Monday, January 31, 2011

Autism facts and statistics

Some thought-provoking facts from the National Autistic Society:

  • Autism affects 1 person in every 100. That’s over half a million people in the UK, and two million people if you include their families.
  • In the average local authority area there are likely to be 2,500 people with autism.
  • In the average Member of Parliaments’s constituency there are likely to be 3,000 people affected by autism (people with the condition and their family members).

  • Over 50% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them
  • There are more appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal about schooling for children with autism than for children with any other type of special education need. 79% of parents who have appealed to the Tribunal won their case.
  • Over 70% of schools are dissatisfied with their teachers’ training in autism and 44% of teachers report they do not feel confident teaching children with autism.
  • 27% of children with autism are excluded from school at least once, compared with 4% of other children.
  • 34% of parents say that a delay in accessing the right support at school had a negative impact on their child’s mental health.
  • 42% of children with autism have no friends (compared to 1% of other children).

Adult services:
  • Two thirds of adults with autism do not have enough support to meet their needs.
  • A third of adults with autism have experienced severe mental health problems because of a lack of support.
  • 60% of parents say that a lack of timely support has resulted in their son or daughter having higher support needs in the long term.
  • If local services identified and supported just 4% of adults with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome the outlay would become cost neutral over time.
  • If they did the same for just 8% it could save the Government £67 million per year.

  • Adults with autism say that finding a suitable job would improve their lives more than anything else, yet only 15% are in paid employment.
  • 79% of adults with autism who are currently on Incapacity Benefit want to work.
  • One third of adults with autism, over 100,000 people, are currently without a job or benefits.
  • Over half have spent some time without either work of benefits, some for more than ten years.

  • In a 2009 survey, 68% of carers said they were caring for over 71 hours a week.
  • 69% of respondents of those carers who were not working had had to give up work because of their caring responsibilities.
  • 76% of parents and carers of adults with autism are not currently receiving any support from their local authority.

Health (including mental health):
  • 71% of children with autism have at least one mental health problem, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder, and 40% have two or more.
  • 1 in every 10 children who use child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) has autism, that’s over 10,000 children every year.
  • In a survey of parents whose children had accessed CAMHS, two thirds said that CAMHS had failed to improve their child’s mental health.
  • Parents are twice as likely to say that CAMHS has improved their child’s mental health where they have had support from a professional who specialises in autism.
  • 80% of GPs feel they need additional guidance and training to manage patients with autism more effectively.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Women of Egypt


Tunisia and Egypt: "l'héroïsme ordinaire des femmes"

Click here for photos on Le Monde website of women in the Tunisian uprising.

If you are on Facebook, click here for women taking part in the mass protests in Egypt.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Day of Anger ... The Egyptians' Day

This article is from the website of the Centre for Trade Union and Workers' Services in Egypt. A small drop-down menu at the top left enables you to read the English version of the site if you need to.

The Day of Anger … the Egyptians’ Day
Freedom … Justice … Dignity

Center for Trade Union and Workers Services “CTUWS”, 26 January 2011: Egypt witnessed yesterday (Tuesday, 25 January) the biggest popular protests since the “Bread Protests” of 18 and 19 January 1977.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians in Cairo, Alexandria, Mehalla, Suez, Ismailia, Kafr el Sheikh, Giza, Port Said, Fayoum and other governorates protested against the deteriorating economic conditions represented by the widespread of poverty (as more than 42% of the Egyptians live under the poverty line according to the United Nations statistics), the rising rate of unemployment and the soaring prices. Protestors called for political reforms and for dissolving the People’s Assembly (the Parliament) which came as a result of fake elections last November.

A number of protest movements and political powers seeking change called the Egyptians to come out to the streets on 25 January which coincides with the Egyptian Police Day.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens responded to the call of the political movements in Cairo and in several Egyptian cities on the Day of Anger to send a warning message to the regime to conduct immediate political and economic changes.

The “CTUWS” condemns using force to disperse the protestors who expressed their fair demands in a peaceful manner. Four citizens were killed, tens of citizens were injured and several hundreds were arrested in several Egyptian cities. The “CTUWS” calls for prosecution of the officials responsible for killing the four citizens and causing injury to other protestors. Meanwhile, the CTUWS calls for releasing all the arrested protestors.

The “CTUWS” warns against ignoring the demands of the Egyptian people. Any negligence, procrastination or handling these protests as a foreign conspiracy will cause more congestion and will increase the complexity of the situation.

