Thursday, October 20, 2011
The welfare state has destroyed the work ethic for many Brits
Many job seekers cannot even be bothered to turn up for interviews on time and lack 'the right attitude to work', a damning survey of employers revealed yesterday. Despite unemployment rocketing to a 17-year high, nearly half of employers said they could not find the right person for a job when they have a vacancy.
They said candidates were hampered by poor literacy and numeracy. Even if they have the right qualifications, they often lack 'soft' skills such as timekeeping and communication, according to the report by the British Chambers of Commerce.
More than 440 firms in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were asked whether they find it easy or difficult to recruit the right staff for a job. Unemployment in the East Midlands currently stands at 183,000.
Just 30 per cent said they find it easy – but 43 per cent said they find it quite or very difficult. When asked why candidates were wrong for the job, many bosses said they did not have ‘the right attitude towards work’. Others said some job hunters were so lazy they could not even turn up for an interview on time.
George Cowcher, chief executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘A highly-skilled workforce is absolutely crucial to the success of any business. ‘But the results of this survey provide incontrovertible evidence of what our members have been telling us for some time. ‘Businesses want to expand, create jobs and develop their workforce, but are hampered by a lack of skills in the local labour market.’
Mr Cowcher said businesses believe that more needs to be done to help school leavers, young adults and the long-term unemployed. He called on the Government to put skills and training at the ‘very heart’ of its growth strategy.
Mr Cowcher said there were around 27,000 job vacancies in the region. Last month Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden said she could not recruit teenage apprentices for her textiles factory because they do not think manual labour is ‘cool’.
Last week a poll of some of Britain’s biggest firms, including HSBC, Santander and KPMG, found widespread despair with the quality of potential recruits. Three in four bosses said school leavers and graduates lack the ‘basic skills’ needed to join the workforce, according to education charity Young Enterprise.
Another report, from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said employers had ‘concerns about the employability of young people’. It found bosses prefer foreign workers to British school leavers because they have a more ‘positive’ attitude.
Yesterday a spokesman for the Department for Education said: ‘We share the concerns of many businesses that too many of our young people leave school without the skills needed for work, in particular in the basics of English and maths.’
Britain's newspapers must not be censored, says senior judge
Britain's most senior judge yesterday made an impassioned defence of a free Press. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said an independent Press was ‘a constitutional necessity’ and he warned that allowing any government regulation of newspapers would be a danger to democracy.
While there had been problems with self-regulation, he said a beefed-up Press Complaints Commission was the only sensible way forward.
Lord Judge was effectively setting out the judiciary’s ‘evidence’ to the Leveson inquiry into Press standards, set up in the wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Speaking at Justice’s annual human rights law conference in London, he said: ‘My proposition is simply stated: In a country governed by the rule of law, the independence of the Press is a constitutional necessity.’ He quoted 18th-century journalist and MP John Wilkes who said: ‘The liberty of the Press is the birthright of a Briton, and is justly esteemed the firmest bulwark of the liberties of this country.’
His strongly worded comments echoed views put to the Leveson inquiry last week by Paul Dacre, the Editor of the Daily Mail, and Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who warned that imposing restrictions on the Press would put democracy under threat.
The Lord Chief Justice said the value of newspapers in revealing public scandals was ‘priceless’ and no new regulations in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal should risk diluting the power of the Press.
The Press might occasionally behave with ‘scandalous cruelty and unfairness’, Lord Judge said, ‘but on the very same day one of the other constituent parts of the independent Press may reveal a public scandal.
‘The scandal of telephone hacking – which took the form of cruelty and insensitivity to one family and ultimately led to the setting up of the Leveson inquiry – was uncovered and revealed by a different constituent part of the Press.
‘Whatever means of regulation are designed to reduce the occasions of unacceptable behaviour by elements of the Press, they must not simultaneously, even if accidentally, diminish or dilute the ability and power of the press to reveal and highlight true public scandals or misconduct.’
Lord Judge, the most senior member of the judiciary in England and Wales, said that when the actions of the Press were criminal, no editors had ever advocated that they should be immune from prosecution.
He also pointed out the parlous financial state of most British newspapers, saying that their survival depended on their ability to persuade the public to buy. If papers were too dull, people would not buy them. He added: ‘There can be no independent Press if the independent Press cannot survive in the marketplace.’
The Lord Chief Justice, who said he put forward Lord Leveson’s name to head the inquiry, said the ‘twin independences’ of the judiciary and the media were ‘both fundamental to the continued exercise, and indeed the survival of the liberties which we sometimes take for granted’.
‘Although judges are frequently the victims of Press criticism, sometimes indeed of wholly unjustified press criticism, the constitutional arrangements which underpin the independence of the Press provide support for the principle of an independent judiciary, just as an independent judiciary does an independent Press.’
Referring to recent criticism of the current Press Complaints Commission (PCC), he said: ‘Even if they are fully justified, the criticisms do not automatically exclude self-regulation or a form of self- regulation in the future.
‘It does not follow that we should jump from the present system to government regulation or regulation by a government-appointed body which would give ultimate power to government.
‘We do not say that the General Medical Council and self-regulation have failed when, as sometimes happens, a doctor sexually molests one or more of his patients, or, like Dr [Harold] Shipman, murders them.
‘The Commission has no investigative power. In reality it has no disciplinary power. ‘When it works, as most of the time it does, it is because the Press itself is prepared to comply with its rulings, not because it is under legal compulsion to do so.
‘To criticise the PCC for failing to exercise powers it does not have is rather like criticising a judge who passes what appears to be a lenient sentence, when his power to pass a longer sentence is curtailed.’
Voicing his thoughts on how the PCC might be strengthened into a ‘more powerful body’, Lord Judge said: ‘The sensible approach would be to avoid all government involvement in the process. ‘The choice of members and their removal should similarly be independent of government.’
Lord Judge said it was essential that membership should include ‘a significant number of editors, and/or representatives of the newspaper industry as well as what I shall describe as “civilians”.’ He said an improved PCC ‘must not be a toothless tiger’
Rotten regimes will plunder aid millions: As Britain gives more, fraud will grow, warns MPs
As Peter Bauer said long ago: Foreign aid is "an excellent method for transferring money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries"
Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money could be lost to corrupt regimes as a result of the Government’s ballooning aid budget, a hard-hitting report by MPs has warned.
The Public Accounts Committee added that the Department of International Development had a ‘poor understanding’ of the scale and likelihood of aid being lost to fraud.
The MPs said the department was directing increasing amounts of money towards conflict-ridden countries such as Somalia and Pakistan, creating a ‘danger’ that it will be siphoned off by corrupt officials.
The report is yet another damning assessment of DfID, which is enjoying a 34 per cent spending increase in real terms at a time when other Whitehall departments are having their budgets slashed.
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged that foreign aid will rise from £8.4billion this year to £12.6billion in 2015 – equal to £479 for every household in Britain.
In March, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said the Government will pour billions of pounds of aid money into some of the world’s most corrupt regimes in a bid to tackle poverty.
He insisted that changes had been made to safeguard taxpayers’ money, but the committee warned that ‘operating in high-risk environments means the potential for increased risk of leakage through fraud and corruption’.
The report added: ‘The department intends to focus more on fragile and conflict-affected states which pose higher risks in terms of poor security, delivery capacity, measurement of costs and outcomes, and leakage of funds through fraud and corruption.’
The report came as former prime minister Tony Blair said aid to Africa could be brought to an end within a generation.
Where you money is going
He said: ‘It’s a new generation coming in. They are grateful for the help but they know the greater sign of progress will be when they shake hands and say “thank you very much” and make their way on themselves.’
Aid beneficiaries include many of the world’s most corrupt countries, raising fears that much of the money may never reach the people it was intended for.
The biggest winner will be the failed African state of Somalia, rated as the most corrupt nation on earth. Aid to Somalia will rocket by 207 per cent to £250million over the next four years.
Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chairman of the PAC, said: ‘The department is going to be spending more in fragile and conflict-affected countries and the danger to the taxpayer is that there could be an increase in fraud and corruption.
‘However, the department could not even give us information as to the expected levels of fraud and corruption and the action they were taking to mitigate it. 'The department’s ability to make informed spending decisions is undermined by its poor understanding of levels of fraud and corruption.’
Mr Mitchell said the Coalition had transformed DfID’s financial management and took a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to fraud. He added: ‘Although accurately reflecting the position under Labour, the report appears to take little account of the huge changes the Coalition has made.’
Disgusting Lesbian couple want to turn son into a girl
He's a victim of Stockholm syndrome
A LESBIAN couple in California who say their 11-year-old son Tommy wants to be a girl named Tammy are giving their child hormone blockers that delay the onset of puberty, so that he can have more time to decide if he wants to change his gender.
The couple's supporters say the Hormone Blocking Therapy has only minor side effects and is appropriate for a child who is unsure of his gender.
"This is definitely a changing landscape for transgender youth," said Joel Baum, director of education and training for Gender Spectrum, a California-based non-profit group.
"This is about giving kids and their families the opportunity to make the right decision."
But critics of the treatment say 11-year-olds are not old enough to make life-altering decisions about changing their gender, and parents should not be encouraging them.
"This is child abuse. It's like performing liposuction on an anorexic child," said Dr Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
"It is a disorder of the mind. Not a disorder of the body. Dealing with it in this way is not dealing with the problem that truly exists. We shouldn't be mucking around with nature. We can't assume what the outcome will be," Professor McHugh said.
Dr Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FOXNews.com, said the hormone blockers also may pose a medical risk.
"Potential long-term effects can include other abnormalities of hormones, vascular complications and even potential cancer. I think that if this child - as he finishes his puberty and teenage years - decides to undergo a transgender procedure, then there are proper channels to do so," Dr Alvarez said.
"But to do it at the age of 11, to me, could be potentially dangerous to the health of this child," he said.
Tommy's parents, Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, told CNN they support their child and feel this is the best way for him to find an answer to a question he has been asking all his life.
They say Tommy - whom they now call Tammy -- began taking GnRH inhibitors over the summer to give him more time to explore the female gender identity with which he associates.
Tommy began saying he was a girl when he was three years old, his parents said. He was learning sign language due to a speech impediment, and one of the first things he told his mothers was, "I am a girl."
The child's parents also said Tommy threatened to mutilate his genitals when he was seven, and psychiatrists diagnosed a gender identity disorder. One year later, he began transitioning to Tammy.
After much deliberation with family and therapists, the child began taking hormone blockers a few months ago. The medication, which must be changed once a year, was implanted in the boy's upper left arm.
Tommy will continue the treatment until he turns 14 or 15, at which point he will be taken off the blockers and pursue the gender he feels is the right one.
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.