Wednesday, August 22, 2007

BBC Deception again

Carol Thatcher, daughter of Margaret Thatcher, comments on a new BBC drama:

"Produced by a company called Great Meadow, this drama - entitled The Long Walk To Finchley - has one crucial passage. Set in the early 1950s, when she was looking for a Conservative seat in Parliament, my mother is shown in a foul-mouthed tirade against the party's top brass. "F**king Establishment!" she rails, after being turned down as a candidate in one constituency.

This fictionalised incident would be laughable were it not so offensive.... Neither the writer nor the production company seems to have the slightest understanding of my mother's character and of the moral climate of the early Fifties. If they can make such an elementary howler, what chance is there for the entire nature of the production? The idea that my mother would go around swearing after a personal setback is ridiculous. Any writer who thinks that must have a very shallow grasp of her personality and her background.



England is in the middle of a profoundly disturbing social experiment. For the first time in a mature democracy, a Government is waging a campaign of aggressive discrimination against its indigenous population. In the name of cultural diversity, Labour attacks anything that smacks of Englishness.The mainstream public are treated with contempt, their rights ignored, their history trashed.In their own land, the English are being turned into second-class citizens.

This trend was highlighted this week by the case of Abigail Howarth, a bright teenager who applied for a training position with the Environment Agency in East Anglia but was turned down because she was too white and English. The post, which carries a 13,000 pound grant, was open only to ethnic minorities, including the Scots, Welsh and Irish.

Such social engineering was justified by the Agency on the grounds that minorities were under-represented in its workforce, the parrot cry used by bureaucrats throughout the public sector to justify bias against the English.

Though Abigail's case rightly caused outrage, it was not unique. This kind of reverse discrimination is now rife across the state machine, underwritten by the very English tax-payers who are the targets of institutional prejudice.

Although it is technically illegal to restrict jobs to certain ethnic groups, the racially fixated commissars have found a way round that problem by developing training schemes open only to minorities. Under the 1976 Race Relations Act it is permissible to use racial considerations in recruitment to trainee positions such as the one to which Abigail applied.

Such practices are dressed up as "positive action" to widen diversity and, in the words of one Labour council, "to overcome past discrimination".So HM Revenue and Customs offers work experience jobs, worth up to 15,900 pounds a year pro-rata, to ethnic minority graduates, while the Museums Association has two-year ethnic minority apprenticeships.

Similarly, Birmingham City Council gives 16,000 a year to "black and minority ethnic individuals" in its "Positive Action Traineeship Scheme", and a 10,000 pounds allowance to clerical trainees from "the Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities".

Discriminatory training schemes can also be found in ITV, the civil service and the NHS, which boasts "a management development programme specifically designed and tail-ored to the needs of black and minority ethnic midwives".

It was revealed last year that Avon and Somerset Constab-ulary rejected 186 applications from white men on the grounds that they were already "over-represented" in the force. In the same way, London Mayor Ken Livingstone last month refused to endorse a series of nominations for the London Fire Authority because they were dominated by whites.

And whole towns are beginning to suffer state disapproval. Eighty administrative jobs in the Prison Service have recently been transferred from Corby in Northamptonshire to Leicester because, as the Home Office admitted, Corby's population is predominantly "white British", a terrible sin in our multicultural society.

It is a bitter irony that the Labour Government, which works itself into such a synthetic rage over racial prejudice, should practise overt discrimination on an epic scale. The remorseless focus on supporting minorities has led to a perverted ideology of anti-white racism.

Almost every interaction with any public service now leads to a detailed analysis of one's ethnic status. A vast race equality industry has been built up, filled with overpaid paper shufflers, consultants and advisers with little to do except invent new grievances.

There is an air of the Maoist permanent revolution about their activities. Since immigration now runs at probably one million people a year, the make-up of society is changing dramatically. So, in this climate of endless demographic upheaval, the race relations brigade will always be able to invent more work for itself.

Yet anti-English discrimination undermines the central plank of the propaganda for mass immigration. We are constantly told we need vast influxes of foreigners to boost our economy and fill vacancies but unem-ployment levels in immigrant communities are so high and skills so lacking that we need to reserve parts of our economy for them.

So if we have to spend a fortune on training schemes, why are we inviting hundreds of thousands of arrivals from the Third World and Eastern Europe here every year

Economics have little to do with the issue. The Left in Britain have seized on mass immigration and multiculturalism as a battering ram to destroy the society they despise. They once sought to change our country through economic revolution. That failed with the Winter of Discontent and the downfall of communism. But demographic change through migration has proved far more damaging.

George Orwell once wrote: "England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In Left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution." That is now precisely the mentality that predominates within the machinery of the British state. And our country is dying as a result.


