said:
"As a country we are now regressing and facing a system where pensioners are reliant on state handouts to eke out an existence rather than be independent.
This sadly is the future I am facing unless I make a stand against the attack on our hard-earned pensions."
How much will you lose?
Find out today by downloading the calculator and entering your details into the spreadsheet.
PCS pay and pension calculator
How does it work? View our technical note on the calculator.
Let the government know that you refuse to hand over your pension by:
Voting 'Yes' for an ongoing campaign of action, and by encouraging other members to do so in the upcoming pensions ballot
Send an email to your local MP and encourage them to attend our drop-in briefing on the campaign to defend public sector pensions
Please note - If you are having problems accessing the pensions calculator, it may be caused by the internal network settings your employer has in place.
If problems do occur, it's advised to download the calculator from a home PC.
Social- Peter Tatchell at 60 Interviewed by Elton and David
Updated: 28 Feb 2012
Elton John & David Furnish interview Peter Tatchell
Attitude magazine - March 2012
Celebration of 60th birthday & 45 years of human rights campaigning
London, UK - 27 February 2012
Elton John & David Furnish interview Peter Tatchell in celebration of his 60th birthday, 45 years of human rights campaigning and 10 years of his Peter Tatchell Foundation.
The interview is published in the March 2012 issue of Attitude magazine (UK) - out now.
Here are key excerpts:
David Furnish on Peter Tatchell:
"During the 80s I was full of self-loathing and I wasn't out and I couldn't tell my family and I had no role models... People like Peter made me uncomfortable, because you were so in people's faces with OutRage! and there was a part of me that, because I wasn't confronting it in myself, the fact that someone else was confronting it so much, was slightly frightening. But, as the years have gone by and you learn to accept yourself you learn to appreciate the benefits that we have. I've always followed what you've (Peter) done in the press and continually said that Peter is a good man and that we need people like Peter Tatchell in the world.
Elton John on Peter Tatchell:
"You've never said anything hateful about anybody, you've just told the truth. And you never condemned anybody - well you have - but you haven't done it with hate. You've just said: Listen, this is unfair, this is not right, with the Pope, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the thing in Moscow (Peter and Richard Fairbrass of Right Said Fred were beaten up by anti-gay Russians), and you've never reacted violently and reacted with hate. You've just been like Jesus Christ would've been when he forgave all the people that sinned."
Peter Tatchell on his inspirations:
"Mahatma Gandhi, Sylvia Pankhurst, Martin Luther King and, to some extent, Malcolm X and Rosa Luxemburg."
Elton on the US:
"It's so fucking homophobic, it's ludicrous."
Peter on what is needed to stamp out homophobic bullying and prejudice:
"Education against homophobia and all prejudice should be a compulsory subject in every school, from primary level upwards, with no opt-outs for independent and free schools and no right of parents to withdraw their kids. There should be exams in tolerance. The results should go on pupil's records and should have to be declared when applying for higher education and jobs."
David on Peter's flat:
"It's a garrison."
Peter on the current big campaign:
"We've got the Equal Love campaign, where four gay couples and four straight couples have filed an application at the European Court of Human Rights. The aim is to end the (UK's) twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. We're guardedly optimistic that when it comes to a judgement, maybe in three or four years time, we might win.
David on their son Zachary:
"He's going to be potentially doubly stigmatised, because one of his parents is extremely famous, and secondly because he comes from two dads."
Elton on being willing to perform in homophobic countries to challenge intolerance:
"Like you (Peter) I am not afraid of going anywhere. I'm not afraid of going to Iran. I'm not afraid of going to Syria....If they shoot me, they shoot me"
Peter on retirement:
"I plan to carry on campaigning for another 30 years."
Elton on Zachary:
"I can't tell you how brilliant this year has been and how much love he's bought us....having a child has been magnificent and I never thought I'd have a kid."
Peter on the past hate campaigns against him:
"During the 80s and 90s, when I was very outspoken and very much in the news, it was like living through a mini civil war. I had attacks on my home: three arson attacks, a bullet thought the door and bricks through the windows. I was bashed about 300 times, mostly by homophobes and neo-Nazis."
Peter on his proudest campaign:
"The campaign in the early 1990s against police harassment of the LGBT community. The police refused to end their homophobia and wouldn't negotiate. So the queer rights group OutRage!, which I was involved with, began a high-profile campaign of direct action. We invaded police stations, interrupted police press conferences and exposed 'pretty police' undercover agents who were luring gay men into committing criminal acts and then arresting them. Within three months, the police were pleading with us to negotiate. Within a year, they agreed to most of our demands for a non-homophobic policing policy. Within three years, the number of gay and bisexual men convicted for consenting behaviour fell by two-thirds - the biggest, fastest fall ever. We saved thousands of men from arrest and criminal conviction. I'm really proud of that campaign."
Peter on not holding grudges:
"I never hold grudges. If someone has been a homophobe and they change, I am first in line to welcome and embrace them. When Michael Portillo was defence minister, gays and lesbians were witch-hunted out of the armed forces. He voted against LGBT equality in the House of Commons. So when he stood for Parliament in Kensington and Chelsea, I harried him wherever he went. Some years later he confided that it was a horrible experience but he sort of understood why I did it. He regretted voting against equality. To which my response was: thank you."
