Saturday, August 04, 2007

Attempt to Silence Government Critics in Britain

We read:

"Royal Mail apologised last night for sending a letter warning postmasters that they risked losing thousands of pounds in compensation if they failed to stick to the official line on branch closures.

The letter from Sue Huggins, director of the Network Change Programme, came with questions that customers might ask and directions about how postmasters should respond. It said that undercover staff would be checking that they gave the approved answers. The letter read: "Representatives will visit branches at random to ensure these `key messages' are being delivered . . . Any compensation offered to you shall be subject to you having complied."

The Government plans to close 2,500 out of 14,300 post offices and compensation can be worth 60,000 pounds.


More slippery Leftist talk about race

The conclusion of a recent article by Matthew Syed in "The Times" is as follows: "The conclusion is unavoidable: those who invoke race as an explanation of real and perceived differences between humans have an agenda that is other than scientific"

How does he arrive at that conclusion? By pointing out, quite correctly, that there are well-known differences WITHIN races. West Africans are better at sprinting and East Africans are better at long-distance running, for instance. So therefore, he thinks, in a breathtaking overgeneralization, all talk of race is misleading.

That is an old quibble, however. While it is true that statements such as "Blacks make the best sprinters" are much less precise than they could be, they are nonetheless true statements -- as are other generalizations about race -- such as: "African-Americans commit violent crimes about 9 times as often as white Americans". Such statements are simple statements of fact and saying that anyone who utters such statements "has an agenda that is other than scientific" is just indulging in the usual fact-ignoring Leftist abuse.

Insofar as I can find any logic at all in Syed's pontification, I think he may be pointing out that what is true of any group is not necessarily true of all members in that group. I know of no-one who would dispute that, however, so Syed's attack is an attack on a straw man.

Syed also seems unaware that the usual racial classifications are well-reflected in the DNA of the people concerned. See e.g. here and here.

From his surname, I suspect that Syed is a Muslim. So let me give him another generalization to chew on: "The statements of prominent Muslims are not notable for their reliance on logic". That statement is of course a generalization and, as such, does not preclude some prominent Muslims from being very logical -- but Syed is clearly not one of those.

How the NHS "helps" the seriously ill elderly

Even clued-up people have great difficulty getting any help at all out of it

Today I phoned two GPs and asked them how soon my parents were likely to die. Do I hate my Mum and Dad? On the contrary, I adore them. My beloved and devoted parents are in their late eighties. January 3 this year was their 64th wedding anniversary. It was also two years almost to the day since they were forced to live apart.

In December 2004 they seemed fit and well, living comfortably and independently in their home of 40 years in the Midlands. We are a close and loving family and spend a lot of time together; I had noticed nothing seriously amiss. Then Dad fell over and cracked his head on a windowsill. There was a lot of blood. We spent Christmas Day gathered round his bed in an A&E unit 20 miles away. The hospital was hideous: uncaring, unkind, understaffed.

Dad had a chest infection and was very confused. He was also going through alcohol withdrawal – it turned out that his GP had known for a year that he was alcohol-dependent, but had been unable to convince him to get help.

We moved Mum in with me, 15 miles from her own home in the opposite direction from the hospital, while we all got over the shock. Another was to follow. Her forgetfulness was dementia. She asked the same question six times in 30 minutes. I had to label my kitchen cupboards and write out for her every night where she was and what was happening the next day. My sister Pam and I juggled our jobs with caring for Mum and visiting Dad, a two-hour round trip.

Exhausted by the distance, we got Dad moved to a private hospital in our town. He improved mentally and physically and was having physiotherapy to get him back on his feet. But soon his consultant told us that he no longer needed active medical treatment and his insurer declined to go on paying. We moved him to a short-term private nursing home. He deteriorated; his confusion returned, he repeatedly tried to get out of bed and fell, he developed leg ulcers and got MRSA. He became wheel-chair-bound and doubly incontinent. Then they too declined to keep him and advised us to look for a long-term nursing home.

Complete strangers to the welfare state, Pam and I turned to the internet to try to establish what financial help might be available. The answer seemed to be none, if my parents had substantial savings, which they did – Dad had astutely, or so he thought, raised 50,000 pounds recently via an equity release on their house and put it in the building society for their future care needs. So Pam and I visited six nursing homes in and around our town, all of them costing well over 600 a week. In four of them the smell of urine hit us as soon as the front door was opened. Dribbling residents were ranged round three sides of a sitting room while giant TV screens blared at them incessantly. Of the remaining two, one had a high turnover of foreign staff.

