Archive for Britain

Death Panels, UK-Style

I was among several acquaintances the other day when someone who was telling a story about a trip to the doctor concluded the tale with the sarcastic line “the wonders of for-profit health care”. I chimed in that if one thinks socialized medicine is better, just read up on Britain’s NHS. “It’s falling apart over there,” I concluded. The first guy challenged me: where did I get my information? Before I could finish saying the Daily Mail, he interrupted. “Terrible source!” he screamed. “The worst!” Maybe so. But the stories I read are personal accounts or drawn from official reports, not opinion pieces.

But omit any stories from the Daily Mail, and see if you still don’t agree with me.

I particularly like this one from the Telegraph (also a conservative paper, but so what?):

A test to determine if elderly patients will die within 30 days of being admitted to hospital has been developed by doctors to give them the chance to go home or say goodbye to loved ones.

Health experts say the checklist will prevent futile and expensive medical treatments which merely prolong suffering.

The screening test looks at 29 indicators of health, including age, frailty, illness, mental impairment, previous emergency admissions and heart rate and produces a percentage chance of death within one month and 12 weeks.

Researchers say the aim of Critera for Screening and Triaging to Appropriate aLternative care, or CriSTAL for short, is to kick-start frank discussions about end of life care, and minimise the risk of invasive ineffective treatment.

CriSTAL. From the Same people who brought you the rationaing body, NICE:

The NHS is to delay the introduction of a highly expensive drug that can save the lives of people infected with the hepatitis C virus. The move by NHS England is unprecedented, because the NHS rationing body, Nice (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has approved the drug. Nice says sofosbuvir is cost-effective, because it is a cure for people who would otherwise run up huge NHS bills.

Back to CriSTAL:

Earlier this week Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals for the Care Quality Commission, warned that dying patients are receiving wide variations in care because of hospital failure to replace the Liverpool Care Pathway.

The controversial end-of-life plan was scrapped after a review of the regime found that hospital staff wrongly interpreted its guidance for care of the dying, leading to patients being drugged and deprived of fluids in their last weeks of life.

Most people I know, even old and infirm people, don’t want to be kept alive at any cost (personal or financial). But do we really want the government, with no higher appeal, making the last call? Especially with the history of the Liverpool protocol? And so much more evidence that NHS incompetence has led to thousands of deaths?

Don’t take my word for it. Google it yourself.

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David Cameron Pledges To Fight Antisemitism In Britain

Really, he means it this time

LONDON – In a strongly expressed comment piece in this week’s Jewish Chronicle, British Premier David Cameron described how sickened he has been by recent instances of anti-Semitism.

“The idea that the Jewish people once again feels unsafe in Europe is a truly sickening thought that strikes at the heart of everything we stand for,” he said. While the situation in the UK is significantly better than in many other countries, he said, in Britain “we, too, have seen a completely unacceptable rise in anti-Semitism.”

His message, he added, is clear. “We are going to take that spirit from the march in Paris and we are going to fight anti-Semitism with everything we have got.

“My policy is simple: zero-tolerance. No exceptions and no excuses. So let me be clear: no disagreements on politics or policy will ever be allowed to justify racism, prejudice or extremism in our society. Over generations we have built something incredible in our country: a multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy – and we are not going to let anti-Semitism destroy it.”

So, here’s a question for Europe: Why now? I was in Britain last summer while there were antisemitic demonstrations calling for Jews to be gassed. Why didn’t Mr. Cameron say anything then?

Don’t get me wrong, it is well past time for European leaders to take antisemitism seriously. But I am skeptical and then some. I think that they are afraid of Muslim terrorists attacking everyone, everywhere, and somehow that has heightened awareness of Jewish fears. That and the fact that most Jews are productive members of society, so if they emigrate they take their productivity with them. But again, I’m a cynic.

– Aggie

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We Are One

And this guy is a big one:

A British MP who has come under fire on numerous occasions for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks is once again in the spotlight, this time for his controversial Tweets in response to last week’s terrorist attacks in France.

Liberal Democrat MP David Ward did not issue any condemnatory statements following Friday’s deadly attack on a kosher grocery store in Paris, although he had tweeted his solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo magazine, whose offices were attacked the previous Wednesday.