Social-50,000yearly Complaints to Schools on Bullies /Bad Behaviour reflects on Parents not Schools
Updated: 27 Feb 2012
The sin-bin solution:
New crackdown on unruly pupils to prevent a repeat of riots
By Tim Shipman
Last updated at 12:33 AM on 25th February 2012
Behavioural expert Charlie Taylor has warned failure to turn around problem pupils could fuel further riots like those across English cities last summer
A new generation of ‘sin bins’ for unruly pupils is to be rolled out to crack down harder on violence in classrooms and prevent a repeat of last summer’s riots.
Youngsters excluded from school will face a regime of tighter discipline and compulsory reading and writing lessons under plans to be unveiled by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
He will order an overhaul of Pupil Referral Units to cope with an increase in students being excluded for violence, drug use and bullying.
Mr Gove is to act after receiving a report from behavioural expert Charlie Taylor, warning that failure to turn around problem pupils could fuel further riots like those across English cities last summer.
From Monday, sin bin bosses will be allowed to apply for academy status and be called Alternative Provision Academies.
This device will give them freedom from the interference of local authorities, which are accused of putting the rights of violent students ahead of other pupils.
The sin bins are expected to use tactics devised by Mr Taylor, who turned around a former sink school in North West London.
He imposed ‘consistent discipline’ at The Willows School by telling pupils ‘what was expected of them’.
More...One in FIVE teens have driven after smoking marijuana
'Who's got a lighter? Let's torch the place': Chilling words of riot thug who yesterday finally admitted burning down historic furniture store
He said last night: ‘We currently have a flawed system that fails to provide for some of the most vulnerable children in the country.
‘If we fail to give them a first-class education then, as the events of this summer showed, we will all pay a heavy price.’
There are currently around 400 PRUs in Britain and Mr Gove’s aides expect around 70 to win academy status in the first wave.
Under the plans, sin bin heads will be able to set their own curriculum and hire better staff.
A senior Government source said: ‘This will give heads of PRUs freedom to impose the kind of “tough love” measures that work.
‘That could mean compulsory reading and writing lessons for people who were never taught the basics.’
Michael Gove will order an overhaul of Pupil Referral Units to cope with an increase in students being excluded for violence, drug use and bullying
The Department for Education is expecting the number of pupils sent to units to rise after announcing last year that the Government would back heads who exclude violent youths by preventing appeals panels reversing those decisions.
Official figures show that 156,320 pupils were excluded permanently or suspended in the 2009-10 academic year for verbal abuse or physical attacks on school staff.
Only 1.4 per cent of pupils in sin bins achieved five or more GCSEs at grade A*-C, or equivalent, including English and mathematics, that year, compared with 53.4 per cent in all schools in England.
Mr Taylor added: ‘It is no coincidence that with great leadership and with more independence, mainstream academies flourish and improve faster than the national average.
‘Heads of the best PRUs tell me that they want the same freedoms to improve education.’
Seamus Oates, head of a PRU in Hammersmith and Fulham, London, said he would apply for academy status.
‘I have no doubt that Alternative Provision Academies will deliver high quality outcomes for young people unable to manage in mainstream settings,’ he said.
The report also contains recommendations, published last weekend, to beef up sanctions against the parents of truants.
Mr Gove has attracted controversy by revealing he favours a legal ban on parents removing their children from school during term time to take advantage of cheaper holidays.
Parents who take their children out of school without permission currently face fines of just £100 – much less than the saving of booking trips outside of school holidays.
50,000 SCHOOL COMPLAINTS A YEAR Parents are making nearly 50,000 complaints to schools each year with many dismissed or hushed up, Government-funded research revealed yesterday.
The first study to estimate the true scale of complaints to schools found many heads and teachers saw them as a ‘badge of shame’.
The research, commissioned by the Department for Education, said some secondaries were receiving 65 complaints in a single academic year.
Parents reported that some schools became ‘defensive’ and ‘closed ranks’ over complaints, and hired costly lawyers to fight their corner. Complaints ranged from missed school lunches and poor supervision on trips to allegations of bullying and even sexual assault by staff.
A common complaint, and a source of ‘bitter conflict’, was that a school had failed to deal with bullying.
The research estimated that schools in England received 48,969 complaints in 2009-10 – the most recent figures available. Some 13,000 were categorised as formal complaints, with 3,000 going as far as the Secretary of State for Education.
The report warned: ‘Parents sometimes felt that there was an element of avoidance, or that the head teacher had taken a “defensive” stance.’
It uncovered ‘schools seeing complaints as reflecting poorly on them, rather than as a source of feedback’.
But the study also found evidence of the heavy toll on teachers and heads.
Schools felt the volume of complaints received was linked to a growing ‘complaints culture’, it said.
A DfE spokesman said: ‘We are currently considering how we can make it much simpler and quicker for parents to sort out any issues they have with their school.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2106183/The-sin-bin-solution-New-crackdown-unruly-pupils-prevent-repeat-riots.html#ixzz1nZiuxnIt
Social - Elderly "ignored" in UK Care system
Updated: 23 Feb 2012
Elderly ‘ignored’ in UK care system
Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:40PM GMT
While over two million older people in England need care, only around 400,000 of those live in care homes.
