The Smell of Bullshit, part 80: The Karass Sanctuary

Someone just sent me to a facebook page belonging to the Karass Sanctuary. The post she wanted me to see says this:

Last year we applied for a grant of £7,000 from LUSH UK to help us with our work at The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice and to help us create the first purpose-built animal hospice, and to give end of life care to terminally ill abandoned companion animals and rescued farmed animals.

We were declined, but we accepted that, given that they receive many applications for funding each year.

However, a couple of weeks after it declined our application, Lush chose to screen Crannog, a documentary about our work, at its film festival. We were pleased and thankful for their interest, but neither we nor the director received any payment or publicity from Lush UK for them using our film, nor did we expect or want to, but Lush Film Festival benefited from showing our work.

We enquired and were asked to reapply in light of these circumstances as they said it seemed like we should get their financial support. We have just had an email to say we’ve been declined again.

It seems that the work of a tiny charity run by two volunteers is valuable enough for a multi-national multi-million pound company to use and profit from, but not valuable enough for it to support us financially and help us do the work they clearly think is good enough for them to capitalise on.

Ahve spent years raising the money we need to make aw this happen, and Adam has spent years designing and building it, and this grant would have been enough to complete this project we have spent every day for the last three years working on, every bit of it from our souls. We’re knackered, and this would have been the piece that made it aw come the gither.

Ahm actually greetin ahm so disappointed.

I don’t have their permission to post it here; I hope they don’t mind. You can get more information about them here.

Lush Film Festival? They get more pretentious every day. And benefiting from someone else’s hard work without giving them any credit or payment? How surprising.

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The Smell of Bullshit, part 79: More Alternatives

Last year I discovered Merumaya, courtesy of a giveaway from The Pool.

The Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm is great. I’ve found it copes well with everything except stubborn mascara, and it leaves skin soft and happy. Apply a small amount to dry skin, massage it in, then massage again with warm water and remove either with water or with a face cloth. It works as hard as Andy Murray and it lasts for ages. It makes a great first cleanse if you’re someone who likes a double cleanse.

The eye makeup remover is equally effective, including on stubborn mascara. I find it a little bit sting-y on my over-sensitive eyes so I have to be careful with it and rinse well afterwards, but after a day of contact lenses, cat allergies, Scottish winds and computer monitors, my eyes are knackered and tender. I’m sure people with less wimpy eyes would have no issues.

Merumaya mineral cleansing paste is a gorgeous exfoliator. The texture is very fine so the exfoliation is gentle rather than scratchy but still effective. My skin feels smooth and almost polished after use.

The Lavender Eye Makeup Remover from Stripped is my current favourite. It’s a blend of four organic oils and I’ve found it removes eye makeup gently but effectively. It has a pump dispenser and one pump of oil is enough for each eye. I massage it gently into the eye area, concentrating on the lashes, and it loosens and removes mascara and clears away eye makeup without any stinging.

Another great cleansing balm is the apricot butter cleansing balm from Beauty Pie. To me, it looks and smells like The Body Shop mango body butter I loved in the 90s. Like the Merumaya balm, I don’t find it enough to remove waterproof mascara, but otherwise it’s effective, gentle, smells great and lasts for ages if you can resist the temptation to hoik great gobs of it out of the tub.

Talking of mascara, I also really like the Beauty Pie Flash False Lash Mascara. It gives a jet black, glossy colour, and lengthens, defines and separates lashes. It’s noticeable but not OTT – ideal for work/daytime wear.

I haven’t been offered any kind of reward or recompense for reviewing any of these products.

The Smell of Bullshit, part 78: That Pesky Public

In part 77, we talked about Lush’s campaign related to the undercover police officers nicknamed “spy cops,” and how upset many of the public were. A little while ago, I received this email from a Lush staff member.

My Favourite Recipe Books

I like to do a batch-cook once a month. I spend a weekend cooking as many main meals and lunches as I can fit in the freezer, and these are the recipe books I use most often.

Madhur Jaffrey

  • Curry Easy Vegetarian
  • The Madhur Jaffrey Cookbook
  • Curry Easy

Anjum Anand

  • Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast
  • I (heart) Curry

Kaushy Patel

  • Prashad Indian Vegetarian Curry
  • Prashad at Home

Meera Sodha

  • Fresh India

Krishna Dutta

  • the Dal Cookbook

Mona Hamadeh

  • A Lebanese Feast of Vegetables, Pulses, Herbs and Spices

Salma Hage

  • The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook

 

Why? Because they are filled with recipes for tasty, nutritious vegetarian meals,which freeze and re-heat well. Because they use a combination of common (to white British people) and unfamiliar (to white British people) ingredients, which encourages me to eat a wider variety of foods and buy from a wider range of shops. I tend to use Jordan Valley on Nicolson Street and Bismillah Food Store on Nicolson Square, but Maqbool on Potterrow is good too. I like to support small, local businesses where I can. Jordan Valley is great for pulses and spices and huge jars of artichokes at good prices. Bismillah is good for spices, pulses and Asian vegetables. Which reminds me, I bought medlars and I need to see if they are bletted yet…

The Smell of Bullshit, part 77: Another Lush Campaign Upsets People

Several years ago the press revealed that the Metropolitan Police had sent officers undercover into various organisations, to infiltrate the organisations and get evidence of criminal activity. During their undercover time, several of the officers began relationships with women, who were understandably distraught when the truth of their identities were revealed.

