Scott Kevin Fairlamb, 43, of Stockholm, New Jersey was arrested on five charges on January 22, 2020.
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A number of House Republicans have previously scoffed at the new safety measure, with several refusing to walk through metal detectors.
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If the rioters had gotten there just seconds earlier, The Washington Post reported, "they would have been in eyesight of the vice president."
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The deal can help to revitalize HuffPost’s sales pitch and address BuzzFeed News’ perception problem, according to agency executives. The post ‘Context really matters again’: How BuzzFeed’s HuffPost acquisition can help the combined company’s ad sales pitch appeared first on Digiday.
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A special Digiday podcast episode features Interviews with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan. The post ‘Profitability in the back half of next year’: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti (and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan) on their big merger appeared first on Digiday.
BuzzFeed's acquisition of HuffPost will give it access to an older, more affluent cohort, potentially bolstering its news and commerce businesses. The post ‘They wanted to unload it bad’: Why HuffPost made sense for BuzzFeed – and Verizon Media Group appeared first on Digiday.
No, it’s not even Halloween yet – though you’d be forgiven for thinking it was given the week of shocks we’ve had.However, two kids are already vying for best dress-up of 2020 with their scarily accurate takes on two of our political leaders.Jacob Ferguson, seven, from Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire, nailed such a spot-on impression of Nicola Sturgeon at one of her coronavirus press conferences that even the Scottish first minister was singing his praises.“Ye were telt, stay in the hoose, nai parties, save lives,” Jacob as mini-Sturgeon says, in a video that has since gone viral – before hobbling off camera, complaining: “Och, my feet are killing me, where’s my clicky pen? Frank, get the door. I want a haggis supper, and make sure it’s deep fried.”Our 7 year old son asked to be Nicola for hallowe’en. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all @[email protected]#nicolasturgeonpic.twitter.com/Kbhp8z3yDB— Alyson Welsh (@welsh_alyson) October 30, 2020Jacob’s mum, doctor Alyson Welsh, posted the video of her son on Friday – dolled up in a blond wig and the kind of snappy look we’ve come to expect from Sturgeon in her regular Coronavirus briefings. “It’s all gone a bit crazy and we’re a bit overwhelmed!” Welsh told HuffPost UK.Jacob has clearly been putting his classes at Glasgow’s UKTheatreSchool to good use. “The wig was the only item we had to buy. The dress is mine and the shoes belong to his cousin,” she added of his costume.The Scottish first minister was quick to Tweet that the “wee star” had made her day, even suggesting they could “draft him in for the daily briefings”, while Scottish comic Janey Godley reshared the video, saying: “This is the best ever.”Thank you @welsh_alyson - this has made me smile and given me a much needed laugh this morning. What a wee star - I think we might draft him in for the daily briefings! https://t.co/P4jvd3CGAZ— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 30, 2020A blond wig was also a key costume component for 10-year-old Milo’s Halloween look below – only, in his case, as he was dressing up as prime minister Boris Johnson, there was no need for a hairbrush.Mum Jayne Cherrington-Cook, who lives in Kent, posted his picture on Instagram, along with her son’s pointed comments. “Most kids when asked to dress up in a terrifying Halloween costume for school: I want to be a witch/zombie/werewolf. My son: I want to be Boris Johnson – I mean is there anything scarier than that fool?“Commenters suggested Milo also had Johnson’s trademark hand gestures down to a tee. “All his teachers asked for selfies with him,” his mum added. “He did think of being Trump but didn’t want to have to wear orange face paint!!!”What is your kid dressing up at this Halloween? Email us at [email protected] to share your story and pictures. Related... Jeremy Clarkson Attacks Nicola Sturgeon In Rant About Covid Restrictions During Grand Tour Filming These Babies In Tiny Halloween Costumes Make 2020 Feel Less Scary 3 Spooky Bakes To Make With Kids That Are – Shhh! – Actually Healthy
The BBC has been forced to clarify that its staff can attend Pride events – but only if they “do not get involved in matters which could be deemed political or controversial”.It comes after the broadcaster launched new so-called impartiality guidelines for its workforce, saying they should not attend “public demonstrations or gatherings about controversial issues” even in a personal capacity. BBC employees told The Guardian they had been instructed that Pride marches would be included in this ban.But in a note from director-general Tim Davie sent to senior staff at the corporation on Friday morning, colleagues were told that there is no ban on attending Pride parades if it does not bring the BBC into disrepute. Staff who work in news and current affairs, factual journalism and senior leaders are free to attend events that are “clearly celebratory or commemorative” and “do not compromise perceptions of their impartiality”, Davie explained.The internal note read: “If news and current affairs staff are participating in such events they must be mindful of ensuring that they do not get involved in matters which could be deemed political or controversial.“There is no ban on these staff attending Pride events. Attending Pride parades is possible within the guidelines, but due care needs to be given to the guidance and staff need to ensure that they are not seen to be taking a stand on politicised or contested issues.”The latest information has been widely condemned as both confusing and disappointing.One BBC staff member told HuffPost UK: “I don’t have a problem with BBC staff being contractually obliged to be publicly party politically impartial, as civil servants are. What makes me uncomfortable about this stance on ‘impartiality’ that the updated guidelines take, however, is that it assumes a default, uncontroversial position which is the ideal – and which, by implication, is that of a cisgender heterosexual white person.“By instructing staff to ‘not express a view on any policy which is a matter of current political debate or on a matter of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or any other ‘controversial subject’ and then using the specific examples of ‘trans issues’ both online and at Pride marches, and of Black Lives Matter protests, as has been raised in meetings with managers, it is making what are markers of identity for so many BBC colleagues into political issues as well.“It feels like censorship to try and control how someone publicly expresses and discusses their markers of identity, especially when these characteristics have historically been – and still are – factors of oppression for so many people.”Staff were banned from attending Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, HuffPost UK revealed in August.Hugh Smithson-Wright, a restaurant PR consultant and LGBTQ+ rights activist, described the corporation’s Pride position as “awful”. “This is a heavily qualified clarification. What counts as a ‘politicised or contested issue’? The death penalty for homosexuality in Brunei? Surging state-sanctioned homophobia in Poland? Homicide rates for trans people of colour? All of these and many more are what Pride is about,” he told HuffPost UK.“Tim Davie seems to be saying: ‘You can attend a ‘Pride’ march if it’s one of those happy-clappy sanitised desexualised ones where being queer is only mentioned obliquely and doesn’t actually, y’know, protest anything.’ Awful.