THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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April 2007

March 2007

Brilliant letter from Mr Mike Hallissey?

Link: NHS Blog Doctor: Brilliant letter from Mr Mike Hallissey.

It tells you everything you need to know about today's NHS that people cannot decide if the letter referred to in this post by Dr. John Crippen over at NHS Blog Doctor is (a) for real, (b) a brilliant spoof by Mr Hallissey, or (c) an act of revenge by a junior doctor.

The letter, published in the Daily Telegraph, contains the following magnificent sentence:

"Experience and academic ability are elitist principles which the Government has worked hard to nullify."

Yet members of the medical profession cannot decide if it is (a), (b) or (c). Read the comments over at the original post. This is fascinating!


The Army's view of Patrick Mercer

British_army_arrse Link: British Army Rumour Service > > Forums > > The Serious Bit > > Current Affairs, News and Analysis > > Tory Frontbencher sacked over comments about racism in army.

It is with great regret that I judge Dave Cameron to have done the right thing in dismissing Patrick Mercer as a front-bench spokesman. It is not the way he should have to behave. Perhaps he even knows it. However, Britain is in the grip of a "racism" witch-hunt. The Left sees it everywhere and the media support them. Mercer is no racist. There was nothing remotely racist about his reported remarks. He should have known though that they would be "spun" as racist, which unfortunately makes him too naieve to be on the front-benches at present.

How sad that the McCarthyism of the race relations industry should claim the political scalp of a decent, honourable man with a fine record of service to his country. How pathetic that truth has been trumped by political expedience.

Over on the always-interesting ARmy Rumour SErvice site, the forums are expressing a rather more trenchant and less political view than mine. I wish our country was more worthy of them. To extract just one quote from a torrent of robustly supportive messages for Mercer:

"I tend to be a tory by nature but Camoron has just lost my vote and I suspect a lot of people like me for his complete toss reaction to the racist industry. Idiot. No balls at all."

I would really like to be able to demur. Unfortunately, "balls" are not permitted equipment for British politicians at present. Let's hope they will one day be standard issue again. In the meantime, I worry about the morale of our overstretched and endangered armed forces. The unwitting author of New Labour's manifesto, George Orwell, had it right when he wrote:

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

In Orwell's day, even left-wing Etonians understood the importance of the military. How long can we keep asking these men to follow the orders of a political Establishment that so clearly despises them?


Listen with Mother

Link: Mother speaks out about Ruth Turner's 'harrowing' ordeal | the Daily Mail.

Ah, diddums. My mother is made of sterner stuff and would tell me, in poor Ruthie's place, that if I wasn't ready for the heat, I shouldn't have been so eager for a job in the kitchen.

I can imagine Ruth Turner really is "isolated," mind you. When your colleagues are about to make a sacrificial lamb of you in the hope of saving their own hides, they are hardly likely (even if hardened, shameless rogues) to  spend much time shooting the breeze. Why do I suspect that's what's about to happen? Because her "close friends" suspect it and, after all, she they should know.

"Her friends" are apparently briefing the press that she is "fiercely loyal" and ready to "take the fall." Perhaps her "friends" should brush up on criminal argot? No-one needs to "take the fall" for an innocent gang boss. A fall guy is only necessary for a guilty one. Her friends are also afraid that she will be made a "scapegoat." A scapegoat took on the sins of others. No sins, no scapegoat required.

These briefings effectively amount to unfounded accusations of the guilt of the man himself. How disgraceful. Teflon Tony hasn't even been interviewed under caution. I am sure Ruth will leap, what with all her "fierce loyalty," to defend her boss against the vile accusations of her "friends."

I am sure her boss, despite (according to her mum) leaving her "isolated," would expect no less.


Couple stand by "forbidden love"

Link: BBC NEWS | Europe | Couple stand by forbidden love.

This brother and sister did not grow up together in the same family. If they had, most people would instinctively find the whole story too revolting for intelligent discussion. They met as adults, but interestingly did know that they were brother and sister when they fell in love. They now live together as a couple and have four children. They wish to continue to live together, but have fallen foul of the law. Patrick has already done jail time for incest and is likely to do more.

Heart There is no doubt that, biologically, incest is a bad idea. The risks of birth defects are much higher. However, that is true in many other cases which are not regulated. Other people whose chromosomes would never ideally be combined can make their own judgements about whether they should have children. I suspect we would all advise this couple not to breed, but should the law interfere in the matter? The attempted interference here has not prevented the birth of four children, who are probably now glad to be alive.

