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Quarantine Thoughts (1): Forget feminism, race & LGBTQ rights- why freedom is the only right we should fight for!

The splitting up of campaigns to fight for the interests of different communities was useful. It provided focus, drive and benefited from the determination and understanding of affected people working together. But that time is nearly over. We have emigrated, educated and pioneered our way into a melting pot of intersecting multiple identities and oppressions.Continue reading “Quarantine Thoughts (1): Forget feminism, race & LGBTQ rights- why freedom is the only right we should fight for!”

The election proves Scotland needs Enhanced Devolution

The results of the 2019 General Election were that Scotland overwhelmingly voted SNP.  Yet, we are now once again ruled by a Conservative UK government. When Scotland votes SNP, we get a Tory government. Read that again. How is that fair or make any kind of sense? I’m still on the fence about independence, butContinue reading “The election proves Scotland needs Enhanced Devolution”

Stirling poem

On the day of the election just as I was drifting off to sleep, I started getting lines about Stirling forming in my thoughts, so I wrote them in my phone. Here they are: Historic Stirling, jewel in Scotland’s crown Beloved Stirling, jewel of my heart Nature raised the towers of your hills Us creaturesContinue reading “Stirling poem”

Analysing Beijing’s 8 dirty tactics against the Hong Kong protesters

I’m no stranger to unreasonable authority using lies, tricks and stratagems to oppress the public. But China’s dirty tactics impress me, and admittedly top anything I’ve seen local government do here in Britain. On a personal level I’ve always been capable of admiration for the strategies of a competent adversary. So here is my analysisContinue reading “Analysing Beijing’s 8 dirty tactics against the Hong Kong protesters”

Free Hong Kong

Free Hong Kong from China’s dictatorship. Free Hong Kong from police brutality. Free Hong Kong from restriction of the press by police assault and intimidation. Free Hong Kong from a leader determined to betray her own people and destroy the peaceful democratic society which she benefitted from. Free Hong Kong from an extradition bill whichContinue reading “Free Hong Kong”

Lightbringer was democracy! How every Game of Thrones prophecy came true- with a twist!

  The Long Night isn’t what you think it is. The Night King was a red herring, Lightbringer isn’t a sword, and The Stallion Who Mounts The World wasn’t murdered. Most people’s reaction to the shocking Game of Thrones finale, and S8E3, was that every single prophecy didn’t come true. The Night King was defeatedContinue reading “Lightbringer was democracy! How every Game of Thrones prophecy came true- with a twist!”

This is why Daenerys destroyed King’s Landing

No, D&D didn’t mess up (for about the first time since Season 8 started). The writing was rushed- as per usual for this season- but it wasn’t nonsensical. Some people have commented that the showrunners are making Dany fit the ‘crazy wimmin’ stereotype and completely reverse Cersei and Sansa’s characters to make them less strong.Continue reading “This is why Daenerys destroyed King’s Landing”

What every character should do to win the Game of Thrones

The opening episode of Season 8 of HBO’s Game of Thrones saw multiple reunions and preparations for war. Cersei appears to be the only one interested in the Iron Throne for now; Euron just wants to impregnate her and leave (or so he claims) while everyone else is focussed on fighting the Night King. ButContinue reading “What every character should do to win the Game of Thrones”

How Lysa Tully masterminded the wars in Game of Thrones

Lysa Tully Arryn was the instigator of the War of Five Kings. Lysa was more than she appeared. She was more than Littlefinger’s pawn. Lysa hid her evil behind a mask of fearfulness, overprotectiveness toward her son Robin and generally being pathetic. Just like her sister Catelyn Tully hid her own cruelty behind determination, protectivenessContinue reading “How Lysa Tully masterminded the wars in Game of Thrones”

Here’s Why Shamima Begum WON’T Be Prosecuted If She Wins Back UK Citizenship- And How She Can Live In Holland WITHOUT Dutch Citizenship!

