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Jho Jho

Call Jho (pronounced Joe). Any pronouns are ok!

Posts 27
Comments 11
MPs vote for smoking ban despite Tories’ division over policy
  • I feel like I'm living on a completely different planet right now.

    I'm really surprised to see that this tobacco ban has so many supporters on all sides of the political spectrum. I am also surprised to see so many people on Lemmy supporting this...

    I'm all for making corpos squirm, especially ones which create products that are designed to be addictive (e.g. big tobacco). But let's not go around pretending that these businesses are the only victims of substance bans. For one, substance bans are always disproportionately applied to vulnerable minority groups.

    Furthermore, folks who are motivated enough to acquire these substances despite bans will be more vulnerable to exploitation and adverse health effects than they already are. Big tobacco already does a great job of harming and exploiting folks. But at least we can regulate and monitor them. The customer can know with greater certainty exactly what each cigarette contains, you don't get that privilege when acquiring substances illegally. You can also be fairly confident as to the affordability of legal substances versus getting fleeced for your entire income by a dealer who knows personally just how addicted you are.

    If nothing else, this is going to end up as a massive waste of time. It is a fools errand to ban substances, and history has shown this time and time again. I do not see any evidence that we have learned from history, of what we will be doing differently to make this work when it has failed in the past. This ban will not last more than a few years at most.

  • MPs to vote on smoking ban for those born after 2009
  • I doubt that the UK could lead anything on this front. Drugs which are already banned in the UK are still consumed in the UK and beyond. I do not think it's possible to stop humanity from consuming drugs (incl. tobacco and alcohol). It's something we have done for thousands of years for a wide variety of reasons.

    Banning alcohol didn't work in the long-term during the Prohibition era in America. People will always find a way to access these things, they will just be less safe whilst doing so and their money will not be taxed.

    New Zealand tried a similar tobacco ban in 2022, and it got repealed about a year later in order to fund tax cuts (if I am remembering correctly). I forsee this going the same way if it actually passes.

  • HBO Max reboot of Harry Potter to reveal that Dumbledore was actually a TERF the whole time

    Harry Potter author and woman who “has many trans friends”, JK Rowling, has confirmed that, despite there being zero mention of it in seven books, the HBO Max character of Dumbledore wi…

    HBO Max reboot of Harry Potter to reveal that Dumbledore was actually a TERF the whole time

    > “People are saying that I’ve betrayed them somehow, but the truth is, I’ve always been consistent,” explained Rowling in an interview to promote the TV reboot due in 2026.

    > “For example, if you read the Harry Potter books closely, you’ll see that Dumbledore actually hated trans people.

    > “For example, in Goblet of Fire, he says, ‘You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be’. That’s clearly Dumbledore indicating he thinks people should stay the gender they were born with, no matter what.

    King Charles has immunity from swathes of British law, will not be prosecuted under new Welsh rural crime law
  • On the one hand, I already knew that the monarchy is exhempt from the laws that govern the rest of us regular plebeians. Because they are rich.

    But I certainly did not realise that it was so... overt? Like, they don't even pretend to follow the same rules as us, they literally write exemptions for themselves into the law. It's disgusting. And they dare call it "a matter of legal correctness”. The injustice makes my blood boil.

  • Abolish the Monarchy Jho

    King Charles has immunity from swathes of British law, will not be prosecuted under new Welsh rural crime law Courtier demanded assurance king could not be prosecuted under new Welsh law

    Palace official secured assurance under archaic custom that requires UK parliaments to get consent of monarch to draft bills

    Courtier demanded assurance king could not be prosecuted under new Welsh law

    Original article title: Courtier demanded assurance king could not be prosecuted under new Welsh law


    > A Buckingham Palace official phoned the Welsh government to secure the assurance under an archaic custom that requires UK parliaments to obtain the consent of the monarch to draft bills before they can be implemented.

    > According to Buckingham Palace, the royal household rang the Welsh government to ensure that “as a matter of legal correctness” the monarch could not be prosecuted under the act.

    > The monarchy has been given personal immunity from swathes of British law, ranging from animal welfare to workers’ rights.

    > More than 30 laws stipulate, for example, that police are barred from entering the privately owned Balmoral and Sandringham estates without the king’s permission to investigate possible crimes, including wildlife offences and environmental pollution. No other private landowner in the country is given such legal immunity.

    > A Welsh government spokesperson said: “The immunity of the monarch from prosecution is a long-established principle.” They declined to comment further.

    UK ministers considering banning sale of smartphones to under-16s
  • I get the network effect of having all the other kids with phones.

    I don't think the network effect is the only factor to consider here. Kids are at real risk of social ostracization and bullying by their peers if they do not have a smartphone. And that's dangeous in of itself.

    I'm not sure if the dangers of being ostricised and bullied are more significant than the dangers presented by owning a smartphone. Either way, I don't think it's a simple decision for a parent to make.

