Golden Oldies: WRVS Power list

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 12:40
The Queen joins Mick Jagger on list of the nation's powerful Golden Oldies Based on WRVS Power list (see bottom of page to download full report) At first sight, the Queen, Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United, and Rolling Stone Sir Mick Jagger do not have a great deal in common.  But at age 85, 70 and 67 respectively all make a newly–published ''gold age power list'' of the country's most influential pensioners. The list aims to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about older people. It was compiled by the charity WRVS (please see the full list attached), which said the country's ageing population is too often seen as a ''looming disaster''.

100 Living Geniuses (Oct 07)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 02:28
British brains dominate list of living geniuses By Aislinn Simpson, The Telegraph, 30 October 2007 Britain has more living geniuses per head of population than anywhere else in the world, according to a new survey which reveals the country's influence on science, technology, business and the arts. Almost a quarter of those featured in the list of 100 living geniuses are Britons, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web, in joint first place, and physicist Stephen Hawking at seven in the list. British artists and musicians feature heavily, including Brit Art leader Damien Hirst at number 15, poet Seamus Heaney at 26, playwright Harold Pinter at 31, Sir Paul McCartney at 58, David Bowie at 67, Harry Potter author JK Rowling at 83 and filmmaker Ken Russell at 100. Sir Richard Branson, the head of Virgin Group, at 49, chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall, at 58, and psychologist Dorothy Rowe, at 72, also made the list. With 24 Britons in the list, the country has generated one living genius per 2.5 million people – a higher proportion than any other country. The list, compiled by a panel of six experts in creativity and innovation, is jointly topped by…

Sally Brampton (Oct 07)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 02:28
October 28, 2007 The Sunday Times Aunt Sally I’m in love with and engaged to a beautiful woman. We met 18 months ago and have madea huge joint financial commitment in a house. She is a very driven high achiever who hasbeen battling an anorexia/bulimia problem for the past 10 years, and she is verycontrolling. Since we moved in together, we have had the most dramatic and unsettlingarguments, which develop over trivial things, and she becomes violent. I have offered togo for joint counselling, but she refuses help, makes excuses (which makes me wonder ifshe is in denial), and accuses me of trying to control her. She has no close friends andfeels that her family detach themselves. I’m not perfect, but I try endlessly to please her. Anything she asks for, she gets. She keeps the house in pristine condition. I put forwardmost of the money, but I’m not allowed (and don’t dare) to wear shoes indoors or to makea mess. With her food and cleaning issues, I never eat at home. We are getting marriednext year and want to start a family, but I cannot bring children into such a stressfulenvironment. I would be grateful for any suggestions. It…

Fathers and Daughters (Apr 07)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 02:28
Fathers and Daughters Published in The Times, 26 April 2007   Is it significant that many of the women who succeeded in a man’s world had in their childhood a strong relationship with their father? Alfred Roberts was highly regarded in his home town of Grantham but his greatest claim to fame proved to be that he was the father of Margaret Thatcher. Hugh Rodham will be even more famous than Alfred Roberts if his daughter Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes President of the United States. Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru was undoubtedly famous in his own right as the first prime minister of India, but so was his daughter Indira Gandhi, the third prime minister. When William Edward Nightingale taught his daughter mathematics he did not expect that Florence would not only turn nursing into a profession but that she would become a remarkable statistician who, amongst other achievements, pioneered the visual presentation of statistics which is now so much part of our lives. It seems that in a close intellectual relationship with her father a girl can get something which she cannot get from her mother, particularly if the mother has concentrated her efforts on domesticity and motherhood.   These relationships…