“It would be better if, rather than positioning events like Pride and BLM as being ‘politicised’, the BBC were to champion and actively encourage the attendance of its staff at them. It feels dangerously retrograde for the BBC, by implication, to position supporting equality as something that can be ‘contested’ – that just validates bigotry.”Peter Woodhouse, head of business sector at law firm Stone King, said there could also be potential legal claims for employers who try to restrict employees’ actions outside work. “This is a classic example of where society recognises competing rights. Here society would recognise a right to freedom of expression and association, but this could be pitched against the perceived benefit of the political impartiality of the BBC,” he told HuffPost UK.“The law and employers can struggle with this and much will depend on how firm the BBC will be in its enforcement. Ultimately, they might decide to dismiss someone and at the very least they will have to ensure that their policies are clear, up-to-date and applied consistently.“Their policies should specifically cover conduct outside work. Failures [to do this] in such areas could make a dismissal unfair.”Woodhouse added: “Further, I would anticipate claims for discrimination, for example, if the policy disproportionately impacts on someone from a particular race or ethnic origin. Such a measure must be justified and the reasoning behind it must be shown to be non-discriminatory. Here, the BBC’s reasoning is to prevent political bias and to ensure impartiality – however, consistency and proportionality in the application of the measure will be key to reduce the risk of potential discrimination claims.”As a result of the recent social media guidance from the BBC, the National Union of Journalists is calling for an urgent meeting with the director-neral.Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Following the publication of the guidelines yesterday, the NUJ sought an urgent meeting with the BBC to address our members’ concerns about the changes which could constrain individuals’ ability to meaningfully participate and engage in issues that matter to them – whether that’s in their trade union, their communities or in events such as Pride.“The director general’s confirmation this morning that attendance at Pride would not be a breach is obviously welcome – that the clarification proved necessary shows that further clarity is needed.“It’s disappointing that there was no consultation with staff unions on these changes ahead of them being announced, and we’ll be raising all the concerns NUJ members and reps have shared with us when we meet the BBC.”Related... DJ Sideman Says BBC Cannot Push Race Issues 'Under The Rug' Any More BBC Director-General Tells MPs: We Are Not Institutionally Racist Too Much TV Is Made Through A White Gaze. That Has To Change, And The BBC Must Lead The Way
Over 100 Black writers are calling on the government to rein in its ministers following Olukemi Badenoch’s implication that author Reni Eddo-Lodge’s work supports racial segregation.The collective – known as the Black Writers’ Guild – is urging Whitehall to ensure that ministers are responsible with their language and “avoid spreading misinformation”. It comes after The Spectator printed comments from Badenoch on Saturday that suggested guild member Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, advocates for racial segregation.The open letter which includes signatures from Afua Hirsch, Nels Abbey and Malorie Blackman states: “The allegation here is not only clearly false but dangerous. It risks endangering the personal safety of anti-racist writers. “In recent years progressive writers, politicians and activists across Europe and the United Kingdom have been physically attacked and killed by far-right extremists.”“It is in this climate that we ask the government to ensure ministers are responsible with their language, avoid spreading misinformation and apply better judgement in order to protect the lives and freedom of minorities,” the letter adds.The Spectator article stated that Badenoch was “particularly incensed by the boom in sales of texts such as White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race”.“Many of these books — and, in fact, some of the authors and proponents of critical race theory — actually want a segregated society,” the minister said.Writing on Twitter on Wednesday, Eddo-Lodge announced that she had contacted the Spectator for a correction to its piece, which ran under the headline “Kemi Badenoch: The problem with critical race theory”.I've written to both @spectator and @Independent, asking them to correct the false claims about my politics published in both publications last weekend. pic.twitter.com/9Img0PFoVe— Reni Eddo-Lodge (@renireni) October 28, 2020The guild was formed following the death of George Floyd.Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books, told HuffPost UK: “I fully co-sign the letter from the BWG as I am deeply concerned by principles of free speech and representation being eroded by this government.“By vilifying cultural experts we are in danger of suggesting there is only one narrative and that totally undermines progression and equality within our society.”Paul Mendez, author of best-selling book Rainbow Milk, said: “The ignorance and recklessness displayed by Badenoch, as a Black woman, is unforgivable. I wish to include my name in support of Reni and other anti-racist authors.”Jendella Benson, head of editorial at Black Ballad, told HuffPost UK: “It’s completely insulting the way that Reni’s work is being distorted. One of the most important additions to our literary landscape and the only way they can discredit her is to lie. We cannot let it stand at all; it’s an insult to our collective intelligence.”The equalities minister also told the commons, during a general debate on Black History Month last week, that teachers who present the idea of white privilege as a fact to their students are breaking the law.Speaking passionately at the despatch box, she described critical race theory as “an ideology that sees my Blackness as victimhood and their whiteness as oppression”.This sparked widespread backlash with many criticising the minister as being “sad”, “inaccurate” and “disappointing”.HuffPost UK has contacted Badenoch and The Spectator for comment.Related... Opinion: A Covid Inquiry Won't Save Black Lives – Not With Kemi Badenoch At The Helm How Boris Johnson's Vow To Tackle Race Inequality Stands A Year On 'Detrimental' Changes To GCSE English Literature Exams Risk Teaching 'White Is Right'
Mental health charity Mind has warned of a ‘second, mental health pandemic’ if nothing is urgently done to support people mentally during the coronavirus pandemic.Data on new urgent referrals to crisis care teams – mental health professionals who give support out of hospital – found referrals in England rose from 17,733 in March 2020 up to 20,028 in June and 20,540 in July.New emergency referrals also shot up from 6,281 in March to 7,632 and 7,481 in June and July respectively. In 2019 by comparison, there were 5,191 emergency referrals in March, and 5,273 and 6,358 referrals in June and July.Referral figures in June and July 2020 were higher than ever previously recorded, Mind said. The charity also received up to 500 calls a day to its helpline in October, twice the usual number for this time of year.Mind said urgent investment must be made to support community services into the winter to prevent people from reaching crisis point.Related... Detention Rate Under The Mental Health Act Is Four Times Higher For Black People In England Multiple studies have found the pandemic has had a negative impact on mental health across the board. One study published in The Lancet found significant increases in mental distress among 18-24-year-olds, 25-34-year-olds, women, and people living with young children. A separate survey by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which looked at levels of depression in adults found one in eight adults (12.9%) developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic.Adults who were aged 16 to 39 years old, female, unable to afford an unexpected expense, or disabled were the most impacted.The latest data suggests the nation is in the grip of a mental health emergency, said Mind, which is further underpinned by the spike in calls to its helpline.The charity wants the government to invest in urgent community services and allow people with severe mental health problems to access Covid-safe face-to face-support if they need it, including in places with tier 3 lockdowns.It also wants to make sure people can get the support early enough to avoid reaching crisis and that those returning home after coming out of hospital are helped to stay well.Related... Racism Is A Public Health Crisis. As A Doctor, I've Seen It For Myself A mental health crisis can include self-harming, psychosis, attempting suicide or a manic episode. Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, said it’s a “critical moment” for the government to act to “prevent a second, mental health pandemic”.“It has to invest in mental health services in the community right now and give those most at risk the option of face to face support if they need it, even in areas with the strictest lockdown restrictions,” he said. “We know how urgent this is because of the hundreds more people ringing Mind asking for help.”Farmer said “far too many people aren’t getting the support they need” and are ending up in crisis, which is not only “traumatic for them” but adds to the strain on the NHS.“The government has to learn from what went wrong in the first wave of coronavirus and make sure people can access help early on, to protect people’s mental health and the NHS,” he said. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) told HuffPost UK that it acknowledged how challenging this unprecedented time has been for people’s mental health and wellbeing – and urged anybody who needs it to seek help.“Mental health has remained an absolute priority, with community and crisis services adapting to continue to provide support, including by using digital and face to face appointments where appropriate and establishing all-age 24/7 urgent mental health helplines,” said DHSC, adding that it had given £10.2m in additional funding to mental health charities in response to the pandemic.Useful supportThe NHS runs a 24/7 urgent mental health helplines to offer advice and support, and help decide on the best course of care.Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: [email protected] for a reply within 24 hoursText “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.If you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe, call 999 or go straight to A&E.Related... A Mum Was Fined £100 For Overstaying In A Petrol Station Car Park While Breastfeeding What To Eat First Thing In The Morning If You Have Anxiety Why Children Who Go Hungry Will Never Be Full Again
You’re reading Sex Diaries, a HuffPost UK Personal series about how we are (or aren’t) having sex. To share your story, get in touch on [email protected] are good at a lot of things, and pretence is definitely one of them. Whether it’s pretending to like people we don’t like, or pretending to not like people we like so it doesn’t get in their heads, we pretend a lot. But the most amazing aspect of this pretentiousness is how we love to claim we don’t have sex. Which is funny because, according to the Society for Family Health Nigeria, we use about 400 million condoms yearly. If we are not having sex, who is using the condoms?When it comes to those of us who do admit that people have sex, there’s a habit of slut-shaming that is downright outrageous. For some reason, sex between two people is treated like only the woman was involved in it. There is still the conscious or subconscious belief that, somehow, a woman’s worth is tied to her vagina, and that her marginal utility begins to reduce once she begins to have sex. And any woman who enjoys sex? That’s a slut!Slut-shaming here is so commonplace it’s almost the norm. You start experiencing it once you hit puberty – sometimes even before. One of the most infuriating things about it is the sheer audacity of the people who engage in it. More times than I can remember, I have been slut-shamed for merely walking on the road or refusing to give out my phone number. It’s sick. Whether I politely decline or rudely ignore them, I’m still going to be called a slut. The openly sexual male is a player, while the openly sexual female is indecent and a prostitute.More often than not, this is usually the first time a growing girl experiences it. It gets confusing. Do I give out my number so I can have some peace? What happens when I pass this route again? As you grow up and learn how to deal with that, you start facing society members who believe you slept your way to every good place you’re in. An expensive phone? You fucked for it. A promotion? You fucked for it. A car? You fucked for it. Seen with a rich man? He’s definitely your sugar daddy.The slut-shaming isn’t just external either. It happens internally as well. Family, friends, colleagues say stuff about you. I was once called a prostitute by a close relative because I opened a bank account without parental consent. I was called a “hoe” and worse by a considerable number of people – some of whom were supposed to be my friends – because of sex between some dude who lied and me. He did the lying, but I got the smoke.There’s also the issue of the very people you’re sleeping with slut-shaming you. I mean, we are together but somehow you’re the stud and I’m the slut? Incredible. Nothing seems to stop your sexual partner from slut-shaming you for the sex you are (or were) having. Guys get out of relationships and begin to call their exes all sorts. Sometimes, they go as far as commodifying you and your body parts, to the adulation of other members of society. Then you begin to wonder if you had the sex in question alone.People try to pass slut-shaming off as a joke but the reality is that it sucks big time. Nobody wants to be insulted for simply choosing to live free.You see, the openly sexual male is a player, while the openly sexual female is indecent and a prostitute. I love adult jokes – I crack a ton of funny ones myself. But someone called my attention to it saying it was making people around think of me as loose. Can’t lie, I felt rather disappointed in everyone involved. I compared myself to a man in the same circle – If my jokes were dirty, his were downright filthy. However, he was funny and I was slutty? I keep my jokes to myself now. These people are clearly unworthy of such premium content.Sometimes I deliberately do more of what I was doing just to spite the shamer. Sex? I’ll have more of it. Dirty jokes? I’ll crack dirtier ones. Short skirt? The next one I’ll wear will be shorter – with a thigh slit. I don’t think the comments made by the slut-shaming blockheads should weigh anyone down and stop them from enjoying themselves. I mean, we only live once, don’t we? If we live our lives always keeping what people will say in mind, we will simply not live for us; we’ll live for them.But I understand that not everyone has thick skin. Sometimes, people try to pass slut-shaming off as a joke but the reality is that it sucks big time. Nobody wants to be insulted for simply choosing to live free. I don’t see slut-shaming as a hurdle. It’s more like a speed breaker – sometimes, the comments might slow me down, sometimes I just ignore them and speed along and sometimes, I don’t even see them and I just speed through. Bumpy, but we move.Tobi Adebanjo is a freelance writer and studentHave a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected] HuffPost UK Personal Sex Diaries After Divorcing At 50, I Prioritised My Sex Life. This Is What Happened I’m 53, And Sleeping With An 83-Year-Old. Here's The Truth About ‘Geriatric Sex’ I’m Thinking About Casual Sex For The First Time Since Coronavirus. This Is How It’s Going
Mince pies have inspired a whole load of festive food and drink products in the past few years – from mince pie gin, to mince pie flat whites. But ever considered eating them for breakfast?Sainsbury’s has launched its Mince Pie Wheats – pockets stuffed with spiced raisin, with added flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg. Think of the cereal as your standard Shredded Wheat, with a mince pie filling. The cereal is vegan, high in fibre and has no added sugar – you can get a 500g box for £2 in stores. So is it worth it? Related... Percymas Pies Are Here For Christmas. Here's Our Review ‘Before I know it, the bowl is empty’Natasha Hinde, life reporter: “I’m a big fan of a breakfast wheat – quite partial to the apricot ones, the blueberry ones aren’t bad either – and a massive fan of mince pies and Christmas in general, so I feel like I’m the prime target for these. When I open the bag, the waft of mince pie is strong. Initially, I’m not sure how I feel about such delicious morsels being confined to a breakfast cereal, but it doesn’t stop me from trying one... without milk. It’s good to be honest, I taste the raisin, cinnamon and nutmeg, and it does have that familiar mince pie flavour, but then the bitterness hits. Maybe they’ve tried to recreate those notes you get with boozy mince pies? The next morning I have the cereal for breakfast. When you add milk it diminishes the bitterness – you can still taste it, but not offensively, and once I get over the fact I’m eating mince pie cereal, I realise I’m very much enjoying these wheaties. Before I know it, the bowl is empty and I’m happily full. See you tomorrow, mince pie wheats. Love, your newest convert xox.” 4/5‘Subtle spiciness overtaken by sweetness’Adam Bloodworth, features writer: “When I start eating the mince pie wheats I can’t stop wondering: who’s the target exactly? Christmas fanatics like Tash, and, I’m guessing, children – the latter hauled in on the basis that this is a new novelty sugary cereal. I’d imagine that for both of those groups, this cereal will receive the same reception as a piping hot mince pie itself. That is, it’ll split opinion. This cereal is sweet and sugary alright, and fair play, those are two certain qualities of the mince pie. But for me, the underlying subtle spiciness is overtaken by too much cloying sweetness, and that throws me a bit. I get through my bowl, but during and afterwards, it lacks the balance of a good mince pie, which leaves me with a fruity, buttery flavour, and not just sugar. I reckon I could just try adding a bit of cinnamon to my regular Shreddies next time. But if there’s one thing these’ll cause, it’s debate.” 3/5‘This will cheer up some wintery mornings’Amy Packham, life editor: “I’ve been used to trying weird and wonderful foods at Christmas since working a HuffPost, and often, the odd combos they put together just don’t work. I was expecting the same with mince pie cereal to be honest – but I was wrong. (I should mention that I’m a mince pie obsessive and get on the case as soon as they hit shelves in September). I cover these wheats in milk, let them soak a little, and take a bite. The filling really does taste like mince pie – sweet, with a slightly spiced taste, but it isn’t sickly at all and I pour more into my bowl as soon as I finish the last one. I assumed this cereal would be pretty bad for me, because it tastes so good, but the traffic light system on the front of the box is green green green, with an orange for sugars. This will definitely cheer up some wintery mornings in the lead up to Christmas.” 4.5/5Related... 15 Foodie Gift Ideas That’ll Make You Seriously Hungry 3 Simple Ways To Have An Eco Christmas, Even In A Covid Year How To Host A 'Big Night In' – With No Zoom Quiz In Sight
Thousands chanted his name at Glastonbury when the “youthquake” election of 2017 saw him almost topple Theresa May. Just a few short months ago, he was leader of HM Opposition and candidate to be prime minister of the United Kingdom.Now, Jeremy Corbyn faces being the first Labour leader since Ramsay MacDonald to be thrown out of the party. And because what some tonight call his “callous denialism” in the wake of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism, the now-independent MP for Islington North is left with few allies and nobody to blame but himself. Here’s how this extraordinary day in British politics unfolded and what it all means. It began at 10am when the equality watchdog, established by Tony Blair’s government in 2006, published its long-awaited report. While it did not rule that Labour was institutionally anti-Semitic, it found the party under Corbyn was guilty of breaking the law on equality. Two bombshell findings stood out: Labour had harassed and discriminated against Jewish people and there had been political interference from Corbyn’s office in complaints. It was a sombre moment for “the party of equality” as EHRC chair Caroline Waters told reporters of “inexcusable” failures, which “appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle anti-Semitism”. Starmer, ever the lawyer, had carefully designed a statement to mark the event’s gravity – “it is a day of shame” – and set out a roadmap for how Labour would act. But minutes before his statement, deputy leader Angela Rayner was trying to stop Corbyn and his team from sending out a statement on Facebook which flew in the face of the reports findings and said anti-Semitism was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”. She failed and within minutes general secretary David Evans had suspended Corbyn. It “can come as no surprise”, one source close to Starmer told HuffPost UK, after the leadership and Evans warned MPs anyone who undermined the EHRC report could face action. Whether Corbyn discovered his fate via a photographer, or as the party claims, via correspondence following talks, is unclear. At 2.45pm, Evans and Rayner informed the party’s regional directors, most of whom were appointed during the Corbyn era, via a Zoom call. Evans told them “strenuous efforts” were made to resolve the matter with Corbyn, which were “not successful”, while Rayner, who would later tell broadcasters Corbyn had a “blindspot” on anti-Semitism, warned directors to be professional.A call for questions was met with stony silence. But elsewhere in country, one staffer from Newcastle said some members had already begun phoning to resign their membership.The atmosphere at an emergency shadow cabinet meeting at 4pm was “anger, despair and disappointment” at Corbyn’s actions, with shadow ministers warned not to wade into rows. While the move might make internal party management difficult for Starmer, it will do him no harm with voters, particularly those in the red wall. Tory chair Amanda Milling tried out a curious new attack line in a campaign email to supporters, given recent events, claiming that Starmer was “Corbyn’s man”.  Claiming Starmer “stood by Corbyn when it was politically convenient”, the keeness to link the two men gives away how heavily the Conservatives relied on ex-Labour voters’ dislike of Corbyn. The ex-leader has vowed to “strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me”. Starmer flatly denies any involvement in Corbyn’s suspension, which was dealt with by the party’s governance unit, but has said he supports their decision. What is striking is how few figures have emerged to defend Corbyn in the full-throated manner they have in the past. John McDonnell, who served as shadow chancellor throughout Corbyn’s tenure, described the suspension as “profoundly wrong” but urged “calm” among members.The Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, which includes figures such as Richard Burgon said it “will work tirelessly for his reinstatement”, with little detail.Len McCluskey called it a “grave injustice” and, rather tamely compared with the Unite boss’ usual form, urged  Starmer to “unite the party”.Tellingly, amid reports local Labour parties are haemorrhaging left-wing members, he also called on members “angered by this suspension not to leave the party”. “This is what the left fear, a loss of influence,” said one source, pointing to upcoming elections for the National Executive Committee. Rumours had begun in Westminster of a breakaway party, but attempts by left-winger Howard Beckett to withdraw further Unite funding from Labour failed. While many will be angry, others who have clashed with Corbyn on issues such as Brexit, and know a socialist breakaway party would fail, will be relieved to get a divorce from “Brand Corbyn”, as some feel he undermined their moral authority. “They know micro parties are a waste of time and they are thinking about how they can fit into the future,” said one insider. Or as Margaret Hodge, the Jewish Labour MP who repeatedly challenged Corbyn over his failings on anti-Semitism, put it he is “yesterday’s man”. So what does it say about Starmer’s new leadership, and how, if elected, the former director of public prosecutions might run the country? One former adviser tried to sum it up: “Keir is really, really obsessed about rules. He lives his life by following the rules. “And sometimes by being conservative and doing exactly what the rules say, you can also be quite radical.” 
