Dot's rare talent

A brief round-up of events in the last few days plus penetrating insights into popular culture

We’ve been having all kinds of fun with new stuff at newstatesman.com this week. No really, it’s been super. My favourite development was the launch of the brilliantly title Le Blog.

Written by New Statesman readers living in France we’re getting regular updates of the vital presidential election. Plus in the coming days we’ll have commentators of both the academic and journalistic varieties as the fight unfolds. Hope you enjoy it!

We’ve also had a first rate piece written for us by Martin Narey of Barnardo’s in which he warns against demonising children. “The media feed us a constant stream of negative images: young people in hoodies lurking on street corners, ‘thugs’, ‘louts’ and ‘yobbos’ running amok in our communities.
“We know this is an exaggerated picture, but it is hard not to be influenced.”

Meanwhile the Faith Column this week was written by Roman Catholic Josephine Robinson. In it she defends a variety of positions including celibacy, the contraception ban and the fact women cannot be ordained.
She writes: “The maleness of the priesthood has nothing to do with social convention. Priestesses were two-a-penny in all the religions in Christ’s time, except for Judaism. Yet, Christ, who showed such warmth towards women in the Gospel narratives, did not choose them to carry on that particular work of his. There is plenty of work for everyone to do: we are all called to be saints, not clerics.”
So there you have it. Of course the 12 apostles were Jewish but I’m sure that had no bearing as they evangelised in the early days.

And talking of babies - an occasional occurrence, I believe, in the absence of contraception – I was watching some TV the other night and suddenly the flat filled with the sound of a rich, smoky baritone. It was Dot off Eastenders serenading a foundling child. Some moments are hard to describe…