Thursday, December 18, 2014

A multicultural 'octopus' in Britain

Sex pest

An anaesthetist who was branded 'the octopus' for his wandering hands and lewd comments could be jailed for groping nurses at the hospital where he worked.

Dr Niaz Ahmed passed off his behaviour as innocent banter and was referred to as a 'sex pest' by prosecutors at Newcastle Crown Court.

The skilled doctor, who had received numerous warnings from hospital bosses to tone down his behaviour, was convicted of sexually assaulting two of his colleagues more than a decade ago and must now sign the sex offenders register.

Ahmed, who was suspended from medical practice at a tribunal earlier this year for groping a nurse who was treating him after an accident in 2010, was cleared of three similar charges.

Michael Hodson, prosecuting, said: 'Imagine what it was like going to work with a sex pest, always the octopus, hands all over the place, underlined by innuendo.'

Mr Hodson said one nurse victim was targeted in the scrub room at the hospital, where Ahmed squeezed her bottom and asked her 'do you fancy it'.

Another had her breasts prodded by the medic while she was at work and said he had told her 'put them away'.

The 55-year-old doctor had previously told bosses at South Tyneside Hospital that his behaviour was in keeping with 'the culture' at the hospital.

The court heard during a meeting with hospital bosses in 2000 Ahmed accepted it was inappropriate to touch nurses and said any offence caused by him was entirely innocent and accidental. During a later meeting with management he said his behaviour continued to be innocent.

Ahmed, of Cleadon, had claimed he was the victim of a 'witch hunt' in 2012 after he was cleared of sexually assaulting two teenage girls at a fireworks display in South Shields in 2011.

The youngsters claimed Ahmed had groped them after boasting about the size of his manhood and complaining about his sex life with his wife.  He had reportedly said he was 'looking for women the day after he got married.'

He will be sentenced next month and Judge Simon Hickey warned him that 'all options remained open', including a jail sentence.


#Gamergate: we must fight for the right to fantasise

The war on violent videogames is a war on the freedom of thought itself

Not content with curbing our speech and monitoring our thoughts, the self-elected morality police now want to colonise our fantasy lives. That deepest part of an individual’s mind – the bit where he lets his thoughts run riot, fantasising about saying and doing things he would never say or do in real life – is being encroached upon. Having cleansed the public realm of offensive ideas, the speech-watchers and image-policers now want to cleanse men’s very souls, removing from them any twisted or warped or simply daft fantasy that doesn’t pass muster with those of a PC bent. Just look at the #Gamergate controversy.

#Gamergate is the name given to a furious online battle that has been raging since August 2014 and which, like most internet spats, is too complicated and too depressing to describe in great detail. In a nutshell, some people, including a new breed of socially aware female gamer-cum-commentator, feel that videogames are misogynistic and hateful, while others, including slightly nerdish male gamers whose joysticks are like a fifth limb, think videogames are fine and dandy and shouldn’t be socially-critiqued out of existence by feminists, broadsheet handwringers, or anyone else.

This latter group has surprised everyone by refusing to cave in to the Culture War being waged against them and their favourite pastime – as everyone from Dapper Laughs to the Barbican has recently done in response to loud but unrepresentative cries of ‘You can’t say that!’ – and instead standing up for their right to shoot and beat up anyone they damn well please in the recesses of their own minds and the privacy of their own bedrooms. The gamers are, in essence, fighting for the right to fantasise, to think about doing things that they would never actually do.

To see how much the censorious anti-gamer side is attempting to conquer and remake fantasy life itself, consider last week’s successful campaign to have Grand Theft Auto V withdrawn from sale in certain shops in Australia. Alarmed that players of GTA can, if they wish, attack and kill prostitutes – as well as rob banks, steal cars, kill police officers, take drugs, and do lots of other fun stuff – the new videogame moralists have slammed it as ‘violently misogynistic’.

They petitioned Aussie branches of Target, the department store, to take GTA off their shelves on the basis that it’s a ‘sickening game’ that ‘encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women’. Outrageously, Target kowtowed, and now Oz patrons of that store won’t have the option to put what is by all accounts a brilliant game into a loved one’s Christmas stocking. But what is most striking about this outburst of moralistic censorship is the way the shrill opponents of GTA have described the game’s entirely fantasy world – as an unacceptable place that must be policed by outsiders.

So one of the organisers of the petition, which got nearly 50,000 signatures, says she used to work in the sex trade, and therefore ‘in Grand Theft Auto…I would have been the character who gets left by the sidewalk, bleeding and unconscious’. She talks about the characters in GTA as if they were real people suffering real violence, claiming that she suffered abuse while working in prostitution though it was ‘not as extreme as [that suffered by] those in the game’.

What is she talking about? There are no people in this game, and no one is being abused. No human beings are being harmed in the world of Grand Theft Auto because that world does not exist. She says that if she was in GTA’s fantasy world, she would be abused – well, if I was in Middle Earth I might be attacked by Orcs; if any of us human beings had the misfortune to live on the Planet of the Apes, we’d be screwed; if we lived in Oceania, we wouldn’t be able to think and say and fantasise as we saw fit in our own homes because of the Telescreen on the wall watching our every word… oh wait, that’s a bad example – that world does increasingly exist.

But we really don’t have to worry about Middle Earth or the Planet of the Apes or the world of GTA because we can never go to these places on account of the fact that they exist only in words and images and people’s minds. To talk about the risks one would face in such worlds is a kind of madness, a failure to make that most basic of distinctions between reality and fantasy, between that which exists and that which does not.

It is bad enough when Victim Feminist campaigners depict the streets of London or New York City as terribly scary places for women – but to bemoan the abuse of women on the streets of GTA is just surreal, given that those streets are mere pixels, the women are just graphics, and the abuse is entirely imagined. This complaint that the fantasyland of GTA is insufficiently safe for, and too disrespectful of, prostitutes and other female characters shows how far the policing of fantasy has gone. That a game has been withdrawn from sale in an Australian department store on the grounds that its fantasy world does not adhere to the rules and laws of the real world shows that even our imaginings, our psychic lives, are no longer safe from the morality cops of the concrete worlds of intolerance, censorship and law.

The withdrawal of GTA from Australian Target stores, and the broader, thankfully struggling Culture War against misogynistic and violent videogames, is revealing for many reasons. First, it shows how seamlessly the prejudices of the right-wing, reactionary, often Christian-leaning lobbies of the 1970s and 80s have now passed on to the apparently radical feminist campaigners of today. All the same prejudices the blue-rinse brigade once came out with – that video nasties and violent videogames would transform people into hateful, marauding sociopaths – have been given a lick of feministic paint and a new lease of life.

One of the first public speeches I ever gave, in 1998, was in defence of a videogame called Carmageddon, in which you were encouraged to win races through reckless, violent driving. The people complaining about that game were conservatives and right-wingers. Today, the censorious, media-effects baton has been passed from the right to those who consider themselves left, from middle-aged Home Counties women to young media feminists, but the argument has remained strikingly similar: videogames can warp minds and cause actual real-world crime.

And the second striking thing about the war on GTA and the bigger #Gamergate scandal is its intolerance of fantasy, the naked desire to stamp out, not simply words and ideas, which is terrible enough, but also, in essence, dreams. The world of fantasy is being invaded, tut-tutted over and in some cases cordoned off by the new moralists who don’t only say ‘You can’t say that!’ but also ‘You can’t imagine that!’.

It isn’t only in videogames. The moral policing of culture, especially pop culture, has become weirdly and wildly fashionable in recent years. Where once it was only the most tyrannical of regimes – think the GDR’s Stasi – that monitored culture for political wrongness and rightness, now a whole new generation of activist and journalist devotes its moral energy to assessing whether culture is ‘problematic’ (their favourite word) or okay. In the blunt but apt words of the American journalist Drew Magary, there is now ‘a whole black hole of the internet that spends all day up its own ass, endlessly worried about approving of pop culture rather than actually fucking enjoying it’.