  • Cropped out, banned, airbrushed: the school photos that show the ugly face of Britain today
  • That this prejudice will follow these children into adulthood is perhaps the bleakest part.

    This is the thing that horrifies me the most about this story. Adults, schools, and parents are setting an abominable example to these children.

    I can only imagine the confusion and shame a child must experience when being told to hide their insulin pumps, their wheelchairs, their hearing aids, etc. And I'm frightened to think of the pupils who feel empowered to "other" their classmates because they are being "othered" by the adults. It's a clear example of how we teach children bigotry.

    An experience from my childhood which still sticks with me to this day is from when attending an ultra-orthodox church. I was maybe 5 years old and tried to follow my dad into a restricted area and being stopped by the priest, being told "sorry, only boys are allowed back here".

    As a child I was taught that adults are always right, and to listen to them. This may very well be my earliest memory of being taught sexism, which only got reinforced throughout my life due to trusting the adults at this church and through trusting my very religious right-wing father. Even as a kid I recognised that what I was witnessing was unfair, but I did not have the power, the understanding, nor the will to challenge this unfairness because the adults must know what they're doing... right?

  • Cropped out, banned, airbrushed: the school photos that show the ugly face of Britain today Cropped out, banned, airbrushed: the school photos that show the ugly face of Britain today | Frances Ryan

    Behind the erasure of disabled children lies the frightening belief that they don’t belong in ‘perfect’ photos – or public spaces, says Frances Ryan

    Cropped out, banned, airbrushed: the school photos that show the ugly face of Britain today | Frances Ryan

    OP details various first-hand accounts of disabled children across the UK who have been edited in their school photos. This is not a new phenomenon as one of the accounts is from the 1970s.

    Some quotes from the article:

    > Behind the erasure of disabled children lies the frightening belief that they don’t belong in ‘perfect’ pictures – or public spaces.

    > If that feels somewhat chilling, it is because it should. Few of us – even at a time when someone, somewhere will always find a way to excuse bigotry – cannot understand the connotations of wanting to pretend disabled children don’t exist.

    > Children have had their disability aids removed by photographers. Other children have been altered with editing software or banned from their class photos entirely.

    > That is the thing with true ugliness. It does not come in the shape of a wheelchair, a cleft lip, white cane or scars. It sits in prejudice, digging and clawing its way into our culture until one day the nice man who is taking your child’s school photo asks her to hide her hearing aids. That this prejudice will follow these children into adulthood is perhaps the bleakest part. If only society had the desire to edit that out.

    Anyone else considering spoiling their ballot in the next election?
  • I think it's better to vote for a party which has no chance of winning than to spoil your vote. At the very least it communicates what kinds of policies you would like to see and what policies would win your vote in the future.

    I constantly think about the 2015 general election and how UKIP got almost 4 million votes (the third highest number of votes amongst all the parties). I feel that this caused a shift within the Conservative party towards populist, Eurosceptic, and anti-environmental ideals because they realised by doing so they could win back those 4 million voters.

    I would personally never spoil my ballot for this reason. I don't think it's especially valuable to communicate that you're not happy with anything without communicating what would make you happy.

    I'm currently in a circular debate with myself as to whether to vote Labour or Green. The classic eternal debate of "splitting the left vote" which we must deal with since we use an archaeic First-Past-The-Post system which should not exist in any modern democracy. I don't even especially like the Greens but a vote for them may communicate that one of my biggest values is preserving the environment and tackling climate change. Perhaps this could encourage Labour to establish policies to address these things in order to win back Green votes.

  • Reform UK suspends Scots candidates for ‘vile and offensive’ remarks
  • My first thought was "wow those comments must be shockingly bad if even Reform UK is suspending/investigating them".

    They absolutely are awful and embarrassing comments. But they're also comments I would fully expect a Reform UK candidate/supporter to make. Therefore I'm pretty surprised Reform UK is investigating them in the first place. Perhaps it's because they said the quiet bit out loud?

    They're a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic party after all, so of course they're gonna attract racists and transphobes.

  • Reform UK suspends Scots candidates for ‘vile and offensive’ remarks

    Reform UK has suspended two Scottish general election candidates after a Ferret investigation uncovered their controversial comments.

    Reform UK suspends Scots candidates for ‘vile and offensive’ remarks


    Stephen McNamara is transphobic and David McNabb is racist.

    Reform UK doubles-down on it's opposition towards Net Zero policies.

    Comments include (spoilering for distressing content, just in case):


    McNamara branded three Scottish equalities organisations as “tax payer funded peadophile (sic) services.”

    A response to a 2023 tweet from LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall said: “Time to ‘Stonewall’ the absurdity that being trans is normal. It’s not. You’re all mentall (sic) ill and need psychiatric treatment.”

