Saturday, May 26, 2007

Arrogant and life-threatening British bureaucracy gets a well-deserved black eye

These walking anal orifices cared more for their precious little bureaucratic procedures than they did for the life of a distressed person. You wonder if they are really human beings

A Citizens Advice Bureau adviser who was dismissed after she broke confidentiality rules to help to save the life of a suicidal caller has won her claim for unfair dismissal. Terri King, 58, of Southampton, had acted after a distraught client called the service to say she had taken an overdose of pills because she could not deal with her debt problems. Rather than following the time-consuming procedure of contacting her manager, who would then have had to consult a committee for advice, Mrs King immediately alerted the caller's GP, who was able to get to the woman and treat her.

Despite her lifesaving actions, the divorced mother of three was dismissed from her 13,000 pound-a-year job, on the ground of breaching confidentiality. Peter Wales, her boss at the Lymington branch of the CAB in Hampshire, said that she had made an "irrational and emotional error", the hearing was told.

Delivering a judgment yesterday, the tribunal chairman, Ian Soulsby, condemned the management's attitude towards the incident, which tested the extent to which patient confidentiality should be respected in the event of an emergency. Mr Soulsby said it was ridiculous to say that Mrs King's actions had been an irrational error. "Viewed objectively, there is no criticism of the claimant to act in this way. A life may have been in imminent danger. From any point of view this was a sensible course of action to take."

Mrs King was granted damages of a little more than 18,000 pounds by the Southampton Employment Tribunal, which said she had done the right thing in phoning the caller's doctor. The hearing was told that Mrs King had worked for five years at the bureau.


Pew: Disingenuous (Dishonest?) Survey Report on racial preferences

Post lifted from Discriminations. See the original for links

The Pew Research Center For The People & The Press recently released its wide-ranging survey of American political and social attitudes and values. Its findings, generally favorable for the Democrats and unfavorable for Republicans, are interesting, but even more interesting, at least to me, is the disingenuous, verging on dishonest, manner in which Pew reports some its most important findings regarding race. Imagine both my interest, and my concern, when I read the following recently on TPM Cafe:

"While the public is divided over "racial preferences," 70% of the public support some form of "affirmative action programs to help blacks, women and other minorities to get better jobs and education," a significant increase since 1995 when only 58% of the public supported affirmative action to deal with discrimination.
Wow! 70% support affirmative action! This sounded quite striking, and it led me (once I got around to it) to Pew's summary of its survey findings, which certainly seemed to confirm the TPM Cafe report:

Divides on some once-contentious issues also appear to be closing. In 1995, 58% said they favored affirmative action programs designed to help blacks, women, and other minorities get better jobs. That percentage has risen steadily since, and stands at 70% in the current poll. Gains in support for affirmative action have occurred to almost the same extent among Republicans (+8), Democrats (+10), and Independents (+14).
Amazing! Still curious, and frankly baffled by these results, which seem to run counter to most opinion polls, I decided to look at the results themselves, at least as published by Pew. The reality - or what I regard as the most important part of the reality of opinion about "affirmative action" as measured by Pew - turns out to be considerably different. True, the survey does in fact find that

[s]even-in-ten Americans say they favor "affirmative action programs to help blacks, women and other minorities get better jobs and education." That is a 12-point increase since 1995, with support increasing among most demographic and political groups.
But note what it also finds, and what was conveniently left out of Pew's summary of these findings cited above:

Despite this shift, however, most Americans (62%) disagree with this statement: "We should make every possible effort to improve the position of blacks and other minorities, even if means giving them preferential treatment." [Note: only 34% agree with the statement, according to the accompanying graph.] Even half of those who favor affirmative action programs dissent from the idea that minorities should be given preferential treatment.
Note that "even half," as though it is somehow surprising even to pollsters like Andrew Kohut (director of this survey) who presumably have their ears to the ground that people who favor "affirmative action" when it is defined as "help[ing] blacks, women and other minorities get better jobs and education" nevertheless oppose preferential treatment based on race or gender, and by substantial margins. Also missing from Pew's summary of Pew's findings were the following:

.... Not only do most Americans reject racial preferences, but 45% also believe that "we have gone too far in pushing equal rights." Opinions on this issue have fluctuated over time, but this is virtually the same number that agreed with this statement in 1987 (42%) ....

