Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cowardly British rescue workers worried about their own health and safety 'leave man to die' in 3ft of water

Police and firemen sign up to take risks -- but not in Britain, apparently

MORE than a dozen emergency workers refused to pull a man from a waist-deep boating lake because of ‘health and safety’ fears. For half-an-hour charity shop worker Simon Burgess, 41, was left face down in the shallow water as they waited for a specialist rescue crew.

Mr Burgess, who had gone to the lake to feed the swans, was pronounced dead at the scene but friends claim that if rescuers had waded straight into the water he could have been saved.

The crews of two fire engines, two police cars, two ambulances and an air ambulance were told not to enter the lake, which is no more than three feet (one metre) at its deepest point, in case they ‘compromised their safety’.

The water rescue crew finally arrived – 26 minutes after Mr Burgess was seen falling in – and the ‘specialists’ removed him using nothing more technical than waterproof clothing and buoyant jackets.

Mr Burgess, who suffered blackouts following brain surgery, was a former sailing instructor and IT consultant.

Friends and family reacted with fury yesterday when they discovered that firemen, paramedics and police first on the scene did not wade in to help.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue decided there was ‘no obvious sign of life’ when they arrived at Walpole Park Lake, in Gosport, Hampshire, on Thursday lunchtime. So their health and safety regulations deemed that: ‘Immediate entry into the water was not appropriate as it may have compromised the lives of others.’

Mr Burgess’s body was about 25 yards from the water’s edge when emergency services arrived. The bottom of the pond is muddy as it was formerly used as a cockle lake.Trina Horey, 47, assistant manager at the charity shop where Mr Burgess volunteered, said: ‘I’m furious that witnesses and the emergency services stood by and watched while waiting for the specialist team to drive all the way from Fareham.

‘If they had acted sooner, they may have saved him. Just because Simon wasn’t moving, it doesn’t mean he was dead. ‘He had brain surgery several years ago, was on medication and suffered occasional blackouts. Sometimes he would just stand there but more recently he had been falling over. The blackouts would last between three minutes and 15 minutes.’

Mrs Horey last saw Mr Burgess at 11am on Thursday when he said he was off to feed the birds on the lake, which he did every lunchtime. She added: ‘He was due to return to work later that afternoon but when [the staff] heard what happened they were devastated and closed early as a mark of respect.’

Roy Dore, who lives next door to Mr Burgess’s one-bedroom flat, yesterday described the police’s actions as ‘ridiculous and unbelievable’. The 75-year-old said: ‘It doesn’t make sense, it was just two feet of water – any person could have jumped in to help. ‘If someone falls in the water and there’s a policeman nearby, surely they should jump in and help.’

The fire service and police say they did not enter the water as their regulations ban them from doing so – only specially trained water unit firefighters are allowed to go in.

Hampshire Police’s corporate communications officer Neil Miller admitted that the officers’ actions were for ‘health and safety reasons’, but defended their decision.

Superintendent Phil Winchester said: ‘The circumstances surrounding the man’s death are currently being investigated by police.’

The South Central Ambulance Service said Mr Burgess had suffered a suspected cardiac arrest.

Gosport Council said the lake’s depth was one-and-a-half feet (0.5m) at the edges and up to three feet (1m) in the centre, 182 feet wide and 333 long.


Leftist arrogance is their undoing

James O'Keefe, who is now felling executives of National Public Radio as he previously trap-doored ACORN, must be a deeply cynical young man. How else could he have imagined that ACORN workers in several cities would cheerfully offer to help him set up brothels using underage Central American girls?

How else could he have imagined that executives of National Public Radio (and apparently PBS, though that video has not surfaced as of this writing) would eagerly truckle to a front group of the Muslim Brotherhood?

But they did. They all did. As a wise woman once said, "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up."

Like the FBI's Abscam sting in the 1970s that netted six congressmen, a senator, and assorted others willing to accept bribes from "Arab sheiks," O'Keefe and his colleagues designed a sting operation that involved activists posing as "Amir Malik" (supposedly from Nigeria, though his accent screamed Caribbean) and "Ibrahim Kasaam." They were, they explained, representatives of MEAC, the "Muslim Education Action Center," a trust that was considering a $5 million donation to NPR.

On the fake website created for the scam, MEAC described its mission as fighting "intolerance" but also "to spread acceptance of sharia across the world." You or I might have been given pause by that second bit, but not Ron Schiller, president of the NPR Foundation, and Betsy Liley, "senior director of institutional giving" at NPR. They showed up for lunch. Even before the risotto was served, Kasaam volunteered that his organization was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, "in America actually." Not an eyelash quivered from the NPR team.

