Thursday, 29 November 2007

"Arrange Me a Marriage"

I am watching the above programme about marriage and the current 'star' is an idiot in her past relationships. The bird on it went through the 'star's past relationships and that's the sort of thing that underlined it.

She, for example, hooked up with a guy who ended up cheating on her and so left him. She went to his best mate, who - shockingly - cheated on her, too. So she got back with the first guy.

I'm not that retarded.

So, just to make sure I'm not an idiot, I'm going to do a brief run-down of my old relationships to prove I actually am still perfect. Or near-as-dammit.

The beginning is a very good place to start, allegedly, so let's do it.

(Like during healthcare prose, I'll use pseudonyms so I don't get caught out)

Girlfriend 1: BK

Not Burger King, unfortunately. I'd been kissing a lot of girls, like a real tart, but never really been going out with one by 17. I met BK through a mutual friend and we bonded over music, mostly. I did most of the chasing and, after a bit, we hooked up. Two things really led to the end of BK and I. Firstly she said she didn't really like public displays of affection. Which sort of betrays the point. She wouldn't, for example, hold my hand. Or give me a kiss on the cheek. Yet when we were alone she was a bit of a wannabe sex goddess. Mixed messages for sure. Bizarre. Ontop of that, we were together over the bits of Christmas in whatever year it was. I hosted two parties over the big nights (Christmas Eve and New Year) and she came to neither night. We ended shortly after, with her making quite a scene of it. So public displays of grief - she liked those.

Result: I made all of the moves and ended up making the terminal one when she became far too clingy. Began to set a trend, really. 2-0.

Girlfriend 2: CL

CL actually knew BK, which was a bit weird, but funny. Ever since before BK, in my tarty days, I'd always been very pro-girlfriend, thanks to Saved By The Bell and other such pieces of Americana. Whereas BK was lovely in a kooky pixie princess kind of way, CL was beautiful. Way outta my league, back then, I thought. It transpired that (again, mostly thanks to my efforts) she liked me, and we got it together. And for a bit it was perfect. Then she decided to ignore my texts. Then she got annoyed that I stopped texting her when she ignored me. It sort of went downhill from there. I broke down in tears in the middle of a canteen about this one, which was a bit of a low.

Result: My first real heartbreak. And I was really broken. But, in what seems like a world ago, I wasn't really bitter. I blamed myself. And felt the sting of karma, worrying I was perhaps too clingy to her and not hot enough. 0-2. The dream was over.

Girlfriend 3: SC

SC and I met at college. That's before University, if there are any Americans reading. She'd actually perved on me during a dance performance by me, which was bizarre. There was a big night back in my college days were we went to watch bands at a rugby club and drink cheap beer which they sold to us even though we were underage and they knew it. I sort of got speaking to her there. Someone had the bright idea of getting on the hour-long bus ride into Liverpool to get more hammered. We flirted on a number ten bus and kissed all night long in a sweaty club. From then on we were pretty on-and-off, mostly due to myself fucking up twice and being completely immature to near-adult relationships. She was also a bit of a dicktease by the end of it, so we were hardly the perfect couple. The night out before I left for uni I think I attempted to apologise which she took as a come on. Which I suppose it was, a little bit. But I walked away, so I count it as a no score draw.

Result: Bit of a score draw, really. Call it 3-3. I was immature and a bit of a dickhead. She got a little bit hurt and so decided to hurt me. All fun and games, really. Good preparation for the battle of the sexes to come.

Girlfriend 4: IW

Tricky to count this one as an actual girlfriend, but I will do for the sake of ease. I met IW through a friend and, to put it bluntly, a few days later she was giving me a blowjob in my living room. This was after she insulted me to all my friends, who she didn't know, and acted like something of a druggie. Suffice to say, after this I started to ignore her. She didn't take kindly to this and once threatened to punch me. Good days, they were. I extracted myself from the situation, past offers of 'just casual sex'. The kicker was, in the early days of us 'going out' I'd lent her a fiver, which I never got back. My friends now insist I'd paid five squid for a blowjob, which is quite funny, all things considered. I'm glad I came out of the 'relationship' without a black eye.