The only one that looked remotely civilised enough for a former international sales director was also the most expensive – more than £900 a week. We filled out a hugely detailed financial statement of his assets and income, confirmed that he was self-funding, and moved him in. Winter turned to spring. We moved Mum back to her own home, got her a referral to a memory consultant and, after much phoning, form-filling and investigating, found an agency to supply carers to visit her three times a day.

I tentatively contacted her social services office, having read on the internet that everyone is entitled to a needs assessment even if they are self-funding; they sent an ineffectual chap who told us little beyond agreeing that she was self-funding. I got back on the internet to find out what benefits she might nonetheless be entitled to; there were one or two, it transpired.

I called in on Mum as many weekday evenings as possible on my way home from work; Pam visited Dad as many afternoons as she could. At the weekends one of us collected Mum and took her to have lunch with Dad at the nursing home; the other one took her home again afterwards, a 90-minute round trip each time. Mum’s daily carers were variable and the agency was unreliable. Mum lost a lot of weight. My sister and I rang her every day; she was tearful and confused. We rang each other eight times a day: Have you seen Dad? Can you get to Mum – the agency can’t find anyone to visit tonight. Have you phoned their solicitor? Can you get to their building society? Have you rung Mum’s GP to organise a medicines box from the pharmacy (a friend of a friend told us about this)? Can you buy Dad more pyjamas? Who’s collecting Mum on Saturday? Have you rung social services? Can you look for a gardener and cleaner for Mum? Have you paid her chiropodist’s bill? Can we get together to fill out these funding forms tonight? Who’s taking a day off work this week to get her to the memory clinic?

We put our own lives and families on hold and irritated our work colleagues with the long list of phone calls we had to make day in, day out. It was relentless, depressing and utterly exhausting – and that was with two of us to share the load.

At Easter the nursing home rang – Dad had internal bleeding and an ambulance had been called. Another understaffed, uncaring hospital, another nightmare. He was pushed, pulled, prodded, hauled about. Somehow he survived and returned to the nursing home. The saintly staff wept when they saw the condition he was returned in – confused, dirty, and with his leg ulcers opened up again because the dressings hadn’t been changed.

I grabbed the chance of a week’s holiday. The day I arrived home Pam rang – Mum had had a fall at home and was on her way by ambulance to the same hospital that Dad had left three weeks before. It was just as grim. We watched the A&E clock tick round hour after hour while the staff gossiped at their station with their backs turned.

Eventually an X-ray showed a fractured pelvis. Our hearts sank. They put her to bed in a disgusting mixed ward. A nurse rang me late one night to say that my church mouse of a mother was trying to kill the other patients and could I go immediately. She was incoherent and trembling; I put my arms round her and we sat for four hours, into the small hours, in a cold corridor while a nurse phoned other wards trying to find the antipsychotic drug that they thought she needed. We were both crying. Nobody explained what was happening. (Much, much later I was told that she had a urinary tract infection that can induce psychosis in the elderly.)

Fit from years of tennis, Mum recovered physically and returned home. But spring turned to summer and her memory worsened. We went back to the internet and found another agency to supply live-in carers – mainly wonderful South African women who cooked her fresh food and played Scrabble with her. She put weight back on (but not before her own mother’s engagement ring slipped off her thin finger and was lost) and I felt confident enough to skip some weeknight visits, although I still phoned her every day.

Meanwhile, Dad was calmer at the nursing home. We found a wheelchair-transport charity that took him midweek to Mum while her carer cooked them both lunch. They were permanently distressed by their enforced separation but at least we knew that they were secure and well looked-after. Then the money ran out. By January 2006 they were broke – or, in the distasteful social services jargon, wealth-depleted. The 50,000 pounds had gone on nursing home and carer fees, as had the money we raised from Dad’s few stock holdings and an income bond.

