Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Claire Rayner : "Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him."

Those are apparently what Claire Rayner, who has died, wanted to be her last words.

I am sure she had her faults , but she was a strong woman who stood up for the NHS and spoke out about safe sex when it was not the done thing. A humanist, rationalist and defender of the rights of patients . She came from a generation that didn't talk about sex, but her approach as an agony aunt was non judgemental and open :

Her husband, who was also her agent and manager, paid tribute to her, saying: "Through her work she helped hundreds of thousands of people and doubtless, by talking frankly about the importance of safe sex in the 80s when almost nobody else would discuss it, helped to save thousands of lives.

"Through her own approach to life she enabled people to talk about their problems in a way that was unique.

I always remember the horror stories my mother, a similar age, told me about girls in particular not being told about sex , about the ignorance . It was good to have someone no nonsense, like Claire, talk about that openly to break down the embarrassment . Sadly many want to go back to the days of no sex education in schools, or pull their children out of it.

New Humanist reprint an interview, that gives a flavour of her forthright style .

We need more outspoken women like that !

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