Kasaam expressed his discontent with "the current discourse" in America, particularly as it concerned Muslims. This elicited enthusiastic nodding from Schiller and Liley. Schiller rhapsodized about NPR being the "voice of reason" -- nearly the only place Americans could turn for "fair and balanced" news. He used that stolen slogan repeatedly. Schiller and Liley stressed that anti-Muslim bigotry was just the latest iteration of a classic American sin. "We put Japanese-Americans in camps," Liley lamented.

As for those who thought perhaps NPR should do without taxpayer dollars, Schiller noted, "It feels to me as though there is a real anti-intellectual move on the part of a significant part of the Republican Party." And then, inexplicably, this: "The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian -- I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical sort of move..."

Really? All those thousands of Americans carrying signs and listening to speeches about debt and taxes and spending and bankruptcy -- they were fundamentalists?

"The Republican Party has been hijacked by this group," Schiller explained to people he thought were representing a Muslim Brotherhood-linked group. They weren't just "Islamophobic, but really xenophobic -- they believe in ... right-wing, middle-America, gun-toting ... I mean it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."

Again and again in the course of two hours (full video is available at, Schiller described NPR's listeners as "educated and intelligent," unlike you-know-who. It's of course ridiculous to say that NPR is "liberal" -- but, just among ourselves -- "liberals (are) more educated, fair, and balanced." There's that phrase again!

What Schiller dislikes about America is that "people like to make snap judgments ... that all gays are after your children, that blacks are going to stab you ... NPR is constantly trying to break through that." But it's hard, because such "a small percentage of the population" is educated and intelligent.

Told that NPR is affectionately referred to as National Palestinian Radio among his compatriots, Schiller and Liley laughed, and Liley exclaimed, "Really? I love that!" Schiller suggested that NPR was neither "pro-Israel nor anti-Israel" but didn't hesitate to boast to his "Muslim" hosts that NPR's Israel coverage had offended a prominent Jewish American family so much that they withdrew their funding.

Ah, exclaimed Kasaam, this underscores the degree to which the American press is controlled by Jews and Zionists. Most of the press, Kasaam continued, is accordingly pro-Zionist.

"I don't find that at NPR," Schiller offered. "Obviously" you find it among people "who own newspapers," he continued. "But no one owns NPR, so I actually don't find it."

Thank goodness Schiller is among the "educated and intelligent" elite -- those who would never dream of stigmatizing minorities, dealing in stereotypes, or sanctioning bigotry. Thank goodness he would never consider slandering his countrymen in order to curry favor with people he had every reason to suspect were Islamic extremists.

Thank O'Keefe that Schiller and his boss are out of their jobs. It's a start.


How about some REAL tolerance?

Hint: Why is it a shrieking horror to criticize Muslims but perfectly OK to say the vilest things about Christians? Comment from Australia below

YOU consider yourself enlightened and tolerant. Deep in your heart you hold a compassion for others that comforts you. If others knew your heart, surely they would think highly of you, they'd admire your humanity, your sense of international responsibility and your acceptance of all races and religions.

But how to demonstrate this? How to allow others to see inside your heart? There is, of course, a standard but ill-advised method for parading these virtues and in parliament, recently, independent MP Andrew Wilkie adopted it. He attacked. "I stand today," he said in the House of Representatives, "to condemn the racism that eats at the Liberal Party."

Yes, you are a politician and you need to make your mark. You want constituents, media and contemporaries to admire and respect you. So to display your worthiness you attack someone you can brand as a racist. "Australia's history is littered with politicians peddling hate," peddled Wilkie as he detailed his now widely publicised claims of racism and religious intolerance against Liberal MPs Scott Morrison and Cory Bernardi.

Wilkie even found time to read to the chamber, and into Hansard, a 2004 letter given to him by an unquoted source, to an unnamed Asian woman, from someone who, apparently, was a supporter of Pauline Hanson. The letter was vile and racist. But why, all these years later, was it shared with the parliament? Was this the proof Wilkie needed that Australia is a racist nation full of "hate crimes" that are egged on by conservative politicians?

This was the shame of Wilkie's rant, the moral vanity that sees divisions highlighted, denunciations cheered, sensible debate stifled and individuals incensed. Few people will condemn words such as these from the independent MP for fear it invites a similar spray.

