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Fathers4Justice ad banned

ASA remove campaign group's "Mother's Day" advert.

Campaign group Fathers4Justice have had an advert banned by the advertising watchdog ASA after the authority received 10 complaints that the advert was misleading and based on claims that could not be substantiated.

The advert, which ran with the headline "Say in with hate this Mother's Day" next to a photo of a toddler covered in insults in March this year, was addressed to companies that advertise on the online parents' forum Mumsnet. The advert accuses Mumsnet of labelling men as "rapists", "paedophiles" and "wifebeaters". Fathers4Justice contended that these labels are offensive anti-male content that could promote hatred aganist men and boys, a prejudice as offensive "as racism and homophobia".

The campaign group has refused to accept the accusations put against them by the ASA and argue that their advert did in no way exaggerate the gravity of the situation, using screenshots from the Mumsnet website to defend their claims.

The ASA have assured that they have contacted Mumsnet, who have reiterated their intolerance of "any kind of intolerance on the site" and concluded that the advert did indeed breach the code as it was misleading of Fathers4Justice to imply that Mumsnet themselves had endorsed comments made on their forum.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.