Excerpt from the original moonbat
There was one proposal in Sir Rod Eddington's report to the Treasury with which, when I first read it, I wholeheartedly agreed. He insists that "the transport sector, including aviation, should meet its full environmental costs". Quite right too: every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned.
More here (I don't think I need to bother anybody with more from this brain-damaged loon)
Little girl lost both legs because of careless, lazy and incompetent NHS doctors
Jodie Cross looked on in despair as her daughter Lydia was violently sick again. She knew the two-year-old was seriously ill, but she was facing an uphill battle to prove it. Lydia had appeared unwell three days earlier, on a Friday evening. When her father Tony, a policeman, took her to see an out-of-hours doctor, he diagnosed a virus and said there was nothing to worry about. By Sunday, the little girl's condition had deteriorated. This time, a different doctor diagnosed an ear infection. 'He prescribed antibiotics, even though I said Lydia wouldn't be able to keep them down as she was vomiting repeatedly,' says Jodie. 'He said: "Yes, but they will make you feel better" - as if I was being neurotic.'
Now it was Monday morning. Lydia's temperature had soared and she was hallucinating - she thought spiders were crawling all over her body. Jodie was particularly concerned because Lydia's baby sister Millie, then seven months, had just spent two weeks in hospital, critically ill with septicaemia and suspected meningitis, although the latter was never confirmed. Jodie was terrified Lydia had caught it, too.
At 10am, she rang the Gable House Surgery in Malmesbury, near the family home in Wiltshire. 'I asked for a home visit and was told matter-of-factly: "That's not our policy." 'I was really shocked. Lydia was far too ill to go out, and I expected a doctor to be sent to such a young child straight away. I know doctors are reluctant to do home visits these days, but I wouldn't have requested one if it wasn't urgent.'
Jodie, now 39, insisted on speaking to a doctor. When a doctor she didn't know called back, she explained what had happened over the weekend. 'He was very arrogant and reluctant to come out - he wanted me to take Lydia to the surgery. I explained that her sister had just been critically ill with blood poisoning and suspected meningitis, and said that Lydia had been hallucinating and vomiting. 'But he was certain it was only a virus, and told me to call back if I was still worried.'
They struggled to keep Lydia cool with a fan and Calpol. Then, when Jodie tried to bath her, she became even more concerned. 'Lydia didn't seem able to sit up,' she says. By 2.30pm, frantic with worry, Jodie called the GP practice again and asked for an emergency appointment. There wasn't one until 4.45pm - but when Tony took Lydia, a passing nurse saw how ill she was and fetched the doctor straight away. He took one look at her and called an ambulance.
'Tony rang from the ambulance to say Lydia was really poorly. I was shaking all over because I'd told the doctors this, but they'd said it was just a virus.' In fact, Lydia had meningitis and septicaemia, and was fighting for her life. Five weeks after becoming ill, both her legs were amputated below the knee because blood poisoning had killed the soft tissue. One of the effects of blood poisoning is that blood flow is diverted away from the extremities to the vital organs, so the arms, legs, hands and feet can be starved of blood and the tissue can die. Incredibly, doctors discovered that the bacteria responsible was a different strain from the one her sister had.
What is worrying is that too often meningitis is missed: Lydia's story is one of a number of similar misdiagnoses that have made news over the past few years. Only two weeks ago, the Mail reported the case of an 11-year-old, Colette Smith, who was sent home from A&E by a doctor who dismissed her symptoms, only for her to be rushed back the next day in an ambulance. In fact, research funded by the Meningitis Research Foundation has found 49 per cent of children taken to a doctor with potentially fatal meningitis and septicaemia were sent home because the signs were missed. Now the charity has produced booklets and a CD-ROM to help doctors diagnose and treat bacterial meningitis and septicaemia earlier.
Some experts believe the poor quality of cover provided by GP out-of-hours services is partly to blame, Lydia's case also highlights the terrible consequences of the decline in the GP home visits. Although there are no official statistics, anecdotally the number of home visits is declining, admits Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee. 'Fewer patients ask for visits these days,' he says. 'They tend to get an urgent appointment instead. 'We want to see patients as quickly as possible, and the best way is often to encourage them to come to the health centre. It's much easier to examine patients properly there, because you have all the right equipment.'
