Friday, April 29, 2011
British political correctness allows Indian woman to work only a quarter of the days she was paid for
A woman police constable who took 848 sick days in six years resigned less than a week before she could have been sacked for misconduct. Hina Parekh, 43, made just 11 arrests in her career.
The Hindu WPC, who was born in India, claimed racist abuse and bullying in the Metropolitan Police was making her unwell and was signed off with depression and stress.
But her bosses said she was failing to pull her weight after only turning up to work on 292 days out of a potential 1,140, and put her on a ‘performance improvement’ regime.
Hinah Parekh, 43, claimed that racist abuse from fellow police officers was making her unwell and signed off with depression and stress. She managed an average of only five shifts a month from her job at Belgravia police station in Central London.
However she did not take her case to an employment tribunal and senior officers finally launched disciplinary proceedings. They found that she had worked 327 days out of a potential 1,175 since 2006. Ms Parekh then resigned before she could be sacked.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman today confirmed that Ms Parekh left the police after she learned she faced disciplinary proceedings for unsatisfactory attendance.
He said: 'A police constable from Westminster borough who had been subject to unsatisfactory performance and attendance proceedings, resigned from service during the past 12 months.'
Reports suggest that senior officers did not act sooner because they feared they would become embroiled in a damaging race row.
Peter Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation said Ms Parekh's case should have gone through a process within the force to establish whether she was suitable for sick pay. He said: 'What should have happened after six months is she should have been considered for half pay, then after 12 months go on no pay.
'Her immediate line manager would be responsible for this, then it goes up a chain. 'There is an appeals process as well.
Depraved UN has no right to preach
By Ted Lapkin (U.S. born Ted Lapkin grew up in Israel, and served in the Israeli army as a combat intelligence officer. He now lives in Australia)
THUGGISH despot who slaughters peaceful protesters in the streets, or global guardian of human rights? The United Nations can't seem to make up its mind where Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is concerned.
This week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was expressing "grave concern" over Assad's decision to set loose his tanks on unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators. But Ban then declined to intervene in the coming elections at the UN Human Rights Council, where Syria is a shoo-in for a new three-year term.
Scheduled for mid-May, these elections have about as much suspense as polling day in … well … Damascus. As one of the four candidate nations vying for the four open slots allocated to the Asia group, Syria's election to the council is all but assured.
Given its own dubious record, you'd think the council might hesitate before setting itself up as a moral arbiter. But that is precisely what happened three months ago as it stood in judgment over Australia's human rights record through something known as the Universal Periodic Review.
At the time, the Human Rights Council counted Saudi Arabia, Libya and the world's last Marxist dictatorship - Cuba - among its members. The presence of this rogues' gallery meant the verdict on Australia was written, in part, by some of the most repressive regimes on the planet.
Only in the depraved universe of the United Nations are the world's worst empowered to pass moral judgment on the world's best. The Universal Periodic Review is nothing more than a politicised kangaroo court that is the equivalent of putting an embezzler in charge of regulating the banks.
I'm in no mood to accept moral critiques from Saudi theocrats whose legal code makes the testimony of a woman worth half that of a man.
But the rhetorical hypocrisies of the UN's human rights machine are merely a casual annoyance when compared with the dark deeds that routinely take place under the United Nations banner.
Three years ago, British charity Save the Children sounded the alarm over rampant child sexual molestation committed by UN staff around the globe. In a 2008 report titled No One to Turn to, the charity noted: "Troops associated with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) were identified as a particular source of abuse." Even worse was the "culture of impunity" that routinely enabled these paedophiles to escape punishment.
A subsequent Save the Children policy brief, published in December 2009, confirmed that sexual predation by UN personnel remained epidemic: "In 2008, in Cote D'Ivoire, Sudan and Haiti, we found that nearly 90 per cent of those interviewed recalled incidents of children being sexually exploited by aid workers and peacekeepers. In Liberia in 2006, we reported high levels of abuse of girls, some as young as eight.
"In 2004, it was reported that many girls and women in war-torn areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) traded sex for food and other essentials from UN peacekeepers. During the UN mission in Cambodia in 1992-93, the number of sex workers, including children, rose from 6000 to 25,000."
A young Haitian girl quoted by the charity described the culpability of UN staff in particularly stark terms: "The people who are raping us and the people in the office are the same people."
