Thursday, December 12, 2013
A multicultural doctor in Britain
A former diplomat exposed himself to a colleague during a two-year ‘onslaught’ of sexual harassment, a tribunal heard.
Chukwuma Igbokwe, 46, grabbed Vanessa Turley from behind and thrust himself towards her before exposing himself and asking her to perform a sex act, it was claimed.
The former Consul to the UK of the Republic of Niger is accused of bullying and harassing his junior colleague in his role as director of St Luke’s Healthcare group.
Mrs Turley, 42, was allegedly subjected to an ‘onslaught of sexual innuendo’ and verbal abuse when she worked with Igbokwe at a private hospital in Ebbw Vale, south Wales, between March 2008 and July 2010.
She told the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service how she quit her job and took legal action to stop Igbokwe when she realised she may not be his only victim.
'It was just never ending with him,’ she said giving evidence. 'I thought he’s got to stop this. People came to me and said it was happening to them. 'I thought "when is this guy going to stop".
'The only person who had enough evidence to go forward was myself.'
Referred to as 'Mrs A' during the current proceedings, she told the panel she felt the police did not take her seriously when she complained, but was vindicated when she won an employment tribunal against her former bosses last year.
She said: 'It was never about the money. It was about proving to people what he was like as a person and what he put me through.'
She added: 'I was trying to stop him doing it to other females because in my eyes he had no respect at all no matter what your position in the company. It was a conquest.'
Igbokwe was not present or represented at a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester where he could be struck off the medical register if the string of misconduct allegations against him are proved.
One of the charges relates to a 'Mayor’s ball' held in his honour in his role as Niger’s Consul to the UK in November 2009 when he made a sexual innuendo towards her.
After the incident he then quizzed her in the tea room at St Luke’s about why she had told people what he had said, the hearing was told.
On another occasion, on April 9, 2010, Igbokwe is said to have called her into his office and held her hips from behind.
He then thrust himself against her, told her to sit down, exposed his privates and gestured to her to perform a sex act.
'He touched me on a previous occasion, but the actual grabbing was the same time when he exposed himself and actually grabbed me from behind,' said Mrs Turley.
She said he was aggressive and rude to her, asking her to bring him dinner or make his tea.
But it was in June 2008 that he is alleged to have called her into his office and said: 'Because I want to f*** you over my desk.'
Mrs Turley told the panel: 'I'm from a deprived working area and I was devastated. 'Most nights coming home and on Sundays not wanting to face the next day.
'The harassment started back up again because he was thinking I was going to say something and made my life and working environment unbearable to try to make me finish on my own.
'But when I didn’t report it he started up an onslaught of sexual innuendo and text messages again because he got away with it the first time.'
The panel heard Igbokwe would 'make eyes' at her when they were working in the same room and ask her to meet at local hotels.
Even when she had left her job and was pursuing legal action against Igbokwe she claims the harassment didn’t stop.
She received pornographic emails, which were sometimes opened by her husband and children, and was told by friends they had seen a suspicious silver Mercedes following her.
'It was just unreal, my life. I’m trying to start to get it back together, but it’s still there. I just want to shut the book on it,' she said. 'I feel I have moved on a lot, but to talk about it, when I go into any detail and depth I get upset because I think was there anything that I did,' she added.
If we can't even send the Boat Race saboteur back to Oz because it's 'racist', who can we deport?
He was the man who tried to wreck the 2012 Varsity Boat Race, received a six-month jail sentence back on dry land and was subsequently branded ‘undesirable’ by the Home Secretary and her department.
One year on, Trenton Oldfield has pulled off yet another stunt which, in its own way, is as spectacular as the original. And it is one which leaves the rest of the world asking: what does it actually take to get kicked out of Britain?
For the Australian amphibian will not now be going back Down Under, after all. His argument, absurdly, is that his home country is full of ‘racists’. And it has been enough to persuade an immigration judge to overrule the Home Office and let him stay put to entertain us all indefinitely.
If our own Home Secretary cannot deport a criminal to perhaps the most civilised place on earth, maybe it is time to give up this deportation lark altogether.
Oldfield now joins the ever-growing list of foreign criminals who have managed to avoid the efforts of the British Government to have them returned to their motherlands.
