Saturday, April 05, 2008

Diagnosing the New British Disease

By Hal G.P. Colebatch

BEFORE MARGARET THATCHER made great moves to set British Industry to rights, the "British Disease" meant strike-happy unions, obsolete industrial plant and work practices, low productivity, and industries ripe for foreign takeovers. After eleven years of New Labour government, Thatcherism is looking like an anomalous interlude of relative social health between two rather different kinds of social pathologies. The new British Disease, in many ways more potentially totalitarian and threatening to British identity and traditional values than the old, is also rather harder to diagnose.

Further, while the Labour government of Gordon Brown is obviously on death row, it is hard to be confident that a change of government will tackle many of the problems with a sufficient degree of new thinking: Britain appears to be in a late phase of a successful Gramscian campaign to capture not merely parliamentary power (the British electorate shows itself highly distrustful of ideological extremists at general elections), but, probably more importantly, the institutions of power and ideology at local government and quango levels. Although David Cameron is now looking a better and more effective leader than pessimists-including me-previously thought, these are not things which either the Tory Party or the conventional political processes in general seem really geared to dealing with. The conflict taking place over what sort of country Britain will be in the future is social and cultural at least as much as it is political in the sense of conventional party activity at the national level.

New nanny-state intrusiveness at the local government level seems to be reported every day. Among the latest developments are that every town hall in Britain has been ordered to send out surveys demanding local residents' personal information including details of their children, mortgage, ethnic background, religion and sexual orientation. While this would be outrageous enough if the information were kept confidential, there is no assurance that it will be. Ministers have even given instructions that local councils must try to disguise their involvement in the survey to avoid attracting criticism. The questioning will be paid for out of council taxes and carried out every two years.

Questions on ethnicity and sexuality are intended to be used in government initiatives to promote greater numbers of local councillors from ethnic and sexual minority groups (which presumably means that potential local councillors not from such minority groups will be penalised). Town halls are also assembling a database called ContactPoint to contain details of every child in the country, including information on health and education.

I am waiting for some sign of anger at or defiance of this demand. I think I know how a demand from city hall bureaucrats to publicly disclose one's sexuality would be replied to in the USA, and I certainly hope I know how it would be replied to in Australia-the reply would be short and to the point. Perhaps the fact that more than 300,000 people turned out in Britain over the Christmas holidays to defy the ban on fox-hunting is a hopeful sign of some kind of fightback.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that 80 per cent of new jobs are being filled by foreign workers. Poles and other well-educated and motivated Eastern Europeans are seen as more desirable employees than are the products of the British education system.

More than one in five births in Britain are now to immigrant mothers and, strikingly, more than half of British babies are now born outside marriage. All these statistics are significant but it seems to me that the last is the most important because it indicates how widespread the breakdown of conventional family life has become. It symbolises the "broken society", with an explosion of juvenile crime, drug abuse and alcoholism, gangs of fatherless feral children in the cities and mothers leading half-lives on welfare in inner-city slum apartments. The Daily Telegraph reported recently:
"Every year, almost 50,000 girls under 18 fall pregnant, leading critics to claim that government-led efforts to encourage safer sex are backfiring. The number who conceive is at its highest level since a multi-million-pound teenage pregnancy crackdown almost a decade ago. Britain has the highest per capita rate of teenage mothers in western Europe, despite also having a record number of school-age abortions .

"In the 1970s, rates were similar across western Europe, but while other states have had marked success in bringing down the numbers of pregnancies, Britain now has the highest teenage birth rate: six times that of Holland, four times that of Italy and three times higher than in France.

"The Government committed itself in 1999 to halving the teenage pregnancy rate among 16- and 17-year-olds by 2010, compared with 1998 figures.

"However, by 2005-the last year for which full figures are available-the rate fell by only 11.4 per cent. The same figures show that between 1999 and 2005 the overall number of 16- and 17-year-olds becoming pregnant increased from 39,247 to 39,804. When girls aged between 13 and 15 were added, the total rose from 46,655 to 47,277, more than when Labour launched the strategy in 1999.

"In 2005, 47 per cent of pregnancies among 16- and 17-year-olds were terminated, compared with 42 per cent in 1998. Among younger girls, the rate rose from 53 per cent to 58 per cent."

