If I were ill, I would be very glad to have nurse Petrie looking after me -- atheist though I am!
A wave of support for the nurse suspended for offering to pray for a patient gathered pace yesterday as medical and religious bodies rallied behind her cause. As health chaplains called for new NHS guidelines over spiritual care, the Christian Medical Fellowship said Caroline Petrie's removal amounted to 'religious discrimination'. The Royal College of Nursing promised to back her disciplinary case.
Committed Christian Mrs Petrie, 45, faces disciplinary action after being accused of failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity. She could be sacked after asking an elderly patient if she wanted her to pray for her. The patient, May Phippen, 79, was not upset or offended but told another nurse she found it strange and it might be upsetting or offensive to others.
Reverend Mark Stobert, vice-president of the College of Healthcare Chaplains, yesterday called for clearer guidelines to help avoid a repeat of what happened to the community nurse. He said: 'It can be argued there's a spiritual aspect to all types of care. We have been suggesting that a more organised spiritual care framework is established in the NHS in England. Such a system exists in Scotland and Wales, and we would renew our calls for something similar to be set up here too. 'It would mean individuals would be clearer about what they can and cannot do.'
Mrs Petrie, of Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, is being supported by the RCN in the case which has been brought against her by the primary care trust for which she works as a 10 pounds-an-hour supply nurse.
The Christian Medical Fellowship's general secretary Peter Saunders said there were thousands of Christian healthcare workers and those of other faiths for whom prayer was a normal daily part of their lives. He said: 'Suspension simply for inquiring about the appropriateness of prayer is not only an act of religious discrimination but will undermine the proper provision of spiritual care in the NHS. 'Appropriate enquiries about patients' beliefs are an essential part of whole person care without which a comprehensive plan of care is less achievable. 'A sensitive inquiry as to whether a patient would value prayer may well be an appropriate part of a medical consultation especially in an NHS where some NHS trusts actually pay spiritual healers as part of the care team.
The NHS Scotland guidance states that 'while it is important that the patient's right to confidentiality is respected, it is also important to ensure this does not result in a failure to provide patients with the available spiritual or religious care'.
Some comments from Richard Littlejohn
Nurse Caroline Petrie has been suspended and could even be struck off. What was her offence? Did she turn up drunk? Did she dispense the wrong medicine or forget to empty a bedpan? Was she knocking out prescription drugs to the local pusher? Perhaps she was guilty of neglect, of deliberate cruelty, or of practising a bit of freelance euthanasia.
No. Her 'crime' was to offer to say a prayer for one old lady on the ward. It's what we used to call an act of Christian charity. But that was enough to bring her to the attention of the 'diversity' nazis at the North Somerset Primary Care Trust.
Administrator Alison Withers wrote to her: 'As a nurse you are required to uphold the reputation of your profession. Your NMC (Nursing Midwifery Council) code states that "you must demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity", and "you must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health".' She didn't explain how innocently volunteering to pray for a patient brought the game into disrepute or how it compromised Mrs Petrie's discharge of her professional duties.
The power of prayer has long been acknowledged as part of the healing process. That's why hospitals have chaplains and there are Bibles in bedside cabinets. All over the world, nuns double as nurses. So what is so heinous about Mrs Petrie praying for her patients?
The truth is that Christianity forms no part of the 'diversity' agenda. As I wrote on Friday, in relation to the gay adoption scandal in Edinburgh, the only religion that official Britain recognises is 'diversity' itself. The NHS, like every single one of our institutions, long ago fell to the Guardianistas, who pursue their agenda with a deranged zeal.
While they genuflect to Islam and 'respect' every oddball religion from paganism to devil-worship, they despise Britain's Judeo-Christian tradition and use every extent of their powers to crush it. It's only Christianity which is singled out for such vilification, as with the airport worker suspended for wearing a crucifix and the devout Christian registrar threatened with the sack for refusing to perform homosexual marriages.
Just imagine how they would have reacted had Mrs Petrie been a Muslim offering to pray to Allah for a patient's recovery. Anyone who objected would be accused of a 'hate crime' and dumped in a skip at the back of the mortuary.
What kind of sick society have we become where self-righteous sneaks can ruin someone's career? That this happened in North Somerset and not in one of the barmier inner-city boroughs only serves to illustrate the depths to which the Guardianistas have insinuated themselves into the system. This is what the small print at the bottom of all those public sector job adverts means in reality. 'Diversity' is just another way of persecuting decent people trying to go about their daily business. This is 'investing in diversity' in action. What else do you think all those equality managers do all day?