How 9/11 shook one Leftist

Drinking in the devastation, numbed and intoxicated by the scale of what had taken place, I struggled, like everyone else, to make sense of it all. And in my case, as with many people from the liberal-left side of the political spectrum, that job was made more difficult by the fact that the United States was the victim. From where I came from, the United States was always the culprit. There was Vietnam, Chile and the dreadful support for repressive and often debauched regimes right across Latin America, Africa and Asia. I was a veteran of CND anti-cruise missile marches in the 1980s. I had gone to Nicaragua to defend the Sandinista cause against American imperialism. America was the bad guy, right? America was always the bad guy.

Clearly some basic moral calculations needed to be performed. Which vision of the world represented more closely my own liberal outlook? The cosmopolitan city of New York, a multi-racial city of opportunity, a town where anyone on earth could arrive and thrive, exuberant, cultured, diverse, a place I had visited and loved for its liberty and energy and excitement? Or the people who attacked it, those arid minds who wanted to remove women from sight, kill homosexuals, banish music, destroy art, the demolishers of the Bamiyan Buddhas who aimed to terrorise everyone they could into submission to the will of their vengeful God? It was, as they say, a no-brainer, or should have been.

But was there not also an obligation to ask if this heinous crime was more complex than it first appeared? That was the progressive instinct: don't be fooled by the mass media, which we all knew was a propaganda industry, look behind the scenes, examine the bigger picture, think about the context, study history. And so if you wanted to consider yourself a member of the thinking classes, it was not enough to recoil in horror, you also had to take into account America's own score sheet in matters of cold blood. 'It's terrible,' was the often heard formulation, 'but....' Did I think there was a but? And if there was a but, could it be any kind of justification for what had taken place? And if it wasn't a justification, what was the point of the but? Was it there to show one's even-handedness and sense of fair play? Or purely for decoration? I knew right from the first second where my emotional sympathies were located but what was my intellectual position?

What helped guide me to the answer was the alternative analysis, the 'It's terrible, but' in which the 'It's terrible' was the decorative part of the equation. A number of commentaries that articulated this response quickly began to appear in different newspapers. Perhaps the most indignant came, with impressive alacrity, on 13 September in my daily newspaper, the voice of liberal Britain, the Guardian. 'Nearly two days after the horrific suicide attacks on civilian workers in New York and Washington,' wrote Seumas Milne, 'it has become painfully clear that most Americans simply don't get it... Shock, rage and grief there has been aplenty. But any glimmer of recognition of why people might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives in the process - or why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world - seems almost entirely absent.'

One doesn't need to work for a newspaper - though it probably helps - to realise that Milne was underselling his own speed of analytical thought. To get his piece published on the 13th meant that he would have needed to have completed it by around 6pm or 7pm on the 12th. Allowing for its considered tone, which must have been the product of several hours of sober reflection, it would be fair to assume that he would have begun writing it, at the latest, at around 2pm. In other words, at about 9am New York time. That left the Americans a whole 24 hours to absorb the shock, deal with the grief and then move on to some cold, hard self-criticism. And they flunked it.

Milne's savaging of American self-absorption was the most conspicuous example of an attitude that could be heard in plenty of sophisticated conversations, or should I say conversations between sophisticated people, and read in a number of left or liberal publications.

What all these reactions had in common, I realised, was not complexity but simplicity. For all of them this was an issue of the powerless striking back at the powerful, the oppressed against the oppressor, the rebels against the imperialists. It was Han Solo and Luke Skywalker taking on the Death Star. There was no serious attempt to examine what kind of power the powerless wanted to assume, or over whom they wanted to exercise it, and no one thought to ask by what authority these suicidal killers had been designated the voice of the oppressed. It was enough that Palestinians had danced in the West Bank. The scale of the suffering, the innocence of the victims and the aims of the perpetrators barely seemed to register in many of the comments. Was this a sign of shock or complacency? Or was it something else, a kind of atrophying of moral faculties, brought on by prolonged use of fixed ideas, that prevented the sufferer from recognising a new paradigm when it arrived, no matter how spectacular its announcement?

In the end I reached the conclusion that 11 September had already brutally confirmed: there were other forces, far more malign than America, that lay in wait in the world. But having faced up to the basic issue of comparative international threats, could I stop the political reassessment there? If I had been wrong about the relative danger of America, could I be wrong about all the other things I previously held to be true? I tried hard to suppress this thought, to ring-fence the global situation, grant it exceptional status and keep it in a separate part of my mind. I had too much vested in my image of myself as a 'liberal'. I had bought into the idea, for instance, that all social ills stemmed from inequality and racism. I knew that crime was solely a function of poverty. That to be British was cause for shame, never pride. And to be white was to bear an unshakable burden of guilt.

