Caroline’s Law, Storm Dennis, Girlguiding

This week our Social Impact Briefing covers the petition for Caroline’s Law, local community needs in response to Storm Dennis, and Tracy Barbin’s Girlguiding donation.

Authors: Borimir Totev
  • Reading time: 3 min.
  • Posted on: February 17, 2020

| Caroline’s Law – why we have to act

The tragic death of presenter and television personality, Caroline Flack, has once again brought the questionable ethics of social media and the wider press into contention, leading to almost half a million signatures in support of Caroline’s Law.

The petition asks The House of Commons and Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Media, to consider a law that would make it a criminal offence for the British Media to knowingly and relentlessly bully a person, whether they be in the public eye or not, up to the point that they take their own life.

Flack was charged with assaulting her partner in December and was due to stand trial next month. Her death shines an important spotlight on the hypocrisy of the media.

Show your support for a new law by signing the petition here.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please speak to someone or contact Samaritans on 116 123 at anytime. You can also contact Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774, Mind on 0300 123 3393, and Calm (Campaign against living miserably, for men aged 15 to 35) on 0800 58 58 58.

Storm Dennis: Local needs vs central government

Storm Dennis, the 2nd major storm to hit the UK in a week, has produced a month’s rainfall overnight in some parts of the UK, causing widespread disruption across travel, infrastructure and power networks. With a £1.2 billion investment confirmed today for a state-of-the-art supercomputer to improve severe weather and climate forecasting, shouldn’t the government prioritise responding to the needs of those in the affected areas first?

Locals across Yorkshire have voiced their concern over the response of central government, with the Yorkshire Daily calling for ‘a detailed plan of action including a floods summit, a review of funding and the Environment Agency’s performance, and the granting of “tier 1” status to areas like Calderdale’ ahead of the disruption caused this weekend.

The government has in turn defended its flood planning but conceded that not all properties can be protected from climate change. The newly appointed Environmental Secretary in the cabinet reshuffle last week, George Eustice, dismissed the idea that Boris Johnson should have toured flood-hit areas over the weekend. If failing to show up and responding to local needs attracts this much criticism, then what can we expect from a government that entered office with a manifesto placing emphasis on promoting international development and fighting climate change” as part of their We will strengthen Britain in the World pledge?

Turning negativity into a little piece of impact

social impact girlguiding

And to end our weekly run down of social change in the news, Shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin has successfully raised over £20k for Girlguiding, the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK by auctioning off the dress that brought criticism her way last week.

Brabin faced criticism when her dress slipped down her shoulder while raising a point of order in the Commons. Her response to these attacks from online critics rightly re-focused the conversation around how crucial it is for female politicians to challenge the abuse they receive online. She added that “women around the world… are being demeaned every day because of what they wear.”

Brabin’s show of dignity and grace this week is a fine example of someone in a position of power refusing to succumb to questionable online criticism. Can you share any examples of this happening before?


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