And they’re having an impact, these policers of culture and ultimately of fantasy. They’ve got GTA de-shelved in Australian shops; they’ve chilled the videogame world, no doubt encouraging games-makers to water down their fantasies; they’ve contributed to the banning of ‘problematic’ pop songs on British university campuses; they got Dapper Laughs pulled from ITV, and got comedian Daniel O’Reilly to kill off that character forever; they’ve encouraged Sweden to start rating films by whether they are gender-balanced; and they’ve kickstarted a serious debate in Europe about introducing what Nick Gillespie calls ‘an insane plan to rate video games for sexism’.

Both formally and informally, using both law and threats, both demands for new legislation and mob-style uprisings, they have depicted fantasylands as places that must conform to the morals and outlook of the real world. This is a disaster. Taken seriously, it represents the death not just of gaming but of culture itself, and of freedom of thought.

This is the bottom line: we must be free to fantasise, about anything we like. It is rightly forbidden for anyone to hit a woman – but it should never be forbidden to fantasise about hitting a woman, or to write about it, or to enact it through pixels pretending to be people. Why? Because in free and democratic societies, in civilisations, we punish people for certain actions but we never punish them for their thoughts or dreams or mind experiments. This is a key Enlightenment ideal.

As the great seventeenth-century English jurist Edward Coke said, in the aftermath of the soul-policing, thought-punishing Inquisition, ‘No man shall be examined upon the secret thoughts of his heart, or his secret opinion’. Well, today he is. Today, a new Inquisition is emerging, and it is examining men upon their secret thoughts, their secret opinions, their fantasies, their gaming, their very psychic existences. Don’t laugh at the so-called ‘nerds’ fighting for the right to play what you might consider to be silly or outrageous videogames, for they are instinctively defending the freedom to fantasise, which is a central part of the freedom of the mind, which is the very backbone of freedom itself.


Anarchist attacks in Bristol: crusty misanthropy

In recent months, police in Bristol have dealt with over 100 related acts of vandalism to police stations, military bases, banks, multinational companies, railways and churches. The police are in little doubt as to who is responsible – anarchists and animal-liberation activists – and have put up a £10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of even one suspected offender. But, despite the attention, the activists have vowed to continue their campaign of vandalism. So what is fuelling this spate of property attacks in the West Country?

One anarchist, allegedly behind several of the attacks, says that the vandalism is the product of a general rage against mainstream society, its failure to live up to green ideals and its ‘unimaginative dreams’. Broadsheet sympathisers tend to agree, portraying the attacks as part of Bristol’s political subculture, in which anti-modern environmentalism and an attachment to alternative lifestyles have flourished.

Yet although Bristol’s anarchists dismiss officialdom’s environmentalism as ‘green washing’, green thinking is in fact central to policymaking today. In fact, the only people who are not interested in consuming less in order to save the planet are the working masses. For all their anti-establishment rage, many anarchists’ concerns about the environment and animal rights are actually shared by the political class.

Bristol’s anarchists also have something else in common with the political class: a refusal to engage politically with ordinary citizens. Rather than convincing people to oppose British militarism abroad, for example, Bristol’s anarchists torch a few cars and damage army property. Their actions might appear impressively militant, but at no point do the activists seek to win the support of other people.

It shows that Bristol’s green and crusty brigade prefer acts of vandalism and direct action to having to discuss political ideas with the great unwashed, especially those who disagree with them. And, as the protests against the opening of a Tesco store a few years ago demonstrated, Bristol’s alternative types are sometimes hostile to ordinary people’s need for jobs and cheap food stores. There is no political uprising in the West Country seeking to change society for the better; it is just a mirror image of the political class’s own misanthropy and anti-masses instincts, albeit with a few nose studs and an appalling dress sense


Australia:  Whining kid wins anti-discrimination case

Yet more evidence that such laws are too sweeping

In a David and Goliath-esque battle in Queensland's Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a jobseeker has taken on supermarket giant Woolworths alleging discrimination – and won.

In December 2013, then-unemployed Steven Willmott, of the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Beerwah, applied for an advertised job as a console operator at a Woolworths-operated service station in the town.

He commenced his application through the company's online application portal but did not complete it, unable to continue unless he submitted mandatory fields demanding his date-of-birth, his gender and proof of his right to work in Australia.

The required information was, QCAT senior member Richard Oliver ruled, both offensive and humiliating to Mr Wilmott, who described himself as "sickened beyond belief" at Woolworths disregard for Australian anti-discrimination laws.

"I infer from this statement that he was embarrassed and humiliated in being compelled to provide the offending information before his application could progress," Mr Oliver ruled.

"Because of this he did not proceed with the application and therefore was not considered for the position.

"He is a local resident of the community in which the position of console operator was advertised and he believes he would have had prospects of being successful."

The ruling, made in Brisbane last month after a hearing in September, ordered Woolworths pay $5000 in compensation to Mr Willmott by December 19.

In its defence, Woolworths said it asked for the details partly to comply with Commonwealth legislation, in regards to the right to work in Australia requirement.

It also argued differing rates of pay for employees under and over the age of 21, the potential to work in its BWS liquor outlets and differentiating between its 190,000 employees Australia-wide justified the date of birth requirement.

The company argued the mandatory gender information was a simple way for it to comply with the Federal Government's Workplace Gender Equality Instrument. 

However, Mr Oliver noted that since Mr Wilmott had taken discrimination action, all three requirements had been removed from the Wooloworths online application process, prior to the September hearing.

He rejected their defence of all three elements.

"Despite the sophisticated argument mounted by Woolworths counsel, I have found in the pertaining circumstances, the information sought by Woolworths was not reasonably necessary," he said.

However, in determining the amount to award Mr Wilmott, Mr Oliver said he had not produced any evidence of other positions for which he had applied to which any claim for loss of income could be determined.

"At best, and putting the claim for loss of income at its highest, his claim for compensation is limited to the loss of a chance that he may have been successful in his application, if Woolworths had not engaged in the conduct he complained of," he ruled.

He said the $5000 figure he determined took into account embarrassment, humiliation and some notional amount for loss of a chance.



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


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas justice

Somalian multiculturalist in Britain turned woman into a human fireball

A Somalian man who doused a woman in petrol after she rejected his advances and left her to burn in a fireball has been jailed for 16 years.

Mohammed Kosar, 28, led Lithuanian Dovile Krivickaite down an alley in Forest Gate, East London, saying he want to speak to her before he threw petrol over her and set her alight.  Kosar then walked away leaving the then 23-year-old to turn into a human fireball and burn, the Old Bailey heard.

She was helped by rescuers who heard her screams and took a nearby house where they poured water over her before calling an ambulance.

Rebecca Poulet QC jailed Kosar for 32 years and said he had shown no remorse. She said:  'This appalling attack was premeditated and in my opinion you intended to kill.'  Ms Krivickaite suffered burns to 24 per cent of her body in the attack and said her injuries had 'changed her life forever.' 

The Old Bailey previously heard Ms Krivickaite came to the UK in September 2012 and knew Kosar as 'Rocky.'  She saw him regularly but turned him down when he asked her for sex, it was suggested.

On October 19 last year she was picked up by Kosar and a friend on Rosedale Road, Forest Gate and taken to an alley off the road.

But once she got there without warning Kosar doused her in petrol with a five-litre can and set her on fire.

She was so badly burnt the skin was falling off her body and she has had to undergo several graft operations. She spent six weeks in hospital and had to be intubated because her burns affected her ability to breathe.

Ms Krivickaite suffered severe burns to the face, neck and left side of her body, and is still badly scarred after the attack. The Lithuanian said she constantly receives sympathy because of her appalling injuries. 

Kosar was arrested in February 2014 in connection with attempted murder and was convicted earlier this year. Judge Poulet QC said: 'You had very regular contact with Ms Krivickaite, seeing her almost daily and sometimes several times a day.

'Ms Krivickaite has said she has no idea why you attacked her - she suggested it was maybe because she rejected your sexual advances.