  How could Shamima Begum win an appeal against the Home Secretary’s revocation of her citizenship?   First off, it’s illegal for any UK court to remove citizenship if that would make someone stateless. In Shamima’s case, she doesn’t have dual citizenship (that we know of) so that’s a weight in her favour right there.Continue reading “Here’s Why Shamima Begum WON’T Be Prosecuted If She Wins Back UK Citizenship- And How She Can Live In Holland WITHOUT Dutch Citizenship!”

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America Proves Right Wingers Are Ignorant About The Political Left

  Sacha Baron Cohen has duped lots of people on his TV show Who Is America? where, Borat-style, he plays different characters and fools his interviewees into reacting to those characters. He’s tricked lefties, he’s tricked righties. He’s tricked ordinary Joes and lawmakers, celebrities and folks working out their payroll. Baron Cohen isn’t targeting anyContinue reading “Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America Proves Right Wingers Are Ignorant About The Political Left”

Telling women not to go out to avoid rape isn’t about safety. It’s about restricting women’s freedom. Here’s why.

    We’re into Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale (which I’m not yet watching, but I’ve just read the book. Aside: Is it weird that the show has already gone past the book in terms of June’s pregnancy?) And I’m seeing lots of posts from Americans about how the show “is slowly happening inContinue reading “Telling women not to go out to avoid rape isn’t about safety. It’s about restricting women’s freedom. Here’s why.”

Trump’s diabolical plan to blackmail Britain into hard Brexit so he & his secret brother Boris Johnson can rule the world (only 48% satire)

Trump was offered a state visit to Britain. And he spent it criticizing Theresa May and Sadiq Khan, and promoting Boris Johnson as the next PM. In fact, he started this before he’d even left the US. The Guardian seems to be pinning Trump’s behaviour on his support for nationalism over supranational institutions. But isContinue reading “Trump’s diabolical plan to blackmail Britain into hard Brexit so he & his secret brother Boris Johnson can rule the world (only 48% satire)”

Why does the law force rape victims to share child custody with their rapists?: The legal principles behind parental rights and responsibilities

In seven states in the USA. rapists can sue victims for custody of any children concieved by the assault.  A conviction is needed to anull rapists’ parental rights. The problem is that most rapes don’t even go to court. Even in the minority of cases where a conviction is secured, these are often the result ofContinue reading “Why does the law force rape victims to share child custody with their rapists?: The legal principles behind parental rights and responsibilities”

Theresa May vs Putin: What’s their next move over the Salisbury poisoning?

    International relations are driven by national leaders. But those leaders act according to public and governmental pressure. Only by understanding Theresa May’s and Vladimir Putin’s goals, motivations and pressures can we predict whether UK-Russia tensions will be enduring. The Salisbury Novichok attack has kicked off what appears to be a never-ending saga ofContinue reading “Theresa May vs Putin: What’s their next move over the Salisbury poisoning?”

Why British Campus Sexual Assault Victims Can’t Get Justice From Their University- But Americans Can

First published on The Fifth Column, 2/10/17. Students, sexual assault survivors and campaigners in the USA are riled up, and rightfully so: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week rescinded Obama-era guidance on universities’ duties to deal with campus sexual assault. But just because there’s a relative lack of public debate on the issue in Britain,Continue reading “Why British Campus Sexual Assault Victims Can’t Get Justice From Their University- But Americans Can”

Motivational meme

I don’t think I’ve ever done a short ‘n sweet blog post. I’m usually into analysis of news stories or commenting on gender equality or human rights issues. The most light-hearted post was probably that last one about archetypes of women in Game of Thrones. So, here it is:   I’m prone to long andContinue reading “Motivational meme”

How Game of Thrones Debunks Archetypes of Women

It wasn’t so long ago that Game of Thrones was widely criticised for its initial portrayal of female characters as powerless victims. In my view, the disconnect between the books and TV series was the main factor in these concerns: scenes such as Sansa’s (Jeyne Poole in the books) abuse was shot for TV inContinue reading “How Game of Thrones Debunks Archetypes of Women”

How the political correctness debate is being manufactured

Has political correctness gone mad? That was the title of Trevor Phillip’s latest Channel 4 documentary which aired a few days ago. The docco contends that Brexit and Trump happened as a result of the ‘hard left’ refusing to engage in debate and using political correctness to silence opponents. And you’d be forgiven for thinking thatContinue reading “How the political correctness debate is being manufactured”