It has been pointed out repeatedly for years that government taxation and welfare policies are not only encouraging unmarried teenage mothers but are also penalising marriage heavily, despite the government's professed commitments to families and family values. In the 1970 fewer than one in ten children were born outside marriage and in the 1950s fewer than one in fifty. Marriage among the indigenous British population has slumped to the lowest level since records began to be kept more than 150 years ago. Evidence of the positive benefits of intact conventional families both for the well-being of children and the efficient delivery of social support is too overwhelming to need re-statement, yet this seems to have no effect on the government's anti-family incentives. Tory spokesman Iain Duncan Smith has said this "has done more to damage the prospects of children than at any time for more than 100 years".

In the past three years 4368 children have been admitted to hospital because they drank too much. Another study in 2007 showed that girls aged between eleven and thirteen are consuming almost double the amount of alcohol that they were seven years ago. The number of alcohol-related hospital admissions has increased by almost a third in two years with new twenty-four-hour drinking laws. More than 500 people a day are now being admitted to hospitals in England after drinking too much.

AS SCHIZOPHRENIC as the government's family policies has been the granting of knighthoods and other honours to icons of the drug culture, while declaring "war on drugs". In its attitude to the defence forces, it has committed more troops to war service overseas than any government since the Second World War, yet has stinted the defence forces of money and equipment and treated defence personnel so shabbily that recently all five former chiefs of the defence forces publicly condemned it. A number of military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have been blamed directly on stinted and inadequate equipment, and complaints about equipment issued to servicemen on active service have been made by responsible senior officers for at least a decade. In a recent incident which seems to epitomise the shoddy treatment of servicemen, amputees and others mutilated by war wounds have had to go to public swimming-baths for rehabilitation, where in at least one case they have been verbally attacked by other pool-users offended by the sight.

Decline in educational standards, particularly physics and other "hard" subjects, is endemic. A third of university physics departments have closed in the past few years. Journalist Jeff Randall wrote of strategies announced in the 2005 budget to restore Britain's technological expertise:
"[Chancellor, now Prime Minister, Gordon Brown is] going to open 250 after-school science clubs. No, don't laugh, he means it.

"Truancy rates are running at their highest level since 1994, 55,000 pupils miss classes every day, despite the government having spent œ900 million to tackle the problem.

"With so many children refusing even to turn up for school, persuading them to stay behind for lessons on splitting the atom looks challenging ... "

Increasingly the government appears to tackle social problems by announcing a series of gimmicks which no one, including the government itself, even pretends to take seriously. There is something like Eastern Europe circa 1988 about this.

Two stories from the same edition of the British Weekly Telegraph of October 17, 2007, made ominous reading, the more so when one considered the fact that something like them could be read almost every week. One article stated that one child in seven was unable to write his or her own first name or say the alphabet after a year in school. An analysis of 535,000 five-year-olds showed that 76,500 could not write simple words such as mum, dad or cat. The other article was a feature by senior journalist Charles Moore on public health standards:
"Florence Nightingale's famous Notes on Nursing, published in 1859, state that "the greater part of nursing consists in cleanliness". In my edition, the foreword points out that much of Miss Nightingale's writing, excellent though it is, is now out of date. In particular, the need for cleanliness is well understood. That foreword was written in 1946.

"Now it is 2007, and we learn that nurses in the hospitals run by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells National Health Service Trust told patients suffering from diarrhoea to "go in their beds". Between 2004 and 2006, 90 patients died from Clostridium difficile, and the disease was a factor in the death of a further 241.
"Were it not for bad nursing, bad medical attention and bad administration, none of these patients need have died. Indeed, they would not have contracted C. difficile at all unless they had gone into hospital. So, after 150 years' advance of education, technology, prosperity and science, we have lost what Florence Nightingale taught ."

Having been part of a government which has initiated or condoned attacks on most aspects of Britain's traditions, Prime Minister Gordon Brown now declares: "I want to see an Institute of Britishness so that we can discuss, debate and celebrate the ideas and writings that have made Britain the great country that it is . We must always strive to go further in understanding, valuing and celebrating our national history."

At the same time, Mr Brown more-or-less secretively signed the European Reform Treaty which constitutional experts say has further severely reduced Britain's sovereignty by handing a further swathe of power to the European Union. This suggests cognitive dissonance on an almost Fuhrerbunker scale.

The break-up of the union with Scotland, quite unthinkable in serious political circles a few years ago, has now never looked more probable.

