Posts tagged ‘UK’

May 23, 2012

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

The juicy fruit in this case being the sponsorship of a prestigious book competition!  Earlier this week it was announced that mobile phone company, Orange would not be renewing its sponsorship of the the Orange Prize for Fiction. 

Open exclusively to women,

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May 23, 2012

IVF Over Cancer Treatment

The British government are proposing to offer IVF on the NHS to women over 40 and those with infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis C and HIV, or who have disabilities and are unable to have sex. There is a strong argument against this in the current climate especially as treatment and drugs for patients suffering from cancer etc… are being withdrawn.

Our dinner table discussion last night was should IVF be available on the NHS for these categories of women over cancer treatment?

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May 14, 2012

Olympic Tangle

The ArcelorMittal Orbit opened last week as the newest addition to the London skyline and caused much debate.   Publicly funded, the structure was designed by artist Anish Kapoor and it offers a panoramic views from the top for an entry fee of £15.

Criticisms have been compared to

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May 2, 2012

Rich List Women

The top 5 women in the Sunday Times Rich List are said to be there by default, meaning that they are there through divorce or inheritance write Jane Martinson in the Guardian. In fact the 8th woman in the list, Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, is the first woman to accumulate her fortune of £870million through her own business venture and is 84th on the overall list. Apparently, there are no men in the Sunday Times Rich List who have amassed a fortune through marriage or inheritance. What none of them have inherited a family business that their father built????

Martinson suggests that this is no triumph for feminism but I do beg to differ?

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April 25, 2012

School Lottery

Dear Diary,

Last week, we found out the my daughter did not get our first choice school despite being in the catchment area. It is a lottery system that depends on siblings, special needs and of course the recession led baby boom….

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April 24, 2012

Dining With The PM

James Murdoch is in a long line of dinner guests who have courted Prime Minister, David Cameron, to obtain political access for commercial gain. It was recently reported that 15 donors enjoyed secret dinners and lunches at Downing Street and Chequers parting with approximately £25million in cash. These donors would have had access to information and also the ability to influence policies that would ultimately effect you and I.

The term bribery comes to mind. But to what extent and what do we really expect…..

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February 9, 2012

Cappuccino Walla

Starbucks is due to open its first store in India by the end of the year. Location; either Mumbai or Delhi. Watch out Bubbly, Starbucks knows your in town.

So can a nation that drinks 838 tonnes of tea a year be converted to coffee?

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February 9, 2012

A Worried Parent

Dear Diary,

I was really shocked when I heard about the secret implantation of contraception in teenage girls. To my knowledge, sex under 16 is still illegal and for me this is just condoning underage sexual activity?

I do believe that sex education needs to be progressive, but is handing out contraceptives really the way forward? Maybe….. As a mother of two toddler girls, this is scary. Are my children going to be having sex at 10????

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February 6, 2012

Terry and Huhne

Two British public figure’s lives and careers have been transformed by the criminal charges they face.

John Terry has been sacked as England captain

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February 2, 2012

Beckham’s Briefs

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………………………………………

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February 1, 2012

Hall of Fame: Baroness Warsi

Sayeeda Warsi is Minister without Portfolio & Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party.  Seldom without an opinion, Baroness Warsi is a regular on BBC1 Question Time, however, Baroness Warsi also divides opinion especially amongst the media and Muslims.  Politics aside, there is no doubt that Baroness Warsi is a high achieving ambitious woman and here, we hope to shed a little more [interesting] light on her:

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January 30, 2012

Smacking

Has anti-smacking laws created a lawless society? David Lammy MP certainly think so. In fact, in an article for the Guardian, he goes as far as to say that the riots last August are a result of working class parents not being able to physically discipline their children and doing so would prevent them from joining gangs and entering into knife crime.

How?

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January 27, 2012

A is for Apple, D is for Sunshine

Last year a report highlighted an increase in rickets in the South Asian population and the need for raising greater awareness of vitamin D or exposing the skin to sunshine, the best way that vitamin D is produced and absorbed into the body.  However, the chief medical officer in England has now advised

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January 26, 2012

Downton Abbey Wins

Last night Downton Abbey was crowned best drama at the National TV Awards.  I hardly watch tv at all but I am so so glad a friend recommended this period drama to me one Sunday.  It was an episode in the middle of series two but that didn’t matter, I became fond of the characters instantly and the fashion and interior design even more.

