Sunday, July 31, 2005

Is it any wonder...

...that convictions in rape cases are as low as ever and not improving? This article in the Observer today points out that a large number of judges consider the sexual history of the victim relevant to rape prosecution. We should just throw out judges like that.

Off to Edinburgh

Well I travel up to the festival tomorrow, technical run-through Tues and the show opens Weds. The first few days are cheaper (preview prices and 2-for-1 offers) so i recommend any Edinburgh-resident blog-readers come along on earlier rather than later. And just to be super-thoughtful to you: here's the direct link to the ticket sales page. You're just a credit cards away now... mmmm.

Friday, July 29, 2005

One for the little guys

Brian Haw has won the right to continue his protest against UK foreign policy towards Iraq, despite parliament passing a law specifically aimed at him. Hahaha. A couple of points I wanted to make on the subject:

1) The government claims that Mr Haw "posed a potential security risk". What a load of rubbish. He's been there four year and hasn't so much as chucked a free range egg at a politician so far, I hardly think he is going to start on the molotov cocktails any time soon...

2) For those who believe (as far as I know only Tony Blair himself) that July 7th and Sept 11th attacks were not related to Iraq or UK/US foreign policy, and for those who wish to justify that argument by pointing out that the Sept 11th attacks occurred before the official most recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq... Hmmm Mr Haw has been protesting about policy towards Iraq since well before Sept 11th. Could it be that UK and US foreign policy has been hostile to Iraq for longer than he's letting on? I mean my memory may be failing me but I think we've even invaded Iraq before. And weren't there some sanctions in the 90s?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Praying for a better education?

You might want to start! Turns out that kids at religious schools are getting a much better education than kids at non-faith-based schools. Not fair is it? Meanwhile everyone is talking about cutting out extremism and fundamentalism and the influence of education on that. I don't see many secularist suicide bombers. Wouldn't it be better for everyone if state-provided education was non-religious and parents were left with the freedom to provide whatever religious education they wanted for their children at home and on weekends?

Good news though in education is that apparently as a kid you have a legal right to be taught the facts of life! As if previously anyone thought it was OK to send young people out into the world without even knowing how their own bodies work. Hopefully this will cut through some of the religiously-promoted nonsense that is so widespread at the moment.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

How the other half lives...

...I pay so little attention to the culture of "lads" mags that it would have been quite possible for this one to pass me by. Luckily the Guardian have taken the time to discuss the Zoo Magazine "Win your girlfriend a £4,000 boob job" competition.

I've never been a big fan of magazines which present themselves as being somehow cultural or mainstream and are in practice just pornography. How weird though to imagine that anybody's girlfriend would be thrilled to have their fella come home bragging "I've won you a boob job". Here are six little-known facts about boob jobs, specially compiled for you by the top staff at Cru-blog (that's me):

1) Some women have big boobs naturally and don't want a boob job.

2) Some women with smaller boobs prefer their slim, sporty image and don't want a boob job.

3) Some women don't fancy the idea of invasive surgery and a lengthy recovery process, pain and bruising, and don't want a boob job.

4) Having a boob job significantly reduces the sensitivity of the breasts and hence sexual pleasure, for this reason some women don't want a boob job.

5) Having a boob job usually means a woman will subsequently be unable to breast feed any children they may have. For this reason some women don't want a boob job.

6) Sometimes surgery goes wrong. Aside from the results not living up to expectations, having a boob job can be fatal. for this reason some women don't want a boob job.

If your girlfriend wants a boob job I suggest talking to her about why she feels that way and the dangers associated with surgery. It's probably a self-esteem issue. Probably related to the fact that you're a rubbish boyfriend...

If your boyfriend wants to win you a £4,000 boob job, just dump him, he's an idiot.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Forgotten People

Is the US ever going to do anything about Guantanamo Bay? The inmates have been there now for nearly four years. Unsurprisingly a number of them are trying to get the attention they well deserve by staging a hunger strike. Anmesty International describes conditions in the camp as including substantiated reports of "torture and widespread cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment", and remember the letter that came out at the start of this year?

Surely four years is enough to have gathered whatever evidence they wanted to press charges against the detainees, many of whom incidentally contest their innocence. Amnesty's background report provides for shocking reading. How can we take seriously the foreign policy of a country who behave in this way? We need to step up the pressure on the US and make it clear we are still watching. Anmesty has some suggestions on how to do this.

Some of these guys have family in the UK. In particular Shaker Aamer who has a wife and four children who are British citizens. How can Tony Blair be calling on the British Muslim community to "root out extremism" while he is doing nothing about member of that community illegally detained and tortured at the hands of someone he has round the house for tea on a regular basis?

As for Tony's suggestion that the London bombings have nothing to do with Iraq... is he trying to do us comedians out of a job?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Great article

About the media enthusiasm for any report which backs "innate" gender differences. And they way that reports showing the opposite - much more numerable - are swept under the carpet.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Told you so

Guess what, we were right and the Life (destruction of women's lives) Group were wrong. Selling emergency contraceptives in pharmacies hasn't led to an increase in risky behaviour or sexually transmitted diseases. It even says so on the BBC. In fact what has clearly happened is that since the same number of M.A.P.s are being distributed, we must be saving doctor's valuable time and cutting the cost of healthcare in the UK. Except, of course, for those who are refusing to sell it. To go back to the point of a previous post (and re-iterate a point made by a commentor...) distributing drugs is the job of a pharmacist. If you don't want to distribute the full range of legally available drugs, get a different job.

Thanks for checking

Both I and the cat survived the London bombings, although i was evacuated from the gym this morning and made to wait around in Finsbury Square feeling like an idiot in my shorts for several hours. My email if anyone ever wants to get in touch again is

In fact yesterday I was out of town at the Newbury Comedy Festival where I am through to the final of their new act of the year competition. The final is next Thursday but already sole out so unless you already have tickets - sorry!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Might have known this would happen sooner or later

They have this problem all over the place in the US. Pharmacists refusing to hand over the morning after pill. Of course this story covers the very very nice end of the spectrum - the couple in question actually do feel in some way ready to have a child. Elsewhere is isn't going to be so pretty. It's going to be teenagers too afraid and intimidated to seek help elsewhere. It's going to be women who are physically handicapped and have been advised not to have children as it might jeopardise their own health. Its going to be people having treatments for other illnesses which are likely to harm the child. And its going to be people who for whatever reason do not want to have children, who don't feel they're ready for children. And the children will suffer too.
The pharmacist has I think broken the law by not offering information on where else to go for the drugs. Also insisting that the reason for refusing the pills is "high morals"?! I have "high morals" and among them is I think people have the right to chose what medication they take for themselves.

Of course the article only bothers interviewing the woman cos as we all know girls - its our own fault if we get pregnant isn't it? Men have nothing to do with pregnancy whatsoever!

Weirdly at the same time, thanks to increased traffic on here after I was listed in the britblog round-up of UK blogs, people are arguing that pregnant women (and women who MIGHT get pregnant) should be excluded from the job market! And then we discover that women who try to avoid getting pregnant are refused the help they are entitled to. To the untrained eye it might look as if it had very little to do with "high morals" or "economic rational" and everything to do with deep-seated wide-spread misogyny.