The most intolerant people in Britain are always those who preach 'tolerance' most loudly. How does victimising Mrs Petrie square with not promoting 'causes that are not related to health'? Isn't that exactly what the hospital authorities themselves are doing? Why should Mrs Petrie, or anyone else, have to 'demonstrate a personal commitment to equality and diversity'? She can harbour whatever beliefs she likes, provided it doesn't interfere with her professionalism.
There's only one word to describe hatchet-faced harridans like administrator Alison Withers and the tell-tale creeps trying to get a dedicated nurse such as Caroline Petrie sacked for dispensing a little Christian kindness. Sick.
Global cooling hits Europe again
A BLANKET of snow covered large parts of western Europe after some of the heaviest falls in two decades, causing widespread transport chaos. The worst snowstorms to hit the UK in nearly two decades caused 3000 schools and several airports to close as well as halted mail deliveries, court hearings and theatre performances. Flurries also brought chaos to parts of Paris and Spain, while three people died in Italy amid adverse weather conditions as the snow reached northern Morocco.
London and southeast England were the worst affected areas, with about 30cm of snow falling by last night. London's 7000 bus services were suspended for most of the day, while the city's Underground and overground train services suffering severe delays and cancellations. Major airports were badly affected, with Heathrow cancelling hundreds of flights while London City and Luton airports were closed. Gatwick remained open but more than 20 flights were cancelled. Passengers on board a Cyprus Airways jet had a scare when their plane came off a taxiway at Heathrow shortly after landing in the snowy conditions. No one was injured.
Hospitals were forced to call in extra staff to cope with an increase in emergency calls and motoring authorities struggled to keep up with demands from stranded motorists. The sheer amount of snow stunned many Londoners as they took to local parks to make snowmen and throw snowballs. "I've never seen it snow so consistently in the 10 years I've been here," former Sydneysider Stephanie McNamara said.
Weather forecasters issued an extreme weather warning for England, Wales and parts of eastern Scotland, with more snow and icy conditions along with freezing temperatures predicted for the rest of the week. The Federation of Small Businesses estimated 20 per cent of British employees failed to turn up at work because of the snow, at a cost of about 1.2 billion pounds to Britain's ailing economy.
France's road traffic agency urged motorists to cancel non-essential journeys, with roads difficult and in a small number of some cases impassable around Paris and in the east near Strasbourg. The snow and icy conditions caused a dozen accidents in the Paris region without causing injuries, officials said.
In Italy, three people died and 500 people had to be evacuated from their homes amid bad weather in parts of the country, while Milan woke today to a dusting of snow.
Up to 20cm fell in parts of Switzerland, while part of the road around the San Bernardino tunnel was closed.
One to 3cm of snow fell in Belgium, where around 400km of traffic jams accumulated during the morning peak hour.
UK MET OFFICE REPORT CARD AT THE 2/3 MARK
The UK Met Office forecast last Autumn "the coming winter suggests it is, once again, likely to be milder than average." We have now passed the 2/3 mark of the meteorological winter, and it is time for another report card to send home. Yesterday's press release was titled "Wintry start to February" which stated "So far, the UK winter has been the coldest for over a decade" and "Met Office forecasters expect the cold theme to the weather to continue well into next week with the chance of further snow."
The UK is expecting the heaviest snow in about 20 years tomorrow. "Snow and freezing weather threaten to shut down Britain Arctic blizzards are set to cause a national shutdown on Monday as forecasters warn of the most widespread snowfall for almost 20 years." "Now is the time you'd expect to see the daffodils coming out but we're not expecting them for two or three weeks at best if it warms up." So why is this important? Climate is not weather, after all. The Met Office is one of the most vocal advocates of human induced global warming, and they have gotten into a consistent pattern of warm seasonal forecasts which seemingly fall in line with that belief system. Is it possible that their forecasts are unduly influenced by preconceived notions about the climate? It is worth remembering that London had it's first October snow in 70 years this past autumn.
Or perhaps they know exactly what they are doing, and are just having a several year run of extremely bad luck with their long term forecasting.
"Crusaders" a VERY bad word in Britain
The fact that the original Crusaders were just trying to push back a Muslim invasion of formerly Christian territory must not be mentioned, of course. Muslim invasion = Good; Western invasion = Bad
"A cricket team has been forced to change its name after angry complaints from Muslims and Jews. The Middlesex Crusaders, who have played under the name for almost 10 years, will play next season as The Panthers. Bosses at the county club acted after protests about the name from Jewish and Muslim communities, who said they felt it was a reference to the religious wars waged by Christians in Europe against other faiths.