If Wilkie and progressive commentators wanted to turn their attention to those who denigrate other religions, from Catholicism and the Brethren to Judaism and Hinduism, we could take them more seriously. Examples aren't hard to find. ABC favourite Catherine Deveny wrote this about her return to church: "Entering the cathedral of misogyny, deception, manipulation, chauvinism, hypocrisy and bigotry, all wrapped up in 'if you don't swallow this hook, line and sinker you're going to hell', felt like coming home.

"Time for communion, when bread and wine is turned into the actual flesh and blood of Christ by the priest. Because he's special. They call it transubstantiation; I call it bullshit."

Or another ABC regular, David Marr, interviewed about Christian churches: "All of the demonisation of homosexuality from these churches is essentially aimed at keeping erect the authority of marriage and sexual guidance for heterosexuals. And it is wicked. Wicked."

These comments are highly provocative, but most of us likely would agree that in our pluralist society they are tolerable as part of robust debate. If so, then the issues of democratic freedoms and the rights of women and homosexuals within other religious cultures are also worthy of discussion.

Perhaps we should be able to have a similar level of debate and show a similar tolerance for irreverent discussion of Islam. And maybe it is not too much to ask that we avoid being impolite, abusive or offensive.

We last saw a major public overreaction to poorly expressed insecurities during the era of Hansonism. The strident condemnation of Pauline Hanson helped turn her from a none-too-bright deselected Liberal candidate into a national political phenomenon.

So with federal politicians talking about racism and Hanson announcing another tilt at politics through the NSW upper house on March 26, there could be no better time to remember what her previous incarnation taught us. It is that the perception of a double standard in the public debate fuels resentment rather than eases it.

And that when opportunists parade their own virtue by making shameless, intolerant attacks on others, no one wins.


Australia: Being Black Is Bad For Your Health (?)

According to
Being born black in Australia is as much of a health risk as being a regular smoker or drastically overweight.

Many of us start planning a Friday night pub session, with alcohol, cigarettes and junk food… your lifestyle choices take years off your own life. And here is a sobering thought – Indigenous Australians face a similarly shortened life span even from birth.

What nonsense. Being aboriginal does not automatically make you unhealthy or shorten your lifespan.

The story has an interactive thingy (which I couldn’t get to work) which purports to show how much fatty food and alcohol you would need to consume, and how many cigarettes you would need to smoke, to reduce your lifespan to that of the ‘average’ indigenous person.

They have unwittingly hit the nail on the head. It is not being born black, white or purple that makes you unhealthy. It is your lifestyle choices.

Incidentally, this is another argument against socialised medicine (in addition to inefficiency of service provision and the massive additional cost of the bureaucracy required to administer it). That is, as long as people know that someone else will pay if they get sick, there is less incentive to make positive choices about food, alcohol, smoking, exercise, etc.

Indigenous Australians are not less healthy because of the colour of their skin. Like everyone else, their health depends largely on the choices they make.

To suggest that this must be somone else’s fault, and therefore someone else’s responsibilty to fix, is effectively to claim that indigenous people are not able to make responsible choices about their own lives. That is racism.

It is also to condemn them to continuing, paralysing, victimhood.

At the moment, of course, many do not make responsible choices.

But the answer is not to pat them on the head and say ‘Oh dear, it’s all our fault, let us fix it for you.’

Nor is it to continue to spend vast amounts of money trying to repair damage already caused by those lifestyle choices:
COAG calculates $40,228 is spent on indigenous people per head of population compared with $18,351 for non-indigenous Australians.

That cost is for total services provided, not just health services. No one would mind this expenditure if it was making a difference. But it is not.

Nor is clear what can be done. The welfare management system that applies to vulnerable people in the Northern Territory ensures that up to 50% of welfare payments is quarantined – set aside for use on essentials like food and clothing.

It is possible to get off the scheme by demonstrating you can manage your own affairs responsibly. More than 75% of the people who have been able to do this are white.

Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda says this shows the scheme is racist. Withdrawing or managing people’s benefits is ‘punishment’. What he says is needed is rewards, incentives, for people to send their children to school, to behave in ways that will help them stay healthy.

But for heaven’s sake. If people need to be promised rewards before they will send their children to school or stop using the grocery money on alcohol and gambling, then no government programme, and no amount of government spending, is going to affect health or educational outcomes.

Indigenous Australians taking responsibilty for their own choices will make a difference. Until that happens, nothing else will.



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 INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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