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clansoup
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Member since: 14.08.2000

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      10.01.2007 02:46
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      Smoking is banned here - my view point

      I live in Scotland. We have had the smoking ban here since - well actually I can't remember - it feels a long time - but probably about 10 months.

      I am a smoker. I am not proud of it, it scares me of what I am doing to myself, and I would stop tomorrow if I could buy a jar of will power over the counter in the chemist.

      I believe smoking causes damage to health - I believe it can cause harm to others engulfed in cigarette smoke. I believe that a lot of our behaviour is learned behaviour and by smoking, it may influence younger people to do it to.

      I feel that people that do not smoke have the right to not be surrounded by cigarette smoke whether that be socially or at work, and I respect that. As a smoker I feel like a Lepar, even more so since the ban - stood out in the rain and wind wondering 'am I allowed to smoke here'? . As for going out to pubs etc. I didn't do this very often before the ban so it doesn't affect me (in that way). It does affect others though and from what I have heard, it has affected pubs in my area. People are going out less, later and drinking more in the home.

      Since the smoking ban has been introduced, it's amazing how the population seems to have expanded - all these people huddled outside of buildings puffing away that never seemed to exist before. My hospital smoking area is full of what looks like a fag break between filming scenes on the set of casualty - people attached to drips, in gowns etc.

      Correct me if I am wrong, the law in Scotland is that no one is allowed to smoke in any enclosed public place or work place. This includes bus shelters, Lorry drivers in their trucks, taxi drivers in their cabs etc. My husband (who taxiis now and again) would be fined £250 if a passenger were to light up in his cab.

      In my town we have smoking police (not their job title I expect but don't know what they are called), that pay surprise visits to any work place to make sure the law is being adhered to. If anyone is caught smoking that person can be fined and the workplace would be fined.

      My husband knows a woman who is wheelchair bound and requires carers to wash, dress and use a hoist to help her into bed. Because this ladies home is her carers place of work, she has been told that she is not allowed to smoke while her carers are there, also if a carer smells residual cigarette smoke in her home they have the right (and more then one has told her they will exercise that right) to walk out and leave her. One carer has thrown out her cigarettes and her carers who do her shopping have refused to buy her any.

      I feel this country is becoming (if it isn't already) a nanny state. We are criticised all the time for things we consume, things we don't consume, nothing is good enough. I have heard that in the near future (whether true I don't know) that smoking outside of pubs is to be banned, and that smoking while driving will result in a fine. Where will this end? There has even been talk on limiting a drinker in a pub on how many shorts they have.

      I thought Britain was about freedom of choice. I thought I was an adult and I had a right to decide how I live my life. I have smoked since the age of 12. I started smoking because iI though it was big, it was hard, it was cool. I am now 31 and it scares me to say I have been smoking for 19 (OMG)! years.

      I enjoy my rollies, they are my crutch, and they are my friend, but they are also my enemy. Surely though as non-smokers have rights - I have the right to have a designated sheltered area to smoke in - which I could tollerate.

      The government (I feel) will never want smoking to stop - they make too much money from it and an article I have found that sums it up is from www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=377
      Scottish smokers know when they are beaten: the ban on smoking in public places introduced on Sunday has been met by meek compliance. This will put a smile on the face of health fascists everywhere, but the seemingly inexorable demise of smoking should give the rest of us pause.

      For all the finger-wagging about how their noxious habit clogs up their arteries and the nation's hospital beds, smokers more than clean up after themselves. They currently generate about £8 billion in tax revenue - roughly five times what their coughing, spluttering and death cost the NHS.

      Then there is the fact that, in exchange for making our clothes smell and our eyes sting, many smokers pay a fortune into their state pension fund, and then selflessly refuse to collect it - by dropping dead before the age of 65. At a time when Western governments are desperately seeking ways of solving the pensions crisis, do we really want to discourage such altruism?