Result: My first proper sexual experience. And on my living room floor to boot. IW taught me that girls can be scary and just a little bit twisted, which was, in retrospect a highly useful insight. With the fiver in her pocket, she just edged it. 2-3.

Girlfriend 5: JK

I met JK quite randomly at University. JK was great. Fuck that, she was amazing. I lost my virginity to her, which was all kinds of fun. We sang together live a few times which was on the romantic side. And generally, when together and drunk couldn't keep our hands off of each other when we were out. Sometimes when we woke up, in the light of day, we were a bit awkward but I put that down to the early stages of getting to know one another. Pure honeymoon period, really. I once thought I fucked the whole thing up by being drunk enough to be sick on a big night out. She put me in a taxi, got out of the taxi when I was going to be sick, sat with me while I was sick, walked me back to her bed and let me sleep. Easily the most romantic thing which has ever happened to me. As I say, I thought I'd fucked it up but she insisted I hadn't, musing how weird it was that she still fancied me rotten after seeing me lying near my own bile. About 2 months after this she stopped speaking to me, and I later found out from a friend that she wasn't really interested anymore. This broke my heart, somewhat.

Result: I was a broken man. I pretended I wasn't, and found strength at times which I can still look back to proudly, but in the end she'd thrashed me. 1-4, I'm talking. It took quite the while to move onwards and upwards.

Girlfriend 6: MD

MD was, shockingly, a bit of a case of rebound. I still had faith in the image of a relationship and she was reasonably fun so we got together for a few months. She was a virgin and, careful of the pitfalls, I told her I didn't want to have sex soon. She insisted she wanted to do it, so we did, and it was awful. I'm no sexual predator, but she was terrible in bed and tried far too hard to be porn-star-sexy. I ended the relationship after 2 months, to which she wailed "I can't believe I gave you my virginity!". After the caution I'd used, and the amount she'd insisted, I was not amused.

Result: 3-0 to me, this time. It would've been two, but I got a late goal when her stories of me being a grade-A cunt fell apart and people started to realise she was a strange one.

Girlfriend 7: SL

MD had told everyone who would listen about what a cunt I apparently was. SL hadn't been involved in the circles these rumours were abound in, so was somewhat immune. SL was something of a legend before I actually spoke to her. She was hot, she was cool, she was interesting. I'd always knew she was hot, but I really fell for her when I found a story of hers on disk in the library. I read it all before I got to her name, returned it to her and things sort of proceeded from there. We were together for about 9 months into the end of University, with all the ups and downs of that. She moved back down South for 3 months and then went around the world for 6 months. We got together again when she got back for 9 months which subsequently went down the pan, due to her getting a fancy job and turning completely uncool. The relationship was, suffice to say, rocky. I felt like I was holding up the entire charade on my own, which was a bit of a theme through the whole trail.

Result: It was a tough 0-0 draw for the entirety, with each side jockeying for position but coming up against formidable opposition. I scored a late goal, maybe even a penalty, in the 31st minute of extra time, capturing the points and happiness for myself. 1-0 AET.

Getting out of my lovely-to-awful relationship with SL made me realise I actually quite like being single. More reasonably I could say the end of things with SL convinced me away from the typical view of pop-society that relationships are wonderful and all there is to life.

Suffice to say, going through the main relationships of my life has proved one important thing to me. I'm doing things better than idiots on 'Arrange Me a Marriage'.


Good day today.

I spent an hour waiting for (stupid fucking) ENT (that's the Ear, Nose and Throat Department to you non-hospitalites out there) with a patient.

This patient is a sometimes ill-tempered human being, a few years younger than me. Previously I thought they were quite a difficult and moody person but the time waiting allowed me to get to know them a bit more. It also allowed me to develop my personal skills, especially with people I consider quite 'unlike' me. So, whereas some student nurses may have considered this an hour wasted, I thought it was quite valuable.

On other news I got to experience pushing a Porter's wheelchair, which is relatively impossible. I think they get taught the tricks and want noone else to know them. That's job protection, that is.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Entertainment News

Two quick points, really.