Their only asset now was their house, their only income their state pensions and Dad’s two small occupational pensions. By the time we discovered (from the internet again, of course) that social services will step in when savings diminish to 20,500, they were already well below that and fast approaching the next threshold of 12,500. Both social services offices said they were now contributing the maximum, yet Mum and Dad still had a combined monthly short-fall of about 2,300 pounds. Moving Dad into a cheaper nursing home was unthinkable; he’d been shunted around enough. We appealed to the charitable trust that runs Dad’s wonderful home, and mercifully they agreed effectively to waive his top-up. Mum’s dementia appeared to be temporarily stalled with the aid of a memory drug, and she was secure and calm in her own home; my sister and I were managing between us to top up her finances to pay her live-in carers. By last autumn we were back on an even keel.

Then the next crisis hit. In January Mum had two strokes in succession and was taken back to hospital. She got a bed in another appalling, old-fashioned “Nightingale” mixed ward. She had lost the swallowing reflex, couldn’t talk, couldn’t walk. After four weeks on intravenous fluids, a stomach tube was inserted to feed her by. My sister and I bounced between Mum’s hospital and Dad’s nursing home. He was desperate to visit her but the hospital was unsurprisingly in the grip of a superbug and we couldn’t risk it.

Mum was gradually shunted to the farthest end of the ward from the nurses’ station. Sometimes she was hoisted from the bed to a chair and left unsupervised; once when I visited, in February, she was in the chair in bare feet and just her nightie, next to an open window. Mostly she had her eyes closed; occasionally she would look at us, but it was impossible to know if she knew who we were. Then the hospital started to ask what our plans for her were; they couldn’t do any more for her and she was bed-blocking. We had to decide between a nursing home and her own home. If we moved her into a nursing home, social services would then require us to sell the house after 12 weeks to pay for her care; as the house is jointly owned, Dad, too, would then be deemed to be self-funding again. At a combined rate of up to 1,800 a week for their nursing home fees, the money would soon be gone. We toyed with reuniting them in their own house, although we’d need to install a downstairs bathroom and hoisting equipment for Dad. He is wheelchair-bound, doubly incontinent and increasingly confused. He hasn’t seen Mum since her strokes, and we believe he would be devastated if he were faced daily with the reality of his adored wife’s pitiful condition. Better, we think, to keep him in the caring environment that has been his home for two years.

So we took Mum home. We bullied, cajoled and pleaded with assorted authorities to provide a hospital bed, a hoist, a pressure mattress, incontinence supplies, the food bags, visits from district nurses. My sister and I and her carers were taught how to administer her food, water and medicines via an electric pump and the stomach tube. She had a catheter but pulled it out twice, so now it stays out. I have acquired other skills too nauseating to describe.

The NHS has accepted her for continuing care, meaning that it takes over all the payments from social services, which should be cause for celebration; however, at the time of writing it has yet to devise a means of paying her live-in carers, as it seems it is against the rules for the NHS to make payments to individuals. The only suggestion forthcoming to date is that my sister and I might like to set up a company to which the NHS could make the payments. We being oddly disinclined to give ourselves this extra little burden, a stand-off has been reached. We are therefore still topping up the care package to the tune of 130 a week, although we are promised we will eventually be reimbursed by the NHS. My eyes water at the thought of the red tape that is going to involve.

So now I have two parents in a condition that can only be described as pitiful. My once-immaculate and elegant mother is shrunken, withered, bedbound, incontinent, unable to communicate, fed through a stomach tube; she has no teeth, her cheeks are sunken, her skin is grey, her eyes, when open, are rheumy and unfocused. She pulls her knees up to her chest and claws at her blankets.

My handsome, globe-trotting businessman father is in a wheelchair, confused, incontinent, speaks with difficulty and has recently had shingles that swelled up his face and closed up his eyes. They are both being kept alive by modern medicine far beyond the point of decency, humanity or dignity. Where is pneumonia, once called “the old man’s friend”, when you need it? You wouldn’t, you really wouldn’t, do it to a dog. I’m crying as I type these words, but if I had the courage I would pick up a pillow and help my mother towards that better life promised to Christians. Both their GPs are sympathetic to their, and our, plight, and both have agreed in principle to let nature take its course rather than strive officiously to keep them alive, but nature is taking its time. Hence my phone conversations with them today. Beyond reaffirming that agreement, however, they cannot help me.