      The appetite-suppressing effect of smoking also raises the spectre of anti-smoking campaigns replacing a health threat that is taxable with one that isn't: obesity.

      At least one Scotsman seems to have twigged all this: Gordon Brown. There was a time when chancellors gave smokers a kicking every Budget, with swingeing increases on a pack of 20. But Brown has got into the habit of imposing merely inflation-level rises.

      Is Brown being nice to the dwindling numbers of smokers because he has recognised how addicted to cigarette revenue the Government has become? On the other hand, he may simply have learned a lesson from his Labour forebears, whose attempts to clobber the rich with punitive tax rates prompted a mass exodus and no tax revenue. Of late, smokers have been doing the same, buying their cigarettes abroad.

      Either way, Brown deserves credit for putting the nation's finances before political correctness.

      FIRST POSTED MARCH 28, 2006

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        09.01.2007 03:12
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        my view of 'are children spoiled'

        My definition of spoiled is being lavishly given material posessions, having what you want when you want it and maybe not appreciating the worth of what you are given.

        Are children today too spoiled? In my experience I have come across quite a few children that have what they want, do what they want and don't seem to value what they do have.

        With regards to spoiling children, I can understand why it happens. I feel the media has a huge impact on 'what is normal' and 'what is not'. As parents I feel we are made to feel guilty - we don't spend enough time with our children, we work to much, we don't work enough, we are bad parents if we feed them certain foods, we are not strict enough, we are too strict the list goes on.


        I live in a town where there is a lot of wealth. The main income comes from oil. There are many children here that go to all the clubs, have brand named clothes, branded trainers, have the latest 'in toy' when it comes out and have a limo for their birthday parties. These are the 'haves'.

        Within the town (as with any town) there are the 'have nots'- otherwise known as 'tinks' if they do not have the brands and the 'in-toys'.

        I can remember being at school when 'reeboks' were the in trainers. I was a have not and unfortunately wore my great-grandmothers square toed leather trainers (that had been whitened with shoe whitener).

        Being a have not I believe (coupled with my parenting) taught me it was important to be an individual and to think and believe in myself. I learned that it didn't matter what brand my clothes were, what was important was me. I tended to have new clothes for xmas and birthdays - and also can remember sharing my mum's clothes. It was exciting when my mum was in her dressmaking phase as I could have something no one else had.

        I was an appreciative child I think because it was exciting having something new.

        I am now 31 and have a 7 yr old boy and a 5 year old girl. I have tried to encourage individuality within them. We buy our clothes from Primark and they always look smart. I realise they are not yet at the age of 'I want that bench jacket or those firetrap jeans', but I hope that when that time comes they won't feel the need to be like everyone else.

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        • Adoption / Discussion / 27 Readings / 23 Ratings
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          08.01.2007 04:37
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          my story of adoption

          When I was 18 I became pregnant. I didn't feel ready to be a mum, didn't feel I could go through with an abortion, and having separated from the father a few weeks before, felt very alone and scared for the future. My Mum and Step Dad sat me down a few days later and told me how much they loved me. They said that they had been thinking of a way that would allow me to have a life, and offer stability to my unborn child.

          (My life before this moment, had been a very up and down one. I became a carer at a very young age helping my Mum (then single) raise my brother who has Cerebral Palsy. From that point I became older than my years - protecting him from others taunts, helping him learn to walk, talk etc. We were both also abused sexually, mentally and physically by our natural father which definately had an impact on my whole childhood and adolescence).

          My Mum and Step Dad asked me how I would feel if they adopted my baby - allowing me to have as much involvement as I wanted - but without the responsibility.

          I thought long and hard about it. Would I still be able to push her in her pram? Could I feed her? We talked lots about it - and although it is hard to put into words, it just felt right.

          The final decision was always left open until my baby was born.