1: Christian dickheads - If you don't want to see The Golden Compass, don't go see it. This 'boycott' rubbish is hilariously bad, especially after what happened post-Da Vinci Code.

2: Brining Billie Piper (aka Rose Tyler) back to Doctor Who? That's just a little, tiny, weeny bit pathetic, don't you think? It would've been reasonably, if the script hadn't pretty much said: "Rose can never, ever, ever, ever come back." Don't get me wrong - she is a decent actress and the character is engaging. But now we're facing a situation were the Doctor will have three assistants. All female. All from London or thereabouts. All with the same accent and same basic characteristics. Hardly screams amazing fun, does it? Not to me, but then again - I'm not a stiff shirted Southern BBC knobjockey.

Clocking Off

I got out of work I didn't give a shit about because... Well. I didn't give a shit about it. I went in. Avoided work. Did the bare minimum. Then made sure I was out of that door at quitting time. I got into nursing as I wanted to do something with my time that I cared about and didn't want to leave as soon as the second hand made the minute hand click over to clocking off time.

Today there was a planning meeting for one of my patients - a real, old school, proper gent. The meeting was delayed while we changed the patient and hoisted them into a wheelchair. This delay meant the meeting would go on a little bit past quitting time, which quite sadly meant none of the Staff Nurses would sit in for it.

I was happy to sit in past my letting off time, but we needed a qualified member of the nursing team, too. Eventually my boss, who's lovely, popped in but I'd made the notes and completed the important stuff.

I know I'm young and naive and optimistic, but come on. 25 minutes extra for a patient's peace of mind? Hardly the end of the world, is it?

Monday, 26 November 2007

Free Speech and Fascism

Link link

Two of the biggest idiots have been invited to speak at a 'Free Speech' conference at Oxford University.

A lot of people think this is a bad idea. That it amounts to giving fascists a soapbox to the wider world. These people are on the wrong side.

The conference is not for them to air their views. It's concerned with free speech, which should be universal as long as it doesn't put lives in immediate danger.

Let's not forget President Whatshisface of Iran spoke at the University of Columbia (or was it Columbus? I can't be arsed researching) and looked like a bit of a prick by the end of it. A smug prick, but still a prick. It didn't really change the world, to tell the truth.

And neither is this. The only way it'll change the world remotely is if people made a song and dance about denying them attendance. They could moan they were being silenced by the liberal mainstream. Not that a bunch of Oxford toffs matter much, but it'd be a great PR stunt.

This way they get to join the debate and, most probably, get shown up as the idiots they are by much more talented and well informed debaters.

An old friend of mine mentioned it's fine for them to speak at the conference as long as the protests outside are supported, too. Free speech swings both ways, or it should do.

On the 'Complete Dickhead' front, joining the two above is our old mate Hugo Chavez who is actually acting like a petulant kid in terminating relations with various states that do something to piss him off. That's socialism, is it? Ha.

Did I mention...

I'm using this blog as something of a reflective diary, too?

Well, I'll have to edit it, but you get the idea.

A reflective diary is something us students are encouraged to keep in order to record, reflect and change our ways for the better.

Today my mentor and the practice placement coordinator, both of whom I get on with really well, weren't in. I was assigned to work with someone I'd never met before. They were not a nurse who didn't use English as a first language (which often makes things difficult, to be honest). Additionally they were not trained (or in my opinion suited) to handling a student nurse. I felt somewhat like a third wheel but endeavoured to try and help. Eventually I got the opportunity to leave my limited duties to attend Ward Round.

(Ward Rounds, much like in Scrubs, involves a big shot Doctor going around their patients with the few student doctors as well as Occupational Therapists and Physios talking about and to the patient. Occasionally they want a nurse's opinion, so someone should be there)

I think it's important to attend Rounds as a student. In this case I was the only member of the nursing team there, which was somewhat strange from my second week, but I believed I could handle it or I wouldn't have volunteered.

Anyway, that took a bit of time - and felt like time well spent, even if the Consultant wasn't really interested in what I had to say. After that I basically sat around the Nurse's Station for the rest of my shift, briefly running a few non-educational errands.