For five years, anti-Semitism has become ever more interwoven with Labour’s factional struggles. In the Labour Party, attitudes to anti-Semitism are now almost a symbol of political allegiance, a stand-in for someone’s views on economic policy or foreign affairs. I’ve seen this first-hand. When I interviewed for a job with Labour in 2016, I assumed, perhaps naively, that while I did not agree with Jeremy Corbyn on things like foreign policy, and was uncomfortable with some of his past associations, different views would be welcomed because the point of political parties is work together to win power.It quickly became apparent that judgement was wrong. As I worked with Corbyn and his team, I became acutely aware that some saw me not just in terms of my political or policy beliefs, but in terms of my Jewishness. This was clear in both what they did and did not do. It was clear when, after discovering I was Jewish, an aide spent a two-hour train-ride quizzing me about my views on Israel, not as an equal participant in a conversation about foreign policy, but as an employee being tested to see if my views on Israel were the predicable views of a Jew. It was clear when despite repeatedly pushing for swift, clear and heartfelt condemnations of anti-Semitism, I found the few condemnations that were issued were never swift, clear, or it seemed to me, heartfelt.Like many forms of prejudice, anti-Semitism does not always involve discernible and conscious hatred. Nobody except Jeremy Corbyn will ever know what was in his mind while he led the Labour Party. But that was never the point. The point was that time and again, he failed to grasp attempts to build bridges with the Jewish community, and stood by as his supporters dismissed and derided Jewish people who were clearly under attack, hurting ... heck, even afraid. Under his leadership, Labour failed to apply the basic principle that those who experience prejudice are generally best placed to identify and describe it.The upshot was this. I came to realise that Jeremy Corbyn and some of his aides felt their identities as anti-racist campaigners made them immune to Europe’s most enduring and persistent form of hatred, and viewed those who raised concerns about anti-Semitism as insulting, dishonest, even pathetic. I felt something all too familiar to those who are used to being stereotyped – self-conscious and defensive about who I am, as if I had to work doubly hard to defend what I believe because I am Jewish.Even though being Jewish was not my primary identity, I had to listen to Corbyn and his team as a Jew, to read his words and watch his inaction through this new lens of anti-Semitism. It was strange, disorienting, and sometimes painful, but it was also instructive, and perhaps strangely, made me more proud than ever to live in a democracy that protects basic rights and freedoms, and more determined than ever to change the Labour Party.Progressive parties should be a place where complex questions of identity and experience can be discussed, openly, with a sense of common purpose. We should be able to talk about the similarities and differences between anti-Black and anti-Jewish racism, and explore what it means to be white, Black, South Asian, or Jewish, in modern Britain.Our country’s diversity is among its greatest strengths. Whether Labour members who prefer Keir Starmer or Jeremy Corbyn, or voters who chose Labour or Conservative, Remain or Leave, as citizens of a diverse and plural democracy, we all have a vested interest in working out how to live as free citizens who forge our common future together. Labour’s failure to address anti-Semitism didn’t just put off Jewish voters, it made citizens across the UK doubt Labour’s moral compass.Labour now has an opportunity to make anti-Semitism a cross-factional issue. The release of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report is a moment not just for Keir Starmer to continue to demonstrate he is serious about anti-Semitism, it is a chance for all of us to explore together what anti-Semitism means, and how it does and does not relate to other forms of racism. These issues matter not just for the Labour Party, but for the country.In Labour, we have to start by listening to each other, making space not only for what others believe but for how they feel. When there has been so much hurt and distrust, we must all find the courage and respect to ensure we don’t slide into tired factional debates, and the energy and patience to share experiences and develop a common language. Those who refuse to talk and listen and engage should have no place in the Labour Party. Making Labour a home for Jewish people again will be a long and often uncomfortable road, but I believe it can and must be done. It will require Jews and non-Jews who have left Labour to engage with energy and determination, to do the hard civic work of repairing the damage that has been done – to attend meetings, to vote, and to run. Achieving that goal is not just a political imperative, but a moral one. Josh Simons is a former Labour Party staffer who worked in Jeremy Corbyn’s leader’s office, and quit over anti-Semitism. He then worked in Labour HQ.Welcome to HuffPost Opinion, a new dedicated space for reliable, expert commentary and analysis on the day’s biggest talking points. Got a unique angle or viewpoint on a news story that will help cut through the noise? We want to hear from you. Read more here Related... The Key Reactions To The Labour Anti-Semitism Report Jeremy Corbyn Suspended From Labour Party Over Anti-Semitism Comments Jeremy Corbyn Says Labour Anti-Semitism Allegations Were Overstated
A mother has spoken out about the lack of safe spaces to breastfeed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, after being fined £100 for overstaying at a BP station while feeding her daughter. Cassie Werber, 39, was driving from Bristol to London with her young daughter on October 13 when she realised she’d have to make a stop on the M25 for fuel and to breastfeed. She pulled into a parking space at a BP petrol station and spent around 25 minutes feeding her daughter, after which she filled up her car, paid, and used the baby changing facilities in the station – a visit which lasted, in total, little more than 45 minutes.She said: “It was really out of necessity, I pulled into one of the parking bays at the side of the station and fed her. I wasn’t timing it, but I think it would have been in the region of 20, 25 minutes.“I didn’t know there were any time limits on being in a petrol station, if I had known maybe I wouldn’t have gone there to breastfeed – maybe I would have gone somewhere else – to be honest I would have imagined that being a customer for a business would mean you could park in those bays for a little longer.”Several days after her stop at the petrol station, Werber received notice that she was liable to pay a £100 fine for overstaying in the car park. She appealed and provided a full account of what had happened, but on October 26 was issued with a rejection, which she said made no reference to her statement. There was no indication that she could appeal to BP, she said, and MET Parking said it would not enter into further correspondence over the fine. After her appeal was rejected she tweeted about her experience, which led to an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live. Only after going public with what had happened was she contact by BP, and found out whilst on air that MET Parking had dropped the fine. An email from the parking company stated the fine had been dropped as a “gesture of goodwill”, although one that “may not be repeated in the future”. I've just been issued with a £100 parking fine for breastfeeding in my own car. I explained the situation to the parking company, MET Parking Services, in an appeal. They have just rejected it. I was at a @[email protected]_Press petrol station at the time, where I also bought petrol!— Cassie Werber (@cassiewerber) October 27, 2020An update on the parking/breastfeeding situation I tweeted about yesterday. MET Parking Services have now cancelled the fine. Their letter says "as a gesutre of goodwill this parking charge notice has been cancelled. Please note that this gesture may not be repeated in future."— Cassie Werber (@cassiewerber) October 29, 2020A BP spokesperson said: “We have parking restrictions in place on a small number of BP sites in the UK where there is high demand for parking.“The restrictions are intended to help our customers park and shop with us, and avoid spaces being used by those who are not customers.“In the small number of cases where genuine customers have been issued a fine, we’d ask them to get in touch so we can investigate.” Werber explained that lockdown had made the experience of caring for a newborn much more difficult, and finding a safe indoor space to breastfeed almost impossible. She said: “There are so few places to go that are safe, indoor and private – and privacy isn’t even really an issue because I don’t think women should be hiding in their cars to breastfeed. “Normally there are so many places that you can go as a new mum, like baby groups, cafes, health services or even just a friend or family member’s sofa, but none of those are really available now especially in tier 2. “I think it’s probably massively affecting people’s mental health. I’ve just had my second child so I think I’m quite lucky – when you have your first it’s a huge life change and you’re all at sea. For first time parents it must be really, really tough.” She added: “It’s the season change too. You can’t go and sit in a park comfortably, there are very few places to go.“People aren’t really using public transport so much either, which means a lot more people are breastfeeding in their cars if they have one. It’s something I’ve had to do a lot of times just out of necessity.”  HuffPost UK has approached MET Parking Services for comment. Related... UK Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 300 For Second Day In A Row Bristol Says It's Now In Tier 1+ And Things Are Getting Complicated ‘We Must Take Care Of Each Other’ – These People Stepped In To Feed The Nation’s Kids
It’s long been suspected that the virus that causes Covid-19 could survive in aerosol droplets – tiny particles that linger in the air long after we talk, cough or sneeze – and then infect other people when they breathe them in. If the virus is living in the air – and potentially travelling distances to infect people – it would be considered “airborne”. This is quite a big deal, as it shifts the measures we use to try and prevent the virus from spreading.Related... What You Need To Know About Whether Vaping Spreads Covid-19 Is Covid-19 airborne?Airborne transmission is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the spread of an infectious agent caused by the dissemination of aerosols that remain infectious when suspended in air over long distances and time.In official circles, SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been confirmed as airborne. However there appears to be growing consensus among some scientists that it is. In July, 239 scientists penned an open letter to WHO warning against underestimating the possibility of airborne transmission.WHO agrees airborne transmission of the virus can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols – for example, intubating a Covid-19 patient. But it’s in the process of evaluating whether SARS-CoV-2 may also spread through aerosols in other places, such as indoor settings with poor ventilation. It said the matter of it being airborne “cannot be ruled out”.Some studies have shown the virus can linger in the air for up to three hours. But one of the major caveats of such studies is that the aerosols are generated using high-powered jet nebulisers under controlled laboratory conditions – this doesn’t reflect normal human cough conditions.Recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted an update on its website acknowledging the virus that causes Covid-19 could be airborne, but U-turned a few days later. The CDC said a draft version of proposed changes had been “posted in error”.Can I catch Covid-19 from aerosols?Modelling of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in confined spaces, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, suggests that while it isn’t without it’s risks, the chances of catching Covid-19 from aerosols are probably pretty low. Doctors at the University of Amsterdam’s Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute used laser technology to measure the distribution of droplets released when people speak or cough. Test subjects spoke or coughed into a laser beam, and a jet nozzle was used to mimic tiny aerosol micro-droplets. Researchers then measured how droplets spread and how likely they are to pass along the virus. While the lingering micro-droplets aren’t risk-free, due to their small size, they contain less virus than the larger droplets produced when someone coughs, speaks, or sneezes directly on us, said Daniel Bonn, one of the authors. If someone enters a space even a few minutes after a mildly symptomatic carrier of the coronavirus has coughed in that area, the probability of infection is “rather low,” said researchers, and it’s even lower if that person was only talking.Bonn said the findings suggest aerosol-wise that it’s “relatively safe” to go into well-ventilated modern buildings, such as airports, train stations and offices, as “modern ventilation makes the aerosol infection risk not very large”.Commenting on the study, Dr Julian Tang, a consultant virologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, points out that there are studies involving influenza virus that suggest smaller aerosolised particles can carry more virus than larger droplets per unit volume. “The study does not exclude aerosol transmission,” he adds, “but I think there are too many assumptions to interpret this further to say that it is, or is not, predominant nor efficient as a route of transmission of Covid-19.”Professor Ashley Woodcock, who works in respiratory medicine at the University of Manchester, is convinced aerosols don’t play a part in Covid-19 transmission. “I’m not a modeller,” he tells HuffPost UK. “I’m a respiratory doctor, I’m an academic, and I’m completely convinced that aerosols are irrelevant.”Prof Woodcock says viruses like measles and chickenpox, which are spread in aerosols, have a far higher R0 value than coronavirus. The R0 value of measles is 12-18, while the R0 value of coronavirus is around 2.63. The higher the R0 value, the more infectious a virus is considered to be.“Secondly, in confined spaces like aeroplanes, there have been virtually no cases of transmission,” he says. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has identified 44 Covid-19 cases linked to flights since the beginning of 2020, out of roughly 1.2 billion passengers who travelled during that time. It’s worth noting however that planes do have very effective filtration systems. He believes the main way the virus is spreading is through surface contact and that there needs to be a bigger focus on washing hands; not touching faces; and cleaning homes, schools, shops and hospitals.Related... What You Can Do On Bonfire Night – From Drive-In Fireworks To DIY How can I stay safe?If you’re worried about exposure to the virus from air droplets, aerosol scientists in the US have made a series of recommendations on how to stay safer indoors. The main message is to avoid, or reduce as much as possible, situations that would mean you’re inhaling exhaled air from other people.This means avoiding crowded spaces; practising social distancing; avoiding low ventilation environments and long durations in such places; avoiding places where people don’t wear masks; avoiding loud talking, shouting and singing; and avoiding places where there are high breathing rates (the scientists use indoor aerobic exercise as an example).Once a virus escapes into the air inside a building, you have two options, said Professor Shelly Miller, an expert in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder: you either bring in fresh air from outside or remove the virus from the air inside the building.The safest indoor space is one that constantly has outdoor air replacing stale indoor air, she said. So, a space where windows and doors are open, or where heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are in operation. “In any room, the more people inside, the faster the air should be replaced,” she wrote in a piece for The Conversation.In the United States, the CDC recommends air purifiers as a preventative measure for Covid-19, stating “when used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space”.Not all air purifiers are created equal, though, and scientists advise keeping an eye out for filter effectiveness – High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can remove most particle sizes from the air, but it’s not a failsafe solution.Professor Woodcock believes we’re missing a trick by not focusing on the route of exposure that comes from touching surfaces and then touching our faces. He wants to see more of a spotlight on the importance of keeping areas clean.“You could have a Get Britain Clean campaign,” he says, “everybody scrubs their houses, their hands, their children, the schools – and you just need squeezy detergent.”Related... Covid-19 Has 7 Key Strains. Here's What You Need To Know Here's How Likely It Is You Had Covid Back In December Why Masks Are Unlikely To Be Made Mandatory Outdoors In The UK
