In a crisis there are always people saying something must be done. Most of their plans are worse than doing nothing. I’d like to have coined that maxim but I borrowed it from a former Downing Street adviser – someone who has seen first hand how the attraction of doing something drastic in politics conceals the risk of doing something stupid.
The context was discussion of a new party. It isn’t hard to find this conversation in Westminster. It takes place whenever there is a gathering of two or more people who despair equally at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour and Theresa May’s navigation of Brexit. It isn’t a plot: no one is recruiting MPs to some new force. But there is a lot of speculation that someone should.
The conversation begins with the thought that Labour is doomed. Corbyn’s closest allies insist he can still be prime minister, but with dwindling conviction. John McDonnell complains about conspiracies by MPs and the media, not because he fears a coup but because he needs one. It isn’t a coincidence that the Corbyn locomotive ran out of steam once Owen Smith’s leadership challenge was crushed. Battle against “Blairites” was the coal in the furnace. Without an internal enemy to fight, the wheels stop turning.
Manchester United has become the first sports team to partner with Stonewall, in a “ground-breaking” initiative.
The most successful team in British football history announced today that they will work with the charity “to tackle LGBT issues in sport and society”.
After joining in with Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign last year, the club – which is worth £2.2 billion, the third-most in the world – moved to cement its relationship with the charity and the LGBT community.
The partnership will see United’s ground play host to Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces Summit in May, with sports leaders gathering at Old Trafford to gain skills and knowledge for LGBT activism.
It is appropriate that United would be the first British club to partner with Stonewall, considering how iconic the on-field kiss between Gary Neville and Paul Scholes in 2010 has become.
Source: · PinkNews
MPs have passed a government amendment to make sex and relationship education mandatory.
Education Secretary Justine Greening had drawn up plans that she would act to make SRE mandatory in all schools, after pressure on the issue from sexual health and children’s campaign groups.
The plans do not include a commitment to LGBT-inclusivity, but LGBT charity Stonewall says it will be “working with the Government to ensure [LGBT issues] are reflected in updated guidance for schools”.
Her plans were given the green light by MPs today in a vote in the Commons, with the amendment to the Children and Social Work bill passing with near-unanimous support.
Source: · PinkNews
The ruling party is at risk of further splits amid a battle for senior positions in the ANC, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said.
There is intense jostling to replace President Jacob Zuma, 74, as the head of the party and for other top positions, despite rules forbidding active campaigning, Duarte, 63, said in an interview. The concern is that the losing group could break away to form a new party, as has happened in the lead up to or after previous ANC elective conferences, she said.
The ANC’s leadership contest comes at a time when the party risks losing the majority it’s held in every vote since 1994. A split could drag its support down to below 50% in the 2019 national elections, giving an opportunity for the opposition to join forces to take power. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 64, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 68, are seen by analysts as the main contenders to lead the ANC.
“Since 2007, every ANC conference has led to one or other split,” Duarte said. There could be “a spoilers’ breakaway after this conference,” she said.
Boys are being outclassed by girls at both school and university, and the gap is widenin
“IT’S all to do with their brains and bodies and chemicals,” says Sir Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, a posh English boarding school. “There’s a mentality that it’s not cool for them to perform, that it’s not cool to be smart,” suggests Ivan Yip, principal of the Bronx Leadership Academy in New York. One school charges £25,000 ($38,000) a year and has a scuba-diving club; the other serves subsidised lunches to most of its pupils, a quarter of whom have special needs. Yet both are grappling with the same problem: teenage boys are being left behind by girls.
It is a problem that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Until the 1960s boys spent longer and went further in school than girls, and were more likely to graduate from university. Now, across the rich world and in a growing number of poor countries, the balance has tilted the other way.
Source: The Economist
Manchester city council has announced plans to create the UK’s first retirement community aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
According to the local authority, the city is home to the country’s largest number of LGBT people outside of London and is due to see a rapid growth in the number of LGBT residents over 65 in the next two decades. More than 7,000 over-50s living in Manchester identify as LGBT.
A recent report by the Manchester-based LGBT Foundation, commissioned by the council, revealed that older LGBT people experience higher levels of loneliness and isolation.
Many were fearful of discrimination in existing accommodation and there was a desire for affordable LGBT-specific housing where people could be open about their identity in later life.
Source: The Guardian
Marriage equality is legal in 22 countries, including Argentina, South Africa and the United States. Germany is not one of them. But now members of the junior governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) are pushing to change that. They are calling on their coalition partners, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), to go along with a change of law that would grant same-sex couples the right to get married and not just obtain civil unions.
Thomas Oppermann, the head of the SPD in parliament, said he planned to put marriage equality on the agenda for the next coalition meeting of the SPD, CDU and CSU.
“Everyone’s talking about preserving our values these days. That shouldn’t just be a talking point in grant speeches, but rather a part of actual policies,” Oppermann told the newsmagazine Der Spiegel. “Among these values are not only the protection of marriage and family, but also equal rights for different kinds of relationships.”
Pioneers working in a country where homophobia is rife
Few is the only organisation in South Africa specifically focusing on the rights of black lesbian women. They are pioneers, working in a country where rights are guaranteed under the constitution but the daily reality is far from the ideal. Patriarchy, homophobia, violence and inequality are rife.
Running for well over a decade Few has faced challenging times, not least the well-publicised violence targeting black lesbian women. In the Johannesburg area, Few has led work on combatting hate crimes, developing political education and life skills programmes for women and organising the Soweto Pride, which faced a clampdown from authorities last year.
Source: The Guardian
Just days after Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party lost their veto power over same-sex marriage, another MLA has vowed to help them block it.
Assembly elections were held last week in Northern Ireland after the collapse of the previous government, with the anti-gay marriage DUP losing ground to Sinn Féin.
The DUP, which lost nearly all of its hefty majority, had previously used peace process powers known as ‘petitions of concern’ to block same-sex marriage.
Hopes of progress were raised over the weekend when the DUP won just 28 seats – two short of the 30 needed to pass a petition of concern by themselves.
However, it’s far from plain sailing, and unionists from two other parties, the Ulster Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice, have vowed to prop up the DUP on the issue.
Source: · PinkNews
In the same week that the U.S. Catholic bishops praised President Trump for revoking guidelines to protect transgender students, across the border in Canada, a trans teen was honored for bringing equality to her Catholic school. Tru Wilson, 13, a resident of the suburb of Ladner, was named a Sexual Health Champion by Options for Sexual Health, a nonprofit agency in Vancouver. The Georgia Straight reported:
“[Wilson’s] family filed a human-rights complaint when Ladner’s Sacred Heart [school] refused to allow her to attend as a girl. As a result, the Catholic Independent Schools Vancouver became one of the first Catholic school boards in North America to change their policy to support gender expression and identity.”
Source: – Bondings 2.0