Saturday, July 09, 2011
The rise of equal rights organisations that have 'led to bigotry'
Equal rights organisations can actually encourage bigotry, a study claims. Groups which campaign on issues such as gender equality and gay rights have been found to worsen prejudice if they try to tell people how to think.
Presenting a more subtle argument was revealed as a more potent way of combating prejudice.
Canadian researchers gave students two brochures aimed at tackling on-campus prejudice. One took a forceful approach while the other encouraged independent thought. Results published in journal Psychological Science revealed that those who had been harangued demonstrated significantly more prejudice than those offered a less controlling approach.
Study author Dr Lisa Legault, from the University of Toronto Scarborough, suggested that equal rights campaigners may even encourage hostility towards the minorities they are seeking to protect.
She said: ‘People need to feel that they are freely choosing to be non-prejudiced, rather than having it forced upon them. ‘We need to focus on the reasons why diversity and equality are beneficial.’
Discussing how the findings could be used to inform future anti-prejudice campaigns, Dr Legault added: 'Controlling prejudice reduction practices are tempting because they are quick and easy to implement. They tell people how they should think and behave and stress the negative consequences of failing to think and behave in desirable ways.
'But people need to feel that they are freely choosing to be nonprejudiced, rather than having it forced upon them. 'We need to focus less on the requirement to reduce prejudices and start focusing more on the reasons why diversity and equality are important and beneficial to both majority and minority group members.'
Another charming British social worker
Social worker struck off for placing paedophile in foster family where he sexually abused young daughters
A social worker was struck off yesterday for placing a teenage paedophile with a foster family – where he carried out sex attacks on their two children. Julian Swan failed to tell the family the 19-year-old had a history of ‘sexually inappropriate behaviour’ with children, a disciplinary hearing was told.
It heard Swan, 51, failed to check social service case notes on the teenager before sending him to the family in 2008. The teenager went on to rape the couple’s two-year-old son and molested their nine-year-old daughter while staying under their roof.
The mother, giving evidence through a video link, said: ‘I specifically asked Mr Swan if the teenager posed a risk to us as a family. ‘Mr Swan’s response was that he poses no risk whatsoever.’ The family were told he had ‘sexual contact’ with a girl at a hostel – but that it was brushed over.
The mother said: ‘Mr Swan said he had been informed by a hostel worker the girl was promiscuous and had let him into her room. It was presented to us as an isolated incident.’
The couple agreed to look after the teenager hoping he could be a ‘big brother’ to their two children. They were not told he had sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl, exposed himself and touched a young boy sexually at a care hostel and faced other allegations of ‘sexually inappropriate behaviour’ with a young boy.
The teenager admitted rape and indecent assault at Cardiff Crown Court where he was told he would be released from prison only when he was deemed ‘no longer a risk’.
Swan denied misconduct at the hearing of the Care Council for Wales while working for Vale of Glamorgan council’s social services in Barry, South Wales. Bryan Jeffreys, director of learning and development, said: ‘He had accepted that he had not read the files. Tragically, they had not been taken into account. ‘If he had checked the files... the young person would not have been placed and the young children would not have been abused. Mr Swan was later genuinely shocked by the content of the files.’ The hearing was told a ‘red light’ system on the boy’s notes showed there was a risk.
Swan, who had been a social worker for eight years, claimed he was being made a scapegoat and had acted in good faith. He said: ‘I never sought to diminish my responsibility but there is a shared responsibility.’
He was found guilty of not reading the case file, failing to carry out an adequate assessment and not informing the carers of the risks. He was yesterday banned from working for social services ‘to ensure protection of members of the public’.
And the charming British police again: You're guilty until proven innocent
'They tagged me a murderer': Fury of grieving mother accused of killing her toddler son who died of natural causes
A YOUNG mother whose son had been sent home from hospital despite being desperately ill with pneumonia was devastated to find him dead in his bed. But that was only the beginning of the nightmare for 20-year-old Abby Podmore. Within an hour she was arrested on suspicion of murdering Alfie, three.
She said ‘heavy-handed’ police sent two riot vans and 17 officers to arrest her and she was held for questioning overnight.
Miss Podmore was released the following day after post mortem examination results revealed the child had died of natural causes.
Devastated Miss Podmore soon found that a white police tent had been erected outside her home, and she was arrested on suspicion of murder just hours after her son's death. She was kept in custody overnight until a doctor acting under orders from the local coroner informed police that Alfie had died from natural causes.
The dental nurse, from Quinton, Birmingham, has been unable to return home since the incident, with some members of the local community believing she played some part in little Alfie's death.
Alfie was sent home from nursery on February 2 this year after he became unwell. He was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital the following day, suffering a high temperature, a rash and pain in his left shoulder. Doctors diagnosed the child with a gastric illness and prescribed him anti-acid medication before sending him home. But a post-mortem later revealed that he had suffered from pneumonia, a bacterial infection and septicaemia.
He started improving, but the following day, February 6, he became ‘very restless’ and she was up with him until 4am. She said: ‘When I eventually woke up the following day my first thought was to check on him. ‘I ran upstairs and he was lying on the bottom of his bed and wasn’t breathing. ‘He was freezing cold and had blood coming out of his nose. I started trying to resuscitate him while phoning the ambulance. I was terrified.’
Miss Podmore, who is trained in life support, continued trying to revive Alfie until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police arrived shortly afterwards and told her to change her clothes and leave her house and stay at her brother’s home around the corner. She followed their instructions but now suspects they were already making preparations to preserve the scene and keep her clothes for forensic analysis.