    David McNabb said first minister Humza Yousaf should not be able to hold a rugby trophy because he is “more Pakistani than Scottish.”

    McNabb’s account also shared a video from the far right commentator, Katie Hopkins, which accused the UK legal system of treating fellow far right activists unfairly.


    Suspended candidates included Stephen McNamara, who was selected as the candidate for Kilmarnock and Louden, and David McNabb, the party’s candidate for Mid Dunbartonshire.

    > A Reform UK spokesperson said: “The party has launched an immediate investigation into Mr’s McNabb and McNamara who have been suspended pending the result of that investigation.”

    Linked article details public comments made by both these suspended candidates, as well as highlighting some other candidates who are not being investigated.

    Reform is not investigating candidates with links to climate change denial groups, or who have made comments denying climate change. These candidates include:

    • Kenneth Morton, the candidate for Angus and Perthshire Glens.
    • Martyn Greene. who is Reform UK’s Scotland organiser.

    > A Reform UK spokesperson said: “Reform Scotland is proud to oppose the calamity that are the Net Zero policies."

    What's the worst job you've ever had?
  • Two spring to mind. I could rant forever about them but I'll try to keep it short.

    First was an apprenticeship at a furniture logistics company. I was essentially an extremely overworked and underpaid spreadsheet monkey (I got paid £4 an hour). I received no training and gained no valuable experience or qualifications. In hindsight it's clear to me the company just wanted cheap labour from vulnerable teenagers.

    After this I took a job handing out leaflets for a store which buys/sells goods. The job was in fact not to hand out leaflets like I thought but to harass people I saw walking towards CEX (to try and convince them to sell their games/consoles to us instead of CEX). Obviously this was seedy as hell and embarrassing. I'd get told off at the end of the day every day for not bringing in multiple PS4s or whatever.

  • Government’s plan to stop migrant boats by surrounding the UK with a floating barrier of human shit nears completion

    The government is reportedly very pleased to see that its aim of surrounding Britain with a protective ring of human shit is going to plan.

    Government’s plan to stop migrant boats by surrounding the UK with a floating barrier of human shit nears completion

    With the government voting overwhelmingly in favour of allowing liquid human shit to pour into our rivers and into the sea, the government’s dream of creating a barrier of excrement between England’s Brexit sunlit uplands and those horrible foreigners who might harbour dreams of reaching them, draws ever closer to becoming a reality.

    Where Labour and the Tories got their money from in 2023
  • Of the £21.5m in cash received by Labour in 2023, just £5.9m came from the trade union movement, compared with £14.5m from companies and individuals – a huge increase on the previous year, and indeed more than in the three previous years of Keir Starmer’s leadership combined.

    As trade union contributions have dipped slightly, from around £6.9m in 2020 and 2021 to £5.3m in 2022, donations from businesses and individuals have soared: they totalled £2.3m in 2020 and rose to £3m in 2021 and £7.6m in 2022 before nearly doubling last year.

    Around £10m of this total comes from just four sources: Gary Lubner (£4.6m), David Sainsbury (£3.1m), Fran Perrin (£1m) and Ecotricity (£1m). This means that just two individuals gave the Labour Party more money last year than all the trade unions combined.

    Very concerning... but also not surprising.

  • Where Labour and the Tories got their money from in 2023 Revealed: The big money backers behind Labour and the Tories

    Labour’s cash from private donors now dwarfs donations from unions, while the Tories got their biggest bung ever

    Revealed: The big money backers behind Labour and the Tories

    All parties declared more than £93m in total compared with £52m in the previous year.

    The Conservatives received the most donations by far, raking in £44.5m in cash, compared with Labour’s total of £21.6m, £6m for the Liberal Democrats, £610,000 for the Green Party and £255,000 for Reform. The SNP registered only £76,000 cash donations in 2023.

    5 West Yorkshire to bring bus services under public control

    Region becomes third in north of England to reverse four decades of deregulation after similar moves by Manchester and Liverpool

    West Yorkshire to bring bus services under public control

    My TL;DR:

    > Bus services in West Yorkshire will be brought under public control, as it becomes the third major region of the north to reverse four decades of deregulation.

    > West Yorkshire follows Greater Manchester and Liverpool in deciding to return to a franchised system, where private operators must win contracts to run routes and timetables decided by the local authority, which also sets fares and takes revenues.

    > Under devolution, metro mayors have had the right to take buses under local control since the 2017 Bus Services Act, although the legal and political processes required remain arduous.

    > The region’s mayor, Tracy Brabin, who was elected in 2021 on a pledge to bring buses under public control, is also hoping to bring a wider mass transit system to Leeds and Bradford, two of the worst served cities for public transport in Europe, which will also include a tram.