Campaigners have urged NHS practitioners to treat elderly patients with respect as it was revealed that they are treated like 'objects' in the current British healthcare system.
In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph, a group of politicians, regulators and charities called for NHS nurses and care workers to sign a 'Dignity Code' drawn up by the National Pensioners’ Convention, promising to treat pensioners with dignity.
Urging hospitals and care homes to agree a set of common standards of care to prevent cases of neglect and abuse, they warned that British pensioners are being spoken down to, prevented from taking decisions, and denied privacy and the best medical treatment.
"For too long, too many of those people have been ignored, denied the basic right to speak for themselves or make up their own mind," the letter warned.
"In this era of human rights, too many older people have seen their basic human dignity undermined in situations where they are treated as objects rather than people,” states the letter signed by 21 public figures.
Recently, a committee of MPs warned that around 1.20 million British elderly people are treated as “parcels” passed around a disorganized healthcare system that is dealing with spending cuts.
Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of the charity Action on Elder Abuse slammed standards of respect for elderly people in care for being deteriorated so badly over the last 10 years.
“When you are in an environment that degrades you every day in the little things, that you can’t escape from, that is death by a thousand cuts, that just destroys who you are, it is so humiliating or degrading, that’s what we have to deal with,” he added.
Social- "Shopping for bargains beats romance" -makes us a sick and conditioned society
Updated: 20 Feb 2012
Bagging a bargain gets us more excited than watching football or even love at first sight
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:42 AM on 18th February 2012
Economic crisis and consumerism mean that retail opportunities now seem to set our pulses racing more than romance.
The experiment, carried out by neuropsychologists, found Britons respond with greatest excitement when shown discounted products.
Excitement levels hit their highest when participants in a study spotted a good bargain compared to an array of other stimulants and luxury goods
A number of results confounded expectations, such as women preferring £150 off a washing machine to the Hollywood heart throb Ryan Gosling.
Women prefer £150 off a washing machine to actor Ryan Gosling, who was voted one of the sexiest men alive
And one female participant’s heartbeat reached 187 beats a minute when looking at a deal to save 85p on shower gel – a higher reading than riding a roller coaster.
The consumer behavioural study was carried out by leading neuropsychologist David Lewis to see how we respond to different price discounts and product offers.
In the experiment, sponsored by T-Mobile and carried out over three days, six men and six women were attached to chest monitors, skin conductors and eye-tracking equipment.
These recorded the physiological signs of excitement generated by the body.
Results showed that excitement levels hit their highest when participants spotted a good bargain.
Stimulants and luxury goods including the opposite sex, designer clothes, fashion accessories, expensive jewellery and sports cars had less effect.
‘We’ve measured excitement in all kinds of various situations from the build-up to a big sports match to driving a fast car,’ said Dr Lewis.
‘Yet when it came to getting a good deal, those were some of the highest levels we have seen.
‘Bagging a bargain was routinely shown to be more exciting than love at first sight – an experience that typically causes a peak in the physical symptoms of excitement shown in both men and women.’
Products marked half price or available on a ‘bogof’ deal generated the greatest level of excitement in men, quickening the pulse to nearly 90 beats a minute.
The prospect of a beer didn’t come close, with heart rates barely rising above the average resting rate of 75 beats a minute.
For women, the offer of Christian Louboutin shoes, Mulberry handbags and even a holiday with the girls couldn’t match the levels of excitement from getting a discount
Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2102949/Bagging-bargain-gets-excited-watching-football-love-sight.html#ixzz1mtJdjUhG
Social- Silver Surfers making up for lost time and time denied
Updated: 17 Feb 2012
Goldies - glamorous oldies - and Silver Surfers have never had it so good
The over-60s are the fastest growing group of online daters – that’s not surprising for this adventurous generation.
My friend Lorraine, 65, met the man of her dreams online and is, right now, cruising to Canada to meet his family. And my neighbour Donna, 66, web-linked up with her first love and ran away with him to Milton Keynes.
So no, it didn’t surprise me at all to read yesterday that the over-60s are the fastest growing group of internet daters. A survey by an American University in Ohio also found that people of this generation are realistic and honest in their profiles and photographs online. And not because they are naïve or disingenuous, but because they’re busy.
The co-author of the report, Dr Charlie Steele said: “Their attitude is, 'Don’t waste my time.’ They want to make a decision quickly and cut their losses, because they have learnt that life is too short for dating games.”
Yes, there might be occasional news stories about women of a certain age being parted from their life savings by plausible online fraudsters. But that can happen at any age. And we shop online for everything else, so why not love – at any age?
After all, members of my generation have always been adventurous. As the actor Bill Nighy said this week: “Despite being in my sixties, I love learning new things and being challenged.”
We must find a new way to describe this babyboomer generation. “Elderly” is the worst adjective. It is used for anyone over 65, but it is ugly, dowdy and implies incapacity. News reports have described “elderly” people chasing and catching muggers and confronting and reprimanding rioters. Why “elderly” - why not just “brave” people?
Oh, and please, can we ditch the word “silver” as a catch-all description of those of us in our seventh decade? I gritted my teeth when I read that Esther Rantzen was starting a helpline for mistreated oldies called Silverline. Isn’t that a railway network? And besides, forget grey and silver, many of us are actually going blonde, brunette or redhead – and lead seriously colourful lives to match.
