George Osborne conjured up a populist crackdown on welfare and public sector pay on Wednesday as he sought to minimise the impact of a further £11.5bn of spending cuts, including £2.6bn taken from council budgets and £500m axed from education. Unveiling the results of his spending review 2015-16, the chancellor claimed that it would be possible to achieve £5bn of the sought-after savings through efficiencies, although this will include the loss of a further 144,000 public sector jobs. Police, student grants and charities will also be hit. Claiming the economy was moving from rescue to recovery, Osborne set out a fifth and unscheduled year of austerity. "We have to deal with the world as it, not as we wish it to be, so this country has to continue to make savings," he said. "If we abandoned our deficit plan, Britain would be back in intensive care." In a bid to grab headlines and push Labour into a corner ahead of the 2015 election, Osborne announced an unexpected … [Read more...] about Spending review: George Osborne targets benefits and slashes public sector jobs
Reviewing canadas new feminist international assistance policy
Agatha Christmas, more like. The Queen of Crime isn’t far behind Dickens as the most festive of authors. Despite only rarely using seasonal settings in her stories, “A Christie for Christmas” was the name given to her tradition of publishing a new novel each December for much of her career. Screen versions have also become synonymous with the holiday period, ideally suited to family viewing with a tin of Quality Street passed from lap to lap. Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar (Channel 5) wasn’t an adaptation of one of her books - which frankly would have been preferable - but found Christie herself as the protagonist of a fresh feature-length mystery. Without the rights to Christie’s own works,... … [Read more...] about Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar review – A cut-price Christie for Christmas is still quite a treat
A mum who says she felt like a 'rabbit in headlights' after having her first child has designed an app to guide mothers through pregnancy and early motherhood, which even tells breastfeeding mothers which boob to use next. Chloe Owens, 27, from Swanley, Kent, came up with the idea for Bump 2 Breast when she was pregnant with daughter Lola, now three months old. Like most first-time mums, Chloe and husband David, had no idea what to expect when they brought their first child home from hospital. Chloe Owens, 27, from Swanley (left, with Lola and right with Lola and husband David) came up with the idea for Bump 2 Breast when she was pregnant Tech-savvy mum Chloe, who designed the new app, with baby Lola, now three months Chloe said: 'I had absolutely no idea what to do - I was forever turning to Google to find out information, and some of the things I found weren't right.' She also admits she even struggled to remember which boob she had used last when breastfeeding … [Read more...] about New mum designs app to help pregnant women through constipation, colic and feeding… and even reminds which breast to use next
A luxury spa is set to open in London’s poshest postcode, Knightsbridge, next month. Hot from New York, it will offer therapies from plumping and lightening, to steaming and tightening. But these treatments aren’t for your face. VSPOT is instead dedicated to the business of tending women’s private parts. The vagina vigilantes are arriving from across the pond, and I wonder if British women will fall for it. I suspect, though, that plenty will line up as excitedly for the expensive (and unnecessary) treatments as they will for the latest designer dresses. My fear is that many others — who can scarcely afford it — will be doing so because they will come to believe there’s something intrinsically wrong with their bodies. I worry, too, that we’ll soon be seeing ‘medispas’ like the expected VSPOT in cities and towns across the country. Former Cosmo editor Linda Kelsey (pictured) fears a luxury spa set to open in London, to … [Read more...] about As a new ‘vagina spa’ touts unnecessary cosmetic procedures, former Cosmo editor LINDA KELSEY rages… Is no body part too intimate to be made a source of shame?
Who’s up for an offbeat musical about postnatal depression? Wait, don’t go! Bryony Kimmings’ solo performance is acutely painful in places but it’s actually an easy sell: this is an extraordinary piece of theatre. I’m a Phoenix, Bitch shows Kimmings is an artist of exceptional integrity, compassion, imagination and guts. The production is part of BAC’s Phoenix season, reopening the theatre’s grand hall after a devastating fire in 2015. As such it’s a double inspiration and a testimony both to human resilience and the healing properties of art. You could describe Phoenix – co-directed by Kimmings and Kirsty Housley – as a subversive feminist musical, and it has elements of a pop video, horror movie, art installation and therapy session. Like all of Kimmings’ devised works, it’s deeply personal, this time chronicling the moment in 2015 when she broke up with her boyfriend, lost her mind and very nearly lost her baby. … [Read more...] about I’m a Phoenix, Bitch review – wacky, warped and wonderful