How A ‘Health In All Policies’ Approach Can Help Solve Our NHS Crises

We rightly focus on the day-to-day cash crisis afflicting the National Health Service (NHS), and the impact on patient care. In specific areas such as A&E, social care and mental health, there is real pressure on the system. But beyond these pressing concerns, we need an informed national debate about the future of health and social care in this country.

I am one of nearly 100 MPs from all parties who recently wrote to the Prime Minister calling for a convention to discuss a sustainable future for health and social care, anchored on the NHS principles that care is delivered based on need, not ability to pay. As successive studies and reports have made clear, from Beveridge to the Wanless Report, the most sustainable model is one based on a progressive system of taxation, with the broadest shoulders bearing the heaviest load, and also an effort, on all our parts, to control our own health and wellbeing.

As Derek Wanless’s report made clear a decade ago, for the NHS to survive the growing demands on it, we need more people to be able to live healthier lifestyles. Certainly, this comes down to personal responsibility for our diet, exercise, mental health, smoking, drinking and so on. But it also comes down to the choices that national and local governments make, and the environment we create for people to make healthy choices.

This is nothing new. Down the centuries, British governments have enacted laws designed to protect and improve people’s health, often in reaction to major health issues in society. In the eighteenth century, the government brought in restrictions on the manufacturer and sale of cheap gin. In the nineteen century, we saw the construction of the great sewers to tackle cholera and other water-borne diseases. In the 20th Century, governments passed the clean air acts, cleared the slums, vaccinated children and established the National Health Service. In the early twenty-first century, Labour brought in the smoking ban.

But new challenges arise in each generation. Today and tomorrow’s health challenges are the mental health crisis, the epidemic of loneliness, substance abuse, obesity, cancer, and the ways in which the tech revolution is impacting our physical and mental health. Hanging over each of these tough challenges is the shameful fact that poorer people suffer poorer health, and live shorter lives, than affluent people. The health gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2010, life expectancy for …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

Why Do We Continue To Tell Women In Positions Of Power They Are Not Fully Female?

How is Theresa May feeling? Ashamed, I hope, about the Windrush scandal. But, when it comes to the key men around her, angry, put upon and under threat, I’m pretty sure. That’s how Margaret Thatcher felt in her last 18 months as Prime Minister, as I saw first-hand when I worked for her. Equal pay, sexual harassment, misogyny: things haven’t fundamentally changed. From #MeToo to #ToxicTwitter, women are speaking out. But the long-suffering Theresa’s lips are sealed.

It’s no coincidence that Kenneth Clarke referred to both her and Margaret Thatcher in a single phrase: ‘that bloody woman’. According to Mary Beard in Women & Power, the portrayal of outspoken or powerful women as androgynous, dangerous or difficult goes back to classical times. It’s a trail that leads to Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential elections and chants of ‘kill the bitch’ at Trump rallies by men wearing t-shirts depicting Donald Trump holding Hillary Clinton’s severed, Medusa-like head. He is our Prime Minister’s military partner and we should all be concerned.

The underlying message that women in positions of power are not fully female or that to be powerful women must behave like men is expressed in the Spitting Image cartoon of Margaret Thatcher. We women need to start telling a different story.

But even women can fall into this trap. In a memorial debate in the House of Commons, Glenda Jackson MP acknowledged that Margaret Thatcher was a woman, but ‘not on my terms’. Hilary Mantel
Thatcher Made Self-Help A Toxic Phrase – Here’s How We Can Reclaim It

Here’s What We Did – And Didn’t – Learn From The Secret Files Released By The National Archives

Durham University Rugby Club’s ‘Thatcher Vs Miners’ Pub Crawl Condemned As ‘Appalling’

…read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

Limited Shelf Life: How Newsagents’ Displays Of Magazines Reinforce Gender Stereotypes

The shelf where photography magazines live

On my way back from a shoot in London the other day, I was in the Kings Cross branch of WHSmith, looking for photography magazines. I eventually found them in ‘Men’s Lifestyle & General Interest’, along with music magazines, my other ‘go to’ journal choice and the place I’m most likely to find my work. It felt slightly strange to have to encroach on the male domain of FHM and Angling Times to read about cameras and music. Maybe it was just a question of space, and General Interest was meant as a separate category altogether but the positioning was odd.

I’ve always struggled with stereotypical perceptions of what’s boys’ stuff and girls’ stuff. As a child I would generally opt for a nice, practical pair of dungarees but didn’t object to the occasional party frock. I was always out on my bike and loved my Lego but I also happily went to dance class.

So, I find it surprising that today, the nature/nurture debate continues to plod on, with differing opinions on whether the pink aisle in the toy shop, inhabited by Barbie, Cinderella tea sets and mini kitchens, should simply be assimilated into a general offering for boys and girls, along with the tool sets and Transformers.

There is clearly a level of awareness, and a willingness to see and do things differently. Still, it feels like the route towards equality for boys, girls, women and men is less a freeway and more of a matrix of slow going b-roads, distractingly comfortable byways, no go zones and Stepford style drive-ins, directed by a sat nav that can’t quite make up its mind where it wants to go.