Some commentators have drawn attention to the fact that Mohammed, or some variation thereof, is on track to become the most popular boys' name in England and Wales. The name was second only to Jack in 2007, which has been top for the last thirteen years. This says something about Britain's immigration policies over the last few years, and has implications about its future demographics. Further, there is a great deal of evidence that British-dwelling Muslims, particularly the young, are becoming more, not less radicalised with the passage of time. There are plans for a gigantic new "super-mosque" which will overshadow much of London. Conservative columnist Peter Hitchens wrote recently:
"The deeply English, deeply Christian city of Oxford, one of the homes of free thought, is now being asked to accept the Islamic call to prayer wafting from mosque loudspeakers over its spires and domes.

"If that is not a threat to our "way of life", then I don't know what is. Allowing the regular electronic proclamation of Allah's supremacy in a British city is not tolerance, but a surrender of the sky to a wholly different culture. Just you wait and see what opponents of this scheme are accused of."

However, I find it at least equally significant as the popularity of the name Mohammed the fact that in 2007, Alfie made it into the top ten for the first time in recent years. This, according to the press, may have been influenced by the hit single Lily Allen wrote about her brother, Alfie, as well as the remake of the film Alfie.

Alfie? In English history Alfred the Great was a noble, wise and heroic king, the deliverer of the nation, a patron of learning, an intrepid warrior, a champion of Christianity, one of the brightest lights of the Dark Ages whose darkness he did much to dispel, and whose achievements and fame have resisted all efforts at debunking or revisionism. Alfred is a name anyone might be proud of. Even today it has echoes of majesty and heroism. But Alfie? That it should be so rising in popularity speaks volumes about cultural infantilism, and not anything very pleasant. I have not seen the re-make of the film Alfie, but in the original film, starring Michael Caine, Alfie was a working-class lecher who got his friend's vulnerable wife pregnant and forced her to have an abortion. A hero for our times?

Meanwhile, the government's "equality" tsar, Trevor Phillips, has claimed British history should be re-written to make it more "inclusive". An example suggested was that it was actually the Turks, not Sir Francis Drake and co, who saved Britain from invasion by the Spanish Armada, a suggestion which a leading Turkish historian, Professor Mete Tuncay, is quoted as saying, "is not known at all".

The points I have listed here-and there are many more I might add-might be criticised as being not obviously connected, but I think this is not the case. Most of these things point in the same direction-to a slow but definite many-sided cultural breakdown.


'No Sun link' to climate change

By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News website

The Greenie article from the BBC below sounds like a sober and balanced account of scientific findings. It is not. It is so evasive that it does not link to, quote or or even name the scientific article it purports to describe. One would normally expect some link on a website. So why is there none? Because the article says some things that DON'T suit the Greenie agenda. And the BBC writer does not mention those things, funnily enough. Rather amazing cheek but very BBC. These days BBC seems to stand for British Bias Corporation.

There are already some loud grumbles about this BBC propaganda effort and I reproduce some of that below. First is a scathing letter to the BBC author from John A. of Climate Audit and then follows a short excert from a very long and outraged email I have from Piers Corbyn of Weather Action. Corbyn is a very successful long-range British weather forecaster who relies heavily for his forecasts on his knowledge of solar cycles. So he KNOWS that solar variations drive temperature etc. here on earth. Corbyn is particularly outraged by the reference to the slapped-together Royal Society paper by Lockwood and Froehlich and it is commentary from Corbyn about that paper that I briefly excerpt

Scientists have produced further compelling evidence showing that modern-day climate change is not caused by changes in the Sun's activity. The research contradicts a favoured theory of climate "sceptics", that changes in cosmic rays coming to Earth determine cloudiness and temperature. The idea is that variations in solar activity affect cosmic ray intensity. But Lancaster University scientists found there has been no significant link between them in the last 20 years.

Presenting their findings in the Institute of Physics journal, Environmental Research Letters, the UK team explain that they used three different ways to search for a correlation, and found virtually none. This is the latest piece of evidence which at the very least puts the cosmic ray theory, developed by Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark at the Danish National Space Center (DNSC), under very heavy pressure.

Dr Svensmark's idea formed a centrepiece of the controversial documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle. "We started on this game because of Svensmark's work," said Terry Sloan from Lancaster University. "If he is right, then we are going down the wrong path of taking all these expensive measures to cut carbon emissions; if he is right, we could carry on with carbon emissions as normal."