The UK’s coronavirus death toll has exceeded 300 for the second day in a row as the country battles another surge in infections. On Wednesday, the deaths of 310 more people were recorded, bringing the UK’s total death toll to 45,675. Of those, 236 were reported in England, while Scotland accounted for 28 of the fatalities. In Northern Ireland, the deaths of nine more people were recorded, while 37 were also reported in Wales. It comes just a day after the daily death count topped 350 for the first time since May, with the Covid-19 deaths of 367 people added to the government’s coronavirus dashboard. The grim milestone prompted calls for Boris Johnson to impose a stricter lockdown, with the government’s own scientific advisors warning that the coronavirus death toll could remain high throughout winter. Sir Mark Walport, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), told the BBC on Wednesday it was “certainly not unrealistic” to think of 25,000 people being in hospital with Covid-19 by the end of November. The PM has so far resisted calls for a “circuit breaker” lockdown in England, preferring to stick to regional restrictions. However, cases across the UK continue to rise, with 24,701 new infections reported on Wednesday. It means that 942,275 people have now tested positive for the virus in the UK. Related... Boris Johnson Urged To Impose Stricter Lockdown After Worst Death Toll Since May UK Coronavirus Daily Death Toll Tops 350 For First Time Since May
Bristol Council has unveiled new measures to control the local rise in Covid-19 cases – and created a whole new sub-tier of lockdown for itself in the process.England is currently under a three-tier system, with alert levels set at medium, high and very high – translating to tier 1, 2 and 3 of restrictions. But that wasn’t enough for Bristol, where there are currently 340.7 new cases per 100,000. Home to around half a million people, the city declared it is now under “tier 1+”, an entirely new sub-tier altogether. "We regard ourselves now as being in Tier 1+" Ms Gray said— Amanda Cameron LDR (@AmandaSCameron) October 28, 2020The government’s tiered system, announced on October 12, was intended to improve the functioning of test and trace (which isn’t exactly going brilliantly) and clear up some of the confusing public health messaging.But with Bristol City Council going rogue by putting itself in a new tier all of its own, we’re not sure things are getting any simpler. So let me get this right: Tier 0 (Scotland only)Tier 1 (UK)Tier 1+ (Bristol only)Tier 2 (UK)Tier 3 (UK)Tier 4 (Scotland only)Tears (Me)— Conrad Quilty-Harper (@Coneee) October 28, 2020Inventing a whole new subtier for Bristol is very Bristol. https://t.co/GkTd5unhRu— Rachael Krishna (@RachaelKrishna) October 28, 2020Tier 1 plus you know. Business class Covid. https://t.co/VRHa5TBCmy— TransJamaican (@Whitb_xx) October 28, 2020explaining how Tier 1 Plus fits into the system pic.twitter.com/OcfAB9M6Gk— Toby Earle (@TobyonTV) October 28, 2020What does tier 1+ actually mean? It’s important to note that tier 1+ isn’t a national strategy – it was created locally by leaders in the South West but implemented first by Bristol City Council, explained the city’s director of public health Christina Gray. Ms Gray said the Tier1+ concept was a local one, and not a national one. She said it had been discussed by local authorities throughout the South West but Bristol was the first one to try it— Amanda Cameron LDR (@AmandaSCameron) October 28, 2020She added: “The tier 1+ is because we recognise the importance of maintaining people’s livelihoods, and the hospitality sector is the most difficult to manage safely.“In order to keep open, we need to drive down infections.” Tier 1+ doesn’t actually mean there will be any new restrictions for members of the public to follow – up to six members of different households will still be able to meet indoors, unlike in tier 2 where this is forbidden. What it does mean, however, is that the council will enforce the current rules more effectively, with eight Covid marshals targeting busy areas of the city especially in the evenings and at weekends. Bristol Live reported that tier 1+ boiled down to three main components – “using data to provide messages on how to safely use public spaces, taking on parts of Test and Trace, and ensuring compliance.” Bristol City Council is also using £3 million in funding from government to boost local resources for test and trace, which Rees said was “failing” on a national scale, as well as concentrating on more targeted approaches to reducing transmission – particularly amongst 30- to 60-year-olds, where case numbers are on the rise.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has clarified that it is not introducing a plus system.“There are three local Covid alert levels which are enshrined in law and we are not considering the introduction of a ‘plus’ system,” a spokesperson said. “Bristol is currently at medium and local leaders have the authority to bring in some additional measures for their area, and we welcome local efforts to break chains of transmission.”So... what happened to the three-tier system? When Boris Johnson announced the three-tier system it was billed as a way of simplifying the local lockdowns and boosting the effectiveness of test and trace. Millions of people across some of England’s biggest cities are now living under heightened restrictions under tier 2 and 3, with the government already facing significant backlash from Manchester’s leaders over “disgraceful” financial support.Inconsistencies between different cities have also been pointed out, with Liverpool told gyms had to shut under tier 3 while they stayed open in Lancashire under exactly the same tier – a move Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson described as an “inconsistent mess”.But with cases and deaths rising, there is some concern that even tier 3 doesn’t go far enough – with calls reportedly being made for tier 4, or tier 3+. Leicestershire Live reported on Tuesday that Whitehall officials were discussing a fourth tier of restrictions, and local circuit breaker lockdowns, in regions where tier 3 restrictions hadn’t brought the virus under control. Under tier 4, or tier 3+, restaurants and non-essential retail such as clothes shops could also be forced to close – similar to the current “firebreaker” lockdown across the whole of Wales. The three-tier system only applies in England, but Nicola Sturgeon was met with some accusations of complication Westminster’s public health messaging after introducing a five-tier system in Scotland earlier in October. The Scottish first minister said the additional two steps, 0 and 4, “sensibly add” to the English system – with 0 being the “closest to normality we think we can safely get to”. Tier 4 is stricter than the English tier 3, and is closer to a full lockdown involving the closure of non-essential shops. Schools would remain open under all tiers, even under the toughest restrictions.Related... Boris Johnson Urged To Impose Stricter Lockdown After Worst Death Toll Since May Opinion: Paying For A Boots Covid Test Is Morally Indefensible Victoria Derbyshire Apologises After Saying She Would Break Rule Of Six At Christmas
