Modern England increasingly Darwinian

The other day, the Daily Mail ran an article about the exponential increase in stranger attacks in England, a byproduct of the public drunkenness that is increasing at an even faster rate than the violence.  I still remember when England was a remarkably safe, clean little country, except in the worst neighborhoods of the biggest cities.  Now, there is no time and no place in England that isn’t as randomly violent as a Third World country or a predator-filled jungle.

If you live in this kind of jungle, it pays to be prepared.  So here is a satisfying story about a BBC reporter who, after patiently enduring verbal attacks from two drunken yobs, turned on the physicality when the yobs tried to throw a punch.  (Did I mention that the BBC reporter is a black belt?)

Increasingly, England looks like a Mad Max culture.  How sad.

A fascinating peek into Britain’s past

We’re not talking about the way distant past here, we’re talking about Britain in the 1950s, a place some found stable, safe and charming, and others repressive and stultifying.  I’m a stable, safe and charming gal myself, so I developed a real sense of nostalgia reading about a place and time I never knew.

UPDATE:  Fixed the caption from “peak” to “peek” — although I guess it was sort of accurate, ’cause Britain seems to have gone way downhill since them.  At leaste my typos are spelled correctly….

Don’t stop him; he serves a chance to kill again

If there was ever an example of misguided compassion, this story out of Britain must rank at the top of the list:

A psychopathic Satanist, given a ‘life means life’ sentence for strangling his cellmate whilst already serving life for murder, has had that cut to 20 years on appeal in order ‘to give him light at the end of the tunnel’.

The move came despite the admission that double killer Clement McNally described the murder as ‘better than sex’ and revealed he would kill again if the opportunity arose.

Father-of-one Anthony Hesketh, of Eastham Way, Worsley, who was in custody for a driving offence and facing drugs charges, was strangled with a T-shirt in September 2003. He was found dead on the floor of the Strangeways cell he shared with McNally.

McNally, 34 – a devil worshipper who decorated his cell with satanic symbols and suffers from ‘psychopathic, narcissistic, paranoid and obsessive-compulsive disorders, all mixed together’ – was serving a mandatory life term for stabbing to death his friend, Arthur Skelly, outside a party in Ashton-under-Lyne in July 2002.

He was given a life term, with a whole life tariff, for the second killing, after pleading guilty to manslaughter by way of diminished responsibility at Manchester Crown Court on July 12 2004.

But now the minimum term on his life sentence has been slashed to 20 years by Lord Justice Hughes, at London’s Criminal Appeal Court. The judge said it was not right that McNally should be denied a light at the end of the tunnel and never have a chance of release.

[snip]

Lord Justice Hughes, sitting with Mr Justice MacKay and Mr Justice Davis, said of Mr Hesketh’s killing: ‘McNally had no particular grievance against his victim – he simply suffered an urge to kill him.

‘He said it was exciting – better than sex. He said Satan told him to do things and it was his job to do as he was told.

‘He said he was not in the least bit sorry for what he had done, but had derived a great deal of pleasure from subsequently thinking about it.

‘He suffers from compulsive homicidal urges and poses an exceptional risk to other prisoners. He made it perfectly clear that he would kill again if the opportunity arose and the urge to kill was of sufficient intensity.’

However the judge said it was wrong not to give McNally the chance of being freed if, at some point in the future, his mental state stabilises to the extent that the authorities no longer consider him a danger to society.

He told the court: ‘The life sentence was plainly correct as he was likely to represent a danger of the gravest kind, for a period which could not be determined.

‘However the imposition of a whole life tariff was a mistaken application of the process of sentencing.

‘The life sentence itself is designed to cater for a prisoner in whom it cannot be seen when, or if ever, they will cease to be a danger to the public.

It’s amazing how the judge doesn’t seem to realize that, for a man who murdered two people in cold blood, maybe a life without “a light at the end of the tunnel” is just the right prescription.

Maybe this is just the pendulum swinging.  England used to hang children for stealing a loaf of bread.  Now it freely contemplates giving a second start to an unusually cold-blooded killer.  I would suggest, though, that the fact that England was disproportionately punitive 200 years ago doesn’t mean it needs to be disproportionately . . . well, compassion isn’t the right word, because some innocent always gets hurt . . . but disproportionately stupid now.

Britain yet again reveals the danger of allowing regulations to sap initiative

I don’t think I need to offer much comment on this story, which is one more indictment of the danger of over-regulation that always follows in the wake of Big Government:

Ambulance paramedics battling to save a nine-year-old car crash victim were told the nearest back-up crew could not help as they were on their lunchbreak.

Schoolgirl Bethany Dibbs suffered a fractured skull and ended up in a coma when a car smashed into her as she rode her scooter across the street.

An ambulance crew went to the scene and called for extra help, only to be told by their operator the closest back-up crew still had a few minutes left on their meal break.

Due to the strict rest-break regulations, the astonished paramedics were informed it would take 20 minutes for another crew to arrive.

In the end one of them called their colleagues directly and they immediately abandoned their sandwiches to race to help.

They arrived just five minutes after the original crew and rushed the schoolgirl to hospital.

She is now making a good recovery.

Read the rest here.

This is what happens when excessive rules sap all initiative

The only thing I’ll add to the my post title by way of commentary is that this is the America that Obama and the Democrats envision for you, since increased government control inevitably presages the rise of regulations that destroy initiative, innovation and courage:

A jobsworth ambulance boss refused to allow his staff to enter six inches of water to treat a man with a broken back – because it breached heath and safety.

[snip]

But they [onlookers] were stunned when a paramedic arrived and refused his pleading staff to enter the water – because they weren’t trained to deal with water rescues.

They had to slide a spinal board under him themselves and carry him to ambulancemen, who were stood on the bank just 6ft away.

One onlooker said: ‘The paramedic wouldn’t treat him.

‘Two colleagues arrived in an ambulance but he stood in their way and told them, ‘I’m incident commander – you aren’t getting into the water.’

‘The ambulancemen were pleading with him. I reckon a good ten or more minutes were wasted.’

Steve Cox, 47, who runs the Middlemoor Water Park in Woolavington with his wife Julie, said: ‘The first bloke insisted they had to wait for the fire brigade.

‘He kept saying, “Health and safety won’t let me get in”.’

[snip]

A spokesman for the South West Ambulance Service said only fire crews were trained for water rescues.

He said: ‘The incident was managed in accordance with procedures.’

In August, heart attack victim Melissa Proctor-Blain, 32, died after a paramedic feared it was unsafe to enter a pub in Spondon, Derbys.

Last year Karl Malton, 32, of Crowland, Lincs, drowned in 18ins of water while 999 crews waited for a water rescue team 50 miles away.

Let me remind you what initiative and courage look like:

Construction worker rescue

Woe betide us if we follow in England’s footsteps

England is a benefits culture.  The government, although strapped for cash, hands out benefits like candy, and each Briton feels entitled to his or her share.  It’s no wonder, of course.  Not only is there no stigma attached to benefits, there’s no upside to avoiding them.  Already back in the early 1980s, I had a friend who spent the entire summer before college cleaning up after elephants at the local zoo.  During the same summer, his sister lay on the couch, watched the Soaps on the telly, and collected her dole check.  At summer’s end, after he’d been taxed on his elephant poop pittance, she had more money than he did.  For him, it was a valuable lesson learned about British economics.

The inevitable has happened, with British citizens having become dysfunctionally inert:

The stigma that once went with claiming benefits rather than working for a living has been lost, a study has claimed.

The work ethic that inspired successive generations has ebbed away in the face of the welfare state.

Over the past decades each generation has seen more and more people milking the benefit system, which has sapped their will to work, the research from the Centre for Economic Performance said.

[snip]

The report said: ‘It has long been recognised that generous unemployment benefits create moral hazard – workers are partly protected against the consequences of being unemployed, so they are less likely to search for jobs with the same intensity.’

[snip]

The report in the journal CentrePiece said: ‘A decline in the work ethic, induced by the expansion of the welfare state, is key to understanding European unemployment.’

Researchers looked at answers from countries across Europe to the World Values Survey, a regular poll carried out in more than 90 countries since 1980.

They examined numbers of people in different age groups who said they thought it was never justifiable to cheat to get benefits.

They found that people in their 40s – born in the 1960s – are 12 per cent more likely than those in their 70s – who were born in the 1930s, before the days of all-encompassing welfare states – to say benefit cheating is justifiable.

For those born in the 1970s, those who would never falsely claim benefits were 19 per cent fewer than those born in the 1930s.

For people born in the 1980s, the gap rose to 24 per cent. The report said the rise in numbers prepared to cheat the benefits system held good regardless of the political views or educational level of the individual.

‘This decline in the work ethic could be one of the major factors explaining the evolution of unemployment since 1945,’ Mr Michau said.

Read more here.

This study is important, not only because it explains England’s decline into a nation characterized by sloth and debauchery, but because it presages the future Obama and the Democrats plan for us here in America.  Nancy wants to tax the functional middle class out of existence, and Obama is determined to channel those same tax moneys into a permanent pot for everyone who doesn’t want to work.  Their efforts will not create a new paradise in which everyone is loved and cared for.  It will create a hellish society of dependency and demoralization.  People whose lives lack meaning and purpose seem to slide inevitably into violent anarchy.

Hieronymous Bosch and alcoholic Britain have a lot in common

After you’ve read this appalling article about Britain’s well-recognized drinking problem, two thoughts:  First, it’s like a Bosch painting come to life.  And second, if you were in England and appalled by what you saw, wouldn’t Islam, a religion that bans alcohol, start to look attractive?

Remind me not to send my teenage girls to school in England

I gave the post the above title because, in England, even a woman who is a convicted sexual predator gets to keep up her relationship with the victim:

A public school music teacher was today jailed for lesbian sex with a 15-year-old pupil – but was given an astonishing green light to continue the ‘affair’ when out of prison.

The court heard trumpet teacher Helen Goddard, 26, used sex toys and fluffy handcuffs on the ‘vulnerable’ child, helped weave a web of lies so the girl could stay in her flat overnight, and took her on a dirty weekend in Paris, where they joined a gay pride march.

But despite hearing from the girl’s parents the devastating effect the five-month sexual relationship had on the teenager, Judge Anthony Pitts rejected a prosecution request to ban the teacher from contacting her victim for five years, claiming it would be ‘cruel’ to the child.

Instead, she is allowed to write to her now, and will be able to see her in private the moment she is released from jail, likely to be just half-way through her 15-month sentence.

Goddard actually punched the air in victory in the dock when she realised her ‘relationship’ with her still-underage pupil could continue.

Be ever vigilant regarding the current administration’s assaults on free speech

All of us have been worried that the Obama Administration, working in tandem with a wildly Democratic Congress, wants to clamp down on freedom of speech.  Heck, in true Orwellian fashion, the House of Representatives has already taken myriad terms off the table for fear that they might be used against their Fearless (albeit whiny) Leader.  We also know that Obama’s new “Diversity Chief” at the FCC, Mark Lloyd, is bound and determined to shut down conservative radio.  The Democratic administration’s cry of “racist” when it comes to any opposition to Obama’s policies is also meant to shut down speech by shaming the speakers.  Still, we have a First Amendment and, ‘though it’s getting battered and bloody, it’s hanging in there and protecting us for the time being.

Things are not so good in other places, and I’m not talking about North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela.  We all watched last year as Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant and Kathy Shaidle were attacked by the Canadian government for having the temerity to offend Muslim sensibilities.  In Canada, for goodness sakes!  We tend to think that our country is an awful lot like theirs (only less tidy), but it turns out that there are fundamental differences in the two countries when it comes to a citizen’s relationship to the state, and the control the state has over its citizens.  The same holds true for England.  We look to England as the mother country, the one that gave us ideas about constitutions and freedom and equal rights at the law, etc., but we forget how far we’ve outstripped England when it comes to those principles — an outstripping that finds its source in our unique American Bill of Rights.

Well, today’s British news served to remind me, once again, how very different a country is when it has a constitutionally enshrined right to free speech from one that doesn’t.  In England, two Christian hotel owners are being prosecuted by the government (this is not just a civil suit between citizens) for having “offended” a Muslim woman when they stated the historically and factually accurate truths that Muhammad was a war lord (and proud of it) and that Islamic dress does not serve women well (emphasis mine):

A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel.

Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments.

They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.

The couple, whose trial has been set for December, face a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record if they are convicted.

Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.

It is understood that they suggested that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was a warlord and that traditional Muslim dress for women was a form of bondage.

They deny, however, that their comments were threatening and argue that they had every right to defend and explain their beliefs.

In other words, in England, even to have a fact-based discussion that offends Muslims can turn you into a criminal.  And I do mean fact-based.  The Koran is one proud boast after another regarding Mohammed’s martial prowess.  To the extent the Koran constitutes both a religious source book and the sole historical record about the man, he was indeed a warlord — and, as it happens, a religious leader too.  Further, I don’t know about you (and it’s very un-PC of me to say so), but Ibelieve reasonable minds could consider the burqa a form of bondage:

Muslim women in burqa

It’s becoming clear that, of all the dangerous things coming out of the Obama White House — the criminal ACORN associations, the cozying up to the worst actors in the world while alienating our friends, the attempt to socialize our economy, etc. — the single most dangerous thing may prove to be the one that’s slipping under the radar, and that’s the assault on the crown jewel of our Bill of Rights:  Freedom of Speech.

Even the Muslims are mad at Britain’s most recent attack of dhimmitude

We’re getting near the tail-end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that requires dawn to dusk fasting.  Now, I’m a gal who enjoys noshing during the day, so I’m not thrilled about abstaining from food and drink for 10 hours.  I’d be especially unhappy if it was a hot day, ’cause any type of drink would look awfully enticing.  Nevertheless, it is not the end of the world to hold off on eating for a few hours, especially with the promise of a nice meal to come at the end of the day.  Also, assuming I’m a devout Muslim, I’m not fasting as a punishment, but as as a religious obligation.  It is my gift to God and my faith.

The British Home Office, however, was terribly, terribly worried about those Muslims amongst it who might have rumbly tummies and dry mouths.  It therefore sent around a 5 page document informing all the bone-headed ordinary Brits in its employ about all the sensitivity steps they’d need to talk to make their hungry colleagues happy until night fell:

Home Office staff were officially warned not to eat in front of their fasting Muslim colleagues during Ramadan – in case it made them feel hungry.

The advice came in a taxpayer-funded internal document listing do’s and don’ts during the Muslim holy month, which ends this weekend.

[snip]

The Home Office Islamic Network produced the five-page information sheet which says: ‘In practical terms, please be sensitive when eating lunch near a Muslim colleague who is fasting.

This can make an individual feel hungrier and make it more challenging to observe the fast.’

[snip]

It says: ‘The most likely need Muslim staff may present to managers during this period is for flexibility around working hours and break times as those fasting will have a slightly different routine from usual. Managers and Muslim staff should discuss what their needs are and be responsive and sensitive.’

Managers were also told: ‘Muslim staff who are fasting and whose environment allows it may wish to set out for work earlier than usual and finish their working day correspondingly early…in line with flexi-time arrangements.’

[snip]

The spokeswoman added that the Islamic Network was one of a number of staff faith and equality groups within the Home Office and was paid for by the taxpayer.

What’s so incredibly funny about all this is that the British, who have completely accepted that there home culture must always be subordinate to another culture, have not protested.  Instead, the protests came from Muslim groups, who felt as if they’d had a big target painted on them:

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which claims to be fighting a ‘political jihad against Islamophobia’, attacked the document.

It said: ‘It is designed to create more hatred in the hearts of non-Muslims.

‘We don’t care how much non-Muslims eat in front of us.

‘It’s never been an issue and never will be and we have never asked for any special treatment or sensitivity from non-Muslims whilst fasting.’

What’s sad is that we no longer live in a society where the bottom line is simply a party of human decency:  If possible, as a good human being and a member of a pluralist society, be nice to people and make reasonable accommodations to their needs — something that should be true irrespective of your or their race, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual preferences, etc.

Rapist praised for converting to Islam, because he’ll now respect women

There is no bliss inherent in the ignorance displayed by one judge in England:

A judge lambasted a rapist for claiming his victim was a liar – then commended him for becoming a muslim.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC sentenced Stuart Wood for seven years for the attack, then told him: ‘You have turned to Islam and this promises well for your future, particularly as you are now an adherent of a religion which respects women and self-discipline.’

Apparently Goldstaub has never heard of honor killings, burkhas, systematic rapes of non-Muslim women, the whole Saudi/Taliban package (unveiled girls being forced to die in burning buildings, chronic house arrest, being beaten on the street for showing any flesh), etc.  To characterize Islam as a religion that respects women, when 90% of Islam’s energy is directed to the subjugation of women is such a travesty that it defies words.  It’s impossible to tell if the judge was motivated by ignorance or malice in making that kind of statement.

I’ll close this short post with a quote from my cousin, the prison chaplain, with his take on prison conversions to Islam:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

It turns out that, in a little corner of Afghanistan, there’ll always be an England

Before their cultural implosion, the English had a reputation for bravery and sangfroid.  Although they are taking a beating in Afghanistan (in large part because the morally bankrupt Labour government refuses to give them necessary support), the troops on the ground are still fighting, dying and showing extraordinary bravery under terrible circumstances:

An heroic army medic treated seven injured comrades after a Taliban attack in Afghanistan despite being wounded with shrapnel herself, it emerged today.

Lance Corporal Sally Clarke, of 2 Rifles, ignored the searing pain caused by the shards embedded in her shoulder and back and set about treating the rest of her patrol.

The worst hit was Corporal Paul Mather who incredibly managed to radio instructions for jets circling above to open fire on Taliban insurgents despite bleeding heavily from wounds the size of his fist.

Read more here.

On the anniversary of the start of WWII, remembering when Hollywood supported Good Wars

Today is the 70th anniversary of Germany’s bombing campaign against Poland, the official start of World War II.  I thought, therefore, that this song from 1941′s Babes on Broadway was just right.  It is an explicit tribute to beleaguered Britain, which was, at the only time, not only the sole nation fighting the Nazis, but also on the receiving end of the Blitz:

And while we’re on the subject of rationed health care

Faced with an epidemic, England is already planning on rationing:

Thousands of patients could be denied NHS treatment and left to die under ‘worst-case’ emergency plans for a swine-flu epidemic.

The blueprint would force doctors to ‘play God’ and prioritise intensive-care treatment for those most likely to benefit  -  ruling out patients with problems such as advanced cancer.

The ‘scoring’ system would be introduced if half the population became infected with flu.

[snip]

The scale of their concern is highlighted in the Department of Health’s report: Pandemic Flu – Managing Demand and Capacity in Health Care Organisations.

Detailing plans to ration hospital treatment, the report warns that if half the population were infected, 6,600 patients per week would be competing for just under 4,000 intensive-care beds.

Around 85 per cent of those beds could already be full with day-to-day emergencies.

To allocate ventilators, beds and intensive-care equipment doctors would have to ‘score’ patients on their health and prognosis as well as seriousness of their conditions.

Those who failed to respond to treatment would be subject to ‘reverse triage’ – in which they were taken off ventilators and left in NHS ‘dying rooms’ with only painkillers to ease their suffering.

Patients with underlying illness such as advanced cancer or the last stage of heart, lung or liver failure  -  and those unlikely to survive even if they were given treatment  -  would not be given an intensive-care bed.

Definitely what we want over here — right, folks?

Actually, I’ll freely concede that we probably would do precisely the same if we had an epidemic.  In an epidemic situation, rationing is inevitable, because an overwhelmed system cannot cope.  What I’d like to think, though, is that our system will be less overwhelmed than the creaking National Health Service, which already does rationing to cope with its inefficiencies.

Swine flu and Britain

Here, at home, it’s barely news.  In England, it’s a true epidemic, with the current spread and death rate hinting at up to 65,000 deaths as the disease runs its course.

Are we in the U.S. hit less hard?  Are we hearing less about how hard we’re hit?

I’m asking, but I’m sure not answering, since I have no answers, not to mention that I’m an epidemiological ignoramus.  What do you, oh, my wise and informed readers, have to say about this?

Because teens hadn’t already figured out that sex can feel good

Those who are pushing for universal health care here in America might want to take just a second to contemplate what Britain’s National Health Service (“NHS”) is doing in the area of teen sex.  Because Britain has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe, which no doubt is quite costly to the NHS, you might assume that the NHS would push a combination of abstinence and contraception.  Thinking along those lines, of course, would just prove how utterly naive you are.

Contrary to your naivete, the NHS is hip, dear, totally hip.  Teens shouldn’t be lectured about such boring things as self-control, love, marriage, and contraception.  They should be groovin’ and going with their feelings.  Sex is beautiful, man, and the NHS is there to make sure the teens know that fact.  Thus, an NHS pamphlet prepared specially for British teens contains this helpful information:

The NHS is telling school pupils they have a ‘right’ to an enjoyable sex life and that it is good for their health.

A Health Service leaflet says experts concentrate too much on the need for safe sex and loving relationships, and not enough on the pleasure it can bring.

***

Under the heading ‘an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away’, the leaflet says: ‘Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day and 30 minutes physical activity three times a week. What about sex or masturbation twice a week?’

The advice, which also claims regular sex is good for cardiovascular health, has been circulated to parents, teachers and youth workers.

***

The NHS leaflet has been drawn up by Sheffield primary care trust and is entitled Pleasure.

The true beauty of the pamphlet is the rationale its author offers for promulgating this groovy, free-lovin’ information:

Its author, Steve Slack, director of the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health at NHS Sheffield, defended it by saying the advice could encourage young people to delay losing their virginity until they are sure they will enjoy the experience.

He added that as long as teenagers are fully informed about sex and making decisions free of peer pressure as part of a caring relationship, they have as much right as an adult to a good sex life.

Each and every Victorian who ever lived is rolling in his or her grave.

The few sane minds left in England are protesting the NHS’s latest effort to decrease teen pregnancy — which is an effort only Austin Powers could truly appreciate — but I rather wonder if they’re going to have much success.

Considering how whacked out the NHS is becoming over the seemingly intractable problem of teen pregnancy (especially since the word “no” does not seem to be a part of the British sex ed vocabulary), one wonders if the next step is going to be a consultation with Obama’s own science czar, John Holdren.  A little hormone treatment to the national water system, and everyone can have all the fun sex they want.

It’s rather funny to think that Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote Welcome to the Monkey House: Stories at about the same time as Holdren wrote his treatise on mass sterilization, got it all wrong.  The secret wasn’t, as Vonnegut’s overpopulated alternative reality predicted, making sex too awful for anyone to try.  Instead, it was making it so much fun that people would willingly permanently spay or neuter themselves for the pleasure.

Piglet’s revenge

England has generated a lot of pig headlines lately.  The first round involved Britons actually removing, just thinking about removing, pigs from public sight for fear of offending Muslims.  Those stories were scary in an attenuated fashion, because they symbolized England’s loss of will and her willing submission to a dominant minority.

This current round of pig headlines, though, is frightening in a much more imminent fashion.  Swine flu is progressing rapidly through England and the country just suffered its first “healthy” death.  In other words, the person who died wasn’t someone suffering from a pre-existing condition that made him (or her) vulnerable to the virus.  This last reported death means that the average person’s psychological defenses — “Oh, it could never happen to me because I’m healthy” — just vanished.  Yes, it can happen to you.

It’s unclear to me why England is shaping up as Ground Zero in a potential swine flu pandemic.  Certainly, though, we should be watching it closely, and learning whatever lessons we can.

Nowhere for British voters to go

Remember how, in a thread a couple of weeks ago, we talked about the fact that there is no middle for European voters?  If they’re concerned about their own governments’ destroying their national cultures, or an unchecked flow of immigrants who (a) game the system and (b) are incredibly hostile to their new host countries, the current governments turn a blind eye to them.  Indeed, worse, people who voice these concerns are labeled as racits and hounded into silence.

The only organizations in Europe that lend an ear to the concerns that ordinary Europeans have are the nationalist organizations that seek to purge their respective nations of all but those who can prove that their ethnic roots lie deep in the respective country’s history.  (I’m careful not to say “far right” groups, because these groups cannot be nailed down politically in terms of left or right, or, rather, in terms of state or non-state.  Their common denominator is racism.)

Well, the scenario I predicted, that disaffected Europeans will find their only haven in the arms of racists may well play out in Britain.  If you’ve been following the news, you’ll see that Britain has been rocked by a revolting scandal concerning the the spending habits of members of parliament.  The MPs’ habits are especially egregious given that these men and women are pretty useless, insofar as they (a) have handed over real power to the EU and (b) refuse to listen to concerns from middle of the road Brits about out-of-control drinking and licentious behavior and about unchecked Muslim immigration.  Brits want to give their ruling class the boot, but that leaves them with few choices.  Melanie Phillips explains:

If the opinion polls are to be believed, the result is likely to be a hugely increased vote for the fringe parties at the upcoming European Parliament elections.

This would be, however, more than a little perverse. For as the recipients of a protest vote against the corruption of democracy, these fringe parties leave much to be desired.

For all its slick repackaging, the BNP remains an odiously racist party, with its leader blurting out the fact that he doesn’t regard British citizens of Asian descent – indeed, any ethnic minority – as British at all.

He has a criminal conviction for a racist offence, and BNP members are regularly embroiled in ugly or even criminal displays and activities.

As for UKIP, that itself is tainted by corruption, with one of its former MEPs jailed for benefit fraud and another kicked out of the party after being charged with money-laundering.
BNP bus

So neither party is an attractive proposition – indeed, it will be deeply dismaying if the BNP in particular wins any seats at all.

Nevertheless, both stand to gain because they articulate key issues of overriding importance to the public – such as mass immigration and membership of the EU – but which the mainstream parties obdurately fail to address.

These issues are fundamental to the very identity of the country and its ability to govern itself at all. Indeed, their neglect can even be said to have contributed in no small measure to the expenses scandal.

Unrelated to the main point of this post, I rather wonder what racist “offence” the BNP leader committed. It could indeed have been a gross act of racial violence, but in Big Brother Europe, the rule is that non-Muslims are sanctioned for anything from the moderate to the gross, while Muslims are ignored, regardless of how incendiary their statements or actions are.  This attitude from the ruling class is also likely to make Brits sympathetic to ugly fringe parties.  Even if governments cannot distinguish between the meaningful and the insignificant, ordinary people can.  They’ll be sympathetic to those they believe were treated unfairly, and hostile to those they feel are getting an unwarranted pass from the system.

BBC religious program to be headed by a Muslim

Right now, Church of England officials are upset that the BBC’s religious programming department (which is, apparently, a very important department) is going to be headed up by a practicing Muslim.  It is unclear whether he got the position as a result of political correctness or employment mandates, but there he is.  Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we’ll have to wait and see whether Aaqil Ahmed carries out his new assignment with admirable even handedness — or not.  One wonders, though, what recourse there will be if the latter proves to be the case.

Welcome to statism

Americans should be forced to read British newspapers every day, because it gives them an insight into the world of abasement to Muslims, big government and managed care.  Today’s horror story is one in which a senile old lady was snatched from her daughter’s loving care.  You can also read about the British government’s ongoing war against the Gurkhas, something that completely baffles me.  The Brits cravenly allow every two bit, anti-Western, misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic Islamist into the country, but resolutely refuse to provide a home for those Gurkhas who were willing to fight and die for Britain.

No opinions, please. We’re British.

Picture this:  You’re a believing Christian, and you work for a Christian charity that is under the patronage of your country’s major Christian organization.  One of your colleagues, in a private conversation, asks for yours views about your faith. You say that you’re opposed as a doctrinal matter, but that you don’t personally have a problem with gays.  That should be the end of it, but it’s not.

In a reminder, yet again, that Britain, and especially the Anglican church, espouses only PC group think, the next thing that happens is that you’re fired:

A charity worker has been suspended after telling a colleague that as a Christian he was opposed to equal rights for homosexuals.

David Booker, 44, who works at a Christian hostel in Southampton, was asked about his faith by a colleague, Fiona Vardy, at work last month.

He told her that he was opposed to same-sex marriages and to homosexual clergy but denied being homophobic and said that he had homosexual friends.

The next evening, Mr Booker was suspended from his £19,000-a-year post as a hostel support worker with the Society of St James, whose patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury. The hostel, where he has worked for the past four years, told him the action was taken for “events that happened last night”.

A few days later he was told he had seriously breached the charity’s code of conduct “by promoting your religious views which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person’s sexual orientation”. The action had been taken to safeguard residents and staff, he was advised.

Mr Booker, an evangelical Christian from Southampton, who is being advised by the Christian Legal Centre, now faces an inquiry and a disciplinary hearing.

It comes a few weeks after a Christian nurse who was suspended for offering to pray for the recovery of a patient was reinstated. North Somerset NHS Trust suspended Caroline Petrie for failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity after she offered to pray for the recovery of an elderly patient. The patient did not complain.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, a barrister and the director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This case shows that in today’s politically correct, increasingly secularised society, even consenting reasonable discussion on religion between two employees is being twisted by employers to discriminate and silence the Christian voice and freedom of expression.”

In addition to reminding Brits of the fired nurse, it should remind all of you of the suspended students.  Once again, we see the secular state mandate, not just that the state cannot impose religion (which is fine), but that people are not allowed to have religious views (which is totally un-fine).  The only exception, of course, is for Islam, because those people, you know, might kill you if you tried to treat them as you treat the Christians and Jews under your political aegis.  Thinking about it, at least the Muslims are willing to stand up for their faith.

Medieval dental care under Britain’s NHS

When I was growing up, my father was a teacher with a lousy salary and lousy benefits.  The only good thing he had was his dental plan.  It was a wonderful dental plan.  Provided that we got our teeth cleaned and checked twice a year, it would pay the total cost of any dental work needed.  (And, unsurprisingly given the careful maintenance our teeth got, we never needed fancy dental work.)  One of the side benefits of the plan was that it got me in the habit of making regular visits to my dentist to keep my teeth up to par.

Going to England for my junior year abroad didn’t change that habit.  About half way through the year, I decided that I absotively, posolutely needed to get my teeth cleaned, even if I had to pay out of pocket for the experience.  While visiting a friend in Surrey, I managed to get an appointment with her dentist.

The tooth cleaning I got was, to this spoiled American, surprising.  First, the dentist did it himself, as opposed to a technician.  He explained that, since people didn’t get their teeth cleaned, technicians weren’t trained in the task.  He had been trained at dental skill, he said, but his skills were rusty.

And rusty they were.  If you’re like me, you’re used to a very thorough cleaning:  gum measurements (to check for recession); a careful scraping of every surface; sonic assistance on the scraping, if need be; a gentle scrub with that polisher doo-hicky and some abrasive paste; and finally a good flossing.  When I leave the dentist, my teeth are so clean you can eat off of them.

In England, all I got was a less than gentle scrub with that polisher doo-hicky and some abrasive paste.  That was it.  That was what past for dental hygiene.  It became apparent to me why British teeth have been a long-standing American joke.

Despite (or perhaps because of) Britain’s national health care system, British dentistry apparently continues to be a century or two behind America’s.  Today’s British news informs us that Britain’s dentists pretty much treat tooth problems as they’ve been treated for thousands of years:  they pull the tooth. Indeed, it seems that, when it comes to dental care, the only difference between British dental care today and British dental care in the 1850s, 1750s, 1550s, and ever further back in time, is the anesthetic:

Thousands of Britons are having teeth needlessly pulled out, it was claimed yesterday.

The number of extractions has soared by 30 per cent in four years, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

The party claims this demonstrates how much dental care has deteriorated under Labour, leaving thousands missing out on treatment that could save their teeth. More than 175,000 Britons had their teeth extracted under general anaesthetic in 2007/08, up 40,000 on the 2003/04 figure, a parliamentary answer revealed.

Figures show thousands of people are having their teeth pulled out needlessly when they could have been saved

Of these, 44,300 were aged between six and 18 and 14,200 were under five years old. LibDem health spokesman Norman Lamb said: ‘The extraordinary number of people needing their teeth extracted under general anaesthetic could well be the result of the appalling access to NHS dentistry.’

He pointed the finger at the general difficulty in finding a Health Service dentist since the Government introduced a ‘botched’ contract in April 2006.

Designed to increase access to NHS dentistry, the deal actually saw hundreds of dentists leave the NHS.

The number of patients seeing a dentist fell by 1.2million, leaving thousands without the treatment that could have stopped their teeth getting so bad that they had to be pulled out.

But dentists’ salaries have soared by 11 per cent since the change – to an average of more than £96,000.

Mr Lamb added: ‘The dental contract was supposedly designed to improve the situation, but the staggering rise in tooth extractions proves the massive failures of thisbotched initiative. The crisis in NHS dentistry is one of this Government’s most shameful legacies.’

Although the rate of extractions increased throughout the four-year period following April 2003, it gathered pace after the new contract for NHS dentists was introduced.

You can read the rest here.

As I read it, aside from Britain’s generally laughable dental standards, a huge government error has doomed millions of Britain’s to medieval care. That’s what happens when you have one provider, and the provider screws up. There are no alternatives. There is no marketplace to adapt and provide. Everything simply collapses.

Patient safety is not a focus when the government calls the shots

For three years, a single British hospital that was obsessed with following government health care mandates to the letter, succeeded only in killing 1,200 patients unnecessarily:

Twelve NHS trusts are being investigated following a damning report which today slammed ‘appalling’ care at a single hospital.

Hundreds of patients may have died after bosses at Staffordshire General focused on Government targets rather than safety, the Healthcare Commission said.

A ‘shocking’ catalogue of failures over a three-year period were disclosed after an investigation found hospital managers had sought to save millions by adopting foundation status.

[snip]

Among the findings of yesterday’s report were:

● receptionists carrying out initial checks on emergency patients

● too few consultants, with junior doctors left in charge overnight

● two clinical decision units used as ‘dumping grounds’ for A&E patients to avoid breaching four-hour waiting targets, one of which had no staff

● nurses so ill-trained they turned off heart monitors because they didn’t understand them

● delays in operations, with some patients having surgery cancelled four days in a row and left without food, drink or medication

● vital equipment missing or not working

● doubling of life-threatening C diff infection rates, which were kept from the hospital board and the public

● a target of £10 million savings which was met at the expense of 150 posts, including nurses

● more debate by the board about becoming a foundation trust than about patient safety

[snip]

Investigators were inundated with complaints from patients and relatives, the most it had ever received, including Julie Bailey, 47, who set up a campaign group following the death of her mother in November 2007 at the hospital in Stafford.

She was so concerned about her 86-year-old mother Bella that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her hospital bedside for eight weeks.

‘What we saw in those eight weeks will haunt us for the rest of our lives’ she said.

Thirsty patients drank out of flower vases, while others were screaming in pain and falling out of bed.

[snip]

Director of the Patients Association Katherine Murphy said ‘Government targets have directly impaired safe clinical practice and money and greed for Foundation Trust benefits has taken priority over patient’s lives.’

As you can see, the above story does not relate one of those increasingly frequent situations in which the British government decided to withhold treatment or tests from a single class of patients because the patients are more expense than they are worth.  The government wasn’t directly involved here at all.

The problem, instead, was that a hospital, rather than seeing patients at its customers, saw the government as its patron, and redirected its energies accordingly.  And because there was no connection between the patients and the hospital in terms of complaints (that is, the hospital didn’t care about the patients, who were not paying the bills themselves, nor did they have a direct relationship with an insurance company that wanted to keep their custom), the hospital managed to go for years without having to react to criticism or complaints.  It was only when patients and their families were able to achieve a critical mass that made a noise loud enough to spur the government to action that the hospital’s conduct finally came under scrutiny.

It’s a reminder to us all that the market speaks loudly and quickly.  The government may ultimately have the loudest voice of all, but getting it to speak is often an agonizing task for a consumer who is deprived of a true marketplace and, instead, is utterly dependent on the government to give him a voice.

How political correctness is complicit in enslaving women

A young British woman, raised in the North of England, escaped her abusive Muslim father and converted to Christianity, a fact that saw her father lead an axe wielding mob clamoring for her death.  She wrote a book about her experience.  When the Times interviewer asked why she didn’t seek help from the authorities, the woman explains how political correctness creates a straight jacket as tight as fundamentalist Islam itself:

When, at school, she had finally summoned the courage to tell a teacher that her father had been beating her (she couldn’t bring herself to reveal the sexual abuse), the social services sent out a social worker from her own community. He chose not to believe Hannah and, in effect, shopped her to her father, who gave her the most brutal beating of her life. When she later confronted the social worker, he said: “It’s not right to betray your community.”

Hannah blames what is sometimes called political correctness for this debacle: “My teachers had thought they were doing the right thing, they thought it showed ‘cultural sensitivity’ by bringing in someone from my own community to ‘help’, but it was the worst thing they could have done to me. This happens a lot.

“When I’ve been working with girls who were trying to get out of an arranged marriage, or want to convert to Christianity, and they have contacted social services as they need to get out of their homes, the reaction has been ‘we’ll send someone from your community to talk to your parents’. I know why they are doing this, they are trying to be understanding, but it’s the last thing that the authorities should do in such situations.”

This is the sort of cultural sensitivity displayed by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, last year when he suggested that problems within the British Muslim community such as financial or marital disputes could be dealt with under sharia, Islamic law, rather than British civil law. What did Hannah, now an Anglican, think on hearing these remarks?

“I was horrified.” If you could speak to him now, what would you say to the archbishop? “I would say: have you actually spoken to any ordinary Muslim women about the situation that they live in, in their communities? By putting in place these Muslim arbitration tribunals, where a woman’s witness is half that of a man, you are silencing women even more.”

She believes the British government is making exactly the same mistake as Rowan Williams: “It says it talks to the Muslim community, but it’s not speaking to the women. I mean, you are always hearing Muslim men speaking out, the representatives of the big federations, but the government is not listening to Muslim women. With the sharia law situation and the Muslim arbitration tribunals, have they thought about what effect these tribunals have on Muslim women? I don’t think so.”

Hat tip: Hot Air