Disabled teenager died of swine flu after being refused GP appointment

A disabled teenager who was refused a GP appointment died two weeks later after contracting swine flu and pneumonia. Katie Waring’s devastated parents, Ken and Eveline, claim she could not get a vital appointment, and say they were told to ‘wrap her up warm and give her fluids’.

Less than two weeks later, the 19-year-old, who suffered from the rare brain condition Craniostenosis, died in Hartlepool General Hospital, after being diagnosed with pneumonia and swine flu.

The heartbroken and angry couple from Hartlepool also claim Katie’s brain defect wasn’t picked up in time by health experts after she was born. Having devoted their lives to their daughter’s every need as her sole carers, the couple say they even contemplated suicide after her death – just weeks before Christmas.

Yet they are now channelling their anger by launching an official complaint with NHS Tees. The are demanding a full investigation into Katie’s care.

Mr Waring, 58, said: ‘She was our everything – we gave up everything to look after her so we feel lost, totally lost. ‘We are still in shock. She wasn’t just our daughter, she was our career, our life. ‘Our worst nightmare was the constant worry of what would happen to Katie if we died, but this has left us heartbroken – the pain of losing a child is unbearable. ‘We just want justice for her because we believe doctors failed her – right at the start of her life and at the end.

She had seemed like a typical baby when she was born, but her mum soon noticed she was slow at feeding time. However, when she mentioned her worries to staff at baby clinics she was told not to worry.

After much persuading, the youngster finally got to see a specialist at Dryburn Hospital when she was eight months old – and that’s when they were given the news that their daughter had Craniostenosis, a condition caused by the fusing of bones in her skull. It is a disease that puts intense pressure on the brain and, ultimately, in Miss Waring’s case, led to brain damage.

Her 52-year-old mother said: ‘Our fears were justified, but we were devastated that we were right. We’re still in shock from that day 19 years ago. ‘We were told that unless they operated she would become paralysed and blind and we were told we would lose her. It was the rarest case they had seen.’

Ten days later at Newcastle General Hospital she underwent ‘decompression surgery’ at the age of eight months – but her heartbroken mother and father were told the damage was irreparable. Only if they had caught it before she turned three months old would brain damage have been avoidable, they say they were told.

Her mother added: ‘Her death certificate lists pneumonia and swine flu as cause of death, but her Craniostenosis and Scoliosis are also listed as causes. ‘If the Craniostenosis was missed and that contributed to her death, we want answers.’

Stephen Childs, Interim Chief Executive of NHS Tees, said: ‘The quality of care provided for our patients is of the utmost importance to NHS Tees. This was a tragic case and our thoughts are with the family.’ [The usual British bullsh*t]


Cowardly British cops

“Elf ‘n safety” trumps law enforcement

In the line of duty, police officers routinely risk life and limb in all sorts of dangerous situations to protect and serve. So patrolling an area plagued by teenage yobs should be child’s play by comparison. But constables and PCSOs have been banned from keeping the peace at an adventure playground at night because it is considered dark and dangerous.

A senior officer told stunned councillors there would be no patrols after 8pm at newly-built Waterlees Park in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, for health and safety reasons. Inspector Sullivan said: ‘If kids play in the park at night we will not go in. It is not our job to get kids out of the park.’

‘The place has no lighting and it is still, in effect, a building site,’ Inspector Andy Sullivan told a meeting of Wisbech Town Council. ‘I am not going to put my staff – police officers or PCSOs – into an area where they can’t see what is going on.’

Speaking after the full council meeting on Monday, he added: ‘If kids play in the park at night we will not go in. It is not our job to get kids out of the park. ‘If it was any other building site, would people be happy if police tried to get people out?’

Critics of the policy pointed out the £1million park, which opened last year, was not a ‘building site’ as children were already allowed to play there during the day. Only minor work remains to be done.

And they complained the inspector’s announcement that the park was too dangerous for officers would mean a free-for-all for the dozens of children that sometimes converge there, causing noise and thousands of pounds worth of damage on a regular basis.

Town councillor Richard Fulcher said: ‘I and many other councillors were disgusted with his comments. ‘What on earth sort of society have we got where police officers refuse to go anywhere after 8pm? ‘What Inspector Sullivan has done is to declare this part of Wisbech a no-go area because of poor lighting.’

Another councillor, David Patrick, said: ‘I had to ask for confirmation from the inspector to ensure I had heard it right the first time. ‘He said police officers wouldn’t go into the park because it was dark. Don’t they carry torches?’

The park has traditional play equipment such as swings and climbing frames, as well as a 35ft tower with a slide and two 65ft barges that were hauled in and converted into a classroom and toilets.

