This Friday cannot pass without remembering the 9/11 attacks in New York 14 years ago. It seems much more recent than that because I can still remember initially hearing the news at school. Listening on the radio first and then getting a TV set up to watch the horror unfold. It is an event that should never be forgotten.
The news this week was pretty depressing.
The INTERNATIONAL news continues to be dominated by the plight of Syrian refugees and the way neighbouring and European countries are dealing with it. In an effort to find a lighter note to this I came across a report on how Australia, having agreed to take in 12,000 migrants from camps on the borders of Syria over the next 12 months, have prepared a guide for them on what to expect in Australia.
The "Life in Australia" booklet, published by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, offers handy tips and explanations about the ways down under.
….the faceless bureaucrats have offered a cultural snapshot that may bemuse rather than reassure new arrivals, complete with definitions for time-honoured phrases such as "drop by this arvo for a cuppa" (please visit this afternoon for a cup of tea or coffee) and "no worries", which of course means "the task or request will be carried out without fuss or bother".
The importance of good manners and good hygiene are also explained. Not blowing your nose on the street gets a mention, as does washing your hands before eating and after going to the toilet, and saying "thank you" or "please" when dealing with others.
"Australians also queue or line up when waiting to be served in a shop, a bank, a government department, a cinema or anywhere a number of people are all seeking a service at the same time."
Is there a typical Australian, asks the booklet?
Well, what with the ocker, the digger and his mate, it can all be a bit confusing.
"Australians are egalitarian, irreverent people with a deep suspicion of authority - yet they are mostly law-abiding and conformist."
Oh, and we all love the bush but most of us live in cities on the coast.
I’m not sure how well some of that is going to translate but some of our own citizens could do with a manners reminder!
Moving on to SPORTS: This is an article showing how the town of Frome have got their priorities right. Their annual Agriculture and Cheese show takes place tomorrow. The important FA cup tie for their football team has therefore been moved to today. Well done Frome.
For LOCAL news I’ve selected a report on the MPs debate today on Assisted Dying. Of course this is actually National news but it is a difficult topic.
MPs are discussing proposals to allow adults in England and Wales with six months or under to live to end their lives with medical supervision.
Under the proposals, people with fewer than six months to live could be prescribed a lethal dose of drugs, which they have to be able to take themselves. Two doctors and a High Court judge would have to approve every case. It would not allow a person with a non-terminal disability or with dementia to be assisted to die. Medical professionals would be entitled to refuse to be involved.
Having personally watched 3 close relatives, (Grandmother, Father and Mother) pass away through terminal cancer and Alzheimer’s I can understand how relatives might want to make it easier for their loved ones and avoid unnecessary suffering. I dread the prospect of developing Alzheimer’s and gradually wasting away but these proposals would not help me in that case. Nor, I think, will it help some people with, for example, motor neurone disease where, by the time they might have a prognosis of 6 months to live, they might not be physically able to take the drugs themselves.
I think if you can decide at some point you want a DNR order (Do not resuscitate) put in place you should also be able to set up assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness such as dementia/Alzheimer’s etc when in a sound enough mind to do so. After all, I could go to a funeral director tomorrow and plan and arrange my funeral. Why should I not be able to plan my death in the event of Alzheimer’s?
However, with so many grey areas I think, if these proposals are brought in, it will be hard for the doctors and judges to make the necessary decisions. I can also see the situation where a person might apply for the right and have it appealed by relatives on the grounds they were not fit to do so and by the time the legal process has been completed it would be too late.
In ENTERTAINMENT I picked out the news that Jack Dee is to host the “You’re Fired” programme that follows the Apprentice episodes. Jack Dee comes across as one of the most miserable men ever so I’m not sure how that is going to work. We shall see. I will watch with interest. Over the years my overall interest in the programme has waned as sometimes it is so cringy and some of the contestants are such pompous idiots. I’ve come to just watch the “You’re Fired” show to catch the highlights and firing. I always keep half an eye on it though as my hubby once worked for Alan Sugar and the first winner, Tim Campbell, was a parent at my former school workplace. I will probably watch some of it to see how Claude Littner fits in as a replacement for Nick Hewer. There are personal reasons for that.
And finally MISCELLANEOUS: you would think Apple might do better! This is an article about the launch of products and software, in particular an app that could manipulate an image – the example used being how to make a woman smile more! Of course this led to criticisms of sexism. This was in the week that a lawyer also created a stir by publishing an interaction on her LinkedIn account accusing another lawyer of being sexist. More details here.
It serves as a reminder that once something is posted on the internet you can never take it back and you have little control over where it will end up! Hmm what have I been saying…..
All links are courtesy of the BBC website. Opinions are my own.