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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Secret of The Sands- In The Middle East. Can you Be Gay?

Sara Sheridan is an historical novelist. Her latest book ‘Secret of the Sands’ HarperCollins (£7.99) includes (among a host of others) an openly gay character in 1830s Muscat.


Sara Says: In the last couple of hundred years it’s almost as if there’s been cultural swap when it comes to attitudes towards homosexuality, between the West and the Middle East. As a huge, self-confessed swot I’m always interested in that kind of thing – cultural shifts are the meat and drink of understanding why we’ve ended up wherever we are. When Byron toured Turkey in the early 1800s he famously referred to the local bathing houses as ‘palaces of sherbet and sodomy’. These predilections continued further south into the Arabian Peninsula and in the same period another European traveller to Egypt wrote: ‘The inconceivable inclination which has dishonoured the Greeks and Persians of antiquity constitutes the delight, or, more properly speaking the infamy of the Egyptians... the contagion has seized the poor as well as the rich.; Later that century, Sir Richard Burton described in great detail a 'Sotadic Zone' (between the northern latitudes of 30 and 43 degrees) where same-sex activity was prevalent. I’m sure he thought it had something to do with the heat.
By comparison, homophobia was rife in 19th Century England and sodomy (or buggery as it is termed in the legal documents of the day) was punishable by hanging until 1861 and continued to carry a jail term until over a hundred years later (1967 in England and Wales, 1980 in Scotland, 1982 in N Ireland). These dates, it is often noted, broadly coincide with other liberal advances in human rights in anti-slavery legislation and the feminist movement, for example, and also the more general secularisation of our society.
In the Middle East the opposite movement has occurred and the general acceptance and tolerance noted by European travellers has disappeared. Last year this was highlighted in the UK press when a Saudi Prince murdered one of his servants, apparently in a bid to cover up their homosexual relationship. The homosexuality carried the death penalty and seemed as shocking to the Islamic press as the murder itself. As the coverage progressed it became clear that the fact that the Prince had lived abroad was also key. Homosexuality in the Middle East is viewed almost as a western disease. During the ‘Queen Boat’ case in Egypt in 2001, when 50 gay men were put on trial, the accused were reputed to have imported their ‘perverse’ practices from the west and from Israel. This ties in closely with the fact that many Arab nations have felt exploited by western powers ever since the abolition of slavery in post-Napoleonic Europe and the grappling for power and influence in the region that escalated when a use was discovered for Arabian oil. It’s easy to see that there is a prevalent view that only bad things come from abroad.
When I came to recreating the world of 1830s Muscat I wanted it to feel both louche and luxurious. In a society where the company of women is an entirely private affair (as it remains today in Arab cultures) it was socially acceptable to see men with their arms draped around each other. To this day, as in Europe, Arab men greet each other with kisses on the cheek. However, what has changed is the openness that was possible about the desire for same-sex relationships around 150 years ago. Historically, this still bears some caveats. For example, I’ve found no instances where men are recorded as being exclusively homosexual (though some, obviously, must have been) and most men were clearly expected to marry and produce children as part of their obligation to the family.
My main female character, Zena, is an Abyssinian slave girl and she is bought by a desperate father to tempt his gay son into some semblance of heterosexuality. Zena is put in ‘the master’s room’ like a pretty bird in a cage, and she immediately realises what is expected of her. Quickly she colludes with the master, arranging to sleep in his bed to keep his father happy. Later, he loses her at a game of backgammon (gambling being frowned on far more than buggery at that time in Oman) and she ends up travelling in the desert disguised as a slave boy. Later on that trip, when she is propositioned by a man, he is far more shocked by the fact that up close she is clearly a woman in disguise who is displaying an unheard of independent streak, than at any question of impropriety in coming onto a young boy. ‘Aren’t you married?’ Zena asks him. The man shrugs. This is, in his view, an entirely unrelated matter.
As in the Bible, there is very little in the Koran that condemns homosexuality and I hope that over time attitudes will change, not only with regard to homosexuality but also in terms of repression of women (of which there are and always have been horrifying examples) and slavery, or as it is today ‘indentured labour’ which remains rife in the region. There are a few chinks of light – not least the current unrest in Egypt (the first liberal revolution in the Middle East in my memory). Elsewhere, there is a movement in Arab states towards allowing women to vote (although not all have yet passed even this, very basic right). In Beirut in 2003, a handful openly gay people marched through the streets with a homemade rainbow flag in protest against the war in Iraq. It was the first time anything like that had happened in an Arab country. In another example, Lebanon now has an officially recognised gay and lesbian organisation known as Helem – again, the only one in an Arab country – as well as Barra, the first gay magazine in Arabic. I hope this marks a movement in the direction of tolerance and the possibility that people will be allowed to define their own personal morality rather than having to so cruelly imposed.




I Thank Sara for her insight into these things, and I hope that You will ALL read her Book.
This is stunning timing especially when Egypt is in such a state of rebellion of which many readers of this piece would obviously be fully up to Date with via all sorts of multimedia.
I wish you all well

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

MORE KING JULIEN - HAHAHA

Monday, 24 January 2011

GREAT! Just what I needed.

Apparently Their Computers were Down, but no one phoned me until:

Phone made the sonic screwdriver noise that it is set to, so, I'm out with dog, remove phone and answer.

Them: Hi, its me

Me: Its who?

T: Its ******

M: Oh OK

T: Yeah just ringin find out, where are ya? Yer Taxi's outside now.

M: I'm at least fifteen minute walk away. I'm out with the dog...

T: Oh alright then

M: Err I did email ***** on Friday morning saying i didnt have agenda and minutes, and no transport was arranged. I thought I may've been emailed about this?

T: Err no, we thought you had all the stuff

M: Well obviously I cant be there now,

T: Alright Taxi can go pick next person straight on to them not to worry.

M: Ok

T: Never mind yer dogs getting a good walk it seems

Other stuff in private sorta chat was said.

But Annoying is what that was in a way, because thats one meeting I really needed to be at.

OK. I shall stop ranting now.
Cheers.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Does Domestic Violence Care Sector Matter?

I Got speaking to someone who works in the Domestic Violence Care sector.


I was Shocked to find that the Regional service she worked for was having 100% funding removed. And so I thought - HOW the fuck can the service continue? Would some other departments' value for money savings fund another department ENTIRELY.


Let me explain: 


As I do have a considerable knowledge of Value For Money Theory and Practice, which is modified and adapted during Budget reduction periods to a matter of front line service support and maintenance, I felt that an ENTIRE essential service organisation could not possibly (even without seeing figures) take money from other peoples' budgets in an adequate amount. This, based on KNOWLEDGE of How Things work. They havent classified the Service as Essential Frontline, and therefore all budgeting considerations seem to be ignorant mandatory pound note budget cuts. In my world any cut needs justification. There is none. The "OUTCOME" which is key to Value for Money Analysis is undesirable in this instance in most peoples minds. Anyone who knows My Subject should agree with my synopsis. 


So being somewhat familiar with Value for Money, and not theoretically able to see how My Subject could solve this issue the following happened...


I said you need to approach media in as many different ways as possible. 


It started on Twitter
Channel 4 News were initially interested,no follow up yet but through all sorts of routes it seems The Guardian may well run with the story. And that is all from an Energised and Committed and Very Frustrated Service thinking the floor will disappear from under them. They arent giving up yet.


There is no solution yet. They have a petition to sign to save them.


You can contact the person who started this cascade of interest on twitter @missytearious

Friday, 14 January 2011

Who are you? (video - approx 2hrs)

This is just over two hours of fascinating expose on WHO YOU ARE in terms of WHO YOU ARE, AND WHO YOU ARE is explained fully.
This is FUCKING AWESOME. Please DO take time to watch it. And watch it full screen by clicking the cross arrows you see on the indicator bar. You can switch HD on or off too.
It is an amazing find. It is , may I state again, an awesome and worthwhile experience to watch. Civil liberties, Identities, the whole shebang is in this. Awesome awesome awesome. I shall shut up now and let you watch this. By the way. It may change the way you see yourself in society, and inspire you to really be you as well.






OUR SYSTEM OUR STRUCTURE OUR ILLUSION (2010) from Dominoes Falling Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Coalition commitments on anti-social behaviour

Not everyone has access to stuff I get, So I'm sharing latest comment by the Coalition on Anti-Social Behaviour, Via a Newsletter I receive.
Good news is that the Very Difficult regaining of possession that then blights areas with Hard To Remove ASB creators is changing. Lots of Estates and areas will benefit. 
This along with Localisation of Respect Actions, and greater Housing Association , Arms Length Management organisation, Registered Social Landlord liaison and control over Local Partnerships and Action Plans can only benefit decent people within social housing. 
It delivers accountability there and then, and who knows more about it than Housing Specialists who take the lead on this. They KNOW Housing. MP's? How many have direct experience and influence over Social Housing? Anyway, before I continue, here's the article that may interest some of you.




