Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Black instructor in Britain accused of £50,000 benefit fraud told he CAN keep claiming disability allowance - despite being filmed playing football
A man who was filmed playing football despite claiming he could often barely walk has been found not guilty of a £50,000 benefit fraud.
Rayan Wilson, 29, has the rare genetic blood condition sickle-cell anaemia. He was granted the top rate of disability living allowance in 2003 after telling Department for Work and Pensions officials he often had to crawl rather than walk.
However, assessors became suspicious in 2011 when he told them he was working in injury rehabilitation at Bristol Rovers Football Club for three to seven hours a week. Investigators then filmed him making slide-tackles as star midfielder for a pub team in a Sunday football league.
Mr Wilson told Bristol Crown Court that his condition fluctuates and on many days he can only walk six to eight yards.
Prosecuting, Francisca Da Costa said: ‘He was observed playing football, running, jumping, making sliding tackles.’
But Tom Wainwright, defending, gave evidence from sickle-cell doctors that Mr Wilson’s condition – in which the blood cannot carry enough oxygen – is variable.
His clinical coordinator Dr Mark Critchley said Mr Wilson was telling the truth, and had been admitted to hospital 19 times between 2003 and 2013.
Judge Michael Longman directed the jury to find him not guilty of three charges of dishonest representation from 2003 to 2011. Mr Wilson, of Bristol, said: ‘I’m relieved. I had no reason to lie. I hope the case raises the profile for people with sickle cell.’
Are Domestic Violence Statistics Bogus?
A dominant voice in victim-advocacy and research on domestic violence stands accused of flatly fabricating data.
Jacquelyn C. Campbell, a professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, is accused of fabricating “key statements [about domestic violence] and then representing the statements as findings of a government survey.” On January 14, the victim-advocacy organization Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) filed a formal complaint with the Office of Research Integrity of the Department of Health and Human Services. SAVE wants the unit to “investigate these allegations of research misconduct by Dr. Campbell and colleagues, and take appropriate corrective action.” (As of January 31, the complaint has been rejected and the rejection is being appealed.)
In two highly respected journals, Campbell and various colleagues claimed that “the leading cause of death in the United States among African American women aged 15 to 45 years” was homicide. In the American Journal of Public Health Vol. 93, No. 7, 2003, page 1089, the deaths were described as “femicide, the homicide of women.” In the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Journal 2003, page 18, the deaths were ascribed to “intimate partner violence” or domestic violence homicide.
Attorney General Eric Holder repeated the domestic violence version of the statistic in a 2009 speech; he stated, “Disturbingly, intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45.” The statistic was posted in at least two places at the Department of Justice (DOJ) website. The conservative feminist Christina Hoff Sommers took exception. In USA Today (Feb. 4, 2011), she wrote, “That's a horrifying statistic, and it would be a shocking reflection of the black family, and American society generally, if it were true. But it isn't true.”
Over two years later, the Washington Post fact checker, Glenn Kessler investigated Holder's statement and published his results. Kessler wrote that CDC “data show that, for the year 2008 (the year before Holder’s speeches), cancer, heart disease, unintentional injury and HIV/AIDS all topped homicide. Then if you break out intimate-partner homicide, that ends up being seventh or eighth on the list (depending on whether you also include all homicides.)” As a basis of comparison, in 2008, cancer killed 1,871 black females; heart disease, 1,629; all homicides, 326.
Kessler next ran a forensic investigation of the claim. “As best we [Washington Post] and the Justice Department can determine,” he stated, “this all started with a 1998 study by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), titled “Violence Against Intimates,” that examined the data concerning crimes committed by current and former spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends.” But that study did not find domestic-violence homicide to be the leading cause of death in black women aged 15 to 45 years. Indeed, the study even reported a marked decline in such homicides. “From 1976 to 1996, the number of murders of black spouses, ex-spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends decreased from 14 per 100,000 black age 20-44 to just under 4 per 100,000.” Meanwhile, the general murder rate declined only an average of six percent a year.
Where did Holder get such a dramatically inaccurate statistic? Kessler fast forwarded to the 2003 studies in which Campbell was the principal researcher. The American Journal of Public Health study was published earliest, and it referred to “femicide” as the leading cause of death for African-American women aged 15 to 45. The later NIJ study stated “intimate partner violence” was “the leading cause of death.” The 1998 BJS study was cited as a source in both cases but, as Kessler commented, “these facts cannot be found in the original BJS report.”
Campbell did not respond to his request for clarification.
Since 2003, the inexplicable and unexplained statistic has assumed a life of its own. The University of Minnesota’s Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American community Community reiterates it the claim on its website, citing the NIJ study as its source. Other journals, newspapers, and at least one book also use the statistic. According to Google, the American Journal of Public Health study has been referenced online 567 times as of January 13.
Kessler's Washington Post article was published on December 18, 2013. He noted that DOJ officials had assured him “that in coming days they planned to append a note to the Web pages in question making clear that the claim is not valid.” The outrageous inaccuracy remains in the text of material on DOJ site, as it has for over four years. On January 17, changes were made, however. The following statement appears at the bottom of the page:
“These remarks, as originally delivered in 2009, cited a statistic naming intimate partner homicide as the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45. This statistic was drawn from a range of reputable sources, including a 2003 study by the National Institute of Justice. However, recent figures indicate other causes of death—including cancer and heart disease—outrank intimate partner homicide for this age group.”
