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Christmas babies: Twins born weeks early but won’t share same birthday | UK News

A couple have received the ultimate Christmas present after their twins arrived four weeks early – but they won’t share the same birthday.

Adeeqa Ali and her partner Faisal Imran from Livingston, Scotland, went to hospital on Christmas Eve, nearly a month ahead of the expected due date.

Baby boy Jami and twin sister Rumi were both born within an hour of each other, but not on the same day.

Jami was born at 11.44pm on Christmas Eve, while his sister was delivered at 12.27am on Christmas Day.

Staff said the pair will remain with their mother in hospital for a few days but should be out by Hogmanay – New Year celebrated in the Scottish way.

Rumi came within minutes of being the first Christmas baby in Scotland, but Aberdeen’s Eliza Shearer took that accolade.

Maja and Jason Shearer rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on Christmas Eve as Eliza made an appearance a few days before she was due at 12.18 on Christmas Day.

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Mr Shearer said it was “touch and go” whether she would be born before or after midnight.

He described the quick change of plans with Mrs Shearer’s parents, who came over from Poland, having to host the traditional Christmas Eve celebration without the expectant parents at home.

He said: “Maja’s Polish, so we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and British Christmas on Christmas Day.

“Maja’s folks are over just now so they had to host Christmas dinner without us last night because we’re here, and they’ll probably get a nice Christmas dinner again today.”

The new father also thanked the midwifery staff at the hospital, who he said had been “absolutely amazing”.

Adam Boulton: Westminster’s ‘nepo babies’ are here to stay – whether we like it or not | Politics News

“It’s not who you are but who you know” is a saying often used to explain why those with family connections to successful people seem to have a head start doing well in the next generation.

In the US this phenomenon has led Gen Z to coin a new tag “nepo babies” as they list those in showbusiness deemed to have been given a big helping hand by family connections.

Regardless of the talent they have displayed in their own work, the inference is that they got there in part because of nepotism – those in positions of power and influence favouring their relatives, literally from the Greek Nepos, nephew.

It will always be noted that the actor Kate Hudson and film director Sophia Coppola, say, are the children, respectively, of the actor Goldie Hawn and the film director Francis Ford Coppola.

With emotions ranging from contempt and jealousy to admiration and awe, social media has extended the list of nepo babies to sport and politics.

Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn at the premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Pic: AP)
Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn at the premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Pic: AP)

“In tennis the ‘nepo babies’ are everywhere” was the headline of an article in the New York Times this week. Nobody can deny that numerous members of the Roosevelts, Kennedys and Bush clans have made it to high office.

The phenomenon or, as many see it, the problem of nepotism extends to British politics.

Since 2010 the House of Commons library has been keeping a list of MPs related to other current or former members.

In the current parliament, elected in 2019, 49 MPs are listed. That amounts to one MP in 13, 7.5% of the total membership of 650.

It does not count those who may have close relatives in the House of Lords, or first cousins in either house.

Of those currently in the Commons related by blood to MPs past and present there are 17 grandchildren, great-grandchildren nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces; 13 sons; 4 daughters; 3 sisters; 2 brothers; and one uncle. Currently there are also seven wives and five husbands, though that is a matter of choice rather than genetics.

Some of these have multiple connections. The inclination to dynasticism is not confined to any party. The former Labour cabinet minister Hilary Benn has five links, including to his father Tony Benn, the staunch Republican, a grandfather, two great-grandfathers and a brother who has revived the family title, Viscount Stansgate, in the House of Lords.

Intricate nexus of family connections

The best-connected Conservative is the MP for the Cotswolds Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who has forebears in the Commons sharing the same surname going back four generations.

The most intricate nexus of family connections centres on John Cryer, currently chair of the parliamentary Labour Party. He is the son of two Labour MPs – Bob and Ann Cryer – married to another one, Ellie Reeves, who in turn is the sister of the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.

Three Conservative ministers – Victoria Prentis, Victoria Atkins and Andrew Mitchell – are the children of former Tory Ministers. “Red Princes” on the Labour side include frontbencher Stephen Kinnock, son of former leader Neil and Mr Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, son of Doug, now Lord, Hoyle.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle
Sir Lindsay Hoyle

The Father of the House, the longest serving MP, Sir Peter Bottomley is married to a former Tory MP, Virginia, and the uncle of a Labour one, Kitty Ussher. Sir Patrick Jenkin, the chair of the Liaison Committee, is the son of Patrick, a former cabinet minister now in the Lords, and married to another peer, Anne, who has had a leading role in selecting Conservative parliamentary candidates.

The political connections game is not limited to Labour and the Conservatives. Great Liberal families include the Asquiths, Bonham-Carters and Grimonds, some of whom are still active in the Lords.

For the DUP Ian Paisley Junior bears the name of his father, a former MP, MLA, MEP and husband of a peer. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is married to Peter Murrell CEO of the SNP.

Social media has exposed people’s backgrounds and made it increasingly likely that they will be pigeon-holed for them.

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‘Magic circles’ of influence

Those who feel excluded from “magic circles” of influence are often resentful, especially when there is rivalry between circles – sometimes to comic effect.

The broadcaster Amol Rajan complained publicly about too many presenters at the BBC speaking with received-pronunciation accents, often picked up at private schools.

His Today programme colleague Justin Webb, who went to private school, countered that he thought there were too many people at the BBC with Oxbridge backgrounds. Rajan is a Cambridge graduate, Webb went to the LSE.

