Monday, 22 July 2013

Chimpanzee Adverts and Conservation

Earlier this month, a 37-year-old chimpanzee called Louis died at Twycross Zoo. He was famous for being a “PG Tips chimp” in adverts parodying James Bond. Most news outlets reported this as a minor interest story, linking to the original adverts (see above) so we could all watch the chimps in wigs. Some conservationists I know muttered darkly about the ethics of using animals in adverts, but I didn’t see any discussion about this in the mainstream media.

Anyway, this reminded me of some interesting research in how media portrayal of chimpanzees affects public perceptions of conservation.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Myth of Sexual Incontinence

Recently Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto claimed that 'comfort women' were necessary for Japanese soldiers to 'relax'.

Please bear this in mind before continuing to read; So called 'comfort women' were women and young girls who were coerced, lured or kidnapped and imprisoned in brothels, where they were forced to sexually service soldiers. They were raped 20-25 times a day, and both beatings and torture were reported as common.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Do I Treat This Immigrant?

Oh, the Queen’s Speech. For me, one of the most truly terrible bits was the clause to restrict access to the NHS.

We knew this was coming since Jeremy Hunt started to claim in March that immigrants were “clogging up the hospitals”, despite later admitting that migrants from the European Economic Area only cost the NHS £10-20 million, which is a drop in the ocean compared to the annual NHS budget of around £100 billion. I mean, in 2011 we wasted £4 million on homeopathy, for fuck’s sake. I am all for saving money within the NHS, but saving a trivial amount by restricting access to healthcare for potentially vulnerable people? There are other ways.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Barbara Hewson is Wrong

Senior Barrister Barbara Hewson has stated that the age of consent should be lowered to 13 - in order to stop the 'persecution of old men'.

I'm not going to call Barbara Hewson misogynistic expletives, or suggest she should be raped or killed - and those who have are utterly abhorrent to me. That said, I utterly and completely disagree with her, I think she is wrong, I think she is excusing the sexual abuse of children, and I think her 'views' are incredibly harmful.