'I have reason to believe you certainly had some attachment to her, asking her repeatedly before she got into the car why she had not telephoned you all day.  'In my view it was not just chance that the car you were in had stopped in front of the alley - this was your chosen spot for the attack.

'You showed no regrets or change of heart when faced with the horrific consequences of your actions.'  'This appalling attack was premeditated and in my opinion you intended to kill.

'You have shown no remorse, although on the day of your sentencing before me you have said this should not have happened to her. Indeed it should not.'

Speaking after the case a Met Police spokeswoman said that Kosar was a drug dealer and the woman had been a customer of his. The pair are believed to have argued before the vicious attack.

Kosar was arrested as he left his home address in West Ham in east London and police found heroin and crack cocaine at his house.

On arrival at the police station Kosar admitted he had a cocked 9mm PAK blank pistol stuffed down his pants.

He has a series previous convictions - including armed robbery - since he was 15.

Kosar was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the attempted murder.

He was also convicted of one count of possession of a firearm and sentenced to five years, one of intent to endanger life and sentenced to a further 10 years in prison. He was given three years in prison for four charges of possessing ammunition, and seven years for three charges of possession of class A drugs. The judge said all the sentences were to run concurrently with each other and the life sentence.

Detective Inspector John Reynolds of Newham Police who led the investigation said: 'Kosar is a dangerous individual who callously poured petrol over the female and set her on fire.

'She has suffered terribly as a result and I must pay tribute to her bravery in giving evidence against her attacker. I hope that his conviction will give her some closure.'


Did you mention immigration to the Labour Party candidate?

Labour leader Ed Miliband has publicly criticised his own party's advice on how Labour MPs should talk about immigration with voters.

The Labour leader said a leaked internal strategy document published by The Telegraph urging MPs not to campaign on immigration was "not very well drafted".

Mr Miliband suggested voters should ignore what his party says in private and listen to the message given in public speeches.

He said Labour's decision to put a promise to clamp down on employers undercutting wages with migrant labour on the party's election pledge card showed it would act on the issue.

Mr Miliband told a crowd of activists and locals in Great Yarmouth that the public should be in "no doubt" how serious the party takes voters' immigration concerns.

His public refusal to endorse a document circulated by Labour Party HQ comes amid a fierce backlash to the advice that MPs should focus on "moving the conversation on" if voters mention the issue on the doorstep.

The secret document, revealed by this newspaper, tells MPs writing to all voters about immigration could be "unhelpful" and "risks" undermining Labour's chances of winning election.


U.S. Military Chaplain Punished For Teaching God’s Word!

Thank God it is Friday!  If I was in the military and I said that, there’d be hell to pay right now… But what is even more confusing is that not only are regular soldiers being punished for expressing their faiths, but ordained Chaplains are being censored as well.

The United States Military has a long history of using Chaplains to help soldiers cope with the realities of war. A Military Chaplain does not have to be Christian. While many are, there are plenty of Jewish Chaplains that meet the spiritual needs of Jewish soldiers.

The point is that Chaplains are in the military to help our men and women in uniform.

So why is the Army censoring Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn? Because he explained the Biblical approach for dealing with depression at a suicide prevention session.

Chaplains are in the military to tend to the spiritual needs of soldiers and here the Army is punishing a Chaplain for using faith to preach against suicide. This is absolutely ridiculous!

During the suicide prevention session, Chaplain Lawhorn laid out the biblical approach to dealing with suicide along with a secular approach to fighting depression and suicidal thoughts.

One student complained. A single soldier reached out to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and complained that the Chaplain was preaching the Gospel.

How despicable is that? Here we have an ordained Chaplain trying to help soldiers battle depression and the only thing the left cares about is that he used Jesus’ message to do it.

Word of Chaplain Lawhorn’s actions began to make its way up the chain of command, prompting Colonel David Fivecoat to write a letter demanding that Lawhorn cease using God’s word to help soldiers fight depression. No, I am not making this up…

“During this training, you were perceived to advocate Christianity and used Christian scripture and solutions,” the letter explains, “As the battalion chaplain, you are entrusted to care for the emotional wellbeing of all soldiers in the battalion. You, above all others, must be cognizant of the various beliefs held by diverse soldiers. During mandatory training briefings, it is imperative you are careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another.”

Yes, that is the actual letter that was sent reprimanding Chaplain Lawhorn. First of all, since when did it become a crime for a CHAPLAIN to be perceived to advocate Christianity or to use Christian scripture to teach life lessons?

If the Military is so concerned with Chaplains preaching during suicide prevention sessions, why are they even put in charge of running these sessions???

Truth be told, a mental health professional would be a much better fit in this environment. The truth is that Chaplains run these sessions because the Army believes that spiritual wellness is an important component of a soldier’s mental health.

In fact, the Chaplain’s actions should be covered by Section 533 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act which has a “right of conscience” clause and protects soldiers who profess deeply held religious beliefs during their service.

But, the Military is still going after Chaplain Lawhorn. This is how far we have fallen under Obama. If the Democrats had their way, all chaplains would be secular (whatever that means).

The Army has a long history of using Chaplains to care for soldiers and these Chaplains span multiple faiths. This is as much an attack on faith itself as it is on Christianity.

One person complained… Just one person complained that this Chaplain used the Gospel to help people overcome depression and suicidal thoughts.

This country is so backwards and it all started going down hill during the Obama presidency. Chaplains have been under constant assault, as if they should just abandon their faith and become secular counselors.

Our men and women in uniform need spiritual guidance and these leftist atheists CANNOT be allowed to dilute faith in the military!


Bonfire of the bureaucracies in Australia

ALMOST 200 government agencies will be scrapped in a new search for budget savings, as the Abbott government lights a “bonfire of the quangos” to eliminate waste and help deal with deepening deficits that will be revealed on Monday.

Working groups will be shut down and expensive agencies dismantled in a bid to streamline the public service, saving more than $500 million over four years and taking staff numbers back to the levels of seven years ago.

Health and education will be next in the hunt for redundant agencies when the government sends experts into both major federal departments to find potential savings.

The Weekend Australian can ­reveal the 175 agencies to be cut ­include the Australian Government Solicitor as well as obscure committees such as a “governance board” on computer systems and a “partnership group” on student services. While the AGS had been seen as a potential asset sale, the government will instead close it down and transfer some of its staff to the Attorney-General’s Department in order to scale back overall spending.

Some agencies will be forced to share their “back-office” functions while the government will consider outsourcing a huge communications network that links 400 sites and more than 80 agencies.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will announce the cuts alongside new rules to try to stop the creation of new agencies that clog the bureaucracy and slow down decisions.

“This will ensure that taxpayer funds are spent wisely and efficiently and not wasted inside departments,” Senator Cormann told The Weekend Australian.

Admitting the growing pressure on the nation’s finances, Joe Hockey conceded yesterday the government could not produce a budget surplus by 2018 as hoped, the result of a shortfall in tax revenue as iron ore prices tumble.

“The challenge has been that we have seen our export prices come off dramatically,” the Treasurer said.

“Now, we rely more on iron ore export income than Australia ever has before. It is about a fifth of our exports. So when you see a dramatic price fall in commodities, it now hits our bottom line harder than previously. We have got to deal with that.”

Bill Shorten hit back at Mr Hockey’s admission yesterday that the government “could have done more marketing” to explain the budget. “Families are suffering from cuts of $6000 to their budget, millions of sick Australians are being forced to pay a GP tax, students face $100,000 degrees and every motorist is paying more in petrol tax — and Joe Hockey is worried about marketing?” the Opposition Leader said.

“This explains the government’s plans for a big expensive advertising campaign on their new GP tax and their $100,000 degrees. No amount of slick marketing will convince Australians that this budget is fair or delivering on the promises Tony Abbott made at the last election.”

Economists expect the mid-year budget update on Monday to ­reveal a deficit this year of about $40 billion, up from $29.8bn forecast in the May budget.

Senator Cormann launched the first stages of a “smaller government program” in the May budget, closing down 76 agencies and starting the sale of Defence Housing Australia, the Royal Australian Mint and Australian Hearing.