          While pregnant, my Mum and I went to social services to find out what the process was - to allow my parents to adopt my child. This was not a pleasant experience. To cut a long story short, it was a fight. It was a fight to convince these people of what I wanted. At one point a social worker knocked my door. My natural father had heard of what we were trying to do and expressed his interest in adopting my unborn baby, the social worker told me that as my father was in a 'better financial situation', he would have a better chance of adopting.

          Molly was eventually born, and eventually adopted by my Mum and Step Dad. She is now nearly 13. Every year she gives me a birth mother card, has known since day one that she came from my tummy but that I loved her so much I gave her a Mum and a Dad.

          I understand that Social Services had a job to make sure I knew what I wanted, but at the end of the day I knew I wasn't ready and it was a fight to get them to listen to me. It was a massive decision (not taken lightly) that would have an impact on the rest of both our lives.

          My reason for writing this is I feel there is too much judgement and criteria on adoption. Money being one of the criteria that is attractive. My parents didn't have much - but they had love - it was good enough for me. And to consider a man who had abused me - because he had money, didn't smoke, wasn't overweight - I feel is disgusting.

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            01.08.2004 20:14
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            This discussion could rage on for decades with people adding reams of info left right and centre. I shall try not to ramble too much, and apologise now for all the threads left out. I think I should start by saying that in my opinion ?Guns don?t kill people, people kill people.? And the same goes for video games. We know for a fact that the military use an advanced form of video ?game? to desensitise its soldiers to killing another human being, long hours spent shooting at a video wall will help the soldier lose that split second pause when faced with an enemy for the first time. But does it make the soldier want to kill? We also know that playing video games increases dexterity and lateral thinking in the gamer. There is a technique called brain gym which uses movement etc to increase brain activity and usage, I believe gaming has the same effect although much reduced. I could whittle on adding pros and cons to gaming but will end there and assume at least a basic knowledge in the reader. When I was a child space invaders, defender and pac-man, along with the music of the day and the introduction of video libraries where blamed for the violence of our generation. Scapegoats each and every one. No?one wants to admit to messing up their kids heads. I have a 5 yr old boy who loves wwe wrestling, after watching it he likes to play fighting with me, I?m a 35 yr old male so it is hard for him to hurt me, his 2 yr old sister is another story. After finding him practising on her we realised that he was too young to watch wwe etc and we explained to him why he is too young to watch it. Manhunt the game of the moment has an 18 rating (we all know what that means). The BOY who killed another is 17 now. Not old enough to have a game of that genre. I think that while certain games are not suitable for children and could send a person with an already unstable personality ?over the edge? the games do not cause a rational, balanced person to
            become unstable. Alcohol on the other hand does, how many of us know of a really nice person who goes ?psycho? when drunk? How many beatings, rapes and murders have alcohol involved? Is alcohol banned for all of us? Most people use alcohol responsibly and do not supply minors with drink. I will finish with a question. Should we ban everything that could have an adverse effect on some people or encourage through legislation the responsible use of these items?