The housing and crime prevention ministers have written to social landlords to emphasise the government’s commitment to make it easier for them to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour.

The ministers recognised the importance of prevention and early intervention but announced their plans for changes aimed at helping reduce the time it takes to evict anti-social tenants in those cases where other approaches have failed.
  1. A mandatory, rather than a discretionary, ground for possession will be introduced for anti-social behaviour where serious housing related anti-social behaviour has already been proven by a court.

    Ministers believe that this could significantly reduce the time from possession claim to a decision by the court since the court will usually need only to establish that an objectively established ground for possession has been made out, and so hearings should on average be much shorter and court time more readily available.

    This proposals will be included in the forthcoming review of anti-social behaviour tools and powers.
  2. The DCLG and Home Office are also to work with the Ministry of Justice to see if they can reduce the time it takes for serious anti-social behaviour possession cases to reach the county court.
  3. The government is to continue funding of the ASB ACTION TEAM, hosted by the CIH, for a further year, with a remit to work with existing and emerging tenant panels to strengthen their capacity to work with and challenge landlords on anti-social behaviour issues.
The ministers state in their letter that government's tenure reform proposals will create new incentives for tenants to behave in a neighbourly way and make it easier for landlords to end tenancies where they do not. However, they talk of the the proposed new flexible tenancies working alongside rather than instead of introductory and starter tenancies, and seek to encourage the third of social landlords who are not currently using introductory or starter tenancies to review their decision.

The government will make clear, through the direction to the regulator on the content of a revised tenancy standard, that housing associations have the same freedom as local authorities to extend probationary tenancies from one year to eighteen months.

Read the DCLG press release here.





I hope that some of you have found this a useful piece.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Fabulous Piece about Owning Yourself and Dismissing Hate

There is religion in this piece, but stay with me, its here for a bloody good reason.
I shall say nothing for or against the church, for that only empowers whatever position they "have".
Essentially what this is talking about is Ownership of yourself and disempowering others' hate by Not accepting their misguided and distorted position. Anyway, here it is:


The Westbro Baptist Church "A story of Shame, Forgiveness, and Love"
By Jessica Emily Ann Howe © (http://twitter.com/minabeans)

   When I 13 years old; I was sitting in Sunday school, the youth Minster preaching about repenting our sins to Jesus and his forgiving Father. I remember feeling dirty, hurt and also shameful. To say why I felt the first two is a different story all together. This story is about shame. 

  There was this girl, dark hair, brown eyes, and a sweet smile. I could not stop thinking about her. She made my eyes water and my chest pound. I knew why, but I rejected it, causing shame in myself, and in God.

    I was the only child of my Mothers' who begged to go to church and learn. I know now why I begged, the stories of love and hope. I'd heard the stories every Sunday. On this Sunday I was sitting in the pew, my heart beginning to pound. I felt that "knocking" at my heart, and I started a silent prayer "God, make it go away, make me normal" over, over, and over. Minutes later, I was at the altar in tears, shaking, but silent. All I could feel kneeling there was love. I heard love, found love, knew love, and myself. Then I turned on this feeling thinking "No, No..that's evil." But then all of the youth laid hands on me, and I knew. I just knew, it was okay.

Love, freedom. 

   For ten years now I've tried to do just that, love. I've made some brilliant mistakes, hurt myself, and others. (as they say, No Good Deed) But I'm flesh and waves. I'm prone to static and blood. And still I strive to carry on and love. Today I am open, heart on my sleeve, a bisexual woman, and free.

  This issue, is only one of many that the WBC (Westbro Baptist Church) is against so violently. They teach their children this hate, and I have no words for it nor will I repeat their words here. My heart pity's them deeply. In light of recent event in Tuscan,AZ (USA) They are planning to picket at each of the six peoples funerals who were murdered, and it breaks my heart. A child was among those who were murdered this past Saturday.

  As a cry, let us adhere to the words "I love you." Let us freely confess in truth "I fucking love you" to the WBC and see it no other way. If we as humans throw their words back to them, repeatably. It will only serve to make them stronger, their message of hate spread and become more violent. I know many people have different religions or none at all, which does not matter to me. I'll love you either way, and I will never tell your way of believing or not believing is wrong. This being because of the teachings that I learned at Church. (yes, a Christian church.)