    2 UK government overturns plans to phase out badger cull

    ‘Sunak now wants all the badgers dead,’ says ecological consultant Tom Langton

    UK government overturns plans to phase out badger cull

    My TL;DR:

    The government has U-turned on its plans to phase out badger culling after campaigning from farming unions.

    It is believed ministers wish to create a point of difference with the Labour party, which has said it would stop the cull, in an attempt to retain seats in rural areas.

    Badger culling was first introduced in 2013 and has failed to get support of eminent scientists over more than a decade and has caused some badger populations to go locally extinct.

    Furthermore. ministers plan to introduce controversial targeted culling, also known as “epidemiological culling” or “epi-culling”, whereby populations of badgers can be reduced to almost zero. A consultation launched by the government on Thursday included “chilling plans to kill 100% of badgers in bovine TB affected areas, an increase on the limit previously imposed since culling started in 2013”.


    Some quotes:

    > Tom Langton, an ecological consultant and badger expert, argues that epi-culling is “is based on a single ‘model’ trial in Cumbria where over 1,100 badgers were shot dead between 2018 and 2022, but where a published report states no demonstrable benefit was achieved in terms of reduced TB breakdowns in cattle herds.

    > The government cites peer-reviewed evidence from the first 52 areas where badger culling was conducted, which shows a reduction in rates of bTB breakdowns in cattle by 56% on average after four years of culling. But independent scientists have challenged this analysis, highlighting the presence of so many different variables and the absence of any scientific control.


    Michael Gove out there today, busy laying the ground work for the government's new "Extremist" definition. NewsThump (@[email protected])

    Attached: 1 image Michael Gove out there today, busy laying the ground work for the government's new "Extremist" definition.

    NewsThump (
    0 New definition of extremism will exclude racists who give the Tories £10M, confirms Michael Gove

    Communities Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that the Government’s new definition of extremism will not extend to racists who donate large chunks of cash to the Conservative Party.

    New definition of extremism will exclude racists who give the Tories £10M, confirms Michael Gove

    Unveiling the new definition, Mr Gove told the BBC, “The definition is very clear. It includes the promotion or advancement of violence, hatred or intolerance.”

    “You might say that making blatantly racist comments and calling for an MP to be shot would be the very definition of hatred and intolerance, but before that can be established, there has to be a rigorous process and due diligence to establish whether the person making those alleged comments is A) a Tory supporter or B) has given us £10M. And I think in this case, the answer is quite clear. Case closed.”

    Billionaires Who Rewild the UK Are Set to Get an Inheritance Tax Break
  • My cynical ass cannot stop my eyes rolling into the back of my head when I see "tax breaks for billionaires". But I'll try to put that entire ugly can of worms to the side for now.

    Ultimately the devil will be in the details as to how this is implemented, and unfortunately at this stage it seems there's not a whole lot of information as to exactly this will work. From the article: "There’s still uncertainty around how the government will approve eligibility for the projects. [...] adding more guidance is due to be provided in the near future."

    I've got so many questions. Like, how much of the land has to be rewilded? Will this land be regularly monitored and checked? How are we going to decide whether or not a plot of land has been sufficiently rewilded? Can the landowner do any sort of rewilding even if it's unsuitable for the surrounding area and it's needs? Is there anything to stop someone from simply creating a monoculture conifer forest, which doesn't provide a great benefit for wildlife?

    Are there any measures in place to stop land owners from demolishing these rewilded areas after it no longer becomes profitable to keep them that way? Can someone just create a monoculture conifer forest and then cut it down for timber once the inheretance has gone through on the land? Is there going to be a cap on the tax break itself? If the tax break ends up saving more money than the cost of rewilding an area and then demolishing it afterwards then this is just going to be another way for billionaires to dodge taxes whilst contributing nothing to the UK.

    I'm skeptical to say the least.

  • Chicken farms risk turning {Shropshire's] rivers into 'dead zones' - see the rivers at risk
  • Fertilizer applied to crops still ends up in our waterways. See: Nutrient Pollution

    When nitrogen and phosphorus [from fertilizer] are not fully utilized by the growing plants, they can be lost from the farm fields and negatively impact air and downstream water quality. These nutrients can eventually end up in aquatic ecosystems[.] When farmers spread their fertilizer, whether it is organic or synthetically made, some of it will leave as runoff and can collect downstream[.]

  • UK Nature and Environment seasonal banner competition – submissions request
  • I'm having trouble uploading pictures in comments here but here's a Proton Drive link with my three entries:

  • ‘The Vikings looked at this view – can’t they just leave it?’: island split over plans for salmon farm
  • Personally I don't find the argument of "this is the way it's always been, therefore it should stay that way" to be a convincing one, at least for me.

    There are other stronger arguments as to why salmon farms should not be built. The Ferret publishes a lot of articles which highlights issues with the salmon farming industry in Scotland.