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              01.08.2004 07:43
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              Mmmmmmm??.here are a choice few of many of my embarrassing moments. 1. At about the age of 14, we were on our way to our yearly visit to Wales. Being a longer journey than the usual 12 hours, I decided to freshen up in the services ? and change my underwear. After doing so we had a drink in the restaurant, went for a look round the shop, then back to the car to eat our sandwiches. Just as we drove off, I realised I had left my new red checked hand-bag in the services. I asked my dad to stop, and of I toddled to the restaurant to get my bag. I go to where we were sat????.but no bag. I ask a man wiping a table if he had seen it while cleaning, ?yes? he replied and led me to the table behind the seating partition, ?I?ve found the lady who has lost her handbag? he says, and as I look??there on the table was my empty bag ??..surrounded by its contents??.some sweets, address book, sanitary protection and MY DIRTY KNICKERS. The awful thing, was having to put the items back in my bag?..in front of 3 members of staff ?..before I could leg it. 2. At the age of 19, I was asked by an older work colleague to attend an Anne Summers party at her house. Feeling this was a ?grown up? thing to do, I went along. It was good fun and at the end of the night, all the other women started to put their orders in. Feeling obliged to buy something I looked for the cheapest thing. Not wanting to be cheeky and just buy a pencil, I chose a cheap and nasty plastic vibrator for £5.00. A couple of days later, I received my package and put it straight under my bed, never intending to see it again. A couple of months later???I had just got in from college, said hi to my mum and dad in the kitchen, then went into the living room to rest my tired legs. As I sat down, my eyes pulled me to an object lying on the rug in front of the fire??????and yes???there it was??.my Vibrator!!!!!!!!! Thanks to my 5 yr old sister???.My parents must have seen it?..but luck
              ily never mentioned it. 3. In my early 20?s while courting my now husband, I excitingly went to supasnaps to pick up my photo?s. I was full of anticipation as I did not know what exactly I had taken photo?s of. I went in, gave my receipt and as I handed over the money??..the man serving said?? ?My wife has knickers like those?! I looked at him puzzled, gave him my money, said thank you, and as I left said ?weirdo? under my breath. I selected my bench, to look at my new photo?s. I felt all excited??.feeling a bit like getting a surprise at Christmas. I started to turn the photo?s one by one??..my sister at the park, my brother?s birthday??.me getting ready for a night out THEN????I got my surprise???.there I was?.in a bra and thong?..lying on the settee?..out for the count with my one boob hanging out, bum stuck in the air, dribble down my chin and a chipstick up my nose????..Thank you Dave. 4. I haven?t got a garden?.so rely heavily on the tumble-dryer to dry our clothes. A couple of months ago we were in our usual Monday morning chaotic rush??I handed my nearly 5yr old son his navy parka straight from the dryer (it wasn?t heavily creased), and off we ran to nursery. We walked into the cloakroom area of the nursery and found our place squeezed between the other children, their mums and dads. My son then said to me in his usual loud voice ?HE HE HE HE HE ????MUMMY??..HE HE HE HE????.YOUR KNICKERS ARE ????STUCKED???? TO MY COAT. He was right??there on the Velcro of his parka, were a pair of my knickers??I could have died??.The worst was?.they couldn?t have been a pair of my pretty new ones???oh no??.they were the tattiest knickers I own. 5. LAST ONE! This one is more of a stupid than embarrassing one. A few years ago I was up my mum?s one morning when out of the blue she asked me if I would like to rag paint her living room???.Loving my decorating I excitingly oblige. So off I go ?..thinking I am
              Anna-Ryder- Richardson (off changing rooms), I instruct my husband to pop down the hardware store for some Low-tack masking tape, so I can get the decorative panels and border to look professional. At about 7pm I stand back and look at my work of art with a great feeling of pride, I then notice the masking tape still all over the walls, I take it off the wall panels, and wow it looks great. The masking tape around the border of the room was put on in all one piece ( a challenge I had given myself) so in a funny moment, I climbed the ladder and started to peal off the tape, I then stuck the start of it to my forehead, and decided to take it off bye turning round and round???so there I am, fag in mouth, laughing and waving my arms thinking I am sooooo funny ???.around and around and around I go??.feeling pleased with myself that I had made those around me laugh, looking like an Egyptian mummy, I head to the bathroom mirror to take the tape off. As I attempt this task ?..I realise I am in trouble?..I call ?Mum, can you come here please? she makes an attempt to help but then ends up in stitches on the floor???.the masking tape was really stuck?..about an hour later, with the help of a scissors and some comfort, I emerge tape free, with a lot less hair, and a lot less skin????Guess what!!!! ?? Thank you again Dave???.it was not low-tack masking tape - never trust a man to get what he's asked for. (only joking)

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                25.07.2004 19:32
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                Having hiccups can be very annoying. I have tried many ways over the years to try to stop them eg. asking someone to make you jump unexpectedly, drinking a glass of water from the other side of the glass etc. none of these seem to have worked.......until...... a few of years ago I was watching daytime telly, and a lady rang with a tip on getting rid of hiccups..........and WOW it really works. I'm not sure if it is a traditional chinese way of curing them, but you rip off a small bit of toilet/kitchen roll (about the size of a 2 pence coin) make it moist, and place it on the centre of the forehead. By the time the toilet roll dry's, your hiccups are gone. It is really great for babies (who seem to have hiccups alot), and I always used it on mine, but be prepared for funny stares from people when they look in your pram to see your bundle of joy, with toilet roll on their head.