The fact is, doctors often don't want to make home visits, explains Michael Summers, vice-chairman of The Patients' Association. 'Although most doctors still do home visits when needed, you do get some who are no longer interested.'
Dr Vautrey admits there are pitfalls in giving advice over the phone. 'Meningitis is notoriously difficult to diagnose in the early stages,' he says. 'It will look like a simple virus at first, but can develop dramatically within hours. If people are concerned, they should not hesitate to call a doctor back repeatedly.' As the Cross family did - but to no avail.
'When I was a child, my GP knew my parents weren't neurotic and only asked for a home visit if something was seriously wrong,' says Jodie. 'The same is true of me and Tony.' The consequences of their GP's refusal to make a home visit were horrifying. When Jodie arrived at Bristol Royal Infirmary, where Lydia had been taken, she was told her daughter had stopped breathing in the ambulance. Lydia was by now so ill that her mother wasn't allowed to see her. Her parents were told that even if their daughter survived - at this stage, the doctors were fighting desperately to save her life - she might lose not only her legs but her arms.
'My first thought was of Lydia's favourite cuddly toy, a cow called Woosie,' recalls Jodie. 'When she was tired, she held Woosie against her cheek. What would she do if she couldn't hold Woosie? How could she do anything she loved?
'When we saw her, we barely recognised her because her nose, cheeks, lips, arms and legs were dark purple and swollen. A plastic surgeon had to make slits in the skin on her legs and feet because otherwise the skin would have split, and we were warned she might lose the tip of her nose, cheeks and lips, as well as her limbs. 'It was horrific. I just held her poor, bruised hand and cried. I couldn't bear to think about what might happen to my beautiful little girl.'
Jodie visited the hospital chapel daily. 'I would sit and cry and pray. I even wrote a letter to God saying he'd let us keep one daughter, please do the same with the other.' Mercifully, on her twelfth day in hospital, Lydia was well enough to come off life support. 'Of course, we were distraught - more than Lydia herself was - when we were told she'd lose her legs,' says Jodie. 'But she was lucky to be alive.'
Five years after Lydia's illness, her family, who now live in Braunton, Devon, won a fight for compensation. The High Court heard that if a doctor had seen Lydia when Jodie first called, and sent her to hospital just an hour-and-a-half earlier, her legs could have been saved. The court ruled that given her age, deterioration and her parents' ongoing concern, Lydia should have been seen at home. The GP - Dr John Harrison - admitted that, in the circumstances, he should have visited the two-year-old, although he disputed whether it would have made a difference to the outcome.
His medical insurers agreed to settle the case on the basis of 85 per cent liability, and the family was awarded a six-figure compensation sum. This money is being held in a court trust fund to provide for Lydia's needs, including prosthetic legs. Her first pair were provided by the NHS.
However, life is still far from easy for Lydia. Now aged seven, she has to have surgery every year because the bones in the stumps below her knees still grow, forming points that have to be trimmed, otherwise they cause pain and infection. This means that every year she spends three months in a wheelchair. 'Lydia's very positive, but there are times she wishes her legs were real. A few months ago, she asked to wear her legs in bed so she could be "a real little girl" in the morning, like Millie. When she woke up in the night uncomfortable, she cried because she wouldn't be a "real little girl" after all.'
In the meantime, the couple are campaigning for more paediatric training, so healthcare workers can diagnose devastating illnesses such as meningitis and septicaemia immediately. And they are adamant about what parents should do. 'My advice is if you're worried about your child, don't assume the doctor knows best,' says Jodie. 'Pester your GP for a home visit, and if they won't come, dial 999.'
A spokeswoman for Dr Harrison said: 'He would again like to apologise to Lydia and her family for the distressing time they have had to endure over the past four years. Although he did the best he could for Lydia at the time, he now realises that he could have done more for her.' A Department of Health spokeswoman said: 'Health services locally are under a legal obligation to provide home visits for those who need them. What happened in this case is clearly unacceptable.'