Cosmic rays are deflected away from Earth by our planet's magnetic field, and by the solar wind - streams of electrically charged particles coming from the Sun. The Svensmark hypothesis is that when the solar wind is weak, more cosmic rays penetrate to Earth. That creates more charged particles in the atmosphere, which in turn induces more clouds to form, cooling the climate. The planet warms up when the Sun's output is strong.

Professor Sloan's team investigated the link by looking for periods in time and for places on the Earth which had documented weak or strong cosmic ray arrivals, and seeing if that affected the cloudiness observed in those locations or at those times. "For example; sometimes the Sun 'burps' - it throws out a huge burst of charged particles," he explained to BBC News. "So we looked to see whether cloud cover increased after one of these bursts of rays from the Sun; we saw nothing."

Over the course of one of the Sun's natural 11-year cycles, there was a weak correlation between cosmic ray intensity and cloud cover - but cosmic ray variability could at the very most explain only a quarter of the changes in cloudiness. And for the following cycle, no correlation was found.

Dr Svensmark himself was unimpressed by the findings. "Terry Sloan has simply failed to understand how cosmic rays work on clouds," he told BBC News. "He predicts much bigger effects than we would do, as between the equator and the poles, and after solar eruptions; then, because he doesn't see those big effects, he says our story is wrong, when in fact we have plenty of evidence to support it."

But another researcher who has worked on the issue, Giles Harrison from Reading University, said the work was important "as it provides an upper limit on the cosmic ray-cloud effect in global satellite cloud data". Dr Harrison's own research, looking at the UK only, has also suggested that cosmic rays make only a very weak contribution to cloud formation.

The Svensmark hypothesis has also been attacked in recent months by Mike Lockwood from the UK's Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory. He showed that over the last 20 years, solar activity has been slowly declining, which should have led to a drop in global temperatures if the theory was correct.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its vast assessment of climate science last year, concluded that since temperatures began rising rapidly in the 1970s, the contribution of humankind's greenhouse gas emissions has outweighed that of solar variability by a factor of about 13 to one.

According to Terry Sloan, the message coming from his research is simple. "We tried to corroborate Svensmark's hypothesis, but we could not; as far as we can see, he has no reason to challenge the IPCC - the IPCC has got it right. "So we had better carry on trying to cut carbon emissions."


Letter to Richard Black by John A. below:


I note your latest attempt in your continuing campaign to ignore and demean the considerable and growing evidence of natural influences on climate change, and especially on the cosmic ray/solar cycle hypothesis of Svensmark et al.

Last time you raced out of the blocks with an article entitled "No Sun link' to climate change" about a paper then yet to be published, and couldn't be bothered beyond leaving a few voicemail messages to contact Dr Svensmark for a response. The paper of course was by Lockwood and Froelich.

Then of course, you didn't bother reporting the reply from Svensmark because we don't want the license payers unnecessarily confused with a solid rebuttal, would we Richard? Especially since that paper by Lockwood that you trumpeted was rife with errors.

Here's the reply from Svensmark. Here's another from Ken Gregory. And here's another from Anthony Watts.

Obviously you won't spend any time reporting on them, because life's too short isn't it Richard? After all, what with burning up all of those carbon credits to visit glaciers calving perfectly naturally, and polar bear populations stridently not declining but growing strongly, there's no time for nuanced scientific reporting is there?

Now we have yet another example of your tawdry one-sided reporting with this one: "No Sun link' to climate change" (by the way, are you minimizing your carbon footprint by recycling the titles to articles?).

This time its a letter to a little known and little read environmental science journal - so we're a long way from any expertise in statistics or solar science, aren't we? This time the two scientists are Sloan and Wolfendale, and would you believe it! They come to the same conclusion as the one you want to hear! I'm not a betting man but if I was, I'd bet they contacted you about their forthcoming letter and you got some nice juicy "colour quotes" to pad it out to justify your BBC salary and the rest is history!

Nobody cares, because nobody checks anything! Except that even Sloan and Wolfendale don't show that there is "'No Sun link' to climate change", they say that even with their limited analysis of 20 some years, the Svensmark process on its own contributed perhaps 25% of the warming. That's not insignificant. That's not "no link", that's "some link" Richard. Even this limited analysis showed some connection between the Svensmark process and global climate.