This “clarification” vindicates the statistic as being from reliable sources and implies that it was once correct.
Killing a False 'Fact' Can Be Almost Impossible
Mark Perry is not surprised at the DOJ's failure to make a genuine correction. Perry is an economics professor at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The Washington Post fact checking occurred only because Perry pursued that avenue as a last resort. In an AEI article (Dec. 5, 2013), Perry stated that the false data was “being extensively quoted by universities, journalists, in books and YouTube videos, and by the American Bar Association.” Perry called the DOJ failure especially disturbing in light of Obama's 2009 declaration, “Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over... To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy.”
Christina Hoff Sommers is also unsurprised. For years, Sommers has been battling bad data produced by politically correct feminism. She is perhaps best known for constantly correcting statistics which exclude men and boys or inaccurately represent them.
Don’t you dare tell me to check my privilege
Today’s left is a competition in shouting one another down
JULIE BURCHILL, an old-fashioned socialist, hits back at the whining classes
While working-class left-wing political activism was always about fighting the powerful, treating people how you would wish to be treated and believing that we’re all basically the same, modern, non-working-class left-wing politics is about… other stuff. Class guilt, sexual kinks, personal prejudice and repressed lust for power. The trade union movement gave us brother Bill Morris and Mrs Desai; the diversity movement has given us a rainbow coalition of cranks and charlatans. Which has, in turn, has given us intersectionality.
Intersectionality may well sound like some unfortunate bowel complaint resulting in copious use of a colostomy bag, and indeed it does contain a large amount of ordure. Wikipedia defines it as ‘the study of intersections between different disenfranchised groups or groups of minorities; specifically, the study of the interactions of multiple systems of oppression or discrimination’, which seems rather mature and dignified. In reality, it seeks to make a manifesto out of the nastiest bits of Mean Girls, wherein non-white feminists especially are encouraged to bypass the obvious task of tackling the patriarchy’s power in favour of bitching about white women’s perceived privilege in terms of hair texture and body shape.
Think of all those episodes of Jerry Springer where two women who look like Victoria’s Secret models — one black, one white — bitch-fight over a man who resembles a Jerusalem artichoke, sitting smugly in the middle, and you have the end result of intersectionality made all too foul flesh. It may have been intended as a way for disabled women of colour to address such allegedly white-ableist-feminist-specific issues as equal pay, but it’s ended up as a screaming, squawking, grievance-hawking shambles.
The supreme irony of intersectionality is that it both barracks ‘traditional’ feminists for ignoring the issues of differently abled and differently ethnic women while at the same time telling them they have no right to discuss them because they don’t understand them — a veritable Pushmi-Pullyu of a political movement. Entering the crazy world of intersectionality is quite like being locked in a hall of mirrors with a borderline personality disorder coach party. ‘Stop looking at me funny! Why are you ignoring me? Go away, I hate you! Come back, how dare you reject me!’ It’s politics, Jim, but certainly not as my dear old dad knew it.
In-fighting and backbiting have been raised to the level of a very sad Olympic sport — that’ll be the Special Olympics, of course, the real ones being ‘able-ist’. Every thought is an ism and every person an ist in the insania of intersectionality, where it is always winter and never Christmas — sorry, ‘Winterval’. (Mustn’t be Islamophobic.) But sexism, interestingly, isn’t really the hot ticket there; women get picked on — or ‘called out’, to use the approved phrase — more than anyone. Natural-born women, that is. When it happened to one of my dearest friends last year, I became an unwitting participant in this modern danse macabre.
One Friday in January 2013, I was showing off on Facebook of an afternoon — as is my wont now my career’s gone up the Swannee — when it was drawn to my attention that my amica of several decades standing, Suzanne Moore, was being ‘monstered’, as modern parlance has it, on Twitter. She’d actually been driven off it for refusing to apologise for something she’d said, subsequently becoming the target for all sorts of vile threats, including having her face ripped off and fed to feral dogs. Always up for a fight, I hurried through cyberspace, only to find my homey the target of a thoroughly monstrous regiment of bellicose transsexuals and their bed-wetting ‘cheerleaders’. Both groups had taken exception to the following line by Suzanne from an essay on female anger: ‘We are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape — that of a Brazilian transsexual.’
Repelled by the filthy threats which were flying fierce and fast at my friend, I began to talk trash on my Facebook page — though even my trash-talk, it must be said, has a vicious elegance that most people’s A-game lacks. I opined that a bunch of gender-benders trying to tell my mate how to write was akin to the Black and White Minstrels advising Usain Bolt on how to run. I stated that it was outrageous that a woman of style and substance should be driven from her chosen mode of time-wasting by a bunch of dicks in chicks’ clothing and their snivelling suck-ups. The usual cool, calm and collected sort of consideration I’m famous for.