    The original linked article focuses mostly on high mortality rates in salmon farms, which is a shame because the issues are so much broader than that. I'd definitely recommend checking out some of The Ferret's articles. But from the linked article here are some choice quotes:

    Clyde Fishermen’s Association says the site will impact local fishers, cause pollution and increase sea lice parasites.

    NatureScot says it will probably have a “significant effect” on the harbour porpoise of the Inner Hebrides and the Minches special area of conservation.

  • Tory MP Calls For More Wild Animals To Be Killed
  • The headline leads one to believe he’s an indiscriminate animal killing monster.

    He is being indiscriminate. He literally said that "all wild animals have to be culled". There are tens of thousands of species in the UK. There are maybe only a handful of these species where you could possibly argue that culling is required (when ignoring viable alternative solutions).

    Now I have zero idea what that looks like in the UK.

    It concerns me greatly how easily you trust Drax and how confidently you speak regarding this topic despite knowing nothing about what healthy populations of wildlife in the UK look like.

    Drax owns thousands of acres of farmland, he has a vested interest in protecting livestock over wildlife. That alone should make all of us skeptical about anything he says.

    He’s calling for culling to create healthy populations.

    The primary reason we're culling badgers is because of the issues they cause to the owners of livestock. It's nothing to do with creating a healthy population of badgers.

    Drax says that deer need to be culled because otherwise the health of deer will deteriorate. That's nonesense. Deer are culled because they destroy vegetataion, especially young sapling trees, which is only a problem because we have systematically elimiated all large land predators in the UK over the course of hundreds of years (e.g. wolves, lynx, bears).

    If it was about creating healthy populations of wildlife then it would be much more effective to reintroduce these large land predators back into the UK instead of culling. But it's never been about creating healthy populations of wildlife, it's about making as much money possible through farming. Therefore reintroducing large land predators is absolutely not an option for livestock owners because large land predators will also prey on livestock.

  • UK academic’s Wikipedia project raises profile of women around the world

    Lucy Moore has created a page for at least one woman from every country in the world for the online encyclopedia

    UK academic’s Wikipedia project raises profile of women around the world

    My TL;DR:

    > Lucy Moore, a UK academic, has completed a project creating a Wikipedia page for a woman in every country in the world and is calling for more women to contribute to the world’s largest encyclopedia.

    > She has now written biographies of 532 women since 2019, when she first became a Wikipedia editor, including scientists, monarchs, activists, writers and women whose faces are well known but their stories are not.

    > She tended to focus on women who share her interests, she said, such as poets, activists and coin specialists, known as numismatists, which is her own field.

    > But it has not been easy. She said one of the issues was that Wikipedia required three reliable sources for each biography and, while there may have been a lot written on social media about some of the women, they may not have appeared in newspapers, especially in countries where women’s achievements are not taken seriously.

    > Run as a non-profit, open-source encyclopedia that is free to use, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone but only a fifth of its 124,000 regularly active editors are women.


    Some of the women recognised by Moore:

    • Julia Chinn (c. 1790 – July 1833) was an American plantation manager and enslaved woman of mixed race, who was the common-law wife of the ninth vice-president of the United States, Richard Mentor Johnson.
    • Sharbat Gula (born c. 1972) is an Afghan woman who became internationally recognised as the 12-year-old subject in Afghan Girl, a 1984 portrait taken by American photojournalist Steve McCurry that was later published on the cover of National Geographic.
    • Jeanne Gapiya-Niyonzima (born 12 July 1963, in Bujumbura) is a human rights activist from Burundi. She is the chair and founder of the National Association for Support for HIV-Positive People with Aids (ANSS) and was the first person from the country to publicly admit they had HIV.
    • Ólafía Einarsdóttir (28 July 1924 – 19 December 2017) was an Icelandic archaeologist and historian, becoming the first Icelander to complete a degree in archaeology. She taught at the University of Copenhagen and published many works about Icelandic sagas and Viking history.
    • Gloria Meneses (1910 – 1996) was a Uruguayan performer and activist who lived openly from 1950 until her death as travesti – a term used in Latin America to designate people who were assigned male at birth and develop a feminine gender identity.
    1 Campaigners get go-ahead to challenge plans for oilfield in Lincolnshire Wolds

    Permission granted for judicial review after Planning Inspectorate overturned local council’s decision to reject plan

    Campaigners get go-ahead to challenge plans for oilfield in Lincolnshire Wolds

    My TL;DR:

    > The proposed oil-drilling operation is in Biscathorpe in the Lincolnshire Wolds, an important habitat for nature and wildlife that has been officially designated an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

    > The plans were rejected by the local council in 2021 but the oil company Egdon appealed against the decision and in November it was overturned by the government’s Planning Inspectorate, infuriating locals and environmentalists.

    > Now campaigners have been granted permission to seek a judicial review of the ruling in the high court.