Vote remain: how EU human, women’s and labour rights protect us from the Tories

  While the Brexit vs Bremain debate has been- and will continue to be- argued and analysed to death, one very important issue has escaped mainstream attention: human rights. The EU’s European Court of Justice, its laws and its Charter of Fundamental Rights safeguards our human rights more than the European Court of Human Rights.Continue reading “Vote remain: how EU human, women’s and labour rights protect us from the Tories”

US Government lost woman’s citizenship records, condemning her to live as an illegal alien

First published on Mint Press News, 10/11/15.   Photo credit: Flickr / U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Felicito Rustique   Sally Anne is a US citizen. She came to the US as an 18-month-old when she was adopted from India by her American parents and became a naturalized US citizen. ButContinue reading “US Government lost woman’s citizenship records, condemning her to live as an illegal alien”

Underage Sex Workers- victims of trafficking or child protection policy?

Sex work law in the UK is complicated. Though it’s not fully criminalised as in most of the US, it is illegal for sex workers to share accommodation (“brothel-keeping”) even though this would improve sex workers’ safety. Soliciting and kerb-crawling are also illegal. One of the prostitution laws is that while the age of consentContinue reading “Underage Sex Workers- victims of trafficking or child protection policy?”

No legal protection for employees fired for their lifestyle, appearance or family choices

    First published on The Fifth Column, July 2015   Could you be fired for your lifestyle, hair, or past job? It could be more likely than you think. We tend to think that we’re protected by antidiscrimination and labour laws. But people have been fired for being an unmarried mother, previously being aContinue reading “No legal protection for employees fired for their lifestyle, appearance or family choices”

Why Amnesty International Should Support Decriminalising Sex Work

First published on The Fifth Column, August 2015   Amnesty International’s proposal to recognise sex work as a human right and adopt a position in favour of decriminalising sex work has met with controversy from anti-sex work groups. A group of Hollywood celebrities have signed an open letter to Amnesty calling for sex work toContinue reading “Why Amnesty International Should Support Decriminalising Sex Work”

Job Centre bans man for making complaint, admits they sanction claimants even if they apply for enough jobs

On 22/06/15 at 10:34 (my laptop had to be repaired, hence the delay in reporting this) I saw a Job Centre advisor tell a “customer” (as the DWP calls those forced to attend the Job Centre) that he was now “banned from this Job Centre” for making a complaint against one of the staff. She informedContinue reading “Job Centre bans man for making complaint, admits they sanction claimants even if they apply for enough jobs”

Job Centre Refuses To Let Man Make New Benefits Claim And Sanctions Woman By Mistake

Today I saw three things happen at the Jobcentre. It’s a bit weird that this happened just after I finally launched the ebook. I wasn’t trying to observe anything, it was just a routine interview. I wasn’t even expecting to see anything because my advisor is fine and so, if I were the sort of personContinue reading “Job Centre Refuses To Let Man Make New Benefits Claim And Sanctions Woman By Mistake”

I Just Published An Ebook- JobCentre: Confidential Is The True Story Of Being Undercover At The DWP

Back in March I asked the Job Centre to let me do work experience. It’s something the DWP routinely does. They paid my travelling but not lunch but I was happy with this; information usually comes at a price, even if that price is only effort and time. This was the culmination of a two-yearContinue reading “I Just Published An Ebook- JobCentre: Confidential Is The True Story Of Being Undercover At The DWP”

Torture Report: It’s Not Just The CIA, But A Global & Structural Problem

In the light of the Senate Committee’s Torture Report, we’re all keen to criticise the CIA. But 54 countries were involved in rendition and torture, and they all need to come clean about their involvement. The problem was global. The US may have exported torture just like the British Empire once exported its questionable values,Continue reading “Torture Report: It’s Not Just The CIA, But A Global & Structural Problem”

How I got the DWP to release “commercially sensitive info” (admit how much they pay Ingeus)