   I'd like to leave you with the words of  "Lady Gaga" She tweeted these words to her "Little Monsters" before a concert in St. Louis, MO (USA) where the WBC stood with signs, screaming hate to the "Little Monsters" I believe that her words, should stand for all of us who are disgusted and hurt by the WBC.

"Pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not interact with them or try to fight.." "Do not respond to any of their provocation. Don't waste your words, or feelings, no matter what you hear or see."  "You are more fortunate & blessed than they are, and in ur heart just pray for them..."   "Be inspired to ignore their ignorant message and feel gratitude in your heart that you are not burdened or addicted to hate, as they are. xx " (http://twitter.com/ladygaga - taken from)

ABSOLUTE LUNACY ON BENEFITS

This Blog is for EVERYONE.
Thanks to @thethirdestate 
This is VERY SCARY....
What are we to do? how can we shock these decision makers into the fact that their "I'm alright jack" mentality is not sufficient?
The article I and many others want you to read is this: 

THIS IS ABSOLUTE LUNACY!

As we know, under new rules the unemployed could be stripped of their benefits for up to three years if they are judged to have breached their duty to seek work and take up offers.
Today in parliament Sian James, MP for Swansea, asked a rather pressing question about how that decision will be made:
Those sanctions will be applied after a decision by the Independent Decision Maker. What assurance can the minister give me about the role and the criteria that will be used by the independent decision maker? I’m particularly concerned about the appeal process because as one can imagine mistakes can be made. There can be and should be a right to appeal and I am very concerned that that is made accessible and open to anybody who is sanctioned in this way.
Well, you would think so. Considering people’s incomes will be reduced to £0, we are talking about pretty high stakes.
The answer from Duncan Smith was a particularly obfuscatory refusal to guarantee such a right:
We are going to strengthen the role of the independent decision maker, to make sure that such decisions that are being made, cough, are being made for the right reasons , and therefore if they are being applied the are being applied for those reasons, and she should rest assured that we will make sure that is the case.
Well that’s ok then. Duncan Smith has an uncanny ability to assume the demeanour of a nice man, even when he is handing down often quite damaging decisions. This is not so much the case with his honourable friend Tony Baldry, who then chipped in to tell Sian James’ constituents in Swansea to get off their back sides.
“The implication of the question”, he snarled, “is that there aren’t jobs available in the market place.” A survey, he told us, had shown that there were 700 jobs were available in his Oxfordshire constituency, and “people in Swansea will be as welcome to take up those vacancies as people anywhere else in the country.”
How awfully generous of him. Problem solved.

Monday, 10 January 2011

LGBT? - The CUTS HIT YOU HARD TOO

Posted In PINK. WHY NOT? 




Cuts, Class, and LGBT Communities


Originally posted on the Labour Representation Committee website. This is from Thierry Schaffauser of Left Front Art and the LRC. and thanks to http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com


Part of the current homophobic discourse is to portray LGBT people as economically stronger than the “general population”. We’ve heard about the so called “pink pound” and the expression “double income, no kids” which present us in the mainstream media and advertisement industry as a new target market of the consumerist society.


These representations tend to feed the conspiracy theories that describe the “gay lobby” as imposing the “values of a minority” to the defenceless silent majority who continues to raise “hard working families”. Some people continue to think that homosexuality should not be the concern of the working class which has better priorities to defend like opposing the government cuts.


They don’t realise that we are actually as much if not more concerned by the cuts. If some gay men are indeed very powerful and influential, the majority of LGBTQ people are in fact less advantaged economically. It is true that white middle class gay men are often the leaders of the gay movement and indeed more visible because they have more power which allows them being visible. The “pink pound” in a capitalist society allows them buying better acceptance.


However, what about those who are not middle class? Do you think that homosexuality is stranger of the working class? Ask yourself why trade unions are still dominated by straight men. Why is it still so difficult for many to come out among their comrades? The reality is that we do exist but LGBTQ issues are still considered as less serious, less important, a secondary struggle which divert the focus from what really matters. This way of thinking is actually the best way to divide the working class when we should be all united.