The sale of Medibank Private recouped $5.7bn, about $1bn more than expected, and the health insurance company is now listed on the sharemarket.

Senator Cormann will announce the next phase of the program on Monday with the closure of 175 agencies, taking the total number of entities abolished to 251. The savings from the overall effort will reach $539.5m over four years.

“Our focus is on ensuring that the administration of government is as efficient and as effective as possible,” Senator Cormann said.

“This means a more streamlined, accountable and responsive public service, without unnecessary overlaps and duplication.”

The AGS has 590 lawyers and other staff and charges departments for its services, producing revenue of $112.7m and income of $3.9m last year.

The decision will come as a shock to the legal community but could be a taste of things to come, with Monday’s announcement also including a new approach to using private services to replace public agencies.

A “contestability program” will assess whether some government functions should be open to competition so that private providers are encouraged to offer services.

“Alternative delivery approaches will continue to be explored,” says one of the documents to accompany the announcement.

The departments of health and education are named as two of the priorities for further work on “streamlining” the bureaucracy, amid a growing furore over job cuts and strike action in pay disputes.

Mr Abbott and his colleagues have come under fire for refusing to offer more than a 1.5 per cent pay rise to Defence Force personnel, setting this as a benchmark for the entire public sector. Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood called the government’s negotiating position on wage claims a “train wreck” on Wednesday as union members took industrial action to seek higher pay.

“It’s a little rich for politicians to preach restraint to Medicare mums on $55,000 a year, when pollies’ pay rises have run 41 per cent above inflation over the last decade,” Ms Flood told the ABC.

“The key issue here is in fact not pay; it is the attack on the conditions and rights of these workers.”

The government’s broader strategy is to scale back the public service so that total staff numbers return to the levels seen in 2007, when Kevin Rudd took power and launched dozens of inquiries and reviews that set up new agencies.

Monday’s announcement will note that salaries for public servants have grown 42 per cent over the past decade compared with inflation of 28 per cent.

There is no official estimate of the number of jobs to be cut by scrapping or merging agencies, but a “bonfire of the quangos” in Britain in recent years was estimated to save £2.5bn over five years.

Senator Cormann sees the Australian exercise as a similar way to eradicate “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations”.

He said the reviews of the health and education departments would “identify any legacy programs that are no longer a high priority, identify barriers to performance and look for opportunities to reassign limited resources to better deliver on higher policy priorities”.



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


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Multicultural rapist  had to have cold water poured over him by horrified passers-by to stop his broad daylight attack on drunk woman

A rapist who had to have cold water poured over him by strangers to stop him attacking a woman in broad daylight has been jailed for eight years.

Gerald Malcolm was attacking a woman so drunk she could not walk or talk on the side of the road when shocked motorists pulled over shortly after 4pm in April.

A couple poured water over the 48-year-old who had plied the woman with alcohol at a pub near his home in Halesowen, West Midlands, before launching the attack.

Malcolm, originally from Jamaica, was jailed for eight years at Wolverhampton Crown Court .

The court heard how he met his 28-year-old victim at a library before convincing her to join him in a pub.

He then took her back to his home where the woman drank more alcohol and became unwell. After offering to walk her home, he was walking by on the roadside when he launched his attack.

Speaking after his sentencing the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was so drunk she could barely move or speak.

'The assault has had a lasting effect on me; I still cannot believe that this man attacked me and I don't know how I got so drunk.

'It is awful that I cannot remember what happened to me, this was in the street in broad daylight. I would never have done anything like this in the street.

'I keep blaming myself, I keep thinking that this is my own fault because I got so drunk, but he shouldn't have done this to me, he shouldn't have taken advantage of me.

'I couldn't move and I could barely speak let alone say no or fend off my attacker. I willingly went to his home for a drink but I did not at any point agree to sex, that prospect was not in my mind at all.'

West Midlands Police said it hoped Malcolm's sentencing would deter other attacks.

Dc Sarah West, from the force’s Public Protection Unit, said: 'Rape is rape and there are no excuses, there is no grey area.

'Men need to understand that if a woman says no or is incapable of consenting, for instance through drink or drugs, they are committing a criminal offence.

'I hope today’s sentence will help the woman move on with her life knowing the person responsible is behind bars.'


Radio 4's John Humphrys admits BBC ignored mass immigration fearing it would be branded racist by critics

One of the BBC’s top presenters has admitted that the corporation ignored mass immigration because it feared critics would say it was racist.

Radio 4’s Today interviewer John Humphrys accused his employer of being ‘soft’, ‘complacent’ and ‘institutionally nervous’ when it came to tackling the story or questioning multiculturalism.

And he said that BBC employees are unable to understand the concerns of ordinary people because they typically lead ‘sheltered’ middle-class lives and are overwhelmingly ‘liberal Oxbridge males’.

The criticism, which is the latest in a string of admissions of Left-wing bias by senior BBC figures, comes weeks after the Government accused the Today programme of misrepresenting its spending cuts.

George Osborne hit out at a one of its reports, which said his reforms were ‘utterly terrifying’. The Chancellor said the BBC coverage was ‘nonsense’ and had been ‘hyperbolic’.

Now Humphrys, 71, has told the Sunday Times Magazine that the corporation is facing an ‘existential crisis greater than it’s ever been’ because ‘people, serious, thoughtful people, talk seriously and thoughtfully about the future of the BBC in a way that they haven’t before’.

The veteran presenter admitted that the last Labour government’s controversial immigration policy was not sufficiently ‘interrogated’ by the BBC, saying: ‘The Labour government underestimated by a factor of ten the number of people who were going to move from Poland.’

He said the BBC was ‘frightened of appearing racist’, adding: ‘We were too institutionally nervous of saying, isn’t immigration getting a little bit out of hand? And can we be critical of multiculturalism?

‘We didn’t interrogate immigration rigorously enough. We failed to look at what our job was.’

Humphrys claimed he was partly responsible for the BBC’s ‘complacent’ approach towards immigration, because he failed to challenge Labour’s decision to allow migrants from Poland and Hungary to work in Britain from 2004, and the flawed prediction that only 13,000 would arrive.

After more than a million Eastern European immigrants moved to the UK, senior Labour figures eventually admitted the policy had been a huge mistake.

Humphrys said: ‘I do remember, vaguely, interviews with ministers at the time and saying, “Are you sure that’s all there’ll be?” And when they said “yeah”, accepting it.’

The star went on to say that too many BBC staff were ‘arrogant’ and thought they knew ‘what was best for the country’. He added: ‘It was and still is relentlessly middle class. Unfortunately. There was a predominant voice – the liberal Oxbridge male.’

Tory MP Conor Burns, who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said: ‘This is a refreshing outbreak of candour, honesty and rare insight from one of the big beasts of the BBC. Their bias has gone unchallenged for too long.’

We were too institutionally nervous of saying, isn't immigration getting out of hand? We didn't interrogate immigration rigorously enough

Humphrys is not the first senior BBC figure to criticise the corporation’s failure to challenge Left-wing assumptions.

This year former Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman accused the BBC of being ‘smug’. He has also said its coverage of climate change ‘abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago’.

Last year the BBC’s former head of TV news, Roger Mosey, criticised the corporation for shutting out critics of the European Union, saying: ‘On the BBC’s own admission, it did not give enough space to anti-immigration views or EU-withdrawalists.’

And another senior executive, current radio chief Helen Boaden, claimed the BBC had a ‘deep liberal bias’ when she became head of news in 2004.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘John Humphrys was merely echoing other senior BBC figures who have acknowledged that we were slow to reflect changing opinions on immigration. This was a historical issue and we now believe our reporting is in the right place and we cover this complex issue in depth.’


UK: Outrage over taxi firm that sends a white driver out on a jobs if the customer requests it

A taxi company has come under fire for supplying white drivers on request. Privately-run 35 Taxis, based in Hull, claim they are simply responding to requests and are doing nothing wrong.