So why, when the BBC airs stories about “older” people, are they accompanied by footage of age-spotted hands, clutching a zimmer frame, or a confused, lumpen group attempting line dancing, at snail’s pace. Have they never been to my Zumba class?
Now, I accept that good health is an essential ingredient to enjoying life as you get older. But having gone for the burn with Jane Fonda, jogged and yoga-ed our way through the past 20 years, stubbed out cigarettes and munched on muesli, this has got to be the fittest older generation ever. I cannot see my noisy, opinionated, confident contemporaries disappearing into care homes, dependence, isolation any time soon.
In fact, my friends and I are pooling our resources to buy the House of The Sinking Sun, as we call it – a big house where we can all live, with a nurse and housekeeper, when the time comes.
Our generation has changed the world – from music and sex to health and equal rights – and now we’re going to change attitudes to ageing.
Bullied by the Government who insists we sell our bigger houses and work until we drop, and with no chance of being looked after by the state in our extreme old age – unless we pay for it, of course – we’re not so much raging against the dying of the light, as rampaging against the patronising view that we’re past it.
As a comedy writer I believe the way to challenge any misconception is by humour. The Americans anticipated that over 25 years ago, with the magnificent comedy The Golden Girls. Four Miami matrons shared a house. Their stories and dramas were the same as any age group – dating, personal space, personality clashes – with the additional acknowledgment of the effects of old age. Remember raspy-voiced Dorothy advising flighty Blanche to look down onto a mirror? When Blanche recoiled at her wrinkled image, Dorothy observed: "That’s what you’ll look like from below. So don’t go on top.”
I’m not the only one who wants choice and dignity for her future. The novelist Deborah Moggach’s book These Foolish Things has just been filmed as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , in which a group of strangers, beguiled by an online advertisement, move into an Indian palace to live out their lives in comfort and freedom.
The Goldies – glamorous oldies – in the film include Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Celia Imrie. They have been talking publicly, and critically, about our country’s lack of care for older people. Other Goldies, such as Dame Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley, have also spoken out. Yes, they may be famous, but there are millions like them among us – still working, still fit and still looking great. Indeed, gold is more valuable than silver: it increases in value with age and is highly desirable .
That’s certainly true of Bill Nighy. I wonder if he’s on a dating website?
Social- More than "Equal Love rights" for All is needed.
Updated: 14 Feb 2012
Equal Love rights for those who want to be in love, whatever love is.
But I put it to you
It is going to take more than love.
The world is not a very nice place
And the people in it are not very nice to each other
I will put it even more succinctly
There are people in the world who are not very nice people
And if I have been too generous
Let me qualify that
There are some horrid people
There are some selfish people
And people who would think nothing of harming their fellow man
Without getting into the discussion about whether greed is inherent in man or whether he acquires it.
I want you to appreciate that we have two choices
Either opt out or try to change the world we live in for the better.
The problem is that while you are changing it you have to live in it.
Nelson Mandela had the answer for that
"The ideals we cherish, our fondest dreams and fervent hopes
may not be realised in our lifetime.
But that is beside the point.
The knowledge that in your day you did your duty, and lived up to the
expectations of your fellow men is in itself a rewarding experience and
Nelson Mandela - Conversations with myself
However I am comforted by the fact that early settlements did live as Communes and this situation went on for hundreds of years.
Not until the Celts arrived as invaders, did the Iberians and those before need to defend themselves.
It is not difficult to see that when space is at a premium does conflict arise.
While there was sufficient and groups had surpluses to barter conflict was in fact counter productive.
Capitalism succeeded Feudalism and Socialism will succeed Capitalism.
There will then be a massive learning curve to recognise the need to share resources fairly.
I always use water to explain the theory.
If water was free and in some places it is.
People take just what they need
They don't wallow in it just because its free.
And the same goes for every other "commodity"
You can see we are going to need people who are good at producing,managing teaching and leading.
All should equally have the right to be counted.
An open letter to a friend !
Social- Falling in Love makes men broody
Updated: 14 Feb 2012
Falling in love makes men broody
00:01 14 February 2012 by Linda Geddes
Falling in love really does make you broody – especially if you are a man.
Radical says - But its time to hold on to what is yours- 1. Money 2 Property 3. Common sense- Stay rational !
New lovers show greater activation of brain areas related to parental attachment when they see a baby than single people.
This was particularly pronounced in men, hinting that babies may be on their mind from the outset of a relationship.
Alternatively, "men may be worried about their partner's desire for children, and their increased attention to infant stimuli is based on apprehension and the need to be more guarded", says Ruth Feldman of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, who led the research.
Feldman's team used electroencephalography to monitor the brain activity of 65 volunteers, including new parents, new lovers and singles as they viewed pictures of infants – including the parents' own babies – along with neutral pictures.
When viewing unfamiliar babies, parents and new lovers showed greater activation of brain areas associated with parenting, such as the nucleus accumbens, anterior cingulate and amygdala, than singles.
The response was even greater in parents viewing their own child.
Mothers and male lovers showed slightly greater activation of these brain areas than fathers and female lovers (Biological Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.11.008).