It erases our existence and therefore our oppression and our struggles. Moreover, homophobia does not operate in the same way according to your class, gender, race, etc. Homophobia may be less a problem when you are a Minister and have a body guard, but it can be very violent when you are working on the streets as a sex worker and that people see you as an easy target that doesn’t deserve police protection. Lesbians as women don’t benefit the same economic power that gay men when Trans’ people are often excluded from the labour market. Also the HIV epidemic has had a tremendous impact for many gay men in terms of economic disempowerment.


Many people remain silent in their workplace about their identity because they know that in a difficult economic period they may be the first ones to be made redundant. They know that the cuts in their sector will target them more than others. They will have to continue playing the discreet ones, sometimes lying, and listening to all the family stories of their colleagues acquiescing in silent. They will give some money to help a widow colleague with the funerals of the loved husband she lost while nobody said a word when his husband and half his friends died of AIDS a few years earlier.


The cuts will affect the LGBTQ communities more because we are never a priority. The “real families” will always come first, even when we have children too. They will have to save the most important and we know that we’re not. Many LGBT charity organisations are already losing their funding like Galop an organisation helping victims of hate crimes; LGBT youth services which many have already closed, or Broken Rainbow that helps people suffering domestic violence within a same sex couple.


The cuts imposed on students and the rise of tuition fees will obviously have a greater impact on those students who are not supported economically by their family and among them many LGBTQ students are more likely to be in that situation.


Many HIV services and health organisations are also at risk, with a greater lack of means to support people living with HIV and with fewer consultations available for STD’s testing and less prevention campaigns in a critical period when young gay men are currently very vulnerable to HIV infections.


There will be even less funding to investigate hate crimes when they are already underfunded. Yet, the difficult economic period is conducive to higher level of homophobic and transphobic attacks because people are looking for scapegoats for their own problems. The lack of staff in public transports or the cuts in public lighting will also reduce the safety of those who need it the most.


Most schools don’t educate pupils about feminism or LGBT issues despite an obligation to mention them at least for LGBT history month in their programs. If schools have less funding, many teachers will consider that they must focus on the “fundamentals” without wasting time for less important items of the programme. Nonetheless, education is the best way to fight hate crimes committed often by very young people and to reduce the problems of school bullying or the high levels of LGBTQ teenagers’ suicide.


Many LGBTQ people are in need of protection such as asylum seekers. Most of them are denied their rights and deported back to countries where they face persecutions and death. LGBTQ asylum seekers who are only seen as an additional cost will struggle even more to be recognised by the Home office as deserving protection.


The list is long and I probably forget other issues but what is clear is that we will suffer a lot from the cuts. In that struggle, we will need more than ever the support of the Labour movement because the gay movement has for the moment nothing to say about the cuts. However, more and more LGBTQ activists refuse the commercialisation of their pride and sociability places and the de-politicisation of their identities. Some like me use the term “Queer” politically not only to reclaim the insult but to question the normalisation of the gay identity and in particular regarding the issues of class and race.


We are more and more who prefer to invest our energy in the Labour movement because the oppression we suffer is not only about homophobia and that the homophobia we suffer is different to those of white middle class men. New forms of activism such as UK Black Pride, Hackney Pride, Queer mutinies, or the work of LGBTQ trade unionists try to include and analyse the intersection of class, race, sexuality and gender in their struggles. Left Front Art is one of these organisations and we have affiliated to LRC because we want these issues to be part of the progressive Labour agenda.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

This is why I'm Hot. A bit of fun.

I Like to Move It!

Solo / The bird in my soul...

Here's a poem a friend of mine wrote... many meanings in there...
Hope you enjoy...

Solo



How have you found me little bird?
I was just over there a second ago, looking for you.
But now I am over here. Did I leave a trail behind me?

Little wormys to nourish you back to health?
Or was it my secret whispers aloud?
Why did you not meet me? Where we always meet?
Is there something I do not know?
And what is it that makes you so special my feathered friend?
Oh, I do wish to know more about you.


Please do sing me a song!
One that is sweet and bitter like my season.
It would help me.
I think it would help you also, for I know you are still broken.


Oh, now that’s lovely.
Why do you not sing more often?
Oh! Please do not wobble away from me, I need your melodies today!


How come you have gone little bird?
What is the matter my gray songstress?
I will not judge you in any way.
A promise is a promise, and yours I plan to keep.
Shall I came by tomorrow? Will you still be around?
Or has spring lead you else where?


Oh there you are!


I can hear you in the wind.
Little bird, little bird, have I missed something?
For I can almost gather it, but just barely.
Reason with me! What could it be?