    > The government has been widely criticised for pushing ahead with new oil and gas extraction in the midst of a climate emergency, with their own climate advisers, the International Energy Agency and hundreds of scientists and experts saying that no new oil and gas exploration can take place if the world is to limit global heating to 1.5C above preindustrial temperatures.

    > Despite this, Rishi Sunak has vowed to “max out” the UK’s oil reserves, ploughing ahead with huge new oilfields in the North Sea as well as three new onshore drilling operations in England.


    Some quotes:

    > The area’s Tory MP, Victoria Atkins, came out against the plans in 2021, writing the proposals “represent the industrialisation of the Lincolnshire Wolds” adding that “as the UK strives to achieve net zero by 2050 … we must be cautious to ensure that we do not allow an application to go ahead that will do long-term damage to the Lincolnshire Wolds, its natural environment and our local communities”.

    > However, Atkins – who is now health secretary – did not respond when asked whether she was still opposed to the proposals.

    > The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero declined to comment on the case, instead issuing a general statement defending the UK’s decision to “max out” oil and gas in the midst of a climate crisis.

    > Mark Abbott, the CEO of Egdon, responded by saying it would rather not drill in an AONB “but could not control where oil is located”. He added there were extremely rigorous protection measures in place to protect the local environment.

    > “We’re happy to arrange for the local community to visit the site whilst we implement these important protection measures, so that they can see for themselves how seriously Egdon takes its environmental responsibilities.”

    0 UK spends least among major European economies on low-carbon energy policy, study shows

    Britain spent about £26.2bn in three years on low-carbon measures, less than Italy, Germany, France and Spain, Greenpeace finds

    UK spends least among major European economies on low-carbon energy policy, study shows

    My TL;DR:

    > Spending on low-carbon measures for the three years from April 2020 to the end of April 2023 was about $33.3bn (£26.2bn) in total for the UK, the lowest out of the top five European economies, according to an analysis by Greenpeace of data from the International Energy Agency.

    > Italy topped the table for western European economies, having spent $111bn in the period. Germany spent $92.7bn, France $64.5bn and Spain about $51.3bn.

    > The data includes spending on electricity networks, energy efficiency, innovation on fuels and technology, low-carbon and efficient transport and low-carbon electricity.

    > On Wednesday, Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor of the exchequer, will deliver the last budget of this parliament, which is likely to centre on tax cuts that economists have said will mainly benefit better-off people. Hunt is expected to devote little resource to energy or green issues.


    Quotes from Greenpeace UK and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero:

    > Georgia Whitaker, a climate campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the UK was losing out to international rivals in the race for the economy of the future.

    > “It’s clear that despite the government’s bluster, we are utterly failing on the world stage when it comes to green investment. Not only are the US and China leaving us in the dust in the race on green technology, we’re also doing terribly compared to our European neighbours,” she said.

    > She called instead for a green industrial strategy and infrastructure investment. “Jeremy Hunt should use the spring budget to address this embarrassing failure, but instead he’s flirting with tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest. Meanwhile, the rest of us struggle on with the cost of living,” she said.

    > A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson said: “This report fails to recognise our progress compared to European allies. We are the first major economy in the world to halve our emissions, and we have the second largest renewables capacity in Europe.

    > “We have a clear strategy to boost UK industry and reach net zero by 2050 – backed by £300bn in low carbon investment since 2010.”


    Millions of supermarket chickens in the UK have skin burns from living in their own excrement Millions of store chickens suffer burns from excrement

    A BBC investigation finds about one third of chickens sold in some UK supermarkets have "hock burn".

    Millions of store chickens suffer burns from excrement

    Edit: I would recommend checking out the original article just for the sake of seeing the pictures of what hock burn looks like on packaged chicken you would buy from the supermarket.


    My TL;DR:

    "Hock burn" is caused by ammonia from excrement. A sign of poorer welfare on farms, it can be seen on a third of birds in some supermarkets.

    Hock burn is often associated with a high-stocking density of birds and is a result of prolonged contact to moist, dirty litter. It shows up on packaged and prepared meat as brown ulcers on the back of the leg.

    Chicken with hock burn markings are still safe to eat. But the amount of hock burn within a poultry flock is an industry-accepted indicator of wider welfare standards on farms.

    Red Tractor, the UK's biggest farm and food assurance scheme, sets a target rate for hock burn of no more than 15% of a flock.


    Hock burn statistics from various supermarkets:

    The BBC requested animal welfare data from 10 leading UK food sellers: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, Waitrose, Iceland and Ocado.

    Five of the companies - Asda, Morrisons, Lidl, Iceland and Ocado - failed to provide specific figures.