I am so angry that we have arrived here. I am angry with Dad for not telling us about Mum’s dementia. I am angry with Mum for not telling us about Dad’s drinking. I am angry with myself for being powerless to make it all better for them with a wave of a magic wand. I am angry with the NHS for the disgraceful treatment of both my parents in two large hospitals. I am angry with the Government for its callous underfunding of care for the elderly. I am angry with social services for the apathy, the lack of help, the misleading or contradictory information that repeatedly dribbled our way. I am angry with God for drawing out their end in this demeaning way. If He does it to me, I shall sue.

Every single thing we have learnt about the care our parents have needed and its funding we have discovered slowly and with difficulty for ourselves, and often too late. (Example: when Dad’s nursing home fees had virtually wiped out the 50,000 he raised via equity release for them both, we approached his social services office for a financial assessment, and only then did they point out to us that the building society account was – most unusually – in Mum’s name, and so the money should never have been used for Dad’s fees. Our mistake, we hadn’t noticed – but we were amateurs, and we needed help, and none was forthcoming.) There is no quality to their lives, and little to mine and my sister’s for the past two and a half years that we have struggled to do our best for them. But the very, very worst thing is that our golden memories of two wonderful, loving parents have been all but obliterated by the sheer, unmitigated, unending misery of their last months on this earth.


Eroded English liberties

In his first statement to Parliament as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said: "Britain is rightly proud to be the pioneer of the modern liberties of the individual." Little noticed among the cascade of pronouncements about constitutional reform, was a promise to reconsider the ban on unlicensed political protest in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster. Mr Brown implied that when it came to balancing the need for public order with the right to public dissent, this was a law too far.

A commitment to personal liberty is only to be expected from a British prime minister, and especially from a son of the manse brought up in Adam Smith's home town. Yet Mr Brown sat in a Cabinet that did more than any other in recent years to alter the balance in the relationship between the State and the individual.

If Clement Attlee is remembered for postwar welfare provision and the NHS, Harold Wilson for Sixties' optimism, Edward Heath for joining Europe, James Callaghan for the Winter of Discontent, Margaret Thatcher for reducing the size of government and John Major, however unfairly, for sleaze, then we will look back on the Blair years as marking a serial assault by the State on the civil liberties of the citizen.

The State always wants to limit the liberties of its people. But it is normally restrained by an executive that understands the limits of illiberalism or is contained by a Parliament that considers itself to be a guardian of freedoms. For a number of reasons, neither of these brakes was applied under Tony Blair's premiership. The huge Commons majority he enjoyed, the craven pusillanimity of his party, the implosion of the Conservatives and the consequent absence of opposition, other than in the Lords - and, to an extent, in the courts - conspired with a genuine, though irrational, fear of terrorism and rising street crime to let the State take greater control over the citizen than it has enjoyed before in modern peacetime.

Under Mr Blair, the State recaptured territory that it must have thought had been buried forever under a mountain of human rights laws and beneath all the freedoms that would normally make it more difficult to control the individual, such as ease of communication and of movement. But the technology that has made us feel freer has also given the State the wherewithal to keep control over us and to say that it does so for our own good.

This assault has come from many directions. Surveillance of a sophistication never dreamt of in Orwell's worst nightmares; the gradual dismantling of the judicial protections afforded to defendants in criminal cases, even to the point of questioning the presumption of innocence; the criminalisation of dozens of activities that would never previously have been considered unlawful; the limits on freedom of speech; restrictions on movement and detention without trial or even charge; and the creation of databases containing information on us all and which will track the movements of our children and theirs from cradle to grave.

As Mr Brown conceded in the Commons, freedom of expression is a basic liberty that risks being eroded, a statement that seems at odds with a world of incessant internet chatter and unrestrained blogging. Despite this, probably not since John Milton railed against restrictions on the press in the 17th century has this country been so confused about where the boundaries of free speech lie. People used to be free under the criminal law to speak their minds, provided they did not incite others to commit violence or infringe public order.

Speaker's Corner, in Hyde Park, London, came to symbolise a democratic tradition of which the country was proud and whose parameters were also understood. Rabble-rousers trying to whip up the mob have never been the beneficiaries of this latitude. Parliament Square was, rightly, off limits to rioters but a magnet for those who wanted to shout in the ear of their legislators. Now, unless permission is granted, it is not even possible to whisper criticism of the Government.