Hull City Council have agreed that the policy does not run contrary to the conditions of its licence - but a local councillor has slammed those people requesting white drivers, saying it sends out a 'very sad message'.

Taxi firm owner Gary Wilkinson said: 'You cannot stop customers making requests.  'We will try to send a white, British driver, if we are asked, but we do tell our customers we can't always guarantee it.'

Mr Wilkinson insisted his company was not discriminating and said he had 25 drivers of non-white, British origin who all did 'a fantastic job'.

He added: 'I am totally against racism of any kind. I am married to an Arabic woman and our children are mixed-race.

'A customer may have had a bad experience with a coloured driver in the past. 'Maybe they have felt a driver has ripped them off. Some people will then say, "I only want a white British driver".

'It's racist, because these people are not ringing up the next day saying don't send me a white driver if they happen to think a white driver has overcharged them.'

Wayne Harrison, owner of rival firm 50 Taxis, claimed up to one in five of all his customers also demand a white British driver - but he refuses to oblige them.

He said: 'Customers will ring you up and say "Don't send me a..." They'll then use a racist word.  'We don't give them a choice. We will send a car. It's up to them if they get in or not.'

He said he employs 50 drivers, including four or five who are not white British and added: 'They are super workers. 'They just want to earn a living.'

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against employees because of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.

However, there is no suggestion private-hire companies who respond to customers' requests are breaking the law.

Councillor Rosie Nicola is the Hull City Council's cabinet member for equality and community cohesion.  She said: 'I find it really sad that people in Hull are ringing up our taxi companies making these kinds of demands.  'It's a really sad message to be sending out that people aren't happy with someone based simply on the colour of their skin.

'If someone doesn't want to get into a taxi driven by someone with a different skin colour, make them wait in the cold.'

One local lawyer, who did not wish to be named, said: 'This is a very thorny issue - a nest of vipers.  'There may be discriminatory issues under the Equality Act 2010 committed by call operators if they were to offer a job only to a white British driver.'

In October it was revealed that a taxi company in a town tainted by a child sex-grooming gang scandal offers customers white drivers on demand.

Rochdale minicab firm Car 2000 offers the choice after two taxi drivers of Pakistani origin were jailed for their part in the sex trafficking and rape of young white girls in the town.  The firm, which bought out Eagle Taxis - a company at the centre of the grooming scandal, has revealed that many customers were asking for white or ‘local’ drivers.

It came out amid rising tensions in Rochdale following revelations of gang rapes, grooming and trafficking of white girls at the hands of mainly Asian gangs.


France told to avoid 'secular war' after nativity scene ban sparks uproar

France faced calls to avoid a “war of secularism" after a court banned a nativity scene in a town hall, igniting a nationwide row yesterday.

The court in Nantes ordered regional authorities in the western town of La Roche-sur-Yon to remove the crib from the mayoral entrance hall, following a complaint from the secular campaign group Fédération Nationale de la Libre Pensée.

The council is appealing against the decision, and has received backing from far-Right Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who described it as “stupid and blinkered secularism”.

Bruno Retailleau, the local senator, exclaimed: “Next we’ll be banning epiphany cakes at the Élysée Palace.” He threatened to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Nantes court based its ruling on a 1905 law that enshrines the strict separation of church and state.

Other town halls around France are facing similar decisions. In Melun, south-east of Paris, a nativity scene that has been a regular fixture in the town hall gardens for the past 10 years, may be banned.

In the southwestern town of Béziers, Robert Ménard, the FN-backed mayor, has refused to take down a crib in the town hall in defiance of an order to do so from the local government prefect.

On Monday, he sarcastically remarked: “A Christmas miracle has occurred. I have reconciled the Right and Left as they are both against banning the nativity scene from public plays.”

Manuel Valls, the Socialist prime minister, issued a warning over fomenting religious tensions in the name of strict secularism, saying: “Let’s be careful not to be divided. Are we really going to be split over a nativity scene in public places? It’s not what the French are asking for.”

A poll published in Le Parisien newspaper suggested that 86 per cent of more than 12,000 readers surveyed want to keep nativity scenes in public places.

The controversy comes as the French government is treading carefully so as not to inflame tensions with French Muslims, who have been banned from wearing burqas in public. But critics warned that authorities must not go too far in upholding France’s secular traditions.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Nicolas Sarkozy’s deputy at the helm of the opposition centre-Right UMP party, said: “There’s no point following up on the wars of religion with the wars of secularism.”

“Ardent defenders of secularism mustn’t become sectarian,” she said, adding that: “The crib is a cultural phenomenon.”

Fellow UMP MP, Nadine Morano, warned: “Secularism must not kill our country, our roots and our traditions.”

France is having trouble keeping sectarian tensions in check.

On Sunday, Bernard Cazeneuve, the interior minister declared the fight against racism and anti-Semitism a “national cause” after the violent robbery of a Jewish couple in a Paris suburb last week.



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


Monday, December 15, 2014

Opening up family courts 'will cause child suicides': Fury at claim by children's tsar in secret justice battle

What else is the old bag trying to hide?  She is also known for denying that the systematic rape of young British girls by Muslims was a problem. She is Jewish. Would she have covered up child abuse by Muslims if it had been Jewish children being molested?

Children will be pushed into committing suicide if the secretive family courts are opened to public scrutiny, a senior government official has sensationally claimed.

Deputy Children's Commissioner Sue Berelowitz said children will kill themselves if they believe their names and their troubled lives will become known to the public.

In a controversial speech calling for the courts to stay closed, she said: 'I have worked closely with profoundly distressed and damaged and troubled children all my working life. I know and understand their minds; it is my job. I know how little it takes to tip a child over the edge.'

The remarks were greeted with astonishment and disbelief by campaigners for open justice.

One said: 'I don't know what planet this woman is on.' High Court judge Sir Roderick Newton, who spoke alongside Miss Berelowitz in a legal debate on whether the courts and their decisions should be reported in the media, said family courts should be open to scrutiny.

He said: 'To put it rather bluntly, if a judge can change the whole of someone's life by the stroke of a pen, then there is a pressing need, an overwhelming need, I would say, for openness.'

During her address, Miss Berelowitz broke a widely observed media rule and described a common means of suicide. She added: 'I genuinely fear that it is only a matter of time before this deeply misguided motion, which has at its heart, I believe, an utter disregard for the welfare and best interests of children, and is, in my view, therefore unlawful, will result in the death of a child.'

It is not the first time Miss Berelowitz has made controversial comments. During her career in child protection:

- She was a director of children's services for a local council rated 'inadequate' by inspectors;

- She produced a report on gang sex abuse of children which said there was no evidence that Asian men were responsible. One government figure said it was 'difficult to overstate the contempt' with which ministers viewed it;

- One of her first public statements as Deputy Children's Commissioner was to respond to the outcry over the death of Baby P. She said 'the safeguarding of children requires the implementation of basic good practice'.

Miss Berelowitz also warned that the Children's Commissioner would protest to the UN children's rights committee over the issue of openness in family courts.

Her intervention comes amid an ongoing dispute among judges, lawyers and social workers over how far the family courts should be opened.

A major push for openness has been launched by the chief family law judge, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby, who chaired last month's debate in London, at which Miss Berelowitz set down the first publicly acknowledged official opposition to allowing scrutiny of the family courts. The speeches were published yesterday.

Sir Roderick was at the centre of a scandal last year when courts secretly ordered that Italian woman Alessandra Pacchieri should undergo a forced caesarean after suffering a breakdown at Stansted Airport, and that her child should be adopted. Sir Roderick was the judge who ordered the adoption.

He said: 'In the Italian case . . . the reporting initially was pretty inaccurate. That wasn't necessarily the fault of the Press who had little or nothing to go on when the story was first sent to them. When I released my judgment on December 2, it led to a much better discussion.

'What the Italian case did was well and truly launch a comprehensive national discussion about how these sensitive issues can and should be addressed.

'If a system is constantly accused of being secret, biased and unaccountable, the children in whose name we try to make the best decisions are the ones that ultimately will feel undermined.'

