Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - "BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD"

Age gets to us all such that we may become not quite the people we used to be or thought we were. The important thing is to stay true and always be ready to stand up and be counted.

Read Toyah's blog from NOVEMBER 2012...

This is Toyah in her own write --


Last week I was asked to give an interview to BBC NEWSNIGHT about the attitudes to women during the 1970s and 1980s. This was a tricky one to do without implicating every man I have ever known, but the fact of the matter is women were living in a completely different world 30 years ago to the world we inhabit today. The main difference being was 30 years ago women were supposed to be flattered if a man was inappropriate towards her. Trying to word this without sounding like Mary Whitehouse was really bloody hard.

Also my big enemy Mercury In Retrograde starts this week for the rest of the month, which can mean my being misrepresented in all forms of communication. But NEWSIGHT asked me before hand to write down my experiences briefly and I wrote……..

"My memories of the 1970s was that most men under the age of 30 aspired to sleeping with school girls. Most musicians I knew at the time liked to hang out at the school gates at hometime. There was a very definite and accepted culture of perving after girls in school uniforms. I count myself lucky that I wasn't a 'looker' because if I was I would have been constantly targeted and under pressure to give sexual favours. Within music, there was a very strong tendency for women to have to 'give out' to get somewhere in showbusiness. This was the period of the Yorkshire Ripper. Women were not as protected as they are today. I truly believe at this time some men admired the ripper. Even though I believe children today have more under aged sex than ever, I believe they are having it with their own age groups, not older men. Times have changed.a lot and for the better.

"Back then women were seen sexually before intellect. Jimmy Savile's behaviour is totally wrong, but there were many men around his time who sailed as close to the forbidden boundary as Jimmy, but Jimmy took it into a life of exploitation and perversion. Everyone named in the past weeks, Jimmy, Glitter, Starr all took immense pleasure in humiliating women in public and to their faces. I have nothing but bad memories from meeting them all. But I have no solid evidence of them abusing other than humiliation."

What really spooks me about these past sentences is they were written on the 26th October and now Savile is linked to the Yorkshire Ripper!

The pressures of the last month didn't ease with doing NEWSNIGHT. I feel we are looking at a "historic period" that all have moved on from, especially in the context of women. BUT then all the news kicked in about the LIVERPOOL CARE PATHWAY which led to the realisation my mother was told she had been put on this whilst she was alone, without any family with her to support her.

Mum went into the hospice on the Friday, expecting to be assessed and to come home, but her health deteriorated rapidly and by the Monday it was obvious to us she wasn't going to make it home. I performed at Manchester Pride on the Monday and went home to bed afterwards, expecting to see mum Tuesday lunch time onwards. On the Tuesday morning, four days before she died, I had a call from a nurse saying "your mother has had a bad episode; please don't worry but can you come in."

"what do you mean, is she about to die?" 
"No she is upset about something…………."

I thought this was because she had been moved into a single room. I drove straight around to the hospital where my mother was in a full panic attack with a nurse saying "it's OK Barbara the end is near." I asked the nurses never to talk to my mother like that again and they were very apologetic. I shed tears thinking of my mothers fear in this moment. I am not saying anyone has done anything wrong, but this language is brutal. Myself, my family and mums best friend didn't leave mum's side until she died, making sure she only had words of comfort in her last hours.


On a happier NOTE! I cannot wait for Christmas. I cannot wait to be in Canterbury and performing in the show. This is my family now. Its funny but when I used to watch Judy Garland in A Star Is Born I always wondered how someone's life could hang on the tenuous surroundings of showbiz…………but this is MY FAMILY NOW!


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