When I asked the DWP how much they paid Work Programme companies, they rejected my request 4 times. The last time was on the grounds that this information could not be released because it was “commercially sensitive”. This is obviously a completely inappropriate attempt to subvert transparency and the Freedom of Information Act.  It alsoContinue reading “How I got the DWP to release “commercially sensitive info” (admit how much they pay Ingeus)”

How Jobcentres bully the disabled and set up fake JSA sanctions

Originally published as ‘Revealed: Inhumane Treatment Of Disabled And Poor By UK’s Department For Work And Pension’ on Mint Press News on 9/10/14. The Department for Work and Pension’s unfair treatment of disabled claimants has been widely reported. There was the ex-RAF serviceman who was found fit to work even though he has to carryContinue reading “How Jobcentres bully the disabled and set up fake JSA sanctions”

The Secret #Sanctions

Originally posted on I’m a JSA Claimant:
This article shared below was originally published in the Big Issue of the North by Gary Ryan. I am only sharing it here because it is not online and I was interviewed for it and thought some of you who follow me on Twitter might find it interesting.…

Belle Knox, Libertarianism and the politics of freedom

First published 20/8/14 on Cliterati.     What pops into your mind when you think of Libertarianism? (Or Classical Liberalism, if you’re from the UK). It’s about liberty- as its name suggests. Freedom from government and moral regulation, hence its socially liberal and fiscally conservative tendencies. It’s been used to justify everything from consensual incestContinue reading “Belle Knox, Libertarianism and the politics of freedom”

The Media Should Continue To Promote ISIS Propaganda

As is so obviously apparent, the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS) is, just like many fairly young start-ups, only just beginning to experiment with PR, marketing and social media recruitment. Their first attempts to recruit Westerners have so far involved poorly shot amateur videos of such bad quality that they’re useless even when analysed. Their clumsyContinue reading “The Media Should Continue To Promote ISIS Propaganda”

The REAL Scandal of Germany’s Corporate Sex Parties

First published 29/7/14 on Cliterati as ‘Corporate Sex Parties: The Untold Scandal Behind The Headlines’.   Germany might be more open about nudity (nude parks), gender (third gender on birth certs) and sex work (it’s legalised) than Britain, but a company hiring escorts and throwing its top salesmen a sex party is still a scandalContinue reading “The REAL Scandal of Germany’s Corporate Sex Parties”

The DWP Works For YOU- Jobcentres must be run in accordance with benefits claimants’ wishes

DWP shaming The DWP thrives on shame. Its tool for repressing benefit claimants is total humiliation and control, and its security for its controversial policies are lies and vilifying of the unemployed. If it operated otherwise, its punishments for poverty – six month workfares, daily sign-ins, mandatory meetings- wouldn’t be tolerated by either its victimsContinue reading “The DWP Works For YOU- Jobcentres must be run in accordance with benefits claimants’ wishes”

Natalie Rowe’s arrest: George Osborne, whorephobia and journalist privelege

  “Natalie Rowe”, the escort agency madam and former dominatrix who was exposed along with George Osborne in a 1994 photo, was just arrested. She was arrested for “abusive behaviour” after tweeting a photo of George Osborne in her flat. The photo doesn’t appear to have been taken covertly, and “Rowe” purposely obscured the faceContinue reading “Natalie Rowe’s arrest: George Osborne, whorephobia and journalist privelege”

The Porn Filter: A Censored Britain

First published as Censorship in the UK: The Internet, Media Myths and the Porn Panic on 16/5/14 on Cliterati.     No censorship plan could be complete without fearmongering. And as is often the case, the enemy these days is dirty, filthy, child-corrupting, woman-defiling, enemy-of-the-family, soul destroying sex. Well, porn, to be precise. But DavidContinue reading “The Porn Filter: A Censored Britain”

Teen Mothers Speak: Stigma, Misogyny-And The Failure Of Feminism

  First published on Cliterati on 7/4/14. Teen parents- especially teenage mothers- are stigmatised. “Pregnant girls are viewed as either poor immoral victims who need fixing, or manipulating devious sluts who need punishing,” says Prym Face, Telegraph blogger, researcher, former young mother and founder of Promoting Respect for Young Mothers. “Support for teen mums isContinue reading “Teen Mothers Speak: Stigma, Misogyny-And The Failure Of Feminism”