"This suggests that even though the lovers don't know it, they are physiologically getting ready to respond to infants," says Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in New York, author of Why We Love.
It also overturns a common assumption that men are less interested in babies than women.
"It shows that we really don't understand men," says Fisher.
Fisher has just published the results of a survey of 6000 men and women in the US, which found that men are significantly more likely to make a long-term commitment with someone they didn't feel sexually attracted to if that person has all the other qualities they were looking for.
"Men fall in love faster than, and just as often as, women," says Fisher.
"They're more likely to want to move in and start a more socially visible relationship in the first year than women, and men are 2.5 times more likely to kill themselves when a relationship ends."
In a separate study, Feldman and her colleagues found that falling in love also appears to buffer people from negative emotions.
They showed 55 new lovers and 57 single people six video clips, including two selected to trigger positive emotions and two that would trigger negative emotions.
Electrodes were used to monitor the volunteers for signs of stress.
While single people showed signs of stress when watching the negative films, new lovers seemed to be unaffected by them (Emotion, DOI: 10.1037/a0024090).
"There is something about this euphoria of falling in love that is like a protective buffer, so we don't really respond to negative emotions," says Feldman.
This may have evolutionary significance: by suppressing negative emotions, new couples find it easier to form a trusting bond with one another.
"We need a calm state to allow ourselves to fall in love, otherwise there's no sense of safety," says Feldman.
"It shows that love is important and can reduce stress," adds Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University in California.
He suggests that high levels of the hormone oxytocin, which has calming effects, are probably responsible.
Social- Race abuse fan gets three year ban
Updated: 09 Feb 2012
Race abuse fan gets three year ban
Press Association – 3 hours ago
Howard Hobson, 57, has been fined £200 and banned from football matches for three years for hurling racist abuse during a football match
A Manchester United fan who hurled racist abuse at a black player was today fined £200 and banned from football matches for three years.
Howard Hobson, 57, shouted numerous racial slurs and made monkey noises at Stoke City's Trinidad-born player Kenwyne Jones.
Hobson was in the North Stand at Old Trafford for the game against Stoke on January 31, Trafford Magistrates Court heard.
The defendant was asked to explain his actions by JPs after pleading guilty to a single charge of a racially aggravated public order offence.
"I'm not racist," he told the bench. "I have coloured people in my family and most of my best mates are coloured. I don't know what came over me.
I'm deeply sorry."
Eileen Rogers, prosecuting, told the court Hobson's behaviour was brought to the attention of club stewards at the match by a witness sitting near the defendant.
After the half-time interval when Hobson returned to his seat he was spoken to by stewards and taken away and then transferred to a police station in Salford.
Hobson, of Weaver Walk, Openshaw, Manchester, admitted making some comments about the Stoke player "in the heat of the moment" and accepted he used the words, "black bastard".
He said he could not remember using the words "w**" or "monkey" but accepted what the witness had reported him as saying.
Hobson was fined £200 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
The football banning order means he is not allowed to enter a football ground in England and Wales for three years or he could be arrested and he must surrender his passport when England play internationals abroad.
Greater Manchester Police said Hobson's ban would give him time to think about his "disgusting outbursts" and send a "clear message" against racism at football grounds.
Stretford-based Superintendent Jim Liggett said: "Hobson's racist tirade was a shocking reminder that there remain a tiny minority of football supporters who still think it is acceptable to abuse players just because of the colour of their skin.
I am grateful to the genuine football supporter who heard Hobson's abuse and quickly brought it to the attention of the stewards.
It is fans like this who are the true supporters of the game, not people like Hobson."
Social- Thoughts on a benefits cap
Updated: 07 Feb 2012
Thoughts on a benefits cap
Authors: Robert Joyce
Institute of Fiscal Studies
This week, debate over the Government's Welfare Reform Bill has returned to the House of Commons.
An element that has grabbed a lot of attention is the proposed benefit cap for working-age households (excluding those claiming Disability Living Allowance or Working Tax Credit), which will be set at £350 per week for childless single people and £500 per week for other households.
This is now expected to affect about 67,000 households in Great Britain when implemented in 2013-14, reducing their benefit entitlement by an average of £83 per week and cutting the benefits bill by about £290 million in that year.
To put this in context, other planned cuts to welfare spending amount to about £18 billion per year by the end of this parliament, and will affect millions of working-age benefit recipients.
How could households be in receipt of more than £500 per week in benefits?
Put simply, they must have either a large number of children or high housing costs (or both).
A couple with four children and no private income would be entitled to about £373 per week in Jobseeker's Allowance, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit.
If they paid rent of £127 per week or more (plausible rent levels for those who rent privately or are in social housing in London), a Housing Benefit claim to cover this would result in total benefit income of at least £500 per week.
A smaller family could also be affected by the cap if they live in a particularly high-rent area such as London and consequently claim a large amount of Housing Benefit (for an example, a 3-bedroom household who rent privately can claim up to £340 per week in Housing Benefit to cover their rent).
The Government's Impact Assessment estimates that 69% of households that will be affected have at least three children, and 54% live in Greater London (where rents are high).
So what will this policy achieve, apart from reducing state benefit payments to about 67,000 households with lots of children and/or high housing costs?
