This is not a test. Unless it is, and no one told me so I haven't revised, which means I'm going to fail. Thanks for that.
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Misquotes, mishaps and misinformation?

Today I was reading a report on research into men who pay for sex ( "It's just like going to the supermarket": Men buying sex in East London [opens a pdf]) in which they refer to an Ofsted report...

"a 2007 Ofsted report which suggests that the sexually explicit content of magazines such as Nuts and Zoo offer a “very positive source of advice and reassurance for many young people”, despite acknowledging that they do this “while at times reinforcing sexist attitudes” (Ofsted 2007:13/14)."
Thinking, "my god fathers*, this is so completely not ok" I checked the source (oh joy accurate referencing and the power of Google.)

Thankfully Ofsted have been slightly misquoted and aren't in fact pushing low grade porn mags as useful learning tools for boys. I think they might actually be referring to girls magazines such as More and Just 17 (which might not be available anymore but were around when I was a youth) in which they would run articles about safe sex, different crazy sexual positions of the month and frank and responsible problem pages side by side (by responsible I mean they always advocated safe sex, didn't patronise and treated their readers as intelligent and able to make decisions for themselves).

I have no conclusion...

*throwback to early years Catholic brainwashing?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Anti abortion Torries.

What the fucking fuck?

Torries misrepresenting research data to support their anti-abortion crusade.

Cameron tieing this into his campaign against 'Broken' Britain - like it's not totally 'broken' to force women to give birth to an unwanted child. This supports his plan to create wholesome, nuclear families with a mom and a pop?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Party planning

Browsing blogs, the way you do, I turned me up here and was inspired by the road trip thrift store adventures.

I've been dreaming about a cycle gang for a while now, cruising around second hand shops, eating cakes, looking nuff. As yet I am the only member of said gang as my friends either can't ride bikes or aren't interested in biking about looking for cakes.

Maybe I should turn up at Critical Mass advetising my bike-gang-come-cake-club? Maybe I should draw up some cute ass flyers and leave them all over town in trendy places. Maybe it's easier to advertise it here!

I'm thinking a Saturday a couple of weeks from now. I have access to cycle maps, I can plan a route :o) We could offer croggies to anyone who can't ride...

Residents of the East Midlands, Nottinghamshire locals. Wanna road trip with me?

Contact your MP - say no to restrictions on the time limit for abortions

There is a crucial debate in the House of Commons next Tuesday 20th May, on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Part of this Bill seeks to reduce the time limit on abortions from 24 to 20 weeks. This is based (in part) on the belief that premature babies born as early as 20 weeks are viable (we know that anti-choice campaigners have many other varied reasons why they don't want women to have autonomy with their bodies).

A study published in the British Medical Journal has proved this not to be the case (Link), and undermines the argument of some anti-choice MPs who seek to reduce the time limit and restrict a women's right to make decisions about her body.

The good news is that in a poll of MPs the majority said they did not support this restriction! Please show your MP you support for a woman's right to choose by sending them an email or letter before the crucial vote on the 20th. You can contact them quickly and easily via "write to them" or get their address details from the website for parliament and send them a letter.

Dear [MP’s name here]

I am contacting you to ask you to vote against the proposals to lower to upper time limit for abortions, as proposed in the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill to be debated on May 20th.

There are three reasons why you should vote against this change:
1) A recent, peer reviewed research study published in the British Medical Journal looking at premature births in the Trent Deanery has shown the age of viability for premature babies has not changed since the 1990s, and that 80% of premature babies do not survive. The argument to lower the time limit for late term abortions is based upon the misguided belief that medicals advances over the last 15-20 years has improved this. It has not.

2) Women seeking late term abortions are among the most vulnerable, and often have many and complex reasons for doing so, ranging from pregnancy as a result of rape to unexpected pregnancy as a result of failures in contraception –a small percentage of women will get pregnant while on the pill despite using this contraception exactly as prescribed, and discovering complications with the birth or the foetus.

3) 77% of the population support a women’s right to choose [Abortion Rights 2007], woman’s right to an abortion, and to make decisions about their own health and their own body. The erosion of these rights through incremental restrictions on time limit for abortions restricts this right and works to erode it away. Women must have the right to make decisions about their bodies – not anti-choice members of parliament of the clergy.

As a constituent I am asking you to vote against the proposals to lower to upper time limit for abortions, as proposed in the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill to be debated on May 20th.

Yours sincerely.
[Your name here]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Give us a break

Public sector workers take more sick days.
Really, that's not surprising.

* We're subject to ridiculous pay cuts, that are totally removed from our performance levels. Implementation of the Equal Pay across Councils has meant that as much as 25% of staff are loosing thousands of pounds off their annual salary, and we're expected to work alone to defend ourselves from this since the unions are complicit with the Councils. Link

* Our wages are kept low to 'control inflation in the public sector'.
This year's cost of living pay award was 2% across the public sector, below that of inflation. Link

* Our unions fail us repeatedly in securing fair pay and terms and conditions deals.
Maybe this is just my union, who are utterly hopeless.

* In the environmental sector we're expected to do the work because we 'love it' and as such are not given a wage that reflects our skills or responsibility levels. Yes, maybe we do love it, but we have to put food on the table and pay the bills. This difference in pay is evidenced by simply comparing salaries for an administrator at a private firm and one in local gov working for an (underfunded) conservation team for example.

* Workers in the private sector get bonuses, promotions and pay rises for good performance - at least.
I would struggle to work in the private sector though, my perception of it mostly looks like flogging stupid and useless products and lining the pockets of managers. In a world driven solely by money and the pursuit of it.

It's no small wonder that sickness levels are higher among public sector workers. People feel undervalued, are over worked, have no leverage to change their situation (eg pay rises and promotions are few and far between in the public sector because of governing rules and guidance that restricts dynamism).

Yes, we're all screwed over by the work-a-day world in which we have to give over the best and most productive time of our day to fulfil someone else's aims and ambitions. Most of us spend far more time at work than we do at play. Maybe more public sector workers are dreamers, hoping to achieve more for their community with their work day. Maybe that dreamer nature makes it more difficult for us to accept the depressing reality.

Update @ 3pm:
The fog of cynicism and depression is lifting a little. Please forgive my indulgence above ;o)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New Home Office campaign

Catchy headline, to entice you to read about the new Home Office campaign to disuade men from buying sex from traffiked women.

What do you think?
Image hotlinked from Home Office.