Britain's "new" Girl Guides
The Girl Guides have fallen to the Guardianistas. Julie Bentley, the new chief executive, says she wants to shed the organisation’s ‘middle-class reputation’ and attract recruits from more diverse backgrounds.
She intends to demonstrate that the Guides are ‘cool’. When she was appointed, she raised eyebrows by describing Girl Guiding UK as the ‘ultimate feminist organisation’.
Miss Bentley’s plans have been shaped by her own experience. ‘I am very working class and was never a Brownie or a Guide.’ Her aim to broaden the appeal of the organisation is commendable and she has promised not to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’.
But there are fears in more traditional quarters over how far she is prepared to go in order to make the Guides more ‘relevant’ to 21st-century Britain.
Pilot projects are already under way in some areas. This column has been sent a copy of a newsletter and mission statement from a recently established, inner-city, combined Guides and Brownies group:
'Girlguiding UK is an equal opportunities organisation, which does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. We particularly welcome applications from members of the transgendered, transsexual and intersex communities, who are currently under-represented.
However, we do discriminate on the grounds of gender, pursuant to the provisions laid out in the Positive Discrimination Act 2009.
Therefore, it has been decided to drop the name Guides. While superficially gender neutral it could include males, who as we all know are violent oppressors and potential rapists.
Guiding carries connotations of grooming, which is particularly inappropriate in light of recent revelations about a certain well-known children’s television entertainer, fortunately now deceased.
After due consideration we have also decided to drop the name Brownies, which is clearly offensive to persons of colour. Henceforth, to reflect our inclusivity, we will be known as the First Winnie Mandela Radical Young Feminists Project.
In keeping with our progressive agenda, we are scrapping uniforms, which have militaristic overtones and could be interpreted as conveying support for the illegal wars prosecuted by successive British governments in recent years.
We are sensitive to the fact that a rigid uniform policy may act as a disincentive to fashion-conscious Young Feminists, who are free to attend in appropriate clothing of their choice, including onesies.
Please note that our steering committee has decided that we will no longer be meeting in St Bartholomew’s Church Hall from this week forward. We are a multi-faith organisation and any association with the established Church may discourage members of minority religions from enrolling.
We were also disturbed to learn that the Rev Farage, the rampantly homophobic rector of St Bartholomew’s, is refusing to conduct same-sex weddings.
For the immediate future, Young Feminists are requested to assemble outside Accessorize, next to the boarded-up Woolworth’s in the Hugo Chavez Retail Experience (formerly the Arndale Centre).
This Friday we will be holding a candlelit vigil for Abu Qatada, followed by a kebab and Bacardi Breezer supper.
Some of you may have read on Facebook recently that we plan to reach out to those who previously would not have considered joining our organisation.
In keeping with this goal, we have introduced a number of new badges and activities which will help prepare Young Feminists for the challenges of the 21st century.
We will be offering a brand new Makeover badge, to include hair extensions and waxing, courtesy of our sponsors, Reinaldo’s Brazilian Beauty Spa.
Our popular Sewing category will be expanded to include instruction in how to effect a running repair to a flesh wound in the event of an unexpected and unprovoked ‘glassing’ at a rave.
To assist Young Feminists in the difficult task of life balancing, we are also introducing a Microwaving badge. This will involve heating up a ready meal of Pot Noodles in under two minutes before settling down on the sofa to watch The Great British Bake Off.
For our Survival Skills badge, we have decided to dispense with camping and orienteering. This winter, members will travel to Newcastle city centre where, dressed only in micro-skirts, thongs, skimpy vests and stilettos, they will be expected to endure eight hours outdoors in freezing temperatures, sustained only by 18 bottles of alcopops.
Extra marks will be awarded to all those who manage to complete the course without vomiting, getting arrested or ending up in casualty.
Instead of learning how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, Radical Young Feminists will be taught the safest way to assemble a petrol bomb in preparation for the next spontaneous demonstration against student loans and the savage cuts.
A fortnight on Friday, a technician from Computerland will be holding a seminar on how to delete compromising, intimate photos that may have inadvertently been posted on Twitter and distributed over the worldwide web by treacherous and immature so-called boyfriends.
The following week, we are honoured to announce that the world-famous MP and Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson will be giving us a lecture on why Mrs Thatcher wasn’t a woman.
This will be followed by a rousing rendition of our new anthem, Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead. This classic tune has been chosen to replace the more traditional A Guide’s Got A Face Like A Ping Pong Ball, which was deemed to be offensive to victims of acne and associated skin disorders.
We are aware a number of parents/appropriate adults have expressed concerns that traditional values may be lost as our modernisation programme progresses. Please be assured that is not the case. Our new chief executive has promised that ‘the baby will not be thrown out with the bath water’.
In keeping with this spirit, we have arranged a visit from the Senior Nursing Sister at the local maternity unit for the benefit of any single mothers who may be interested in joining the First Winnie Mandela Radical Young Feminists Project. Creche facilities will be provided.
Her first lecture is entitled: How not to throw the baby out with the bath water .....'
More multiculturalism in Britain
Strolling down the street with a smirk on his face, this is the callous teenager who killed a frail 85-year-old for her purse.
Nayed Hoque and his friend Jiervon Bartlett pounced on Paula Castle in an alleyway near her home.
Partially sighted and recovering from a stroke, the grandmother was an easy target and suffered a serious head wound when she was knocked to the ground. She died a few hours later.
Nayed Hoque was locked up for manslaughter after knocking down and killing 85-year-old blind widow Paula Castle during a street robbery
Jiervon Bartlett was locked up for manslaughter after knocking down and killing 85-year-old blind widow Paula Castle during a street robbery
The Old Bailey was told yesterday that Hoque and Bartlett, both 15, were responsible for a litany of violent crimes including robbery, kidnap and assault. They attacked another elderly person the day after mugging Mrs Castle.
They were jailed for six years yesterday – far too short a sentence according to Mrs Castle’s family. ‘They’ve repeatedly committed crimes, some of a violent nature, and they’ve targeted the vulnerable, the elderly, the disabled,’ said daughter-in-law Jane Castle.
‘They didn’t seem to have much remorse because they went out and mugged another lady the next day. The punishment doesn’t coincide with the crime.’
Mrs Castle was attacked as she walked home from the shops in Greenford, West London, last November. Witnesses saw Bartlett and Hoque loitering around the alleyway with hoods covering their faces.
Andrew Edis, prosecuting, said Mrs Castle’s emptied handbag was found discarded in a nearby garden.
Police discovered they spent the cash on a takeaway pizza and used her bank cards to buy mobile phone top-ups and a pair of Nike trainers.
After learning that Mrs Castle had died the pair robbed a second woman, Rose Mohamed, 75, of her handbag containing £120. Her bank cards were used to buy a pair of trainers and more mobile top-ups.
Both teenagers had repeatedly walked free from court despite being found guilty of serious crimes.
Bartlett had convictions for robbery, burglaries, kidnap and making threats. He attacked his 62-year-old foster father and took part in a violent burglary in which an autistic victim was robbed.
The court heard he has shown no remorse for killing Mrs Castle and stormed out of a probation meeting when he was asked to apologise to her family.
Hoque, who blamed Bartlett for killing Mrs Castle, has three convictions for assault, including two violent attacks on his own parents last year.
Both youths, from Southall, West London, admitted manslaughter shortly before they were due to go on trial.
These loving parents were branded abusers - yet the courts won't let them clear their names: SUE REID on a chilling case that raises profound new questions about justice and Britain's culture of secrecy
Playing in their large garden, this family look happy and content.
A pair of twins, a brother and sister aged two, reach out to cuddle their parents who, in turn, cling tightly to their youngest child, a boy of one who keeps crawling off at a fast pace towards the flower-beds.
The children are blissfully unaware that if doctors, police officers and social workers had had their way, this scene would not be taking place at all. By law, in many cases such as theirs involving family courts, it is not possible to name those involved or identify where they live.
But we can reveal that nearly two years ago, the parents were wrongly accused of the most horrific crime: shaking their children, injuring their brains and breaking their bones.
At one stage, a police officer told the family: ‘This is the worst case of child abuse I have ever come across in my 16-year career.’
During 19 months of investigations, the parents were barred from being alone with the children. Therefore the twins’ maternal grandparents (both in their late-70s) had to care for them at night while the parents slept in a separate part of the family’s home, the connecting door locked on the orders of social workers.
Astonishingly, a bell on the electric gate at the garden entrance was also disconnected by social workers. They said it was so they could make unannounced visits to check the parents were not attacking their children.
When the mother gave birth to her third child, by Caesarean, social workers claimed there was a risk that she would hurt him. They threatened to take the baby away (even though he was being breast-fed) until the mother could be supervised round the clock in her hospital bed.
But a little over two weeks ago, a High Court judge decided that the parents had not harmed their children. Mr Justice Baker said the couple were ‘besotted’ about them and should not face ‘one scintilla’ of criticism.
He refused to allow the youngsters to be taken into care by Devon Council and, in all probability, be put up for adoption.
The judge said the couple suffered from complex medical ailments which may have been inherited by the children and which made their bones and skulls fragile.
He concluded there was a ‘real possibility’ that — rather than being the result of abuse — the twin girl’s elbow was broken when her arm was pinned down by two doctors as they tried to insert a tube for blood tests.
A fracture of her brother’s rib was also ‘likely’ to have occurred at the hospital during a medical examination.
As the mother says now: ‘It has been a nightmare. So many mistakes were made. We have lived for months under this massive terror that council social workers would take our children away. I was made to feel an evil woman by social workers. They treated me like a liar. We were accused of being child abusers by the police.
‘Now we learn that some of our children’s injuries may have been caused at the hospital where doctors were accusing us.’
The coverup: Protecting the REAL guilty ones
It is, indeed, a disturbing story. But as this family get on with their life, there is another worrying aspect to this case.
It concerns the judge’s decision that the family cannot be identified and that their whereabouts must be kept secret until the children are grown up — even though they have done nothing wrong.
The ruling, by Mr Justice Baker at the High Court in Exeter, means that if this family allow the media to use their real names, they will be in contempt of court and risk being sent to prison.
They are frightened even to speak about their ordeal to neighbours or friends because in doing so they could identify themselves and the children as having been participants in the family court case.
These gagging orders have become normal in such family court cases where parents are eventually found innocent of any wrongdoing. Last week, Bill Bache, the family’s lawyer and an expert on family courts, said: ‘This ruling impinges on this family’s freedom of speech. This is very troubling.’
Mr Justice Baker’s ruling also means that only the one doctor actually named in his final judgment, when he cleared the parents, can be identified publicly.
As a frightening result, the identities of the social workers, the police officers and nearly all the hospital medics who provoked this family’s nightmare are now hidden behind a cloak of secrecy.
So why, one might ask, is this couple not allowed to say who they are — and shout publicly from the rooftops that they are innocent?
The euphemism imperative
President Barack Obama was proud to become the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood last Friday. But not proud enough to utter the word “abortion.”
The right to abortion is the sneakiest, most shame-faced of all American rights. Its most devoted supporters don’t dare speak its name. They hide behind evasion and euphemism and cant.
So Obama sang a hymn of praise to Planned Parenthood at the organization’s annual conference without mentioning what makes it so distinctive and controversial. He said it is a group women “count on for so many important services.” He said its core principle is “that women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own health.” He excoriated opponents involved “in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.”
Listening to him, you could be forgiven for thinking that the country is riven by a fierce dispute over whether women should be allowed to choose their own ob-gyns or decide whether to take contraceptives or to get cancer screenings. One side is pro-women’s health, the other anti. In his speech, the president said the word “cancer” seven times. About that he is happy to be straightforward.
Imagine if he had been similarly frank about the rest of Planned Parenthood’s work: “In 2011, according to your annual report, your clinics or affiliates performed 330,000 abortions. That’s a lot of abortion. Over 10 years more than 3 million. Thank you, Planned Parenthood. Think of all those women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies and you were there for them. That’s what you do. That’s what you are about. And that’s what this country is about.”
Before that crowd, he might have gotten rousing applause, but talking in such honest terms would have been a gross faux pas. Planned Parenthood’s image is dependent on averting eyes from its central purpose. According to a poll commissioned by the National Right to Life Committee, fifty-five percent of people don’t realize that Planned Parenthood performs abortions. In the past, Obama has said Planned Parenthood does mammograms, when it doesn’t.
The unwritten rule is that when the left discusses abortion it is never called “abortion,” but always referred to as “health” or, more specifically “reproductive health” — although abortion is the opposite of reproduction and for one party involved, the opposite of health. The former National Abortion Rights Action League, and then the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, finally settled on the name NARAL Pro-Choice America, effacing all reference to the procedure that it holds in such high esteem.
This is a strange reticence. The National Rifle Association doesn’t get defensive when it is pointed out that it protects the right to bear arms which allows people to buy guns. Charlton Heston, in the famous photo-op, didn’t hesitate to lift a musket over his head. The organization isn’t about to remove the word “rifle” from its name. The NRA conducts courses on how to handle guns safely, but Wayne LaPierre doesn’t try to pass himself off as concerned only with “munitions safety.”
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, 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.