Scottish Herald (Dec 10)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:53
Dramatic fall from grace for champion of the peopleby Alison CampsiePublished in the Scottish Herald: 24 Dec 2010 He advanced through a dark battlefield of sex, lies, power and truth, waging a war against the tabloid press and the stories it printed about his private life. But Tommy Sheridan ultimately became his own enemy, isolated by his attempt to rewrite history and erase a predilection for kinky trysts and lust for women other than his wife, Gail. Yesterday, Sheridan was found guilty of perjury after 12 grinding weeks at the High Court in Glasgow. It was here that his downfall was staged in the most devastating fashion: in the full glare of his wife, his mother, and a packed public gallery, with spectators queuing every day for one of the 100 or so available seats. Four years earlier, Sheridan had stood triumphant on the steps of the Court of Session in Edinburgh, punching the air alongside his wife, after convincing a jury that stories published in the News of the World about his private life were not proven to be true. Then, he praised the “ordinary people” of the jury for their ability to differentiate truth from muck. It is…

Sunday Sydney Telegraph (Jan 09)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:53
January 11, 2009 An Aussie expert’s guide to the eternal quest for a more benign God She’s rated among the UK’s smartest 100 people, but this Aussie-born woman has ideas to reshape the world, writes Paul Pottinger Consider this: without life’s one great certainty – death – there would be no need for religion. Without religion, Dorothy Rowe might not be in business. And if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t have spent the morning after her 78th birthday last month discussing her 22nd book with us. As a clinical psychologist of world standing, whose books are among the bestsellers in that increasing portion of major book store space give over to religion/self-help, Rowe has listened to reasoning a lot less coherent than that above. Likely this pixieish, but relentlessly logical, woman would merely see this as further evidence that “this is the way we’re constructed, the way our brains work. Every person sees in their individual way”. Which is why the unyielding nature of monotheism just doesn’t work: except, of course, in terms of supplying a stream of clients. It’s why her new book – What Should I Believe? – examines beliefs about the nature of death and the purpose of life dominate our lives. …

The Independent (March 2008)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:52
Another sibling argument! From the Independent.co.uk on Tuesday, 4 March 2008 'Keep me out of your novels': Hanif Kureishi's sister has had enough Hanif Kureishi has made a habit of attacking relatives in print – and his latest book is no exception. It's time to stop, says the novelist's outraged sister, Yasmin Kureishi So there is a new novel out by my brother called Something to Tell You. I was, of course, relieved to learn from a recent review that the central character's sister wasn't based on me, but appears to be another family member. There is quite a bevy of us now – my mother and father in The Buddha of Suburbia; Uncle Omar, portrayed as an alcoholic in a bedsit in My Beautiful Laundrette, then lauded in Hanif's memoir, My Ear at his Heart; an ex-girlfriend, Sally, who renamed his filmFor my birthday he used to give me novels by Jean Rhys, Balzac, Camus. He introduced me to RK Narayan, Thackeray, Rabindranath Tagore and Dickens... These are truly great gifts. And he never stopped encouraging me to write, though my resistance was often formidable. Sammy and Rosie Get Laid as "Hanif Gets Paid, Sally gets Exploited". A semi-autobiographical novel,…

Liverpool Daily Post (Nov 07)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:52
It’s not the innocents who suffer, it’s their poor Parents Nov 26 2007 by Peter Elson, Liverpool Daily Post IT IS a question as old as time. Are we born with original sin as imperfect beings? This nagging anxiety has latterly translated itself into the nature versus nurture argument. Do we possess a sense of innate goodness, an in-built ability to distinguish between right and wrong? Yale University has concluded that babies as young as six months are able to tell the difference between good and bad behaviour. The kiddies, aged six to 10 months, were set a task to watch two colourful toy climbers struggling up a hill. In one scenario, the “goodie” toy helped the other, in the opposing set-up the “baddie” tried to stop him. The researchers claim that the children were able to make a reasoned response to this situation. In contrast, one can ask, will goodness prevail if a group of children were told to hold precious china for a long period?  Probably even if suffering regular exposure to the Antiques Roadshow, they would display a preference for breaking it and jumping up and down on the broken pieces. The whole of children’s comic book japery is predicated…

