Saturday, November 20, 2004

Women Priests

Get a lot of coverage on the BBC and Guardian. They're strangely quiet about the issue of women imams.

New EU Commissioner Scandal

Christians out - crooks in.

Radical Dad Makes Supreme Sacrifice

I suppose, back in those heady 70s student radical days, someone , somewhere might once have wanted to be handcuffed to Margaret Hodge.

Now Patricia Hodge ...

Friday, November 19, 2004

I make no comment - I merely report

"Personal trainers are to be employed by the NHS in deprived parts of London, it was announced today. "

Guardian in "non-Caucasian racist" Shock Horror

A new era in British newspaper reporting began today, as the Guardian newspaper broke with a long tradition and accepted that a white person could be the victim of a racist attack.

"We understand some of our old-established readers may be upset by this editorial decision", said a spokesperson, "And as a sop to them we have thrown into the story a couple of paragraphs about the BNP. But we are living in a multicultural society, and we have to accept that on occasions innocent Native Brits will, tragically, pay the ultimate price for a thousand years of colonialist and imperialist aggression - maybe even through no fault of their own.".

Askled why the Guardian story had not mentioned the decision by local police six months before the murder to abandon Operation Gadher (a clampdown on local Asian street gangs) for reasons of political correctness, the spokesperson claimed there was a shortage of space in that day's paper.

"We are putting aside most of the paper for Part One of the special Mubarek Enquiry supplement, which builds up week by week into a complete guide to our racist Criminal Justice System", she said. "Now that's what I call a racist murder."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Don't Smack Them, Drug Them

Britain leads the world in radical, new and socially acceptable forms of child abuse.

The UK has seen the fastest rise in the prescribing of antidepressants and other mind-altering drugs to children, a study of nine countries shows.
University of London researchers compared prescribing rates between 2000 and 2002 in countries in Europe, South America and North America.

During that period, the UK saw a 68% rise in children being prescribed drugs to stimulate or calm the brain.

Hear the words of the good doctor.

There is something to be said here about the word "depression," which has almost entirely eliminated the word and even the concept of unhappiness from modern life. Of the thousands of patients I have seen, only two or three have ever claimed to be unhappy: all the rest have said that they were depressed. This semantic shift is deeply significant, for it implies that dissatisfaction with life is itself pathological, a medical condition, which it is the responsibility of the doctor to alleviate by medical means. Everyone has a right to health; depression is unhealthy; therefore everyone has a right to be happy (the opposite of being depressed).

UPDATE - for the adults life just gets better and better.

Psychosis and drug abuse was up 147%, paranoia 144% and schizophrenia 128%. You can't put all of that increase down to AL Kennedy.

Doctors 1 Babies 0

Our dead babies are the envy of the world.

"She described how, when doctors refused her pleas for Luke to be given an adrenaline injection and handed him to her so that he could die in her arms , she ransacked medical cabinets in Luke's cubicle to find oxygen.

Doctors also refused to administer this, she said.Though her son had stopped breathing, she gave him oxygen in a final bid to save him. "But it was no use, my precious little boy died in my arms," Mrs Winston-Jones said last night. "I was begging and pleading with them to save my boy, but they said no."

"I got down on my bended knees and begged and begged for Luke's life," Mrs Winston-Jones said. "I was weeping and saying: 'For the love of God, my baby is dying. You can save him, you know you can. There is nothing in the court ruling that prevents you giving him adrenaline. Save my little boy.' But the doctor wouldn't do it.

"He just stood there, cold as ice. He kept saying: 'I am not giving him adrenaline.' That was all he would say. I told him he was breaking the law, but he said he wasn't."

When Mrs Winston-Jones accused the doctor of doing nothing for her dying child and wagged her finger at him, security officers were called. "The doctor said to me: 'We are going to stop the heart massage now and Luke will die. I think he should be in your arms."

As the doctors left, Mrs Winston-Jones cuddled her dying son. "I kept telling him I loved him and I was sorry that I could not make them save him."

Yesterday, the Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust insisted that its doctors had done all they could.

Mrs Winston-Jones's battle over her son's right to life mirrors a similar case in Portsmouth, in which Carol Glass fought to save her severely handicapped son, David, 12, a patient at the city's St Mary's Hospital.

In 1998, when doctors administered diamorphine to David, who has advanced lung disease, and refused to attempt resuscitation, Mrs Glass removed the drip herself and revived him. Six years later, David is still alive.

Surely Portsmouth NHS Trust won't allow another case like that of David Glass, where the child tragically lived despite the doctors' best efforts.

So onwards and upwards ! Charlotte Wyatt's still alive !

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

One Dead, Two Wanted

Heart attack at 35 - the Wu Tang Clan man with the rude monicker. A new addition for this site.

Wanted after shooting - yet another So Solid Crew member.

Wanted after stabbing - this Young Buck.

The aged sixties rockers may have caned the drugs a bit but most of the hippies eschewed the shootin' an' a'stabbin'. As I recall Tyrannosaurus Rex were involved in few drive-bys.

Oops !

From the BNP website.

"Yesterday we published a story which suggested that The Centre MK, the largest shopping mall in the new town (Milton Keynes) had erected a giant replica mosque to act as a Santa's Grotto.

Following several calls and emails from irate and concerned BNP supporters it transpires that the Grotto is in fact a replica of Brighton Pavilion."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

"About As Insightful As Gravel"

Squandertwo on Johann Hari on chavs.

Shooting The Injured

Generally a Bad Thing. Although it's not unknown for soldiers to shoot those (including their own comrades) who are in agony and so severely injured that they will die anyway.

There are many examples from the First and Second World Wars of such behaviour - John Keegan's book "The Face Of Battle" describes some.

