Sunday Smorgasbord

This weekend I am proud to say that I have had time to read THREE whole weekend newspapers. This is not a common occurence. In celebration of these heady heights of leisure I have put together this mishmash of interesting things that I have found:

The Times reports that ‘a lawyer was dismissed from her £150,000 a year job after a routine security check revealed taht her DNA was held on the national database, even though she had never been charged with an offence.’ It transpires that this resulted from an arrest arising from an apparent complaint ‘from her estranged husband that she fraudulently tried to obtain a nuresery school palce for one of her children’. Who says the innocent have nothing to fear?

And apparently I have nothing to fear from the swine flu jab, or at any rate less to fear from the jab than from catching the swine flu in my third trimester – according to The Times also. I had my invite from the quack last week and whilst initially I poo-poohed the idea and was ready to tough out a bit of flu together with the rest of you, I have come round to the sense of having the jab after reflecting on the fact that I am four to five times more likely than the not-knocked up amongst you to develop severe disease as a result of swine flu and ten times more likely to need intensive care, even higher in the later stages of pregnancy. And on the fact that 10% of the deaths in Britain have been of pregnant women. If I weren’t pregnant I wouldn’t bother with the jab, which I suppose could be almost as bad as the flu itself, and which I might not ever have caught. But I am pregnant and I don’t want to end up a statistic. So it’s a sore arm for me.

Pleased to see ‘Brown Does A U-Turn Over Childcare’ on the front page of today’s Times, but still spitting that we self-employed don’t feel the benefit of vouchers to start with. And there is more guff on page 5 about the plans to create a ‘Parents’ Minister’ and to woo fathers back from the Torys with bigger and better manifesto promises on paternity leave (woo hoo FOUR weeks without pay). But let’s face it, promises to enable couples to choose which of them takes parental leave have been shelved before, and are likely to be just as unpalatable post-election. And at any rate, it may not be Gordon’s decision come next year… I’m starting to lose interest myself, as the chances of any change actually benefitting my family before my kids get to school are vanishingly remote.

There is also talk of the census adding a question on sexuality in order to make visible the gay community. Why this should be noteworthy I don’t know – surely we need to collect information on sexuality as much as on sex, disability, race or religion? To say that the resulting statistics are unlikely to be reliable because of underreporting is no justification for abandoning the task. It is because of discrimination and fear of discrimination that such questions may not be answered honestly by all, and it is because of that same discrimination and fear of discrimination that we absolutely MUST track the size of the community affected and the levels of discrimination upon the individual members of it.

But enough. It’s 9.45 on a Sunday night and I am going to watch the end of Garrow’s Law, wherein our handsome protagonist is being told by his instructing solicitor that he is ill prepared. I however am well prepared for next week and can put my feet up in front of the telly.

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