‘She was something of a legend over on West Hollywood. It was well known that her skills lay in predicting the future through chipped china teacups. If she liked you…

You entered her small 1930’s bungalow, past golden gilded Indian statues that stared with expressions of wonder and helpless awe. She would glide through to greet you with the haughty air of a forgotten Hollywood diva. She was breathtaking in her beauty, dark crimson lips set off by the blackest of curls. It was rumoured that she took the souls of men that she loved and encased them in gold gilt statutes, forever to admire her, forever to love her. Every man who entered her lair forgot about the rumour as soon as they stared into her dark eyes of seduction.

Beware the West Hollywood It Girl. She may tell you your fortune. Or take your soul for eternity. Her choice. Never yours.”



Divorce in Scotland: a recipe for poverty…

Being working class is a heavy mantle to carry. You have to fight all of your life. And when you think that the fight over, then you have to fight some more.

You don’t start out like this. You believe in the silky promises of meritocracy. You work hard to escape the clutches of poverty. You study. You do the degree…often the first in your family. There are no nepotistic family trees to cling to here, lass. Make sure you work harder than everyone else. Make sure you go that extra mile to fight to get the good job.

Once I was qualified as a lawyer at a top law firm in Scotland, I entered a strange twilight zone. I was easily one of the best in my year yet I found there was a club that I was simply not part of no matter how hard I worked. It was a school club, a rich club, a middle class club and there was no way I was getting in.

As life went on, it got worse and a subsequent failed marriage brought it’s own challenges. I worked hard, at being a wife, a mother and an entrepreneur. But working hard, isn’t enough. One of the massive setbacks and challenges of being working class is that there is no safety net. There is no trust fund or rich parents to lean on when times get tough. Poverty creates cycles of poverty consciousness that future generations suffer from. When you take risks when you are working class and they don’t work out, you cannot lean on family, as that family is still operating within a poverty consciousness themselves. They simply cannot help and that leaves a working class person suddenly back to facing poverty and that is the cycle of poverty repeated again.

The only solution is to fight. And then fight again and again. Harder, tougher and faster than everyone else. Never stop fighting until you have secured something that no one can take away.

Women and in particular mothers are very vulnerable in these circumstances. Agreeing with your then husband to put a career on hold to bring up children should provide some degree of security as it an agreement of trust. However when marriages break down in these circumstances, it is often the women who are left with very little, no career, children to look after and suffering severe financial hardship. In these circumstances, if you are working class, it is often the case that there will be no safety net to fall back on. This is not right and the law in Scotland needs to change to protect women in these circumstances. The golden nugget of “a clean break” policy in current divorce law is causing real poverty to creep in for mothers who thought they had escaped the poverty cycle by pursuing a career.

The law needs to change and until it does then we have to fight, and fight and then fight some more.


Women need more Lead Roles…

The Women’s March on 21st January 2017 was about women standing up for equality. To do that, we need to dismantle Patriarchy and everything that it represents. Trump coming to power in the US, was the catalyst for it, given that Trump represents everything that patriarchy stands for; he is a rich, white privileged male. Patriarchy is endemic; we have a world now where women are NOT treated equally. End of. Even worse, is that mothers are treated without respect often at the hands of the legal system that is supposed to protect them.

Women marched on the 21st because of these kind of issues; a society that doesn’t respect it’s women and mothers is unbalanced and is too harsh. Madonna summed it up with her speech (part of which is under-noted):

“The revolution starts here. The fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal. Let’s march together through this darkness and with each step. Know that we are not afraid. That we are not alone, that we will not back down. That there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity”.

Madonna’s speech was amazing. Yes, it contained swear words and a mild threat (as a joke) but it brilliantly summed up the issues. We DONT HAVE EQUALITY yet and that is a disgrace in 2017.

Then, we have Piers Morgan who stated that the marches on the 21st were “vacuous”, he went on to say:

“I’m all in favour of equality and I absolutely support women’s rights completely. But I don’t see the point of that march. I don’t know what the focus was. I don’t know what they were hoping to change.”

The focus was quite simple, Piers, we need true equality and an end to patriarchy. And we need men to support, that not downgrade it.

It is the more oblique strains of Patriarchy that we also have to question and stamp out. A good example of this is this morning’s exchange between Piers Morgan (host on GMB) and Ewan McGregor (actor in new film Trainspotting 2).

Ewan pulled out of a promo interview for the film on GMB, tweeting:

Was going on Good Morning Britain, didn’t realise was host. Won’t go on with him after his comments about

Obviously, what follows is a public response from Piers and all the comments and publicity that goes with it, which causes both men to trend on Twitter.

So, we have a white male taking a stance against another white male in the name of women’s rights, which causes both of them to get a LOT of publicity and self promotion. Sounds like staunch patriarchy to me.

If there had been some lead female roles in Trainspotting 2 instead of brief cameo roles, then maybe it would have been one of those ladies would have been taking a pop at Piers this morning, instead of yet another white male…

Maybe it’s time for women to get a fair share of the lead roles in this world, instead of cameo roles. That, Mr Morgan, was the point of the vacuous marches..