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January 24, 2012

W.E. Means Worst Ever

Madonna’s film W.E. has been savaged by film critics all over the world.

Has anyone seen it?

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January 24, 2012

Desperately Seeking

Oprah Winfrey caused a stir in India this week as she visited Mumbai, Agra and finally Jaipur for the literature festival.  As I checked to see what one of the USA’s most influential women has been up to since The Last Show I was intrigued by this enquiry on her website:

Are you a middle class woman in Mumbai?
 Are you a typical middle class  woman living in Mumbai who can you talk to us about what it is like to be a woman in India today?  Do you have an opinion about how women

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January 19, 2012

Birmingham In Top 20

Birmingham was voted one of the top 20 places in the world to visit in the world by the New York Times!!!

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January 18, 2012

Extradition

Extradition is a hot topic at the moment as Sarah Ferguson avoids being sent packing to Turkey for exposing a brutal orphanage and Richard O’Dwyer is appealing against his extradition to America for listing a numerous sites on which you can watch new American series for free.

  

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January 12, 2012

McBooks From McDonald’s

I didn’t know the sad statistic that one in three children in the UK do not own a book.  Whether this is due to poverty or parents such as Victoria Beckham who famously does not read is unknown but help is coming from an unlikely corner: McDonald’s.

From now until 7th February

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October 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Private Eye!

If you’re not familiar with this fabulous rag, let me introduce you to one of Britain’s most amazing fortnightly satirical magazine on Britain’s current affairs.  On occassion the Private Eye seems like the UK’s only independent news reporting the story behind the story and in between the lines.

With every issue that comes through my letterbox I laugh out loud at the articles and cartoons, especially ‘supermodels’ and am shocked and angered

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September 27, 2011

0800 Calling India

A few years ago there was a craze for British and American companies to provide its customer service from Indian call centres. A plethora of centres opened to employ tens of thousands of people. It seems the novelty is over and the companies are rapidly moving their customer service back. So why have India’s call centres not worked for UK and American companies?

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September 1, 2011

Cheap Heart


I was a student in the days where we all enjoyed a free university education and graduated without the debt woes of the current geeks.  I am Scottish and I have to say I am pretty ashamed of Scotland’s poor camaraderie with the rest of the UK when it comes to tuition fees. 

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August 30, 2011

To Be Or Not To Be – Resuscitated?

That is the question being asked by a family that is suing the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, and a hospital trust in England in a case that could be important for all of us.  The Health Secretary is accused of acting unlawfully in not issuing policy or clear instructions regarding Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) after a family member died as a result of a Do Not Resuscitate being forcibly added to her medical record.

Forcibly? The woman who died discovered accidentally

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August 24, 2011

Smell Ya Later, Grandma!

Apparently more and more British pensioners are retiring abroad with Spain being the top old folks arm chair of choice.  My cousin and I were discussing this over breakfast last Sunday as we lamented that it is highly unlikely that there will be a state pension when we are older even though we are paying for other people to enjoy it – not that either of us could sustain ourselves on the piddly amount given anyway.

I told my cousin that retiring to India might be an option for me

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August 23, 2011

Genie in a Bottle

I don’t smoke and I can count the number of smokers in my social circle in the UK on one hand.  The reverse is true in India: I can count the number of NON-smoking friends on one hand, I probably wouldn’t even need the hand to count.  Almost everyone I know in Delhi smokes and they are shocked every time I refuse a fag like they are trying to test me and most of them call me a good girl – are they calling me a geek?

One of my acquaintances in Delhi

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August 12, 2011

They’re Just Not Funny!

Have you noticed the lack of funny Asians lately?  Before you whip up the comments about the fabulous Goodness Gracious Me, may I remind you that it was written in 1996.  Nineteen ninety-six!  Asian stand-ups are uninspiring, I haven’t heard of anyone funny in ages.