I held the view, or at least was unprepared to challenge it, that it was wrong to single out any culture for censure, except, of course, Western culture, which should be admonished at every opportunity. I was confident, too, that Israel was the source of most of the troubles in the Middle East. These were non-negotiables for any right-thinking decent person. I couldn't question these received wisdoms without questioning my own identity. And I had grown too comfortable with seeing myself as one of the good guys, the well-meaning people, to want to do anything that upset that image. I viewed myself as understanding, and to maintain that self-perception it was imperative that I didn't try to understand myself.

In a sense 11 September was the ultimate mugging, a murderous assertion of a new reality, or rather a reality that already existed but which we preferred not to see. Over the years I had absorbed a notion of liberalism that was passive, defeatist, guilt-ridden. Feelings of guilt governed my world view: post-colonial guilt, white guilt, middle-class guilt, British guilt. But if I was guilty, 9/11 shattered my innocence. More than anything it challenged us all to wake up and open our eyes to what was real. It took me far too long to meet that challenge. For while I realised almost straight away that 9/11 would change the world, it would be several years before I accepted that it had also changed me. I had been wrong. This was MY story, after all.


British Gangs are a response to an abdication of legitimate authority

What are the reasons behind the spate of murders by feral gangs of youths? And can we as a society do anything about it? For my report on the care system, I spent last year interviewing young men who, as Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, said, "put a knife in their pockets as routinely as they pull on their trainers in the morning". Drugs and alcohol are merely the symptoms of a deeper problem. Too many young men suffer from an absence of authority at home, in school and on the street. We have created a moral vacuum around our young people. We should not be surprised at how they fill it.

Young boys join gangs, they told me, because they are afraid. There is nobody else to protect them, certainly no responsible adult. "You don't start off as a killer," said a 19-year-old gang leader, "but you get bullied on the street. So you go to the gym and you end up a fighter, a violent person. All you want is for them to leave you alone but they push you and push you." Another boy aged 13 explained that in his area boys "would do anything" to join a gang. If they join a gang with "a big name" people will "look at them differently, be scared of them".

The police and the Home Office have not taken crimes against young people seriously because they do not know they are happening. The British Crime Survey, described by the Home Office on its website as "the most reliable measure of crime" does not include crimes against anyone under 16.

The Home Office admits that young men aged 16-24 are most at risk of being a victim of violent crime. But only at the beginning of this year did a Freedom of Information request to each of the 43 police forces reveal that four out of 10 muggings are committed by children under 16 - and that is only the ones reported. How can protecting young people on the streets take priority when the Home Office does not acknowledge the number of crimes against them? It is no wonder one young gang member said, "There's no one to look after me but me." He is quite right.

It is the same story in the majority of inner-city schools. As a mother of a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl I know that young men are a different species to the rest of us. In times of war we value their aggression, their sense of immortality, their loyalty to one another. But in peacetime they are at best a nuisance, at worst a threat. Teenage boys need different treatment to girls to become responsible members of society. They need a role model. When my son was about nine he became resentful of his young female teachers. He had no respect for them. He then moved to his middle school where most of his teachers were male. The change was dramatic. Suddenly it was all, "Sir says this and sir says that." In state primary schools 80% of teachers are female.

I am lucky. I can afford to send my son to a private school. The discipline, pastoral care and academic rigour do a good job at counterbalancing parental failings. Compare his experience with that of boys in the inner cities. Those with a chaotic family life need school to be a refuge and a contrast. Even more than middle-class boys with a stable background, they need school to provide authority, moral leadership and an outlet for their aggression. It should be giving boys what they need to thrive: discipline, sport and a group with which to identify. Instead what do they get?

My son does one to two hours of sport a day with a match on Saturday. He is so exhausted by the evening he can barely pick up a knife to eat, let alone stab anyone. State schools, by contrast, offer only one hour of sport a week. Then teachers wonder why adolescent boys play up and have difficulty concentrating on lessons. When boys look around for a group to join, too often it is not a school sports team but the local gang. With their hierarchy and strict discipline, street gangs are nothing more than a distorted mirror image of the house system common in private schools where loyalty and team effort are all important. As one young gang leader chillingly told me, "You have to know the people, you have to trust the people, because you do everything together. When you stab, you stab together."

Then instead of authority and leadership, boys in state schools too often find themselves taught by teachers ashamed of their values. One young man teaching in a school in a deprived area in the northeast said his "main focus" was not to offend his pupils. "I don't want to push my middle-class values on them," he explained earnestly. When a pupil described his hopes for the future, stacking shelves in the local supermarket, "I pointed out the many positive aspects of the job - meeting people and so forth." There was little attempt by the school, he admitted, to provide pastoral care or raise pupils' expectations. He saw no link between this and his No 1 problem - pupil apathy.

