Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pension Crisis Solved

Remember how improved medical care means we're all going to live longer, bankrupting the pensions funds and forcing us to retire later ?

Doctors have the answer :

It is not always in the best interests of the elderly, the frail and the severely disabled to be resuscitated, experts said yesterday, in a challenge to present NHS guidelines.

All hospitals and care homes are required to provide resuscitation unless a decision is made to the contrary.

"Heart attack ? Hmmm ... he looks a bit frail to me ... Dave ? What do you think ?"

"Definitely a frail ... besides, he must be pushing 60. Skip it.

OK - but you can tell his wife"

I remember Susan coming home from work one day at the local hospital. An ambulance heading up the motorway diverted there when the patient arrested, and she worked on him for an hour but couldn't restart him. Kind of put my job into perspective.

Given the low chance of success, it may be that institutions should not offer resuscitation at all, they suggest. Resources saved could be better used in improving the quality of care.

I'm in a bad temper anyway, and this news doesn't improve it. Susan is away nursing her 86 year old mother, who has a nasty chest infection. Her mother also worked as a nurse.

I keep hearing from what passes for the left how the way we treat our weakest and most vulnerable is a measure of our civilisation. But the old, weak, sick or unborn aren't apparently the people they mean.

Silly me. As commentators as diverse as Johann Hari and Cardinal Murphy O'Connor point out, the most vulnerable people are criminals.

"Christians" Awake - Well, Sort Of

On Monday I noted that the 'progressive' Christian sites, Thinking Anglicans and Ekklesia, didn't seem to have noticed the massacre of Christians in Northern Nigeria.

Ekklesia majored on the big stories such as 'Bin Laden is part of God's family, says Bishop', or 'Archbishop to visit home of London bombers' (he was actually visiting Beeston, in which case I've also visited their home).

Late Monday Ekklesia had a new, worrying story - "Warnings of anti-Muslim violence by Christians in Nigeria". Not only that, but the warning came from Peter Akinola. Christians being killed is one thing - not really worth reporting - after all, aren't we supposed to follow Christ's example ? But this ...

In a statement, the controversial Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola, known to many across the world for his outspoken statements about homosexuality said; "May we at this stage remind our Muslim brothers that they do not have the monopoly of violence in this nation".

"CAN may no longer be able to contain our restive youths should this ugly trend continue," said Akinola, who heads CAN.

The hideous danger posed by Christians getting cross at the slaughter of their co-religionists, evidenced in the world-wide Christian terror campaigns of recent years, is obviously of major importance.

The UK thinktank Ekklesia, is amongst those who have recently drawn attention to, and warned about the violence associated with some types of Christianity.

In a book, Consuming Passion, Ekklesia's directors Jonathan Bartley and Simon Barrow, raised questions about how some conservative church teaching about the death of Jesus could be linked to the approval of violence.

By Wednesday, "Christians" in the South had begun "revenge" attacks on entirely innocent Muslims. In contrast to the unreported deaths of Christians, this was big news - espacially as it was obviously Peter Akinola's doing.

"Christians kill Muslims following warning by Nigerian Archbishop"

Ekklesia could have mentioned that the religious divide in Nigeria is, as in Northern Ireland, primarily a tribal divide - in this case between the Christian Ibo and the Muslim Hausa.

Christians are again being killed in the North. But don't expect Ekklesia to be on the case unless they can find a way to advance their own agenda.

"Mr Akinola is also known for his opposition to allowing gays to be priests in the Anglican church."

By yesterday the site was back to business as usual.

"Archbishop compares Bush to Ugandan dictator"

Over at Thinking Anglicans, you could almost hear the chinking of teacups and the murmur of polite conversation last week. Women bishops, disinvesting in Caterpillar, Archbishop addreses WCC ... zzz ...

Suddenly in Friday, when the killings of Christians were nearly a week old, Shock, horror !

The coverage is, as always, thorough (better than Ekklesia's) and even-handed. For example, they link to the whole of Peter Akinola's statement.

But you can't help wondering. If Muslims weren't being killed, would the 50-80 Christian deaths in the North last weekend have been reported at all ?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Lighter Than Light

But isn't the snow nice ?

(there's a wee post at Biased BBC)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Links Update

So you'll find they're all over the place like a madwoman's faeces. They'll be duplicated here, wrong there .. but after a 12-hour day I'm too tired to finish updating them.

