Tag Archives: news


The sun shone this evening as I strolled from my office in Whitehall to Embankment tube.
The roads seemed empty apart from the presence of police vehicles, who’s sirens joined with the noise of the helicopter to disturb the tranquillity of the evening.
No one appeared to be manning the “Evening Standard” stall outside Embankment station, which seemed odd given the events of the day.
“Watch out for card clash”, the automated announcement said as we commuters filed along, in a more or less orderly fashion.
I passed part of my journey home, from Victoria to Gipsy Hill, in conversation with a lady. We spoke about my guide dog, Trigger.
Just another daily commute then, when I reached the pub, the horror of the day replayed again on television.

My place of work is in Whitehall, some little distance from Parliament where the terrorist atrocity occurred this afternoon. I am unharmed and (fortunately) none of my colleagues or friends where affected by today’s incident. However the shock remains with me.

Charlie Hebdo Front Cover

The Independent and The Guardian are, I understand the only 2 leading UK newspapers who have published the cover of the latest Charlie Hebdo. In the interests of freedom of expression the article in The Independent is linked to here (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/charlies-back–and-controversial-as-ever–as-its-staff-take-aim-at-powerful-new-friends-9974065.html).

Norway’s Success Purchase Ban, A Success?

I posted yesterday (11 August) regarding the publication of a study into the effectiveness of Norway’s sex purchase ban. The study found that the ban has, overall been a success. In that earlier post I said that others would, no doubt dispute the findings of the study and, sure enough the International Union Of Sex Workers has a piece on their website doing precisely that, http://swop-nyc.org/wpress/2014/08/12/nordic-model-redefines-success-as-no-results-all-collateral-damage. As I noted on 11 August this debate is sure to run and run.

Please Help Find Tess The Missing Guide Dog

Below is the text of an e-mail which I have received from The Guide Dogs For The Blind Association (GDBA) regarding a 6-year-old guide dog which went missing in Scotland. GDBA are asking for the public’s help in reuniting owner and guide dog. As a guide dog owner myself I know very well the incredibly strong bond which develops between owner and dog. To me Trigger, my guide dog is not merely a mobility aid (although he does a fantastic job), he is also a close friend who accompanies me almost everywhere. If, by any chance you can help Guide Dogs please do contact them.


Many thanks,




“You may have heard through the media about Tess, the guide dog who has gone missing.


The six-year-old black curly coated retriever disappeared while walking off-lead with her owner in Nairn, a seaside town about 16 miles east of Inverness.

Obviously this is an extremely distressing situation, particularly for the guide dog owner, and we are doing absolutely everything in our power to reunite

the partnership.


We have enlisted the help of local organisations and agencies in the effort to find Tess, including the police, dog wardens, veterinary practices and the

SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).


We have been in touch with rail networks, as well as Royal Mail to get word out to postal workers and drivers.


An appeal was launched in local media shortly after Tess’s disappearance on 23 July and thousands of people have now got behind it on




Guide Dogs volunteers and supporters have been playing a vital role in our appeal to help find Tess and we’d like to ask for your support too.


Although she went missing in Scotland, Tess could now be in any part of the UK, so we really do need everyone’s help to find her. If you see a dog who

looks like Tess for sale in your local area, or notice that someone has recently acquired a black curly coated retriever, or if you have any other concrete

information which may help us, please get in touch with us immediately on 0800 688 8409. Please do not reply directly to this email.


We are running a poster campaign to widen the appeal.

Please download our new official poster


share it on Facebook



or print it off and display it in your window (particularly if you live in Scotland).


The more people who support our appeal, the better our chances of finding Tess and reuniting her with her owner.


Jayne George

Director of Fundraising and Marketing”.


Islamification Of Birmingham Schools

The Telegraph reports on the ongoing investigations in to whether Islamic radicals attempted to islamify Birmingham schools. The Office For Standards In Education (OFSTED) is investigating claims that teachers who voiced opposition to the alleged plans where passed over for promotion in favour of more compliant colleagues. Other allegations include pupils being suspended for holding hands and girls being treated as second class citizens with some teachers favouring boys over them. If true this is deeply worrying.

For the article please visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10790441/Guide-to-school-Islamisation-by-ringleader-of-Trojan-Horse-plot.html

Is the Game Up for Sweden’s Prostitutes?

A recent article in The Independent suggests that Sweden’s criminalisation of the purchasers of sexual services while leaving sex workers free to ply their trade has resulted in a dramatic decrease in prostitution. The Swedish approach is predicated on the view that prostitution constitutes the abuse of prostitutes by men who hold the levers of power. No woman would voluntarily choose to sell their body, consequently buyers of sexual services are exploiting vunnerable women and must be punished by fines or imprisonment for doing so.

A number of comments in response to the article question the view that prostitution is necessarily exploitative and (rightly in my opinion) point to the bias of the piece’s concentration on the opinions of the Swedish police force. Little if any room is given to voices questioning the effectiveness or equity of the Swedish Law on Prostitution.

For the article please visit http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/why-the-games-up-for-swedens-sex-trade-8548854.html