The IBD & Ostomy Support Show – Guest Spot!

On Thursday 11th May I was a guest on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show, and you can view the show on YouTube if you missed it.

It was great to be able to add a male perspective to some of the ‘Ask anything’ questions, as well as share my story, experiences of immunosuppressants and talk about IBDHour (which returns on Thursday by the way).

Do check out the video, and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to help the girls build the following, and check out their blogs and social media too!

Louise – Crohn’s Fighting – BlogFBInstagramTwitter

Rachel – Rocking2Stomas – BlogFBInstagramTwitter

Stephie – Colitis2Ostomy – BlogFBInstagramTwitter

The IBD & Ostomy Support Show – a brief review 

So tonight was the first episode of The IBD & Ostomy Support Show which is a new, weekly online show broadcast via YouTube. It has been put together by Louise who blogs at Crohn’s Fighting, Rachel from Rocking2Stomas, Natalie who is The Spoonie Mummy and Stephie who blogs at Colitis to Ostomy – you can also find them on Twitter and Facebook too.

It’s an hour long show with the four ladies taking it in turns to speak ona variety of topics tonight they spoke about ostomy routine (which led into a discussion about suppliers) epidural and why they started blogging among other things.

Overall it had a relaxed feel, kind of like eavesdropping on a conversation. There were a few technical issues – we had no video of one of them for a while, and all the volumes were different. I also had to refresh the page a few times, but they have been my internet connection. They were able to take questions via the text chat which was useful and made it interactive.

At times it got a bit technical, particularly the conversation about surgical pain relief and rectal sheathes, so in the future it would be good to have someone checking out any jargon and explaining it.

I think it is certainly an interesting development, and will watch to see how it goes – good luck girls!



Over the last few weeks there has been much discussion about voting. We’ve had the first Police & Crime Commissioner elections, the scandal of Ella & James being in the bottom two of the X Factor and I’m a Celebrity… with Nadine Dorries.

Police & Crime Commissioner Elections

The PCC elections had a turnout nationally of under 15%, with one polling station in Wales getting no votes cast at all. The election was run in November (it had originally been planned for May, the ‘traditional’ voting month in the UK) and cost £95m to run. One of the big criticisms has been the lack of information received about the candidates. A website was created to host the statements of all the candidates –  but people didn’t seem to know it was there. Other people I spoke to took the attitude that if the candidates couldn’t be bothered to get in touch then they wouldn’t be getting their vote. Others didn’t vote because they did not feel the police should be party politicised – and didn’t fancy the independent candidates much.

I voted, and at 3.15 pm (the polls open at 7 am) was the 37th voter. My wife voted at 6.15 pm and was 47th. There was criticism from many places over the handling of the whole thing, but the thing that worried me the most was the very high level of apathy.

In America, according to John Grisham, the elect very nearly everyone. The introduction of a PCC to replace the Police Authority could well have been an experiment by this Conservative led government to see of there was appetite to do that with other roles – Local Education Authority, health care (which is to have more local determination). I don’t think it’s a plan for now, but it could happen in the future.

X Factor

Two of the favourite acts on the X Factor were also recent victims of voter apathy. Judges, acts and viewers were surprised to find that Ella and James were in the bottom two. My theory is that most people thought they were safe, not factoring in the Liverpool block vote for Christopher Maloney (and maybe his £1000 phone bill). Now people don’t have to vote in the X Factor, and the judges/ mentors hope that people will but what was interesting was the number of people in my Twitter and Facebook feeds saying they would never watch again – although they hadn’t voted themselves…

I’m A Celebrity

Two worlds collided with this years crop of Celeb contestants, as serving MP Nadine Dorries entered the jungle. She was voted as one of two contestants to do the first Bush Tucker trial, however Helen Flannigan’s responses to the tasks soon took over. Dorries was then voted out first – receiving the fewest votes. This show is much more reactive – on the day Hugo was grumpy from lack of food he was rewarded with a trial of his own.


Voting is important, and could be increasingly so. It is a massive challenge of all of us involved in politics at any level to get people to vote. From local elections to trade union votes on strike action. We need to get as many people as possible to engage in the political processes so mandates are clear.

Have I Got News For You

HIGNFY 27 October 2010

Picture by Jon Large used under terms of Creative Commons Licence

This evening’s episode of the BBC program Have I Got News For You was, in my opinion, not as funny as it usually is. I’m a big fan, and have watched for many years. I remember Paul Merton winning when his team-mate was a tub of lard. I remember when Merton & Ian Hislop gave Angus Deaton a roasting over his behaviour shortly before he left the show. I like the satirical take on the weeks events, the guest publication and the caption competition.

And this evenings episode looked all set to be a good one. Clare Balding was presenting, Graham Linehan & Ken Livingstone were guests – all sounds promising. And it started well, mocking Tory party conference in the usual style, replaying the clip of George Osbourne being booed at the Paralympics. And then the show took a turn that cannot have been easy to navigate through – Jimmy Saville. It’s been the biggest story of the week, they could hardly leave it alone. Now I’m guessing the show is filmed a few days in advance, because there was no mention of the headstone being removed. And it became a space to vent, not about the horrors of what he is alleged to have done, but also of the way the wider media have responded in particular to the BBC where rumours it seems were rife, yet nothing was done, or even said, officially. This section of the program was light on jokes, but the few that there were were close cutting – Graham Linehan suggested that all the Jim’ll Fix It badges be collected up and melted into a stake to be driven through his grave (and has already had offers on Twitter of badges to get him started).

Saville cannot be held to account for his actions, but the climate now is so different. In my work I know that rumour can be so dangerous, particularly in child protection issues, but I hope that if there are lessons to be learned they can be – but I hope things are already in place to stop such a thing happening again.

Clare Balding’s remarks about the Daily Mail were spot on, and I hope it makes some people think about there choice of news outlet. It is not acceptable to me to print pictures of teenagers in bikinis then be outraged by paedophiles.

I thought the Abu-Hamza joke was in poor taste.

So I’ll tune in again next week – I might even check out Have I Got a Bit More News for You to see what was cut.