It was interesting to me that, rather than join Miss Moore in decrying the notion that every broad should aim to look like an oven-ready porn star, the very cross cross-dressing lobby and their grim groupies had picked on the messenger instead — presumably in order to add to their already flourishing sense of grievance. Suzanne is a life-long left-winger and a feminist — why, I wondered, were fellow travellers threatening her in so rabid a manner? But this, I was to learn, was par for the crotchety course.
Suzanne’s crime, it transpired, was to be ‘cis-gendered’ as opposed to transgendered (that is, she was born female) and not to have ‘checked her privilege’ — what passes for a battle cry in certain ever-decreasing circles these dog days. It’s hardly ‘No pasarán!’ — rather, it declares an intention that it is better to be nagged to death on one’s knees rather than stand by one’s principles on one’s feet. Consider how lucky you are, born women, before you raise your voice above that of a trans-sister! — that veritable cornucopian horn of plenty which we lucky breed fortunate enough to be born to a sensory smorgasbord of periods, PMT, the menopause, HRT and being bothered ceaselessly for sex by random male strangers since puberty take such flagrant delight in revelling in, shameless hussies that we are.
Add to this that Suzanne was, like myself, born into the English working class, and therefore marginally less likely to have beaten the odds than a dancing dog or busker’s cat to have become a public figure, and I was buggered (not being homophobic, there) if I was going to put up with a bunch of middle-class seat-sniffers, educated beyond all instinct and honesty, laying into my girl.
But it wasn’t just that. It was an instinctive desire to defend the socialism of my dead father. Because intersectionality is actually the opposite of socialism! Intersectionality believes that there is ‘no such thing as society’ — just various special interests.
In my opinion, we only become truly brave, truly above self-interest, when fighting for people different from ourselves. My hero as a kid was Jack Ashley — a deaf MP who became the champion of rape victims. These days, the likes of those who went after Suzanne would probably dismiss him as a self-loathing cis-ableist. Intersectionality, like identity politics before it, is pure narcissism.
Though it reminds us ceaselessly to ‘check our privilege’, intersectionality is the silliest privilege of them all, a gang of tools and twats tiptoeing around others’ finer feelings rather than getting stuck in, mucking in, like proper mates — the ultimate privilege, which is to serve each other with collective love and action. The most recently inter-species ruckus happened when the Deirdre Spart impersonator Laurie Penny wrote a passionate defence of the pixie cut in the New Statesman, only to get it in the sleekly shaved neck from women who accused her of not taking the different behaviour of African hair into consideration. When I asked a supporter of this lunacy whether she thought that every subject of interest to women should have every type of woman weighing in with her written opinion, she answered that yes, she did. Seriously? I don’t think my heart can stand the excitement of a weekly Staggers the size of a telephone directory.
I personally can understand black women occasionally getting teed off with their apparently carefree Wash’n’Go white stepsisters. But the most recent and reactionary development within this hissy-fitting hothouse — the insistence of intersectional feminists on the right of transsexuals not to be offended — tells you all you need to know about the essential stupidity of the movement.
The idea that a person can chose their gender — in a world where millions of people, especially ‘cis-gendered’ women, are not free to choose who they marry, what they eat or whether or not their genitals are cut off and sewn up with barbed wire when they are still babies — and have their major beautification operations paid for by the National Health Service seems the ultimate privilege, so don’t tell me to check mine. Here’s hoping that the in-fighting in-crowd of intersectionality disappear up their own intersection really soon, so the rest of us can resume creating a tolerant and united socialism.
Former Tory MPs: ‘If these silly modern female MPs can’t cope, they shouldn’t be there’
The rowdy, aggressive atmosphere in the House of Commons has become so bad that even speaker John Bercow thinks it is a "testosterone-fulled place of yobbery" that is encouraging female MPs to leave.
Indeed four female Tory MPs elected in 2010 have announced they won't stand again in the next election, and there has been speculation that it is because of this male-dominated yobbishness.
But two veteran female politicians believe that the modern crop of female politicians merely need to grow a bit of backbone.
Edwina Currie, who served as a Conservative MP from 1983 to 1997, told Telegraph Wonder Women: “I think one or two current female MPs are fading flowers. “I’m sure there’s some putting their hand up and saying in a floaty soft voice 'I can’t cope'. They’re just feignons. It’s a French word for the women who carried salts and fainted at the first opportunity.”
She denounced Mr Bercow's comments and said: "I have no respect for [Mr Bercow]. He changes his views according to the world.
“Expressing how you feel about issues may require you to stand up and fight and yell at the Prime Minister. I fail to see that as a bad thing. These silly women should try being a teacher in a tough school in Bermondsey.”
Ann Widdecombe, former Conservative minister, followed Ms Currie's criticisms and said: “If John Bercow can patronisingly say it makes it hard for women, what’s different about us?
“I’m sick of being told that when Parliament gets heated that makes it difficult for women. Does it really mean we can’t hold our own?
“If women are struggling they shouldn’t be there. If you can’t cope with the place don’t be there. Stop thinking of yourself as a woman MP. I never did.”
Their comments come as female MPs have been speaking out against the "aggressive behaviour in the Commons."
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.