Now working in creative industries, where comfortable shoes (albeit stylish Camper or Fly) are perfectly acceptable and there are women designers, writers and programmers, you’d think we’d have long since sorted ourselves out and decided that it’s more about the talent and the work ethic than it is about Ruth versus Rufus. And to an extent I think we have. But in the world of music photography, there remains a prevailing, sometimes unpleasantly smelling wind of male domination (and yes I do know how that sounds). A number of more enlightened men have given me a fair shout in the industry, without the kind of power-plays we’ve been hearing about in the #MeToo campaign and I now shoot regularly for Q Magazine. But it has …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

My Biggest Fears As A Single Mum

Miss Havisham Reloaded

Miss Tequila Shot slides up to the bar in her hot pants. She’s in Thailand, with a nymphet style body and bouncy, firm tits. She flicks her hair this way and that. She’s free, unencumbered and wild like a horse. Men would expect to find her perched on a rock in a lagoon, her naked form half visible through a misty haze, like a perfume advert. She doesn’t come with kids. That would ruin the illusion.

I take a snapshot of my day, at any given moment. The only thing you will see me perched on is the toilet, as I lock myself in the bathroom yet again to hide from the products of my own womb. I am not the woman of dreams.

It’s a reality I have to live with. An insecurity I try desperately to rub off. Why would someone want me over a woman without children? I try to pacify myself with the notion that men find responsibility sexy. That they would prefer to be locked inside with me and a mountain of shitty nappies for all eternity instead of roaming the world with a beautiful creation of my most jealous dreams.

Aside from my sons ending up raging axe murderers, drug addicts or white supremacists, my second biggest single motherhood fear is ending up alone. That I will break my ass trying to change the channel when I’m 80 and lie there for days. I just can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with someone. I even find a way to sabotage my fantasies with a bitter shot of what I like to call, depressive realism.

I tell myself that by the time my kids have matured into adults I will be past my sell by date, as viable as a pack of softening apples on offer. A bargain hunter might pick them up, or maybe they will just be left to rot?

Maybe that’s it. I’ve procreated, and like a female polar bear I must bear the burden of parenthood alone. I no longer get a pass to the mating-season party. That’s my lot.

I see single mothers get into relationships all the time. I’m cynical, I say it will never last. I look for faults in their man – a wonky eye, a hidden disorder, a Noddy figurine collection. I say that no ‘decent’ man wants a woman with kids.

I beat myself up about it. I tell myself …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

Theresa May’s Irish Border Plan ‘Annihilated’ By Brussels In Boost For Remainers

Theresa May’s plans for the Irish border post-Brexit were reportedly subjected to a “systematic and forensic annihilation” in Brussels – and remainers have seized on the news.

According to the Telegraph, Brussels officials delivered “a detailed and forensic rebuttal” of the Prime Minister’s proposals to avoid a hard border with Ireland.

Quoting unnamed EU sources, the report said Britain’s lead negotiator Olly Robbins was told “none of the UK customs options will work – none of them”.

May’s plan included three options for the Irish border, with Britain backing a close economic relationship that avoids customs checks or a technological solutions that would make the border near-frictionless.

In February, however, the EU published a version which only included the third “backstop” option, which effectively draws a customs border down the Irish sea – something May said would be “unacceptable” to any British PM.

Should Brussels reject the options put forward by May, it would be a major blow for the UK’s hopes of securing a Brexit deal.

Pro-Remain groups have seized on the reports and said the PM must step back from exiting both the customs union and single market.

Labour MP Stella Creasy, said: “Just like David Copperfield in a Las Vegas courtroom this week, Theresa May’s magical thinking, in her case about the Irish border, has been fully exposed.

“No trickery is going to get her or her Government out of the hole they have dug for themselves in ruling out continued membership of the Customs Union and the Single Market.

“And, after a stinging defeat in the Lords earlier this week and every sign that the Commons will next week also back continued Customs Union membership, it is also clear that it is not just the European Commission who have no faith in her attempts at sleight of hand.”

Creasy, who supports the People’s Vote Campaign, said the UK’s Brexit should go to a referendum.

Labour peer Andrew Adonis added: “The Government is slowly waking up to the fact that the Brexit they have promised is not a Brexit that is possible. The EU has rejected their proposals on the Irish question because their proposals were fantasy with no basis in reality or in international law. This is a crisis of Mrs May’s making.”

The SNP’s Stephen Gethins said: “We are just 10 weeks away from the crunch summit at which the Irish border issue was due to be settled …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

Theresa May’s ‘Deport First, Appeal Later’ Immigration ‘Boasts’ Blamed For Windrush Scandal

In October 2013 @theresa_may proudly boasted that she would “deport first and hear appeals later”. I opposed her then and I oppose her now. Theresa May must take responsibility for the Windrush crisis. It is because of her race to the bottom pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment. pic.twitter.com/xExpXKnLJI

— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) April 20, 2018

Theresa May’s move in 2013 to expand the number of people the government could hear immigration appeals from after they had already been deported has been blamed for contribution to the Windrush scandal.