But following Sunday’s mega-rally in Paris, in which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu joined dozens of world leaders in marching in solidarity with the French people, Ward apparently woke up, Tweeting: “#Netanyahu in Paris march – what!!!! Makes me feel sick”

Not content with that response, Ward then co-opted the solidarity hashtag #JeSuisCharlie and #JeSuisJuif (“I am Charlie” and “I am Jewish”), tweeting: Je suis #Palestinian

The left-wing MP for Bradford East has been rebuked on numerous occasions by his party for militantly anti-Israel comments, and has also been criticized for making statements about “the Jews” with distinct anti-Semitic overtones.

During last summer’s conflict between Israel and Gazan terrorists, Ward came under heavy criticism for a tweet in which he openly sympathized with Palestinian terrorists firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians – and mused that he would “probably” do the same if he lived in Gaza.

“The big question is – if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? – probably yes,” read the tweet.

The previous year, he posted a tweet claiming “the Zionists are losing,” branding Israel an “apartheid” state and gleefully predicting the Jewish state’s demise.

Several months earlier Ward drew widespread condemnation, after accusing “the Jews” of “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians” and comparing Israel to Nazi Germany – all on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.

There are two words key to understanding this troll’s disgusting comments. No, not Liberal Democrat, though that is a very, very good guess. Very. Really awesomely good. Outstanding.

Where was I?

Oh yes: Bradford East:

The population of Bradford is ethnically diverse. The largest proportion of the district’s population (63.9%) identifies themselves as White British. The district has the largest proportion of people of Pakistani ethnic origin (20.3%) in England.

The largest religious group in Bradford is Christian (45.9% of the population). Nearly one quarter of the population (24.7%) are Muslim.

Do not Pakistani Muslims in Bradford deserve representation? If Bradford is “ethnically diverse”, why can’t it also be ideologically diverse? My only response is that if I lived in Leeds, would I fire a rocket at Bradford (the eastern half)? Certainly yes.

Je suis Meir Kahane.

UPDATE:

Looks like it’s not just Bradford and not just Muslims:

While interviewing a Jewish woman at the Paris rally on Sunday, a BBC reporter linked rising anti-Semitism and Palestinian suffering “at Jewish hands,” and urged the woman to see the “different perspectives” on Jew hatred in Europe.

I guess Liberal and Democrat are keywords after all.

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Wow, Did He Call it, or What?

Quasimodo predicted this:

Al-Qaida militants in Syria are plotting attacks to inflict mass casualties in the West, possibly against transport systems or “iconic targets”, the head of Britain’s MI5 Security Service said…

Amazing. When did he say that?

…Britain’s MI5 Security Service said on Thursday.

Speaking after gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on a French satirical newspaper, MI5 boss Andrew Parker warned a strike on the United Kingdom was highly likely.

But give him some credit:

In the speech, planned before the killings in Paris, Parker said seasoned al-Qaida militants in Syria aimed to “cause large-scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets” in the West.

So, Britain is worried about Syria (2,200 miles away), and France had good reason to worry about Yemen (3,300 miles away). If only we could think of a way to keep the terrorists over there and not over here. Oh well, I’m sure the collective minds of European security (oxymoron alert!) will come up with something!

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The Doctor Will See You

In four hours, guaranteed. Almost guaranteed. Bet on it. But not too much.

The NHS in England has missed its four-hour A&E waiting time target with performance dropping to its lowest level for a decade, figures show.

From October to December 92.6% of patients were seen in four hours – below the 95% target.

The performance is the worst quarterly result since the target was introduced at the end of 2004.

The target used to be 98%. Just to see you. Not treat you or admit you or whatever. Just to see you. In four hours. And they still fail that one out of ten times.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted meeting the A&E standard was proving tough, but pointed out that England has some of the toughest targets in the world.

“Targets matter but not at any cost. The priority is to treat people with dignity and respect.”

Like sitting in some godforsaken NHS waiting room for longer than a Godfather marathon. Keep your dignity and respect. I’ll take a doctor.

