Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lazy and arrogant NHS midwives kill baby

Staff at one of London’s top teaching hospitals ignored a man’s pleas for help as his newborn baby died, an inquest was told yesterday. Iain Croft, 42, a journalist for the BBC’s World Service, told the inquest that staff at the Royal Free Hospital left him to monitor his child’s faltering heart rate after his wife, Heather Paterson, 43, had begged to see a doctor. Their son, Riley, died of asphyxia 35 minutes after being born, on March 25, 2005, after a ten-hour labour.

Giving evidence at St Pancras Coroner’s Court, Mr Croft said that the couple were initially turned away from the hospital when they reported to have their baby induced. He said: “They said no beds were available. In fact we were taunted by some staff who said, ’There’s no room at the inn, you’ll have to go home’.” The couple waited nearly eight hours the next day to see a doctor, before a midwife who induced the birth told Ms Paterson that she was a “silly girl” who was not really in pain.

Mr Croft said that a midwife had told them, “very firmly” that she would induce the birth herself, by applying the gel Prostin, which immediately left his wife in crippling pain. He said: “Heather’s arms and legs were convulsing because of the intense pain. “Heather was becoming very distressed because of the pain and was literally screaming for someone to come and help her with pain relief or give her a Caesarean section. “I asked several times if my wife could be seen by a doctor and we were refused. The midwife kept saying to her that her pain was not real. She said ‘no pain, no gain. This is what you have to go through, this is what it’s like’. . . . At some time she said to my wife, ‘You are a silly girl. You don’t deserve this baby. I’m going to take it off you’. Six hours later the baby was dead.”

Mr Croft said that two midwives, Ine Toby and Beverly Blankson, ignored the couple’s pleas for help. He was then told to monitor the baby’s heart-rate himself, and to trigger an alarm button if it fell below a certain level. He said: “It did drop three times and I pressed the button each time. In the end I had to go out into the corridor to bring her back in to look at it. She kept telling us not to be so fussy.”

The couple did not see a doctor until shortly before the baby was finally born. Mr Croft said: “All of a sudden the room was filled with doctors attending to the baby and at 8.28am they asked for permission to stop. Our baby was dead.” A postmortem examination, which Mr Croft said staff tried to “bully” him out of having, showed that the child died from asphyxia.



Jeff Jacoby exposes BBC bias and misinformation

With the 40th anniversary of Israel's astonishing victory in the Six Day War has come a gusher of revisionist history, most of it suffused with sympathy for the Palestinians, disapproval of Israel, and indignation at the ongoing "occupation" that is said to be at the heart of the Middle East's turmoil. On the BBC website, for example, Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen's retrospective on the war -- "How 1967 defined the Middle East" -- begins by noting that "it took only six days for Israel to smash the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria." It goes on to emphasize that "the Israeli Air Force destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground on the morning of 5 June 1967 in a surprise attack."

But the BBC makes no reference to anything the Arabs might have done to provoke Israel's attack, other than broadcasting "bloodcurdling threats" on the radio. The vast buildup of Arab armies along Israel's border, the expulsion of UN peacekeepers from the Sinai Peninsula by Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser, the illegal closing of the Straits of Tiran, which cut Israel off from its main supply of oil -- the BBC mentions none of it.

Instead, Bowen claims that Israel's "hugely self-confident" generals couldn't wait to go to war because they knew they couldn't lose. (In reality, Israel's military and political leaders were deeply anxious; so severe was the stress that Yitzhak Rabin, the chief of staff, suffered a nervous breakdown.) "The myth of the 1967 Middle East war," declares Bowen, turning history on its head, "was that the Israeli David slew the Arab Goliath."

The BBC's account, unfortunately, is not unique. In the revisionist narrative, what is most important about 1967 is not that Israel survived what its enemies had intended to be a war of annihilation, but that in the course of doing so it occupied Arab land, some of which it still holds. "End the Occupation" is the theme of countless anti-Israel rallies around the world this weekend. The UN secretary general issued a statement remembering the victims of Middle East conflict, "particularly the Palestinians who continue to live under an occupation that has lasted 40 years." A two-page "message" from the United Church of Christ repeatedly deplores Israel's occupation: It uses some form of the word "occupy" 15 times, but doesn't mention even once the decades of Arab terrorism that have sent so many Israelis to early graves.

Considering how often the "occupation" is identified as the chief impediment to Arab-Israeli peace, you might expect 40th-anniversary discussions of the war to grapple with the fact that there was no occupation in 1967, when the Arabs were massing for war on Israel's borders. But that would mean acknowledging that Arab hatred and violence caused the occupation -- not, as current fashion has it, the other way around.

And so Time magazine's anniversary story on the Six Day War is relayed entirely from the perspective of a Palestinian who has lived all his life under occupation on the West Bank. Nowhere does the 2,500-word story pause to note that there would never have been a West Bank occupation if King Hussein of Jordan had heeded Israel's public and private pleas to stay out of the fighting. Instead, Hussein shelled Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and sent warplanes to bomb Netanya. Radio Amman announced in the king's name that all Israelis should be "torn to bits." Only then did Israel, fighting in self-defense, enter the West Bank.