The Government has said that it hopes there will be two forms of behavioural response: families may move to cheaper accommodation to reduce their housing costs, and/or take up paid work because their out-of-work benefit entitlement will have been reduced.
A third possible form of behavioural response is in fertility rates, since the cap will effectively reduce state financial support for some large families (see here for previous IFS research on fertility and financial incentives).
If this were the main intended impact, though, one would expect to see the policy affecting only new claimants of child-contingent benefits.
A fourth possible behavioural impact is for fewer people to cohabit, since the benefits cap is to apply at the household level, and hence living apart could split benefits across households and mean that neither is subject to a cap.
This 'couple penalty' is presumably something the Government would not be keen on, as it has said that it wishes to reduce couple penalties in the tax and benefit system.
Crucially, is a benefits cap the best approach to take to deal with benefit payments that the Government deems excessive? If it thinks that the benefit system is giving some families a level of entitlement that is too high, it must believe that some benefit rates are inappropriately high.
The best-targeted response would surely be to change those benefit rates.
In this particular case, the logic underlying the Government's belief that no family should receive more than £500 per week in benefits would point towards cutting the amount families receive for having large numbers of children and/or reducing the value of housing costs against which people can claim Housing Benefit.
The apparent simplicity of instead just placing a cap on total benefit receipt might look appealing, and may well be politically expedient.
But it seems incoherent for a Government to set a system of benefits which it evidently thinks gives some families excessive entitlements, and to then attempt to 'right this wrong' with a cap.
If starting from scratch, this is surely not the approach one should want to take. And very shortly the Government will be starting from scratch - its planned Universal Credit is to replace almost all of the existing system of means-tested benefits and tax credits for those of working age.
If it has a view on the maximum reasonable level of benefit entitlement for these people, then it should design Universal Credit (and in particular, the child and housing cost additions within it) to reflect that view.
It is not clear what is gained from instead layering a cap on top of a system that is designed to allow higher payments.
The approach of tweaking particular benefit rates, rather than imposing a post hoc cap on total benefit receipt, would also force the Government to think carefully about (and be explicit about) the features of the current benefits system that it considers inappropriate.
Apart from improving the quality of its solution to the perceived problem, this may also improve the quality of wider debate about the issue.
After all, it would make it crystal clear what precisely the debate is about.
Social- The Benefits of a Civilised Society
Updated: 04 Feb 2012
The benefits of a civilised society
• guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 31 January 2012 21.00 GMT
Today the welfare reform bill is expected to return to the Commons (Report, 30 January).
Under government plans, 670,000 households – two-thirds containing a disabled family member – would lose an average of £670 a year because they are deemed to have one or more additional bedrooms.
Separated parents or grandparents who use their extra bedroom to share the care of their children or grandchildren; families in which two same-sex teenage children have their own bedroom for privacy and study; foster parents with rooms occupied by foster children – many, despite having nowhere else to move to, will see their incomes cut if the bill passes unamended.
There is an alternative.
In December members of the House of Lords backed a cross-party amendment to exempt those families with just one additional bedroom where there are no alternative properties for them to downsize to.
For hundreds of thousands of families across the country this amendment could mean the difference between making ends meet and living in hardship.
That's why we are calling on MPs to ensure the government listens to the clear message sent by peers by allowing this compromise to stand.
Chief executive, National Housing Federation
Chief executive, Action for Blind People
Charity director, Age UK
Director of campaigns, policy and research, Ambitious about Autism
Director of housing and community services, Association of Retained Council Housing
Chair, Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers
Director, Bevan Foundation
Chief executive, British Institute for Learning Disabilities
Chief executive, Capability Scotland
Managing director, Care and Repair Cymru
Director of policy and public affairs, Carers UK
Chief executive, Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales
Interim chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing
Director, Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru
Director, Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland
Chief executive, Child Poverty Action Group
Head, Child Poverty Action Group Scotland
Chief executive, Children 1st
Chief executive, Citizens Advice
Acting chief executive, Citizens Advice Scotland
Chief executive, Community Housing Cymru
Chief executive, Contact a Family
Director general, Council of Mortgage Lenders
Policy consultant, Council of Mortgage Lenders Scotland
Chief executive, Crisis
Director, Cymorth Cymru
Chief executive, Deafblind UK
Director of policy, Disability Alliance
Chief executive, Disability Wales
Board member, Every Disabled Child Matters
Chief executive, Family Action
Chief executive, Family Rights Group
Chief executive, Gingerbread
Director, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations
Interim chief executive, Grandparents Plus
Chief executive, Habinteg
Chief executive, The Haemophilia Society
Interim chief executive, Homeless Link
Manager, Inclusion Scotland
Chief executive, Lasa
Director, Learning Disability Coalition
Chief executive, Livability
Chief executive, Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland
Chief executive, Mencap
Chief executive, Muscular Dystrophy Campaign
Chief executive, National AIDS Trust
Chief executive, National Autistic Society
Chief executive, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
Chief executive, Northern Ireland Housing Associations
Chief executive, One Parent Families Scotland
Director of operations, Papworth Trust
Director of policy, campaigns and communications, Platform 51
Chief executive, Rethink Mental Illness
Rights Advice Scotland directors
Rights Advice Scotland
Acting chief executive, Riverside
Chief executive, RNIB
Chief executive, Scope
Co-ordinator, Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform
Chief executive, Scottish Council for the Single Homeless
Chief executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
Chief executive, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Cllr Matt Kerr
Chair, Scottish Local Government Forum Against Poverty
Head of public policy, Sense
Chief executive, Shelter
Public relations officer, Shelter Cymru
Director, Shelter Scotland
Chair, Tenants and Residents Organisations of England
Chief executive, Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS)
Chief executive, Toynbee Hall
Director, TPAS Cymru
Chief executive, TPAS Scotland
General secretary, Trades Union Congress
Chief executive, Turning Point
Chief executive, Turning Point Scotland
Chief executive, Twins and Multiple Births Association
Chair, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust
• We urge the government to extend the time limit proposed for some ill and disabled people receiving employment and support allowance.