Take a look at Drinking From Home, another blog after my own shrivelled heart. Blogging will be light due to work-type thingies.

I'm pleased to see the Oatens are trying to get back together. I wish his marriage well and his politics ill.

"Mrs O, how can you take your husband back ?"

"Ah well, **** happens"

Everyday Stories Of Underclass Folk

Her local councillor described her as 'a loving and caring mother'. Not quite loving and caring enough not to OD while in charge of her child. Her three year old son lived for several weeks with his dead mother, surviving on food in the larder.

A happy ending though.

The council is also introducing a new support service for drug-using mothers. Isn't that lovely ? How caring can you get ?

Manwhile, in the Land of Bastards ...

"Chloe was a battered and neglected child. They failed to take her to baby clinics, would not sterilise her bottles and would not communicate with professionals. Chloe was a normal healthy baby who needed care and nurture. Sadly this was not forthcoming."

The court was told that in the weeks before her death, Chloe was admitted to hospital with bruising, underweight and in obvious distress. Doctors were extremely concerned by Chloe's physical state and by her parents' lack of co-operation, Mr Murphy said.

"Chloe was discharged but readmitted to hospital weeks later with breathing difficulties," he added.

She was admitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, on 2 April, 2003 with injuries including a fractured skull and breaks to all her limbs. She died nine days later.

Who killed her ?

"All the injuries could have been inflicted in one single incident. The prosecution cannot say who that could have been. It may have been a third party."

The cat ? The fairies ?

Another happy ending.

"Sending you to prison would be completely wrong."

You'd Have To Have A Heart Of Stone Not To Laugh

Health and Safety meeting cut short as the entire meeting falls through the floor !

The meeting began at about 1000 GMT on Tuesday with the 21 safety officers sitting around a large wooden conference table.

Staff in the ground floor office underneath noticed the ceiling moving and ran out of the room seconds before it collapsed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Reality Trumps Satire Again

"A government minister is due to make a speech setting out plans to give greater powers to local communities"

"Hand more power to people and communities"

Bwuuuaaa-ha-ha-ha ! You kill me !

In other news - local hospitals to close, local police stations to close, local magistrates courts to close, local pubs to close, local shops to close, police forces to be amalgamated, local councils to be abolished, detention without trial, compulsory ID, Magna Carta to be torn up, habeas corpus 'out-dated', free speech 'greatly overrated', elections to be scrapped.

No Children - Again

‘Why are you living in the West? Why don’t you go and live in Saudi Arabia?’ says Apprentice star Saira Khan.

Isn't that the kind of thing that gets you arrested for racially aggravated insulting behaviour ?

“I can say these things because of who I am,” she says. “Coming from me it can’t be seen as racist.”

Oh, of course. But I digress. I'll pass, too, on an education system that considers it proper to invite a speaker to school to undermine the culture of the home ("She tells them her life story and explains it is not necessarily their job to please their parents or to agree to an arranged marriage").

The point is that Saira, as Yazza points out, has no kids ("It must drive her family mad" - I do love Yazza). She is 35. She may be as integrated a Brit as ever sat in the smoke-free Dog and Duck, but she's not rearing a dynasty of integrated Brits.

Meanwhile, in Bradford there's no worry about a shortage of kids.

"Following initial migration and settlement in the 1960’s, Bradford has, over the last three decades, established a significant Pakistani population: in 1981 this community numbered 34,116 persons, in 1991, 38,059 persons and it is estimated that in the year 2011 this population will number 104,000 persons or approximately a quarter of the city’s population."

"Fifty per cent of this Pakistani population are under 18 years old."

Monday, February 20, 2006

More Racist Murder ?

Adloyada reports on the kidnap, torture and murder of a young Jewish man in Paris by a gang from the notorious Paris suburbs.

There are echoes of the death of 15 year old Kriss Donald in Glasgow, who was held and tortured overnight before being stripped, stabbed and set ablaze. The Pakistani street gang who kidnapped him had been driving around looking for a white person to attack.

Ilam Halini was imprisoned and tortured for THREE WEEKS before being dumped, dying, near a train station last Monday. The kidnappers used an attractive woman, who asked him out on a date, as bait. This wasn't, as Kriss Donald's death may have been, a spur of the moment operation. This was planned and deliberate.

The French State prosecutor says they may have attempted six or seven other kidnappings.