Miss Berelowitz's suicide warning was greeted with amazement among campaigners for open justice and media figures.

Lib Dem MP John Hemming said: 'I don't know what planet this woman is on. If the media had not looked at the abuse of children in care, the events in Rotherham would never have been known.'

Bob Satchwell of the Society of Editors said: 'No-one in the media wants to expose details about children unless there are exceptional reasons to do so. It is strange that Miss Berelowitz uses emotional language when media organisations would be extremely careful in discussing matters like that to prevent copycat actions.'

Campaigners for greater openness are not calling for children to be identified in family proceedings. In cases in which proceedings can be reported, identifying children would be contempt of court, for which reporters or editors could go to jail.


Pastor: As Father of Four Adopted Children, Being Forced to Cover Abortions Is ‘Repulsive Beyond Words’

For 36 years, Jim Garlow didn’t know his first adopted child was the result of a rape.  But after his wife Carol lost a six-year battle with cancer last year, their daughter, Janie, went in search of her birth mother. In succeeding, Janie also discovered the horrific circumstances of her own conception.

The story spurs Jim Garlow, a pastor in California, to fight a state mandate that his church’s employee health plan pay for elective abortions.

When Janie’s birth mother was a freshman in high school, two senior boys asked her to go to the movies. Instead, they took her to an open field, where they raped her. She became pregnant.

Heroically, the teenage girl decided not to get an abortion but to keep the baby until birth, then give her up for adoption.

In an emotional interview with The Daily Signal, Garlow says the decision that spared his future daughter wasn’t the result of her birth mother’s “profound religious convictions” but because “she felt like it was the right thing to do.”

Janie, now 37, became the first of four children whom Jim and Carol Garlow would adopt. Those children — Josie Garlow Debus, Jake Garlow, Josh Garlow and Janie Garlow McGarity — are all grown today.

Garlow, 67, is senior pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, founded in 1954 as part of the Wesleyan denomination. After the death of his first wife, he married Rosemary Schindler, an active advocate for Christians all over the world.

Their father regards the four Garlow children as the fruit of four women who made the “courageous” decision to go through with their pregnancies. The most courageous of all, he says, was Janie’s mother.

Garlow, who in 1995 became the third senior pastor in Skyline’s 60-year history, holds a doctorate in historical theology from Drew University. He received a master’s degree in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and a master of divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary.

His religious beliefs, combined with a deep gratitude for the four mothers who chose to keep their unborn children, have anchored his pro-life views.

And then this fall, the unimaginable happened: Garlow discovered the state of California was forcing him and the staff of his church to pay for  health insurance plans that cover elective abortions.  They have no choice.

The state’s rule, the pastor says, defies every fiber of his being:  "I feel that not only [that] the killing of babies in the womb is wrong foundationally, but as a father who had the privilege of adopting four children … was repulsive beyond words".

Garlow didn’t know how to break the news to his tight-knit congregation. After he was asked to speak at a congressional briefing Dec. 1,  though, he sent an e-blast to parishioners, writing:

"I apologize for bringing bad news. This is shocking … and repulsive. As of last Aug. 22, our California state government (not Obamacare, this is the state) has required all insurance policies to cover elective abortions. This includes us as a church. We – along with other churches and Christian colleges – are protesting this coercive and intrusive action by filing formal protests against this abusive action. I will be speaking on this topic this week in Washington, D.C., at a special hearing at which we are strongly urging the federal government to step in immediately and pass the ‘Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.’ Pray for me as I speak. And pray for Congress to act – now".

Call it ironic: Churches in California are forced to pay for abortions through employee health insurance, but under Obamacare are supposed to be exempt from paying for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees.

Since 2005, under a measure known as the Weldon Amendment, Congress has prohibited states that receive certain federal funds from discriminating against insurance plans that don’t provide abortion coverage. The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, prohibits using federal tax money to pay for elective abortions.

So how did this happen in California?

The state’s abortion mandate didn’t go through the normal legislative process, says Casey Mattox, a senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, which champions religious liberty.

Mattox, who represents Garlow’s Skyline Church and seven other churches in California, recalls how the issue of contraceptives was debated as part of Obamacare:

Legislatures realized, ‘We can’t force churches to pay for contraceptives,’ that clearly you have to exempt churches from that mandate. [State lawmakers] were able to put in appropriate exemptions to make sure at least some aspect of religious liberty was protected, but this [California] abortion mandate just went through a bureaucratic process. It’s basically a sneak attack on religious liberty. It came out of nowhere.

The California Department of Managed Health Care mandated that, effective Aug. 22, almost all health insurance plans must cover elective abortions.

The rule came after the American Civil Liberties Union convinced state insurance officials that abortion is a “basic health service.” Siding with the ACLU, state bureaucrats decided the agency no longer would approve health plans that don’t cover the life-ending procedure.

“There was no opportunity for churches to weigh in on the process,” Mattox says.

In September, the lawyer filed an administrative complaint on behalf of Garlow and other California pastors with the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The pastors have yet to receive a response.

Sarah Torre, a policy analyst who follows religious liberty cases for The Heritage Foundation, says that in the current legal landscape, the decision before pastors such as Garlow is this: Continue offering health insurance covering procedures that end the life of unborn children, or drop insurance altogether.

“So Pastor Garlow and others can do nothing but wait on bureaucrats in HHS to enforce the law,” Torre says.

Churches and other religious organizations can avoid the mandate by self-insuring, but it’s a costly endeavor that could take months, even years.  “We can’t self-insure, Garlow says. “We’d need years of preparation to be in that kind of posture economically.”

Garlow and others appealed to Congress, hoping his story would spur legislation to protect the conscience rights of individuals and churches.

A total of 132 lawmakers, led by Reps. Diane Black, R-Tenn. and Rep. John Fleming, R-La., wrote Nov. 25 to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to express “deep concern” over the California abortion mandate.

“Forcing pastors, teachers, social service providers and Catholic institutions to pay for abortion should be unthinkable,” they wrote.

HHS has yet to respond to the lawmakers’ request to enforce the Weldon Amendment in California.  It is clear that Burwell “does not intend to enforce the law,” Fleming told The Daily Signal.

Conservative lawmakers are pushing for passage of the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, part of H.R. 940, which would allow individuals to pursue legal action to protect their religious rights.

Pro-life members of the House and Senate will not back down, Fleming says, but their success depends upon the support from Republican leadership, which previously blamed inaction on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In January, though, the Nevada Democrat will be succeeded by current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., when Republicans claim their new nine-seat majority in the Senate as a result of the midterm elections.

“That excuse is getting very weak now that we have won a majority in the Senate and we have a resounding majority in the House,” Fleming says. “It’s time that our GOP leadership begins to get on board.” Until then, California churches are expected to pay for a life-ending procedure that contradicts the core of their beliefs.

“I can’t fathom us participating in something so horrific and sinful,” Garlow says.  Sadly, the pastor and his supporters believe, he already is.


Remove Muslim veil when giving evidence in court, says top woman judge in Britain

Britain's most senior woman judge has called for tougher rules on compelling women who wear the Muslim veil to show their faces when giving evidence in court.

Baroness Hale of Richmond, the deputy president of the Supreme Court, said “ways have got to be found” to ensure that the Islamic face coverings, such as the niqab, are removed for key parts of a court hearing.

Judges must be able to see a witness' face to gauge their truthfulness and it was also important to be able to identity the correct person on some occasions, the judge told the Evening Standard newspaper.

Lady Hale said the need for a "tougher" approach had been shown in one family law case in which she had detected that a mother - who had been asked to remove her face covering - was lying.

“We should devise ways of making it possible and “There must come a point where we can insist.

“We don’t object to allowing people to do things for sincerely held religious reasons if they don’t do any harm. If it does harm, we have to be a bit tougher.”

A judge ruled in September last year that a Muslim woman, Rebekah Dawson, would be allowed to stand trial on a charge of witness intimidation while wearing a full-face veil but that she must remove it while giving evidence.