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                  13.11.2000 07:25
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                  A number of years back, a good friend of mine found herself in serious debt. She thought that the only way out of this was through prostitution. She borrowed a wig, printed some cards and set about wandering the streets of Cardiff, looking for clients. Although I am not morally opposed to prostitution, I tried to dissuede her and failed. All I could do was be there for her and advise her on her safety. I told her that working the streets would get her in to trouble with the police or worse a pimp who 'thought he owned that patch'. I said if she had to do it, to go to the relative safety of a brothel. Because prostitution is illegal, the criminal fraternity run it and will exert pressure and violence to protect their interests. Then there are the drugs and some disease, but worst is the prostitutes lack of recourse when they are abused, I say 'when' not if, because after hearing my friends stories it comes with the job. She told me how gangs of men used to force their way into the brothel, at best beat up, at worst stab, disfigure or gang rape the girls before stealing all the money and anything else they could. Because prostitution is illegal no-one could go to the police without fearing for their safety, either getting arrested or some sort of reprisal for 'grassing'. I could go into legal facts that show two Cities (Amsterdam and Vienna) where prostitution is legaslated for and crime of a sexual nature falls far below our own. If prostitution were legalised brothels would be clean, safe and the working girls would be afforded the protection everyone has a right to expect from society. After hearing some of the stories my friend has told me, I think it must be one of the hardest jobs to do, and I think we should be praising the women and men who choose to be prostitutes - not shaming them !!!(After all its the oldest profession in history and used to be accepted by kings a
                  nd church leaders alike).

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                  • Euthanasia / Discussion / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                    22.09.2000 05:15
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                    I am definitely for euthanasia. I only see one problem with it, abuse. Anyone that stands back from the problem to take a proper unbiased look at it can only feel the same. We kill animals every day of the year, sometimes for sport, sometimes for humane justified reasons. Nearly everyone who has kept animals will have had to see one of them "put to sleep". OK we cried over them for a while, put soon realised that it was for the best. A neighbour of mine had a dog that was run over, it lost three of its legs, these caring people would not hear of the vet putting him down, so instead they used to take him out for a ‘drag’ a couple of times a day. I never saw that dog look happy. In my humble (probably biased) opinion the real monster here is religion. If someone has a head ache they take a tablet to cure it, what if the only cure to someone’s suffering is death. It is religious beliefs that tell us you cannot let someone take their own life, if you suffer its Gods will or way of testing you. Or are we to believe that these people deserve it for a contravention of another religious law. The majority of people are indoctrinated into believing that God created us, and therefor it is he who owns us, body and soul. To take our own life is an affront to him, and he will make us endure eternal damnation for not listening to what he says. I believe everyone has ultimate authority over their own body, if I want to die I will. I hope that if for some reason I was not able bodied enough to do it, someone would love me enough to help. For the most part the laws that govern this type of thing also stem from a religious background, I am sure if the Bible said euthanasia was OK there would be all the help anyone could need made available. Please do not misunderstand, I am not having a go at Christianity, it is only that we live in a Christian country. Yes we have other religions but we are predominantly Ch
                    ristian. I applaud anyone who lives by the Christian beliefs. But doesn’t the Bible also tell us to help someone who is suffering. Euthanasia is very much open to abuse, and here lies the only problem, and I do not know the way around it. To say someone can only get it if they ask for it at the time of wanting it discriminates against people who want it and cannot indicate their wishes. I could ramble on and on so I will end by saying that anyone who wants to die, and is physically unable to do it (I don’t mean to squeamish or afraid) should be allowed help, and that helper should be free from retribution. Anyone that is able to help a person in pain is very brave. If there is a God let him take revenge, it is not up to the state to punish someone who helps another human being end their suffering.