The Blair Years Review (July 2007)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:51
Observer July 15, 2007   I knew that The Blair Years was an account of events enlivened by Campbell’s unflattering comments about the people who had angered him, but I had not expected the occasional precise, perceptive assessment of certain people. His introduction confirmed my long-held suspicion that he was an introvert, one of those who need to keep chaos at bay and fulfil their need for achievement. Elsewhere I had read his description of what he calls his ‘serious psychotic breakdown’, which to me was a clear description of what happens to introverts when they discover a serious discrepancy between what they thought their life was and what it actually is. Here he explains that he kept a diary to give ‘some kind of order to often chaotic and confusing events around me’. Introverts are often better observers of other people than extraverts, even though extraverts rely on their relationships with others in order to feel that they exist. Campbell’s description of his meeting with Dick Cheney and George Bush made me wish, very fleetingly, that Campbell and not Blair had been the PM. He wrote, ‘[Cheney] managed to seem relaxed while at the same time emanating tension .…

The Sunday Times (Jan 2007)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:50
Depression Published in The Sunday Times, 28 January 2007 Depression is a prison whose foundation stone is the unquestioned belief that you are intrinsically unacceptable to yourself and other people, and that you have to spend your life trying to be good in the way that you define ‘good’. Setting yourself impossibly high standards, you become an expert in feeling guilty. When a personal disaster befalls you, your ideas about yourself and your life no longer fit reality. This feels like your very self is falling apart and being annihilated. You are gripped by terror. You try to hold yourself together by blaming yourself for the disaster. Now you see yourself as being unforgivably wicked. Immediately you cut yourself off from other people because they will reject you, from your past where lies the evidence of your wickedness, from your hopeless future, and from society and nature. Thus, unintentionally, you create your prison of depression. The more you hate yourself, the worse your prison becomes. The key to the prison of depression is to decide to act as if you value and accept yourself. You do something nice for yourself, something as simple as going for a daily walk. You…

The Fifth Commandment (March 2001)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:48
March 3, 2001 The Fifth Commandment The Fifth Commandment does not simply direct us to honour our parents but contains a threat. ‘Honour thy father and mother so that thy days will be long in the land.’ Criticise your parents and you’re dead. In an authoritarian society children had to be taught to respect a person in a position of authority because that person was in that position and irrespective of the attributes of that person. An abusive parent merited the same respect as a kind, loving parent. The Fifth Commandment has made a major contribution to human misery. If you believe that to review critically and dispassionately certain events in your childhood which involved your parents you prevent yourself from discovering that some of the conclusions you drew from those events were wrong. When your mother told you that fire would burn you, you soon discovered that she was right. When she told you that you were wicked and useless, you decided that this must also be true, and so you grew up believing that you were intrinsically bad and unacceptable. In adult life you cannot enjoy good relationships with other people because you fear that they will discover…

Depression Two (Feb 2001)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:48
February 13, 2001 DEPRESSION TWO Alice wrote to me to tell me how much she had been helped by counselling and by my books, but she added, ‘I understand now why I get depressed, and I’ve really tried to change, but I can’t make myself feel good about myself. I tell myself I’m valuable and all that, but deep down I know I’m not. What can I do?’ Believing that you are, in essence, bad and unacceptable is absolutely central to depression. If this is how you feel about yourself then, when you suffer a disaster, you blame yourself and think that you are even more wicked and unacceptable than you had realised. Doing this you cut yourself off from other people, from society and nature, from your past and your future, and thus, inadvertently, create the prison of depression. The key to this prison is to come to see yourself as valuable and acceptable, but many people have great difficulty is finding this key. No matter how much they suffer, they cannot bring themselves to believe that they are, in essence, valuable and acceptable. So, to find the key to the prison of depression you might need some help.…

Depression One (Feb 2001)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:47
February 12, 2001 DEPRESSION ONE Lewis Wolpert, the scientist who wrote about his own depression in his book Maligant Sadness, and I were taking part in a television discussion about depression. The producer had hoped that Lewis and I would disagree, but when I began talking about how being depressed is far, far worse than having a physical illness Lewis nodded his head furiously and said, ‘Yes, yes, absolutely.’ Lewis had had more than his share of physical illnesses, but he was in doubt that being depressed was his worst experience. The fact that being depressed is so terrible makes the news about increasing rates of depression so very serious. Depression is certainly better diagnosed than it was in past years, and more people, especially men, are prepared to admit that they are depressed, but the increasing numbers of adults and children who describe themselves as being stressed at work and at school suggest that there is a real increase in the incidence of depression. We can turn stress very easily into depression by blaming ourselves for our misery. A World Health Organisation report in 1999 showed that in Europe and America depression is the second greatest cause of death…

Women and Depression (Sept 1998)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:47
You: Mail on Sunday 13th September 1998 Women and Depression Libby Purves is one of the nicest, friendliest, most cheerful, most attractive, most competent and hard working women I know. She combines very successfully the roles of wife, mother, friend, career woman with many outside interests, something that many women nowadays try to do. I'm sure that when she was a little girl everyone must have loved her because she was so nice, friendly, cheerful, pretty and good. However, I didn't know that Libby had been through what so many women - good women - go through, the experience of being depressed. Libby knew what unhappiness was. She'd encountered loss and disappointment. But depression was quite different. Life had no colours but grey, and she hated herself. Kate made the same discovery. Like Libby she had good friends she could always turn to. When she and her first boyfriend split up and later when she missed out on a job she wanted she poured her heart out to her friends. They listened and told her she was wonderful and would always be successful, and she felt greatly comforted. But when the doctors told her she could never conceive a child…

Sex Changes (March 1997)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:46
19th March 1997 Sex Changes It's ideas, not things, that change the world. The mechanics of sex stay the same, generation after generation, but what changes are the ideas we have about sex. I was born into a society where the dominant idea about sex was that it was secret. Men might talk privately to one another about sex, but they didn't talk about it to women, and women, that is, good women, didn't talk about sex at all. A really good woman didn't even think about sex. My mother, my aunts and my teachers all behaved as if sex didn't exist, or, if it did exist, it was something no teenage girl needed to know anything about. This idea governed what we were taught at school. When I was in my final year at the Girls' High School in Newcastle, Australia, one of the set texts for the matriculation exams was Shakespeare's The Tempest. The particular text which my class of very bright sixteen years old girls was given was one from which all unseemly words and actions had been removed. We read the text through in class and our teacher, the English mistress, set us an essay about…
04/12/07 - Health section By VICTORIA LAMBERT The death of her mother left Janet Grange devastated. The teacher, who lives in Swanage, Dorset, couldn't stop crying, sleep was impossible and she became anxious about her own health. Her GP was very helpful; after a quick verbal test, he said she was suffering from depression and prescribed antidepressants. Janet's experience was far from unique - last year doctors wrote 31 million prescriptions for the drugs - a six per cent rise in two years. Meanwhile, estimates about the numbers affected by depression have also risen, to as many as one in 12 people. Depression, it seems, has become an - epidemic. Or has it? A new book by two leading psychiatrists suggests that more of us are not depressed, rather that doctors are turning sadness - a normal human emotion - into a disease. Furthermore, they argue, sadness is not a 'bad' state that needs treating, but can actually be good for us. The authors - Allan Horwitz, professor of sociology at Rutgers University, and Jerome Wakefield, professor of social work at New York University - argue that while genuine depression undoubtedly needs medical attention, somehow every other sort of normal…

Sunday Telegraph

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:25
The Sunday TelegraphThe Sunday Magazine - Colour supplement, Australia March 4, 2001 Love Thine Enemy Do you have an enemy – someone who hates you and wants to harm you, even destroy you? It might be just one person or a group of people. Of course, everyone has at least one enemy somewhere in the world, someone who hates us because of our nationality, or our gender, or our religion, or the colour of our skin, and who wants to destroy us, but we don’t know who this person is. Do you know who your enemy is? Can you give your enemy a name? I’ve been asking people whether they’ve got an enemy. Some people say they don’t have an enemy, but a lot of people say they do. They’ll say, ‘It’s my ex-wife’, or, ‘My family’, or, ‘My boss’, or, ‘My next door neighbour’, or, ‘Politicians’, or, ‘Anyone who betrays me or lets me down’, or, ‘People who always think they’re right.’ In Lebanon I found that the enemy was the Israelis, in Serbia the enemy was the Americans, and in Northern Ireland, while the Protestants and the Catholics hated one another, they all hated the British government. Having…

Sunday Express

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:25
Sunday Express 4 June 2000 DUNKIRK Dorothy Rowe Dunkirk is remembered now as a national triumph of hope and courage, but that was not how it was seen in the dark days of 1940. I was a child of nine in Australia, but I remember it well because I saw my father, who had been a soldier in France in the First World War, angry with what he saw as a the betrayal of the British troops by the French. Not long after Singapore fell and nothing stood between us and the advancing Japanese army. I saw that Dad was afraid. Only the stupidity of the Japanese generals who attacked Pearl Harbour and brought the USA into the war saved us. People in Britain and in Australia, as they stood defenceless before their enemy’s advancing army, were afraid, not just because they were in danger of dying but because all of them had grown up believing that Britain and the British Empire were absolute, impregnable fixtures in a dangerous, unstable world. Now those ideas which had informed us who we were were crumbling. What wins wars is not troops and equipment but ideas. Propaganda is vital, but for it to…

The Express

Saturday, 02 April 2011 01:24
The Express The advantage of having an enemy Dorothy Rowe Everyone wants to have friends because good friends make life worth living. However, many people need to have enemies because having an enemy can give them lots of advantages. Perkins and Co was a small firm employing 35 people. When Janice went to work there she found her fellow employees pleasant but no one was particularly friendly. They all just seemed to arrive in the morning, do their work and go home. Occasionally they chatted about the weather or last night’s television but they were impossible to get to know. Janice felt lonely, but at least she went home to her husband. Mrs Fraser in accounts went home only to her cat. Then Mr Perkins, the owner of the firm, sent around a memo. He was going to retire and his son Oliver would take over the running of the firm. Oliver had been working for some top organisation in the USA. Now he was going to make Perkins and Co a firm for the 21st century. Or so he said. That was in his first memo. Others followed with hints of possible redundancies but with no mention of compensation.…

The Floods in Queensland: Jan 2011

Friday, 01 April 2011 07:33
In the first 38 years of my life when I lived in Australia there were floods and droughts but they came in a roughly regular pattern of about five years of floods, or at least a lot of rain, and five years of drought. Occasionally there was a serious flood like the Maitland floods of 1955, but there was nothing like the floods at present in Queensland that cover an enormous part of the state. Back then the words ‘El Niño’ and ‘La Niña’ were unknown to us. Now these words and ‘Southern Oscillation’ feature in our news almost every way. ‘Much of the variability in Australia’s climate is connected with the atmospheric phenomenon called the Southern Oscillation, a major see-saw of air pressure and rainfall patterns between the Australian/Indonesian region and the eastern Pacific.’ Something else we didn’t know was that the world’s climate is under the influence of the Jet Stream, a current of high altitude air. In 1945 American B-29 bombers were flying at such an altitude over Japan so that they could drop their napalm bombs on Japanese cities that were full of wooden buildings which burned very fiercely.  At that altitude the bomber pilots could…

Money: a Telling Lore

Friday, 01 April 2011 07:33
31st August 1997 Money: a Telling Lore Money isn't real. It may be a very important means whereby we maintain our sense of identity, but it isn't real. It's simply a set of ideas some of which we share with other people and some which are our own. We might both agree that this piece of metal is a pound coin, but is it a lot or a little to pay for a pint of milk? Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. So too are risk and confidence, those ideas on which the market turns. I don't risk a pound on a lottery ticket because I think 1 in 14 million to be poor odds, but many people don't. Confidence is the opposite of fear, and the greatest fear we can know is that of a threat to our sense of identity. If we want to understand why the market does what it does we need to understand ourselves, that is, our own private logic. It we want to understand why the market does what it does we need to understand ourselves, that is, our own private logic. Nothing pleases me more than when I find…

