June 08, 2003

Not a Tooth in His Head

Soon Scottish Gaelic will be spoken with a funny accent. This is because soon the Gaels will have no teeth. According to a report in The Sunday Times, more than 14,000 people in the north of Scotland have been waiting more than 2 ½ years to see a dentist.

Scotland already has the worst dental health in all of Europe. Only 61% of children in the Highlands are registered with a dentist, which is far more than adults, of whom on 34% are on the books. Because dentist are usually the first to spot illnesses of the mouth and throat, the rate of oral cancer in Scotland is 22% higher than in England.

My Two Dads

Everyone knew it was going to happen sometime under this Government. Plans will be put forward by the Government this month to give gay and lesbian couples the same rights as married couples. This will extend to tax provisions, property, and pensions. They would be the legal next of kin, including the right to make decisions regarding medical treatment and funeral arrangements. They could apply for alimony if the relationship breaks down. They would have the same immigration rights. All they have to do is have a new form of civil ceremony. In other words, a gay marriage.

This is not an example of the Government going it alone. They are just following the EU’s equal treatment directive. Being a part of Europe, this is just part of the package.

Get Them While They’re Young

The Southeast Sheffield Education Action Zone is doing its part in preparing youngsters for the possibilities of gay marriage. They are teaching 10-year-olds how to put on condoms. “I do the demo and then I tell them about the drop-in clinics available to them from the age of 11 where they can get supplies and advice,” said Charlotte Hall, who runs the programme in primary schools in Sheffield.

Other classes in the programme include lessons which ask children to “consider how different people might express their sexuality”. They have teacher-led discussions on sadomasochism, a “naughty bits bingo” game and classroom role plays of “a married man who was ‘done’ for cottaging”. (You may remember what cottaging is from Thursday’s blog.)

Posted by david at June 8, 2003 09:02 PM