The differences between blacks and whites in opinions of preferential treatment for minorities, while somewhat narrower than in the past, remain substantial. Currently, 57% of African Americans say the country should make every effort to improve the position of minorities, compared with 27% of whites. The 30-point gap between races is largely unchanged from 2003, but is somewhat smaller than in the 1980s and 90s.

.... Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to support using preferences to improve the lot of minorities; even so, fewer than half of Democrats (42%) endorse preferences, compared with just 17% of Republicans.
Even so.... Even (I would say) a substantial majority of Democrats oppose racial preferences. And only (I would say) 57% of blacks support racial preferences. Indeed, even the survey itself, as opposed to the separately published summary, is disingenuous here. Note that it says "57% of African Americans say the country should make every effort to improve the position of minorities, compared with 27% of whites," leaving out the operative qualifier, "even if it means giving preferential treatment," thus implicitly making whites appear callous and uncaring. Pew's findings may well be reliable, but its reporting of them definitely is not.

Australia: Mr Incorrectness speaks sense again

Says Aboriginal kids must learn English. That's probably even more "incorrect" than an American leader saying that Hispanics must learn English -- but it is very realistic

INDIGENOUS people had no hope of being part of mainstream Australian society unless they could speak English, Prime Minister John Howard said today. Mr Howard backed a proposal by Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough to ensure indigenous children in remote communities learned English, and said the best way to ensure they became proficient in the language was to send them to school. Mr Brough is drawing up a Cabinet proposal that would require indigenous parents to ensure their children attended school or risk losing welfare payments. He said today there was a lot of support from Aboriginal communities for the plan.

Mr Howard said: "Indigenous people have no hope of being part of the mainstream of this country unless they can speak the language of this country. "If you require them to go to school they'll have to learn English." The children of non-English speaking immigrants learnt English through their contact with the school system and so should indigenous children, Mr Howard said. "In the case of indigenous people, none of them come to Australia as mature-aged people. They were all born in this country, in that sense they're different from migrants," he said. "The children of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants are forced to learn English because they go to school. Equally, Aboriginal children should learn English because they should be required to go to school."

Mr Brough told today's The Australian newspaper that Aboriginal people should follow the example of Greek and Italian migrants and become bilingual. He said this - coupled with a "basic grasp" of mathematics and improved school attendance - would allow Aboriginal children living in deprived communities to find work and economic independence. "Most of the children (in many communities) don't speak any semblance of English," Mr Brough said. "So what chance have they got?" "They speak the language that in many cases only a handful of people do," Mr Brough said.

Defending his plan on ABC radio this morning, he said: "If we are all going to aspire, as most politicians say they do, that all Aboriginal children should have the same life expectancy, the same capacity to enjoy the bounty of this nation, then we are just living a lie if we don't ensure that they have the first fundamental that they need to be mobile citizens of Australia, and that is the English language. "These children, like all Australian children, will benefit from a strong grasp of English which allows them to make choices in their lives which they simply don't have when they only speak a language which only a handful of people can understand."

Mr Brough's proposal was met with amazement by NSW's first Aboriginal MP, Linda Burney. "I think that he needs to understand that culture and country is incredibly important to Aboriginal people and they will be protected at all costs," she said on ABC radio. "Aboriginal kids do need to be bilingual but it's a bit rich coming from a person who actually is part of a government that took away funding for bilingual programs in the Northern Territory."

Mr Brough said school attendance was essential and he would look into ways to encourage indigenous children to go to school, including stopping parents' welfare payments if their children were truants. "I am looking at welfare changes which can help with school attendance," he said. "I will look at anything at all, both incentives as well as things such as welfare quarantining, to assist the circumstances." "This is probably the number one issue I get from grandparents in remote communities," he said. "It's been pushed at me. Particularly the grandmothers, the grandfathers, they are so adamant. They understand the value of English and they understand the value of an education."

Mr Brough's comments come two days before the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum which allowed Aborigines to be counted as Australians and gave the federal government the power to make laws for them.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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