We are extremely concerned that, if the welfare reform bill goes ahead in its current form, many thousands of people who are genuinely unable to work will be forced into unsuitable jobs or face poverty.
The new rules mean that after a year, many disabled people will have their support cut off if they have a partner who is working, even though they may have a very low wage.
This will place further distress and financial burden on people who are already facing multiple difficulties.
Worryingly, it also creates an incentive for partners to reduce their hours or drop out of the workplace entirely.
In any civilised society, it's crucial the welfare system supports people who, because of illness or disability, are unable to work.
This arbitrary time limit has no clear evidence base.
It punishes some of society's most vulnerable people in our society and penalises people for having a partner in employment.
We urge MPs to support the Lords amendment to extend the time limit to at least two years and put an end to a short-sighted policy, which will cost us all in the long term.
CEO, Rethink Mental Illness
Dr Mark Baker
Head of social research and policy, Action on Hearing Loss
CEO, Citizens Advice Bureau
CEO, Multiple Sclerosis Society
CEO, National Autistic Society
• I would like to thank Felicity Lawrence for her excellent article revealing the true impact of the government's attacks on the unemployed and the low-paid (Hunger is being used to spur the idle to work, 31 January). I have been heavily involved in campaigning against Iain Duncan Smith's wholly immoral welfare "reforms", and this article was a sobering reminder not to get lost in rhetoric and focus on the true impact of the policies.
If the benefit cap does progress unchecked then the reality of hunger being used as a weapon against the poor will become even more widespread, and there is no guarantee that all areas will have food banks for the desperate. There is an absolute moral responsibility for everyone with a conscience and a sense of social justice to do all we can to campaign against policies that attack the poor while making the rich even wealthier.
• Thanks to Felicity Lawrence for showing the re-emergence of hunger in Britain. During 50 years in welfare work, I have never seen the like. Our project in Easterhouse, Glasgow, gave out 650 Christmas parcels, which mainly consist of food. We have started planning the summer camps, which are needed more than ever. Yet some parents will have to cut down expenditure on essentials if they are to pay the already subsidised camp fees. I recall being with Iain Duncan Smith when he criticised New Labour for not reducing the gap between rich and poor. This year his children will enjoy an affluent lifestyle and more than enough food, in contrast to the needy children at the other end of the social scale.
Social-Gary Speed - Questions Questions ! "a couple of issues" - "death doesn't make sense"- Shearer
Updated: 31 Jan 2012
Gary Speed inquest: death doesn't make sense, says Shearer
Alan Shearer, the former England striker, has said the death of Gary Speed, the former Wales football manager, does not make sense.
Alan Shearer said he last saw Gary Speed at the BBC studios on the Saturday before he died
By Andy Bloxham
5:08PM GMT 30 Jan 2012
He said Gary Speed did not appear to be worried about anything when they last met, just hours before his former Newcastle United teammate was found dead.
In a written statement, Mr Shearer, who did not appear at the inquest in person, said they were good friends and told how their families had enjoyed holidays together.
When they met up they "let off steam and really enjoyed each other's company", he said.
On their most recent holiday, in August last year, Mr Shearer said Mr Speed was "more relaxed this year than I have ever seen him".
He added that he was aware of a "couple of issues" between Mr Speed and his wife on the holiday.
"My response was that is usual in a relationship that is so long-standing," the footballer said in his statement.
"I think he took the advice well as his words were that he was "going to give it a go" and "stick in there"."
Mr Shearer said he last saw Mr Speed at the BBC studios on the Saturday before he died.
"He seemed fine, laughing and joking," he added.
The pair talked about playing in an upcoming charity game and planned to meet up with their wives beforehand.
Then they watched the Stoke and Blackburn game together, "chatting away normally", Mr Shearer said.
"Gary didn't appear worried about anything," he added.
"Gary seemed to be enjoying his job as Wales manager and coped with the pressure well.
"He knew what it was like beforehand and some part of him liked to work under pressure.
"When I left the studio on that Saturday I expected to hear from him on the Monday.
"On Sunday I got the phone call telling me Gary had died. I didn't believe it.
"I was shocked. Gary is probably one of the last people out of my million friends to ever do that.
"I had only seen him the day before and he seemed fine, we had plans for the following week too.
"It just didn't and still doesn't make sense to me."
The coroner for Cheshire, Nicholas Rheinberg, recorded a narrative verdict.