         I will try, my flightless friend:


        My tummy is your tummy!
        
Your song is my song!
        Our wings are but four puzzle pieces!
        Where ever you go I go to.

Little bird? Are you a part of my soul? Or are you a part of my heart?
Have I imagined you? You feel so real. So alive.
©  Jessica Emily Ann Howe

Friday, 7 January 2011

Puffins and global warming??????

Since the Atlantic Puffin gets the majority of its food from diving it is important that there is an ample supply of resources and food. Different environmental conditions such as tidal cycle, upwellings and downwellings contribute to this abundance. In a study published in 2005 it was observed that Atlantic Puffins were associated with areas of well-mixed water below the surface. This study implies consequences for the species if impacts of global warming lead to an alteration of tidal cycles. If these cycles are modified too much, it is probable that the Atlantic Puffin will have a difficult time locating food resources. Another consequence of an increase in temperature could be a reduction in the range of the Atlantic Puffin, as it is only able to live in cool conditions and does not fare overly well if it has to nest in barren, rocky places, and an increase in temperature could thus squeeze the zone of puffin-suitable habitat as warmer biotopes expand from the equator but the polar regions remain barren due to lack of historical accumulation of topsoil.


Editorial Comment: 
Don't know where this came from. It arrived in Email. Shared it now. It seemed Maybe that SOMEONE might go AHA! That's interesting.
I'm good at editing, but I simply am not familiar with the above enough other than to present it as received.
And WHY I RECEIVED IT I DO-NOT-KNOW! They asked me to put it on Blog. Done. Any accuracy discrepancies aren't mine, but all I say is please leave the puffins alone, let them do their stuff, and don't, as naturalists, hound them to death. End of editorial comment. 

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Do you work here? *hurrah*

Last Years Top Gay Friendly Employers 2010 (via Stonewall)


1 IBM
2 Hampshire Constabulary
3 Ernst & Young
4 Brighton & Hove City Council
5 Goldman Sachs
6 Home Office
7 London Borough of Tower Hamlets
8 Manchester City Council
9 Kent Police
9 Nacro
11 Environment Agency for England & Wales
11 London Borough of Islington
13 Merseyside Police
13 Transport for London
15 Simmons & Simmons
16 Gentoo Group
17 East Sussex County Council
17 Foreign & Commonwealth Office
19 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
19 West Midlands Police
21 Metropolitan Police Service
22 Barclays
23 Cheshire Constabulary
23 Greater Manchester Police
25 London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority
25 West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
27 Metropolitan Housing Partnership
27 National Offender Management Service
29 Ford
30 Accenture
30 Newcastle City Council
32 Leicestershire County Council
32 Newham College
34 Staffordshire Police
34 Sussex Police
36 Credit Suisse
36 Gloucestershire County Council
36 Pinsent Masons
39 British Transport Police
39 Deloitte LLP
41 Shaw Trust
42 Scottish Government
43 Kirklees Council
43 London Borough of Hackney
45 HM Revenue & Customs
45 NHS Tower Hamlets
47 Lancashire Constabulary
47 National Assembly for Wales
47 Sheffield City Council
50 London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
50 North Wales Police
50 Suffolk Constabulary
50 Thames Valley Police
54 Aviva plc
54 Suffolk County Council & Customer Service Direct
56 Herbert Smith LLP
56 Ministry of Justice
58 American Express
58 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
60 Birmingham City Council
60 Hertfordshire Constabulary
60 Procter & Gamble UK
63 Crown Prosecution Service
63 Derbyshire County Council
63 PricewaterhouseCoopers
63 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
67 East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
67 J.P. Morgan
67 Morgan Stanley
70 Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service
70 Ministry of Defence Police & Guarding Agency
70 North East Ambulance Service
73 Ministry of Defence
73 West Mercia Constabulary
75 Cardiff Council
75 Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
75 National Audit Office
75 National Grid
79 Imperial College London
79 The Co-operative
79 West Yorkshire Police
82 Berneslai Homes
82 Bury Council
82 London Borough of Waltham Forest
85 Department of Health
85 Eversheds LLP
85 Liverpool John Moores University
88 Citizens Advice
88 Warwickshire County Council
90 Cambridgeshire County Council
90 Your Homes Newcastle
92 Cambridge City Council
92 Skillset Sector Skills Council
92 Victim Support
95 Land Registry
95 Royal Bank of Scotland Group
97 Blackpool Council
97 Department for International Development
97 Knowsley Housing Trust
100 Nottinghamshire County Council