Lily Allen doesn’t think enough high-profile women speak about masturbation – and she wants to change that.The singer, 35, says the topic is still “taboo” – despite the fact that it’s something most people do. “When a woman talks about masturbation, it’s always: ’Well you’re clearly not getting sex from a male partner so you must be undesirable or disappointed with your partner’s ability. It’s lazy, archaic and just not true,” she told Radio 1 Newsbeat.“There’s a reason our bodies are made as they were. Women are given clitorises and G-spots – because they’re there to have orgasms with.”Related... The Art Of Masturbation (With Alix Fox) Allen says it’s a “co-dependent attitude to pleasure” when people believe they have to rely on someone else to orgasm – especially when we can do it ourselves.  She wishes she spoke about it more openly when she was younger – “nobody talked about and I didn’t engage with it” – saying that it wasn’t until she committed to “masturbation, self love and ultimately sex toys” that she considered my own needs. In HuffPost UK Life’s podcast, Am I Making You Uncomfortable, sex educator Alix Fox said many people feel awkward about masturbation because people “just don’t talk about it”.“A lot of us worry about whether we should be doing it or shouldn’t be doing it,” she said. “And we don’t know what the normal is. So we can really scrutinise our own behaviours – or lack thereof.“I think that conversation is starting to change, but still a lot of the images and a lot of the messages that people get about female masturbation come from porn where it’s something that’s performed often for male pleasure and as a result, it’s all play and display.”Allen was speaking about the topic after the news she’s put her name to a brand of vibrators. Her title? “Chief Liberation Officer”.“I wish I’d come to terms with [masturbation] much sooner, it would’ve saved me a lot of headaches,” she added.Related... After Divorcing At 50, I Prioritised My Sex Life. This Is What Happened 20 Things We've All Learned From Am I Making You Uncomfortable? This Is How Our Bad Sex Education Shaped My Sexuality
Amid the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK and the disproportionate mortality rate amongst BAME people during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s never been more important to talk about what racism looks like in Britain. Whether it’s the disproportionate impact of austerity measures on the income of Black British households, the wrongful detention and deportation of members of the Windrush generation, or the fact that Black men are more likely to be stopped and searched, arrested, prosecuted and held in high security conditions once convicted when compared to white men, it is undeniable that stark racial disparities exist across systems within the UK. Unfortunately, as a healthcare professional, I’ve come to understand the healthcare system is no exception.I have seen first-hand how racial and ethnic minority groups suffer from some of the poorest health outcomes in the UK. Compared to their white counterparts, Black people are over-represented in mental health institutions and are over four times more likely to be sectioned due to psychiatric illness. Black women are five times more likely to die post-birth, and infant mortality is highest amongst BAME groups. Black and South Asian subpopulations have also been found to be at least two times more likely to die of Covid-19. It is well-known that social factors, like poverty, drive poor health outcomes amongst British minorities groups. However, the course of one’s health is also often dictated by race itself. I have witnessed colleagues work longer and harder to develop research and clinical care, so that the health needs of racial minorities are addressed, but rather naively many of us have ignored the elephant in the room. I can recall numerous Black patients with sickle cell disease who felt their complaints of pain were disregarded.In the UK, BAME groups persistently experience the lowest levels of satisfaction when engaging with healthcare. It is undeniable that implicit racial biases that exist within society are just as present in the healthcare setting. These biases have the potential to worsen health inequalities by polluting our interactions with patients of colour. This has never been more evident to me than when patients complain of subjective symptoms like pain. I can recall numerous cases of Black patients with sickle cell disease who felt their complaints of pain were disregarded, despite it being a typical characteristic of their condition. I remember a particularly distressing example – a twenty-something man who came to our unit for pain management. As a young, Black man actively seeking moderate pain relief, on a Saturday night sporting 90s-inspired street fashion in the inner city, my nursing colleague and I both knew that his proximity to racist media portrayals of Black men could taint his interaction with some staff. Later that night, my nursing colleague was in tears as her patient’s successive requests for pain relief were met with excessive scrutiny as his condition worsened. The mistreatment of this young Black man was a deeply disconcerting display of how unconscious biases can lead to substandard healthcare provision on our part. I was troubled not only by the hostility with which he was met, but by the potential repercussions that this negative experience may have on his health-seeking behaviours in the future.In addition to these biases, policies the Prevent strategy and the ‘hostile environment’ policy may also exacerbate inequalities. Prevent imposes a statutory requirement on NHS staff to report patients who exhibit specific indicators of ‘radicalisation’ which include ‘feeling persecuted,’ ‘changing friends and appearance’ and ‘converting to a new religion’. Critics continue to voice concerns about the quality – and paucity – of evidence that the strategy was founded upon. Amongst referrals from schools for perceived radicalisation, the majority of cases have been marred with racial and religious stereotyping. Referrals from the NHS also disproportionately include Asian patients and those racialised as Muslim. One report even recounts the ill-suited referral of a young man, who was incapable of undertaking day-to-day tasks such as self-feeding or walking independently, to Prevent by his physiotherapist for watching videos of Islamic sermons online.I have asked immigration officers to pause their questioning of an elderly, Indian gentleman who was violently short of breath having just been carried out of an ambulance with an oxygen mask.The ‘hostile environment’, which makes it more difficult for those without leave to remain to access UK healthcare, also contributes to worsening health disparities based on race. However, as a UN Special Rapporteur on Racism once reported in 2019, the policy “is destroying the lives and livelihoods of racial and ethnic minority communities”. This is due to harassment, racial profiling and misunderstandings between race, ethnicity and immigration status. The impact of the policy on the ground is unsettling; I have recoiled as a colleague attempted to block an urgent referral for a young man with advanced cancer given her misunderstanding regarding eligibility to healthcare. I also have asked immigration officers to pause their questioning of an elderly, Indian gentleman who was violently short of breath having just been carried out of an ambulance with an oxygen mask.If we are truly committed to the fight against health inequities in the UK, it is time to refine our understanding of racism to include broader structures that have long underpinned deep-seated inequalities in the UK. It is paramount that we not only acknowledge, but dismantle, racist structures in all of its forms within healthcare – including implicit biases and poorly-reasoned health policy – so that no-one in Britain is at a disadvantage based on their race. Only then, will our efforts to improve the public health of racial minorities on the ground bear fruit.Dr Harun Khan is a physician, public health researcher. Follow him on Twitter @haruunsaysHave a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected] from HuffPost UK Personal How The ‘Hostile Environment’ Has Made This Pandemic Harder For Doctors Like Me I’m An NHS Doctor. Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Are Making Our Job Harder My Ex’s Economic Abuse Left Me Paying His Debts For A Decade
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