Max Hasings wrote in his book 'Overlord' "among scores of Allied witnesses interviewed ... almost every one had direct knowledge or even experience of the shooting of German prisoners during the campaign .. many British and American units shot SS prisoners routinely."

On the Eastern Front prisoners were rarely taken. It was German policy to shoot them, and the Russians responded in kind.

But if every instance is sent round the world by the US and British media, it'll make the war harder to win both in Iraq and at home. As you can't fight a war without such things happening, perhaps we should have stayed at home in 1940. Thank God Robert Fisk wasn't reporting from the Ruhr when my parents were helping to flatten it.

"our Baghdad correspondent says most Iraqis will not be surprised.

After the scandal of US abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib facility in Baghdad, Iraqis do not expect Americans to act with a high standard in combat"

If that's the BBC, what will the Indie have on its front page ?

UPDATE - news of Margaret Hassan's murder. It was a couple of weeks ago, during the voting in the US, that news came of a video in which she fainted while pleading for her life. Her captors threw water over her and taunted her as she staggered to her feet, sobbing. Even Al-Jazeera wouldn't show it.

I know which of these two images will be on the Independent's front page tomorrow.

UPDATE - blimey - I'm wrong. Well done Indie, though I wish you'd get the editorial off the front page. News and comment are so inextricably linked it's more of a current affairs mag than a paper.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Churchill On The Frontier - Sir Bindon Blood

September 1897 and a pushy young officer is on the Afghan border. Before our hero advances towards the sound of firing - here's his view of his C.O., the wonderfully named Sir Bindon Blood.

Sir Bindon Blood was a striking figure in these savage mountains and among these wild rifle-armed clansmen. He looked very much more formidable in his uniform, mounted, with his standard-bearer and cavalcade, than he had done when I had seen him in safe and comfortable England. He had seen a great deal of the British and Indian armies in war and peace, and he had no illusions on any point. He was very proud to be the direct descendant of the notorious Colonel Blood, who in the reign of King Charles II had attempted to steal by armed force the Crown jewels from the Tower of London. The episode is in the history books. The Colonel was arrested as he quitted the Tower gates with important parts of the regalia in his hands. Brought to trial for high treason and several other capital offences, he was acquitted and immediately appointed to command the King's bodyguard. This strange sequence of events gave rise to scurrilous suggestions that his attempt to abstract the Crown jewels from the Tower had the connivance of the Sovereign himself. It is certainly true that the King was very short of money in those hard times, and that the predecessors of Mr. Attenborough were already in existence in various parts of Europe. However this may be, Sir Bindon Blood regarded the attempted stealing of the Crown Jewels by his ancestor as the most glorious event in his family history, and in consequence he had warm sympathy with the Pathan tribes on the Indian frontier, all of whom would have completely understood the incident in all its bearings, and would have bestowed unstinted and discriminating applause upon all parties. If the General could have got them all together and told them the story at length by broadcast, it would never have been necessary for three brigades with endless tails of mule and camel transport to toil through the mountains and sparsely populated highlands in which my next few weeks were to be passed. The General, then already a veteran, is alive and hale to-day (written in 1930). He had one personal ordeal in this campaign. A fanatic approaching in a deputation (called a jirga) whipped out a knife, and rushed upon him from about eight yards. Sir Bindon Blood, mounted upon his horse, drew his revolver, which most of us thought on a General of Division was merely a token weapon, and shot his assailant dead at two yards. It is easy to imagine how delighted everyone in the Field Force, down to the most untouchable sweeper, was at such an event.

(Blood's forebear was the subject of an epigram by Andrew Marvell)

Major General Sir Bindon Blood & the divisonal staff of the Malakand field force at Panjkora camp

(Photograph of Bindon Blood's staff via the excellent Sikh Cybermuseum).

City Journal ...

Autumn is out, with a history of US poll fraud (did you know 8 of the 9/11 hijackers were registered voters ?), and lots of Dalrymple.

There has been an unholy alliance between those on the Left, who believe that man is endowed with rights but no duties, and libertarians on the Right, who believe that consumer choice is the answer to all social questions, an idea eagerly adopted by the Left in precisely those areas where it does not apply. Thus people have a right to bring forth children any way they like, and the children, of course, have the right not to be deprived of anything, at least anything material. How men and women associate and have children is merely a matter of consumer choice, of no more moral consequence than the choice between dark and milk chocolate, and the state must not discriminate among different forms of association and child rearing, even if such non-discrimination has the same effect as British and French neutrality during the Spanish Civil War.

The consequences to the children and to society do not enter into the matter: for in any case it is the function of the state to ameliorate by redistributive taxation the material effects of individual irresponsibility, and to ameliorate the emotional, educational, and spiritual effects by an army of social workers, psychologists, educators, counselors, and the like, who have themselves come to form a powerful vested interest of dependence on the government.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Dutch Intelligence Mole "Hid Messages In Photos"

Well I can't spot the hidden messages in this.

But according to Der Telegraaf the Islamist mole inside the Dutch secret service (AIVD) used the photos on a travel agency's website to hide information being passed to terrorists.

"The AIVD mole, suspected of passing state secrets to terrorists, was behind a Internet site containing hidden messages.

Outmar Ben A. (34) managed from his home address the site. Research reveals that some photographs on the Internet site contain secret communications.

It has been long known that terrorists exchange information by means of Internet sites, using the technique called steganography."

The website's currently blank, but the Wayback machine has about 50 archived pages. Good hunting !

The Sunday Times has more on the mole. It appears Theo van Gogh's alleged killer may have been tipped off. He'd been under surveillance for two years, and the surveillance was lifted two weeks before the murder.