But homeowners in the area – many of whom are old or disabled – complain it has become a magnet for young thugs and have reported dozens of incidents of anti-social behaviour. They have also found evidence of alcohol and drug use.

Residents say their homes and cars have been vandalised, leaving them scared to go out at night. Retired businessman Malcolm Moss, 58, said: ‘Sometimes there are three or four of them, on occasions it ends up being 20 or 30. ‘The barges were practically wrecked from the outset as all the windows were smashed in and fire extinguishers were set off. The fire brigade have been involved quite a few times. ‘Stones have been thrown and on top of all that, there has been an increase in noise, with people shouting and screaming. ‘There is quite an aged population around this field and people are fearful of going out at night.

‘The police are meant to keep the peace but in their opinion if kids are creating havoc in this area it’s not happening somewhere else, so they just let them get on with it.’

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman insisted the play park was ‘effectively a building site’ and said it currently has a council-appointed security guard. He added: ‘During the evenings there is no lighting so it is effectively pitch black.

‘It is not a police officer’s job to ensure the area is kept clear. However, if a crime is committed or there is a risk to life, officers would take appropriate action.’


Great idea! British victims get power to sue police if they fail to tackle yobs

Police forces which fail to protect victims of anti-social behaviour could face being sued for compensation. Government proposals will give members of the public the power to launch legal action if it can be proved that officers or other public bodies have let them down.

The move, to be unveiled next month by Home Secretary Theresa May, was drawn up following the shocking case of Fiona Pilkington, the mother who killed herself and her disabled daughter Francecca in 2007 after being hounded by yobs outside their home in Leicestershire.

Under the plans, people who claim that they have not been given adequate protection from gangs or nuisance neighbours will be able to complain to newly-elected police crime commissioners.

The Government last year introduced plans for the US-style directly-elected officials, who will have the power to appoint and dismiss Chief Constables. The commissioners will answer to a new Police and Crime Panel comprising council chiefs and members of the public.

If a complaint is upheld, victims will be entitled to a pay-out. Under the reforms police will have a ‘duty’ to investigate any report of anti-social behaviour, however seemingly petty, as long as at least five separate households have complained about the same issue.

They could also face action if they fail to investigate any anti-social behaviour that has been reported a minimum of three times.

It is not clear at this stage how the cases would be funded and from what budgets any compensation would be paid. The Government believes that the moves will end the uncertainty about who is responsible for dealing with the blight of nuisance gangs.

An inquest into the death of Mrs Pilkington and her daughter heard that her local council and Leicestershire Police had failed to save vital information about the family, including their disabilities and the abuse they were receiving.

Last year a report by police watchdog HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found that police officers did not turn up to 23 per cent of anti-social behaviour complaints.

The new Police and Social Responsibility Bill will include measures that will allow neighbourhoods to act collectively to deal with anti-social behaviour, with the safeguard of ‘redress’ through the civil courts if their pleas are not acted upon.

As part of the new proposals, there will be a more detailed Government and police website that will show where crimes have been reported and committed in each neighbourhood so that members of the public can see the movement of crime in their area.

This would involve having access to up-to-date incidents that have been reported by the neighbourhood.

A source said last night: ‘The idea of these reforms is to be seen to give the power back to the victims of crime, especially anti-social behaviour. The public have lost faith in the authorities in the way they have dealt with anti-social behaviour. It has spiralled out of control.’

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The current tools and powers for dealing with anti-social behaviour are too bureaucratic and don’t work effectively. We will soon be consulting on new proposals to tackle it.’


Think it was right to sack a “sexist” commentator? See how you feel when the Thought Police come for you

By Peter Hitchens

I hate professional football and everything about it. I would leave a railway carriage if Andy Gray or Richard Keys got into it, rather than listen to their crude, uninteresting conversation about this extraordinarily dull game, with its bad acting, pointless spite, tribal rage, drunken violence, sticky sentimentality and incessant unapologetic cheating. What’s more I don’t understand the offside rule and I don’t care.

No doubt Mr Gray would regard me as little better than a girl. I have changed nappies and been present at the births of my children. I have even endured the breathing exercises beforehand. I have (sometimes) even laughed at Miranda Hart.

But Mr Gray and Mr Keys should not have been sacked, or disciplined in any way. And those who joined in the stampede of rage against them are dangerous, intolerant totalitarians, helping the growth of the Thought Police in our midst.

Many of those who sang in this sanctimonious chorus are the sort who often complain in pubs about ‘political correctness gone mad’. But when it comes to it, they cravenly take part in the madness.

