The number of pupils excluded from school is rising. In the latest in our series on fixing Broken Britain, Paul Kendall visits an academy tackling some of the toughest troublemakers - with boxing skills.
Chavez Campbell skips around the ring, shoulders hunched, long arms bent up towards his head. Stepping forward, his opponent feints to the left, then fires a combination of hooks and upper cuts. Phumpf, phumpf! They slam into Chavez's temple. "Long range, long range. Move him away, move him away," shouts his coach from the safe side of the ropes. Chavez narrows his eyes and bends his head to the task. This time he stays back, keeping the other boxer at arm's length. At 16, Chavez is already 6ft 2in. He looks too skinny to be a fighter, but what he lacks in muscle he makes up for in aggression, technique and bloody intent. Thump! He lands a solid jab. Then another. And then an upper cut, first left then right. "That's it! Good!" shouts the coach. "Move, move."
When it comes to boxing, Chavez is a fast learner. But it's a different story in the classroom. At 12, he was expelled from school and sent to a Pupil Referral Unit, an education centre for children who cannot be controlled by mainstream schools. But PRUs are no more than holding-pens for our most unsettled children, and often they are not even that. Chavez was so disruptive in class and so violent towards his fellow pupils that he had to leave.
In many parts of the country, that would have been that. Deemed "unteachable", his school career would have been at an end and he would have begun his "adult" life with no qualifications and the reading age of a 10-year-old. Depressingly, one in 10 students entitled to free school meals currently leaves school in this way.
Figures published last week also show that two in every five children leave primary school without reaching the required level in English and maths. And all this, despite Labour pumping billions of extra pounds into the education system (investment rose from £29.7 billion in 1997-98 to £60.8 billion in 2006-07) and David Blunkett, then the Education Secretary, instigating daily literacy and numeracy lessons.
Boys with Chavez's sort of profile, perhaps no more than 20,000 across Britain, are responsible for the vast majority of anti-social behaviour – muggings, burglaries and stabbings – and research shows that almost all children involved in gangs have been excluded from mainstream schooling.
Fortunately for Chavez, another door opened for him. At the same time that he was causing mayhem in school, a project was starting in Tottenham, north London, that aimed to turn around the lives of the most disadvantaged and hard-to-reach youngsters. It was called the London Boxing Academy, and Chavez was its first pupil.
On a bright morning its co-founder Simon Marcus shows me around. "We're trying to reverse brainwashing here," he tells me as we stand in the sky-blue common room, next to a pool table and a table football game. "These kids think they're victims, they can't do anything, the world's against them, they deserve something. You'll destroy anyone if you teach that to them from the age of zero. "We're saying you can achieve whatever you want, your horizons are as broad as anyone's, but you have to live by certain values – responsibility, respect, discipline, a work ethic – and sacrifice for the future. You have to think long-term, not short-term, be a leader not a follower."
The academy teaches them that, primarily, through boxing. There are lessons as well, but each one of the 36 pupils (including three girls) does up to four hours of boxing training per week. There is no contact boxing during school hours (anyone who wants to fight properly does so in their spare time through the police boxing club at the academy's gym), but they all work with punch bags and mitts, learn technique and keep fit through skipping and running.
Marcus, a former boxer himself is evangelical about the sport's benefits. "Boxing is 20 to 30 per cent of what we do. As soon as those kids come through that door they are not top dog, they are not the bully, and that is a lot of our job done. "They are subliminally accepting authority, and that opens up a world of opportunity for them because they can accept an order in life. They can accept boundaries, discipline, and from that comes learning and a future. In fact, that is a form of love. All these people who talk about children's rights, no one talks about the right of a child to receive authority and that's something that's vital. The word 'no' has disappeared from bringing up children."
There is no doubt in my mind that Marcus does indeed love these children. Every time a pupil passes us, he makes a conscious effort to catch their eye and greet them by name: "All right, Ashley", "You OK, Walker?", "Hello, Rasheda." And when he spots someone breaking the rules, his response suggests a calm authority. The pupils still have a certain swagger – a third of them have been permanently excluded from school and many have served time in youth offender institutions for violent crime – but they listen to him and keep their tempers in check.
