This post is off topic for Phil-UK but still relevant to those of us based in the UK.
Earlier this year, the UK’s justice secretary, Jack Straw, unveiled the Coroners and justice bill 2009. It’s purpose is apparently to create ‘more effective, transparent and responsive justice and coroner services’. However, one part in particular sent civil liberties advocates’ alarm bells ringing: Clause 152.
In short, this will allow any information about you to be shared throughout the public sector without your permission. What kind of information? Anything can be accessed, whether it was gathered by a public body, such as your school or local council, or a private company like your bank or telephone company.
This may not sound too bad on its own but together with the government’s plans for a National Identity Register and increased surveillance powers, it helps enable serious intrusions on our liberty and freedom. Remember, we won’t know who will get hold of the data or why they want it.
What you can do about it
If the idea of your personal life being shared without your consent worries you, make sure you let the government know. Write to your MP using the WriteToThem website. Encourage him or her to vote to have Clause 152 completely removed from the Coroners and Justice Bill.
It only takes a few minutes. To make things easier for you, here’s some sample text:
I refuse to consent to the arbitrary sharing of information under any ‘Information Sharing Order’. Please vote to have Clause 152 completely removed from the Coroners and Justice Bill.
(Make sure you change the text as the site blocks anything that’s registered as copy-and-pasted text.)
Do your research
If you’re not convinced about the dangers of this clause, I encourage you to do some research and learn about the issues. Here’s a starting point:
I’m passing on a message from Markus C., from Filipino Students in The UK, about a band called Firefalldown. You can visit the band’s website at http://www.firefalldown.com
Hey Fellow Filipinos,
I just want to flag a London-based band called FireFallDown for they have kindly asked me to message you all to promote their band and their upcoming London show. Two of the members of the band are actually pinoys (from Makati and Cabanatuan). So let’s show our warm support for them!
I was browsing through their site and their music is just incredible. You should visit:
Des Daniels from Lion TV asked us to pass on this message:
We are currently producing a programme for Channel 4 about hospital nursing and midwifery. We would like to hear about experiences from both nurses and patients. We are interested to find out about specific situations or events during your stay or work in hospital with the view of potentially doing an interview on camera. For example as a patient did the nurses make you feel safe and looked after or did something go wrong. If you are a nurse or midwife how do you find the day to day working life? What works well and what could be improved?
Whatever you tell us, we’ll treat the information confidentially and anonymously where necessary. Our aim is to make an fair and balanced programme about experiences in NHS hospitals today.
If you have a story to tell or if you would like to know more please feel free to get in touch by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 0208 846 2175.
A manager of a home care organisation in Bedford asked us to help inform Filipino workers in the area about their rights to transfer benefits. Apparently, another company has provided incorrect information to their staff.
If you are working for a home care provider in Bedford, Biggleswade, Sandy, Arlesey, Shefford, Stotfold and surrounding areas whose contract with Bedfordshire County Council has not been renewed, you may be entitled to transfer to our company under the Transfer of undertakings (Protection of Employment) TUPE – regulations. Under these regulations your employment rights are protected and you should be able to continue working in the same geographical area you have been used to and provide continuity of care for those Service Users that you currently look after. If you currently need a work permit with your current employer it should be possible, under the TUPE regulations, to transfer this to our company.
If you would like to consider this option, or would like any further information, please contact Plan Personnel on 01234 270242.
Our full contact details are as follows:-
Unit 15 b Bedford Heights
A TV production company is looking for young people with a South East Asian background to take part in a series revolving around food. The programme will take people on a cultural journey to South East Asia to give them a chance to see where and how our favourite foods are made.
They’ve asked us to post this press release:
Are you of South East Asian origin? A brand new BBC TV show is looking for Brits with a South East Asian background to go on a journey of discovery to find out here our food comes from.
Does food play a major role in your life?
Ever wondered where your food comes from?
Have you never had the chance to visit Asia?
We want to give you the chance to travel to South East Asia to find out how the food we eat is made.
If you are aged between 18 and 26 and interested in finding out more,
Please call one of the team on 01273 224 819
Or email email@example.com
Tasmin Poynton, one of our visitors, wanted to let us know about her place in the Miss Fresh Photographic competition.
Tasmin: "I’m 18 and live in Wiltshire, my mum is from Philippines (wooo) and my dad is English. To my knowledge, I am the only Filipino girl in the heat, and would love to become the first Filo-English Miss England! I am a black belt in kickboxing, I have been doing the Filipino martial art kali illustrisimo for about 3 years now, and I also have a keen interest in music: having a grade 2 in clarinet, grade 4 in violin, and grade 6 in piano. After I finish college, I would love to stay with my family for a year in the Philippines and do some sort of charity work, including help street families and children. By becoming Miss England I feel that I will have the ability to achieve this, as well as various other voluntary work all over."
Here’s the text from her promo poster:
Tasmin Poynton has been selected as one of the 20 finalists for the Miss Fresh Photographic competition which is being held by the Miss England organisers. Tasmin is a student at Chippenham College and is hoping to win the title of ‘Miss Fresh Photographic’ and a place in the Miss England semi final next June. Every year, Miss England is selected for the finals of Miss World. During 2008, the Miss England contestants have raised over £100,000 for various charities around the country including £30,000 for the Institute of Cancer Walk with Cancer Campaign. In 2007 Georgia Horsley held the title of Miss Photographic and WON the national final!
Tasmin needs your support to help win in the quarter finals for the Miss Fresh Photographic title. You can vote for Tasmin by texting TASMIN POYNTON TO 84205 or vote from a landline which is 0901 6561500, and enter the unique number 18 when requested (votes costs 60p plus standard network charge)
Over the past few days, the Filipino community has been brewing a storm over Episode 4 of the ‘Harry and Paul’ show. It contained a short sketch featuring a Filipina maid which some people found offensive enough to start a petition.
I don’t watch the show but caught the clip via the BBC iPlayer service. Personally, I think that the those complaining missed the real butt of the joke and that the issue was being blown out of proportion.
It was not the Filipina maid who was being mocked. The target was the British class system and culture. The skit ridicules stereotypes of the dim-witted Northerner and the pompous upper middle-class Englishman. What you see in the ‘Harry and Paul’ comedy series are typical examples of British self-deprecating and satirical humour.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines satire as:
“the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”
You will find that this explains the comedy series perfectly. The same episode similarly pokes fun at Americans, South Africans and Russians, but above all, it mocks the latent stupidity within British culture.
Folks, this show is about British people laughing at themselves, not Filipinos.
As a community, we cannot overreact at every hint of perceived offence to our culture. We have more important things to be concerned about, such as the foreign national ID card. The National ID card and National Identity Register are serious intrusions into our right to privacy and freedom. For more information, please see no2id.
Edit:I’d just like to point out that these are my views. I’m not speaking on behalf of the Filipino community or anyone who is or has been associated with Phil-UK.
A Chiswick based production company is currently filming a medical-based documentary in the Philippines and requires translators beginning the 22nd of August. They need 4-5 people to be able to translate from Tagalog and possibly Hiligaynon.
They will provide successful candidates with timecoded DVD’s from the 22nd of August and will need to have translated word for word onto a formatted word document as soon as possible.
This job is paid and will be negotiated on query.
Please get in touch ASAP if you’re interested and I’ll send you contact information.