Remember this. The things they said were not intended for broadcast and they were not transmitted. They were private conversations. I don’t care that those conversations were leaked. Any remotely public figure has to assume this will happen nowadays. But if Mr Gray and Mr Keys didn’t intend their remarks to be broadcast, they shouldn’t be judged professionally as if they had intended it.

It is quite simply unjust to condemn a man for having his private conversation transmitted to the world by someone else.

But that’s not all. Had these remarks been intentionally broadcast, would it really have been so bad? Are these opinions and attitudes so wicked that people should be deprived of their jobs for holding them? Are female football officials such feeble things that they have never heard men claim they can’t understand the game, and need smelling salts when it is said?

Surely, if the sexes are equal, this sort of blushing, swooning, maiden-aunt stuff is as obsolete as denying votes to women. If we are so set against coarseness, then most fashionable comedians should be sacked too. They rely almost entirely on the f-word, on shocking the gentle and on sexual grossness. But they all carry on unsacked, presumably because they mix their crudity with a dollop of political correctness and anti-Thatcherism. So that’s not good enough as an argument.

Women are allowed to be crudely dismissive of men, so explicit banter of this kind isn’t the problem either.

As for Charlotte Jackson and the microphone ‘joke’, are we really expected to believe that a physically tough, professional modern woman who used to pose for ‘Lads’ Magazines’ will be seriously upset by this pathetic, dirty-old-man humour?

Subject the episode to any sort of cool analysis, and it’s just part of our national comedy, an entertaining but unimportant moment. Or it would have been, except that two men lost their jobs over it. And if they can lose their jobs because of private remarks, then so can anyone else. Did you want that? Is any society free where such things happen?


How BBC warmists abuse the science

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, is an expert in genetics, not climatology

The timing was immaculate. Last Tuesday, across a two-page extract from the memoirs of Peter Sissons, the senior BBC newsreader, was the headline: “The BBC became a propaganda machine for climate change zealots – I was treated as a lunatic for daring to dissent.”

The previous evening the BBC had put out a perfect example of the zealotry which had made Mr Sissons, as a grown-up journalist, so angry. Horizon’s “Science Under Attack” turned out to be yet another laborious bid by the BBC to defend the global warming orthodoxy it has long been so relentless in promoting.

Their desperation is understandable. The past few years have seen their cherished cause crumbling on all sides. The Copenhagen climate conference, planned to land mankind with the biggest bill in history, collapsed in disarray. The Climategate emails scandal confirmed that scientists at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had distorted key data. The IPCC’s own authority was further rocked by revelations that its more alarmist claims were based not on science but on the inventions of environmental activists. Even the weather has turned against them, showing that all the computer models based on the assumption that rising CO2 means rising temperatures have got it wrong.

The formula the BBC uses in its forlorn attempts to counterattack has been familiar ever since its 2008 series Climate Wars. First, a presenter with some scientific credentials comes on, apparently to look impartially at the evidence. Supporters of the cause are allowed to put their case without challenge. Hours of film of climate-change “deniers” are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous. The presenter can then conclude that the “deniers” are a tiny handful of eccentrics standing out against an overwhelming scientific “consensus”.

Monday’s Horizon exemplified this formula to a T. The scientist picked to front the progamme was Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize-winning geneticist, now President of the Royal Society (which has been promoting warmist orthodoxy even longer than the BBC). The cue to justify the programme’s title was all the criticism which greeted those Climategate emails leaked from Sir Paul’s old university, East Anglia, showing how scientists had been manipulating their data to support the claim that temperatures have recently risen to unprecedented levels.

One of the two “deniers” chosen to be stitched up, in classic BBC fashion, was the Telegraph’s James Delingpole. He has spoken for his own experience on our website. Still worse, however, was the treatment of Professor Fred Singer, the distinguished 86-year-old atmospheric physicist who set up the satellite system for the US National Weather Bureau.

We saw Nurse cosying up to Singer in a coffee house, then a brief clip of the professor explaining how a particular stalagmite study had shown temperature fluctuations correlating much more neatly with solar activity than with levels of CO2. This snippet enabled Nurse to imply that Singer’s scepticism is based on one tiny local example, whereas real scientists look at the overall big picture. No mention of the 800-page report edited by Singer in which dozens of expert scientists challenge the CO2 orthodoxy from every angle.

The most telling moment, however, came in an interview between Nurse and a computer-modelling scientist from Nasa, presented as a general climate expert although he is only a specialist in ice studies. Asked to quantify the relative contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere by human and natural causes, his seemingly devastating reply was that 7 gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans. This was so much the message they wanted that Nurse invited him to confirm that human emissions are seven times greater than those from all natural sources.