"These kids eating fried chicken for their lunch, they just drop things," he says after speaking to a boy who has just tossed a burger carton on to the floor. "They have absolutely no awareness that they should pick things up. If you say, 'Oi! Pick it up', there will be trouble. Whereas if you say, 'Now, you know you shouldn't drop things on the floor; you know you should pick it up', nine times out of 10 they'll do it."
At mainstream schools, where teachers are under so much pressure, this approach is much more difficult. "I feel sorry for teachers in mainstream schools," says Marcus. "They're just going to go, 'Hey! Pick it up', and then there could be a problem" – he means verbal abuse at the very least, possibly violence – "and the kid might end up being kicked out of school. So, it's very systemic. The system isn't geared to work with these kids who have so many problems on so many levels."
In the school year 2006-07, 65,390 children were excluded, the vast majority on a temporary basis. Almost half of these were barred for violent, threatening or aggressive behaviour. A survey, published in 2008, said 29 per cent of teachers had been punched, kicked or bitten by pupils. Ofsted, the school inspection service, insists pupil behaviour is satisfactory in 94 per cent of schools, but Terry Haydn, a former comprehensive teacher who now studies classroom disruption at East Anglia university, says that is not his experience. "Deficits in classroom climate are more widespread than Ofsted assumes. Quite a lot of kids simply don't want to be in school and don't want to learn. Even very good and experienced teachers have said to me, 'I struggle.' "
The right of the majority of pupils to get on with their lessons should be paramount, but Haydn says that too often violent and difficult troublemakers are allowed back into the classroom. This is not helped by rules that allow pupils to appeal against permanent exclusions. Of the 8,680 pupils who were permanently excluded in 2007, about 970 appealed and 250 were successful, a rise of 20 per cent in 10 years.
Twelve years ago, Labour came to power promising to champion children from the poorest sections of society. It acknowledged that the problems started in infancy, when children develop both emotionally and psychologically and learn basic relationship skills. The Government promised nursery education for all three- and four-year-olds and established the Sure Start programme to provide education and childcare to pre-school children from poor families.
A recent Ofsted report found that Sure Start centres are having a positive impact on the life chances of children and providing much-needed support to parents. But Sure Start has strayed from its initial goals and become much more a part of the Government's drive to get parents back to work. "It predominantly delivers child care now," says Charlotte Pickles, a senior policy adviser at the think tank, the Centre for Social Justice. "That early-years development is no longer the priority, and many parents are not being taught parenting skills. So, by the time they go on to a primary school, these children don't have the social ability to engage with their peers.
"They're likely to be behind other children in educational terms, and, especially if they're at a failing school, they're then likely to fall even further behind. By the time they turn up at secondary school, they have little hope of catching up with their contemporaries who have had that investment and support."
Of course, the failure of early-years education doesn't mean primary and secondary schools and other educationists shouldn't shoulder much of the blame for the violent children on our streets. For Simon Marcus, the situation is critical. "I feel like I'm in a living nightmare," he says. "Everywhere I look, I see catastrophically bad judgment from people who have been to Oxford and Cambridge who should know better.
"We know what works. Kids need discipline, they need boundaries, they need love, they need stability. They don't need a bunch of crazy liberal experiments where they are told, 'Do what you want, make your own decisions; male role models aren't that important; there is no such thing as right and wrong; it's everybody else's fault.'
"A quarter of a million kids a year carry knives. I speak to idiots who say it's no different from the mods and rockers or punks. No! It is. You are dealing with people – the equality brigade – for whom politics has become a religion. "Many of them are highly motivated individuals who do a lot of good work in poor areas, but unless your larger framework acknowledges the basics – simple, self-evident truths – then these children, nine times out of 10, are not going to turn out very well."
Marcus's hard-line approach has transformed the prospects of Chavez Campbell. He is waiting for the results of seven GCSEs, he has a place in college, and he doesn't get into trouble any more. "Boxing just agreed with me," he says. "My ambition is to box for England. Then I want to go to the Olympics, and, after the Olympics, I want to go pro." He grins. "I'm serious. I've got a future now."