I looked up America’s numbers by way of comparison. We don’t use the four-hour mark as a benchmark. We list by average time it takes to be seen, and these numbers are for 2013. Several states were under 20 minutes; the national average was 26 minutes. There could be the odd four-hour patient in there somewhere, but not many. Not yet. I feel our future is more likely to be Britain’s than it is to be our past’s.

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Want to Know the Difference Between London and New York?

London:

Muhammad and Amelia have been revealed as the most popular names for baby boys and girls in London.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show Muhammad overtook Daniel as the capital’s name of choice, while Amelia trumped Olivia to take top spot for girls.

Mohammed – spelt with an ‘o’ and an ‘e’ – also makes an entry at number four in the top 10 most popular boys names in London.

New York City:

New York City’s Health Department has released its annual breakdown of popular baby names. Besides the general top 10, there are also lists for different ethnicities: Among white babies, Esther was the third most popular girls’ name, trailed by Sarah, Leah, Rachel, Chaya, Miriam, and Chana, all in the top 10.

Leah was seventh among all girls’ names, regardless of ethnicity, up from number nine.

The most popular boys’ names included Moshe at number four, alongside biblical names also common among non-Jews, like David, Joseph, Daniel, Benjamin, and Jacob.

If you’re wondering about the qualifier “white” babies, don’t suspect base motives. So many more black babies are aborted in New York than are born, it’s just not a decent sample size.

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Where’s Weinreb?

What’s missing from this picture?

The publishers HarperCollins is withdrawing from sale an atlas that omitted Israel from its maps after the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said it was harmful to peace efforts in the Middle East.

The Tablet’s story about the the Middle East Atlas, which shows Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, was widely reported and caused an international outcry. Collins Middle East Atlases were sold to English-speaking schools in the Muslim-majority Gulf, and publicity about their existence has embarrassed the publishing giant.

In a statement on its Facebook page, HarperCollins said: “HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas. This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologises for this omission and for any offence caused.”

Now, they’re sorry.

Earler, Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specialises in maps, had told The Tablet that including Israel in the Middle East Atlas would have been “unacceptable” to its customers in the Gulf and that the amendment incorporated “local preferences”.

The Tablet has also learned of customs officers in one Gulf nation allowing school atlases to reach their intended recipient only once Israel had been struck out by hand.

And the No-Sh*t-Sherlock Award to this fellow:

At the time, Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs, told The Tablet: “The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel’s belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co-existence.”

Because there is a hostility toward Israel, and there is not a spirit of trust. Simple as that.

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Strike While the Irony’s Hot

Scorching!

The director of BBC Television said rising anti-Semitism has made him question the long-term future for Jews in the UK.

Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, Danny Cohen said the past year had been the most difficult for him as a Jew living in the United Kingdom.

“I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually. Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually,” he said in a conversation with Channel 2’s anchor Yonit Levi.

Cheer up, things could be worse. You could be French.

Cohen went on: “And you’ve seen the number of attacks rise. You’ve seen murders in France. You’ve seen murders in Belgium. It’s been pretty grim actually. And having lived all my life in the UK, I’ve never felt as I do now about anti-Semitism in Europe.”

Cohen, who grew up and went to school in London — including to a Jewish elementary school — is a TV whiz kid. Still only 40, he was previously the controller of BBC1 TV, the youngest appointee to that post, before taking over a director of BBC Television last year.

Last month, Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who is also Jewish, decried the rise of anti-Semitism in Great Britain and called for “a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism in the UK.”

Miliband, the son of Holocaust refugees, cited figures from the Jewish Community Security Trust that indicate a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents. He praised Britain’s tradition of tolerance but warned that “the recent spate of incidents should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who thought the scourge of anti-Semitism had been defeated and that the idea of Jewish families fearful of living here in Britain was unthinkable.”

The summer’s Israel-Hamas war saw a striking increase in anti-Semitic incidents, with more than 100 hate crimes reported in July alone — more than double the usual number. Among the reported incidents were the physical assault of a rabbi in Gateshead, attacks on synagogues and an attack by an Arab woman wearing a niqab on a Jewish boy riding his bicycle in northern London.

The irony? Read for yourself:

CAMERA: BBC.