    • Co-op, which is supplied with an estimated 30 million chickens a year, recorded hock burn in 36.7% of its poultry.
    • Aldi's most recent annual figures revealed it had found hock burn in 33.5% of its chickens.
    • Company animal welfare reports reveal Tesco recorded a 26.3% rate in its chickens in 2022/23.
    • Sainsbury's found hock burn in one in five (25%) of its chickens.
    • Waitrose had the lowest recorded annual figure of 2.7%.
    • Lidl was one of the stores that did not provide data to the BBC. Volunteers found 74% of the chickens they checked had hock burn.
    25 UK’s net zero economy grew 9% in 2023, report finds

    Green businesses and jobs are booming – in stark contrast to the national economy – but political U-turns risk future growth

    UK’s net zero economy grew 9% in 2023, report finds

    My TL;DR:

    The UK’s net zero economy grew by 9% in 2023, a report has revealed, in stark contrast to the 0.1% growth seen in the economy overall. This includes renewable energy, building energy efficiency, electric vehicles, carbon capture technology and green finance.

    Thousands of new green companies were founded in 2023 and overall the sector was responsible for the production of £74bn in goods and services and 765,000 jobs.

    Hotspots of net zero businesses and the well-paid jobs they provide occur across the country, rather than being concentrated in London and the south-east. It also highlighted strong net zero activity in some of the most deprived areas (including Hartlepool, Nottingham, Redcar and Cleveland) and in marginal constituencies that will be focal battlegrounds in the coming general election (including High Peak, Cheadle, Derby North, and Lancaster and Wyre).

    Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is vital to limiting the damage from the climate crisis. Doing so would not only bring an economic boost but also cut energy costs for households and businesses and ensure energy security by ending the UK’s reliance on volatile fossil fuel markets.

    Nevertheless, the report pointed out that strong future growth from green businesses was being put at risk by government policy reversals, lack of investment and competition from the EU and US.


    Inside the battle against Scotland’s falcon thieves: Peregrine Falcon eggs and chicks are “routinely being stolen” across the UK to be sold abroad as racing falcons ‘It’s soul destroying to find nests have failed’: inside the battle against Scotland’s falcon thieves

    George Smith helped secure the conviction of two men for trading in wild raptors. Now, his work is helping to unveil an illegal multimillion-pound international industry

    ‘It’s soul destroying to find nests have failed’: inside the battle against Scotland’s falcon thieves

    Title is not the same as the original Guardian article. The original title was: ‘It’s soul destroying to find nests have failed’: inside the battle against Scotland’s falcon thieves


    My TL;DR:

    High-status racing falcons can sell for up to £250,000 in the Middle East, according to the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). The UK exports more live raptors than any other country, and the United Arab Emirates is the largest importer.

    Legally, captive-bred peregrine falcons can be traded, but the birds cannot be taken from the wild. They are strictly protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

    For racers, however, wild birds are more desirable: considered stronger, fiercer and faster. UK birds, particularly Scottish specimens, are prized in the Middle East.

    Between 2007 and 2022 there was a 4,500% increase in export permits for UK peregrines, according to Police Scotland, and it is not known how many were illegally caught.

    Despite being one of the highest value areas of crime globally, it is falling down the list of policing priorities, according to research led by Nottingham Trent University. In the UK, campaigners say there has been a weakening of legislation which means this illegal trade is easier to get away with.

    People used to have to register a peregrine in the same way they would register a vehicle, says Tom Grose, investigations officer at the RSPB, but that changed in 2008, when the government weakened the Wildlife and Countryside Act’s registration controls. “Now, if you want to sell a peregrine falcon you need to fill out a certificate but you don’t need to send it out anywhere – you just need to fill out this piece of paper.”


    Young, old and marvellous: How a care home in Chester built a nursery – and everyone thrived Young, old and marvellous: how a care home built a nursery – and everyone thrived

    At Belong Chester, the older residents and young children have the chance to spend each day together, and it’s led to big improvements in all their lives. What’s the secret?

    Young, old and marvellous: how a care home built a nursery – and everyone thrived

    As an upfront disclaimer, it's not all good news. Programmes like this are unlikely to become common in the near future due to large costs. It costs £1,355 each week for an elderly person to stay in these care homes. The cost of the nursery is £59 a day per child. This is not something that is accessible for most British folk.

    Nonetheless, reading this article was a heartwarming experience and certainly gives insight into a solution which can enrich the lives of the elderly, young children, their families, and care home workers. I really hope to see programmes like this become more accessible and commonplace in the future.


    My TL;DR:

    Belong Chester claims to be the first older people’s “care setting” in the UK to include a fully integrated children’s research nursery, where children and residents come together every day.

    Alan and his wife, Diana, both 82, often invite the children to their apartment to see their budgie, Joey. Diana is living with Alzheimer’s, but has “always loved children”, says Alan. “If she’s not having a good day I bring her down to the nursery and it’s as if someone has turned her switch back on. It’s that powerful.”