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                    • WebFerret / Utility / 0 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                      21.09.2000 07:34
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                      I just thought that I would let people know of a free download I found on the net. It is called, the wed ferret. It is a type of search engine (or meta search engine) that sits on your desktop. A meta search engine works by searching all the other engines (excite, altavista, etc.). It deletes any duplicate sites, so no more trawling through pages of the same names and sites some engine throw up. Another good feature is that when you place the cursor over a particular site it tells you a brief description of what it contains. No need to log on to those sites that hold no interest but sound as if they do. This ferret is also a fast little devil, it scampers around a retrieves web pages like a rat out of an aquaduct. I found my new pet at www.ferretsoft.com (or .net). Try it, it could save a lot of time wasted trawling through site after site to find what you are looking for.

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                      • Bank of Scotland / Bank / 0 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                        21.09.2000 07:19
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                        I thought that I would write about Bank Charges. We have been with the bank of Scotland for a number of years. We used to find them very helpful indeed. And then they centralised their operations and did away with the local managers. The company I work for are not very good when it comes to wages. I regularly find a discrepancy, with my wages being short (sometimes by a considerable amount. Last month my wages were wrong again. By the time my employers had sorted them out we had gone over our overdraft limit. Every transaction that went through the bank put £20 in charges onto our account. This is taken out the next working day. Although I have told my employers that they owe £60 of the charges we actually had £140 all-told. As you can imagine this put us behind for the next month. Not only did we have the money over our overdraft limit lost but also the extra £140 in charges. This meant that when my next wages were paid we were already about £350 down on normal. That amount of money meant that we now have more bank charges to contend with this month, which have already been debited from the account. So, next month when my wages go in we will be even further behind. When the bank had a local manager we could have explained the situation to them, who I know would have listened with a sympathetic ear and helped you with the problem. As it is we now get harassing phone calls from a central office demanding that we lodge funds as soon as possible. There is no longer any support or understanding, it seems an attitude of quota filling and the customer is only there to be fleeced now prevail. Because of this my wife and I are now in a situation that will take a long time to get out of, (or a lottery win. Maybe we could change our names to Mr & Mrs millennium dome? we may get a wind fall). Bring back the humanity I say

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                        • The NHS and the disabled / Discussion / 0 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                          20.09.2000 20:59
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                          After watching big brother last week, I felt so happy that there are still people out there who care enough to endure 10 weeks of deprivation and isolation to benefit somebody else. Having a brother who has cerebral palsy, I have met a lot of children and now adults with various disabilities and believe that whatever mental and physical differences they have from 'normal' people, they have the ability to contribute and be a valuable member of society. Admittedly they may need more support than most, everybody has needed support at some point - would you like to have been denied that support? With regards to Joe, a woman who has downs syndrome being denied a life saving operation is tantamount to the managers of the NHS setting themselves up as God. It's understandable if someone who needed a transplant being passed over because the benefits would be overwhelmed by other negative factors i.e., a terminal cancer patient who could not be saved. A person with downs syndrome (depending on the severity) is capable with the support of completing a university degree. I would like to know where this road of exclusion leads. Already we see smokers and over weight people being told the NHS doesn't have the funds to waste money on their treatment. The government says there is no more funding for the NHS, yet they insist on paying people who are labelled managers thousands of pounds a year to make these life or death decisions, one of which is to place refugees to the front of waiting lists. Presently the NHS is disgracefully understaffed, under-funded and mismanaged. One of the biggest examples of this is cancer, not only do you stand a 40% better chance of beating it if you go to America, but this also stands depending on which area of Britain you live (not as much as 40% but 10% is a lot when you may die). It seems that if you want treatment in this country, you won’t get it by paying your tax
                          es but either smuggling yourself into the country in the back of a lorry, or by going to America.

