I’ve known a number of Down’s Syndrome people in my life, one living well into her sixties. They have all been such calm, peaceful people. OK, a mock tantrum from time to time, but gentle, happy folk.
How wonderful to see Rio Williams’ smiling 14-month-old face doing some modelling. He’s had major surgery twice and spent 45 nights in four different hospitals (about 12.5% of his life). There is a growing habit, in pubs and restaurants mainly, of adding 25p to bills which goes to charity – I hope the chain benefiting from Rio’s smile are giving something towards fighting Down’s Syndrome.
Tesco is putting all the knives it sells in locked glass cabinets. We know there is an age limit for buying knives, but the trouble is the evil folk who are committing knife crime are not like you and me; they don’t queue up at the till to pay and get their bonus points, they just steal them! Whilst Tesco deserves the praise it is getting, this is a bit like what happens with neighbourhood watch schemes. In part, neighbourhood watch tends to move crime from one area to another and what Tesco has done will mean crime-goers will have to do the same. That will include DIY shops… and not just knives. What about screwdrivers, chisels and move?
How did we allow ourselves to get here? I’ve spent the last 50 years speaking out and fighting what at times feels like a one-man battle against the constant little concessions that have dragged society down. The Prime Minister’s meetings this week and ideas on knife crime are welcome and whilst I know we expect a lot of our teachers, I thought their response wasn’t good. They have a window on situations the rest of us don’t have. They are not being singled out as teachers, but as members of the community being asked to keep their eyes and ears open!
There’s a lot of competition here for this week! But number one has to be Brunei… but how many bad is it? Of course, there is a limit to how much any country should meddle in the affairs of another, that is even part of the Brexit debate! But this is 2019 and the UN has banned “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. While some of that might need defining, stoning to death falls right in the middle of it. Celebrities are queuing up to call for boycotting Brunei-owned businesses throughout the world. Oscar-winning actor George Clooney has called for a boycott of luxury hotels owned by The Brunei Investment Company, such as the Beverly Hills Hotel, The Dorchester in London and the Plaza Athenee in Paris.
The EU has protested, the UN has “slammed” the decision and the United States has criticized Brunei’s decision to implement the laws, urging it to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
However, Brunei is just one of many countries in the world where same-sex relationships are punishable by death, and one of many more that are outright hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. The death penalty applies for homosexuality in nine countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania (applies only to Muslim men), Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (applies only to Muslims), Somalia, and now Brunei. In dozens of others, homosexuality can result in jail time.
The question that keeps nagging at me though, is why change the law, and why now?
Brexit drags on… Well, I don’t need to tell you that or how bad the protraction is for the UK, but we now know that business activity is at its lowest for six years. Private sector output is also at its lowest level since late 2012. The index for the all dominant service sector, on which we rely so much, dropped from 51.3 to 48.9 in March, anything below 50 shows things are going south. We have been outperforming much of Europe… but that is changing. Economists are predicting growth of under 1% this year, but given all that is going on and all the uncertainty, I reckon British business needs a pat on the back for doing so well. All it needs is clarity and certainty and it will be out there giving its all, especially in the SME sector. You don’t need me to comment on politicians – well, about 55% of them probably.
Couldn’t resist this one. Ladies jeans with three legs! Not sure why, but hey, that’s fashion! I’ve only seen a picture, not a video and am wondering what image is given when you walk in them! Condemned by many on social media (which of course is as alive and well as ever and still attacking our values and our intelligence!) but selling out all over the country! It is mad! OK, a bit of a laugh and maybe fun for a party, but… is it part of a much bigger problem?
Two brothers Hamzah and Hassan Hussain have an African lion that they drive round with in their car! You can get a permit to import wild animals from Africa and they have raised Simba, now 26 months old, since he was two weeks old. He now eats 5 kilos of beef a day and Hassan says he’s like his baby. He can even put his hand in Simba’s mouth! Although, he recommends the rest of us should stand still if we see him… even if he’s been fed!