Job Centre Mole: The Second Interview

First published on Guerilla Policy on 20/3/14. In November 2013 I interviewed the DWP whistleblower known as the Jobcentre Mole, who used Twitter to expose corruption and advise DWP victims. In the interview the Mole revealed the existence of sanctions bonuses and competition between JobCentres to sanction the most people. Now another whistleblower who tweetsContinue reading “Job Centre Mole: The Second Interview”

Objectification: The Cause Of Slut Shaming

First published on http://www.cliterati.co.uk on 8/2/14. “Objectification.” It’s a word we hear all too often. The charge of “objectification” is levelled at films, the news media, lyrics, art, and of course porn. Sometimes we intersectional or sex positive feminists might feel like it’s a catch-all term which silences those who have sex industry careers- especiallyContinue reading “Objectification: The Cause Of Slut Shaming”

Are Bloggers Protected By Freedom Of The Press? Wikileaks, The NSA Files And The Unanswered Questions

There is- obviously- a lot of interweb chatter about GCHQ and the NSA. But these questions remain unanswered: Freedom Of The Press Okay, we get it: the media is protected when it comes to revealing secrets (at least most of the time- they can be prevented from reporting on secret trials; the UK Guardian wasContinue reading “Are Bloggers Protected By Freedom Of The Press? Wikileaks, The NSA Files And The Unanswered Questions”

Sex workers are #notyourrescueproject: Rape by anti-trafficking NGOs & stigma by feminists

First published on my Cliterati column on 1/2/14.   “If we want anything from outside like sweets, chewing gum or magazines or phone credit we have to give hand job or blow job to security,” reveals Molli Desi Devadasi. But she’s not talking about a prison. Molli, now a UK-based sex worker, was “rescued” by anContinue reading “Sex workers are #notyourrescueproject: Rape by anti-trafficking NGOs & stigma by feminists”

Why We Need An NSA WikiLeaks: Transparency Should Mean No Guardian Monopoly

What really irritates me about the discourse on Snowden and the NSA is that whether you think Snowden is a hero or a traitor, whether you’re British or American, everyone seems agreed on the “fact” that the release of selected NSA files to a single multinational corporation is the ultimate freedom ever. Let’s think aboutContinue reading “Why We Need An NSA WikiLeaks: Transparency Should Mean No Guardian Monopoly”

Why We Should All Shut Up About So-Called “Teen Pregnancy”

First published on the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association blog on 27/12/13 as “Teen Pregnancy: Stop The Stigma”. Teen mothers. They’re sluts. Benefits scroungers. They’re not good mothers. They’re all working class. And they’ll never, ever amount to anything. “Society expects the worst outcomes for pregnant teens & young parents, so it gets the worstContinue reading “Why We Should All Shut Up About So-Called “Teen Pregnancy””

How To Stop NSA, GCHQ or press surveillance

There are many reasons why you might need anonymity online. Journalists, whistleblowers, bloggers and activists benefit from staying anonymous. So do people who might be discriminated against for expressing themselves, such as certain communities, religious groups and sex bloggers. Even if none of that applies to you, the NSA’s global reach means that it’s wiseContinue reading “How To Stop NSA, GCHQ or press surveillance”

Stuff That Happened In 2013: feminism, sex work activism, DWP, freedom

So. A lot happened in 2013. Here’s a round-up of feminist, freedom-related and sex worker activism stuff that happened. Feminism Sadly it looks like we’re no closer to an intersectional mainstream feminism, as feminists continue to ignore trans, disabled, coloured, migrant and sex working women. 2013 saw the rise of the No More Page ThreeContinue reading “Stuff That Happened In 2013: feminism, sex work activism, DWP, freedom”

How I Found Out Apartheid Existed In My Lifetime

I’m writing this post- a post so far removed from what I’d ordinarily write- because I have a rare perspective on Nelson Mandela. No, it’s not anything interesting or unique. It’s certainly not something I’m proud of. My perspective is that I believed that apartheid ended in the 70s and I only realised the truthContinue reading “How I Found Out Apartheid Existed In My Lifetime”