No third party suffers from these people being together. Their one child not already suffering from having been "taken into care", would suffer from them being apart. Generally speaking, the state does not interfere in people's choices of sexual partner, even though they are often ill-advised. The decision to have sex with someone is often taken on less than rational grounds and falling in love is an even more difficult area for legislation.

We can no longer really run the "unnatural" argument. The British and German States are very strongly in favour of people's freedom to consort sexually in ways which were, for most of human history (and are still by the majority of living humans) considered "unnatural."  Perhaps our view of incest as "unnatural" is also due for revision?

PolizeiSo what do you think? Are these people being unfairly punished for the breach of outdated social and religious norms? Is the German State interfering with their civil liberties? Or is this a valid law which should be enforced? Is it the sexual relationship that should be illegal? Or would it be sufficient to legislate against such a couple reproducing? If we were to legislate against reproduction on these genetic grounds, then why not on many others?

Finally, if incest should be criminal, is it right that the man should be punished and not the woman? How would you feel about Susan doing the next stint in jail? What about the children, while one or both of their parents are in jail? Also, how will they feel when they grow up knowing that German society thought it disgusting, to the point of criminality, that their parents should have produced them?

What is your view?


Email leak was 'to wreck honours inquiry'

Link: Email leak was 'to wreck honours inquiry' | Uk News | News | Telegraph.

Curiouser and curiouser. Not the theory, of course, which Guido put forward some time before the Daily Telegraph, but the fact that the police seem to be briefing about it. Something "Downing Street" has done must have really ticked them off.

I am still not sure I believe this account of the sequence of events on Friday. For the Attorney General to apply, in the interests of justice, for an injunction  to prevent publication of a document leaked by the office of his political master would be impressive; nay honourable. It's the sort of thing one might have expected of a law officer before the Blair era.

I am sorry to say that, in the current climate of New Labour deceit, it is about as plausible as an appointment to the House of Lords on merit.


Another conspiracy to pervert the course of justice?

Link: News of the World - Online Edition.

I apologise to Guido for thinking his theory about the injuncted email contrived. It seems that police sources have alleged to the News of the World that Number 10 did leak the email itself, presumably so as to try to engineer a mistrial.

I am no expert on current criminal law, but it seems to me that if true this would, in itself, be another attempt to pervert the course of justice. It could form the basis of a completely separate charge.

The "cash for peerages" story is really now irrelevant. If, as some allege, the Prime Minister's team has destroyed evidence, lied to the police and now deliberately leaked an email to the press to compromise a criminal trial, these are much more serious offences. Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice carries a theoretical maximum sentence of life imprisonment, although 10 years has been the longest sentence to date.

Frankly, if the office of our head of Government had really been involved in such a crime (which I am reluctant to believe) it would be time for the judges to break that record. The culture of "spin" which has grown up around Tony Blair is utterly despicable. There is no question that he and his staff are habitual deceivers.

Let us hope that habit has not been carried over into the world of criminal justice.

H/T Dizzy Thinks


Terry Watch, because he has a public mandate to be a moonbat

Screen_shot Link: Terry Watch, because he has a public mandate to be a moonbat.

If you have not yet discovered the comic phenomenon and anthropological curiosity that is Councillor Terry Kelly, then Terry Watch, my blog of the week, is the perfect introduction.

Bookmark it, subscribe to it, tattoo the URL on your forearm but do not miss out on your daily dose of pterrydactyl politics. Mind you, be warned. As the poor beast is tethered to the post of his crude intellect, baiting him like this is rather a cruel sport.


Let Them Eat Tofu, by Ann Coulter

Coulter Link: Let Them Eat Tofu! by Ann Coulter - HUMAN EVENTS.

God bless America. Even her wet liberals can sing and she produces real Conservatives, with enough fire in their bellies to evaporate a Guardianista at 100 yards. How I roared at the following line:

"The whole U.S. will look like Amagansett, with no one living in it except their even-tempered maids (for "diversity"), themselves and their coterie..."

To get the full effect, you need to read the whole thing, Please do. You won't regret it. Who cares if she's right about the science? All women should be this passionate and funny.

H/T Theo Spark [Parental Advisory], who is on very fine form today.


Tom Paxton

I have always liked a lot of Tom Paxton's work. This, despite the fact that he's an addle-brained leftist and that I personally saw him sign a petition in support of the IRA when I was a naieve youth waiting backstage for his autograph at the no-longer-with-us Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Those were the days when he could still fill such a venue.

This piece (a free download from his website, where you can find many other of what he calls his "short shelf-life songs") is a rehash of his Vietnam classic Lyndon Johnson told the Nation.

It pains me to say that it works pretty well, as unfair as it is.