Miss Podmore has hit out at police, saying that she feels she was denied the chance to grieve properly for her dead son. She said: 'I was still struggling to cope with the news that my little boy had passed away when police officers came to tell me I was being taken into custody on suspicion of my son's murder. I wasn't even allowed to see his body for 10 days after he died.
'I am ashamed that they would even think that I would do that to my child who was my world and my everything. ‘My son had just died and I was thrown into a cell and branded a murderer,’ said Miss Podmore, who is separated from Alfie’s father. ‘I’ve been robbed of my chance to say goodbye to him and this has ruined my life.’
The grieving mother has made formal complaints to both the hospital, which admits it ‘let Alfie down’, and West Midlands Police.
However officers have still not explained what prompted them to arrest her. She suspects that a neighbour told police she heard crying that night, but she said the noise would have been made by Alfie because he was in pain.
Miss Podmore, who has not been able to return home since Alfie died due to the stigma surrounding her arrest, said that she wants others to avoid her experiences. She said: 'I love my little boy and did the very best I could for him. When he became ill my mother took him to hospital and when I got to the hospital we were later told he had a simple gastric illness and to take him home.
'The police later told us that things should have been done differently, they apologised and said that police protocols were not correctly followed but my whole life has been turned upside down because of what happened. 'I haven't even been able to return home or grieve properly and I wouldn't want anyone else to suffer as I have. I hope that speaking out will ensure valuable lessons are learnt.'
Miss Podmore has also made a formal complaint to the police and this is being investigated by the Professional Standards Department.
Guy Forster, a medical law expert from the Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is representing the family, said: 'For Abby the past six months have been unbearable; firstly suffering the unimaginable pain of losing her only child and then being wrongly blamed for his death. 'Abby and her partner, who was also arrested, are still suffering as a result of the heavy-handed actions of the Police and feel that they have lost their good name and reputation, with some members of the local community wrongly being led to believe they had some part in Alfie's death.'
A full inquest is now listed to take place on 29 September 2011 at Birmingham Coroners Court.
A spokesman for the hospital said: ‘Investigations are still ongoing but it has become clear that there was more that we could have done to help Alfie.’
Charming British army bosses again -- sacrificing lives to totally irrational political correctness
Soldier killed after Army bosses barred him from opening fire on Taliban insurgents planting roadside bombs
A widow revealed how her soldier husband was blown up in Afghanistan days after senior officers had apparently ‘laughed off’ his complaints that insurgents were being allowed to plant explosive devices unchallenged. Sergeant Peter Rayner, 34, phoned his wife in a ‘highly stressed’ state four days before his death and was upset that his fears were not taken seriously.
She said he and his men had watched the enemy, using night-vision goggles, plant improvised explosive devices and were not allowed to attack them. He was allegedly told by one officer: ‘I am an Army Captain and you will do your job.’
Sergeant Rayner was serving with the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and was leading a ten-man patrol in Helmand when he was killed in an explosion last October.
Yesterday Sergeant Rayner’s widow Wendy told an inquest in Bradford that the Army had promised that her concerns would be dealt with, but she said: ‘I have been fobbed off.’
Mrs Rayner told Bradford Coroner's Court her husband, who joined the Army at 17, had feared his own death. She said: ‘He was concerned about the number of explosive devices being planted in the area they were patrolling and had told higher ranks because he feared one of them would be killed. ‘He said they could see people planting these devices but could do nothing about it. ‘I feel that maybe if a bit more had been taken on board about what he had said then things might have been different.’
Mrs Rayner said her husband was ‘highly stressed’ when he called her, claiming that officers had ‘laughed off’ his concerns and he had been told to do his job. ‘He loved his job and I believe he deserved more respect,’ she said. ‘I know it was a routine patrol, but I believe that if he had been given a bit more respect and not just laughed off maybe they could have done something about it, we are losing too many men out there.’
Sergeant Rayner told his wife that officers told him that he and his men could not open fire on insurgents planting bombs or make contact with them. His complaints were rejected by a Sergeant Major and a Captain, the inquest heard.
The widow said: ‘I thought about it long and hard and I think he deserves his last words to be heard.’ Adding: ‘Now it's my day, people will listen because I'm in court.’
Mrs Rayner rejected the offer by the coroner to adjourn the hearing so that officers involved could be called to give evidence. The coroner recorded a verdict that Sergeant Rayner was unlawfully killed.
Outside Bradford Coroner’s Court Mrs Rayner fired a further broadside at the Ministry of Defence, calling for rules of engagement to be changed to protect soldiers. ‘They are not allowed to return fire unless they are fired upon. But all the lads have expressed concern because the patrol area was filled with IEDs. ‘They can shoot at us and take us out but the lads can’t do that to them.
These terrorists and Taliban can do what they want yet our soldiers try to do their job and get persecuted by the law. ‘If they are going to be soldiers let them be soldiers and do their jobs. The job is hard enough as it is.
‘There will be an internal investigation, but I think the rules of engagement need to be looked into if someone is planting IEDs and threatening lives.’ She said two of Sergeant Rayner’s colleagues had also been killed before her husband’s death.
‘I am really annoyed. If they had listened a bit more then it would not have happened. He should have been taken more seriously. He was just trying to protect his men. He did protect his men – but got himself killed.’
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘The whole point of a counter insurgency operation is to protect the civilian population.’ He said soldiers had to go through a series of stages before opening fire and were sometimes asked to exercise ‘courageous restraint’ even when shots had been fired. ‘It is all about winning hearts and minds and using the least force possible,’ the spokesman said. [Maybe the spokesman should be sent on patrol among IEDs]
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.