The Smell of Bullshit, part 72: So.Much.Fail.

 

A couple of emails from  two ex-employees of everybody’s favourite ethical employer, Lush. The people have asked me to only use excerpts rather than the whole emails, so I’m picking out the worst bits, some of which are a) despicable, b) unlawful and c) cruel. Some of these issues could have been dealt with by a union, or a decent HR department, or a competent, well-trained manager who understands employment law and has a soul.

 

 

Who You Gonna Call?

Just back from seeing new Ghostbusters. Loved it. It’s more or less the same plot as the first Ghostbusters (in the same way that The Force Awakens is more or less the same plot as A New Hope), and it’s just as enjoyable. And, the Ghostbusters themselves are four women who are intelligent, funny, brave, loyal, determined, and completely kick-ass while remaining fully clothed and avoiding cat-fights. A film like this was well overdue.

The Smell of Bullshit, part 71: Mica Morals Missing

Two years ago, this blog reported on a Guardian investigation into the use of child labour to produce mica for cosmetics companies. The Grauniad reported that Lush had committed themselves to removing all mica from their products as they were unable to guarantee it was produced without child labour.

Two years on, how are they getting on with that pledge?

Surprise surprise! The Guardian says “the company has been unable to eradicate the mineral from its supply chain.” Lush say they haven’t knowingly bought any materials containing natural mica since 2014, but they also say “as a direct ingredient it would be easy to identify, but unfortunately mica remains as part of a complex mix of materials that are used to make colour pigments and lustres.” The article also says that Lush say they don’t have the local knowledge or purchasing power to stay and make a difference, but given that several other companies are working in the area to get children to school instead of mines, you’d think they could join in. Several companies, according to the article, have committed to only buying mica from legal and fenced mines, where child labour is less likely to be involved, as well as ending relationships with mines where audits showed child labour was used. But they all acknowledge it’s impossible to be 100% sure child labour was not involved. But, here’s the thing.

Which is more moral? Continuing to produce products even though you’re not 100% sure they didn’t involve child labour? Or discontinuing the products until you can be sure you have a child labour-free option?

 

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They’re happy to crow about their ethics though.

BIG thank you to the reader who let me know about the articles.

Scottish Women’s Hospitals

Tales of One City

Part five in our There’s a Long Long Trail A-Winding Series

When war broke out in August 1914, the people of Britain clamoured to do what they could to support the war effort. Men volunteered for the army and others set about establishing relief units to help the army or provide assistance to civilians and refugees. The Scottish Women’s Hospitals were one of those – yet they were also very different, because, right from the beginning, they were set up with two very specific aims: firstly, to help the war effort by providing medical assistance and secondly, and equally importantly, to promote the cause of women’s rights and by their involvement in the war, help win those rights.

The SWH’s original idea was set up a hospital in Edinburgh to help treat the war wounded.  However this was soon abandoned in favour of setting up hospitals in the field, close to…

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Please Vote Tomorrow If You Can

I postal voted Remain several weeks ago.

Please vote tomorrow, if you can. Whether you vote in, vote out, or spoil your paper and vote shake it all about, please vote. This whole referendum campaign has been so unpleasant, so nasty and so full of crap, that the eventual losing side will have a field day if the final result is close on only a 30% turnout.

Please vote, if you can.

Putting Edinburgh fiction on the map

Tales of One City

0ef96b_f8066bbc8e654f43b201425532700a0eLesley Kelly’s brand new thriller ‘A fine house in Trinity‘ features cameos from not one, but TWO of Edinburgh’s libraries within its 288 pages.

McDonald Road and Leith Library both make an appearance, but to find out why and how, you’ll have to read the book for yourself!  Check it out in either hardcopy or ebook format.

‘A fine house in Trinity’ is the newest addition to our Edinburgh Reads Map of books set in our city. Take a look to find out which novels are set in your neighbourhood, and be sure to let us know of any we might have missed!

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Seven uses for your library card besides borrowing books

Useful info here!

Tales of One City

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Could you be getting more from your library card?

Here are seven things that magic little piece of plastic entitles you to – and they are all wonderfully FREE:

1. Download free emagazines and newspapers with PressReader and Zinio

2. Read scholarly journals with Access to Research

3. Get help setting up a new business using the COBRA database

4. Trace your family tree with Ancestry

5. Get book recommendations from a real life librarian

6. Stream music with Naxos

7. Take a mock driving theory test with Theory Test Pro

How do you use yours?

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Travel Writing by Women

The Scottish Book Trust have done a recommendation of travel books written by women, and included a link to Bani Amor’s blog where she explores travel narratives by QUILTBAG individuals and people of colour.

I really need to win the lottery so I can spend less time at work and more time reading. The number of books on my “I want to read this” list on my Edinburgh libraries account is into the hundreds.