You could have asked them to run the identical analysis looking at the correlation between carbon dioxide rise and temperature over the same time period, but you don't want to rock the boat by showing that the carbon dioxide link is even more tenuous than the Svensmark process you're trying to bury! Carbon dioxide has continued to rise, while global temperatures appear to have stopped rising in 1998 having stabilized below the 1998 level and might even now be starting to fall. Even the Met Office admits this - but you don't report that of course.

But that doesn't save the day, because in the same article that you failed to quote or even link to (and I think I know why you didn't link to it) comes this:
"However, Sloan and Wolfendale are not the only physicists to have recently turned their attention to the cosmic ray hypothesis. Vitaliy Rusov of the National Polytechnic University in Odessa, Ukraine and colleagues do not agree with the IPCC's view that man is to blame for the recent warming. To prove their point, they looked for a direct connection between cosmic ray flux and temperature."

"The team constructed a model of the Earth's climate in which the only significant inputs were variations in the Sun's power output and changes to the galactic cosmic ray flux ( They found that the model's predicted evolution of the Earth's surface temperature over the last 700,000 years agrees well with proxy temperature data taken from Antarctic ice cores ("

"Rusov agrees that Svensmark's cosmic ray ionization mechanism cannot fully account for the observed correlation between cosmic ray flux and cloud cover, as Sloan and Wolfendale have demonstrated. But he believes that a small but direct link between cosmic rays and clouds could itself trigger a mechanism which causes further, and greater, changes in cloud cover."

So here was another model study over 700,000 years and the link between climate change and the solar/cosmic ray variation was crystal clear. But you couldn't be bothered reporting it, could you Richard? It didn't fit the narrative you've constructed.

Between copying and pasting Greenpeace publicity and encouraging reckless damage to the world economy and to the world's poor in the "Green Room", there simply isn't time in your day to even report accurately and fairly on environmental issues.

It doesn't matter that the BBC Trust says that its not the BBC's responsibility to save the planet, nor is it responsible journalism to refuse to report on the criticisms of well-qualified skeptics to the whole global warming scare, because with you and your colleagues in the hot seat to set the agenda of continuing alarm, the BBC Trust can go hang and the concerns of many BBC License payers are so much white noise to be filtered out by the next "Alarm over..." or the next "The IPCC says..." story concocted in the BBC tearoom from the latest mailshot from Greenpeace or Fiends of the Earth or the WWF - those billion dollar multi-national corporations of public alarm.

Of course when you or Shukman or the others are travelling to the four corners of the globe to report on why everyone else shouldn't travel to the four corners of the globe, there isn't time to stop in small faraway places like New York and report on major scientific conferences attended by hundreds of well-qualified scientists who dispute the IPCC reports and the AGW scare? Who knows? You could have interviewed the President of the Czech Republic after he give his keynote speech?

But no. No reporting because its not what you want to hear. So it wasn't reported by the BBC. Problem solved. Your journalistic behaviour has at least been consistent: tawdry, one-sided, lazy, propagandist, alarmist and disgraceful. This isn't BBC journalism that John Reith espoused, its more like extreme left-wing evangelization for the repeal of market economies by way of a faked vision of environmental apocalypse.

I encourage you to get honest: just join Greenpeace's publicity department officially and have done with it. You're doing the job already so you might as well get paid for it.

Excerpt from some comments by Piers Corbyn below:

I think that the BBC link and the related paper by Prof Lockwood is one of the most dishonest pieces of pseudo-science (next to Al Gore's movie) put about in the last 50 years and marks one of the lowest points in the CO2 Global Warming brainwashing enterprise.

The BBC steadfastly refuse to publish anything which refutes their baseless claims, and you may be interested to know that the BBC 'report' on Lockwood's findings appeared at the same time as his paper and had therefore clearly been drawn up in advance as propaganda and NOT a 'report' in the normal (?!) sense of investgating both sides of a subject and reporting fairly. I did appear on News24 and Radio 5 at the time but those comments and also comments by Nigel Calder on BBC around the same time were just to establish pseudo-balance and are not included in the BBC link above which is devoid of comment, gives no opportunity to comment and for which the BBC have refused to allow fair comment.