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                        • UK Petrol Prices / Discussion / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                          14.09.2000 07:59
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                          I am so pleased to see this appear on Dooyoo. I saw the news today, Kirsty Young was interviewing Gordon Brown. I lost a lot of respect for her as a journalist. Gordon Brown sat there and fudged around the issue of petrol prices, he even lied (quite blatantly in my opinion), Kirsty Young just sat there and did not challenge him, apart from a token, half hearted gesture. Mr Brown blamed the high cost of fuel on the oil producing countries, as a barrel of crude has risen from £10 to £30. He 'forgot' to mention that the UK is an oil producing country, and because of the high crude price the chancellor has an extra, unexpected, 4 BILLION pounds to spend (enough money to knock 6 pence off a litre of fuel). When he was asked about fuel tax, he repeated that a barrel of crude has risen from £10 to £30 (Yes we know you have told us). He was not challenged as this answer was accepted. He forgot to mention that Britain has the second cheapest oil in Europe, but the most expensive fuel. He also told us that it was Labour who stopped the escalator on fuel price rises, and cut the road tax on cars under 1000cc. Again he 'forgot to mention that it is was Labour who put the tax on petrol up to 85%. Then we see Tony Blair, who tells us that Britain does not conduct business by protesting. Also if they give in to the protesters it will make a mockery of our democratic system. His statement was a mockery, the vast majority are sick of being ripped off by its own government, but are they listening to the petitions and other lobbies who call for a reduction in tax. A big NO. I am so proud of all the protesters who are at the oil refineries, so what if I have no petrol for a couple of days, I can live with that. Again Tony Blair tells us how horrible the protesters are, "Threatening tanker drivers and their families, endangering lives by not letting fuel go to the emergency services" etc. Yet time an
                          d again on the news we see the same protesters cheering and clapping (in a gesture of respect) as the tankers designated for emergency services go by. Finally I would like to add, that in a phone poll 6% thought the government are correct on this issue. A whopping 94%, count it 94%, think the government are wrong. It appears that all classes, all party devotees (Tory and staunch Labour) have one opinion. I say to Tony Blair, If this really is a Democracy do your job, listen to the majority, lower the tax on fuel. After all the parliament was originally set up to look after the welfare of the citizens of the country. I think this has been forgotten along the way somewhere. Personal wealth and glory seem to rule now.

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                          • How to Discipline Children / Discussion / 0 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                            12.09.2000 07:42
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                            I have a little boy of one years old. My wife and I have both decided to find an alternative to smacking. One reason for this is my upbringing. I have one older sister, at school if anyone did wrong they would say "If my dad finds out", we always said "if mum finds out". My mother was no less than a demon when it came to dishing out punishment, we did not get a smack but a hiding. One day when my sister was eight she was hurded from a friends house with my mother behind armed with a yard broom, she bounced it off my sister every step of the way. on another occassion I was told "if you come home wet again you're for it", (I had tried to jump the stream home from school). The next day I was set upon by four older boys, (I was seven they were 10 - 11). They beat me up quite good and threw me in the stream. I went home and cried to my mother, she grabbed my arm, spun me around, and gave me a hiding for being wet. That lives with me today, a 31 year old man. My mother hit me a lot, until finally I had had enough. At 14 a letter was sent home from school accusing me of something I really did not do. When my mother read it she gave me no chance to explain, she flew at me and went to slap my face. I caught her hand, and the other one when it followed. I told her I would never let her hit me again. She never has (but then I've lived on my own since I was 15). With our son we did smack his hand, but never hard enough to hurt, all he would do is laugh at the 'game'. Neither of us want to hit harder for fear of hurting too much. Our boy is big for his age, he wears clothes for a three year old, but he is so gentle and loving we dont want to corrupt this by teaching hitting if someone is wrong. Although we both want him to be able to stand up for himself, violence is only ever to be used as a last defence. I really hope that I never lash out in frustration
                            , we still await the terrible 2's, 3's, 4's, etc. I understand that sometimes (licking the cooker, eating the plug socket, etc) a simple "no that is dangerous, dont touch" only makes the child do it. I honestly heared one mother say to my friends mother (whilst sat around a coal fire) "Put their hand in the fire, they'll soon learn not to do it again". She was not joking. I know children seem to be worse now than ever, the amount of violence, and disrespect on the street and in our schools has escalated (the headmistress being fired for stopping a boy hitting her, etc). I dont think this is due to a lack of caning, the problem is one of a lack of any form of punishment. There seems to be an attitude of "what can you do to me". I do not know what the answer is to this problem. I know I do not want to hit my child, this little person who has brought more love into my life than I thought I could fit. Maybe we will find a solution, it may work for us, but for no one else, and not our next child (yes we are mad enough to plan another). I believe the solution depends on the individual, its their but needs to be found.