But Middlesex members condemned the decision to change the team's name and described the move as "batty". "The world really has gone mad," one said. "It's a real kick in the teeth and is bound to upset a lot of fans."
In my first year of High School (about 50 years ago), I joined a small and very harmless Christian Bible study group called the Crusaders. If only I had realized how offensive I was being!
Another Golliwog uproar
Mention of a popular British children's soft toy of yesteryear is now "racist"
"Carol Thatcher, the daughter of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is facing a possible ban from the BBC after referring to a tennis player as "a golliwog". The BBC told The Times last night that it had held urgent talks with Thatcher, 55, and was seeking a formal apology before it agreed to allow her to reappear on the network as either a contributor or presenter.
The incident occurred on Thursday night after The One Show when Thatcher, a roving reporter on the programme, was in the green room with its presenter, Adrian Chiles, and other members of the production team. During a conversation about the Australian Open tennis tournament Thatcher used the word "golliwog" in what is understood to have been a reference to a player in the men's competition.
But friends of the journalist and author said that the remarks were made jokingly during a private conversation that took place after several drinks in the green room. They said that there had been no complaint at the time and that Thatcher only became aware of having caused potential offence 48 hours later when the BBC contacted her agent.
A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable. We have raised the issue with the individual concerned and are discussing it as a matter of urgency."
A spokesman for Thatcher, who has been a regular contributor to The One Show for three years, said that the comment had been "an off-the-cuff remark made in jest". Her spokesman added: "Carol never intended any racist comment. She made a light aside about this tennis player and his similarity to the golliwog on the jampot when she was growing up. There's no way, obviously, that she would condone any racist comment - we would refute that entirely. It would not be in her nature to do anything like that."
Thatcher had apologised to the programme's producer for any offence but was said to be "mortified" that the content of an off-air conversation had been disclosed by a BBC employee. Her spokesman added: "This was a conversation between Adrian and Carol in the green room and the comment was meant as a joke. It is disgusting that we've had a leak of private conversations in the green room - the BBC has more leaks than Thames Water.
Neither the BBC nor representatives of Chiles and Thatcher were prepared to name the tennis player who was under discussion. Her friends said that she had been referring to the player's hairstyle and was not making a racist comment. [I'm guessing it was Spanish player Fernando Verdasco. See pic above]
Incidentally, Derek Laud is a black British political speechwriter who is quite happy with his nickname as "Golly" (The usual abbreviation of "Golliwog") . But Mr Laud and his friends are conservatives. Unlike the Left, they have a sense of humor.
British schools `are killing off the library', claims author
Schools are killing off children's love of books by turning libraries into literature- free 'learning resource centres', an award-winning author has claimed. They are replacing books with computers and so becoming mere 'creches' instead of places of education and excitement, said Frank Cottrell Boyce. He makes the claims in an open letter to the MP Alan Milburn, who is leading a Government drive on social mobility.
Cottrell Boyce, who won the Carnegie Medal for children's writing for his book Millions, writes: 'When I visit many schools, I see a big, fat, glaring, expensive anti-reading and pleasure signal. 'It stands where the library used to stand and it's called the learning resource centre.'
He believes reading for pleasure is central to improving the life chances of pupils from all backgrounds, and therefore raising social mobility. He points out that almost all children these days have access to computers. But far fewer 'have access to books in any meaningful way at home'. The letter is published in an email newsletter from Teachit, a website for English teachers.
Brits flocking to Australia
Not mentioned below is Britain's problems with violent crime. Why? Because the problem is largely traceable to blacks. Australia has many fewer blacks
A RECORD number of Britons are moving to Australia, with Queensland their destination of choice, the latest survey has revealed. Britain's ailing economy and gloomy weather are believed to be the main reasons many people are packing up and moving Down Under, according to the Move Monitor survey carried out for removalist firm Pickfords. The study found a 31 per cent leap in the number of Britons who moved to Australia in 2008 compared to the previous year.
Queensland was the most popular state to set up home in for Britons wanting a new life in Australia for the second consecutive year. However, there was a 44 per cent rise in the number of people wanting to move to Adelaide and a 42 per cent increase in Melbourne's popularity.
"The Move Monitor has revealed that Queensland is our most popular destination in Australia I am sure the quality of life, sunnier climate and diverse job opportunities play a part in the relocation decision," spokesman Graham Hardwick said.
About 40,000 Britons moved to Australia in 2007, with about 23,000 intending to stay permanently. The Move Monitor tracks the relocation trends of Pickford's 7000 customers who move overseas each year.