Maya Evans found this out when she stood by the Cenotaph to recite the names of Britain's Iraqi war dead. For this she was arrested, arraigned and left with a criminal record. It is hard to conceive of a police officer a generation ago taking any notice of her since she was causing no public order problem at all. But Ms Evans had fallen foul of a clause in the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act which established a one kilometre zone around the Palace of Westminster, within whose boundaries political criticism can be voiced only on application to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Or ask Lynette Burrows about free speech. She had offered her opinion on the radio that two homosexual men should not be allowed to adopt a boy, which is a view with which you may agree or disagree, but does not warrant a call from the local constabulary. She was told that, although a crime had not been committed, it was policy to record details of such complaints, so Mrs Burrows is now, presumably, on some sinister register of people who express views that are not considered acceptable. Needless to say, she was flabbergasted to receive such a call. "This is a free country and we are entitled to express opinions on matters of public interest," she said.

But are we a free country any longer? Were we ever? It is said, though less often now than it used to be, that the basis of English liberty is the rule of law, under which everything is allowed unless specifically prohibited. According to A.V. Dicey, the 19th-century constitutionalist, this was one of the features that distinguished England from its continental counterparts, where people were subject to the exercise of arbitrary power and were actions that where not specifically authorised were proscribed. Effectively, this principle limited the scope of the State to intervene in people's lives. Law set the boundaries of personal action but did not dictate the course of such action. Some limitations on personal freedom are introduced ostensibly for our own good and some, obviously, predate the Blair Government, such as the compulsory wearing of seat belts in cars and a requirement to wear a crash helmet on a motorbike; but, since 1997, the pace of proscription has grown alarmingly, encompassing smacking to smoking.

Another aspect of liberty is privacy. It may be hard to believe in a world where people crave televised notoriety that there are still many who cherish anonymity. In a truly free society it should be possible for someone who does not wish to come to the attention of the state to remain unnoticed provided he breaks no laws. As A. J. P. Taylor observed, before the First World War the average citizen's interaction with the Government was largely limited to paying tax. "He could live where he liked and as he liked," the great historian wrote. "He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission."

Of one thing he could be certain and that was the inviolability of his home. But recent research has uncovered 266 separate powers under which the police and other state agents can enter your home, often using force to do so.

The proliferation of state databases, again very much a recent development, has also rendered the concept of the private individual a thing of the past, and from the earliest age. We are, almost without realising it, becoming the most snooped-on democratic nation on earth, electronically tracked from cot to coffin, our most personal details to be stored for ever, all in the name of modernisation, efficiency and, we are told, our own good. When it comes to softening up the country for an ID card, the Home Office has been prepared to play a very long game. As Peter Lilley, the former minister who led the Cabinet revolt that resulted in the abandonment of the last ID scheme, observed: "There is no policy that has been hawked, unsold, around Whitehall for longer than identity cards. It was always brought to us as a solution looking for problems."

September 11 and the threat from international terrorism was the problem it had most been looking for. The dust was duly blown from the plan the Tories had rejected and resubmitted to the Blair administration, tweaked to reflect the latest justification for its disinterment and given the added lure that played to new Labour's modernistic fetishism: biometrics. Suddenly, ID cards became a panacea and civil liberties considerations were simply brushed aside. Ministers decreed that the argument had been won "in principle". Tony Blair emphasised the personal benefit of having a national identity system, as though it were being established solely for the benefit of the citizen, and merely facilitated by the State.

Yet even to conduct this debate exclusively around the practicalities of an ID card system is to find the arguments of ministers thoroughly unconvincing. Just because biometric technology is available does not justify fingerprinting the entire population, nor does it necessarily give us a secure identity. However sophisticated the system, there will be false matches and false nonmatches, and these increase in number the larger the database. The innocent will be most inconvenienced - or even criminalised - by these inevitable glitches, accused of being someone they are not or not accepted as who they are. Crooks will simply find a way of attacking the system, and the temptation to do so will be all the greater precisely because people are being falsely led to believe that it will be foolproof.