The national duty implies that the government should listen to the demands of the protestors and to conduct real social dialogue with all the political powers and the civil society organizations. The dialogue should reach obliging realistic steps to get out of the crisis and to secure real democratic transformation of the Egyptian political system.


Friday, January 28, 2011


Had a bit of trouble opening this, but seems to work now .Check out live coverage of the protests unfolding in Egypt.

Looks like it won't be long before Mubarak does a runner .


Urgent, petition to save Brenda Namigadde from deportation today

Over at this website there is a petition :


Brenda Namigadde, a Ugandan lesbian in the UK, faces deportation TOMORROW back to the life-threatening persecution she fled eight years ago.

We just found out that one of the leading figures in the LGBT movement in Uganda, David Kato, was murdered yesterday in his home. This awful tragedy makes clear what's at stake for Brenda if she is forced to return.

Will you join more than 20,000 people in 85 countries and sign this urgent letter pressuring U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May to stop Brenda’s deportation?


Thursday, January 27, 2011

David Kato - In Memoriam

From Peter Tatchell:

Heroic campaigner for LGBTI freedom murdered in Uganda

Ugandan LGBTI rights activist David Kato was found murdered in his house on 26 January 2011. He had received homophobic death threats and had been pictured and named by Uganda's Rolling Stone magazine in an article that called for gay people to be killed.

British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said:

"My sincere condolences to Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and to the Ugandan LGBTI community concerning the tragic, brutal murder of David Kato.

"I salute David and his immense, brave contribution to LGBTI human rights in Uganda.

"He was an inspiring campaigner of long and great commitment.

"David will live on in our memories. He will also live on through the rights and equalities that LGBTI Ugandans will win eventually thanks to his many years of tireless groundwork and campaigning.
"I express my admiration and appreciation to all the members of SMUG who are battling for LGBTI freedom in conditions of great adversity and danger. Their courage and tenacity is awesome.

"This savage killing will, I hope, finally prompt Uganda's political, religious and media leaders to cease their homophobic witch-hunts. Their hatred helps create the bigoted atmosphere that leads to queer-bashing violence.

"I urge the government of Uganda to withdraw the 'kill the gays' Anti-Homosexuality Bill, decriminalise same-sex relations and legislate protection for LGBTI people against discrimination and hate crimes," said Mr Tatchell.

There will be a vigil :

Memorial Vigil for David Kato in London

Murdered Ugandan LGBTI activist honoured

Friday 28 January 10.30am, Ugandan High Commission

Friday 28 January 2011
10:30 - 12:30
Uganda High Commission
58-59 Trafalgar Square
London SW1, United Kingdom
(south side by the start of Pall Mall, nearest tube Charing Cross)

LGBTI activist David Kato was beaten to death in his home in Uganda on 26 January.

David's funeral will be held on Friday 28th January. To coincide, a memorial vigil is being held outside the Ugandan High Commission in London.

Please spread the word via your email lists and Facebooks - and join us at the vigil.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Men can’t comprehend the complex rules of television broadcasting, say women

Women everywhere were overheard this morning claming that men clearly don’t have the capacity to understand the complex broadcasting guidelines for UK programmes, and that they have no place using words on television.

Most amusing. Read the rest here.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Urgent appeal: Jailed woman trade union leader in Bangladesh

From LabourStart ...
It has now been more than five weeks since the illegal arrest of Moshrefa Mishu, President of the Garment Workers Unity Forum in Bangladesh (pictured).

There was no warrant for her arrest at the time that heavily-armed plainclothes officers took her off to jail, where she remains - in poor health and badly treated.

Her real crime was leading a protest campaign to demand the implementation of the legal minimum wage.

I'd like to ask you to take a moment to send off an urgent message of protest to the government of Bangladesh demanding her release.

Please click here - - to do so.

If you're on Facebook, please also sign up to support the cause there.

And also please forward this message to your fellow union members - let's mobilize thousands of trade unionists around the world to demand Mishu's release now.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Bankers " school keeps out the poor

So much for Con Dems promises to raise educational standards for all kids:

A CONDEM flagship school set up by fatcat bankers is refusing to take poor kids.
Pupils from a council estate primary are banned from Bolingbroke Academy in Battersea, South London, although it will cost taxpayers £6million a year.


Pupils from a struggling primary that lies on a deprived council estate have been told there will be no place for them at a ConDem free school being set up with backing from City fatcats.
Yet those at four others in wealthier parts of the same area have been singled out as feeders for Bolingbroke Academy – dubbed the bankers’ school – when it opens next year.


