The Scottish government has not announced any plans to ease the laws against robbery, assault or drunk driving.
However, despite condemnation from The British Medical Journal and The Health Service Journal, this Christmas you can cause the deaths of any number of people without penalty, though the government would prefer that you did not. Indeed, it “strongly recommends” that you do not, but leaves it up to you.
In an ususual joint editorial both medical journals said, referring to plans to ease lockdown regulations at Christmas, “We believe the government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives.”
The government does not even deny this, but has decided that it will allow up to eight people from three households to meet indoors for five days... though it is asking them not to. In an announcement today, Nicola Sturgeon said, “If you haven't made plans to form a bubble yet, please don't. If you're still swithering, please decide against. And if you have made plans, but think they're not really essential, perhaps think about postponing until later in the year.”
Other behaviours that endanger people are not left to individual choice. They are banned by law, and the law is enforced. Why? Because there are people who will risk other people's lives unless they are stopped. So how many people does the government expect to follow mere “recommendations”?
While describing this legislation as “Very progressive thinking to say the least,” Dr Tracy Taggart, an American trauma surgeon, would like to see less use of such products.
“Billions of women worldwide and through the ages have managed menstruation without commercially produced disposable products,” she said. “I haven't bought a tampon or sanitary napkin in 25 years. I make a tampon out of toilet paper. But there's a hundred other things you can do as well. Sponges, strips of cloth, commercially produced silicone cups and absorbent underwear are economical and environmentally friendly. Old socks work as well as Kotex pads. Rolled fabric strips can even be made into tampons.”
Dr Taggart said many women are not aware this is possible. “They think they must have tampons or sanitary napkins. These are luxury items, not even available in non-western society.”
But the problem is not just a lack of awareness. “Here’s the thing — I have explained and demonstrated construction of a toilet paper tampon to quite a few women, sharing it as a revelation and innovation that is economical, environmentally better than synthetic and plastic products/packaging and no one has even tried it. They couldn’t imagine not just buying the fancy disposable version.
“I’ve read a lot of historical books and here and there references to menstruation and its management came up. I’m sure in the time before commercial products, and in places they aren’t common, that knowledge is commonplace and passed along woman to woman.”
On November 7, Scotland becomes the first country in the U.K. to ban adults from using violence on children, which is now a criminal offence.
In the Scotland in which I was a child, the tawse was used routinely in schools, and teachers would also slap children on the head or face, shove them, shake them, even choke them. Corporal punishment was banned (or “phased out”) in Scotland in 1982, but it’s taken 38 years for domestic violence against children to be banned.
In England and Northern Ireland, you can still batter your children as long as it is “reasonable chastisement.”
I hope the legendary George Purves, a career child-abuser while pretending to work as a maths teacher and “guidance teacher” at North Kelvinside and then Woodside Secondary Schools in Glasgow in the 1970s and 1980s, is still alive to see himself and his world consigned to shameful history, and children recognised as human beings.
Last year, I remarked to a friend that he has what I consider a sexist habit of referring to female politicians by their first names, but uses last names for their male counterparts. He refers to the Scottish First Minister as “Nicola,” but never referred to her predecessor as “Alex.” I told him I thought this showed he took women less seriously than men, seeing them as closer to children than adults.
He replied he always referred to Boris Johnson by his first name, but admitted he did not do that with any other male politicians. I suggested this supported my point, because Johnson's clownish persona made my friend see him as an overgrown child, giving him the same status he gave women.
And it is a persona; in private life, he is not called Boris. His friends and family call him Al, his actual first name (his name is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson). In a similar way to the US cult of “Bernie” — Sanders's friends and family call him Bernard — Johnson is selling performance, not policy. But, unlike Sanders, he is dangerous.
It is of urgent importance not to trivialise this catastrophe with cute nicknames. Call him what he is: the Prime Minister. And in calling him that, consider the ultra-right-wing populist who now holds that office, and see where we are.
Craig Murray reports that his trial for contempt of court, which could end with him being imprisoned for two years, will be without a jury. The evidence he presents that the judge will not be impartial is convincing — and chilling.
The hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh is on June 10. Mr Murray writes:
TWO WAYS YOU CAN HELP
The hearing on 10 June is supposed to be public, but it will be virtual because of coronavirus. While it is a case management hearing, I shall nevertheless be grateful if you are able to “attend” virtually, as I am very keen indeed that I am not stitched up out of the public eye. Please send an email requesting access to the virtual hearing on 10 June to email@example.com. I am very keen as many people do this as possible. Journalists please in addition copy in firstname.lastname@example.org for accreditation.
Secondly, many people come to this blog through social media and I am currently suffering a very high level of suppression, on Facebook and especially on Twitter. Rather than just retweet and share any soical media post that brought you here, (which may appear on the face to have worked but the dissemination will be suppressed), I would be very grateful if you could also write your own new posting and put a link. If you have your own blog or access to one, a commendation of this post with a link would be very welcome, even if it is not your normal policy. And finally of course, the entire post is free as always to copy, republish and translate as you wish.