I'm proud to report that Australian troops on peacekeeping duty have never been implicated in such repugnant behaviour. As a matter of fact, Australians in East Timor almost got into a firefight when they objected to the sexual abuse of small boys by Jordanian soldiers. Good on 'em!
Of course, the UN Secretariat has responded to this ongoing abomination with the usual declarations of commitment to zero tolerance strategies. But like nearly everything else related to the UN, the passage of time has revealed those measures to be all bark and no bite.
The NGO Refugees International noted that the UN's unwillingness to enforce an effective policy against sexual abuse meant that "zero tolerance is meaningless". And so sexual predators wearing the sky blue beret continue to prey on the vulnerable victims of war and natural disaster around the globe.
The taint of moral corruption pervades even the pinnacle of the UN's organisational pyramid - the Security Council, where just three years ago Libya was awarded a temporary two-year seat. And now Julia Gillard seeks to resurrect Kevin Rudd's quest for Australia to join the Security Council as a non-permanent member. With apologies to great comedic actor Groucho Marx, I ask: why should we want to join any club that so recently had Muammar Gaddafi as a member?
By word and deed, the UN has forfeited any semblance of a claim to moral leadership. Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton once quipped: "The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 storeys. If you lost 10 storeys today, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." But my response to Bolton's witticism is to say: why stop with only 10?
Hate Speech Makes a Comeback
Well, it sure didn't take long for the Tucson Truce to collapse.
After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot on Jan. 8 by a berserker who killed six others, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, and wounded 13, the media were aflame with charges the right had created the climate of hate in which such an atrocity was inevitable.
The Washington Post story on the massacre began, "The mass shooting ... raised serious concerns that the nation's political discourse had taken a dangerous turn."
Following Barack Obama's eloquent eulogy and call for all of us to lower our voices, it was agreed across the ideological divide that it was time to cool the rhetoric.
This week, however, hate speech was back in style.
After Donald Trump called on Obama to release his original birth certificate and produce the academic records and test scores that put him on a bullet train from being a "terrible student" at Occidental College to Columbia, Harvard Law and Harvard Law Review editor, charges of "racism" have saturated the airwaves.
To Tavis Smiley of PBS, this was a sure sign the most "racist" campaign in history is upon us. To Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg of "The View," this was pure racism. To Bob Schieffer, CBS anchor, an "ugly strain of racism" is behind the effort to get Obama's records.
Again and again on cable TV, the question is raised, "What, other than racism, can explain Trump's call for these records?"
Well, how about a skeptical attitude toward political myths? How about a legitimate Republican opposition research effort to see just how much substance there is behind the story of the young African-American genius who awed with his brilliance everyone who came into contact with him?
Trump is testing the waters for a Republican campaign. One way to do that is to attract the party's true believers by demonstrating that, if you get nominated, unlike John McCain in 2008, you will peel the hide off Barack Obama. Is there anything wrong with that?
As for the birth certificate, it was The Donald who forced Obama to make it public. Not in two years had anyone else been able to do it. The White House press corps did not even try. The pit bulls of Richard Nixon's time have been largely replaced by purse dogs.
Not since Jack Kennedy has a president had a press corps so protective of the man they cover -- though in Kennedy's case, they covered up a lifestyle that could have ended JFK's presidency.
Trump is drawing crowds because he speaks in plain language and appears unintimidated by the high priests of political correctness.
As Rush Limbaugh notes, it was Trump's demands for the birth certificate that turned the issue from a winner for Obama -- it had been seen as a young president bedeviled by conspiracy theorists and bitter-enders -- into an issue that had begun to cut.
When half of all Iowa Republicans, not a radical group, said they thought Obama was born somewhere else, and a fourth were not sure, the president, who had swept Iowa, was beginning to bleed. The Donald had gotten under his armor.
As Newsweek's Howard Fineman notes, it was the rising doubts of independents about why Obama still refused to release his original birth certificate that caused him to end two years of stonewalling.
If the president has been hurt, is it not partly his own fault for not releasing the birth certificate and ending the matter after he was elected?
And the demand for Obama's test scores -- is that racism?
Well, was it racist of the New Yorker to reveal in 1999 that George W. Bush got a score of 1206 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test (566 verbal, 640 math) or that Al Gore got a 1355? Was it racist of the Boston Globe to report that John Kerry was a D student as a freshman, who eventually rose up to a C and B student at Yale?
Was it racist of The New York Times' Charlie Savage to report that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor had described herself as an "'affirmative action baby' whose lower test scores were overlooked by the admissions committees at Princeton University and Yale Law School because, she said, she is Hispanic"?
If a White House correspondent stood up at a press conference and said: "Mr. President, Donald Trump is asking for your college and law school test scores. Do you believe you benefited from affirmative action in your academic career?" would that be racist?
Perhaps Obama might begin his answer as he did, two decades before, in a Nov. 16, 1990, letter as president of Harvard Law Review:
"As someone who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my career, and as someone who may have benefited from the Law Review's affirmative action program when I was selected to join the Review last year, I have not personally felt stigmatized."
A Thorny, Porn-y Issue for N.Y. Public Library
Of course you've heard some version of this tale before. Winston Churchill says to a woman at a party, "Madam, would you sleep with me for 5 million pounds?"
The woman stammers: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill. Well, yes, I suppose ...
Churchill interrupts: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"
The woman responds immediately: "What? Of course not! What kind of woman do you think I am?!"
To which the British bulldog replied: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price."
The story comes to mind upon hearing the news that the New York Public Library has gotten into the porn business. "With adults, anything that you can get on the Internet, you can legally get on a computer in the library," explained an official. "It's difficult, but we err on the side of free and open access."
What does this have to do with the Churchill story? Well, imagine you went to your local library in, say, 1989 -- or some other year before Al Gore invented the Internet.
Then imagine going up to the librarian and asking him, "Do you carry Hustler?"
The shocked librarian answers, "No."
"Back issues of Swank? High Society? Penthouse?"
"No, no and no," quoth the librarian.
"OK, OK. I get it. Do you have movies?"
Librarian answers: "Yes, of course."
"Great!" you reply. "I'd like to sign out 'Debby Does Dallas.'"
"How about the VHS of 'On Golden Blonde'?"
Finally, the librarian explodes: "Sir, we do not carry any pornography. What do you think we do here?"
Well, the answer to that question is suddenly in doubt. Because up until very, very recently, the idea that public libraries should -- nay, must! -- peddle unfettered access to hardcore porn would have baffled almost everyone.
I'm hardly an anti-porn crusader, but the list of reasons why libraries didn't -- and shouldn't -- carry porn is vast. The two most obvious and mutually reinforcing reasons are moralistic and budgetary: A) "It's wrong," and B) "We have very limited resources and we must choose what we think is worthwhile and what has no redeeming value."
The problem is that the legs have been knocked out from under both answers. Of course, the moralistic -- or "judgmental" -- bias against porn has been eroding for generations. How bad or good a development that is depends on your point of view.
But until the Internet, it didn't matter. Sure, Playboy might make it through, "for the articles." But not even the most radical or deranged librarians could ever justify subscribing to Juggs over National Geographic, because in a world of limited resources, prudential editing is not merely valuable, it's unavoidable.
But the Internet changed all that. The marginal cost of obtaining pornographic materials in libraries, once prohibitively high, is now nearly nonexistent. In fact, it's actually cheaper just to let it all flood in. Who wants to deal with the filters, blockers and monitors? Just proclaim that the First Amendment requires unfettered access to porn.
But, again, just imagine there was no Internet, and all two-dimensional smut was still on paper, celluloid or magnetic tape. Now imagine trying to argue before a cash-strapped city council that the local public library must not only provide some porn -- free of charge! -- to the public, but that it must provide mountains of it free of charge to the public, all because the First Amendment says so.
You'd be laughed out of the room.
Did the First Amendment change with the invention of the Internet? Of course not. What changed is that librarians lost both the "scarce resources" excuse and the backbone to invoke any other rationale -- decency, child welfare, hygiene, safety, etc. -- for barring it from public libraries.
Technological progress poses such challenges. Don't get me wrong: I love technological progress. But technology makes life easier, and when life is easier, it's harder to stick to the rules that were once essential to getting by in life.
The list of customs and values that were formed or informed by material necessity is too long to contemplate because it includes nearly all of them. Cultures, like cuisines, are formed as much by what isn't available as what is. Scarcity of meat is the mother of good seasoning.
The Internet doesn't completely eliminate scarcity of porn (or of hilarious kitten videos), but it gets us closer than humanity has ever been before. When scarcity drops, so does the price. And it seems that for the New York Public Library, like the lady in the Churchill story, price was always the issue.
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 blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.