Author Archives: Kirsten Johnson

It’s International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world. The theme this year is #PressforProgress. One startling fact: the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report shows that gender parity is 217 years away!

And on to harassment in its many forms – our own Wera Hobhouse MP is calling on the government to make upskirting a criminal offence as reported by Caron on Tuesday. Wera says,

The fact that this is not a sexual offence in England baffles me, as much as it horrifies me. In Scotland upskirting was made an offence back in 2009. There is simply no excuse for ignoring this issue any longer.

Relying on outraging public decency is absurd. It should not matter how public it was or who else saw it. The law should focus on the individual victims and the crime committed against them. It is their body that is being taken advantage of without their consent.

But true equality is about resolving power inequality. Professor Mary Beard’s latest book, Women and Power, discusses the structures inherent in society which need to change. In discussions with a friend this week we realised that until we get most histories written by women, most laws written by women, society governed by women in the majority at every level, we will never achieve gender equality. The world is not only run predominantly by men but is also contextualised in books, histories, films, etc., by men. The whole world is skewed by a man’s perspective on everything. Living is framed by men.

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Does Vince look fat in this?

Not a question I’ve heard, but I got your attention!

The way we view men and women is still fundamentally flawed. I imagine our Lib Dem male MPs have several suits they use in cycle, only having to choose a shirt and tie.

But our women MPs? It’s a different matter, though it shouldn’t be. I imagine hair, makeup, matching shoes, accessories and the right outfit for the right occasion are all things our women MPs think about. Why??

As a prospective parliamentary candidate, one of the women-only training sessions I attended was on image. I …

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#TimesUp – victims of domestic violence need safe places to go!

Yesterday’s #TimesUp campaign to stand up against the abuse and harassment of women built on the awareness-raising of #MeToo. Women’s Aid, in joining organisations around the world for #TimesUp, said

“A culture that enables abuse, control and violence is thriving without challenge…..our first response to countless survivors is that she is not alone and she is not to blame. Control, abuse or violence towards an individual is never acceptable. Spotting the patterns and making individuals and agencies accountable for their actions is essential if more people are to come out

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Nascot Lawn respite centre wins High Court reprieve

Nascot Lawn, the only respite centre in Hertfordshire for children with complex needs, was due to close in May. Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group announced in November that it was withdrawing funding for this vital service.

Several parents got together to fight this ruling. And yesterday, the High Court found that Herts Valley CCG needs to work with Hertfordshire County Council on the future plan for Nascot Lawn. Funding is now guaranteed until August. If they cannot reach an agreement on keeping Nascot Lawn open, Hertfordshire County Council can refer the …

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#TreatMeWell campaign launched today

Mencap has launched its Treat Me Well Campaign today, calling for those with Learning Disabilities to be given reasonable adjustments in hospitals.

The facts are shocking. Every year, 1200 people with a learning disability die avoidably in hospital care.

I blogged this morning on the disgraceful state of PIP and ESA assessments, many suffered by those with learning disability. This is another aspect of how people with learning disability are not listened to, are not enabled, and are sidelined in assessments. This video gives you a good idea of the issues:

I am on the Board of the Fragile X Society. Fragile X, a genetic condition, is the leading inherited cause of learning disability. Thousands of people with Fragile X will have had the experiences show in this video.

It is very easy to make modifications. Allow extra time for appointments. Use simple language. Break explanations down into smaller, understandable sentences. Allow time for mental processing. It’s what people with learning disabilities are asking for.

The Treat Me Well report is well worth a read. Mencap’s research showed (p.25)

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“Utterly damning report” on PIP and ESA Assessments

Yesterday, the government published the latest Work and Pensions Select Committee report on PIP and ESA Assessments.

The benefits system is clearly failing – asking a claimant how they caught Down’s Syndrome is appalling. One lady was put down as able to walk her dog, even though she did not own a dog and could hardly walk.

The most vulnerable in our society are not being properly …

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Building on our green credentials

We are the party who introduced the 5p charge for plastic bags and set up the Green Investment Bank. We led the way on investment in renewables and in green technologies. So what’s next?

Party members would have received a recent newsletter with a link to the party’s vision on how we can save our seas from plastic pollution.

We are calling for the government to commit to a Plastic-Free Charter.

We need to tackle our throw-away culture by providing incentives to reduce, reuse and recycle.

I couldn’t agree more.

Aberporth, in West Wales,

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Mar - 2:11pm
    @ Jennie sorry, Jennie lass.
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 21st Mar - 2:11pm
    It seems anything goes as long as we leave the eu, thus fulfilling the will of the people. The government have got themselves in a...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Mar - 2:05pm
    Oh, dear. here we go again. John Marriott is completely right. The post from Mr Morrison is flawed from the start by including a statutory...
  • User AvatarLiberal 21st Mar - 1:43pm
    @Lorenzo The idea would be to streamline the system so we'd no longer be electing 2 sets of MPs - 1 for the Assembly and...
  • User AvatarSean Hyland 21st Mar - 1:41pm
    Bill le Breton I resigned my party membership when Charles Kennedy was forced to resign. I didn't agree with the direction the party was heading...
  • User AvatarWilliam Fowler 21st Mar - 1:13pm
    We already have two sets of MPs from Scotland and Wales, the idea that what the country needs is yet another layer of overpaid politicians...