There are people who remember carrying the old wartime ID cards, scrapped in 1952, and cannot see what all the fuss is about. It is about the database, not the card. This is not about protecting our identities but about placing them at the disposal of the state and sundry other organisations that will have access to them. We are being asked to subscribe to an identity system that is insecure and will rarely fulfil the grand ambitions that ministers claim for it. Worse than that, it is increasingly being done on the cheap because the vast cost of the enterprise is gradually sinking it.

It is this extension of state control through the unfettered and unthinking deployment of modern surveillance technology and databases for which the Blair years (and those of his successor, unless he does something dramatic to change course) will most be remembered. Our children, and theirs, will be perplexed as to why their forebears came so easily, and with so little public debate, to allow the State to manipulate their lives.


Thanks be unto mice

The number of scientific experiments conducted on animals has declined considerably over the past 30 years. The trend, however, has been reversed recently. The total has risen in each of the past five years and new data released by the Home Office this week show that the 2006 figure exceeded three million for the first time since 1991.

This has angered even the more considered elements of the animal rights lobby. The RSPCA pronounced itself furious and shocked, while the Dr Hadwen Trust, which supports medical research with nonanimal methods, blamed the Government's "ethical negligence". Its message was clear: scientists might talk about replacing, reducing and refining animal experiments, but this is mere lip service. The statistics tell a tale of more animal suffering.

This view might look compelling, but it is not founded in logic. A rise in the raw number of animal procedures does not necessarily mean that medical researchers are being cavalier. As it happens, the upward trend has a perfectly reasonable explanation that has nothing to do with callous indifference to animal welfare.

A close look at the Home Office figures makes this plain. The recent rise in animal use is almost entirely explained by the growing importance to science of genetically modified mice. The number of experiments that use these has more than quadrupled since 1995, to reach 1.04 million last year. One in three animal procedures now involves a GM mouse.

This headline figure, though, is a little misleading. The birth of every GM animal must be recorded as a scientific procedure in the Home Office statistics, even if it is never used in an experiment. Two-thirds are created purely to maintain breeding colonies or to provide cells, and are never given drugs or surgery. Many suffer no ill-effects from being genetically altered. Take them out of the equation and animal experiments would have continued to fall.

That said, it is beyond dispute that the number of GM animals used actively in research is rising and will continue to do so as more genes that influence disease come to light. But that is because these mice - and 97 per cent of GM animals are mice - allow scientists to answer medical questions that could not even have been asked a decade ago.

Conditions with a genetic contribution, such as diabetes, can now be modelled effectively by manipulating the genes of laboratory mice. These animals can then be used both to understand the disease process and to test new drugs. Such work is already having important results: treatments for incurable disorders such as muscular dystrophy that have been developed using GM mice are close to beginning clinical trials.

Such insights, regrettably, cannot be obtained in any other way. Scientists are using more GM mice not because they have become hard-hearted but because they are the best available tools for a certain kind of research of exceptional medical promise. From a patient perspective, the increasing number of GM mouse experiments is something to be welcomed. It means that science is closing in on the genetic origins of disease and thus on new approaches to therapy.

The development of nonanimal methods is of course welcome, and when such techniques have been validated it is right to use them. The number of nonGM animal procedures in research, indeed, has come down from 2.27 million in 1995 to 1.65 million last year. Further investment is appropriate, but too narrow a focus on reduction would mean abandoning new animal models just as they are becoming most useful. Science must be serious about both medical progress and animal welfare, but that may mean using more animals when necessary, and fewer when it is not.


Britain's dangerous Keystone Cops: "Two years have elapsed since the de Menezes shooting. Since then the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has conducted two inquiries -- at a combined cost of 600,000 pounds -- and concluded that only one man can be held to account. None of the firearms officers who pulled the trigger has been charged with any offence. The surveillance officers who changed the police log to try to cover up their mistakes have not been reprimanded. The operational commanders who gave the order to shoot have, so far, not faced any disciplinary action. But the IPCC says that Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman, head of Special Operations at Scotland Yard, should be disciplined. Mr Hayman must be held to account for failing to tell Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner, that there was mounting evidence that police had shot an innocent man. He is also accused of deliberately misleading the public by providing contradictory accounts of what he knew in press briefings."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

keystone cops? how do you figure that one. they round up all the july 21 bombers but mistaken identities result in a tragic death. In wars they call it friendly fire. there wasnt an element of keystone about it. unless of course you really meant the media.