I did get to feed back information on some patients and the Ward Round during the handover to the late shift, which was valuable as an exercise for me, but still. I felt the lack of things for me to do for the late morning to afternoon was a bit of a waste for myself and for the ward.

What can I do about this, in hindsight? Well, with only a week of experience behind me I don't feel confident to act independently. Additionally it's against hospital policies. I am, then, somewhat at a loss at what I could do in the future. I rely on my mentor to lead my studies and if that's not being done then all I can do is sit back, read about neurological conditions and open the door now and again.

I wasn't working with my mentor which meant I wasn't assigned to the more independent patients who I can chat with. The patients my lead was taking care of suffer from speech problems, as well as various other communication issues, which means speaking to them is somewhat difficult and/or pointless.

I think today underlined the importance of trained mentors during placement, and the availability to shadow and study them.

Saturday, 24 November 2007


Patientline - if you're lucky enough to have never been in hospital for a long stay - is a company who provides a quite vulture-istic (I don't ever pretend to give a balanced arguement, unless blatantly stated. This isn't an A-Level essay I'm writing) service within British healthcare establishment.

"... provides communication services to patients and specialist medical services to hospitals via bedside systems.

Patientline is dedicated to making people’s stay in hospital easier by providing some of the entertainment and communication choices they enjoy at home.
The Patientline bedside console provides a personal phone and personal number, and the patient can choose just when and what they want to watch on television."

Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Basically they charge people to use the internet, phone line and TV, as well as selected 'games'. Call me old fashioned, but charging the weak reeks of American-like private healthcare. A lot of people talk about us sleepwalking towards such a state of affairs.

(Let's not even start talking about the price patient visitors are charged to park in hospitals, which is a quite ridiculous state of affairs with only a small part of the profits going back into hospital development.)

I'm sure an arguement from the proprietors of Patientline would argue it's an optional service and the people who 'opt out' (for opt out feel free to read 'can't afford it') do it on their own free will. But I've met patients who watched their money drip away day after day and became quite sad about it. Especially when other people are sat around you, watching their favourite programmes with their headphones on.

I just don't like it. I'm sure in America it'd probably be bundled in on a primo insurance package and that'd be just fine and dandy, but over here, until (and I mean until) we rely on what the Americans called 'socialised medicine'. I just can't swallow greedy companies nipping at the edges of the NHS, like bits of stale bread. They'll be having their fill soon enough, I fear.

Stricty Come Dancing and Football

Anyone who is devoted enough to watch Strictly Come Dancing will know that Aleysha is storming the boards recently, despite being possibly the most annoying girl in existence.

I'm more annoyed, though, by the way she's a cheat. Like Emma Bunton (who thankfully lost last year) she said she never did any dancing like the stuff on the show in her 'career'. Yeah, right.

It got me thinking about how Chelsea 'bought' the Premiership in the 05-06 season - which they did, let's be honest. It wasn't the fair thing to do, but got results.

Which, in turn, led to a reinforcement of my belief that it's a dog-eat-dog world. And like Banksy once said - some people are fluky enough to get headstarts.

Friday, 23 November 2007


So, another day, another something-or-other. 1% of my bursary earned, maybe.

Yesterday was awesome. I teamed up with a senior sister (Do I get to be called a sister when I'm promoted that high, I wonder?) after attending a very useful MDT (multi-disciplinary team) Meeting and nodding along for a while. In typical 'That's the kind of man I am' style I spoke up as an advocate for some of my patients. I either looked like a dickhead or quite brave, but I'll settle for looking like a brave dickhead.

The rest of the day just got better. I haven't met anyone on placement who didn't mind my constant curiosity, but the nurse I was working under yesterday revelled in it, so I plugged her for a lot of information. As something of a payback, I think, she encouraged me to get involved in the form of subcutaneous injections.

For the uninformed of you out there, a subcutaneous injection is a piece of piss, really. It goes to the deepest layer of the skin, rather than the quite difficult to hit vein or muscle. It's a superficial injection which means I can simply disperse itself around the body at it's leisure. More urgent treatments need the aforementioned vessel or muscle entry which means they act more quickly.