British universities told to ignore apparent merit
The new grade of A* was introduced as a way of detecting high ability. Now there is a fear that it might actually do so. British logic
Top universities are being advised to ignore the new A* grade A-level on application forms – to avoid recruiting more pupils from middle-class backgrounds. Ministers yesterday unveiled plans to conduct a three-year study into teachers' use of the new supergrade when making predictions of pupils' performance. Universities make conditional offers on the basis of predicted grades and other information and there are fears in the Labour party that pupils from 'non-traditional' backgrounds will lose out because they will not be forecast A*s in sufficient numbers.
The Government created the A* to help top universities choose the brightest candidates from the growing numbers winning As. It will be awarded to the first candidates in summer 2010. But a report published by Higher Education Minister David Lammy has said the study will evaluate the accuracy of teachers' predictions against pupils' achievements. Universities are likely to wait for the results of this study, meaning they will ignore the new top grade until at least 2013. Cambridge said it would go further and support a 'prohibition' on schools and colleges predicting the A* in its first few years because the grades will be 'very difficult' to forecast with accuracy.
Top universities are reportedly divided over the A*, with some believing it should never have been introduced amid fears that it will come to be seen as a passport to a university place. Universities are under pressure to widen the social mix of students and reduce the domination of pupils from private schools and good state schools. Some universities may use A*s in conditional offers but the practice is likely to be rare in the early years.
Monday's report acknowledged that universities have raised concerns over whether teachers will be able to predict A* grades with any consistency. It said: 'Such concerns go to the heart of issues of fairness and openness, where an able and talented student can be sifted out of an application process on the basis of inaccurately-predicted grades. 'There are concerns that this could disproportionately impact on students from non-traditional backgrounds.'
Sixth-formers now pass more than a quarter of A-levels at grade A – a sharp rise in the space of a generation. Independent school leaders said it was 'a shame' that leading universities may not consider predicted A* grades for several years. They said bright students will immediately start working towards the grade – awarded to those who achieve 90 per cent of marks – only to find their efforts may not count in the admissions process.
Geoff Parks, director of admissions at Cambridge, said: 'We would agree that in the early years it will be very difficult for anyone to predict A*s with any accuracy and would support a prohibition on schools being allowed to do so. 'This is subtly different, however, from prohibiting universities from asking for A*s in conditional offers.'
Geoff Lucas, secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, representing leading boys' and mixed fee-paying schools, said: 'I believe our schools are able to spot high-fliers and will be able to predict with considerable accuracy. If universities are not going to use predicted A* grades, I think that's a shame. Time will tell. 'The Government accepted the recommendation for the A* and once students know it is there they are going to aim high.'
"Children are eating their way to cancer". Stupid bitch warns of obesity timebomb. So how come moderately overweight people live longer than skinny people? And no mention of course of the various studies which show that fat women get LESS breast cancer (e.g. here). This is at best epidemiological speculation and intellectual fashion about the evils of fat -- parading as science
Children are facing an 'explosion' in obesity-related cancers thanks to junk food and a lack of exercise, an expert warned last night. Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones says thousands will die if parents and ministers do not take the childhood obesity epidemic more seriously. Obesity is linked to cancers including those of the kidney, breast, colon, liver and prostate. It can also lead to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, and experts warn the rising tide of these diseases could bankrupt the NHS.
Professor Pritchard-Jones, president of the European Society for Paediatric Oncology, said eating more healthily and taking more exercise would not help stave off cancer in childhood. But it would encourage them to lead a better lifestyle as adults, cutting the risk of having life-threatening diseases later.
Some 17 per cent of British children - 900,000 - are obese, so fat that their health is in danger. Two years ago Government scientists said that without action, this figure would soar to 25 per cent by 2050. Professor Pritchard-Jones said: 'Childhood is when the habits of a lifetime are established. If you want healthy adults you start by making healthy children. 'The chronic risk factors for cancer in adults, such as smoking, obesity and diet, are habits established in childhood. 'If we don't do something about tackling how much exercise our young people take and how concerned they are about what they eat and their weight, we are going to have another explosion of cancers.'
The rates of cancers linked to obesity are already increasing, with prostate up by 38.9 per cent in ten years and liver up by 33.4 per cent. But experts warn the 'explosion' will become apparent in the next couple of decades when those born in the Fifties and Sixties reach old age. Last week, it emerged that Britain's adult obesity rate was 23 per cent, twice that of France. Experts warn that by 2050 more than half of adults will be obese, with disastrous consequences for the NHS and taxpayers.
Other effects of obesity include erectile dysfunction and problems during pregnancy. Recent figures show survival rates for many cancers are far lower than those in western Europe and on a par with Poland.
Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, said: 'Cancer is one of the least recognised consequences of obesity and one of the most serious. 'It won't be just an occasional case - we're going to see a vast increase in the cancer rate. It's serious for the NHS and could push it towards bankruptcy.'
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: 'Whatever their weight, children need to eat well and be active. 'Our Change4Life programme is about helping families change their lifestyles for the better. 'Children who are carrying too much fat are at risk of developing a host of serious illnesses. 'Keeping a healthy body is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of getting cancer.'
Penis abnormality linked to hairspray
Popular summary followed by journal abstract. It's just data dredging. When lots of occupations are considered, some of them will come up as different by chance alone. Even if we take the results seriously we have the old "correlation is causality" fallacy. For instance: Maybe beauticians are especially feminine and that is what affects their sons. The whole thing is utter balderdash driven by intellectual fashion about "bad" chemicals
Women exposed to hairspray at work -- such as hairdressers and beauticians -- are more likely to have boys with a common type of penis birth defect, hypospadias, where the opening of the urethra is abnormal. The cause isn't known; one possibility is that chemicals disrupt hormones in the baby. The study in Environmental Health Perspectives compared 471 cases of hypospadias with 490 randomly selected births. Mothers exposed to hairspray in their job were 2.4 times more likely to have a boy with the problem. Women who took folate supplements in early pregnancy were less likely to have an affected child.
Endocrine Disruptors in the Workplace, Hair Spray, Folate Supplementation, and Risk of Hypospadias: Case-Control Study
By Gillian Ormond et al.
Background: Hypospadias is one of the most common urogenital congenital anomalies affecting baby boys. Prevalence estimates in Europe range from 4 to 24 per 10,000 births, depending on definition, with higher rates reported from the United States. Relatively little is known about potential risk factors, but a role for endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been proposed.
Objective: Our goal was to elucidate the risk of hypospadias associated with occupational exposure of the mother to endocrine-disruptor chemicals, use of folate supplementation during pregnancy, and vegetarianism.
Design: We designed a case-control study of 471 hypospadias cases referred to surgeons and 490 randomly selected birth controls, born 1 January 1997-30 September 1998 in southeast England. Telephone interviews of mothers elicited information on folate supplementation during pregnancy and vegetarianism. We used a job exposure matrix to classify occupational exposure.
Results: In multiple logistic regression analysis, there were increased risks for self-reported occupational exposure to hair spray [exposed vs. nonexposed, odds ratio (OR) = 2.39 ; 95% confidence interval (CI) , 1.40-4.17] and phthalate exposure obtained by a job exposure matrix (OR = 3.12 ; 95% CI, 1.04-11.46) . There was a significantly reduced risk of hypospadias associated with of folate use during the first 3 months of pregnancy (OR = 0.64 ; 95% CI, 0.44-0.93) . Vegetarianism was not associated with hypospadias risk.
Conclusions: Excess risks of hypospadias associated with occupational exposures to phthalates and hair spray suggest that antiandrogenic EDCs may play a role in hypospadias. Folate supplementation in early pregnancy may be protective.
Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 117, Number 2, February 2009
"Elf 'n safety": How years of Leftist nannying have made the once-dogged British into a nation of "bedwetters"
The rot sets in with those simpering, risk-averse TV weather forecasters and their boggle-eyed melodramatics as they predict a couple of inches (sorry, centimetres) of the white stuff. They and their radio counterparts jibber about 'snow events' and tell us to 'wrap up warm' and 'travel only if your journey is absolutely necessary'. England's response to a few snowflakes on Monday confirmed everything one had feared about our once stoical, can-do country. A snowfall, trifling by the standards of many other Western countries, brought public services to a shuddering, shivering halt.
They couldn't even claim they weren't warned - for once the Met Office's predictions were spot on. The authorities assured us they were braced and ready. They had made 'contingency plans'. Yet when the snow flurries did arrive and a tiny carpet of snow started to settle on the surface of the southern counties, officialdom and its 'throw a sickie' adherents went into near total collapse.
If it had not been quite so chilly we could have called this 'Municipal Meltdown'. The South East's transport system folded like an origami artist's calling card. Railway station superintendents never seem to be happier than when announcing cancellations. These potted Mussolinis are in their element when scrawling emergency notices on whiteboards with their loopy handwriting. How puffed up the Klaxon mob become in such situations, taking to every public address system with insincere 'apologies for any inconvenience caused'.
London's bus drivers and their Fred Kites (if you recall Peter Sellers's stroppy union convenor) were quick to put work and duty in the too-hard basket. 'Nah, mate, health and safety, innit?' they said. London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, was pathetically quick to accept their verdict. How that man can call himself a leader of men, Lord only knows. The roads were deemed too slippery and buses were suddenly being described as lethal weapons which could wipe out entire communities with one careless tweak of the steering wheel. You'd never think that London buses kept going throughout the notoriously icy winter of 1963 or during the Blitz.
Hospitals cancelled operations, courts failed to open, West End theatres went dark and councils operated on skeleton staff, in some cases before the snow had actually started. Civil servants refused to walk a few hundred yards from a Whitehall department to the House of Commons 'owing to the adverse wevver condishuns'. And yet the strikers managed to reach their picket lines at the power stations.
Those of us who did actually venture out on to the roads and railways soon found that things were not nearly as bad as the broadcasters claimed. The whole hoo-hah had been ludicrously overstated. I managed to reach London perfectly easily from Herefordshire on Monday. We were delayed by an hour - pretty much par for the course. The first real sign of trouble was at Ealing, West London, where the train stopped before gingerly making its way into a near-deserted capital. Our Great Western locomotive must have weighed many tons, yet they were fretting about three or so inches of powdery snow. Elephant meets mouse and takes fright.
As one exasperated contributor to the Daily Mail website put it yesterday (thank you, 'Gaelforce' of Inverness), we have become 'a nation of bedwetters'.
Millions of workers rang in to say they were unable to make it to work - a good proportion of them, it can safely be asserted, having not even bothered to step out of their pyjamas, let alone try to reverse the car from the garage. Was it not noticeable that those who DID make it in to work tended to be the more committed members of staff? If companies are looking to make redundancies in the coming months they could do worse than to inspect the staff attendance log for the Great Blizzard (as it wasn't) of February 2009.
Schools, rather than set pupils an example by stoically carrying on, simply ran up the white flag and closed - some of them in counties almost untouched by snow. What a message to set the next generation. The old proverb of 'try and try and try again' seems to have been replaced by 'give up at the first setback'.
A London council closed its parks, determined to safeguard its residents from terrible fates that beheld them if they walked on ungritted paths. There used to be a concept of caveat emptor but it has been replaced by a system paralysed by fear of litigation. If in doubt, say no. That is today's rule of thumb.
The private sector, somehow, managed to soldier on. Self-employed taxi drivers had a field day, miraculously piloting their vehicles over the killer ice that was keeping the buses in their depots.
Down at the Commons, MPs cancelled meetings a day ahead, determined to expect the worst rather than to improvise or press on.
Good grief, it's not exactly the spirit of Captain Scott, is it? But Robert Falcon Scott might as well have belonged to a different country. If he'd known what was going to happen to Britain, he might never have bothered to go all that way to the South Pole.
Strange BBC standards: Be obscene and offensive on air and that is fine. But comment in private on a coloured person's appearance and you are dead
The BBC has fired Carol Thatcher over her tennis golliwog 'joke' (though, unlike Jonathan Ross, it wasn't said on air). Background: The Ross segment was pre-approved by the BBC before broadcast and it took huge pressure on them before they took any action against him.
"Carol Thatcher has been axed from the BBC after she referred to a tennis player as a 'golliwog'. The daughter of Baroness Thatcher was dropped from her role as 'roving reporter' for The One Show on BBC1 yesterday. Corporation chiefs told her that unless she acknowledged that using the word golliwog was unacceptable, she could not work on the show again.
Those close to Miss Thatcher, who has worked on the One Show for three years, claimed she had 'bent over backwards' to say sorry for comments made in jest - and in private. But last night the BBC issued a statement confirming she had been dropped after she refused to admit that her comments had been 'completely unacceptable'. The corporation was accused of 'double-standards'.
Critics compared Miss Thatcher's rapid dismissal with the treatment of Jonathan Ross after he left obscene messages on the answerphone of Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs. The former prime minister's daughter, 55, who is believed to earn a few thousand year for her One Show role, was dealt with quickly and sternly. However Ross, 48, who earns 6 million pounds a year, was given a three-month suspension without pay and has since returned to work. In addition, the BBC took 11 days to suspend him.
Miss Thatcher used the word golliwog while in the green room with comedian Jo Brand and One Show presenter Adrian Chiles last Thursday. The green room is TV jargon for the lounge where guests and presenters relax before and after they go in front of the cameras. Chiles and Brand are understood to have been the only two others in the room. They are said to have challenged her about the comment which then filtered out to the rest of the production team.
The three were talking about the Australian Open tennis tournament, which ended in Melbourne at the weekend. Miss Thatcher is said to have referred to a black tennis player, understood to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [pic above], noted for his physical resemblance to Muhammed Ali, as a 'golliwog'
Outrage as British police station ditches Union Jack... for a homosexual rights flag
A Union Flag at a police station was replaced by a gay rights flag in a move that has triggered a fresh row over political correctness. The rainbow flag was hoisted outside Limehouse police station in East London to mark Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender history month in February. Metropolitan Police rules state that only the Union Flag and its own flag can fly from force buildings.
Sir Paul Stephenson, the new Met commissioner, angrily ordered the flag to be taken down after being told of the controversy it had caused. One officer said: 'I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. 'The police are playing politics again. I can understand the need to show acceptance to people of all sexualities - but the Union Jack should never be taken down.'
A Scotland Yard spokesman said the decision to display the rainbow flag for the first day of LGBT history month had been taken by the borough commander, Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett. But he added: 'The Met policy is that only two flags should be flown: the Union Flag or the Met flag. The commissioner reaffirmed that he expects all staff to adhere to this policy.
Tory MP David Jones has waded into the debate describing the gay rights flag flying outside the police station as 'political tokenism' 'It would appear someone, albeit with good intentions, decided to fly the rainbow flag over a police building in suppolice-port of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender history month.'
The spokesman went on: 'The Met is supporting LGBT history month this year through a number of events and activities aimed at encouraging victims of hate crime to report incidents to police, and to celebrate the contribution made by LGBT people in the Met.'
Earlier this week the 'gay pride' flag was flown at the North Wales headquarters of Britain's most controversial chief, Richard Brunstromto mark LGBT history. David Jones, Tory MP for Clwyd West, said: 'This is tokenism and posturing. People want to see their police force focus on fighting crime, not getting involved in political tokenism and gestures.'
Critics believe the London flag row is a legacy of Sir Ian Blair's stint as Met chief, when he was often accused of being obsessed with political correctness. At one stage he asked officers to declare whether they were homosexual - a first step to quotas for numbers of gay and lesbian officers in the Met. And officers at an exam for prospective chief superintendents were once asked how they would react if they realised a male colleague was a transvestite after seeing him dressed as a woman in a pub.