Interview with a Job Centre Advisor: sanction targets & corruption revealed

@JobcentreMole is a Job Centre advisor who has taken to Twitter to speak out about the Job Centre’s unfair treatment of people who are claiming benefits. For obvious reasons he is anonymous. I think that what he’s doing is very brave. We did this interview by email. (All emphases are mine). The Mole says: “IContinue reading “Interview with a Job Centre Advisor: sanction targets & corruption revealed”

Rochdale sex abuse & Girl A’s book: why we shouldn’t call abuse ‘child prostitution’

“Child prostitution”. It’s a term that should never be used. It insults both sex workers and victims of child abuse. Why? Because it equates consenting adult sex workers with child victims of abuse, rape and trafficking. It suggests that consenting sex workers don’t have agency and that child abuse victims are somehow complicit in theirContinue reading “Rochdale sex abuse & Girl A’s book: why we shouldn’t call abuse ‘child prostitution’”

7 Reasons Why Radical Feminist Exclusion Of Trans Women Is A Logic Fail

Feminism. It means standing in support of all women, right? Fighting for the equality of all women. Recognising intersectionality of oppression and the different issues facing women in different situations? Well…no. At least not according to TERFS (trans excluding radical feminists). I like to think that I’m not your typical liberal, that I’m not theContinue reading “7 Reasons Why Radical Feminist Exclusion Of Trans Women Is A Logic Fail”

The Job Centre, illegal sanctions and state control of the body

Our government is throwing away hundreds of millions on work providers like Ingeus and A4e. The Herald claims that each provider costs us between 10 million and 50 million per year- and there are over 40 of them. It’s a tad pointless when all these expensive schemes don’t actually help people get jobs. It justContinue reading “The Job Centre, illegal sanctions and state control of the body”

The arguments against military intervention in Syria

So. I consider myself ignorant on the whole Syria thing. Unlike the feminist and other political issues I usually blog on, I didn’t academically study or do my own research or personally experience or interview people about Syria. If you’re looking for intelligent commentary, move along. If you’re looking for a (hopefully) intelligent argument, stickContinue reading “The arguments against military intervention in Syria”

The UnSlut Project interview: Emily Lindin and Jessica Caimi talk slut shaming, bullying and their documentary film

Emily Lindin (founder of UnSlut Project) and Jessica Caimi are looking for funding to film a documentary about slut shaming in schools, the media, communities and culture. Emily revealed her experience of being slut shamed when she published her teenage diaries online. The UnSlut project offers advice to teens and is a space where weContinue reading “The UnSlut Project interview: Emily Lindin and Jessica Caimi talk slut shaming, bullying and their documentary film”

Mainstream feminist campaigns don’t help the most marginalised women

The feminist campaigns that get media attention are the ones which need that attention least. Yes, banknotes and creating a database of women experts are good ideas. But these projects’ impacts on women’s lives are minimal. The most vulnerable or stigmatised women (migrants, abuse victims, women of colour, queer women, disabled women and sex workers)Continue reading “Mainstream feminist campaigns don’t help the most marginalised women”

The Marriage Tax Allowance is expensive discrimination: Don’t Judge My Family!

The Marriage Tax Allowance will give around £3 per week to married couples while discriminating against cohabiting couples and single parents. But the poorest families such as unemployed parents won’t benefit – and neither will families where both the parents work. Only couples who adhere to the breadwinner and home maker model will receive theContinue reading “The Marriage Tax Allowance is expensive discrimination: Don’t Judge My Family!”

The UK internet filter: Banning ‘rape porn’ will censor LGBT, feminist sites and won’t stop rape

Banning rape porn. It’s the latest UK feminist thing that’s actually being taken up by politicians. And it’s the latest Hydra head to be reared in the cyclical moral panic over Innocent Kiddies Being Corrupted By Porn. (Not that the corruption of our kiddies has ever been proved, but then who needs to rely onContinue reading “The UK internet filter: Banning ‘rape porn’ will censor LGBT, feminist sites and won’t stop rape”

Meg of the Ingeus Diaries: “I work for £51 a week to escape Jobcentre”