This was mind-boggling. It is generally agreed that the 7 billion tonnes of CO2 due to human activity represent just over 3 per cent of the total emitted. That given off by natural sources, such as the oceans, is vastly greater than this, more than 96 per cent of the total. One may argue about the “carbon cycle” and how much CO2 the oceans and plants reabsorb. But, as baldly stated, the point was simply a grotesque misrepresentation, serving, like many of the programme’s other assertions, only to give viewers a wholly misleading impression.

Another came after Nurse had defended his old university’s part in the Climategate emails. Inevitably he claimed that various reports had cleared the scientists involved of any wrongdoing, without mentioning that every one of the inquiries had carefully avoided the scientific questions at the heart of the row. (Yet another superficial parliamentary report last week, despite the heroic efforts of Labour MP Graham Stringer, was rendered meaningless by the same central evasion.)

Nurse then held up a copy of The Sunday Telegraph, showing the headline over one of my columns: “The worst scientific scandal of our generation”. He implied that this referred only to Climategate, which would have been absurd. My article in fact explained how the emails merely shed further light on all the other ways in which the scientists involved have for years been finagling data crucial to the warmist case, by exaggerating the recent rise in temperatures and eliminating all the evidence that past temperatures have often, through natural causes, been higher than they are today.

Although Sir Paul presented himself as the champion of objective science, he frequently showed that, for all his expertise in cell biology, he knows little about climate. The fact that someone is an expert in one particular field – even if he is President of the Royal Society – gives him little more authority to pronounce on issues with which he is unfamiliar than a man holding forth in a pub.

Far from it being “science” which is under attack from all those experts who dispute the orthodoxy on global warming, the truth is the very reverse. It is the dissenters who are trying to speak for genuine science, against those who misuse its prestige to promote a cause which has too often betrayed the very essence of proper scientific method.

The fact that the BBC has been turned, in Peter Sissons’ words, into a mere “propaganda machine” is scandal enough. But a far greater scandal is the way the authority of science has been hijacked to serve a fatally flawed belief system which threatens to inflict irreparable damage on the future of us all.

Is Met Office again playing games with its weather data?

Dr Benny Peiser and Dr David Whitehouse, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), have written to John Hirst, chief executive of the beleaguered Met Office, asking for an explanation of a press release issued by his organisation on January 20 and headed “2010 – a near record year”. This won headlines by claiming that last year was hotter than any other in the past decade.

When the two men examined the original data from which this claim was derived – compiled by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre – it clearly showed 2010 as having been cooler than 2005 (and 1998) and equal to 2003. It emerged that, for the purposes of the press release, the data had been significantly adjusted.

Comparing the actual data for each year, from 2001 to 2010, with that given in the press release shows that for four years the original figure has been adjusted downwards. Only for 2010 was the data revised upwards, by the largest adjustment of all, allowing the Met Office to claim that 2010 was the hottest year of the decade.

I asked the Met Office to comment on what seems like yet another embarrassing example of juggling with the figures. It denied the charge and I shall report on its lengthily evasive reply, once the GWPF has had a more considered response from Mr Hirst.


In China, the true cost of Britain’s clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale

On the outskirts of one of China’s most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn. Yan Man Jia Hong is a dedicated Communist. At 74, he still believes in his revolutionary heroes, but he despises the young local officials and entrepreneurs who have let this happen. `Chairman Mao was a hero and saved us,’ he says. `But these people only care about money. They have destroyed our lives.’

Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world’s legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines.

Live has uncovered the distinctly dirty truth about the process used to extract neodymium: it has an appalling environmental impact that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology.

The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the `green’ companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.

Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile wide `tailing’ lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy.

This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.

Rusting pipelines meander for miles from factories processing rare earths in Baotou out to the man-made lake where, mixed with water, the foul-smelling radioactive waste from this industrial process is pumped day after day. No signposts and no paved roads lead here, and as we approach security guards shoo us away and tail us. When we finally break through the cordon and climb sand dunes to reach its brim, an apocalyptic sight greets us: a giant, secret toxic dump, made bigger by every wind turbine we build.

The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs. For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr Yan’s village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day.

Retired farmer Su Bairen, 69, who led us to the lake, says it was initially a novelty – a multi-coloured pond set in farmland as early rare earth factories run by the state-owned Baogang group of companies began work in the Sixties. `At first it was just a hole in the ground,’ he says. `When it dried in the winter and summer, it turned into a black crust and children would play on it. Then one or two of them fell through and drowned in the sludge below. Since then, children have stayed away.’

As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming. `It turned into a mountain that towered over us,’ says Mr Su. `Anything we planted just withered, then our animals started to sicken and die.’

