Saturday, July 10, 2004

Outcry Over Plans for Pupils To Be Indoctrinated with 'Knowledge'

We are producing the best-educated generation in history, according to Labour's David Miliband. Certainly they're getting the best exam results in history. If the Marxist dream of Mr Miliband's sire is dead, Soviet-era production statistics are alive and well at the Department For Education And Skills.

So with British education such a roaring success, what need to let outsiders with their own political agendas into our wonderful system ?
As the Independent says, 'Who should be running state schools ?'

Do we really want people like the Head of Dulwich College, Graham Able ? Just look at their exam results compared with the LEA and national averages. What possible contribution could the head of such a school make ?

Or the philanthropist and Christian Sir Peter Vardy ? He's already set up Emmanuel College, a comprehensive in one of the most deprived areas of the country. And it's only the sixth best comprehensive in England. Now, to the Guardian's horror, he wants to take over the running of this shining example of schooling. Where would you prefer your child to be taught ?

Fortunately some brave souls at the BBC, Independent, teaching unions and Guardian are asking the questions, determined that no ordinary kids should get the kind of education that our liberal ruling class can afford to buy.


Polly wants to shut them all down.

Madeleine condemns the "deep contempt of the liberal left for religion and an old-fashioned statist dream of a one-size-fits all educational system".

Let's settle this over three rounds. And easy on the Johnson's.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Ken Livingstone - "Religions do not discriminate on grounds of religion"

In London, prospective Mayor and noted left-winger Yusuf al-Qaradawi welcomed the celebrated though controversial Islamic scholar Ken Livingstone.

Sheikh Livingstone spoke on religion to an attentive crowd, and described Islam as 'a religion of morals, which like all great religions totally rejects any forms of discrimination on the basis of race or religion'.

He illustrated this universal theme with quotes from the Bible

Psalms 2:8-9
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

and quotes from the Koran

Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them. (2:191)

Fight and slay the pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem. (9:5)

Slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers...(5:34)

...strike off the heads of the disbelievers...[make a] wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives [for ransom] (47:4)

Sheikh Livingstone is the Al-Zarqarwi Professor of Logical Inconsistency at Al-Bowlly University, Cairo.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

"Nursing Is Not What It Used To Be"

Claire Rayner, agony aunt, former nurse and president of the charity the Patients Association, explains why NHS hospitals are too dangerous for elderly people - because of the appalling standards of hygiene which prevail.

Keeping the wards clean was once the responsibility of nurses, but they're above that kind of menial stuff nowadays. As a result the government's own Health Protection Agency estimates that 20,000 people a year are dying unneccessarily.

Rayner, whose association campaigns for better NHS care, said she was embarrassed about her use of private care because she had devoted her life to the NHS, as both a nurse and a patients’ advocate. But poor nursing care leading to filthy wards and the spread of infection had forced her to turn to private hospitals and nurses.

“I decided to leave the hospital partly because nursing is not what it used to be. I saw the dust pile up in the corners of the wards. The nurses were so untidy. I saw things that horrified me.”

Rayner said hospitals would be able to fight MRSA only when staff learnt basic rules of hygiene. “When I was a young nurse we changed our uniforms daily. If there was a spot on our aprons we would put on a fresh one,” she said.

“All nurses would think it was their responsibility to make sure the loos and the sluice rooms were pristine. Matrons used to rule with a rod of iron to keep standards up.”

Last week the government’s Health Protection Agency estimated that 100,000 patients a year were infected by hospital superbugs, with up to 20,000 dying as a result.

Over the past decade there has been a 14-fold increase in hospital infections. The agency blamed overcrowding in hospitals, over-use of beds to increase throughput and overworked staff neglecting basic hygiene.

See also here (hospital cleaning) and here (nursing ethos).

Marching Season Begins

Homosexuals at low-key Gay Pride

Thousands of homosexuals in London are taking part in their annual Gay Pride parade - a march which in recent years has led to trouble.
The English Parades Commission has again banned the parade from passing down Park Lane in Mayfair.

The re-routed march began at about 1020 BST on Saturday.

The dispute centres on the desire by marchers to march along the mainly heterosexual Park Lane on their way back from Trafalgar Square, against residents' wishes.

A major security operation has accompanied the march in recent years, but it has been scaled down this year.

Thousands party at Drumcree

Several thousand people took to the streets of Ulster on Sunday for the annual Drumcree parade and festival.

The parade was followed by a rally at Drumcree Church and a music festival.

Earlier, floats, bands and dancers took part in the march through Drumcree, past Ballyoran Park and along Garvaghy Road.

This year the event was recognised as a parade rather than a demonstration for the first time.

" It is a very important symbol for us to show that police don't only police the Orange community in Ulster, but that they are part of it as well "
Det Con Carl Wonfor from the Police Service of Northern Ireland