Residents Protest Surrey CC Cuts

From Haslemere Herald:

Save Haslemere children’s centre protest

HASLEMERE and Hindhead-based protesters joined Saturday’s Save Our Services in Surrey ‘Austerity Kills’ march and rally in Woking.

Objectors to Surrey County Council (SCC) proposals to close 31 children’s centres included Claire Matthes, who works at Haslemere’s Tennyson’s children’s centre, which supports 880 families but has been earmarked for closure.

Claire said: “Haslemere, like much of Surrey, is a beautiful, leafy area of the country, which belies the fact many families and individuals struggle with the issues of daily life.

Source: | News | Haslemere Herald

The Value of Integrity in Politics 

From the Washington Monthly :

Most activists who focus on elections can remember their first campaign training seminar, the time and place they first learned the rules for success in electoral politics. No matter the organization, the basic messages are almost always the same: maintain strict message discipline. Speak in general terms about values. Stay silent on issues about which you don’t know all the details. When in doubt, redirect the conversation to your own talking points.Don’t make unforced mistakes, because a single error can doom your whole campaign. Whenever possible, speak in media-friendly soundbites using the 27-9-3 rule: 27 words, 9 seconds to say, 3 main ideas. Be cautious and circumspect.This is fine advice under normal circumstances. But after an entire generation of candidates got elected following these rules designed for 20th century media, a strange thing happened: no matter which party they belonged to, every politician started to sound oddly the same regardless of party or ideology. Like a restaurant with a menu dozens of items long but where every dish has the same distinctly bland flavor and texture, Washington started to sound less like a debating ground for the people’s representatives and more like an endless parade of obfuscators speaking a language foreign to the public and playing by arcane rules none recognize. If you didn’t play the game, you weren’t taken seriously because you didn’t “know how Washington works.”

The phenomenal rise to stardom of newly elected representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez must be understood in this light.

Source: Washington Monthly | Ocasio-Cortez’s Secret Weapon: Fierce Values and Rule-Defying Authenticity

Labour set to include pilot of radical basic income policy in next manifesto, John McDonnell says | The Independent

Labour is set to include a plan for the radical policy of a universal basic income in its next manifesto for a general election, John McDonnell has told The Independent.

The shadow chancellor – one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies in Westminster – said a Labour-commissioned review into the policy, which aims to transform the welfare state, is expected to be published in the autumn.

Source: The Independent

Biggest rise in poverty recorded since Thatcher was in power – iNews

More than a third of UK children are now living in poverty.

Declining incomes for the poorest families, government austerity and Brexit have led to the biggest rise in UK poverty since Margaret Thatcher was in power, according to new projections from the Resolution Foundation.

The think tank’s predictions suggest real incomes for the poorest third of the working-age population fell by between £50 and £150 in 2017-18. Inflation rose above three per cent last year, while Tory cuts to tax credits and benefits affected the nation’s poorest. Poverty rate rises to 23.2 per cent

And all of this has led to the official poverty rate rising from 22.1 per cent to 23.2 per cent, according to Resolution Foundation calculations.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/poverty-rise-margaret-thatcher-income-brexit/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=ijp

Source: Biggest rise in poverty recorded since Thatcher was in power – iNews

Study: Children of same-sex parents are as happy and healthy as children of straight parents · PinkNews

A study has put an anti-gay myth to bed – by proving there is no difference between kids raised by same-sex couples and kids raised by straight couples.

The findings, published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that children of lesbian couples conceived through sperm donation were no more likely to have physical or emotional problems than the children of straight couples.

Researchers compared a group of twenty-five year-olds who had all been raised by same-sex couples to a sample of typical US twenty-five year-olds matched on sex, class, gender and ethnic background.

They found that the cohort raised by same-sex couples were just as happy in their relationships with their friends and family as those raised by straight couples.

Source: Study: Children of same-sex parents are as happy and healthy as children of straight parents · PinkNews

‘Gay conversion therapy’ to be banned as part of LGBT equality plan – BBC News

A couple holds hands wrapped in a rainbow flagImage copyrightAFP/GETTY

Controversial “gay conversion therapies” are to be banned as part of a government plan to improve the lives of gay and transgender people.

A national survey of 108,000 members of the LGBT community suggested 2% have undergone the practice with another 5% having been offered it.

It also found more than two-thirds of LGBT people avoid holding hands in public, for fear of negative reactions.

The prime minister said nobody “should ever to have to hide who they are”.

A 75-point plan to improve the lives of LGBT people, costing £4.5m, has been produced in response to the survey.

Source: BBC News

Heterosexual couple win civil partnership case – BBC News

A heterosexual couple have won their legal bid for the right to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favour of Rebecca Steinfeld, 37, and Charles Keidan, 41, from London.

The court said the Civil Partnership Act 2004 – which only applies to same-sex couples – is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ms Steinfeld said she hoped the government does the “right thing” and extends civil partnerships to all.

“We are feeling elated,” she told the BBC outside court. “But at the same time we are feeling frustrated the government has wasted taxpayers’ money in fighting what the judges’ have called a blatant inequality.”

Source:– BBC News

The Shifting Global Terrain of L.G.B.T.Q. Rights – The New York Times

In Botswana, one of several countries with laws from British colonial era rule, a hearing is imminent that will challenge a law banning same-sex sexual activity that can result in up to seven years in prison. Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, coordinator of Legabibo, a member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, or I.L.G.A., in Botswana that co-hosted the Pan Africa I.L.G.A. regional conference in Gaborone earlier this month, said the success of a recent suit granting a transgen

Source: The Shifting Global Terrain of L.G.B.T.Q. Rights – The New York Times

Czech Republic To Be First Post-Communist Nation With Gay Marriage

 

PRAGUE:  The Czech government on Friday backed draft legislation that would make the country the first post-communist member of the European Union to legalise same-sex marriage.

The legislation was drawn up by a group of 46 mostly leftist and centrist members of parliament from six of the nine parties in the lower house, including the populist ANO (Yes) party of billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Alongside its “agreement with the bill”, the government also called for “a broad social discussion” of the “sensitive subject” of same-sex marriage in a Friday statement.Source: Czech Republic To Be First Post-Communist Nation With Gay Marriage

Transgender People’s Brain Structures Are Different From Cisgender Folks’, Study Suggests

While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to study sex differences by observing the structure of the brain, the morphology has rarely been explored in transgender women (i.e. assigned male at birth) diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

In a recent study, researchers from the Medical School of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, decided to investigate this by recruiting 80 participants between the ages of 18 and 49 years. They were categorized into four groups of 20 members each: cisgender women, cisgender men, transgender women who had never used hormones, and transgender women who had used hormones for at least a year. MRI scans were then used to look for differences in gray and white matter volume of the brains.

It was revealed that both groups of transgender women had variations in the volume of the insula in both hemispheres. The insula is a region of the brain that reads the physiological state of the body, thus being responsible for body image and self-awareness.

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Source: Transgender People’s Brain Structures Are Different From Cisgender Folks’, Study Suggests