Dawson, 22, initially refused to remove her niqab and was told she would be forced to take off the garment if she gave evidence, which she later declined to do.  She was convicted and jailed for six months after pleading guilty.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has previously both spoken out against women being allowed to wear veils while giving evidence in court.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, said in November last year that there was a need for "clear guidance on what is without doubt a problem that many people found divisive".

“I wouldn’t describe it as the elephant in the courtroom but it is an important issue that has to be addressed," Lord Thomas said.

“I regard it as the responsibility of the senior judiciary to give guidance, and it will be guidance that is not merely ‘well it all depends’ but starting from a clear starting point giving fairly reasonable guidance as to what should happen."

Last month Lord Thomas said the guidance had still not been completed.

Judges had been awaiting a decision from the European Court of Human Rights on the burka ban in France, which was delivered in July, and which backed the principle of prohibiting the garment in public.

Lord Thomas said he hoped the guidance for courts in England and Wales would be complete "as soon as is reasonably practicable".


Self-righteous feminists embarrassed into the sounds of silence for once

The feminist organisation behind controversial T-shirts made by women paid just 62p an hour is refusing to answer questions about its investigation into the workers’ conditions.

The factory where shirts bearing the slogan This Is What A Feminist Looks Like were made for The Fawcett Society was first exposed by The Mail on Sunday last month.

But six weeks after the ‘sweatshop’ conditions were first revealed, little progress appears to have been made in an ‘investigation’ into our report.

The Fawcett Society’s chairman, Belinda Phipps, admitted the regime at Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile was ‘in complete contradiction to our own ethical policy’

When The Mail on Sunday revealed last month that workers in the Mauritius textile factory were paid just 62p an hour and were sleeping 16 to a room in dormitories, Fawcett Society deputy CEO Eva Neitzert vowed the organisation would do its utmost to investigate the story.

Though the hourly rate is above the legal minimum wage in Mauritius, it is well short of the official government ‘living wage’ in the country. Three weeks ago, the society’s chairman, Belinda Phipps, admitted the regime at Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile (CMT) was ‘in complete contradiction to our own ethical policy’ but revealed the society was relying on Whistles and Made-By (a European not-for-profit ethical consultancy) to investigate CMT, and expecting the results within a fortnight.

Yet last week there was still no outward sign of any report and our numerous calls and emails to The Fawcett Society, Whistles and Elle produced no response. Called at home, Ms Phipps said: ‘There’s nothing to add. You should speak to our press spokesperson.’

The stonewalling came as two of our journalists involved in the exposé were banned from freely travelling to the Indian Ocean island.

Last week reporter Ben Ellery and photographer John McLellan received official letters from the Mauritius government imposing restrictions on their right to travel to the country.

The letters, sent from the Mauritius Passport and Immigration Office and bearing an official stamp, state: ‘I am directed to inform you that you should not undertake any travel to Mauritius without prior authority from this office.’

When the MoS contacted the office, a spokesman said: ‘It is because of the article. If you fly here without asking for permission first, then you will be sent back.’



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


Sunday, December 14, 2014

A multicultural psychopathic liar Britain

It is quite rare for females to be psychopathic. All tell some lies but not on this foolish scale

Not long into his romantic liaison with Natasha Bolter, Roger Bird began to feel somewhat uneasy. Perhaps it was the sickly-sweet tone of her text messages, which became increasingly clingy after the pair began a relationship in September.

Or perhaps it was the fact that despite claiming to have five As at A-level and a First in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford — where Bird himself had read the same subject — Bolter spoke like a nervous teenager, often resorting to girlish giggles or lighting up a cigarette whenever she felt out of her depth. Ukip’s troubled General Secretary will not say exactly what gave him second thoughts.

Suspended by his party after accusations of sexual harassment by Bolter, with whom he says he had a consensual sexual relationship, Bird has remained tight-lipped about the most intimate details of his relationship with the 39-year-old former Labour Party activist who dramatically defected to Ukip in September. Bird, 41, is still waiting to hear the outcome of a Ukip disciplinary hearing held yesterday.

But while his political fate hangs in the balance, Bolter’s claims that he used his senior position within the party to press his attentions upon her began to unravel spectacularly this week after the emergence of dozens of romantic texts she sent him, not to mention a denial from Oxford University that she had ever studied there.

School contemporaries have also poured scorn on talk of five A grade A-levels, and painted a picture of a woman who, even as a schoolgirl, had a reputation for tall stories.

Having thrust herself into the limelight as a victim of sexism, Bolter now faces questions about the gargantuan cracks which have appeared in the story she has been telling.

When she’d first got in touch with the party back in August, officials no doubt thought all their Christmases had come at once. Forever keen to shake off accusations of racism and bigotry, a woman of mixed race who not only wanted to leave Labour and join Ukip but was also prepared to publicly condemn her former party for its misogyny, would be the perfect weapon in their armoury.

A fortnight later, Bolter was unveiled by Bird at the party conference in Doncaster as a fellow Oxford PPE graduate, a former East End comprehensive pupil with a remarkable five As at A-level who had returned to her roots after Oxford to teach.

Throughout the faltering, jittery speech she made, which had been edited by Bird, she was applauded heartily by delegates. She later went on to campaign alongside Nigel Farage for Mark Reckless, the Tory MP and defector to Ukip while he fought to retain his Rochester seat.

But in Ukip’s haste to embrace Bolter, they’d done very little in the way of checking her credentials.

Had anyone done so, a very different picture would have emerged of the woman born Natasha Ahmed, the daughter of a Colombian mother and an Indian father, who grew up in a council flat in Tower Hamlets.

She certainly did not go to Oxford, and the recollections of a former classmate cast doubt over her own claim to have five A-grade A-levels.

Contemporaries from her comprehensive, Bishop Challoner in Tower Hamlets, recall a rather chubby girl who was placed in the middle of five academically streamed classes.

Although she is believed to have stayed on to the school’s sixth form, the classmate said it was highly unlikely that anyone from this middle stream would go on to do five A-levels because they wouldn’t have had the academic ability.

Another recalls: ‘With Natasha, it was one thing after another. She once told us she was a keep-fit teacher, then that she was a paramedic, then that she was going to be a police officer. She was always an attention-seeker at school, so no one wanted anything to do with her.  ‘She is also an outrageous flirt.’


Why These Citizens Voted to Repeal a Bad ‘Civil Rights’ Law

One way to prevent the government from violating your rights is to stop bad legislation in its tracks. Citizens in Fayetteville, Ark., did just that Tuesday. After the city council of the college town passed a “civil rights” ordinance that undermined basic civil liberties back in August, voters took to the polls to repeal the law, ordinance 119.

Among other things, the law made it a crime for citizens to engage in what the government deemed to be “discrimination” based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Concerns were raised about wedding vendors and “discrimination” based on sexual orientation, as well as bathroom policies and “discrimination” based on gender identity (particularly transgender individuals—which bathrooms must biological males who identify as women, and biological females who identify as men, be allowed to use).

As the organizer of the Repeal 119 campaign explained, this is bad public policy:

It was called the Civil Rights Ordinance, but it was misnamed. It was an ordinance that actually took away civil rights and freedom from people. It criminalized civil behavior. It didn’t accomplish the stated purpose of the ordinance, and it was crafted by an outside group. It wasn’t something Fayetteville residents put together.

That’s entirely right. Laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. They tend to be vague and overly broad without clear definitions of what conduct can and cannot be penalized. And they create new, subjective protected classes that expose citizens to unimaginable liability.

Indeed, bad state and local SOGI laws are frequently the measures that allow the government to penalize and punish people for their beliefs about marriage. SOGI laws have been at the center of the cases involving photographers, bakers and florists, as well as farmers, and even ordained ministers.

Laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

Traditional civil rights include protections for the rights to free speech, religious liberty and free association, as well as the right to vote, own property and enter into contracts. All Americans stand equally before the law and have their civil rights equally protected.

