Marks and Spencer has decided to rename its popular Midget Gems after claims it was offending people with dwarfism.
The retailer has given the retro sweets the new name of ‘Mini Gems’ following a campaign by Dr Erin Pritchard – a lecturer in disability studies at Liverpool Hope University, who has a condition that stunts growth called achondroplasia – where she raised concerns about the use of the word “midget” having its roots in Victorian freak shows.
Dr Pritchard approached a number of supermarkets and confectionary makers about changing the name, explaining that “midget” is seen as a derogatory term for people with growth problems.
She has previously called for the use of it to be seen as hate speech.
M&S is the first retailer to react to her campaign, saying it was “committed to being an inclusive retailer” as it rolled out the changed labelling.
“Following suggestions from our colleagues and the insights shared by Dr Erin Pritchard, we introduced new Mini Gem packaging last year, which has since been rolled out to all of our stores,” a spokesperson for M&S said.
Tesco has also said it will be reviewing the name of its product.
A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “We are a diverse and inclusive retailer and we would not want any of our products to cause offence [so] we are grateful to Dr Pritchard for bringing this to our attention.”
Following the announcement, Dr Pritchard claimed a lot of people were getting “upset” about the change, taking to Twitter today to say: “It seems that there are a lot of average-sized men getting upset about the removal of the word midget from a packet of sweets.
“I didn’t realise they were so sensitive.”
Explaining a little more about why the word is offensive to people with restricted growth in Big Issue North, Dr Pritchard said: “Often referred to by people with dwarfism as the m-word, it is a term derived from the word midge, meaning gnat or sandfly.
“Its origin automatically dehumanises people like me.
“It was a term popularised during the Victorian freak show, where many disabled people, including people with dwarfism, were oppressed and exploited.”
Although it’s been open for a few years already, the massive fitness facility keeps going viral on TikTok.
Fitness influencers and weightlifting enthusiasts alike have been flocking to the north west to visit its two sites – one in Liverpool and one on The Wirral – where there are rows upon rows of squat racks, machines and free weights.
In one video, fitness influencer couple Gregor and Hattie described it as ‘heaven’, adding: “This place is unreal.”
In another, two eager gym-goers took a train to go and train, vlogging their entire day.
They said they used all the leg machines ‘they could figure out how to use’ from the overwhelming variety of equipment.
TikTok user @braddlifts, who posts powerlifting content, said: “Have a quick look around, have a look at all the mad sh*t that’s in here.
“I swear to god, it’s mad. Like just look at this dumbbell rack, it goes all the way along the wall!
“I won’t even lie, I’m so happy to give this gym like a 10 out of 10. This is the exact type of gym that I’ve always wanted to train at.”
As well as its insane selection of weights and machines, Dedicated Supergym has plenty of cardio equipment too, including assault bikes, stair masters, treadmills, rowers, ski ergs and cross trainers.
Featured image: Facebook, Dedicated Supergym
Greater Manchester to get 2,000 small wind turbines that provide more ‘affordable energy’
An ambitious new project will see thousands of small wind turbines installed across Greater Manchester to provide “more affordable energy”.
Set to be delivered by a partnership of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Energy Innovation Agency, and the Manchester Inward Investment Agency, and alongside renewable energy manufacturers Alpha 311, Greater Manchester could soon become home to 2,000 wind turbine units as part of the region’s carbon reduction plan.
The wind turbines are powered by the air moved by passing vehicles, and will be put on buildings and lampposts, according to BBC News.
Alpha 311 said the turbines’ size could even see small sites become wind farms.
The manufacturer said the units were smaller and lighter than the type of wind turbines we are used to seeing on hills and in the countryside across the UK, or off-shore turbines, and it means they can be used on roads, bridges, buildings, and towers.
Most-notably, turbines expected to be the same or similar to the ones on their way to Greater Manchester have been installed next to the O2 Arena in London.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said he was looking forward to seeing the “innovative wind turbines” in action as they could “see us generate more low carbon energy locally”, and crucially, “provide more affordable energy” at a time when people in the region “need it most”.
“The switch to net-zero carbon can, and should, be something that offers a fairer future, as well as a greener one,” Mr Burnham explained.
Mr Burnham said the partnership would also support the creation of 200 new jobs.
The cost of the project has not yet been revealed, but it’s thought they could begin being installed across the region should an initial pilot using the street turbines that’s set to start in Telford later in the year be successful.
The turbines in the pilot trial will be used to power streets lights, and any surplus energy will be sent back to the National Grid.