Thursday, February 23, 2012

British bureaucrats are only barely human beings

How low can you go? Man drowned in lake just 3ft deep after firemen refused to wade in due to health and safety rules

A charity worker drowned in a 3ft deep lake when a policeman and a paramedic were ordered not to try to rescue him. Simon Burgess, 41, was left to float face down as emergency crews watched.

Health and safety rules stopped them going more than ankle deep into the lake, an inquest was told yesterday.

According to a doctor, Mr Burgess’s life could have been saved had he been removed from the water quickly.

The constable and the ambulance worker who volunteered to jump into the lake were given strict orders not to do so by fire station watch manager Tony Nicholls.

PC Tony Jones arrived at the scene on foot shortly after Mr Burgess fell into the water while feeding swans. He told the inquest: ‘When I spoke to witnesses and found out the body hadn’t been there long I told my sergeant I was willing to go into the water. ‘He authorised me to do so and I took off my body armour but Mr Nicholls advised me strongly not to go in.

‘I said I would go in anyway and asked if I could borrow his life jacket but he said “No”, but I was going to do it regardless. It didn’t sit right with me that no one was going to get the body or assist the person in the water.

‘The control room was informed I was going in and they sent a message that under no circumstances could I go in the water.’

Paramedic Robert Wallace told the hearing he also offered to attempt to retrieve the body from the water at Walpole Park in Gosport, Hampshire. ‘I’m trained to swim in currents you go white water rafting in, but Mr Nicholls told me he didn’t want my help,’ he said.

Mr Nicholls, who is based at Gosport fire station, told the inquest that he understood the body had been in the water for five to ten minutes. ‘There were no obvious signs of life so from that I made an assessment it was a body retrieval and not a rescue,’ he said.

‘The officers were trained to go into ankle deep water, which is level one, so we waited for level two officers, who can go into chest high.

‘One of the police officers told me he would like to go in the water and I advised him in the strongest terms not to. A paramedic told me he was level two water trained, but when I asked him if he had protective equipment he said “No”, so that was the end of that.

‘I was under immense pressure from the three witnesses to go into the water but I gave them a short answer. ‘The specialist team arrived and three officers went in and removed the body.’

A witness told of her frustration at seeing 999 workers stand and wait. Gillian Hughes said the specialist team measured the depth of the water with a pole and even called for a press officer before recovering Mr Burgess’s lifeless body. This was almost 30 minutes after the earlier teams arrived.

Mrs Hughes, 53, said Mr Burgess fell in while trying to retrieve a plastic bag from the water. ‘He looked like he was swimming and had a smile on his face,’ she said.

‘The next minute he had stopped and was lying face down. The firemen arrived with the police and I said “He’s only been there five or ten minutes so if you hurry you might save him”.

‘He just said “We’re not allowed’ and I said “But that’s your job”. Mr Burgess was only 20ft away. I thought they would get him straight away. ‘I believe one of the police went in to get him but was told he was not allowed. I said to one of the firemen “Why don’t you go in?” and he said they couldn’t if the water was higher than ankle deep. ‘I said “You’re having a laugh”. He said “No, that’s health and safety”.

‘After the incident I was unable to sleep because I kept blaming myself and now I have to live with it.’

Brett Lockyer, a registrar of histopathology, told the inquest there were signs Mr Burgess had fallen into the lake because of an epileptic seizure, following unsuccessful brain surgery to ease his condition.

‘If he had been taken out of the water after ten minutes there is a slim chance he could have been resuscitated,’ he said.

‘The seizure would’ve made it look like he was swimming and explains why he had a grin on his face.’


What turns British doctors into tyrants?

The British Medical Association has called for the government to ban all smoking in cars. This follows a similar call from the Royal College of Physicians a few years ago.

The British medical lobby has had an epiphany. Why should they have to worry about adapting to the shifting nature of Britain’s healthcare needs – which reeks of the unwelcome prospect of change – when they can instead simply demand that the government outlaw things that are making us ill?

Allowing people the freedom to do harmful things, and thus to contribute to ‘preventable death’ statistics, is anathema. I mean, if the entire nation were the prisoners of good doctors we would all live much longer.

That very phrase, ‘preventable death’, is symbolic of the problem. It reeks of a ‘something must be done!’ attitude towards people’s lifestyle choices that indicates a widespread disregard on the part of the medical authorities and much of the commentariat for the capacity of ordinary people to make their own decisions.

Of course, nobody will own up to this sort of old-fashioned, paternalist elitism. After all, progressives are meant to respect the working man and woman. Looking down on the ‘great unwashed’ and making moralistic judgements about them is what Tories are meant to do.

So instead, other reasons are found. Sometimes they are small and particular – for example, the car smoking ban is supposed to be about protecting children, even though advocates want to apply it to single drivers as well – and all this on the basis of an almost certainly apocryphal ’26 times the death’ statistic.

More often the reasons are big and sweeping, and none comes bigger than ‘cost to the NHS’. It’s pretty perverse: on the one hand, we insist that our social conscience will not permit anybody, for any reason, to fall beyond the safety net of the state; while on the other we try to claw back as much money as we can by stripping them of freedoms which may weigh heavily on our social treasury.

I’ve written at length about how a certain species of leftist will turn a safety net into a straightjacket and use the NHS as a highly effective basis for authoritarian government. Yet this is really just the logical outworking of the fact that the freedom-minded have almost totally lost the cultural battle about whether or not adult citizens of a country should be respected as such.

That’s the real battle. Important as the individual policy struggles for liberty are, they’ll continue to resemble endless rematches of Canute vs. the Tide unless public perceptions on personal liberty can be fundamentally shifted. Otherwise, each and every state-cutting measure will come with a ‘preventable death’ toll, and progressives will continue to paint liberty as murder-by-omission.


A Leftist hate machine

Bill Press has a new book out called "The Obama Hate Machine." To read the blurbs, you might wonder if Press thinks no one should be allowed to criticize the president. Here's Nancy Pelosi touting the book: "In a poisoned political climate, negative personal attacks on President Obama must have no place in our public discourse."

What's next? A mandate forbidding inappropriate free speech? These tolerant liberals are out of control.

Press appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" on Feb. 12 to plug his book, and he did say "there's legitimate criticism of any president, which I think is very healthy, and I welcome it, and I've been a part of it. Right?" But then he went off the rails.

"I don't know that anybody ever said that Ronald Reagan was a terrorist, or George W. Bush was a terrorist. Right? This isn't a slight difference. It's a huge difference, the level of attacks we've seen against President Obama."

It's proof positive that Bill Press knows very little. Just like in his last embarrassing book, "Toxic Talk," Press claims all the ugly rhetoric comes from conservatives. But this is -- I'll be blunt -- dishonest, and you don't even have to look back in history to prove Press wrong. The Daily Kos had an entry headlined "Ronald Reagan, Terrorist!" on Reagan's 100th birthday last year. Cindy Sheehan called George W. Bush a terrorist routinely. The term is used against conservatives of every stripe.

But let's turn the spotlight back around to Bill Press. How has he performed on the "hate machine" scale? Let's explore the record. Oh, yes, Press has a record, too.

1. On Jan. 13 -- 18 days before his anti-hate book was first issued -- Press called Newt Gingrich a terrorist on MSNBC's Al Sharpton program, "Politics Nation": "He's the suicide bomber of the Republican Party. ... He's in it to take down as many people as he can as he goes down, and he has that same silly grin on his face when he pulls the plug as a suicide bomber."

2. On his radio show on Aug. 6, 2011, in a funding dispute over the Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Press attacked the Republicans: "These guys are terrorists! I'm sorry; I'm sorry; you know, you know Joe Biden; they say he's getting in a little trouble 'cause he called them terrorists. That's exactly what they are!"

3. On June 16, 2010, Press complained that Glenn Beck was granted permission to have a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. "If you ask me, that's like granting al-Qaida permission to hold a rally on Sept. 11 -- at ground zero."

4. How about death wishes? On his radio show on July 22, 2011, Press played a clip of Speaker John Boehner suggesting Obama "needs to step up and work with us on the spending cuts." He then replied: "You know, it's a wonder lightning just doesn't strike people dead on the spot when they say stuff like that."

5. Nazis? In an Aug. 6, 2009 column, Press slashed at Tea Partiers opposing Obamacare at town hall meetings: "Taking a page right out of a Nazi playbook, organizers bus in professional protestors and arm them with instructions on how to take over meetings, shut down discussion, shout over any pro-health care reform speakers and then post video of the resulting chaos on YouTube. It's mob rule, pure and simple."

6. On Oct. 10, 2008, Todd Palin's reported support for a secessionist party in Alaska drew this radio blast from Press: "What's the difference between a secessionist and a terrorist? Isn't a secessionist just another form of a terrorist? Ask Abraham Lincoln. ... Let's find out what the 'First Dude' was going to do in order to secede from the Union. I tell you it wasn't going to be peaceful."

7. And then there's the good old-fashioned insult. On July 25, 2006, Press declared who was the dumbest president ever: "George W. Bush, with his rock bottom IQ of 91: seven points lower than his Daddy. ... He's just plain dumb -- the dumbest president in the last 50 years. And probably, the dumbest president ever!"

Press's alleged IQ information by the "Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pa." was a hoax, entirely made up, which underlined just who shouldn't be calling other people dummies.

8. But Bill Press really thinks American voters are also morons. On his radio show on Nov. 4, 2010, Press proclaimed: "Just once ... I would like to hear somebody say, 'The voters have spoken, the bastards.' Or, 'The voters have spoken. What a bunch of idiots.' 'The voters have spoken. God, they're dumb. Dumb as hell.'"

Most Americans won't be dumb enough to buy Bill Press's book or believe a word he says against other people building their "hate machines."


Bizarre claim: Dislike of homosexuality turns you into a Catholic

Considering the number of bent priests we have heard about, I think it more likely to be the other way around, if anything

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews made comments last night that will certainly be taken negatively by some people who embrace the Catholic faith.

“If you’re really anti-gay, you become a Catholic now,“ he reportedly proclaimed during the ”Presidential Leadership Panel,” an event focusing upon politics in America.

Following the panel discussion, which also featured Civil War expert Harold Holzer and presidential historian Michael Beschloss, Scott Whitlock of the Media Research Center asked Matthews — an admitted Catholic himself — to clarify his comment about Catholics and homosexuality.

“Earlier tonight, you were talking about Nixon and the Southern Strategy and bigotry and things like that you and you said, quote, ‘If you’re really anti-gay, you become a Catholic now,’” Whitlock said. “I was wondering if you were saying that bigots become Catholic now and if you wanted to expand or apologize for that?”

Matthews responded, doubling down on his comment, while simultaneously attempting to tempter it. An apology, of course, wasn’t in order.

“I think there are people who have chosen to convert to the Catholic faith because they don’t like the liberal positions taken by their sectarian groups,” Matthews explained. “That’s a fact. So, you can write that down. No, you can write that down.”

Whitlock, though, wasn’t done pushing the issue. “So, you’re saying Catholicism is drawing bigots? Is that what you’re saying?,” he asked.

“I’m saying that some people who are bigoted against gay people have changed religions,” Matthews answered. “Yes. You got it right.”



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. 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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