Society is down on Down’s

Sally Phillips’s  documentary for the BBC about the challenges and joys of raising her son with Down’s Syndrome was simply brilliant. In her words “I was expecting tragedy but what i got was comedy” that line perfectly sums up her family life and the entire documentary. The documentary looks at the increasing ability for screening foetuses for Down’s Syndrome earlier in pregnancy with more accurate results. The odds of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome are higher the older you are when you get pregnant and screening is offered as pretty standard practice to expectant mothers, especially those post 30 years old at conception.

4221396001_4051350406001_jamieWith Down’s people achieving more than ever before by becoming tv actors in mainstream soaps and movies, models on the catwalk etc. One would be almost forgiven for believing that we are now all accepting and encouraging but the truth is we are far from.

Continue reading Society is down on Down’s


Why cant we just back off?

The first photograph of the new UK Cabinet was released today. Its no real secret that this is my political party of choice. This cabinet is one I am quite excited about. Its a cabinet of my generation and a cabinet of people I know.

Politics aside. Media mogules have poured over the image, ridiculing every element.

The Guardian has this to say:

Take Theresa May, her legs neatly folded away from Amber Rudd on her right.

Justine Greening, a picture of misery…

The Mirror pointed out these facts –

Justine Greening and Amber Rudd – both of whom keep their chair-footprint to an absolute minimum.

And Theresa May herself maintains a narrow stance, even as she positions her legs at something of a jaunty angle.

But the big story of the day thanks to this photo was Bois Johnson ‘manspreading’.

Manspreading : The term is used to describe the way men, particularly on public transport, take up more space than they should, often at the expense of women sitting next to them.

The Sun, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and a whole host of twitter hashtags have been set up to talk about it. The Mirror even estimated the width of his leg spread saying “his knees [were] an estimated 18 inches apart”.
Is it just me or is this a bit ridiculous?

It does make a welcome change from the ridicule of the ladies for example when Prime Minister May, then Home Secretary, had news articles devoted to her shoes rather than her policies at last years conference. Its nice for them to pick on someone else but moaning about the way a man is siting! Give us a break! Maybe he just sits like that. Why do we have to read in to it anything more than that?!


Social Justice – a fundamental change in British Politics

I spoke recently about what I thought was a need to celebrate the UK’s new female Prime Minister, Theresa May. Last night Queen Elizabeth confirmed and coronated the countries second female leader in a traditional and historic fashion with the ‘kissing of hands’ and retuned from the palace as First Lady of the Treasury and Prime Minister.


Continue reading Social Justice – a fundamental change in British Politics

Dying to be Dutch – A Crime Against Humanity?

The full article can be found over at The Dutch Review!

Euthanasia. Assisted dying. Whatever you wish to call it, the end result is the same. End of life.

A Dutch documentary aired back in February  showed the story of a 68 year old woman with semantic dementia being euthanised. You can watch the full documentary here.


Suicide vs. Euthanasia (death without the paperwork?) 

The Dutch law allows euthanasia to take place if the person requesting it does not suffer from physical problems constituting unbearable and hopeless suffering. The Dutch law is a bit backwards in this way – only when in a situation of ‘unbearable and hopeless suffering’ would you ever consider assisted dying so you can’t make and wouldn’t really need to make that decision without the contributing factor of illness or hopelessness.

Right-to-die organisations across the Netherlands have made new calls more recently for a “last will pill” making assisted dying easier and more accessible specifically to those turned down by doctors but is that really what we need in this world?

Continue reading Dying to be Dutch – A Crime Against Humanity?


But what is the impact for the Netherlands and more importantly Brits currently living overseas?

 What are we voting on?Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.22.27

referendum is “a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.” This time the ballot paper will have a very simple question. ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ With two choices ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ or ‘Leave the European Union’. It’s a binary question and one that carries more weight that you can imagine. It has come after an election manifesto promise and a countries tiredness of regulations and red tape that don’t best suit our countries needs.