Category Archives: satire


Today’s press is full of a report from Lord Davies (for example here and here).  He is concerned about the lack of women in the most elevated positions in society, with too many institutions being heavily male-dominated.

Lord Davies, a former boss at Standard Chartered, said recently: ‘If prisons don’t take a radical change in attitude, and intern more women, then we will have to introduce quotas.’ To the disappointment of feminists today’s report stopped short of calling for legal quotas, but where the imbalance is biggest he expects there to be 20% of women by 2013 and 25% by 2015.  Our prisons need to improve the diversity of their populations, particularly by recruiting more women inmates.

“Radical change is needed in the mindset of the prison community if we are to implement the scale of change that is needed.”

Prison Federation chief executive Ruth Notaman said: “The news that prisons will not be forced to adopt female inmates to the cells by quota will be widely welcomed by nervous prisons.”

“However, a concerted effort still needs to be made to use female talent, otherwise prisons will be missing out on a vast array of talent at their disposal.”

As well as calling for greater female representation in our prisons, the Lord Davies report asked police and courts to sign up to a code of conduct to increase the number of women on candidate lists.

Happy event

A happy event is only truly complete when it is universally shared and celebrated.  So when your friend and colleague announces a happy event, it is vital not just to congratulate him/her/them, but also to share your joy as widely as you can.

Firstly, be sure to select the right means of communication.  Congratulations expressed in such an ephemeral medium as IRC, or (heaven forbid) the human voice, are lost so quickly, and anyone who is not present is denied the opportunity to share.  Likewise an old-fashioned card or private email, text message or similar is a selfish act of not sharing.  A message on the principal’s blog is almost as bad: it’s so rude and impersonal to make people come to your comment, when you could be sending it to them (and besides, some people might have already read the blog and forget to return to see your congratulations).

The right thing to do of course is to post your congratulations to big and busy mailinglists.  The medium is suitably personal, with every happy subscriber getting an individual copy of your joy.  These days of course everyone has unlimited storage and bandwidth, so be generous.  And don’t forget that even in a techie community, not everyone will read your message on a ‘phone or even a laptop.  It takes quite a lot of “Re: Happy Event” messages to fill a big screen with joy, and it’s not a truly happy community if there are so few messages as to leave other topics visible on someone’s mailer!

Oh, and congrats to DrB.