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Press Release On Antisocial Behaviour...Home Office

New help for victims of antisocial behaviour

Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011
Trials of a new approach for handling complaints of antisocial behaviour (ASB) were unveiled today by crime prevention minister James Brokenshire.
Eight police force areas will change the way they respond to calls, including a new system of logging complaints and improving the use of IT to share information, that will help to quickly identify and protect vulnerable victims.
Differing approaches to recording complaints of ASB and identifying repeat victims has seen too many people slip through the cracks, their plight overlooked by the authorities.

Minister's statement

James Brokenshire said: 'Antisocial behaviour ruins lives, damages our communities and, at its worst, can have tragic consequences. It is essential those who raise the alarm and ask for help are listened to and their complaints acted upon promptly.
'It is not acceptable that those most in need either slip through the net or are plain ignored. The technology exists to allow agencies to introduce a smart way of handling such complaints and a simple way of sharing information - they need to use it.'
The volunteer areas will trial a new approach based on five key principles, which will be tailored to each area:
  • creating an effective call handling system where each individual has a log of complaints created from the very first call
  • introducing risk assessment tools to quickly identify the most vulnerable victims
  • installing off-the-shelf IT systems to share information on cases between agencies, removing the need for meetings
  • agreeing a protocol across all local agencies setting out how they will manage cases
  • engaging with the community to clearly set out the issues which are causing the most harm to individuals and neighbourhoods, and setting out how the police, other local agencies and the public can work together to address them
Baroness Newlove, champion for active safer communities, said: 'Protecting those who are most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods is essential - after all, we all know who the troublemakers are who live down our street.
'The frustration has been that in some cases it has appeared that nobody has been able to stop them, with tragic results.
'These changes to the way police handle such complaints will help make our communities safer and more confident places where decent law abiding people feel they are being listened to and supported. This is the new way forward, action not words.'

Local control

The government's new approach to tackling ASB is seeing responsibility and control move from Whitehall to local agencies and neighbourhoods.
Building on that principle, the trials are bottom-up, with each volunteer area deciding how to implement the five principles.
At the end of the trial the Home Office will assess each area’s approach and publish details about what worked best across the eight forces and what other areas should be looking to copy.
Association of Chief Police Officers lead on antisocial behaviour, assistant chief constable Simon Edens, said: 'The police service recognises that all individuals and communities have a right to live their lives free from intimidation, harassment and any other disorder that may damage their quality of life.
'One of the core purposes of policing is to keep people safe and this includes dealing effectively with antisocial behaviour.
'The pilot in eight force areas will focus on improving handling and logging of complaints as well as looking at improvements to IT systems to ensure information from partners is shared more easily. The results of the pilot will help us shape a more consistent approach to dealing with the policing response to local concerns as well as developing our links with partners.'
The trials, in Avon and Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, South Wales, Sussex and West Mercia will run from January to July 2011.
In the New Year the Government will be announcing the results of its review of the existing tools and powers, such as ASBOs, and launching a consultation setting out a new way forward in how ASB is both viewed and tackled.

Monday, 3 January 2011

A Light Hearted look at Frivolity, Confusion and Coming Out


As to frivolity:Jules_Clarke @JulianClary I see the bow tie and I raise you with Burnt Knickers in a park http://twitpic.com/2jmqug

SimpsdjIan AmbroseHelen LycettCatherine EllisonChristianproducerjodieDorisgossipbitchCecilia DjurbergBen HaslehurstJulian Clary

And the best reply tweet was:
wayneodell 
@Jules_Clarke @julianclary some poor slapper went home with a singed lady garden.....ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

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As to confusion:

Jules_Clarke 
  
@lisaansell Gender is not binary. Spread the word.
Tabz O'Briensimon trottHarriet RogersSteve GardinerSarah KertonLisa Ansell

And a Fab Reply too:
anthonypainter 
RT @Jules_Clarke: @lisaansell Gender is not binary. < Hmm. If it's not that kind of means there's no such thing. May confuse biologists.

Anyone else think this is NOT confusing?

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And as to Coming Out:
A great reply:
the_Red_Richie  
@Jules_Clarke Oh well can't hurt to admit it I guess........ Yes, as you suspected I am.......... straight!!!! lol