Remember Meg who previously told Slutocracy her story of the Ingeus experience (here and here)? She’s now working for £20 a week less than her Jobseeker’s Allowance just so she can escape the Jobcentre. “I earn £51 a week working 2 days a week. My jobseekers was £71 but I can’t cope with the JobcentreContinue reading “Meg of the Ingeus Diaries: “I work for £51 a week to escape Jobcentre””

EU free movement law discriminates non EU citizens

EU Law discriminates against individuals and families who aren’t EU citizens. Here’s a list of how EU citizens and their families are given preferential treatment over non-EU nationals (all references are to Directive 2004/38/EC): EU citizens can enter the UK (and all other EU Member States). The only requirement is that they have enough resourcesContinue reading “EU free movement law discriminates non EU citizens”

The Candies Foundation prophet: preaching abstinence, selling sex

Candies Foundation founder Neil Cole sets himself up as the saviour of teenage girls, shaming teen mothers and promoting abstinence. But does this modern-day American prophet practice what he preaches? Neil Cole’s Candies Foundation is named after his clothing line – a line aimed at very young teenage girls. Its website even lets visitors useContinue reading “The Candies Foundation prophet: preaching abstinence, selling sex”

List of all the things the Government is doing to increase wealth gaps

  Work Tax Credit Sound good? Tax credits for poor people, right? Nope. Work Tax Credit is counted as “income” when calculating your Housing Benefit. So you actually get nothing. If you work less than 16 hours a week you won’t be entitled to Work Tax credit but that’s not so bad because you’ll actuallyContinue reading “List of all the things the Government is doing to increase wealth gaps”

New Clause 20: pros and cons of sex and relationships education

While I was getting the sex work debate posts together. this happened: On 11 June, New Clause 20 – which would have made personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, including sex and relationships education (SRE), statutory in state schools – was defeated by 303 votes to 209 That’s from the Brook Charity’s website. Brook and theContinue reading “New Clause 20: pros and cons of sex and relationships education”

Criminalising sex purchase in Scotland: public debate report & interviews

This short version of the article was first published on Blirt.com. For the longer version see The Prostitution Debate: Extended Edition. Douglas Fox, a sex worker activist, asked Rhoda Grant MSP “Imagine if your Bill [to criminalise sex purchase] is now law. Police break down the door and I’m caught in a hotel room withContinue reading “Criminalising sex purchase in Scotland: public debate report & interviews”

Memoirs of a benefits scrounger: Jobcentre sanctions me for getting a job

My transition from good-for-nothing benefits scrounger to upstanding citizen is only a phone call away. Yes, for the last couple of months copywriting and content writing work was harder to find and I’ve been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. Now that I’ve got a regular job again I went down to my local Jobcentre to close myContinue reading “Memoirs of a benefits scrounger: Jobcentre sanctions me for getting a job”

Candies Foundation and #noteenpreg – sexism, moralising & shaming young mothers

The Candies Foundation uses hashtag #noteenpreg to discourage teen pregnancy for “teen pregnancy prevention month”. (Yes, you did read that right: they want to control teens’ reproductive choices and eradicate an entire family form.) I’ve previously blogged about how the concept of ‘teenage pregnancy’ is a social construction dependent upon acceptance of older pregnancy asContinue reading “Candies Foundation and #noteenpreg – sexism, moralising & shaming young mothers”

The Ingeus Diaries (part 2): Jobcentre stalking & benefits cut due to Jobcentre incompetency

DAY 2 Before I wrote my last blog, Meg told me that some people hadn’t turned up because the Jobcentre failed to tell them it was mandatory that they go to Ingeus. As a result, their benefits will be cut. These people still weren’t there today. Meg also told me she would only have toContinue reading “The Ingeus Diaries (part 2): Jobcentre stalking & benefits cut due to Jobcentre incompetency”

The Ingeus Diaries: a jobseeker’s report of an Ingeus programme

Meg is a middle-aged migrant woman with a degree and 9 years’ experience as a legal secretary. She’s also been self employed and worked briefly as a waitress. Meg was referred to the Ingeus 2-week Stairway To Work programme by her Jobcentre two months after completing her workfare at YMCA and three months after completeingContinue reading “The Ingeus Diaries: a jobseeker’s report of an Ingeus programme”