    The change in some of the older residents is remarkable “We call it unfurling. We see it in some of our older people. When they arrive, they are a bit closed down. Then the children arrive and you can actually see their whole body unfurl.”

    Interacting with the children is “incredibly important” for the men, thinks Dorothy Hulford, 87, a former university administrator who moved in with her 95-year-old husband, Frank, last year: “That generation weren’t involved with their children, back then, because they were at work. I see how much they enjoy being with the nursery children now.”

    Many of the nursery parents think their children have become more caring by mixing with older people.

    “Some of them use a wheelchair, some have limited speech or communication, and I think it has made Jacob more empathic,” one mother says, “I’m six months pregnant and I’ve been really ill, and when Jacob has seen me be unwell, he checks on me. I don’t know if that’s normal for a three-year-old, but Belong is definitely teaching the children they have to be a little bit careful around their grandfriends. One of them had a fall and was bruised and Jacob was asking how she was.”

    Another mother says her daughter, Charlotte, aged three, has learned a lot from her grandfriends at nursery. “Charlotte’s language, compared to her peers from our antenatal group, is head and shoulders above. She uses words in the right context and talks in full sentences.”


    Record waiting times for cancer treatment in the UK whilst King Charles begins treatment within days of diagnosis UK cancer patients forced to go private while King Charles begins treatment

    Exclusive: As NHS targets are being missed nearly 300,000 people paid for chemotherapy in last five years

    UK cancer patients forced to go private while King Charles begins treatment

    In other news: water is wet. I think we all knew that Charles wouldn't have to go through the same pains us common British folk do in regards to accessing healthcare. But nonetheless I think it's important to continue to highlight these ever growing class divisions in the UK, such as those between people who can afford private healthcare and people who have to rely on our public services. People in positions of authority and power in our country do not understand the struggles of everyday British people.


    My TL;DR:

    Charles is already receiving expert care for his cancer within days of diagnosis. His speedy treatment should draw fresh attention to the long cancer treatment waiting times that most British people experience with the NHS.

    The proportion of patients in England waiting less than 62 days from an urgent suspected cancer referral or consultant upgrade to their first definitive treatment for cancer is 65.2%.

    Amid growing frustration at NHS waiting lists, record numbers of people are paying for private healthcare. Nearly 300,000 people in the UK have paid for chemotherapy in the last five years.

    Survival rates for cancer in the UK lag behind those of other European countries for nine out of 10 of the most common types of the disease.

    Researchers said cancer waiting times across the country were among the worst on record, too many cancers were diagnosed at a late stage, and access to treatment was unequal.

    Buckingham Palace has not specified whether the king is receiving private healthcare or being treated on the National Health Service.


    Home tests which detect cancer risk now available for people with at least one Jewish grandparent BRCA tests to be offered to Jewish people to detect cancer risk

    NHS England says it wants to test 30,000 Jewish people over the next two years for faulty BRCA genes.

    BRCA tests to be offered to Jewish people to detect cancer risk

    My sibling has been working on this project for the last 18 months and it fully launched yesterday. It has now made the news! I'm immensely proud of them, their work will surely save many lives.

    Anyone aged over 18 who has at least one Jewish grandparent is eligible for testing. If you meet this criteria you can order a test here:

    Article TL;DR:

    The tests check for faulty BRCA genes. People with Jewish ancestry are far more likely to have inherited faulty BRCA genes than the general population. There is a 50% chance of someone who has a faulty BRCA gene passing it on to any children.

    Those born with impaired BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a greater risk of developing breast, ovarian, prostate or pancreatic cancer.

    The NHS England screening programme is part of a drive to detect cancer early. Tests can be ordered online and completed at home, by taking a sample of saliva and sending it off to a laboratory.

    0 Photos reveal wildlife toll from trawling for scampi

    Campaigners have published 30 photos which they say expose the marine wildlife killed by “destructive” and “wasteful” fishing for scampi around Scotland..

    Photos reveal wildlife toll from trawling for scampi

    My TL;DR:

    Photos mostly garnered from fishing industry social media accounts, show that trawling the seabed for langoustines to produce scampi also traps many other fish, including young white fish, flatfish, starfish and sharks.

    Fishing for langoustines in Scotland is big business, with landings worth £91m in 2019, providing 43 per cent of the world’s supply.

    But there have long been concerns about the fish accidentally caught in the nets of the langoustine trawlers.

    One picture shows a critically endangered flapper skate, dead and allegedly dumped on the seabed.

    The industry body, Seafish, insisted suggestions that bycatch made the langoustine fishery unsustainable were “incorrect”. Whiting, haddock and cod caught along with langoustines can be harvested and can together make up 80 per cent of catches, it said.

    But Seafish accepted that “unfortunately, endangered, threatened and protected species can occasionally get caught in fishing gear”.