Hat tip - Stephen Pollard - whose Blunkett biog I'm currently reading.

Religion of Peace part 726 and Anglican responses

"Nigeria cartoon protests kill 16" say the BBC. Gosh, those cartoon protests sure are dangerous. We certainly don't want that sort of thing here. Any details ?

Christian leader Joseph Hayab told Reuters agency that most of those who died had been Christians.

"They went on the rampage, burning shops and churches of the Christians. The protesters killed the others. Some were even killed in the churches."

Doubtless the Church of England will be apologising shortly for ever converting them in its imperialist former fashion.

The story doesn't make the Ekklesia news page, nor Sinking Anglicans, a site whch claims to "Blog from a liberal Anglican perspective covering news, events and documents that affect church people". Obviously being killed doesn't affect you enough.

Thinking Anglicans has pages of stories about Nigeria - all on the subject of the saintly Archbishop Akinola, who takes his inspiration and authority from Scripture rather than from the Guardian and is therefore a Bad Thing.

Ekklesia likewise has 64 stories on Nigeria, the vast majority being about the hideous persecution (by the Anglican Church) of gay Anglicans, with the rest about Nigeria's debt. I did spot this sombre story though.

"In the worst single incident so far, at least 48 people were murdered, many during an early morning prayer service on February 24.

Armed Muslims invaded the service, ordered the congregation to lie face down and proceeded ‘to machete and axe them to death in their house of worship’ according to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). The victims included women and children."

The weekend's news was pretty sombre too.

"They think they have won the debate. They believe that the British Government has capitulated to them, because it feared the consequences if it did not.

The cartoons, you see, have not been published in this country, and the Government has been very critical of those countries in which they were published. To many of the Islamic clerics, that's a clear victory.

It's confirmation of what they believe to be a familiar pattern: if spokesmen for British Muslims threaten what they call 'adverse consequences' - violence to the rest of us - then the British Government will cave in. I think it is a very dangerous precedent."

No, it's not a precedent - Northern Ireland was a precedent, the Scarman report on the Brixton riots was a precedent, the response to animal rights terrorists is a precedent. The only organised violence a UK Government will, or can, stand up to is violence by those it can feel good about opposing - which would boil down in practice to the poor old native English.

See the Pub Philosopher for more, to whom I'm also grateful for this picture from the Pakistan cartoon protests. Could be a fake I suppose :

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Role Model

Live football on BBC - the post-match interview.

"Well, Micah Richards, you must be elated to have equalised in injury time"

"F*** it"

"They're fairly lenient now"

Fortress Britain : or how the 'gay marriage' laws make illegal immigration legal.

A further five firms were visited by an undercover female reporter who claimed that she wished to “marry” her lesbian Ukrainian girlfriend.

In the meetings she admitted she had a boyfriend and that her “lesbian” lover was simply a friend who wanted a British passport. Three solicitors said there was no requirement to prove a sexual relationship.

A fourth solicitor, Irene Anin of Welbeck Anin Solicitors in Camberwell, south London, said, “It shouldn’t be a problem, you just say you’re girlfriends. As for what goes on behind closed doors, [that] has got nothing to do with anybody.”

The reporter was told she would need to provide letters, photographs and other evidence of a “relationship”. Anin added: “They [the Home Office] will be happy with that. I think they’re fairly lenient now.”

Only one firm of solicitors out of five told her where to go.

Also in the Sunday Times :

What we’re seeing in the East End of London is ghettoisation . . . The kids lead lives with one foot in the airport. They don’t want to belong. They don’t want to become part of the British story.”

And Patricia Morgan on how marriage was 'de-privileged'.

"So what? The consensus of government, the main political parties, academia, children’s charities and public bodies has for long been that nothing should be said, let alone done, about the implications of changing family structure, unless it be to cheer it all on. We must welcome and support “diverse” and “vibrant” new “family forms”. The way we live now is by “participating in a web of relationships”, or revolving-door partnerships and haphazard reproduction.

Raise any doubts and you will be sanctimoniously told how families come “in all shapes and sizes”. What will be waved is an example of the fantastic lone parent rearing high-achieving children to offset the multitude of well-run studies that have for long been telling how children born or adopted and raised in an intact marriage are — on average — more apt to avoid criminal and psychiatric trouble, achieve more educationally, become gainfully employed and, in turn, successfully raise the next generation. "