My first one was bizzare. You squeeze a roll of fat on a person and then push a sharp thing into their body. A singular experience. But after the hump of the first one, which apparently wasn't too painful, I went from strength to strength. Which pleases me.

So why am I posting now and not at work? Well. My shift has been moved from an early to a late. Which means I don't get to go out and get drunk tonight. But on the plus side, lates are more relaxed than earlies and I get to work with my mentor. Which is the whole point of this placement, so I can live with missing a few pints.

What else? Some of the stories of patients on my ward bring a tear to the eye of this cynic, I can tell you that much without revealing anything confidential. Really puts life into a new light - probably why I'm more willing to switch shifts and miss going out on the ale, I reckon. Something to think about.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

First Impressions

So, how am I finding things?

My time seemed to be no longer my own from Monday to Wednesday afternoon, which is to say I wasn't ready for the timing of my shifts one bit. After that slight stumbling block, I've had a pretty smooth journey - although if we're talking about my bike rides to and from hospital, especially in the rain, the word 'smooth' becomes a bit... well. Wrong.

To not divulge too many details I'm currently on placement at a ward dealing with brain injuries, which is a very challenging environment in several senses of the word. The senior nurse assigned to be my mentor hasn't been around for these first few days (I meet them properly on my imminent late shift) so I've been shadowing a recently qualified staff nurse, who, apart from having a much cooler uniform than me, is a very good person to learn from. I honestly thought I'd be watching and watching and watching a bit more, but I've been involved from my first shift pretty much, which feels like a good thing.

Personally, the biggest problem I've come up against is the inability to blag. That is to say I'm quite a confident sort of guy, all in all. And confidence is the older brother of blagging: pretending you know how to do something or about something when you really don't. Not only would attempting this on a ward be stupid due to my lack of knowledge, it'd be downright dangerous, so I don't and can't. That being said, I've had to change my style a little bit, but it's working well. Being open to learning and making mistakes is a pretty solid learning framework.

I've been gifted good patients, to be fair, which has helped. By the fickle phrase of 'good', in this case, I am referring to their levels of independence and therefore reliance on nursing care. I am very lucky to have given this less intense start to my placement, and at the risk of breaking down patients to easier to deal with qualities, it's helped me get my feet wet, so to speak.

So what else have I learned?

After one late and then one early shift, with 8 miles bike riding in between just for fun (I spend a tenner on bike lights so I look like a total safety loser mixed with someone off to a rave at 6 in the morning), I was left in an insatiable good mood with bags of energy - a trend I hope continues for a long time.

Working in healthcare is just as glamorous as I thought it'd be, i.e. not a huge amount. Ha. Only joking. I'm a total geek so getting to use complicated words and abbreviations just presses my buttons, sometimes. Plus you get to go on ward rounds, much like the popular American comedy Scrubs. Although rounds are not full of hilarious interns and cantankerous consultants, they're still fun. You get to laugh about doctors generally being silly and nurses being great, which is clearly always (Maybe not) the case.

The sense of well being is probably the best thing. Although effectively I'm not getting paid for this work, I actually feel good about the stuff I do, so far, as a 'job'. When someone asks me to do something menial I know it's actually for the good of a human being or two, and not to make some dickhead a little bit more profit, and so I do it gladly.

So. So far? So good. I hope the trend continues.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007


I'm tired and in between shifts, but actually having fun. More on my placement when I can be bothered.

As the title suggests, this post is just about Brown and the shit - no pun intended - he's chatting recently. In the House of Commons today he went on the same old diatribe about 'best economy in Europe'.


What he doesn't mention is that his 'Golden Rule' is a pile of bollocks and the only reason the economy is perceived as healthy is that the ridiculous amount of PFI (that's Private Finance Initiative) projects that he and now Darling (no Blackadder jokes, please) can keep off the balance sheet. PFI deals, if you didn't know, deliver finance and often buildings quickly, but cost a lot more in the long run in the form of rents on top of rents.

And the best thing is the Tories can't use this as an attack against Labour. Why? It was their idea. Tremendous.

Monday, 19 November 2007


I am not talking about the goblin-like cartoon character from 90s TV phone-in games, oh no. I am of course talking about Hugo Chavez, the sort of socialist leader of Venezuela. Watching a programme on him has reminded me of my intense problem with the entire situation.