Careless NHS kills again
By Mark Steyn
Here's one of those anecdotal horror stories from Scotland's National Health Service that we are enjoined by American "reformers" to pay no heed to. From The Daily Record: "A mum suffering chest pains died in front of her young son hours after being sent home from hospital and told to take painkillers. Debra Beavers, 39, phoned NHS 24 twice in two days before getting a hospital appointment. But a doctor gave what her family described as a cursory examination lasting 11 minutes, before advising her to buy over-the-counter medicine Ibuprofen... Seven hours later, the mum-of-two collapsed and died from a heart attack in front of her 13-year-old boy."
It's one of those stories that has all the conventions of the genre: The perfunctory medical examination; the angry relatives; the government innovation intended to pass off an obstructive bureaucracy as a streamlined high-tech fast-track ("NHS 24" is some sort of 1-800 helpline). Indeed, in the end, it's all about the bureaucracy: The 1-800 guys don't think you're worth letting past the health-care rope line. So you call again, and ask again, and they say okay, we'll find you someone, but he can only spare 11 minutes of his busy time. And, while you're being carried out by the handles, the bureaucracy insists that all went swimmingly:
"NHS 24 executive nurse director Eunice Muir said: "We can confirm Ms Beavers contacted NHS 24 and that her onward referral was managed safely and appropriately."
Phew! Thank goodness for that. In The Wall Street Journal, our old friend Theodore Dalrymple writes: In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog.
As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs—or hamsters—come first.
The conditions in which you receive your treatment are much more pleasant than British humans have to endure. For one thing, there is no bureaucracy to be negotiated with the skill of a white-water canoeist; above all, the atmosphere is different. There is no tension, no feeling that one more patient will bring the whole system to the point of collapse, and all the staff go off with nervous breakdowns. In the waiting rooms, a perfect calm reigns; the patients’ relatives are not on the verge of hysteria, and do not suspect that the system is cheating their loved one, for economic reasons, of the treatment which he needs.
That's because, in their respective health systems, Fido is a valued client, and poor Debra Beavers wasn't.
In socialist Britain, dogs get better healthcare than people
By THEODORE DALRYMPLE
In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog. As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs—or hamsters—come first.
The conditions in which you receive your treatment are much more pleasant than British humans have to endure. For one thing, there is no bureaucracy to be negotiated with the skill of a white-water canoeist; above all, the atmosphere is different. There is no tension, no feeling that one more patient will bring the whole system to the point of collapse, and all the staff go off with nervous breakdowns. In the waiting rooms, a perfect calm reigns; the patients’ relatives are not on the verge of hysteria, and do not suspect that the system is cheating their loved one, for economic reasons, of the treatment which he needs. The relatives are united by their concern for the welfare of each other’s loved one. They are not terrified that someone is getting more out of the system than they.
The latter is the fear that also haunts Americans, at least those Americans who think of justice as equality in actual, tangible benefits. That is the ideological driving force of health-care reform in America. Without manifest and undeniable inequalities, the whole question would generate no passion, only dull technical proposals and counterproposals, reported sporadically on the inside pages of newspapers. I have never seen an article on the way veterinary services are arranged in Britain: it is simply not a question.
Nevertheless, there is one drawback to the superior care British dogs receive by comparison with that of British humans: they have to pay for it, there and then. By contrast, British humans receive health care that is free at the point of delivery. Of course, some dogs have had the foresight to take out insurance, but others have to pay out of their savings. Nevertheless, the iron principle holds: cash on delivery.
But what, I hear social philosophers and the shade of the late John Rawls cry, of British dogs that have no savings and cannot afford insurance? What happens to them? Are not British streets littered with canines expiring from preventable and treatable diseases, as American streets are said by Europeans to be littered with the corpses of the uninsured?
Strangely, no. This is not because there are no poor dogs; there are many. The fact is, however, that there is a charitable system of veterinary services, free at the point of delivery, for poor dogs, run by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, the PDSA. This is the dog’s safety net.
Honesty compels me to admit that the atmosphere in the PDSA rather resembles that in the National Health Service for British humans, and no dog would go there if he had the choice to go elsewhere. He has to wait and accept what he’s given; the attendants may be nice, or they may also be nasty, he has to take pot luck; and the other dogs who go there tend to be of a different type or breed, often of the fighting variety whose jaws once closed on, say, a human calf cannot be prised open except by decapitation. There is no denying that the PDSA is not as pleasant as private veterinary services; but even the most ferocious opponents of the National Health Service have not alleged that it fails to be better than nothing.
What is the solution to the problem of some dogs receiving so much better, or at least more pleasant, care than others? Is it not a great injustice that, through no fault of their own, some dogs are treated in Spartan conditions while others, no better or more talented than they, are pampered with all the comforts that commerce can afford?
One solution to the problem of the injustice in the treatment of dogs would be for the government to set up an equalizing fund from which money would be dispensed, when necessary, to sick dogs, purely on the basis of need rather than by their ability to pay, though contributions to the fund would be assessed strictly on ability to pay.
Of course, from the point of view of social justice as equality, it wouldn’t really matter whether the treatment meted out to dogs was good or bad, so long as it was equal. And, oddly enough, one of the things about the British National Health Service for human beings that has persuaded the British over its 60 years of existence that it is socially just is the difficulty and unpleasantness it throws in the way of patients, rich and poor alike: for equality has the connotation not only of justice, but of hardship and suffering. And, as everyone knows, it is easier to spread hardship equally than to disseminate blessings equally.
I hope I shall not be accused of undue asperity towards human nature when I suggest that the comparative efficiency and pleasantness of services for dogs by comparison with those for humans has something, indeed a great deal, to do with the exchange of money. This is not to say that it is only the commercial aspect of veterinary practice that makes it satisfactory: most vets genuinely like dogs at least as much as most doctors like people, and moreover they have a pride in professional standards that is independent of any monetary gain they might secure by maintaining them. But the fact that the money they receive might go elsewhere if they fail to satisfy surely gives a fillip to their resolve to satisfy.
And I mean no disrespect to the proper function of government when I say that government control, especially when highly centralized, can sap the will even of highly motivated people to do their best. No one, therefore, would seriously expect the condition of dogs in Britain to improve if the government took over veterinary care, and laid down what treatment dogs could and could not receive.
It might be objected, however, that Man, pace Professor Singer, is not a dog, and that therefore the veterinary analogy is not strictly a correct or relevant one. Health economics, after all, is an important and very complex science, if a somewhat dull one, indeed the most dismal branch of the dismal science. Who opens the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine to read, with a song in his heart, papers with titles such as ‘Collective Accountability for Medical Care—Toward Bundled Medicare Payments,’ or ‘Universal Coverage One Head at a Time—the Risks and Benefits of Individual Insurance Mandates’? On the whole, I’d as soon settle down to read the 110,000 pages of Medicare rules.
A few simple facts seem established, however, even in this contentious field. The United States spends a greater proportion of its gross domestic product on health care than any other advanced nation, yet the results, as measured by the health of the population overall, are mediocre. Even within the United States, there is no correlation between the amount spent on health care per capita and the actual health of the population upon which it is spent.
The explanation usually given for this is that physicians have perverse incentives: they are paid by service or procedure rather than by results. As Bernard Shaw said, if you pay a man to cut off your leg, he will.
But the same is true in France, which not only spends a lesser proportion of its GDP on health care than the U.S. but has better results, as measured by life expectancy, and is in the unusual situation of allaying most of its citizens’ anxieties about health care. However, the French government is not so happy: chronically in deficit, the health-care system can be sustained only by continued government borrowing, which is already at a dangerously high level. The French government is in the situation, uncomfortable for that of any democracy, of having to reform, and even destroy, a system that everyone likes.
Across the Channel, there is very little that can be said in favor of a health system which is the most ideologically egalitarian in the western world. It supposedly allots health care independently of the ability to pay, and solely on the basis of clinical need; but not only are differences in the health of the rich and poor in Britain among the greatest in the western world, they are as great as they were in 1948, when health care was de facto nationalized precisely to bring about equalization. There are parts of Glasgow that have almost Russian levels of premature male death. Britain’s hospitals have vastly higher rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (a measurement of the cleanliness of hospitals) than those of any other European country; and survival rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease are the lowest in the western world, and lower even than among the worst-off Americans.
Even here, though, there is a slight paradox. About three quarters of people die of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and therefore seriously inferior rates of survival ought to affect life expectancy overall. And yet Britons do not have a lower life expectancy than all other Europeans; their life expectancy is very slightly higher than that of Americans, and higher than that of Danes, for example, who might be expected to have a very superior health-care system. Certainly, I would much rather be ill in Denmark than in Britain, whatever the life expectancy statistics.
Perhaps this suggests that there is less at stake in the way health-care systems are organized and funded, at least as far as life expectancy is concerned (not an unimportant measure, after all), than is sometimes supposed. Or perhaps it suggests that the relationship of the health-care system to the actual health of people in societies numbering many millions is so complex that it is difficult to identify factors with any degree of certainty.
In the New England Journal of Medicine for July 3, 2008, we read the bald statement that ‘Medicare’s projected spending growth is unsustainable.’ But in the same journal on Jan. 24, 2008, under the title ‘The Amazing Noncollapsing U.S. Health Care System’ we had read that ‘For roughly 40 years, health care professionals, policy-makers, politicians, and the public have concurred that the system is careening towards collapse because it is indefensible and unsustainable, a study in crisis and chaos. This forecast appeared soon after Medicare and Medicaid were enacted and have never retreated. Such disquieting continuity amid changes raises an intriguing question: If the consensus was so incontestable, why has the system not already collapsed?’
The fact that collapse has not occurred in 40 years does not, of course, mean that it will not collapse tomorrow. The fact that a projection is not a prediction works in all directions: prolonged survival does not mean eternal survival, any more than a growth in the proportion of GDP devoted to health care means that, eventually, the entire GDP must be spent on health care.
Therefore I, who have no solution to my own health-care problems, let alone those of the United States, say only, beware of health-care economists bearing statistics that prove the inevitability of their own solutions. I mistrust the fact that, while those people who work for commercial companies (rightly) have to declare their interests in writing in medical journals, those who work for governmental agencies do not do so: as if government agencies had not interests of their own, and worked only for the common good.
The one kind of reform that America should avoid is one that is imposed uniformly upon the whole country, with a vast central bureaucracy. No nation in the world is more fortunate than America in its suitability for testing various possible solutions. The federal government should concern itself very little in health care arrangements, and leave it almost entirely to the states. I don’t want to provoke a new war of secession but surely this is a matter of states’ rights. All judgment, said Doctor Johnson, is comparative; and while comparisons of systems as complex as those of health care are never definitive or indisputable, it is possible to make reasonable global judgments: that the French system is better than the British or Dutch, for example. Only dictators insist they know all the answers in advance of experience. Let 100—or, in the case of the U.S., 50—flowers bloom.
Selfishly, no doubt, I continue to measure the health-care system where I live by what I want for myself and those about me. And what I want, at least for that part of my time that I spend in England, is to be a dog. I also want, wherever I am, the Americans to go on paying for the great majority of the world’s progress in medical research and technological innovation by the preposterous expense of their system: for it is a truth universally acknowledged that American clinical research has long reigned supreme, so overall, the American health-care system must have been doing something right. The rest of the world soon adopts the progress, without the pain of having had to pay for it.
Britain's police are now the useless uniformed wing of New Labour
Our useless and complacent police can now see their doom staring them in the face. The people of a Southampton suburb have clubbed together to hire private security men to do what the modern police ‘services’ refuse to do – patrol the streets. As one resident of the area said: ‘We do see the police now and again round here but they are always busy with other things.’
And so they are. This week we learned that two female police sergeants and a ‘Community Support’ officer had shrouded themselves in Islamic gear, apparently to find out what it was like. It must have made a change from going round telling people to nail down their possessions and barricade their houses because the police can’t do anything about thieves. Or going on diversity training.
Much better if they had tried living as lonely pensioners on a lawless estate, listening to the jeers of knots of drunk or drugged-up youths smashing bottles against their walls and urinating in their front gardens.
Or how about being really, really adventurous, dressing up as British police officers instead of members of the LAPD, ditching the huge club, the scowl, the pepper spray and the cuffs and going round the towns and cities alone, approachable and on foot? Forget it. That’s not what the modern police are for. They’re useless for a reason, not by accident.
They have become the uniformed wing of New Labour, not preventing crime or seeing that it is punished – but mediating neutrally between ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ and spying out political incorrectness, in their own ranks and beyond.
Sooner or later, millions of people will catch on to the fact that the police in this country aren’t on their side and don’t want to do what we pay them for. Those who can afford it will hire their own protection. Everyone else will just suffer. The three main political parties will do nothing.
WINDFARM BRITAIN MEANS (VERY) EXPENSIVE ELECTRICITY
A recent industry study into the UK energy sector of 2030 - which according to government plans will use a hugely increased amount of wind power - suggests that massive electricity price rises will be required, and some form of additional government action in order to avoid power cuts. This could have a negative impact on plans for electrification of transport and domestic energy use.
The study is called Impact of Intermittency, and was carried out by consulting group Pöyry for various industry players such as the National Grid and Centrica at a cost of more than £1m. Pöyry modelled the likely effects on the UK electricity market of a large windpower base of the sort needed to meet government carbon targets - assuming no major change in the amount of nuclear power available.
There's a summary of the report for the public available here in PDF
Beetroot eases pain of red-faced runners
POUNDING the streets for hours every day in preparation for a marathon? Sit down and drink some beetroot juice instead. Drinking a glass has been found to boost stamina, allowing people to endure strenuous physical exercise for longer.
Research shows that the nitrate in beetroot juice leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake, slowing the rate at which a person becomes exhausted. Those drinking the juice can exercise for 16 per cent longer.
The scientists behind the study said that the reduction in oxygen use was greater than that achieved by any other known means, including training. The findings could be of interest to endurance athletes, elderly people or those with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases, they added.
But there is a side-effect, albeit harmless. Drinking beetroot juice can lead to beeturia, when urine turns pink or red because of acidity levels in the stomach.
The research team, led by the University of Exeter, conducted the study with eight men aged 19 to 38. They were given 500ml a day of organic beetroot juice for six consecutive days before completing a series of tests, involving cycling on an exercise bike. On another occasion, they were given a placebo of blackcurrant cordial for six consecutive days before completing the same cycling tests. After drinking beetroot juice the group was able to cycle for an average of 11 minutes, 25 seconds - 92 seconds longer than when using the placebo. This translates into a 2 per cent reduction in the time taken to cover a set distance. The group that consumed the beetroot juice also had lower resting blood pressure.
The researchers are not sure of the mechanism that causes the nitrate in the beetroot juice to boost stamina. However, they suspect that it could be a result of the nitrate turning into nitric oxide in the body, reducing the oxygen cost of exercise. Nitrate is high in other foods, such as lettuce, but can be introduced in larger quantities because beetroot can be juiced, the researchers said.
The study follows research by Barts and the London School of Medicine and the Peninsula Medical School, published last year, which found that beetroot juice reduced blood pressure. The researchers found that in healthy volunteers blood pressure was reduced within an hour of drinking.
The latest research was carried out by the University of Exeter and Peninsula Medical School and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The team hopes to conduct further studies to try to understand in more detail the effects of nitrate-rich foods on exercise physiology.
Professor Andy Jones, lead researcher from the University of Exeter School of Sport and Health Sciences, said the work showed that nitrate-rich food could increase endurance.
"We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training," he said. "I am sure professional and amateur athletes will be interested in the results."
Experts welcomed the findings but cautioned that both studies to date had been small and called for trials on a larger scale, including research into long-term benefits or potentially harmful effects.
Privatized policing in Britain: "“Residents in a leafy suburb of Southampton have clubbed together to purchase security from a private firm. The ‘local’ police force have failed to protect the community and left people feeling unsafe. Thus, with an opening in the market place a private company is now giving the residents peace of mind by protecting them from crime. Atraks offers a ‘first response’ to crime and is independent of the police and local councils, and is cheap at just £3.15 per week. This country has reached the point where the police force has become a centralized, uniformed arm of the state, directed by government not for the people’s benefit but for their own.”
New fears over the rising tide of jobless in Britain: “In a week when ministers are bracing themselves for another steep rise in unemployment and possible downgrades in the Bank of England’s growth forecasts, senior analysts at two organisations warn today that a huge ’second wave’ of public-sector redundancies threatens to extinguish any near-term economic recovery.In their latest Labour Market Outlook, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and accountants KPMG say that the pace of deterioration in UK job prospects is starting to slow this summer, as private-sector demand for staff begins to stabilise following the surge of redundancies that took effect earlier in the year.”