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                            • Dare / Board Game / 2 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                              30.08.2000 07:55
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                              I bought DARE a few years ago in my student days, while in a charity shop looking for some cheap Levis. It cost me 75 pence and that 75 pence has made me laugh and laugh and laugh...... With the board game Dare you can have 2 - 12 players and it is recommended for 13 years plus. The object of the game is - each player starts the game with 2 chips (counters) and 2 pass cards, the players have to move around the outside of the board (in a monopoly style) by throwing a dice. Each player has to keep to the outside of the board until they have 12 chips, then they can move to the inside of the track and head to the game winner square. Each square around the board has a different activity on it that if the player lands on, they have to perform for example: Rest; roll again(the dice); win 2 chips; kiss an opponent(til your next go); cluck like a chicken(til your next go); do sit ups(til next go); gogo dance(til next go) and so on...... Then you have Dare squares and double dare squares, which if you land on these you have to pick up a dare or double dare card. On the Dare and double Dare cards are true/false questions. If you get the question right you win 1 chip - but if you get it wrong OOOOHHhhhh No you have to do the Dare or double Dare. Examples of dares on the Dare card: Let someone tickle your feet for 30 seconds; Do a loud impression of an auctioneer; speak about insects for 20 secs without saying 'the'; Pretend you are a monkey and check an opponent for fleas; Blow up a balloon until it bursts; Pull out 2 hairs from your head etc.......... Dares on double Dare cards: Lie down and have water poured into your belly button; Put a bowl of milk on floor and lick up like a cat; Eat a small dab of hot mustard; Drop an ice cube down your back; Drink a raw egg etc.... If you do these dares unsatisfactory you lose chips. When you reach the game winner square, if you
                              answer incorrectly examples of dares are: Rub toothpaste into armpits and move arms forward and back saying choo choo; Call a relative you havn't seen for years and ask for a loan of cash for bail money - then ring back and say your playing Dare; Crack an egg in your sock and put it back on; Open a window and yell 10 times "The world will end tomorrow" and so on.... I know I have gone on a bit, but this game is fantastic and so funny (especially with your mates and some bevvies).

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                              • Footwear in general / Archive Lifestyle / 0 Readings / 4 Ratings
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                                24.08.2000 04:54
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                                I have a major shoe fetish - no not a sexual fetish, I am just absolutely obsessed with shoes, boots and trainers. I don't really have many clothes, but have around 50 pairs of footwear. I just don't know when to stop. If I could cobble, I would make my own (but sadly I can't). My problem is I like wierd and wonderful shoes, boots and trainers. I want bulky wide footwear made from anything from leather - wood. I live in a secluded part of Scotland, so a trip to London would be out of the question. I have looked on the net, but have not found anything, Dr Martins make some wierd shoes but on line I haven't really seen anything. If there is anyone out there that could point me in the direction of an on line company or catalogue I would be very grateful.

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