He's a man who sort of helps the poor, which is admirable, for sure. But there are still people who die in the barrios of the country, and some of the people who don't die are 'protected' by armed men in balaclavas. While people die, or live through intimidation, the rich are getting richer - which is something I thought socialists stood against.

He manages his country like a dictator, with 'spontaneous' demonstrations in his honour, as well as taking over public TV stations for hours a week to spout thinly veiled propaganda.

Worst of all, he's installed his friends and family in government positions and his country is the 2nd most corrupt in the World. Even more so than Zimbabwe.

On top of all this his Bush-bashing is passée to the point of embarrassing. But that's something of a personal point of my own, I fear.

He talks about saving the poor - giving them free healthcare and education. And to some extent he's began to achieve this goal. But at what cost, I always wonder?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Light at the End of the Hangover

So this weekend is over, and I start in my unnamed hospital for my first placement on Monday. How terrifyingly excting.

This weekend was generally a good, if utterly overpriced, one. Although I have no-one to blame for that but myself. I got utterly wobbly on beer (which I still think is a good idea, all these binge-drinking-haters aside) and actually kissed a girl, which I also forgot how to do, I'm sure. One more month and the technique may have been replaced in my mind with some pop culture titbit.

Obviously, as my placement proceeds I will try to post more. I will, of course, be using pseudonyms and none of the names or anything anywhere near identifiable will be true in order to keep this legal and to defend people's rights of privacy.

Watch this space.

Friday, 16 November 2007


Going into details of what happened today would be fruitless, but the outline sounds quite funny. The day started with a tutor I've never met before making the judgement I wasn't suited to a career in nursing and ending with people giving me a massive round of applause.

She looked a bit pissed off, sitting in the stands. I did not. Ha.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Barry George

I have to say I'm glad that this man is going to get a retrial. If anyone deserves one, he does.

The fact that a man could be put in prison for such a massive crime on very little evidence is an actual sham. Obviously there's the issue of the tiny particle of gun powder in the jacket which was, rightfully, up for debate. On top of that there's the issue of witnesses actually describing a man completely different to BG at the scene, as well as the style of the murder. Dando's killer (and killing) was stone cold and professional, a feat that BG was debatably not physically or mentally capable of doing.

BG was slightly eccentric - that's a well known fact, really. He could act somewhat abnormally, for example the well touted fact he used to tell people he was Freddy Mercury's cousin. I can't help but fear the police (who are hardly trustworthy in modern times) have used this fact as a bit of a crutch, as they did with Stefan Kiszko, revealed in the recent conviction of the real murderer of Lesley Molseed.

I believe BG should be cleared in the retrial, but I fear the mystery of Dando's death may never be solved. As is life, I suppose.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Sexism Part 94

Sexism is something I'm faced with everyday, which isn't anything special for a human being, but I suppose I feel slightly different to the average man for the fact that I'm young and liberated, a student nurse and sometime pole dancer. Not really going with the flow.

Because of this, a lot of quite random things both amuse and annoy me.

Just two for tonight, as my hangover-ridden head isn't functioning as well as I'd like it to be.

In popular culture, I'm amuse-oyed by 'How To Look Good Naked'. The programme should (but doesn't) have the bracketted addition of 'If You're A Woman'. And, in fact, if you watch the advert, you could - although they won't (unless I got hold of a Genie's magic lamp) - add the phrase 'if you're a woman' after every single phrase.

So why does this affect me so? Well, the whole thing stinks of modern day sexism. It's dressed (no pun intended) up as healthy expression of sexuality (if you're a woman). But the message, if you look at it from the angle their PR gurus don't want you to from, can be remarkably different. I.e. Women want (or dare I say 'need'?) to look good and worry about how they look whilst men do not. An idea which fails being anywhere near fair by being both a generalisation and hugely sexist.

Stealthily or not the programme is unfortunately part of the spiral of reinforcement of sexism. The old girls-wear-pink-boys-wear-blue-boys-have-action-man-in-their-happy-meals-girls-have-barbies rubbish. And are things going to move on when people aren't challenging those attitudes? Doubtful.