Of course, many of those have committed more heinous crimes than Oldfield. But his case is yet another mockery of our immigration system.
Certainly, any Brit jailed for scuppering a great Aussie sporting ritual like, say, the Melbourne Cup or the Sydney-Hobart race, would soon be on a plane once they’d done their stint in the slammer.
For all the tired old jokes about its convict origins, Australia has a robust record on such matters. In 2008, it deported Simon Wilson to Britain, even though the convicted murderer and rapist had left Britain at the age of two. (And who can blame the Aussies? Three months after coming ‘home’, Wilson launched a horrific sex attack on a 71-year-old woman in North London).
But what is particularly striking — and risible — about the Oldfield story is the garbage offered up in his defence, and the readiness of our liberal establishment to swallow it.
The usual tactic deployed by foreign criminals trying to dodge deportation is to pull the ‘human rights’ joker from the pack. No matter what Theresa May and her staff — let alone the public — might think, they just need to convince a judge that they would have a horrid time in their home country.
But Oldfield was due to return to perhaps the nicest place on the planet. According to the UN’s latest Human Development Index, Australia is second only to Norway as the best place on earth to live. Britain, by comparison, is down at number 27 — which may explain those long queues of miserable Brits queuing up at Australia House in search of a new life Down Under.
Despite all this, Oldfield managed to argue he shouldn’t go home because his country is full of ‘passive aggressive racists’ and his wife, Deepa, is of Indian descent. ‘Australia to Deepa,’ he told the court, ‘is a particularly racist country. There are particularly racist attacks on people of Indian descent.’ He added: ‘I don’t think I could put either Deepa or my child through that.’
He wasn’t just peddling the old cliche about Australia being a land of beer-chugging, Sheila-squeezing ockers. He was presenting his homeland as some sort of grim cross between the Raj and post-war Mississippi. If I were Australian, I’d want him back in court on a charge of perjury.
On top of this canard, we have also heard friends of Oldfield attempting to justify his actions as if he were some latter-day Emily Davison. Thankfully, no one has compared him with Nelson Mandela, but it’s probably only a matter of time.
One group fighting his cause, an outfit calling itself Defend The Right To Protest, argues that disrupting the Boat Race was a legitimate act of civil disobedience. ‘Trenton’s choice of target,’ it proclaims, ‘was designed to highlight the injustice of growing inequalities being presided over by a government Cabinet composed of almost 70 per cent Oxbridge graduates.’
The Oldfield camp even managed to rustle up 200 signatures from Oxbridge academics and alumni. ‘The Boat Race is a game,’ states their petition. ‘Its disruption should not result in any individual’s deportation.’
They go on to argue that no one was hurt and that the race was completed. But that was only thanks to the sharp eyes and quick thinking of Oxford old boy, Sir Matthew Pinsent, looking on from the umpire’s launch. The four-times Olympic champion noticed something not right and called a halt to the race. A few seconds later and Oldfield could have been decapitated or drowned.
But as far as the Oldfield fan club is concerned, the Boat Race is merely a jolly day out for a gilded elite.
Had Oldfield tried to halt a major football match, of course, he would have been in real trouble.
Every time football fans invade a soccer pitch, up goes the ritual demand that they be banged up and ‘banned for life’. But Oldfield was only inconveniencing a few toffs. So that’s all right then.
In fact, we are talking about one of our oldest sporting events. Televised all over the world, it attracts a live audience on the banks of the Thames four times the size of an FA Cup final crowd and is part of our sporting culture.
Mention the Boat Race and no one will ever ask: ‘What boat? What race?’ Such is the calibre of these athletes that many go straight on to the Olympics.
What is particularly striking - and risible - about the Oldfield story is the garbage offered up in his defence, and the readiness of our liberal establishment to swallow it (Pictured: Trenton with his wife Deepa)
And it was the rowers, not Oldfield, who suffered that day. As the race was restarted midstream, Oxford broke an oar in the chaos. Desperate to compensate for his oarless comrade’s lack of power, Oxford’s Alexander Woods rowed so hard that he collapsed at the finish and was rushed to intensive care.
Though Woods recovered, for a few anxious hours it seemed that the race might be remembered for something far worse than a moronic piece of human driftwood. Don’t tell those athletes that it was just a youthful prank. Oldfield is 37 for heaven’s sake — nearly twice the age of the average undergraduate.
Yet this parody of self-importance and self-righteousness felt qualified to ruin a great sporting occasion on the grounds of, er, well . . . what? At the time he mumbled something about inequality. Yet most of those oarsmen had not attended a public school — unlike the privately educated Oldfield.
This week, he came up with a new excuse, saying he had been ‘heartbroken’ after visiting Deepa’s dying father. ‘I think I was very emotional,’ he said. ‘When you walk around London, you see pockets of deprivation that still exist.’
Did the judge really buy this ‘dog ate my homework’ tosh? I can’t think of any city on earth that doesn’t have its ‘pockets of deprivation’. Does that entitle me to barge into every local sporting fiesta and spoil it?
Oldfield has dragged his wife’s Indian ancestry into all this. He’d be on stronger ground if he’d hopped on a plane to Calcutta and dug up the crease at Eden Gardens.
Online tributes from friends and neighbours make much of the fact that Oldfield now has a baby and would be cruelly separated from his child if he went back to Australia while his wife stayed here.
What sort of a society, they ask, could do such a thing? It is clearly a sad state of affairs — but who is the guilty party in all this? The Home Office? Or the messianic maniac in the wetsuit?
Trenton Oldfield is not an evil man. He is clearly not half as much of a menace to society as hundreds of other foreign criminals whom successive governments have failed to deport. Yet he sought to send a dramatic message to the world on live television and he duly did so.
The world may have no idea what he was on about. But it will have drawn a pretty clear conclusion from this case: if it’s this hard to get thrown out of Britain, it’s hardly surprising that so many people are trying to get in.
Air Force Kicks Baby Jesus off Base
The Baby Jesus has been kicked off Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, according to an organization who relishes any opportunity to eradicate Christianity from the U.S. military.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation praised officials at Shaw Air Force Base for removing a Nativity scene located near Memorial Lake on Friday. The traditional Nativity included plastic statues of Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus and an assortment of animals.
Apparently, an undisclosed number of Airmen were so emotionally troubled by the sight of a manger scene that they immediately notified the MRFF.
I can only imagine the psychological damage they must have suffered as a result of glancing at the plastic statues. I hope no one needed hospitalization, God forbid.
The MRFF’s Paul Loebe wrote in a statement that since the display was not erected near a chapel, it was illegal.
“It was very sectarian in nature and a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution as well as a blatant violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11,” he said.
So the Newborn King is a violation of Air Force regulations? Who knew?
Loebe swiftly alerted MRFF President Mikey Weinstein who then called his BFF’s at the Pentagon. That led to an immediate investigation and more than two hours later, the Nativity had been removed.
“To the Air Force’s credit, it agreed with MRFF’s arguments to remove the Nativity scene swiftly and apparently found this scene to be as much a violation of all the pertinent regulations and the United States Constitution as MRFF did,” he stated.
He praised the Air Force for “acting so swiftly to reverse this egregious violation.”
So why did the Air Force unceremoniously boot the Son of God and why are they so terrified of Mikey Weinstein?
The public affairs office at Shaw AFB did not return eight telephone calls and an email seeking comment. They must have been preoccupied hauling away the donkey and the sheep.
Public affairs officers did take down three media queries from me – including a query as to why the other queries had gone unanswered.
Hiram Sasser, the director of litigation for Liberty Institute, told me the military’s actions were unconstitutional.
“This was private speech,” he said. “The military can say no displays on a base but it cannot allow a display and then ban it simply because of its religious viewpoint.”
Sasser said the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that viewpoint discrimination even in a non-public forum such as a military base in unconstitutional.
“It appears that Mikey Weinstein has a special hotline to call his friends in leadership at the Pentagon to alert them to engage in unnecessary and, in this case, unlawful censorship of private religious speech,” he said.
Fox News commentator Sarah Palin, the author of the new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy,” said what happened at Shaw Air Force base is not surprising.
“We see stories like this every day and yet leftwing pundits still claim that the so-called ‘War on Christmas’ is a figment of the imagination,” Palin told me. “The War on Christmas is just the top of the spear in a larger battle to marginalize expressions of faith and make true religious freedom a thing of the past.”
Palin’s book is a call to arms for Americans to “stand strong on America’s faith-filled foundation.”
“Never let these scrooges strip away the true meaning of Christmas,” she told me.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation bragged that it only took the Air Force two hours and 15 minutes to remove Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Sasser doubted the military would respond with such speed to correct what he called “unconstitutional religious viewpoint discrimination.”
He said he was surprised the Pentagon responded so swiftly to Weinstein’s demands - “as if he were under attack in a foreign country in need of rescue from a deadly mob.”
“Apparently if you are ever in trouble and need a quick response from the Pentagon, tell them a plastic Baby Jesus is at the gates.”
Maybe that’s what they should’ve done in Benghazi
Home of the Church of England fails to celebrate Christmas after Canterbury is left in the dark with council bosses refusing to put up festive lights
It is the spiritual home of the Church of England - but Canterbury is failing to get in the Christmas mood after after Scrooge-like council bosses refused to spend money on festive lights.
Local residents have complained that the decision has left the historic city centre looking 'dark and depressing' with some saying it reminds them of the war days.
But John Gilbey, Canterbury City Council leader, insists leaving the high street without Christmas lights is the right thing to do in the face of its growing budget crisis.
The council has been ordered to make savings of £5.5million by 2017, and cutting the funding for illuminations will spare £56,000 - but traders are furious at the council's attitude.
The Kent city is home to Canterbury Cathedral - the most important place of worship in the Anglican Church - where the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England delivers his Christmas sermon on Christmas Day.
John Hippisley, leader of the Canterbury Independent Traders Alliance, said: 'It beggars belief that Canterbury - the very cradle of Christianity - doesn't have any Christmas lights.
'Every town and city up and down England has Christmas lights, but here we have none. It's a public disgrace.
'All the little businesses are really struggling in the recession and they were banking on Christmas trade to help them through. It's the most important time of year for them.
'But without any Christmas lights, the city just looks dull, dark and depressing. One pensioner told me it felt like the war, all over again.'
He said he fears customers will go to the nearby shopping centre in Bluewater as it's more appealing with 'fantastic Christmas lights'. 'Traders have told me that trade is much worse than last Christmas and it's a real worry,' he said.
Meanwhile campaigner Steve Coombs organised a protest march through the city last weekend to put pressure on the council to reverse its decision.
He said: 'A lot of people are dismayed about the lack of Christmas lights. The council have underspent by nearly £1million this year, so why can't they afford some lights?'
Only the Whitefriars precinct and the King's Mile in Canterbury have lights to lift the mood.
These have been funded privately, although a grant from the council was put towards the display in independent traders' area King's Mile.
A local business has paid for a Christmas tree in the city centre, with the council paying around £2,000 to decorate it.
Mr Hippisley added: 'I looked into the costs of hiring and putting up Christmas lights in the high street, but the public liability insurance would have cost £7,000, making it prohibitively expensive.
'The council has the money, but they don't want to celebrate Christmas. Instead they've squirreled away £103,000 for re-paving an area of the city that does not need repaving and they've set aside £17,000 to refurbish the Lord Mayor's robes.
'Does anyone even care about the Lord Mayor's robes? I know most people here would prefer to have some Christmas lights.'
A spokesman from Canterbury City Council said that start-up grants totalling around £10,000 have been given to community and business groups in Herne Bay and Whitstable to help them take over the organisation of the lights in their towns.
Councillor Gilbey said: 'It was inevitable that this day would come. Christmas lights were a nice thing to do when we had money, but now they are not of sufficient quality to make a difference and there is simply no cash to invest in new displays.
'Instead of persisting with something sub-standard, the only option left is to stop doing it. 'Much has been said in the media and elsewhere about cuts in council funding. This is one very real example of its impact'
He added: 'As the money goes down, we are going to have to take more difficult decisions not to do things, in order to protect important frontline services and the services we are required to provide by law.
'It's not an easy message, but I think people need to be prepared to see more of the things they like disappearing in the years ahead.'
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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.