December 2006 Archives

If there is a God, please let him protect us against religious bigots

Quoth the Observer about HPV jabs:

Hugh McKinney of the pressure group the National Family Campaign questioned the wisdom of immunising such young girls. 'Vaccination against cervical cancer makes full sense to bring down occurrences of this dreadful disease. The only question is at what age is this most appropriate, and many people will question whether 12 years is too young to be undertaking a vaccination programme that is important for when girls become sexually active,' he said.

'It could be seen as helping to promote or encourage sexual activity in girls before they are physically or mentally mature.'

Gah! The whole point of giving young girls the jab at the age of 12 is that that age was deliberately chosen to coincide with the lack of sexual activity! As, gladly, the second and third paragraphs make clear:

Millions of girls would be immunised at school against human papilloma virus (HPV) before they become sexually active. Research has shown the virus is one of the key causes of cervical cancer, which kills around 1,000 women a year.

Routine injections against HPV have already been adopted in some US states and a handful of British parents have begun buying the £450 injection for their daughters through private clinics. The vaccine was licensed here earlier this year.

Incidentally, I am truly glad that this sort of issue isn't a wedge issue in the UK, so a Labour government can calmly Do The Right Thing without worrying that the Daily Mail will kick up too much of a fuss.

Things you realise belatedly

I was browsing my wife's livejournal just now. (Oo-er missus etc.) And I realised something that had previously escaped me.

I'm an Uncle. Not whatever my relationship with my various cousins' children is (second cousin? something a number of times removed? Ahah, it turns out they're First cousins once removed, and please insert your own Alice in Wonderland joke here). Not something with the term "-in-law" added, as if to say that, OK, you're related, but you're the wrong type and there's no genes involved. No, I appear to be a full-blown Uncle. Sibling relationships appear to ignore marriage caveats.

(Victoria Cohen, in "Once More With Feeling", from what I can tell from frantic googling, went on about how uncles were stalwarts of porn films, from what I can remember of browsing said book in a bookshop somewhere in England, I believe. I'd post something more useful, if there were to be anything useful to be found on the public Internet about Ms Cohen and/or her books. Censorship or just publishers being rubbish?)