During the passage of the Immigration Bill, the then home secretary said the legislation would allow the Home Office to “deport first and hear appeals later” in cases where there was “no risk of serious and irreversible harm” to the individuals.

Labour MP David Lammy, who has been campaigning on behalf of legal migrants being wrongly threatened with deportation, today attacked May’s past “boasts”.

“Theresa May must take responsibility for the Windrush crisis. It is because of her race to the bottom pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment,” he said.

Speaking in the Commons during the debate, Lammy said it was wrong to send “civilized human beings” back to places like Afghanistan, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and demand they launch their UK immigration appeals from there.

May has been under intense pressure over reports thousands who answered the post-World War II call to come to the UK to work in essential services are wrongly being denied access to state healthcare, losing their jobs and even being threatened with deportation.

It was also revealed documents which had been used to establish when migrants arrived in the UK were destroyed by the Home Office in 2010 – when May was home secretary.

On Friday morning, Lucy Moreton, general secretary of the ISU, the union for borders, immigration and customs staff, said “knee-jerk” decision by May to restrict the discretion of border staff to decide not to deport people sowed the seeds of the Windrush scandal.

She told the BBC it was “deeply unfair” for ministers to blame officials on the ground.

The prime minister has apologised to those who have been affected. But told MPs the decision to destroy the cards was made in 2009 – under the last Labour government.

Alan Johnson, who was home secretary at the time, told the BBC on Thursday evening it a was an “administrative decision taken by the UK Border Agency” …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

Hero Firefighters To Run London Marathon For Children Who Survived Grenfell

On Sunday, eight firefighters will tie up their laces and join more than 40,000 runners taking part in the London Marathon.

The team, from North Kensington fire station, were the first crew on the scene at the Grenfell Tower fire last June. Since then they’ve grieved with the community. But now, they say, it’s time to “heal and re-build”.

The team hope to raise £50,000 for children who survived or were impacted by the tragedy so they can access crucial services like counselling, alongside lighter relief in the form of discos, dance classes, art therapy and parties.

“Everyone at North Kensington Fire Station would love the children of our community to grow up with their lives defined by happy times and achievements, not by a tragedy,” reads the team’s JustGiving page. “Please donate and help to make this a reality.”

All money raised will go towards grassroots group Kids On The Green. The firefighters hope to fund essential equipment and enable the group to deliver crucial services for years to come. One of the major goals is to buy a re-conditioned double decker bus so they can travel around London giving the community access to therapies and much-needed services, like counselling.

So far, the eight firefighters – Mike Dowden, Chris Secrett, Tom Abell, Dave Badillo, Danny Bills, Danny Brown, Michael Kirkpatrick, Justin O’Beirne – have raised just over £30,000 of their £50,000 target.

Donate to their cause here.

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Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

John Tomlin Sentenced To 16 Years For Acid Attack On Resham Khan

A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 years in jail after dousing an aspiring model and her cousin with acid as they sat in a car.

John Tomlin was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday.

Resham Khan and Jameel Mukhtar suffered severe burns on their faces and bodies following the attack on Khan’s 21st birthday in June last year.

More follows…

…read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec

      

Wenger Is Out So Now We Can Celebrate His Extraordinary Achievements And Fundamental Decency As A Human Being

So Arsene Wenger is leaving, and a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. For many years now we Arsenal fans have lived through an almost comically repetitive situation in which we never quite bought the players we needed in the positions that needed to be improved, and when it came to the performances on the pitch, late-period Wenger’s Arsenal found new ways to embarrass themselves with one calamitously inept defeat after another, season after season. Sure there were the FA Cup triumphs, which were lovely fleeting moments, but the bigger picture is that the club has been going in the wrong direction for many seasons now, to the point where we’re now fighting Burnley for sixth place in the League.

Divisions among the fans got so ridiculous in recent seasons that there were regular actual physical fights in the crowd between the extreme A4-banner-wielding wing of the Wenger Out brigade and the staunch, pro-Arsene fundamentalists for whom the great man could do no wrong. When he signed that contract at the end of last season, after months of deeply damaging speculation during yet another deeply tedious league campaign, it felt to me like he’d have to be physically removed, kicking and screaming, fingers clinging to his desk as Ivan Gazidis tried to wrench him away, if we were ever to see the end of his reign.

But now, finally, almost unbelievably, Wenger and the club have done the right thing, so we can all come together and celebrate Arsene’s extraordinary achievements and fundamental decency as a human being. Indeed, the real sadness of these last years of palpable under-achievement, has been that they threatened to besmirch the memory of all the incredible accomplishments of the Wenger glory years. Those of us old enough to experience his FA Cup and League Championship doubles, the unprecedented and never-to-be-repeated Invincibles feat, and just the sheer giddy thrill of our fast, powerful attacking football when the manager was at the height of his powers, will always have the utmost admiration, respect and love for Wenger. When we started our podcast seven years ago, I thought it would be nice to call it ‘Footballistically Arsenal’, after a famous Arsene Wenger coinage (“Theo Walcott has improved footballistically”). And footballistically speaking, he’s been a legend.

That’s not to gloss over the frustrations of recent times, when even Wenger’s famously attacking …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec