Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jackboot Hansen rejects democracy

He seems to be aiming for a modern version of Hitler's street-fighting "Sturm Abteilung". Does anybody now believe that Hansen is anything but a political activist? His claim to scientific detachment is now non-existent

Protest and direct action could be the only way to tackle soaring carbon emissions, a leading climate scientist has said. James Hansen, a climate modeller with Nasa, told the Guardian today that corporate lobbying has undermined democratic attempts to curb carbon pollution. "The democratic process doesn't quite seem to be working," he said.

Speaking on the eve of joining a protest against the headquarters of power firm E.ON in Coventry, Hansen said: "The first action that people should take is to use the democratic process. What is frustrating people, me included, is that democratic action affects elections but what we get then from political leaders is greenwash.

"The democratic process is supposed to be one person one vote, but it turns out that money is talking louder than the votes. So, I'm not surprised that people are getting frustrated. I think that peaceful demonstration is not out of order, because we're running out of time."

Hansen said he was taking part in the Coventry demonstration tomorrow because he wants a worldwide moratorium on new coal power stations. E.ON wants to build such a station at Kingsnorth in Kent, an application that energy and the climate change minister Ed Miliband recently delayed. "I think that peaceful actions that attempt to draw society's attention to the issue are not inappropriate," Hansen said.

He added that a scientific meeting in Copenhagen last week had made clear the "urgency of the science and the inaction taken by governments". Officials will gather in Bonn later this month to continue talks on a new global climate treaty, which campaigners have called to be signed at a UN meeting in Copenhagen in December. Hansen warned that the new treaty is "guaranteed to fail" to bring down emissions.

Hansen said: "What's being talked about for Copenhagen is a strenghening of Kyoto [protocol] approach, a cap and trade with offsets and escape hatches which will be gauranteed to fail in terms of getting the required rapid reduction in emissions. They talk about goals which sound impressive, but when you see the actions are such that it will be impossible to reach those goals, then I can understand the informed public getting frustrated."

He said he was growing "concerned" over the stance taken by the new US adminstration on global warming. "It's not clear what their intentions are yet, but if they are going to support cap and trade then unfortunately i think that will be another case of greenwash. It's going to take stronger action than that."


Two nations: those who work, those who won't

Blaming immigrants for British unemployment levels misses the point: the problem is people who are bone idle

Alice Thomson

Michael's alarm still goes at 5am every morning, by 7am he has cleaned his Notting Hill house, at 8am the children have a three-course breakfast and by 9 he has walked them to school and is sitting at his desk sending out his CV. Six weeks after he lost his job at Goldman Sachs, he still works a 14-hour day. He now waits tables at his favourite restaurant, sweeps the leaves from the communal garden tennis court and helps the neighbours' Filipina housekeeper to clear the drains.

Paul Bright, a factory manager for a paper doily factory in Essex who has also been made redundant, has the same drive. At 60, he could retire. “All I want to do is work again,” he says. “I am like a smoker who doesn't know what to do with his hands once he's quit. I need to feel useful.”

The Chawners wouldn't understand. Mr and Mrs Chawner and their two daughters insist that they are “too fat to work” because they have a combined weight of 83 stone - so they watch television all day living off their 22,000 pounds of benefits. In the past 11 years, only the youngest daughter, Emma, has attended a job interview and that was on The X Factor, where she was kicked out in the first round. Mr Chawner explains: “Often I'm so tired from watching TV I have to have a nap. I certainly couldn't work. I deserve more.”

These are Britain's two nations. Not those born abroad and those born here, not black or white, rich or poor, men or women, North or South, public or private sector. But those who belong to the world of work and those who are alienated from it, living off the taxes from other people's earnings.

In the past ten years a chasm has opened up between the workaholics and the quaintly named “work-shy”. Labour still isn't working, claims a revised version of the classic Tory poster, as unemployment passes two million.

In fact, nearly eight million people of working age in Britain have been “economically inactive” for the past few years. More than 2.5 million of them are on incapacity benefit - of these 2,130 people are too “fat” to work; 1,100 can't work because they have trouble getting to sleep; 4,000 get headaches; 380 are confined to the sofa by haemorrhoids; 3,000 are kept at home by gout; and half a million are too depressed to get a job. According to Dame Carol Black, the National Director of Health and Work, one child in five now comes from a family where neither parent works, yet at the end of last year there were half a million job vacancies.

The BNP's message over the past decade has been loud and clear - your job is being stolen by the Somali next door. But it's just not true. The Somali and the Romanian, Chinese and Ukrainian are doing jobs that many British won't now contemplate. The majority of migrants to Britain - more than 80 per cent - are earning less than 25,000 a year in industries that have become unpopular for British people to work in.

That is why immigration in Britain rose by 2.5 million in the past decade and why English is now a second language for one in seven pupils in primary school. Immigrants have kept Britain working. It is also why the Tories couldn't turn immigration into a vote-winner in the past two elections. People recognised that we needed the Chinese to pick our strawberries, the Czechs to blow our children's noses, the Pakistanis to sweep our hospitals, the Afghans to drive our minicabs, the Australians to pull our pints and the Poles to put up the scaffolding.

Only last year 13 million pounds of British fruit and vegetables went unpicked because farmers couldn't find enough British labour to harvest their crops, forcing the Government to raise the quota for migrants under the seasonal agricultural workers' scheme. As one man outside a Jobcentre Plus in Peterborough explained: “I'd prefer to sign on than do that. I don't want to work in no cornfield for 25,000 a year.”

Now, however, everything has changed. The new unemployed aren't those who don't want to work, they are the committed, driven employees who are horrified at the thought of no longer being able to commute into the office. They are the 3,000 people who are prepared to queue for 150 part-time jobs at Twycross Zoo in the Midlands and who bitterly resent having to sign on.

These are the unemployed who keep Gordon Brown awake at night. The millions of British citizens who are already economically inactive will be eternally grateful to the former Chancellor for having provided them with such generous pocket money, but those now joining the unemployment statistics won't be bought off so easily.

They are the newly unemployed dry cleaners in Didcot and Devon, the estate agents in Christchurch and Cornwall, the factory-floor managers in Swindon and Staffordshire and building contractors in Brighton and Bedfordshire - people who won't vote Labour again if they can no longer pay their mortgages and don't appreciate being forced to watch flat-screen TVs all day.

The Government's response has been to blame the immigrants who helped Britain for so long. Only this week Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, brought up Sangatte again. Yesterday, as the unemployment figures were released, Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities, suddenly announced a new migrant tax of 50 pounds on overseas workers coming from outside the EU to pay for their public services.

But the answer doesn't lie in supertaxing the migrants, cordoning off the white cliffs of Dover or forcing Ethiopians on to planes at gunpoint. Like drugs, immigrants will find a way into this country if the demand exists. They may be putting a strain on the NHS but many services wouldn't exist without them. In 2008, 14.7 per cent of health and social care workers were migrants.

Attacking immigrants and talking about British jobs for British workers won't help anyone but the BNP. What is required now is the courage to push ahead with welfare reform despite the recession, and close the only gap that matters - between the active and the idle. Michael and Paul will find a job in the end, it's part of their DNA. Tackling the Chawners is the real challenge.


British 'Islamophobe' head-teacher wins claim against Muslim-loving County Council

A campaign by two Muslim governors to give Islam a greater presence in a state school played a key part in forcing a successful head from her job, the High Court found yesterday. Erica Connor, 57, the former head teacher of the New Monument primary school in Woking, Surrey, was forced to leave the school because of stress after she was accused of Islamophobia.

The High Court ruled yesterday that Surrey County Council had failed in its duty to protect her and to intervene when the actions of the governors created problems in the school’s governing body, and awarded her 400,000 pounds damages.

The court was told that over two years, two governors campaigned to make the school more Islamic and that their behaviour had torn apart the school’s governing board. Paul Martin, a Muslim convert, tried to stir up disaffection in the community against the school and Mumtaz Saleem was verbally abusive in school meetings, it was said in court.

Although during the first five years that Mrs Connor was in charge of the school there had been good relations with the local Muslim community and improved results, the judge, John Leighton-Williams, QC, said that the situation had changed when the two men were elected as governors in 2003. He said that the school’s governing body had become dysfunctional as a result of the behaviour of the two, and that the authority’s failure to act had led to low morale and stress among staff. The council had shown excessive tolerance for the two governors and had lost sight of the adverse effects of such conduct on the school.

Judge Leighton-Williams said that the men had an agenda to increase the role of the Muslim religion in the school and that this, combined with the authority’s failure to protect Mrs Connor, had led her to suffer serious depression. “Mr Martin’s and Mr Saleem’s conduct had the effect of tearing apart the governing body, and together with the poor response by the defendants, had as their effect two years of anxiety and low morale for the school staff, stress leading to early retirement for some staff and disruption in the local community with little, if anything, positive to show for it.”

Mrs Connor told the court that she had suffered serious depression after a string of vituperative complaints against her by members of the school’s governing body, and that the council had left her as a helpless scapegoat after failing to defend her. She was forced to quit her job suffering from depression and with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Ill health forced her to take early retirement.

Mrs Connor said after the ruling: “The last five years have been a long haul, at great personal cost to myself and my family, so I am thrilled that justice has prevailed. I was subjected to dreadful pressures from a small group of individuals, unrepresentative of the local community, without the support I would have expected from Surrey County Council.”


British school subjects 'should be ranked by difficulty'

School subjects should be ranked according to difficulty to help pupils and academics determine the merits of a particular set of A levels, a leading education expert has said.

All subjects are not equal and Government exam agencies should introduce league tables reflecting this, Professor Peter Tymms, director of the Centre for Education and Monitoring at Durham University, said today. He also called for university subject tables to recognise the fact that the same degrees from different universities are not of equal quality. “It is not reasonable to expect that the difficulty of subjects are made equal by exam bodies.

“An A in physics is not the same as an A in theatre studies. A first from Cambridge is not the same as a first from another university. We need to look at league tables of subject difficulty,” Professor Tymms told a meeting of exam regulators and education policy makers.

His comments are a barb to the supporters of standardisation of exam grades which critics say is dumbing down the more academic subjects.

Fears that people will be offended if told they took soft or easy A levels have prevented the Government from admitting that some subjects are harder than others, Professor Tymms added. “There is no debate that some subjects are graded more harshly than others. There is a real problem with making subjects similar difficulty. “If you shifted them all to be the same then everyone doing further maths would get an A* and everyone doing theatre studies would fail. We need to look at the relative difficulty of subjects.”

A spokesman for the Department for Schools said: “We simply don't recognise the labels ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ A-levels. All subjects are rigorously measured against each other to maintain standards.” “The new independent regulator, Ofqual, has been set up precisely to maintain rigorous standards and control the exam and qualifications system tightly.”

The league table - which Ofqual could administer - would be based on a points system with each subject awarded points according to its relative difficulty, Professor Tymms said. University tutors and employers would use the information to help them choose between candidates with similar grades in different subjects.

A spokeswoman from Ofqual said the debate about standardisation of exams was important. "All subjects have to meet strict criteria in order to be accredited. Ofqual has led the way in looking at comparability across subjects and developing ways in which to do this.”

Professor Tymms added: “We know that [degrees] are not the same. From subject to subject and university to university they are different.”

Pam Tatlow, chief executive of million+, a university think-tank representing former polytechnics, said: “Such a league table would be fiendishly difficult to apply with any degree of reliability, is unlikely to add value to the university application process and is very likely to mislead both students and employers.”

One source close to the Government said such a league table would not be useful because no-one is under the impression that a degree from Cambridge is the same as a degree from elsewhere.


Leftist British government forced to acknowledge historic occasion

Britain's D-Day veterans will receive the respect and support they deserve during this summer's 65th anniversary after Gordon Brown finally threw the full weight of Government behind the 'great generation of heroes'.

In a resounding victory for the Daily Mail's campaign, Downing Street tacitly admitted ministers had misjudged the public mood in refusing to help. The Royal Family is now expected to play a full part in this year's events both in France and Britain, while Mr Brown will travel to Normandy on June 6 where he will be joined by other ministers and military service chiefs.

In a further major success for our campaign, National Lottery chiefs announced they would repeat the 'Heroes Return' programme - which paid for 39,000 British veterans to revisit foreign battlefields to mark the 60th anniversary celebrations five years ago. That means the dwindling band of surviving veterans hoping to make one last pilgrimage to Arnhem, Germany, Italy, Burma or any other World War II battlefield in the comanying months will benefit from lottery cash to cover their expenses and those of their carers.

Mr Brown also said he hoped to stage a commemoration service at Westminster Abbey for all the veterans who could not make it to Normandy on health grounds.

In the wake of the dramatic rethink by the Government, the veterans themselves voiced their delight and thanks for the magnificent response to the Daily Mail's fund-raising appeal - and called a halt to further fund-raising. Generous readers donated 70,000 pounds on the first day of our campaign, and officials said they were now confident that the final few thousand pounds they need would follow, so that every Normandy veteran fit to travel can join in official events in France on June 6.

But when the Normandy Veterans' Association - which is to disband this year - approached the MoD for help with funding for the June celebrations it was firmly rebuffed, and defence officials even blocked plans for a national service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey. When the Mail first highlighted the veterans' plight on Wednesday, the Government said there were no plans to send ministers to Normandy to represent Britain. Bureaucrats cited a policy of giving official support only to 25th, 50th, 60th and 100th anniversaries, despite the fact that none of the veterans would be alive for the centenary.

Yesterday the Prime Minister completely reversed that position, while Downing Street sources voiced frustration that MoD officials had mishandled the issue. At an EU summit in Brussels, Mr Brown said he 'very much' wanted to be part of the event. 'As some of you know, I have written about this quite extensively in a book I have done for charity, so I want to be very much a part of the commemoration of both D-Day and the huge contribution that British soldiers made by risking their lives for the freedom of Europe. 'Nicolas Sarkozy and I are talking about what we can do together, how to commemorate this important occasion not only in Britain but across the whole of Europe.'

Diplomatic protocol means that Mr Brown and the Royal Family must wait for an invitation from the French government before drawing up plans, but Downing Street confirmed that it would back any invitation to the Royal Family to attend events in Normandy, and that they would also be invited to attend any service in London to mark the 65th anniversary. Palace officials stressed that no invitation had been received and some Royal Family members already had engagements booked, but added: 'We are seeing what we can do.' The Queen is already scheduled to meet some Normandy veterans at an event in Hampshire next month.

Peter Hodge, Secretary of the Normandy Veterans' Association, said: 'There's a special bond between the Queen and the D-Day veterans. 'She was there to take the salute at Arromanches for the 60th anniversary in 2004. I remember overhearing one of her equerries asking her how long she was prepared to stay, and she told him, "As long as it takes". 'If she were able to attend one of the events - perhaps the Cenotaph on June 21 - it would be the icing on the cake.'

Trevor Beattie, the businessman who has overseen fundraising for the Normandy Veterans, said he was 'absolutely delighted' with the response from Mail readers. Any surplus funds will be used to meet carers' travelling expenses, and to help those Normandy veterans too frail to go to France to attend events closer to home.

Tory leader David Cameron said he was 'hugely encouraged' by the response to the Mail's campaign. 'It sent a powerful signal of support to our veterans that the Government could no longer ignore.'


Britain's social work tyranny again

"We had our baby taken away for a year over a doctor's blunder". No second opinion sought, of course. Taking a baby away is a mere bagatelle to hate-filled British Leftist social workers -- unless the baby is really in danger, of course! Then the mother is "supported" and the baby can go to hell -- and often does! There should always be expedited judicial proceedings in an open court before a baby is taken away. Scum social workers are the last people who should be trusted. They are taught in their social work schools to despise the society they live in and it shows

A soldier and his wife had their baby taken away for almost a year after a doctor misread an X-ray. Lance Corporal Matthew Dean and his wife Katie were accused of abusing Louie and were suddenly faced with the threat of losing all their three children. The ordeal started with a hospital scan when Louie was two months old which found blood between his brain and skull. He had been thriving despite being born five weeks prematurely with a slightly enlarged head and floppy limbs.

Further X-rays seemed to show no more injuries until a doctor claimed she could see a broken rib. Louie's father, who has served with the Princess of Wales Regiment in Iraq, Kosovo and Northern Ireland, and mother were told they could not be trusted with him.

It was only after almost a year of misery that a judge ruled that the blood on Louie's brain was the result of an accident and that the rib had never been broken at all. The doctor had misread the X-ray. Social services then realised their case was so weak that they did not even bother to cross-examine the couple in court.

Cuddling Louie, now 18 months, Mrs Dean, 32, said last night: 'Social services treated us like something they'd stepped in and were desperate to build a case. 'Doctors and social workers have an important job but in this case they've over-reacted on a suspicion, rather than facts. Louie had one injury, and that was accidental.' Lance Corporal Dean, 34, said: 'Nothing can ever repay us for that year away from Louie.'

The couple, from Southampton, met in 2002 and have a five year-old daughter Daisy. Mrs Dean has another daughter, Charlotte, nine, by an earlier relationship.

Louie was born in August 2007 near Hanover, Germany, where his father had been posted. Because his head was enlarged, the couple were told to take him to a civilian hospital for regular check-ups. After the scan found the blood between his brain and skull, he needed two operations. Louie also developed meningitis but was eventually sent home with his parents. The cause of the blood remained a mystery but Army social workers said their should be no problem as German doctors could find no evidence of other injuries.

The family returned to England for Christmas but X-rays had been sent to Southampton General Hospital consultant radiologist Jo Fairhurst. Court documents show Dr Fairhurst believed 'there was a healing fracture' of a rib 'suggesting non-accidental injury'. On the strength of her opinion, the Deans were told they were to be arrested for child abuse when they returned to Germany. A document from the British Forces Social Work Service informed them that Mrs Dean's mother Christine Long, 62, would have to take charge of their son. Mrs Long moved temporarily to Germany to watch over Louie 24 hours a day while investigations continued.

The only way the couple could regain the right to look after him was through the UK courts, so LCpl Dean gained a transfer in January 2008. Hampshire social services took over the case and told them Louie would have to live with his grandmother on the other side of the town.

Last December, the couple were finally able to look after their son again when a judge rejected a bid to place their three children in care. The High Court in Portsmouth heard that the blood on Louie's brain was probably the result of an accident or could have simply happened spontaneously. His parents suspected it dated from his difficult birth.

More importantly, a German doctor assured the court that the 'rib fracture' was a misreading of a line on the X-ray created because Louie's lungs and spine had moved.

The judge said: 'I cannot find it proved that Louie suffered a fractured rib. I conclude it is very unlikely either of these parents was responsible for causing the bleeding between his brain and skull.'

John Coughlan, Hampshire's director of children's services, defended the 'necessary but proportionate intervention'. He said: 'We went to great pains to ensure Louie stayed within the care of the family.'

A hospital spokesman said Dr Fairhurst was working overseas and he was unable to comment in her absence. [Someone should fire the stupid bitch]


British council forced to give squatters a list of all its empty properties

Having 800 properties vacant is a huge bureaucratic disgrace but that is no excuse for letting just anyone march into them. Allocating them to qualified applicants should be urgently expedited

A council has been forced to give details of every empty home in its area to squatters because of a legal loophole. Lambeth in South London had to hand over the list after squatters submitted a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request. The Labour-run borough provided details of an estimated 800 properties despite council officers' fears that the move could lead to a marked rise in squatting in the borough.

Critics will ask whether the coup could be used as a precedent by other squatters' groups. They accuse the local authority of 'incompetence' in the way it handled the request from the Advisory Service for Squatters, submitted in September last year.

Liberal Democrat opposition leader Ashley Lumsden said a senior council source told him that housing officers had earlier committed 'a grave error' by publishing a list of all vacant properties in the appendix of a council document. When the squatters presented their demand, the information was already in the public domain so the request could not be denied.

But the council said it had been forced to give out the information because of a legal precedent set by another council. A spokeswoman for Lambeth Living, which manages the borough's council housing, said: 'When responding to FOI requests we have to operate within the letter of the law. 'A legal precedent had already been set in response to a similar FOI inquiry to Bexley Council. 'On challenging the request, they were instructed by the Information Tribunal that they had a legal duty to provide the address details of empty properties which were not owned by individuals.' She added that the number of Lambeth properties with squatters had fallen over the past six months from 49 to 45.

The incident is not the first major embarrassment for Lambeth in its struggle with squatters. Four empty blocks of flats at Limerick Court on the border of Streatham and Balham were occupied by more than a hundred people for six months until they were evicted last summer. Two years ago at least 100 armed police officers used stun grenades in a huge raids on a property in Kennington which had been used as a squat for decades - finding several kilos of cannabis, crack cocaine and six rounds of live ammunition.

Councillor Lumsden said the Freedom of Information incident was in a long line of blunders by the housing department that has seen it overspend by an estimated 23 million pounds, and the number of empty council homes double since 2006 to close to 900. He told the Streatham Guardian: 'The administration seems hell-bent on destroying public housing in Lambeth through a mixture of brain-numbing incompetence and sheer bloody-mindedness.'


IVF babies in health alert: Test-tube children 30 per cent more likely to have defects

This is reasonable in theory but runs contrary to some previous reports. This is also a good example of how medical publications use RELATIVE rather than absolute risk to scare people. The raw facts behind the "30% more" are that the risk rises from a small 2.5% risk in natural conceptions to a still small 3.5% risk in IVF conceptions. That creates quite a different impression, doesn't it?

Couples having IVF treatment are to be warned for the first time that their children have a higher risk of genetic flaws and health problems. Official guidance will make clear that test-tube babies could be up to 30 per cent more likely to suffer from certain birth defects. The alert has been ordered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Government's watchdog on fertility issues.

It means that the one in six British couples estimated to be infertile will have to balance their desire for a child against concerns that IVF methods could lead to life-threatening defects or long-term disabilities. A number of studies have already raised concerns over the growing use of the procedure, which accounts for more than 10,000 births in Britain every year.

Research published online last month in the Human Reproduction journal found that IVF babies suffer from higher rates of birth defects than those conceived naturally. The scientists from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta looked at more than 13,500 births and a further 5,000 control cases using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. They found that IVF babies suffer from a range of conditions, including heart valve defects, cleft lip and palate, and digestive system abnormalities due to the bowel or oesophagus failing to form properly.

In addition, IVF babies have a small but increased risk of rare genetic disorders including Angelman Syndrome, which leads to delays in development, and Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, which can lead to a hole in the abdomen and learning difficulties.

HFEA experts believe parents should be told of the concerns associated with IVF - although they emphasised that not all the risks are fully understood and more research is needed.

One theory is that the fertility drugs which stimulate egg production can lead to poorer quality eggs, which nature would usually weed out. Another is that older women - whose eggs are of a lower quality - are more likely to turn to IVF to conceive.

Until now, official HFEA guidance on the safety of IVF has expressed only limited concerns about babies born by ICSI - where a single sperm is injected into an egg to create an embryo. The method is feared to lead to a doubling of birth defects including genital and urological abnormalities, kidney problems and deformities of the stomach and intestines.

But now the watchdog is to warn generally of the risks associated with all types of the procedure. Patients will be able to access the HFEA's advice on its website from next month, while IVF clinics will have to tell couples of the risks from October.

The HFEA will also make clear that the majority of babies born by IVF are healthy.

Last night, IVF specialist Richard Kennedy, of the British Fertility Society, said: 'We have known for some time that there is a slightly increased risk of abnormalities for all IVF treatments, not just ICSI. 'It is only right that patients should be told about this and it is a good thing that the HFEA is updating its guidance. 'What we need to remember is that the overall risks of an abnormality occurring is increased with IVF but it is still a small risk. Nevertheless, patients still need to be aware.' Around 2.5 per cent of babies in the general population are born with some form of birth defect, while in IVF, this may rise to around 3.5 per cent, he added.

Josephine Quintavalle, of the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: 'IVF should never be the first port of call for someone trying to conceive and we need a lot more money to go into research to help restore fertility for natural conception. 'IVF is often used when couples are "sub-fertile", meaning they take longer to conceive, or by single women wishing to conceive using donor sperm. Patients need to consider the risks.'

An HFEA spokesman said: 'Following the publication of a U.S. study into birth defects, HFEA's Scientific and Clinical Advances Committee reviewed our guidance and advice about the risks. 'As with any medical procedure, it is important patients understand what the treatment involves and what the risks may be. 'Our code of practice says that clinicians must tell patients about the possible side effects and risks of treatment, including any risks for the child. 'Anyone who has concerns about their treatment should discuss this with their doctor.'


Rape must be mentioned in hushed tones only

We read:
"The BBC has apologised after a Match of the Day pundit likened a tackle in a Premiership match to rape. Former West Ham United manager Alan Pardew, 47, was condemned by women's groups for trivialising sexual violence. He had been analysing a tackle by Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien on Manchester City striker Ched Evans in Sunday's game.

Mr Pardew said on Match of the Day 2: 'Ched Evans is a strong boy but (Essien) knocks him off ... he absolutely rapes him.'

Lee Eggleston of Rape Crisis England and Wales, today slammed Pardew for 'trivialising' sexual violence. She said: 'The use of this language is completely inappropriate and I'm shocked to hear about it - I can't imagine why Pardew has said it. 'That something as serious as sexual assault has been misused to describe football is appalling.


There's a famous satirical English poem by Alexander Pope called "The rape of the lock". No doubt it would not get published today.

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