Charges of nepotism are taken more seriously than such narcissism of small differences. Ian Wooldridge, the author of The Aristocracy Of Talent: How Meritocracy Made The Modern World, argues that “the march of progress can be measured by the abolition of nepotism”.

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of Amol Rajan, who is to replace Jeremy Paxman as the host of University Challenge, the BBC has said. Issue date: Thursday August 18, 2022.
Amol Rajan is a Cambridge graduate

Few would challenge his contention that “it can’t be good for democracy if representative positions are hogged by people who belong to a narrow, privileged caste”.

Yet anyone who becomes an MP must pass successfully thorough democratic selection processes.

First by getting on a party candidates list, then by being selected, and finally by winning an election. The factionalism of politics can mean that it is not always an asset to have well-known antecedents.

For a high-profile position such as an MP, which is heavily dependent on personality, it would be almost impossible to go “CV blind” – unless unnamed candidates were interviewed unseen behind a screen like on the old TV show Blind Date and at some orchestral auditions.

In many walks of life families want to pass a particular occupation or business down the generations. Children may get to know the ropes early. Speaker Hoyle says he first attended a Labour Conference as a babe in arms.

Long successions of nepo babies

In history the hereditary principle has frequently been the basis of social and political organisation. Monarchies, including the British Crown, are long successions of nepo babies, as are the aristocracies which often grow up under their patronage. Even the king-killer Oliver Cromwell made his son his heir as Lord Protector.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries British prime ministers came more often than not from the hereditary House of Lords rather than the elected Commons. Many prominent families also had control in constituencies effectively appointing family members as MPs.

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the third Marquess of Salisbury, was the last prime minister to govern from the Lords, finally ending his third term in 1902. The keen meritocrat Ian Woolridge points out that the phrase “Bob’s your uncle” dates from Salisbury’s efforts ensuring that his nephew, Arthur Balfour MP was the next PM.

The Cecil family have rendered political services and held high offices at least since Queen Elizabeth I. The current Lord Salisbury, also named Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, was an MP and then a minister in John Major’s government.

He subsequently brokered the deal with New Labour, which kept seats in the House of Lords for a rump of hereditary peers, while drastically reducing their number. Viscount Cranbourn, the courtesy title by which he was then known, recused himself from standing to be one of the peers remaining in parliament.

It has not been, and nor will be, so easy to remove Westminster’s other nepo babies from their positions of power and influence, assuming that is what Meritocrats would like to do.

Trans men should be supported to ‘chestfeed’ their babies, new guidance urges | UK News

Trans men should be supported to chestfeed their babies should they choose to do so, experts have said.

A new draft guideline from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) says trans men should be asked about their preferred manner of feeding before their baby is born and those who chose to chestfeed should be offered “chestfeeding support in the same manner as for cis-women”.

The guideline covers care for trans and gender diverse people though childbirth, contraception, fertility, gynaecological procedures and cancer treatment and care.

The document, which has been put out for consultation, makes a series of recommendations to help improve care.

What is chestfeeding?

Physically, chestfeeding is exactly the same as breastfeeding. Hormones trigger the body to make milk, the milk travels through glands and ducts ending at the nipple to feed a baby

Chestfeeding is used in the community of people who have recently given birth but don’t identify as women. They may be transgender people who were assigned female at birth but who now identify as men, or people who are non-binary

People who do identify as female may also prefer “chestfeeding” because of physical or emotional trauma related to their breasts. To them, the word “chest” is not as triggering as “breast” may be

It also says trans and gender diverse people should be offered advice about fertility preservation when considering gender-affirming surgery or hormone therapies.

It advises that trans men who conceive while taking masculinising hormone therapy should stop taking the hormones “as soon as possible” while those who are planning to conceive should stop their therapy for three months prior to conception.

And it urges healthcare workers to be aware trans and gender diverse people often face barriers when accessing healthcare services and to take steps to ensure they have easy access to care without “their gender being questioned or their confidentiality breached”.

Intersex-Inclusive Pride flags, designed by Valentino Vecchietti and used to represent the LGBTIQ+ community, hang across Regent Street ahead of next weeks Pride parade in London, Britain, June 26, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The new guidelines seek to break down barriers and improve the experiences of trans and gender diverse people

Use of preferred pronouns

The document also states that “gender diverse people should be offered health screening in accordance with national public health policies and clinical guidelines” and that they should be addressed by their “preferred title, name and pronouns”.

It follows the government’s women’s health strategy which said transgender men and non-binary people with female reproductive organs should always receive screening invites so they can access cervical and breast cancer care programmes.

A barrier to care

RCOG president Dr Edward Morris said trans and gender diverse people said they “often feel judged and misunderstood by the health service”.

This, he said, created a barrier to accessing vital care.

“We, as healthcare professionals, have a role to play in making them feel listened to and recognised,” he added.

Commenting on the guideline, which is open for consultation until 6 September, Asha Kasliwal, president of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, said there were a number of instances of failure to “properly understand and evaluate gender diverse people’s healthcare needs”.

The guidelines, it was hoped, would “seek to break down barriers and improve the experiences” of trans and gender diverse people accessing obstetric and gynaecological services.

An ’emotional experience’

But Clare Ettinghausen, from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, said there was “a lot of work to be done” to ensure healthcare was fully inclusive.

“It’s important that a diverse group of voices further inform this work so once finalised, the guidance can be put into practice and begin making a difference,” she said.

“Treatment can be a very emotional experience so we also recommend that anyone thinking about having fertility treatment has the right support.”