He concluded that Mr Speed had died by hanging but added that it was not clear whether his death was accidental or intentional
Social- Kicking the Elderly out of their "Castles" for the government incompetence !
Updated: 30 Jan 2012
State to help elderly downsize as Government tackles housing crisis
Elderly homeowners will be encouraged to downsize to smaller properties and allow councils to rent their homes to local families under Coalition plans to ease the nation’s housing crisis
Grant Shapps, the housing minister, said councils should offer to help pensioners move to more suitable accommodation to create space for families.
Local authorities would then take over responsibility for maintaining and renting the vacated properties at affordable rates, transferring any profit from the rental income back to the elderly person or their estate. The Government believes the proposal would provide support for the elderly to move without having to sell their homes at a time when there is a shortage of affordable housing for young families.
Research released last year estimated that 25million bedrooms in England were empty, largely because elderly couples do not move out of family homes to smaller properties.
The Radical says this is another hare-brained, sticking plaster scheme thought up by another Slash and Burn Tory Minister.
Instead of the Government building homes for young couples and low income families – ie Council accommodation, the Tories want OAP’s to give up their nice home to let the Council manage it, while they move into smaller accommodation.
The Government could create growth and thousands of jobs, by a policy of improving the countries infrastructure including building homes.
So the Council join the pits to become Estate Agents ?
The Council can't manage the homes they have so they flog them off to Housing Associations and Private Property firms
So we have a stagnant housing market and a shortage of housing and the elderly should make way ?
How about MP’s giving up second, third and fourth homes ?
How about restricting foreigners buying up half of London or anywhere else.
No foreigner should be allowed to own more than one home that he must live in.
And then there is the size of homes !
The palace could accommodate 100 families and the stately homes turned into flats ?
When my parents were ready to downsize they did so by selling one house and then moving into a smaller one (and immediately extended it.)
Not until they were unable to cope did they move into a Care home flat.
In my case I converted my home to allow me to take a lodger without losing too much privacy.
I could move into the “annexe” myself when I am past it and rent out the main house myself.
So a little box on the hillside for Minister Grant on retirement and my home is my castle!
And it is not always about the size of the accommodation.
What about the location, the garden and the neighbours, friends and relatives.
If the Minister gave assistance to create Granny Annexes on large properties and encouraged families to look after their Aged P’s and UK society to be less “independent” and more family minded then I could agree with him.
In most parts of the world the family unit is sacrosanct but ever since Tebbit told people to get on their bikes and successive governments have failed miserably to recognize that bringing employment to an area, which has lost its industry, keeps the community together and caring for each other.
Many houses are simply not big enough or constructed suitably to accommodate even a medium sized family let alone a "Granny or Grandad"
It’s a dog eat dog world for Minister Grant and its time for governments to understand the importance of an individuals wellbeing and leave old people to make their own decisions in their own time, after all unlike him they have a lifetime experience of it and less of the scatter brained ideas of our “dear” leaders.
Social- Happiest is spending money or not spending it ?
Updated: 30 Jan 2012
Rise of the 'experience' shopper:
Happiness is what you do, not what you buy
Last updated at 1:22 AM on 28th January 2012
They say money doesn’t buy happiness – but maybe it depends how you spend it.
People who splash out on ‘experiences’ such as days out and concert tickets are happier than those who buy possessions, research shows.
Psychologists asked 9,600 people about their shopping habits, as well as questions to ascertain personality traits, values and life satisfaction.
Habitual 'experiential shoppers' reaped long-term benefits from their spending and reported greater life satisfaction
Extroverts and people who are open to new experiences tend to spend more of their disposable income on treats, such as concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than hitting the mall for material items.
These habitual 'experiential shoppers' reaped long-term benefits from their spending as they reported greater life satisfaction, according to the study led by San Francisco State University Assistant Professor of Psychology Ryan Howell.
For his latest study, Howell and colleagues surveyed nearly 10,000 participants, who completed online questionnaires about their shopping habits, personality traits, values and life satisfaction.
'But we wanted to find out why some people gravitate toward buying experiences.
Participants’ personality was measured using the “Big Five” personality traits model, a scale psychologists use to describe how extroverted, neurotic, open, conscientious and agreeable a person is.
People who spent most of their disposable income on experiences scored highly on the 'extrovert' and “openness to new experience” scales.
'This personality profile makes sense since life experiences are inherently more social, and they also contain an element of risk,' Howell said.
'If you try a new experience that you don’t like, you can’t return it to the store for a refund.'
The authors suggest that it could be easier to change your spending habits than your personality traits.
'Even for people who naturally find themselves drawn to material purchases, our results suggest that getting more of a balance between traditional purchases and those that provide you with an experience could lead to greater life satisfaction and wellbeing.'
To further investigate how purchasing decisions impact well-being, Howell and colleagues have launched a website where members of the public can take free surveys to find out what kind of shopper they are and how their spending choices affect them.
Data collected through the 'Beyond the Purchase' website will be used by Howell and other social psychologists.
Graduate students in Howell’s Personality and Well-being Lab will use the site to study the link between spending motivations and well-being, and how money management influences our financial and purchasing choices
Social- "200 million girls are missing"
Updated: 16 Jan 2012
It’s a girl: The three deadliest words in the world