Forty years ago, Time was not confused about where the sympathies of civilized people should lie. Reporting on the war in its issue of June 16, 1967, Time spotlighted Nasser's bellicose threats and noted "the Arab forces ominously gathering around the Jewish homeland." It explained to its readers in straightforward language that "ever since Israel was created 19 years ago, the Arabs have been lusting for the day when they could destroy it." (One week earlier, Time's cover had been bannered: "Israel: The Struggle to Survive.") It put Israel's alarm in the context of "a hostile Arab population of 110 million menacing their own of 2.7 million."

And it quoted the Arabs in their own words: "`Our people have been waiting 20 years for this battle,' roared Cairo. 'Now they will teach Israel the lesson of death!' . . . 'Kill the Jews!' screamed Radio Baghdad. A Syrian commander offered the rash prediction to radio listeners that 'we will destroy Israel in four days.' "

Israelis in 1967 didn't doubt that Cairo, Baghdad, and Damascus meant exactly what they said. Neither did Time. Four decades later the narrative has changed, but the facts, stubbornly, are what they are. It is a fact that if Israel had lost the Six Day War, there would have been no occupation these past 40 years. It is also a fact that there would have been no Israel.

British class divide hits learning by age of three

The heritability and importance of IQ rediscovered (but not admitted): Disadvantaged children lagging a full year behind before they start school

By the age of three, children from disadvantaged families are already lagging a full year behind their middle-class contemporaries in social and educational development, pioneering research by a London university reveals today. A "generation Blair" project, tracking the progress of 15,500 boys and girls born between 2000 and 2002, found a divided nation in which a child's start in life was still determined by the class, education, marital status and ethnic background of the parents. The results are likely to disappoint ministers committed to improving the life chances of disadvantaged children, notably through the Sure Start programme to develop potential in pre-school years. But the research could not establish how much more stark the divisions might have been without Sure Start's introduction in 1998.

In a series of vocabulary tests, the three-year-old sons and daughters of graduate parents were found to be 10 months ahead of those from families with few educational qualifications; they were 12 months ahead in their understanding of colours, letters, numbers, sizes and shapes. Researchers from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute of Education in the University of London found girls were three months ahead of boys on both measures. Less predictably, Scottish children were three months ahead of the UK average in language development and two months ahead in "school readiness".

Mothers in Scotland were more likely than those in the three other countries to have jobs and set clear rules governing the child's behaviour. Similarly, Scottish fathers were more likely to read to their children, perhaps assisting early years development.

The programme - called the millennium cohort study - began tracking the children soon after they were born, recording the circumstances of pregnancy and birth, parental background and progress in the early months of life. Professor Heather Joshi, director of the programme, said previous research had showed that children from deprived homes were less educationally advanced at five and seven years old. The millennium study was the first using a big national sample to measure the attainment gap at three. The results will be used in the government's evaluation of the Sure Start programme to establish whether it is helping working class children narrow the gap.

Prof Joshi said: "Children from poorer homes are less likely to have working mothers and so they do not get so much out-of-home childcare." She could not tell how much wider the attainment gap might have been without Sure Start. She added: "These children are on a marathon. They should not be written off if they come through their early years and are not ahead in the race. The families into which they were born did not provide a level starting point. They are not leaping out of their diverse backgrounds unmarked by their early experiences."

The survey found Bangladeshi children were about a year behind their white contemporaries in "school readiness" tests. Pakistani children did slightly better. A quarter of black children from African and Caribbean backgrounds were delayed in their development, compared with 4% of white children. These results may have been linked to family income. Two-thirds of the Bangladeshi and Pakistani three-year-olds were from families living below the poverty line, compared with 42% of black children and less than 25% of white and Indian children.

Across all ethnic minority communities, 72% of children with single mothers were growing up in poverty. The study set the poverty threshold at 60% of national average family income. A Department for Education spokesman said last night: "Closing attainment gaps between different groups of children is a massive priority for us. We are working hard to provide support such as catch-up lessons, one-to-one tuition and wraparound support for children and families - for example the Sure Start programme." [Translation: Fanatical Leftist belief in equality impels us to keep pissing into the wind despite all the evidence that it does nobody any good. Jensen and Murray gave them the facts on class, IQ and education many years ago but facts are no match for ideology]


British Muslims at work: "An Islamic religious leader and his wife flew into the UK with missile blueprints and bomb recipes to be used against the West, a court has heard. Yassin Nassari, 28, was caught carrying instructions to build the same rockets used by the Palastinian terrorist group Hamas as well as a chilling library of extreme Islamic documents, jurors heard. The Old Bailey heard his wife, Bouchra El-Hor, 24, actively encouraged her husband to become a terrorist and had offered herself and the couple's five-month-old son for martyrdom. Prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee said: "It is the prosecution's case that they are not merely radicalised Muslims but that Nassari was going to engage in what he and others like him would call a 'jihad' but what the law describes as terrorism."

No comments: