>Yet another example of the societal collapse in the UK:
A BBC commentator has apologised to a 16-year-old British tennis star after saying she had “puppy fat” on live television.
David Mercer made the remark while discussing Laura Robson’s weight as she played her second round juniors match at Wimbledon, The Sun newspaper reports.
“I suppose the one thing that I have at the back of my mind at the moment, is Laura mobile enough around the court?,” Mercer said.
“Perhaps a little puppy fat at the moment, the sort of thing you’d expect her to lose as she concentrates on tennis full-time.”
Robon said she was not fazed by the comments.
I’ve spoken to the guy who said it. It’s not a big deal,” Robson said.
“It’s just his opinion. You know, I don’t really care.”
Since when has it become politically incorrect to use the term ‘puppy fat’???
These people are crazy and the UK is doomed.
Good to see that the kid herself is not in the least bit offended by it all, which must annoy those self-appointed overseers of society who make a living by being offended on behalf of everybody else.
>Modern police forces around the world have targets to achieve across the issues that most concern the public or, more importantly, the want-to-be-seen-to-be-tough politicians.
A British man who said on Twitter that he would blow up an airport if his flight was delayed by snow was convicted on Monday of sending a threatening message and made to pay STG1,000 ($A1,646).
Who did he send the Twitter to? Only those people who follow him, which they chose to do. It’s hardly a public threat.
Paul Chambers, 26, insisted his post on the micro-blogging site was a joke. But a judge at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court in northern England found him guilty of sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message over a public telecommunications network.
District Judge Jonathan Bennett said the message “was of a menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live.” He ordered Chambers to pay the fine and court costs.
The message is not a sign of the “menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live”…the judgement is! How pathetic.
Chambers was arrested in January after he posted the message saying he would blow up Robin Hood Airport near the large town of Doncaster “sky high” if his flight, due to leave in a week’s time, was delayed.
Chambers, from Doncaster, said he made the post when the airport was closed by snow and he feared his travel plans would be disrupted.
“It did not cross my mind that Robin Hood would ever look at Twitter or take it seriously because it was innocuous hyperbole,” he said.
An airport employee came across the tweet a few days later, but security staff there decided it was not a credible bomb threat. Nevertheless, they passed the message on to police. Chambers was arrested two days before his flight was due to leave.
How did the airport employee come across the tweet? Kudos to the security staff who used more than two brain cells and worked out it was not a credible threat.
Chambers, who lost his job at a car distribution firm after his arrest, said he was considering an appeal.
This should send a chill down people’s spines. The guy lost his job because of a joke tweet? What sort of place has the UK become?
News of the conviction sent a ripple of outrage across the Twittersphere, with some users retransmitting the message: “This absurd judgement is enough to make me want to blow up Robin Hood airport”
Everyone with access to Twitter should be sending messages like the one above.
I can’t get over how insane this situation is. The bloke lost his job becasue of a joke! That’s unbelievable.
>Here’s yet another hair raising example of the intolerance of the left in the UK.
British street preacher Dale McAlpine apparently has no problem telling people that homosexuality is a “crime against the Creator.” But he got in trouble when he said that to someone who is not only a homosexual, but is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for the local police.
On April 20, McAlpine, a Baptist, was passing out leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a “ticket to heaven” to passersby on a street in Workington, Cumbria where he had been preaching for years, according to the Telegraph of London. When a woman stopped to debate with him, McAlpine said he mentioned a number of sins listed in I Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, drunkenness, adultery and homosexuality. When the woman walked away, a Police Community Support Officer approached her and spoke briefly with her, McAlpine said. The officer then came over to McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made and warned him he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.
The street preacher said he told the officer: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator.” The officer then said he was homosexual and identified himself as LGBT liaison officer for the Cumbria police. Undeterred, McAlpine replied, “Well, it’s still a sin.” He then began a 20-minute sermon in which he says he did not mention homosexuality. But three uniformed officers arrived, arrested the preacher and put him in the back of a police van. He was taken to the police station, where officers took his fingerprints, a palm print, a retina scan and a DNA swab. He was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” in violation of the Public Order Act and, after seven hours in a jail cell, was released on bail on the condition that he would not preach in public. McAlpine, 42, said the incident was one of the worst experiences of his life.
“I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know,” he told the Telegraph. “My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn’t apply.” Police allege that McAlpine made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard and that he used abusive or insulting language, forbidden by the Public Order Act. Christian groups have expressed alarm over this and similar incidents, claiming the 1986 law was designed to stop rioters and hooligans and is now being used to curb religious speech.
“The police have a duty to maintain public order but they also have a duty to defend the lawful free speech of citizens,” said Sam Webster, solicitor-advocate of the Christian Institute, which is supporting McAlpine. It is not a crime to express the belief that homosexuality is a sin, Webster told the Telegraph. “Case law has ruled that the orthodox Christian belief that homosexual conduct is sinful is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
One man was convicted under the Public Order Act in 2002 for holding up a sign saying, “Stop immorality. Stop Homosexuality. Stop Lesbianism. Jesus Is Lord,” while preaching in Bournemouth. Another was arrested in 2006 for handing out religious leaflets at a Gay Pride festival in Cardiff, but the case was later dropped.
“It would appear that Christianity, the normative faith of this country on which its morality, values and civilisation are based, is effectively being turned into a crime,” Melanie Phillips of The Daily Mail wrote in a May 3 column titled, “The British boot stamping on the face of Christian belief.”
“Surreally, this intolerant denial of freedom is being perpetrated under the rubric of promoting tolerance and equality — but only towards approved groups,” Phillips wrote. “Never has George Orwell’s famous satirical observation, that some people are more equal than others, appeared more true.”
First up, what the hell is a police precinct doing with a “LGBT liaison officer”.
Is there anything so ridiculous?
If a bunch of Muslims were walking around shouting “Death to Jews” and “Hang all gays” then would our intolerant of Christianity, gay liaison officer do anything? Anything at all?
That’s called a rhetorical question, folks.
How does the UK recover from its cultural malaise?
>Theodore Dalrymple is one of the greatest commentators on the collapse of Western European civilisation.
What has happened to a society in which this can happen?
Leanne Shepherd and Lucy Jarrett, both 32, are close friends. They work as police officers, but on different shifts. For a long time, they babysat for each other, an arrangement that suited them perfectly and enabled them to continue their careers. The authorities recently told them, however, that their arrangement was illegal. If they did not desist, they would face prosecution.
Why? Because they exceeded the permitted time to babysit without having received professional training in such matters as resuscitation and child psychology. Moreover, the state considers their mutual babysitting a potentially taxable economic benefit. It does not matter that the arrangement was entirely reciprocal and voluntary. British citizens may no longer make such private agreements among themselves.
One of the nastiest aspects of this little story is that the authorities were alerted to the two women’s terrible crime by one of their neighbors. An increasingly intrusive state engenders an increasingly nasty population of secret informers.
There was a not dissimilar story in the US recently from Michigan in which a woman was in trouble because families would drop their kids off at her house in the morning, as the bus stop was right out front. She’d take care of 2 or 3 kids for up to an hour, which allowed the parents to get to work on time. Apparently, she’s running an illegal child minding facility.
The world is going slowly crazy.
>This is a pretty interesting article from UK LGBT magazine Pink News on the growing support for the Tories over Labour.
If gays are starting to understand that it’s the conservative side of politics who are the real champions of equality and freedom then how far behind can other left-leaning demographic groups be?
Gay and lesbian voters are now more likely to vote Tory rather than Labour, a poll has suggested.
The survey of 1,800 gay men and women found 30 per cent said they intend to vote
Conservative at the next general election.
It was conducted by the Gaydar consumer panel for the Outright Consortium last month.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats each took 18 per cent of the vote, while 17 per cent said they will not vote and nine per cent were undecided.
At the last general election in 2005, 33 per cent voted Labour compared to 21 per cent who voted Conservative.
Unsurprisingly, 73 per cent said the next election will be fought on the state of the economy. Ten per cent said unemployment would be a key issue and five per cent cited immigration.
Fifty-nine per cent of respondents felt Gordon Brown was not doing a good job as prime minister.
In terms of finance, 24 per cent of those questioned were most worried about losing their job in the recession, compared with 20 per cent who were concerned about paying their mortgages.
However, 22 per cent said they were not worried at all.
Although 71 per cent blamed the banks for the recession, 72 per cent said they were not planning to change financial services providers in the near future.
Just over half (51 per cent) said the recession had impacted on their spending, with 35 per cent admitting to making the biggest cutbacks in their social lives.
Here are some interesting responses from among the comments to the article:
- I’m gay and I vote Tory- so a few respondants have met their first one! We vote Tory because we like being treated as equals- no extra nanny state ‘help’ for us…we also like to walk neighbourhoods without being beaten up- breaking news- we feel safer in Tory neighbourhoods like Surrey than on Council Estates in Hull. Conservatives live and let live…more than can be said than in many Labour voting areas.
- Too right it’s for real. And there’s plenty of us who “admit” to voting Tory, more all the time in fact. Gay people as a group ought to find Conservative ideas about liberty and individualism more attractive than the collectivist alternatives.
- I’m happy to ‘admit’ it too. One of the reasons you are seeing the overt change in position on gay issues is that there are so many gay poeple in the Tory party these days. Equality legisation came from Europe not from Labour and whoever was in power would have had to introduce it – that argument is long dead as far as I’m concerned. I am however concerned that what Labour has done economically to this country will haunt us for generations, gay or straight, and I find it incredible that so many gay people who seem to use this site have failed to educate themselves on the politics that affect their lives so greatly. How much corruption needs to be exposed before people realise that New Labour was merely a vehicle for Tony Blair’s ambitions and that Gordon Brown is just the patsy that was handed the smoking gun when Blair had set the country into a terminal downward spin?
- “I’ve never met a gay person that votes Tory” – Ah bless – what a funny little world Stuart and his red-rinse old dears inhabit! Its a generational thing Stuart – us younger gay men (younger in body and/or in mind) who look forward with optimism and will be voting in a new Tory government in our 1000s next year have no interest in harking back to all that class-war, gays-as-victims, blah blah politics of the last century and the 1980s – who is interested in the 1980s? Life, the world and politics has moved on – blue is the new red. The 21st Century Conservatives are very much in tune with the 21st Century gay man and woman – look at any london borough council or the Mayor’s office or local conservative party office and you will find scores of conservative gay politicians, advisors and organisers. So don’t look back and be a bitter old has-been, look forward and join the in-crowd, vote Conservative!
>I have written previously that I think it’s a race between the UK and Germany as to which country will install Europe’s next fascist government.
In the UK the critical factors are a failing economy with high unemployment and unchecked immigration of groups of people who see the UK not as a place of opportunity to build a better life, as in the example of the United States, but as a soft touch, one in which they don’t need to integrate into society, accept its norms and contribute.
At some point this clash of cultures will lead to a similar situation in the UK as what Spain suffers with ETA – bombings, kidnappings, extortion and the like – as unassimilated immigrant groups, particularly Muslims, demand their own ‘home’ state within UK.
In Germany the factors are a bit different.
The combination there includes a failing economy, though it’s in better shape than the UK because Germany actually builds things whereas the UK staked its future on becoming a financial services economy, high immigration and, critically, the rise of the far left as a political force.
The German people have a much less tolerant attitude to nonsense in their own backyard than do the UK or France. You’ll notice that ‘youths’ don’t go around burning 100+ cars a night in Germany. There’s a reason for that.
In fact, one of the reasons is that Germany’s Muslim population comes from Turkey and not from Pakistan, as in the UK, or North Africa, as in France. The Turks come from a secular culture in which religion takes second place to the state.
However, that will not stop them from getting the blame for rising unemployment if the German economy hits the skids good and proper.
Fascism can only ever be implemented off the back of left wing governments for the quite logical reason that fascism is simply another form of socialism.
Die Linke (The Left) is the rising force in Germany. It is a fair way to the left of what currently exists in the Bundestag. To get an idea of its philosophy Die Linke’s constituent groups comprise: the Anticapitalist Left, the Communist Platform, the Democrat Socialist Forum, the Emancipatory Left, the Reform Left Network, the Socialist Left and Marx21.
These are not groups for whom tolerance is a natural state of being and therefore it’s likely that if Die Linke manages to win government in Germany things will descend into fascism in short order.
At this stage my money is on the UK but not by much.
Consider these factors:
Britain’s Economy Faces Ruin
There can come a time in the life span of a government when it suddenly loses its authority.
From that moment it is finished – unable to shape events. Thereafter it becomes a matter merely of waiting until the end.
This happened to the John Major government as the 1997 general election approached.
It was also the melancholic fate of Jim Callaghan’s administration as Britain drifted towards anarchy at the end of the 1970s. Similarly, Neville Chamberlain’s administration lost the ability to cope in the late spring of 1940.
And so it happens that now there is only one question on the lips of many MPs: has Gordon Brown, too, entered the exit lounge?
The decline in Brown’s authority shares the same fundamental cause that lay behind the fall of both Callaghan and Major: economic incompetence.
…Since then, however, Brown has reverted to partisanship. More important, it is now evident that the initial bail-out has failed and that Britain, for the first time since the Callaghan administration 30 years ago, faces the prospect of national bankruptcy.
This terrifying predicament highlights the lack of calibre in the country’s economic management.
It is now clear that Brown and his Chancellor, Alistair Darling, have made a series of fundamental mistakes.
First, it emerged this week that their £37 billion bail-out of taxpayers’ money last autumn was done without the necessary groundwork needed to check the health of the banks they were rescuing.
Staggeringly, Treasury officials do not appear to have inspected the banks’ loan book before committing these astronomic sums of public money.
As a result, almost all the money invested in October has now almost entirely been lost because the value of the banks has reached rock bottom and meant that this
week fresh public money had to be made available which is also being poured down the drain.
…Twelve years ago, Gordon Brown inherited from the then Tory Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, the most benign economic situation in living memory.
Since then, however, he has squandered it. At worst, we face national insolvency and Latin-American-style inflation. At best, our living standards will fall, our public services must be cut and Britain will decline to become a middle-ranking political power.
Yet Gordon Brown still seems unable to grasp the truth. Oblivious to the national financial disaster, he believes in ever more impossible levels of public spending.
Blind to the economic realities, he thinks that Britain is ‘uniquely well-placed’ to ride out the recession.
Break Down Of Security
Eighty foreign killers are exploiting the chaotic asylum system to set up home in Britain, it was revealed yesterday.
The convicted murderers from Albania have been given British passports despite being officially listed as ‘wanted’ by Interpol.
Most slipped across the Channel from Calais to Dover hidden in the back of lorries on ferries. They used bogus names and false papers to claim asylum, often pretending to be from the war-torn Balkan republic of Kosovo.
The scandal came to light when Albania’s chief of police complained that 100 criminals from his country have been granted British citizenship and now live here.
The police chief said the criminals have been allowed to stay even though the Albanian government has informed the Home Office of the true identities of the men and their crimes, which also include rape and robbery.
Many of the convicted criminals have been living in the UK for up to ten years and have started new families here.
Ministers were criticised last night for issuing a record 151,635 work permits to foreigners as Britain slid into recession.
The document lets non-EU workers take or keep jobs here, even though hundreds of thousands of Britons are losing theirs.
Unemployment rose by 290,000 in the same period, from December 1, 2007 to November 30, 2008, to reach 1.92m – the most since September 1997. Up to 2,500 workers a day are losing their jobs.
MPs said it made a mockery of Gordon Brown’s promise in 2007 to deliver ‘British jobs for British workers’.
The number of permits given to non-EU citizens is crucial to protecting British jobs as ministers have no control over the movement of EU nationals.
But rather than cutting the permits in 2008, the total increased. In 2007, when the economy was growing, 129,700 were approved. In 1997, the year Labour came to power, only 42,800 were handed out.
Muslims Want Own Communities
MUSLIMS want to create their own communities and remain segregated from British society.
A shocking 44% think they should be free to develop along separate lines.
But critics claim Muslims will create their own ghettos if they are left to their own devices.
The poll found religion has replaced race as the biggest equality issue, with six in 10 Brits thinking it is more divisive. Mass tension has grown following terror attacks from Muslim fanatics, including the 7/7 Tube bombings in 2005.
The war in Iraq has also added to divisions leaving many communities split.
But critics are fuming Muslims are refusing to fit into our way of life.
English Democrats’ chairman Robin Tilbrook said: “As far as I’m concerned, what we want to be about is having an integrated society.
“If people don’t want to integrate, they shouldn’t be here.
“It’s not at all right to have what’s really a sort of ghetto situation developing – it’s going to lead to trouble.
“We can’t have a single society with lots of different rules.” Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: “I’m not surprised because there are already Muslim enclaves all over the country. They keep themselves to themselves anyway.”
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission poll found 67% of Muslims would not be happy for their child to marry someone of a different religion. But marrying someone from a different race bothers them less, with 61% content with the idea.
The shock results come a day after commission chairman Trevor Phillips said Britain was “by far” the least racist country in Europe.
Nearly one third of Muslim students believe it can be acceptable to kill in the name of religion, according to a survey published yesterday.
It also found that 40 per cent want to see the introduction of Islamic sharia law in Britain, 40 per cent think it wrong for Muslim men and women to mix freely together, and 33 per cent want to see a worldwide Islamic government based on sharia law.
The findings were described by researchers at the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, which commissioned the poll, as ‘deeply alarming’.
The Tories will win the next UK election. They will need to implement a Thatcheresque reform program to rebuild the economy that will be unpopular with an electorate used to living in the fantasy land of government handouts. This will give Labour the chance to regroup and win power after two terms.
That will be crunch time for the UK.
>Here in Australia we are lucky to have what seems to be a pretty good balance between socialized and private health.
While waiting times to see specialists can be up to six months it’s more typically 4-8 weeks and in the circumstances in which you are diagnosed with a life threatening illness then it’s almost immediate.
There are medicines and procedures that are fully funded by the state with the others being covered by health insurance up to around 85% leaving the balance to be picked up by the patient.
We do have long waiting times in hospital emergency wards and there are chronic shortages of doctors and nurses, which is a direct result of government controls on salaries but all in all it’s OK.
I have never heard of a situation, though they might exist, in which our health system has refused life saving or life extending medication to a patient.
That’s what happens in that bastion of socialized health care – the United Kingdom – which inevitably leads to faceless bureaucrats making decisions about whether patients should be given medicine when they’re going to die anyway.
Jack Rosser’s doctor says taking Pfizer Inc.’s Sutent cancer drug may keep him alive long enough to see his 1-year-old daughter, Emma, enter primary school. The U.K.’s National Health Service says that’s not worth the expense.
Rosser, 57, was told the cost of Sutent, 3,140 pounds ($4,650) per treatment for his advanced kidney cancer, was too high for the NHS — the government agency that funds the nation’s health care. The resident of the town of Kingswood, in southwest England, has appealed the decision twice, and next month may find out if his second plea is successful.
“It’s immoral,” Rosser’s wife, Jenny, said. “They are sentencing him to die.”
The NHS, which provides health care to all Britons and is funded by tax revenue, is spending about 100 billion pounds this fiscal year, or more than double what it spent a decade ago, as the cost of treatments increase and the population ages. The higher costs are forcing the NHS to choose between buying expensive drugs for terminal patients and providing more services for a wider number of people.
About 800 of 3,000 cancer patients lose their appeals for regulator-approved drugs each year because of cost, Canterbury- based charity Rarer Cancers Forum said. The U.K. is considering whether to make permanent a preliminary ruling that four medicines, including Sutent, are too expensive to be part of the government-funded treatment of advanced kidney cancer.
“It’s outrageous,” said Kate Spall, a full-time activist who has helped about 100 patients appeal NHS denials of cancer medicines. “We are not asking for anything new or exciting or novel. We are asking for what the rest of the western world is getting.”
To help curb expenses, the government created the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, known as NICE, in 1999 to review medicines and recommend whether the NHS should fund them.
“There is a view that all treatments should be available. Unfortunately, that’s not possible,” said Peter Littlejohns, NICE’s clinical and public health director. “There is a limited pot of money.”
He said the four cancer drugs provide a “marginal benefit at quite often an extreme cost” and that the agency had to keep in mind that funds spent on the medicines could be used elsewhere to help others at a greater value. “Those are the hidden patients, the ones who benefit from the things the NHS does spend money on,” Littlejohns said.
NICE is reviewing its Aug. 7 preliminary recommendation that Sutent, Roche Holding AG and Genentech Inc.’s Avastin, Bayer AG and Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Nexavar, and Wyeth’s Torisel shouldn’t be funded in light of their cost of 20,000 pounds to 39,000 pounds a year per patient. All four medicines have been approved by European and U.S. regulators and are sold in other countries as well. A final ruling is expected in March.
While a drug is under review, the decision whether to pay for a therapy falls to the NHS’s 156 local organizations, called trusts.
Of the 3,000 applications for exceptional funding for cancer patients a year, the most-requested drug was Sutent, said the Rarer Cancers Forum, which focuses on cancer cases that fall outside the more common ones such as colon, breast, lung and prostate.
Sutent, which stops cancer cells from dividing and chokes off a tumor’s blood supply, was first approved for European use in July 2006. Kidney cancer sufferers taking the drug had a median survival rate of 26.4 months, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in May.
Five Years to Live
New York-based Pfizer provided NICE with Sutent cancer- survival data that were released after its review began to try to persuade the agency to reverse its decision, and has offered to make the first treatment free, company spokeswoman Emily Bone said.
On Nov. 4, the government proposed giving NICE more flexibility in approving higher-cost drugs and allowing patients to buy the medicines themselves without losing access to government-funded health care. Final recommendations on the proposals aren’t due until early next year and Rosser can’t wait that long for his medicine, Spall said.
Rosser, of Kingswood, England, was diagnosed with cancer four days after Emma was born in July 2007. After operations in August and March to remove a kidney, adrenal glands and bone tumors, he was told he might live two to five years. In July, he was told by doctors that Sutent would help, but the South Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust said it wouldn’t pay for the treatment.
“I read the letter and I burst into tears,” said Rosser, who was forced to retire from his air-conditioning and sheet- metal company because of the illness.
South Gloucestershire, the trust that includes Rosser’s home, accepts applications for Sutent funding only for exceptional cases, said Ann Jarvis, director of commissioning at the trust, in an e-mail. “Unfortunately for very expensive drugs, if they are proven to only provide a small benefit we have to prioritize other treatments.”
The trust plans to review its Sutent policy at a meeting next month, spokeswoman Sue Pratt said today.
Kidney cancer patient Kathleen Devonport, a 65-year-old retired factory worker, called it “heartbreaking” to have to beg her local health officials to provide her with Sutent. The County Durham Primary Care Trust, in northern England, initially turned her down in March 2007, then agreed to supply the Sutent seven months later only after she responded to a cheaper medicine paid for by an anonymous donation.
Jenny Rosser, 41, said she is looking into getting her husband into a clinical trial for Sutent, but so far she has been told that his cancer would need to advance further to qualify.
Meanwhile, he is surviving on painkillers coupled with steroids for inflammation after vetoing his wife’s offer of selling the house to pay for his treatments. In late October, he had another operation to remove growths on his spine and neck.
Jenny Rosser said the policies seem aimed more at saving cash than treating people.
“It seems like a money-saving exercise,” she said. “If a patient dies, tough.”