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Rob McDowall

Member of the Equality Council, Chair of Welfare Scotland, EUCCTI Rapporteur and Equality and Human Rights Advocate

I am a 30-something, ginger, gay, Scottish writer and equality and human rights advocate from Glasgow with a passion for law, politics and technology. I have a number of chronic medical conditions which keep me exhausted and in a lot of pain each day but I do like to try to keep up to date with whats going on in the world and make my contribution when I can.

I have over 14 years experience in equality and human rights campaigning and have been involved in a range of projects over the years covering everything from advocacy, refugee support and representing LGBT asylum seekers, to housing, homelessness and disability rights. In 2008 I petitioned the Scottish Parliament to have them lift the lifetime prohibition on men who have sex with men donating blood. Over the last six years I have provided advice, support and representation to a number of vulnerable LGBT asylum seekers.

I am and avid fan of Twitter and you can follow me at @robmcd85 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/robmcdowallmea

Phizz Rehydration And Vitamin Formula - A Hangover Cure or Another Fad?

The shiny, bright white and yellow tube arrived in the post within a couple of days and I was despirate to get started and try the product myself. A half glass of water and two Phizz tablets was all it took to get started and as the tablets danced around the glass, a fresh and fruity odour was released; the test was on!
15/04/2016 11:36 BST

MediPen: A Refreshing New and Legal Way to Experience the Benefits of Cannabis in the UK

As someone who has lived with chronic pain and associated conditions since my early adulthood, I have tried scores of aids, medications, complementary products and stimulation devices in order to try and reduce my pain and allow me to live a fuller life. I've had the pleasure of discovering the MediPen recently and I've never tried anything quite like it!
25/06/2015 14:05 BST

Scotland's Most Topical Joke... Scottish Labour

For too long Labour, as a national party, has tried to be everything to everyone and pitch itself as an antidote to the cruel and bitter Tory cuts, while at the same time joining the Tories in smears, knee-jerk reactions and adopting shiny posters and Americanised slogans supposedly designed to appeal to voters.
11/05/2015 17:17 BST

Policing in the UK: Walking a Thin Blue Tightrope

Make no mistake, I am all for ensuring the police service isn't top heavy and is more able to respond to the ever changing needs of those it serves, but I would plead with the next Government to think hard about what policing means to the British public and encourage them to move quickly away from thinking about policing purely in the terms of numbers and figures.
21/07/2014 17:23 BST

Do Twitter Do Enough? My 'Clones' and Relentless Abuse

I regularly receive Twitter comments ranging from the tame and jejune 'fag', 'fudge packer', 'cock sucker', 'spazzy' and 'ugly cunt' to the more personal and nasty 'you should have been kicked out of your mums womb', 'I'd slit your throat fag', 'You should get raped with a machete' and 'Hitler had the right idea. Put you faggot bastards in an oven at 230 degrees until crispy'.
03/07/2014 14:11 BST

Stitch on the Black Triangles and Be Done With It!

Vilification of benefit claimants and disabled people is endemic, perhaps the government should just stitch on the black triangles and be done with it or bring in the Welfare Games to keep us at a more manageable number and remind us how grateful we are for all the 'pitty money' (in Simon Stevens words) that we get.
14/05/2014 09:19 BST

Seven Free Services No Charity Can Live Without

The internet is awash with products and services which promise to revolutionise the way charities work, collect donations, and manage information and the like. As someone who has worked in and volunteered in the charitable sector for over 11 years, I have listed a number of the best 'free to charity' offerings...
09/05/2014 17:15 BST

Thistles at Dawn

To my friends, family and foe it's no secret that I'm banging the drum for Independence and praying for a YES vote in just under 157 days, but one thing that needs to be said is that I am not an SNP supporter...
14/04/2014 16:15 BST

Eating Disorders... on a Scale From One to Hell...

Eating disorders are complex conditions which start for a variety of reasons and their impact stretches way beyond weight-loss or weight-gain and Thomas told me that his eating disorder has left him with permanent oesophageal acid reflux, stomach ulcers, chronic stomach pains, mouth ulcers, severely impaired peristaltic motion, damage to teeth, blocked tear ducts, scars on knuckles, sore throats, hair loss and pale complexion.
18/03/2014 12:36 GMT

To Catch a Predator

No loving parent would dream of opening their doors to a sex offender hell-bent on manipulating and exploiting their child but with the increasing availability and use of modern technology, a parents' ignorance could inadvertently do just that.
30/09/2013 10:34 BST