I don’t know enough about police work to comment on whether infiltrating groups is common or acceptable police behaviour. I don’t know whether any of those police officers genuinely fell for the women they had relationships with, or whether it was all manipulation and abuse of power. Only the officers involved know that and regardless of any real feelings they might have had, those relationships were strictly forbidden. Certainly the women involved feel that they were manipulated, abused and deceived.

When this information first became public, Mark Constantine had a right bee in his bonnet about it. He posted about it on the Lush forum a lot, along with posts about news reports of MI5 and MI6 using torture or information gained by torturing suspects. He didn’t often post on the forum about anything but he had a lot to say about these issues, in his usual pretentious, trying to be cryptic, pseudo-intellectual way.

Now, Lush believe that the public inquiry into the claims of wrongdoing by the undercover officers is protecting officers, and they have chosen to draw attention to this by what might be their most over the top and not in a good way campaign yet.

Lushspycops

On their website, Lush say

“This is not an anti-state/anti-police campaign. We are aware that the police forces of the UK are doing an increasingly difficult and dangerous job whilst having their funding slashed. We fully support them in having proper police numbers, correctly funded to fight crime, violence and to be there to serve the public at our times of need.

This campaign is not about the real police work done by those front line officers who support the public every day – it is about a controversial branch of political undercover policing that ran for many years before being exposed. Our campaign is to highlight this small and secretive subset of undercover policing that undermines and threatens the very idea of democracy.”

But unsurprisingly, the public are seeing it as an attack on all police. Thousands of people on social media are threatening to boycott Lush, their facebook reviews had approx 16,000 one star reviews added overnight, and at least one shop has removed the campaign from its window (note to staff: make sure you’ve joined a union for when the shit comes down on you).

LushGateshead

The thing that bugs me most about this is – Lush knew that this window display would trigger strong reactions from the public, and they clearly didn’t give a fuck about how that would affect the frontline shop staff. I’m sure that 99.99% of police officers are professional enough not to let this ill-conceived campaign affect their attitude to their work, but if I worked in a shop with that display up, I’d be at best embarrassed and at worst reluctant to call the police to an emergency situation. Some Lush staff used to be police. Some police used to be Lush staff. Lots of Lush staff have family who are police. Lush can’t have given a second’s thought to what this display would feel like to those staff. And what of the women abused by these few police officers? How do they feel, going into town for a bit of shopping and finding their trauma all over a shop window, selling increasingly laughable products at increasingly inflated prices?

Of course the prices are inflated; Mark keeps giving his money away.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/countryside/8320508/Millionaire-backer-of-hunt-sabs-and-eco-militants-in-talks-to-fund-police-crime-unit.html

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/14370428.Lush_founder_donates___30k_to_Martyn_Underhill_s_PCC_campaign/

Edited to add: how do the abused women feel about the campaign?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44356733

The Smell of Bullshit, part 75: Whistleblowing in the Wind

An email from a Lush employee (edited to remove some identifying details).

How the press lied about the little girl staying with Muslim foster parents. Here are the facts.

Pride's Purge

The tabloid press (and I include The Times in that description) lied about the story of the little girl put into care with a Muslim family.

Here are 10 of their worst lies – along with the real facts of the case as we know them:

1) According to court documents, it was the police not the local authority (as stated by the tabloids) who decided the child should be put into foster care:

2) According to court documents, the foster family criticised by the tabloids was a temporary placement.

3) According to court documents, the child herself is from Muslim heritage and her Muslim grandmother has now been cleared by the courts to look after her. This fact is only disputed by the girl’s mother but none of this was mentioned by the tabloids as it would obviously totally destroy their narrative:
foster muslim 4

4) The temporary foster…

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Susie Dent’s Guide to Swearing is top bollocks

Strong Language

Fuck, shit, bollocks, twat, bloody, and cunt are not the seven words you can never say on television – they’re six words that Susie Denthas said on television. Susie Dent’s Guide to Swearing, a new mini-series from Channel 4, offers an informative and irreverent summary of the history and use of some of our favourite bad words. You can watch the full series below.

A word-history specialist and broadcaster, Dent has written several books on language, most recently Dent’s Modern Tribes. She is best known as the resident lexicographer in ‘dictionary corner’ on Countdown, a perennially popular British TV game show. We can’t not mention that Countdown inadvertently produces the odd rude word to great general amusement.

Though she…

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GRENFELL TOWER FIRE

I hope the people whose neglect allowed this to happen go to prison for a long, long time. Sympathies to the families and friends of those affected. Best of luck to Grenfell Action Group. Thanks to the emergency services and the NHS.

Grenfell Action Group

Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon (5am) to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences to all who have perished, to the injured, to those who are bereaved or are still searching for missing loved ones.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/fire-safety-scandal-at-lancaster-west/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

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