No Perfect Families: Margaret Thatcher’s family contradicts her morals and family values

Broken families, they’re called. Like they’re somehow deficient – a shattered part of a socially-approved whole. Single mums, because we think women shouldn’t have the right to have families without a man. It wasn’t too long ago that unmarried mother was in vogue and in America unwed teenage mother is still an acceptable term. WeContinue reading “No Perfect Families: Margaret Thatcher’s family contradicts her morals and family values”

Lavishness of Thatcher funeral was personal gift from David Cameron

We had a successful revolution against Thatcher’s rule – as we did against Tony Blair’s- and she was forced to step down. That’s what revolutions in democracies look like. But today 10 million [update: the BBC just reported that the amount spent is “a state secret”] was spent on glorifying her name. This must surelyContinue reading “Lavishness of Thatcher funeral was personal gift from David Cameron”

Ancient Aliens: the prequel (as scientifically flawed as the second series)

The previous series of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens was, as the title of this post suggests, as scientifically flawed as the second. But let’s skate over the fact that it prophesied the return of the ancient aliens and the end of the world on 21 December 2012. That’s just an embarassing detail in theContinue reading “Ancient Aliens: the prequel (as scientifically flawed as the second series)”

Getting pregnant won’t ruin your life: teenage girls, pregnancy and myths

As Doortje Braeken noted in her telegraph column, “we’re not teaching young women about teenage motherhood because we don’t believe it’s a good idea because we do see that it reduces a woman’s future choices.” She went on to say that personal choice is absolutely sovereign. I fully agree with Doortje Braeken but I want toContinue reading “Getting pregnant won’t ruin your life: teenage girls, pregnancy and myths”

What can we learn from Margaret Thatcher? Gender, Class and a positive message

It’s become quite fashionable to blog on Thatcher since yesterday afternoon but although I have many criticisms of her, I don’t think there’s any point in me airing them when others are doing so far better than I ever could. Instead of writing history I’m going to blog about the lessons we can learn forContinue reading “What can we learn from Margaret Thatcher? Gender, Class and a positive message”

Myths about unemployment and why the unemployed deserve medals for workfare

As we all know, politicians and the media can’t shut up about how the unemployed are lazy scroungers or, recently, even child-killers (as alleged by George Osborne and the Daily Mail) just because Mick Philpott happened to be unemployed. But jobseekers are the ones who are working for free  doing workfares up and down theContinue reading “Myths about unemployment and why the unemployed deserve medals for workfare”

Easter and April Fools: religion and discrimination

I think it’s great that Easter Monday has fallen on April Fools’ Day. My usual (internal) reaction to hearing about religions I don’t know much about (i.e. most of them) is “So, which groups of people do you have to hate?”. Because while whatever Holy Communion is remains a mystery to me, the hate andContinue reading “Easter and April Fools: religion and discrimination”

How workfare and students working contribute to unemployment

While workfare is widely criticised as providing free labour for corporations such as Asda and Superdrug, workfare is only part of a wider trend of free labour being used. Firstly, there’s social media marketing. When you follow Burger King on Twitter or ‘like’ the new Cadbury product, you’re providing free marketing. Many apps and sitesContinue reading “How workfare and students working contribute to unemployment”

Why we stigmatise teen pregnancy: teen sex and intersectionality

Why is there a stigma, perpetuated by the media, about teenage pregnancy? And why does the expression “teen pregnancy” and other terms like “teenage mother” or “young mum” exist at all? It’s because of age discrimination – the only thing pathological about these families is the age of the female parent. Intersectionality – being female,Continue reading “Why we stigmatise teen pregnancy: teen sex and intersectionality”

Problem children – why blame the parents, not the schools?

When pupils misbehave or fail to achieve their potential, it’s the parents who ae blamed. When they skip school parents can be imprisoned. The slightest “deviation” can cause teachers to call in social workers, educational psychologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists and child psychologists to intervene the family. And every now and again, some politician claims that teachersContinue reading “Problem children – why blame the parents, not the schools?”


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