Newshub reporter Isobel Ewing is taking on her first ultra-marathon in March- the 72km Ring of Fire Ultra at Mt Ruapehu . She will be documenting her training progress; the question of sweet or savoury snacks on long runs, combatting chafing, the trails she discovers and what strange thoughts enter the brain at hour six of a training run. But for the first instalment she decided to write about the dilemma faced by female trail runners. OPINION: Recently I interviewed a woman who had been raped when she went to a man's house on a date. She told her story to remind women to take measures to keep themselves safe, and avoid getting into unsafe situations where the worst could happen. At the end of the interview I mentioned that I do a lot of trail running, often in remote places. The woman gripped my arm and looked me directly in the eye. "Please don't do that Isobel. "It's not worth it." I left feeling conflicted. I respected her message, but I knew I wouldn't heed her advice. Why should … [Read more...] about Opinion: Alone, vulnerable: Why I wish trail running wasn’t so frightening
Smart, considered representations of oppressed social groups are still relatively rare in the media. It’s the reason people like me still exclaim with excitement when, once in a blue moon, a black family (for bonus points, a black family with a dark-skinned black woman at the helm) appears in an advert. It’s why the slow shift away from depicting disabled people as what the disability campaigner Sarah Troke calls “object[s] of charity” is so welcome. It's why the long overdue presence of a Muslim family on Coronation Street and, more recently, a lesbian Muslim character really matters. It barely happens, but when it does, it’s almost akin to having your mirror image reflected back at you when you’ve been used to caricatures standing in your place your entire life. So what happens when, as a marginalised person yourself, you find yourself playing one of those caricatures? For model Zuo Ye, who recently featured in Dolce … [Read more...] about Opinion: Don’t blame the Chinese model for working with Dolce & Gabbana
These discussions should be focussed on asking those questions which have not been answered yet and which, in one way or another, prepare us for the future, the organisers say, and will be drawn by a public canvassing of ideas open until the end of January.The future is the guiding principle not least in light of the Estonia 100 celebrations last year, which continues to mark state-building milestones (for instance the centenary of the founding of the Riigikogu in April)."All countries are created to last forever – the survival of Estonian nation, language, and culture through time is the foundational idea of the Republic of Estonia,'' said Toomas Kiho, the Head of the Steering Group at Estonia 100.''One hundred years after the birth of the country is a good time to set new goals for the coming centuries. Therefore, it makes sense to look forward, to the future – as best we can, with the highest academic and intellectual capacity that we have," Mr Kiho continued.Maiu … [Read more...] about Opinion Festival open to new discussion ideas for 2019
Brexit, according to the latest edition of Wetherspoon News, is a route to "democracy and free trade" to "equal freedom and prosperity". Following an appraisal of the implications of a no-deal Brexit, JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has informed attentive Fosters drinkers across the country that Britain crashing out of the EU would be no greater trouble than his company’s triumphant substitution of German Jägermeister with English Strika. Any other spin, he claims, is "just another pro-EU shaggy dog story" desperately cobbled together by a "metropolitan elite". You’re even invited to his once-in-a-lifetime countrywide Brexit tour were any of your doubts to persist. Cards on the table. I'm a left-wing, London-based Remainer. I’m presumably a self-elected member of this "metropolitan elite" in Martin’s eyes. But that is rather hard to square with the poverty wages he pays me to work the bar at one of his central London pubs. … [Read more...] about Opinion: I work at a Wetherspoons in grim conditions while Tim Martin bleats on about Brexit
Quite apart from the yellow vest movement, freedom of opinion is in a bad way right now, historian Maxime Tandonnet writes in Le Figaro: “Intolerance for other people's views is generally on the rise at the moment, and this is restricting the freedom of expression. The scope for what one can say without risking a beating is increasingly limited. Generally speaking, the statements we are talking about here are not illegal, but they run counter to political correctness, to the spirit of the times, to the dominant liberal, libertarian, post-national, post-border ideology. Above and beyond any legal framework, the punishment for this dissidence is taking the form of mob law in the media and the social networks. ... But what if France started its renewal by returning to tolerance?” … [Read more...] about Yellow vests a threat to freedom of opinion?