Happiness

Friday, 01 April 2011 07:32
Life - colour supplement December 10, 2000 Happiness Am I happy? Why can’t I be happy? Shouldn’t I be happier than I am? These are the questions which nowadays plague us. In past centuries people worried about dying or whether they would go to heaven, but now being happy is all that most people want. Until the therapists came along and told us to talk about our feelings people rarely talked about being happy or unhappy. In most of the years I have been alive – I was born in 1930 – most people were unhappy and many depressed, but they kept their feelings to themselves. Nowadays we talk about happiness, and our lack of it, all the time. To me this is a particular feature of the baby boomers who are now reaching their fifties and those younger than them. Every generation reaches adulthood holding three ideas – They are the first generation to discover sex. They are more intelligent and more modern than previous generations. All previous generations had a much easier life than they do. These ideas are delusions. Sex has never been lost, so no one has to discover it. Despite universal education people are not…

Love in the Line of Fire

Friday, 01 April 2011 07:32
24th October 1997 Love in the Line of Fire If you're following the Sondra Locke story do not be distracted by the term "to floss". It is not, as I thought, a new form of sexual titillation but merely a form of dental hygiene. Her story of her life with Clint Eastwood is more important than that. It's the story of revenge, and every story of revenge tells us something about ourselves. Clint, a man of few words, used to indicate his state of sexual desire by asking Sondra as she prepared for bed, "Sweetie, did you floss?" How romantic! Sondra, like all women who fall in love with silent men, thought Clint's silences indicated that he was thinking profound thoughts. She was wrong. Silent men are silent because they have nothing to say. If they do think, it's not about the great love they have for the woman at their side nor is it about the meaning of life. They are merely thinking about themselves. A woman in love with such a man projects on to his wall of silence all her own hopes and wishes. She wants a warm, loving relationship and she hopes that he does too.…

Its the Rich Wot Get the Pressure

Friday, 01 April 2011 07:31
8th October 1997 It's the Rich Wot Get the Pressure The rich are selfish. Those who become philanthropists do so only when they feel the need to consider the future of their soul and their reputation. Will Hutton in his book The State We're In blamed the privileged elite for the parlous state of the British economy. He saw the cure for the country's ills as the privileged people giving up their privileges. The privileged have never done so without a gun pointing at their heads. If they are annihilated, another group soon takes their place. Russian royalty was quickly succeeded by the Communist elite. The rich have never seen it necessary to be concerned about the welfare of the non-rich because the rich could always keep themselves healthy and safe, no matter what was happening to the rest of the population. However, we now live in a world where not even the greatest wealth can ensure good health and safety. The list of the dangers from which wealth is no protection runs to three pages in my book The Real Meaning of Money. Here are just a few. First, the danger from the environment. There's the hole in the…

Being Good isn't Good for the Family

Friday, 01 April 2011 07:30
2nd September 1997 Being Good isn't Good for the Family The news of Princess Diana's death shocked me, but what shocked me most was that on the day of their mother's death her sons had to show that they were good boys by putting on their formal suits, going to church and listening to a service where no mention was made of their mother even in the prayers. Sadly, this shows that the House of Windsor, like the Bourbons, the last of French royalty, has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. It hardly seems possible that, from the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in the seventies on the stages of grief to the present work of Susie Orbach on emotional literacy, anybody in the UK could not know how important it is to grieve and to be allowed to grieve. This visit to church illustrates not only how ignorant the Royal Family is of what it is to be human but also what little understanding they have of what non-royal people think. The Royals might have seen in Prince William a young man demonstrating the lack of emotion considered necessary for a future king, but what many people saw was an act…
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