Labour MP Lisa Nandy said: “This is a shocking indictment on the Government’s policy on free schools, transferring money from the poor to the rich.

“Labour and teaching unions warned about this when the legislation was passed.” Bolingbroke Academy, being built on the site of a former hospital in Battersea, is supported by leading City finance firms.
Among them are NM Rothschild, Credit Suisse, Citi Group, Barclays Capital, Coutts, Normura, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and RBS.
Tory-controlled Wandsworth council is spending £13million buying the site and more public cash will be needed to convert it into a school. Taxpayers face an estimated £6million yearly bill for running the academy.

The move has sparked fury among teachers and union chiefs. GMB spokesman Paul Maloney said bankers who had to be bailed out with billions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash had “acquired a taste for using public money to fund their pet projects”.

All in it together, I think not. Handouts for the rich .

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Gay Scientists Isolate Christian gene!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Never trust a Lib Dem


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Lib Dem support hits all time low and Clegg not at all popular - Good !

The price of backtracking on manifesto commitments for power:

Support for the Liberal Democrats has slumped to its lowest level since the party was formed in 1988, according to The Independent's "poll of polls".

Nick Clegg is now the most unpopular third party leader since David Owen led the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1989. The Liberal Democrats' 11 per cent rating in the first poll of polls since last May's election highlights the dramatic slide in their fortunes since they entered the Coalition with the Conservatives.

The 57 Liberal Democrat MPs would be reduced to a rump of just 15 at the next election if this level of support were to be repeated then.

Labour is now on 40 per cent and the Tories on 38 per cent, giving Labour an overall majority of 14, according to the weighted average of the regular surveys by ComRes, ICM, Ipsos MORI and YouGov.

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the figures, said that the costs and benefits of the Coalition had been distributed very unevenly between the two parties in it.

"It is clear that the tone and direction of the Coalition Government has upset many people who voted Liberal Democrat in May, and before, while for the most part those who voted Conservative have been reasonably content with what has transpired," he said.

"Liberal Democrat support is now lower than at any time since the party's troubled years following the merger of the Liberals and SDP." Mr Clegg's party is as unpopular as when the third party propped up an ailing Labour government in a Lib-Lab pact before the 1978-79 "winter of discontent".

The parallel is not an encouraging one for Mr Clegg, since its number of MPs fell to 11 at the 1979 general election – its worst result at any election between February 1974 and 2010.

"It seems that history is repeating itself so far as public reaction towards the party's involvement in support for a government engaged in cutting public expenditure is concerned," said Professor Curtice. "It certainly should not be presumed that demonstrating an ability to take tough decisions in the national interest will eventually reap a reward in the ballot box."


"Mr Clegg has clearly taken a serious hit personally," said Professor Curtice. Only 38 per cent of people are satisfied with his performance as Deputy Prime Minister, while 50 per cent are dissatisfied. These are the worst ratings for a third party leader since Dr Owen's score in December 1989, when 24 per cent were happy with him and 52 per cent unhappy.

Enjoy the power while you can Clegg,propping up the Tories will damage you and the Lib Dems in the long term as well as short. Those naive enough to have voted for them believing they represented some sort of new shiny principled politics will not make the same mistake again in local elections . They have seen the broken promises ,the ease and enthusiasm with which Clegg has worked with the Tories.

I look forward to seeing them hammered in May .


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Well done - Janine Booth elected onto RMT's national Council of Executives.

Congrats to Janine , from Workers Liberty :

AWL member Janine Booth has become the first ever woman to be elected to the London Transport seat on the RMT's national Council of Executives.
In a landslide victory, Janine received more than double the amount of votes won by her opponents. The key focus of her campaign was increasing rank-and-file control in the union and developing assertive industrial strategies designed to win. With the jobs dispute on London Underground now at a key juncture, the presence of a rank-and-file socialist like Janine on the union's national leadership could make a real difference.

Oh and don't forget to keep blogging here on your experiences .

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Monday, January 03, 2011

Pete Postlethwaite RIP


Communist Manifestoon

A clever and useful vid, I think, for studying - or looking again at - the Communist Manifesto. The cartoons help to illustrate the ideas and keep the watcher engaged. Love the final screen, too.

The only problem, for me, is that the narrator's voice is rather soporific. Although he speaks clearly, I'd like an awesome statement like "The proletarian movement is a self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority in the interests of the immense majority" to be delivered with a little more revolutionary fervour, and a phrase like "bourgeois claptrap" to be spat out with a little more contempt!


Saturday, January 01, 2011