Sir Paul, keen to portray himself as a more traditional leader, has said he has no intention of being a 'celebrity' commissioner and his main focus is to fight crime and not bow to a PC agenda.
One in ten men could be victims of paternity fraud. I'm fighting for them ...not the money
There was never going to be a good time. But when the truth finally emerged, it couldn't have been at a more inopportune moment. Mark Webb was driving to work at eight in the morning when his wife Lydia rang. `I was in the fast lane of the M4 heading towards Reading,' he recalls. `I picked up the call on the hands-free and said, "Hi, what's the problem?" because Lydia wouldn't normally call so early. She said, "I've got something I need to tell you. You're not the father of Elspeth. Dave Mottram is." ' It was a shattering revelation and one that set in motion an extraordinary chain of events.
For what might have been a painful but private matter became very public when Mark took his now ex-wife and her lover to court in a bid to claim compensation for the 17 years he had spent bringing up Elspeth, believing her to be his daughter. Mark's claim failed and ten days ago the Court of Appeal refused him permission to appeal against the ruling. Since then the `paternity fraud' case has sparked a passionate debate about the rights of fathers.
In last week's Mail on Sunday, Lydia defended her actions while Mr Mottram has also had his say, claiming he did not know that Elspeth was his daughter. Yet throughout, and for all the conjecture and comment, Mark remained silent. Now, in an exclusive interview, the 47-year-old production manager for an engineering company explains why he took the controversial and much-criticised decision to try to recoup the money he had spent bringing up Elspeth. He tells how he had always believed in his marriage and how Lydia's secret and the subsequent court case have torn apart his relationship with Elspeth and another daughter, India. He also reveals that for him, at least, the battle is not over, as he intends to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Clean-cut and precise, with closely shorn hair and inky-black eyes, Mark is not given to outward displays of emotion. Yet even now, seven years after that phone call, he still finds the enormity of the situation difficult to take in. `I wonder every day how anyone could keep this to themselves for 17 years,' he says. `It must eat away at you. Up until Lydia's call, I had no idea that Elspeth might not be mine. I was stunned. People say my pride's been hurt, but it's beyond pride. I suppose my dignity has been damaged more than anything else. `I'd always been proud of all our three girls and their achievements. And even though I believe in nurture, not nature, it's still hard to think that people might look on it differently - that maybe Elspeth's the girl she is because she's her "real" father's daughter. `I loved Elspeth and I still do. When you're a dad, and you do a dad's job properly, there's nothing that can shake you into feeling differently about a child.'
And he insists: `I know people have criticised me and they don't like the fact that money is involved. But it's not just about money. It's about something much bigger than that. Exactly what rights do you have as a dad? It's a very serious, complex, frightening issue. `Lord Justice Thorpe said the case raised very interesting sociological points. I don't think interesting is the right word, quite frankly. Studying Roman sewage systems is interesting, if that's what you're into. `This is not just interesting. It's something that's going to have a huge effect on people's lives over the next couple of decades. I love my children and I see what they've gone through and this could happen to another family tomorrow unless we change things.' ....
`What I thought was, I've brought up three children and it now transpires I wasn't the father of one of them. I've got to pay for these two, so should Dave Mottram now have to repay the money I've spent bringing up his child? 'I asked the CSA and they said no, that payments only start from the day you make a claim. But how could I make a claim for something I didn't know about? It seemed so unfair.'
So, in December 2004, Mark tried to sue his ex-wife for deceit. In March 2006, he added Mr Mottram's name to the claim, demanding more than 100,000 pounds in damages. Mark explains: `It's based on what would have been requested had we known Dave Mottram was the father from the outset. The lawyers worked out that it came to 100,000 plus interest.' ....
Mark now has the zeal of a convert and intends to take his case to Europe. `It is a serious debate,' he says. `At what point is a father entitled to know, for sure, that a child is his? Some statistics say that as many as one in ten men may be unaware they are not the real fathers of their children. `DNA can be used by the Government to catch a criminal and put him in prison 20 years later, but it can't be used retrospectively to make a father pay for his child.