I haven’t seen new comedy duo Asian Provocateurs yet

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August 9, 2011

More Than A Building

Last night Channel 4 broadcast, The Secret Life of Buildings, on the impacts of buildings on our work, education, relationships and well being.

 

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August 8, 2011

Penelope’s Pit Stop

Hasn’t the experience of driving long distance changed in Britain?  I used to dread the service stations with their awful smelly loos and stale sandwiches or greasy spoon McDonalds alternatives.

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August 8, 2011

London’s Burning

Friends from around the world have been contacting me to ask if I’m okay as images of London’s riotous weekend fire across their screens (fortunately I’m not near the action at all).  I found it very interesting that our political leaders did not express their concern about the safety of Londoners

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August 2, 2011

Please Recycle Me

Two interesting stories on the same larger issue: organ donation.  A man is recovering in hospital after receiving an artificial heart transplant and new applicants for a UK drivers licence will now have to complete information regarding organ donation.

The man who received the new hi-tech heart is still waiting for an organ donor for a real heart

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August 2, 2011

Witness

There was an interesting debate on TV discussing whether being witness to a crime is worth it or if as citizens we are better off not getting involved.  According to some members of the panel witnesses are let down by the police and the legal system

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July 28, 2011

Legally Addicted

Prescriptions  for pills have soared 70% over the last decade.  Is this good news or bad?  My immediate reaction was to shake my head and lament at the hypochondriacs that must be fuelling the figure and others who would rather pop a pill for their problems rather than take responsibility for their diet or lifestyle choices.  However,

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July 18, 2011

The Scandal Keeps Growing

What a week, News International seems to be getting into more trouble by the day and the other papers can’t get enough of the action.  A friend in Delhi who writes for a broadsheet is enjoying the scandalous spectacle and he writes the gossip column!

The police’s involvement with News International is sinister

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July 5, 2011

Tabloid Twits

Don’t you feel sick at recent developments in the phone hacking scandal? It is truly scandalous that it is now alleged that News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s voicemail. Apparently the hacker deleted messages to make space for new messages to come through. What on earth qualifies a hacker to determine what is a relevant message? What if the police concluded that Milly had simply run away? Milly’s poor parents would have been given false hope that she was still alive.

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June 14, 2011

McDelhis

Strictly Anti-Fine Dining, McDonalds in India does offer a local range of naughty fast food that they really should offer to Britain. After all, if our favourite national dish was once chicken tikka masala, why would Brits not want a McSpicy Paneer burger?

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June 14, 2011

Dr Death

You may have heard that Dr Death, aka Jack Kevorkian, died earlier this month.  It is believed that he assisted with 130 suicides, which earned him the moniker.  He took on the US authorities by actually filming himself giving a lethal injection to a patient, for which he received a prison sentence.

This is a hot topic as BBC2 showed adocumentary last night of Peter Smedley committing suicide.

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June 1, 2011

Food Fight

The UN made an ominous prediction that 2011 would be a year of food riots around the world.  Rioting has been predicted even in Britain – something I doubt will happen, not a very British reaction to rising prices is it? We just moan and pay.

Food grain price increases will of course affect developing nations much more and I have seen prices rise on an almost monthly basis in India

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May 25, 2011

The Essential Relationship

President Obama’s speech today at Westminster Hall to British Parliament praised the relationship between USA and UK as “one of the oldest and strongest alliances the world has ever known”.  Both leaders have refrained from calling this alliance a special relationship, as their predecessors have, but an “essential” one. A relationship based on co-dependence where both leaders have come of age and are seeing eye to eye on foreign policies, especially The Middle East.

As I watched Cameron and Obama playing table tennis yesterday, I wondered whether their relationship was of the same calibre of JK Kennedy and MacMillan, Thatcher and Reagan, Bush and Blair.

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May 25, 2011

Eurovision Debt Contest

What is going on in Euro zone, another country joins the downgrade top of the pops every week. Today Germany’s cost of borrowing increased, Italy yesterday, Spain last week and we’ve been reading about the Greek and Irish crises for some time now.  Without wanting to seem like a card carrying Tory, why are we legally obliged to help these countries in their bailout when we have enough of our own financial problems to deal and we do not use the Euro? 

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