My second point are my lovely lecturers. I'm running a league table currently of sexist fo-pars. I subtract one point from their scores. If they show actual regard for equal treatment of both genders, they get one.

Yeah, a couple are leading the table with 0 points. From then the minuses just cascade down. Great work in Higher Education. Or not.


Great points, as ever, from Unity over at the MoT.

Well worth a read, if only for the fact that feminists are taking this Tory bollocks seriously... Weird.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Rape: Politcal Football?

Picking up on 'Call Me Dave' Cameron's recent statement in the news today, I became very annoyed.

I had a good chat with a friend of mine more in the know than me, but my views stayed mostly the same.

'Call Me' is calling for tougher rape laws and convictions.

Link, in case you're interested

He also mentions more rape centres, better sex education stuff like that. All good things. The country needs more support for the quite evil crime of rape. He then, however, goes back to this same old yawn-fest of 'moral collapse' and 'the sexualisation' of the modern day. Aside from the fact that this is sort of shite usually trotted out by Christians, it ruins his original point.

He's trotting out the same old Conservatism in new, hip-looking language. Increased sex education is a fantastic idea - but as my friend pointed out - what kind of sex education do you think the Tories will want to be given? Will it say 'Sex is great, have it with who you want and make sure both of you consent?' or rather, will it say 'Sex is best in marriage. Get married. Being married is great. Did we mention marriage is amazing?'. Exactly.

Cameron has tried to move his party's image away from traditional Conservatism, but the new would-be legislation including these ideas as well as tax breaks for married couples and the rest of their bullshit. Lest us not forget that rape within marriage has only recently (1991, for fuck's sake) became a crime. Whether attitudes have changed in time with the law is up for debate, but the Tories would love to push us back to this period of marriage above all. As things were perfect back then. Completely. Erm...

In the same way you can argue Brown/Blairites have done very little to help rape victims, being more concerned with trotting out rhetoric and political jargon. Hence the title of this entry - nobody is doing enough.

So, is changing rape laws as easy as Cameron makes it sound? Well, changing the laws (despite the fact that the Tories have veto-ed some of the measures to help rape victims) isn't a big problem, being mainly legislation. Changing people's opinions, however, is an altogether different animal.

It's a sad, but quite reasonable fact, that some rape victims either never had trust in the police. Others had a bit of trust which can be whittled away by poor treatment from the police. Most of the sources available to read are anonymous, anecdotal accounts, but the statistics of possible unreported rape seem to back up these opinions. If victims of this crime are not confident in reporting it to the police, this sets an unnerving precedent.

The views of the police are related to the public view of rape, of course, and Dave goes on to make the point that society is 'okaying' rape by 'sexualising' women. This is a tired old line, but one of his points was that young men thought forcing women to have sex was okay in some situations. He quoted an Amnesty International survey to back this up (I'd be interested to see how the survey collecting it's data but that's neither here nor there).

I sort of agree with this point, to a point. I think rape is still regarded as an horrific crime, however some people try to change the wording and take away from the seriousness in some cases - the 'she was gagging for it' defence. This kind of defence muddies the water and helps some people justify their actions, unfortunately.

This 'gagging for it' defence has a large effect on rape within the Judicial System. A lot of rape cases come down to one person's word against another's. Drink being involved only adds confusion to the case.

There's also the concept of people accusing people they've slept with of rape when rape didn't actually happen. Sex can be regrettable and it's a sad fact that some people accuse other people of rape falsely. I believe false accusations of rape should be dealt with to the full extent of the law - although it's clear this subject is a tricky one.

So, when a rape case is simply one person's word against that of another... I wouldn't want to be a juror or judge in a case like that, personally. One person says rape, one says consensual sex. Who is to believed if justice is to prevail?

Friday, 2 November 2007

A quick link

To this blog and the sterling work Sofie Buckland is doing against the right wing, red tapists of the NUS.

The work of the NUS is hardly something that needs to be critiqued frequently, and Sofie - connected to Education Not For Sale (who originally introduced me to Universities and the Arms Trade) - do a great job of doing so.