After several years of being underserved by my High Street bank, and as they somehow managed to confuse a £70.00 withdrawal for a £7,000.00 withdrawal, I moved at no little inconvenience to the Coop...
Experiences of sexual violence are many and varied, so rather than speaking 'for' survivors, I speak as one. I share my experience in the hope that some of the stigma will be broken down & that others might feel safe sharing their stories too.
Love or hate Boris Johnson he tends to get things wrong as we all do because we are human and it's only natural but this time in my true and humble opinion BOJO has gone too far and overstepped the mark on all counts.
The message from Beijing is clear: the all-important political will that is so evidently present from Downing Street must be met with an enhanced commitment from Britain's business community.
Young people surviving in the ghettoes of Britain are at the receiving end of humiliating insults from politicians. The Prime Minister, with the best of intentions, advocates for people of any community to rise to the top - in the media, judiciary, armed services and politics. He suggests that aspirations "need to be raised". Simultaneously, the Mayor of London says that 16% "of our species" has an IQ below 85, and 2% of the population have an IQ above 130. He goes on to conclude that inequality is essential "for the spirit of envy and a valuable spur to economic activity... The income gap between the top cornflakes and the bottom cornflakes is getting wider than ever". But between the lines, he is suggesting that those with higher IQs - and sometimes higher greed - will invariably achieve greater things, and that is just the way it is.
We must assume that Boris Johnson knew exactly what he was doing when he delivered his typically rumbustious "greed is good" speech in memory of Margaret Thatcher a couple of nights ago. And what he was doing was giving the Conservative party - the party of which he is a leading member and was once an MP - a great big almighty shove towards electoral defeat in two years' time.
On the fifth anniversary of Woolworths' closure, it fell to the Pope to offer an alternative to these more-of-the-same mumblings and to the Gordon Gecko philosophy of Boris Johnson. His speech is worth reading for its contrast to the prevailing economic wisdom...
We need to have a conversation about what child-friendly means. It involves understanding the adult's role in guiding the child's behaviour, as well as accepting our responsibility to share the task of rearing children. It also means modelling good behaviour ourselves.
Earlier this month, the world witnessed a group of hockey players from Stirling University chanting sexist songs about miscarriages on camera, while performing Nazi salutes. Other students watched in horror; too afraid to do anything to stop the perpetrators. This is what banter is. It is grossly misogynistic. It is racist. It is hurtful. It is ignorant. It is the vindication that justifies all of these things - all in the name of a harmless joke. And it needs to stop.
It has been a traumatic month for Boris, TFL and the deceased families but there are plans to still expand the superhighway, introduce more cycling initiatives, electric Boris bikes. As I type this another cyclist has died in a collision in Camberwell. Am I missing something?
On one drunken night in a club, he said to me: "Ed, you know what your problem is? You have a chip on your shoulder." Now, he was probably right. Living on my £13,000 researcher's salary, I'd probably heard enough about his frequent trips to Val d'Isere and his worldview and had grown weary of his relentless brown-nosing of the senior producers.
Childcare professionals know that for many parents, the cost of childcare is so high that they will never go back to work because it simply does not pay for them to do so. The London Assembly's report stated that 63% of working parents said the cost of childcare had affected their decision about whether or not to work, and 73% said it affected how many hours they worked.
Over the past week the mayor has responded to criticism of his cycling policies by suggesting cyclists are making rash decisions on the roads and by repeating a unfounded claim he made to me in October 2011 that wearing headphones whilst cycling or walking could be blamed for an increase in the numbers injured in London.
If you need a barometer of just how much a bunch of utter bastards humankind can be, look no further than a story about a cyclist dying on the roads of London. Tragically, you won't need to look far - six in the last fortnight should give you plenty of ammunition - and it seems everybody has a little bit of hatred reserved.
Of course cyclists should take care, but so should all road users and those in charge of the vehicles that can cause most harm should take particular care. For the Mayor to suggest otherwise is insensitive and cruel beyond belief. His failure to invite those at the wheel to look out for cyclists and pedestrians demonstrates that he just does not understand what is happening.
Last Friday morning, in the 10 minutes it took for me to get out of the shower, get dressed and head to the kitchen to make breakfast, my bathroom had been engulfed in flames. I was in a rush to leave the house and get to work. If I'd been quicker, I might not have been there when all the lights switched off in the flat.