But no one has the right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them, or a certain photographer to capture the first kiss, or a baker to bake the wedding cake. Declining to perform these services doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in a same-sex ceremony, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. The government should not force them to choose between their religious beliefs and their livelihood.

Ordinary Americans—both those in favor of gay marriage and those who oppose gay marriage—agree the government should not penalize those who hold the historic view of marriage. So the citizens of Fayetteville were acting for social justice and the common good when they voted to repeal this onerous law. Citizens must work to prevent or repeal laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We also must insist on laws that protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience.

Citizens must do this because there are some ideologues who want SOGI laws to trump basic civil liberties. There are some activists who are working to pass laws that would allow the government to coerce individuals to violate their beliefs about marriage. And, as the organizer of Repeal 119 noted, they frequently are coming from out of town.

Indeed, SOGI laws are being pushed on unsuspecting citizens at the federal, state and local level by the Human Rights Campaign. HRC just launched a new project for 2015 it dubs “Beyond Marriage Equality.”

Not content merely to redefine marriage throughout America, the activists at HRC want to use government coercion to impose their agenda on Americans.

Citizens do two things to prevent government from violating basic civil liberties. First, citizens should argue against SOGI policies at the federal, state and local level.

Second, policy should prevent the government from violating the civil rights of citizens. At the federal level, Congress has an opportunity to protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience.

Not content merely to redefine marriage throughout America, the activists at HRC want to use government coercion to impose their agenda on Americans.

Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The government should be prohibited from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation or contracting.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act—sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, in the House (H.R. 3133) with more than 100 co-sponsors of both parties, and sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, in the Senate (S. 1808) with 17 co-sponsors—would prevent the federal government from taking such adverse actions.

States need similar policy protections, including broad protections provided by state-level versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and specific protections for beliefs and actions about marriage.

Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience is the embodiment of a principled pluralism that fosters a more diverse civil sphere. Indeed, tolerance is essential to promoting peaceful coexistence even amid disagreement. In a nation founded on limited government and religious freedom, government should not attempt to coerce any citizen, association or business into celebrating same-sex relationships.


British social worker evil once again

A baby's first smile, their first Christmas, those unsteady first steps... these are precious moments every new parent cherishes.

But one couple missed nine months of their baby daughter's life after officials wrongly took her away – and initially offered them just £500 in compensation.

Their child was even put up for permanent adoption before the case was thrown out by a judge, who described it as a 'debacle'.

Cheryll Rich and Jack Barnes, who have now been reunited with their daughter Misty, told the Mail of their disgust last night at the 'insulting' compensation offer.

Miss Rich said: 'Those are months we will never get back. We read the log from when Misty was with the foster carer. When she rolled over for the first time. Her first teddy. Pictures from her first Christmas.

'She was toddling when we got her back. We had missed her first step. I'll never know if she called the foster carer mama before me.'

Misty was born in November 2012 and is the first child of 27-year-old Miss Rich, a retail assistant, and Mr Barnes, 40, a scaffolder, who have been together for nine years.

Miss Rich was attacked near her home in Grays, Essex, when she was six months pregnant, but fortunately her baby was not harmed. But in a seemingly heavy-handed decision after Misty's birth, social workers would not let the couple take her home in case they were targeted again and said she would be taken away if they did not find somewhere else to live.

Miss Rich and Mr Barnes struggled to find somewhere and over the following weeks, the council placed them in a refuge and B&Bs across the country.

'All we wanted to do was take her home,' Miss Rich said. 'It was ridiculous but at every stage we were told: 'Do this or we'll take her away'.' A month later, the couple were taken to court with just one day's notice, where they were told Misty would be taken into temporary care because of their chaotic lifestyle – which they say was caused entirely by social workers. The heartbroken parents fought through the courts to get her back, but social workers placed adverts for Misty to be adopted permanently.

In a disorderly case overseen at times by a student social worker, the couple was twice sent private details about other children in care by accident – a serious breach of data protection.

Their case was finally heard by judge Mrs Justice Jennifer Roberts, who said social services had 'completely mishandled the situation'. Describing the couple as 'loving parents', she reunited them with their daughter and – after a year of check-ups from social workers – they were told after Misty's second birthday last month that the case has finally been closed.

Thurrock Council, which oversaw the case, apologised in private but refused to do so publicly. They later raised the compensation offer to £5,000 but the couple saw it as an 'insult' and refused it.

Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price said: 'Nothing can replace the time they have lost. A major injustice has taken place here.'

A council spokesman said: 'The safety of the child is always of paramount importance.'


Mum bloggers show dark side of feminist parenting

Former Australian Labor Party leader Mark Latham is having a go at feminists again

When the Greens senator Larissa Waters publicly endorsed the No Gender December campaign last week, most people thought it was just another left-feminist brain-snap.  As if buying Barbies for young girls at Christmas condemns them to a lifetime of low self-esteem and repression.

My seven-year-old daughter has a room full of Barbies, yet she’s an incredibly independent, strong-willed and capable young lady.

Over the years, I’ve met prime ministers, presidents and billionaires, but none of them have overwhelmed me with their force of personality the way Siena Latham does.  I’ve always thought the manufacturer puts something in the Barbies to empower her and weaken me – like kryptonite on Superdad.

 Senator Waters and her Green mates are off with the pixies – a fantasy world in which all parts of life are inherently political.

You get up in the morning and go to the toilet: for the Greens, that’s an act of politics. By standing at the urinal, men exercise the power of patriarchy, while women are forced to sit – a vulnerable and submissive position.

You buy your son a Star Wars lightsaber and the dark side will convert him to a lifetime of misogyny. You buy your daughter a pink dress and automatically she’ll be barefoot and pregnant in a public housing estate, denied access to the Anne Summers texts that could set her free.

It’s easy to dismiss No Gender December for what it is: a political sect that extrapolates the simple, everyday parts of life into wacky sociological conspiracies. But it’s more than that.

In the inner suburbs of our major cities, a fascinating experiment is under way. Thousands of children have been locked in a gender-neutral bubble, growing up in households manipulated by their mothers to fit the left-feminist mould. How do we know this? Through the phenomenon of mummy bloggers.


Daily Life, for instance, describes itself as “a proudly female-biased website”. One of its feature writers is Sarah Macdonald, well known for her work on ABC radio.

Like most mummy bloggers, she’s youngish, hip and self-absorbed. Her parenting techniques provide a snapshot of left-feminism in action.

According to Macdonald, “all parents” try to “raise children in a new way, unencumbered by a long, rich history of gender stereotypes”. But then they slip back into old habits, such as when “a mother coos ‘you’re so pretty’ to her baby daughter” or “a father comes home and starts ‘fun time’ ”. For any parent inclined to talk about their daughter’s appearance, the answer is clear: call her ugly.

The next MacParenting tip is for mothers to avoid being “the default parent” – the one “who has met the teacher and knows where the favourite T-shirt is buried”.

Macdonald, it seems, is unmoved by research showing parents actively involved in their children’s education help to improve their children’s academic results. If she sees a teacher walking towards her at school pick-up time, apparently she runs the other way. Her bare-chested children (having been unable to find their ­T-shirts that morning) are then forced to chase her down the street.

This prejudice against education is confirmed in other MacParenting recommendations. In trying to avoid the “dad is fun, mum is mean” stereotype, Macdonald admits to having “avoided homework [assistance] for years”, while her “kids have stopped learning their instruments”.

She’s also against participation on school P and Cs, given “it’s another area of unpaid work for women”.

MacParenting hates the idea of dads being seen as “the fun one”. So in divorced families, mothers are advised to “give their kids pizza every night”.

What’s the net outcome of this social experiment? In the name of gender equality, left-feminism is breeding a generation of shirtless, tone-deaf, overweight, pizza-eating dummies – the opposite of what progressive politics is supposed to achieve.

At the Macdonald laboratory, the results are clear: “My daughter is far more willing to whack [people] than my son and she is not a hugger”.

Here in outer-western Sydney, I couldn’t live without my daughter’s hugs. Thank goodness we’re the antithesis of nutty Green feminism.



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