"Attempts to test influences of solar activity on Earth in detail shorter than 22 years without considering the magnetic links prove nothing. This however is what Prof Lockwood does. Obviously since temperatures driven by solar activity follow a 22yr (solar magnetic) cycle and the measures of solar activity used by Prof Lockwood follow an 11year cycle they must move in opposite directions half the time. Professor Lockwood's `finding' of a period of `oppositely directed trends' is just one such period. In fact Lockwood's finding confirms the general hypothesis of the solar charged particle based theory! The theories he actually tests are something else - involving only 11yr cycles - and amount to `straw men' to be knocked down. The cosmic ray theory is one of these. Although its originators did excellent experiments which showed that charged particles do have weather and climate effects, extra solar cosmic rays as such have no significant weather or climate impact.

It beggars belief that the Royal Society would publish a paper which purports to dismiss all theories of solar influence on Earth's weather while ignoring the ones that actually appear to work (certainly better than all others) and not even mentioning the many published observations of 22yr signals in various weather /flood etc parameters. (I say all theories here because the paper and its write-ups use Lockwood's dismissal of 11 yr theories as proof that all theories of sun-earth drivers fail). This means that the Royal Society peer review process in this case was strained in either integrity or knowledge of the subject.


Should you be more scared of hoodies or terrorists? Ought global warming make us shiver more than the Cold War? Welcome to the apocalypse auction, where experts and authorities bid up their pet threats to public safety. In competing to win headlines, they all seem to lose a sense of perspective.

Sir Ian Blair, Metropolitan Police chief, now claims that "youth violence" is the greatest "threat to the whole of London, perhaps with the exception of terrorism". Only "perhaps"? After all, Sir Ian has previously said that Islamic terrorism poses a threat to London "far graver" than the Second World War. Prime Minister Gordon Brown prefers to compare terrorism today to the Cold War. Are we to conclude that the hoodies now present "perhaps" as big a threat to our society as the Luftwaffe or the Red Army?

But hold your four horsemen of the apocalypse a minute. An army of experts led by Sir David King, until recently the chief government scientist, has declared global warming an even bigger threat than terrorism. Should we focus all our fears on that instead? Then again, that might underestimate the threat of the enemy within our waistbands, since the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, has pronounced obesity "a potential crisis on the scale of climate change".

To recap the bids. Youth violence is perhaps as big a threat as terrorism, which is a far graver threat than the Nazis, but not as hot as global warming, which is the same size threat as obesity. We await news of more new little Hitlers and Stalins lurking out there.

What purpose is served by this apocalypse auction? Who does it help to compare the tragic killing of 11 London teenagers this year with a terrorist threat? Come to that, how can it further our understanding of Islamic terrorism - which killed 52 people in London in 2005 - to claim that it is more serious than the wartime Blitz that left 43,000 Londoners dead?

And how complex issues such as climate change and obesity might be clarified by overheated, fat-headed comparisons is anybody's guess.

As they compete to make a media impact, experts raise the scaremongering stakes ever higher. New research even claims that mobile phones are "more dangerous than smoking". (Maybe they'll ban mobiles in public...) The likely results of this my-risk's-bigger- than-yours talk will be to raise public anxieties further - and lower public trust in anything that officials say.

These comparisons are not only odious, but dangerous. In fact, it is surely no exaggeration to suggest that the apocalypse auction might pose a bigger threat to rational discussion than, er, anything else that ever happened before.


Drugs for dementia 'killing thousands' of British elderly

Drugs prescribed to make dementia sufferers more manageable in care homes could be killing more than 23,000 people prematurely each year, a report claims today. Anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to treat agitation, sleep disturbance and aggression are being given to 100,000 elderly people each year to keep them "quiet and manageable", according to the report by the Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow.

Mr Burstow bases his figures on the findings of a study by King's College London, which compared survival rates between a group of patients given the drugs and a group given a placebo. After 24 months those taking a placebo had a 78 per cent survival rate, compared with 55 per cent for those on drugs; after 42 months the survival rates were 60 per cent on the placebo and 28 per cent for those prescribed the drugs.


Criticism of immigration is not racist says court

Abuse is the normal Leftist substitute for rational debate and the term "racist" has some very unpleasant connotations so Leftists use it a lot. They particularly apply it to anyone who has any criticisms of immigration.

Conservatives are so used to abuse from Leftists that they usually just let such criticisms pass. Perhaps they should not.

Someone recently was foolish enough to imply that a rich British rock singer (Morrissey) was a racist. Bad move! Out came the lawyers, an action for libel was launched and much grovelling has now been produced by order of the court. See here for details. No doubt the accuser bore significant legal costs too.

The comments by Morrissey that led to the slur against him are here

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