Why do people associate antisemitism solely with the far right when the left, near and far, is absolutely awash in the muck? Jew-hatred is interwoven in their socio-political DNA.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

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Global Warming Update

Interesting:

Here’s another Scottish mystery to file alongside the Loch Ness Monster and Mel Gibson’s accent in “Braveheart.”

These strange frozen saucers were found during a recent cold snap near the River Dee — a salmon-filled waterway that passes by the British Queen’s summer residence, Balmoral Castle, before heading eastwards to the coastal city of Aberdeen.

The trust said it was initially unsure what caused the pancakes, but supects they’re caused by a rare phenomenon in which foam freezes in a swirling eddy.

The Trust said it’s the first time the pancakes, more commonly found in the Antarctic or the Baltic Sea, have been seen on the River Dee.

More common in the Antarctic, huh? And the Baltic Sea?

Interesting.

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Coming Soon to a Health Care System Near You

They say smoking and obesity are bad for your health—and they aim to prove it!

Obese patients and smokers face an immediate ban on routine operations according to a major NHS clinical commissioning group.

In a statement it said: ‘The CCG decided that for those patients undergoing hip and knee operations with a body mass index of more than 35 (morbidly obese) they patient would be required to have a BMI of under 35 or to lose five per cent of their weight before planned surgery, whichever is the lesser weight loss.’

The new restrictions will be extended to all non-urgent surgical procedures, however, it will not apply to cancer treatment or urgent cases.

I would say that’s big-hearted of them, but that might lose them their coverage. I can sort of understand the joint replacement requirement to lose weight. Recovery from the operation might be nigh on to impossible if one is morbidly obese. But how does smoking matter? Of course no one should smoke. But it’s not illegal.

Dr Burke said that he was being forced to curtail some services because the CCG is currently running a deficit of £14.5 million.

He said he was now going to restrict access to second hearing aids as well as certain expensive drugs.

Put down the chip butty, Nigel, or kiss that hearing aid goodbye.

‘The CCG has a legal duty to live within its financial resources and the prioritisation of services is helping us to do that.’

My waking nightmare is that the last words I hear on this earth are are those, from Kathleen Sebelius’s mouth.

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British Parliamentarian Cannot Tell The Difference Between Street Protest And Terror Attack

The mind of the formerly highest ranking British Muslim in the Parliament on display here

Here’s the Tweet from the British Twit:

Israeli extremists storm Al Aqsa & intimidate worshippers
Palestinian extremists storm synagogue & kill 4 worshippers

And here’s more about her:

Former UK Foreign Office Minister and previous Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi started a social media storm after she tweeted a message that clearly implied equivalence between the Har Nof terrorists and Israelis protesting over Temple Mount.

The controversial politician, who – until her resignation in protest at Government policy which she complained was far too tolerant of Israel’s action in defending itself against Hamas rocketry during the recent Gaza war – had been the highest ranked Muslim in British politics with a seat at the Cabinet table.

But her outburst, just hours after the terrorist atrocity, led to a sharp rebuke from her successor as Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps who tweeted that Warsi only spoke for herself and not for their Party.

We at BTL direct a lot of criticism to Leftists, but this is a Conservative Jew hater. Just saying’.

– Aggie

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Britain’s Got Problems

Jihadis wanted to stab Queen Elizabeth to death inside Buckingham Palace

That’s thinking big.

Four Islamic terrorists militants planned to kill the Queen of England this weekend — but British police foiled the assassination plot, reports said.

The anarchist assassins intended to stab Queen Elizabeth II Friday as the country celebrated 96 years since the end of World War I — an annual British jubilee — with numerous public appearances by her Royal Highness.

British police discovered the murder plot by the four terrorists militants, ranging in age from 19 to 27, and conducted multiple raids in West London and Buckinghamshire to thwart their plan.

Cops believe the suspected terrorists militants planned to use a knife to kill the beloved 88-year-old Queen, but also think they likely had access to firearms.

Officials made Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister David Cameron aware of the potential threat, but her Royal Highness still plans to attend the weekend’s festivities.

I had to clean up the language a bit, as you can see. One man’s terrorist is another man’s militant, you see. Or Freedom Fighter.

In any case, Britain did this to herself. I hope she can figure out how to get out of this mess.

– Aggie

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