It is not surprising that teenage boys are, as a recent report from the Bow Group think tank points out, "the main cause of the discipline crisis in our schools". A "cotton-wool culture" and lack of competitive sport means one in five aged 13 or 14 were suspended from school last year. They are four times more likely than girls to be expelled from school and 2 times more likely to be suspended. The result is catastrophic for them and for society. At 14, one in five boys has a reading ability of a pupil half his age and at 16, a quarter of boys - almost 90,000 - do not gain a single GCSE at grade C or above. For members of the general public such as Garry Newlove the implications are more serious. Three out of 10 murders are done with a sharp instrument. The most likely person to be equipped with a knife is a boy aged 14-19. And the most likely of all is an excluded school boy.

We have failed to provide a safe, disciplined and principled environment in which young people can relax, find themselves and channel their best efforts. Instead we have relegated many of them to a ghetto of violence and despair. The results stare us in the face.


Long ambulance trips kill people

But the British government plans to make the trips longer

People are more likely to die in emergencies if they have to endure long ambulance journeys to hospital, research suggests. As plans to close some accident and emergency departments and district hospitals in favour of larger but fewer specialist units come under increasing attack, a study finds that patients with breathing difficulties have more chance of dying the longer they stay in the ambulance.

A team from the University of Sheffield traced the results of more than 10,000 life-threatening 999 calls and concluded, in a report in the journal Emergency Medicine, that the longer the distance, the greater the likelihood of death. The risk of death for people who were unconscious, not breathing or suffering chest pain rose by one percentage point for every 6.2 miles (10km) travelled. The researchers said that the findings could affect government plans to reconfigure emergency care into a limited number of specialist centres.

The research, which is published today and is based on data taken between 1997 and 2001, coincides with the launch of a Conservative campaign against the closure of maternity services and A&E units. Promising a "bare- knuckle" fight with the Government, David Cameron, the party leader, said yesterday that people did not understand why these services were being shut down when emergency admissions and births were rising.

Previous research, cited in government reports backing the shift to bigger, specialist emergency units, failed to find any evidence that taking patients further by ambulance had an effect on survival. The new study, by contrast, finds that they do. Those most likely to be affected are patients with severe breathing problems. Their chances of dying were 13 per cent if the distance to hospital was between 6 and 12 miles, but 20 per cent if it was more than 12 miles.

The Sheffield team, led by Professor Jon Nicholl, traced the outcome of calls to four ambulance services. Using the grid references of the call and the hospital to which the patient was taken, they worked out the straight-line distance between the two, and then compared that with the outcome for each patient. The distance to hospital varied from less than one mile to as much as 36 miles. The median was just over three miles. Of the 10,315 patients traced, 644 had died. The results show that deaths increase with distance. Overall, 6.2 per cent of the patients died, but for the shortest journeys - fewer than six miles - the death rate was lower, at 5.8 per cent. For distances between seven and twelve miles, 7.7 per cent died, and for distances of more than 13 miles the figure was 8.8 per cent.

Other factors need to be included in any decision to relocate A&E services. For example, bigger specialised units might make up for the greater distance travelled by offering better care on arrival. Professor Nicholl said: "Decisions regarding reconfiguration of acute services are complex and require consideration of many conflicting factors. Our data suggests that any changes that increase journey distances to hospital for all emergency patients may lead to an increase in mortality for some."


UK TV provides a forum for Islamic supremacism and the delegitimization of Christianity: "There was no manger, Christ is not the Messiah, and the crucifixion never happened. A forthcoming ITV documentary will portray Jesus as Muslims see him. With the Koran as a main source and drawing on interviews with scholars and historians, the Muslim Jesus explores how Islam honours Christ as a prophet but not as the son of God. According to the Koran the crucifixion was a divine illusion. Instead of dying on the cross, Jesus was rescued by angels and raised to heaven... However, Patrick Sookhdeo, an Anglican canon and spokesman for the Barnabas Fund, which works with persecuted Christians, accused broadcasters of double standards. Mr Sookhdeo, who was born a Muslim and converted to Christianity in 1969, said: "How would the Muslim community respond if ITV made a programme challenging Muhammad as the last prophet?"

Illiterate British school leavers are a business ‘nightmare’: "Employers have claimed that they face a “nightmare” scenario as they try to deal with teenagers who are unable to read or write properly. Many school-leavers were more technologically literate than their bosses, but more than half of employers were unhappy with the basic literacy and numeracy skills of 16-year-olds, according to a survey by the CBI. Many businesses said that they were training employees in skills that should have been learnt in the classroom. “Basic literacy and numeracy problems are a nightmare for business and for individuals, so we have to get these essentials right,” Richard Lambert, the CBI’s director-general, said."

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