People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.

Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake’s radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found.

Since then, maybe because of pressure from the companies operating around the lake, which pump out waste 24 hours a day, the results of ongoing radiation and toxicity tests carried out on the lake have been kept secret and officials have refused to publicly acknowledge health risks to nearby villages.

There are 17 `rare earth metals’ – the name doesn’t mean they are necessarily in short supply; it refers to the fact that the metals occur in scattered deposits of minerals, rather than concentrated ores. Rare earth metals usually occur together, and, once mined, have to be separated.

Neodymium is commonly used as part of a Neodymium-Iron-Boron alloy (Nd2Fe14B) which, thanks to its tetragonal crystal structure, is used to make the most powerful magnets in the world. Electric motors and generators rely on the basic principles of electromagnetism, and the stronger the magnets they use, the more efficient they can be. It’s been used in small quantities in common technologies for quite a long time – hi-fi speakers, hard drives and lasers, for example. But only with the rise of alternative energy solutions has neodymium really come to prominence, for use in hybrid cars and wind turbines. A direct-drive permanent-magnet generator for a top capacity wind turbine would use 4,400lb of neodymium-based permanent magnet material.

The fact that the wind-turbine industry relies on neodymium, which even in legal factories has a catastrophic environmental impact, is an irony Ms Choi acknowledges. `It is a real dilemma for environmentalists who want to see the growth of the industry,’ she says. `But we have the responsibility to recognise the environmental destruction that is being caused while making these wind turbines.’

Our current obsession with wind power, according to John Constable of energy think-tank the Renewable Energy Foundation, stems from the decision of the European Union on how to tackle climate change. Instead of just setting targets for reducing emissions, the EU told governments that by 2020, 15 per cent of all the energy we use must come from renewable sources.

Because of how we heat our houses and run our cars with gas and petrol, 30 per cent of electricity needs to come from renewables. And in the absence of other technologies, that means wind turbines. But there’s a structural flaw in the plan, which this winter has brutally exposed.

Study a graph of electricity consumption and it appears amazingly predictable, even down to reduced demand on public holidays. The graph for wind energy output, however, is far less predictable.

Take the figures for December, when we all shivered through sub-zero temperatures and wholesale electricity prices surged. Peak demand for the UK on 20 December was just over 60,000 megawatts. Maximum capacity for wind turbines throughout the UK is 5,891 megawatts, almost ten per cent of that peak demand figure.

Yet on December 20, because winds were light or non-existent, wind energy contributed a paltry 140 megawatts. Despite billions of pounds in investment and subsidies, Britain’s wind-turbine fleet was producing a feeble 2.43 per cent of its own capacity – and little more than 0.2 per cent of the nation’s electricity in the coldest month since records began.

Wind power’s uncertainties don’t end with intermittency. There is huge controversy about how much energy a wind farm will produce. Many developers claim their installations will achieve 30 per cent of their maximum output over the course of a year. More sober energy analysts suggest 26 per cent. But even that figure is starting to look generous. In December, the average figure was less than 21 per cent. In the year between October 2009 and September 2010, the average was 23.6 per cent, still nowhere near industry claims.

Then there’s the thorny question of how many homes new installations can power. According to wind farm developers like Scottish and Southern Electricity, a house uses 3.3MWh in a year. Lobby group RenewablesUK – formerly the British Wind Energy Association – gives a figure of 4.7MWh. In the Highlands electricity usage is even higher.

Last year, a report from the Royal Academy of Engineering warned that transforming our energy supply to produce a low-carbon economy would require the biggest investment and social change seen in peacetime. And yet Professor Sue Ion, who led the report, warned, `We are nowhere near having a plan.’

So, against the backdrop of environmental catastrophe in China and these less than attractive calculations, could the billions being thrown at wind farms be better spent? Undoubtedly, says John Constable. `The government is betting the farm on the throw of a die. What’s happening now is simply reckless.’


One in five British graduates out of work as unemployment rates for university leavers doubles

The latest official figures highlight the nightmare scenario faced by recent graduates who have saddled themselves with crippling debt for the sake of a degree.

It emerged that the unemployment rate among those who graduated less than two years ago and are actively seeking work – 18.5 per cent – has hit its highest level for more than a decade.

The number has almost doubled since the start of the recession in 2008 when it stood at 10.6 per cent and statisticians believe it equates to around 80,000 graduates.

Meanwhile a record number of students, 320,000, are set to graduate this summer which suggests up to 64,000 of these will also be onsigned to the unemployment scrap heap.

The shocking figures come as prospective students face a mountain of debt with tuition fees increasing three-fold to £9,000 in 2012.

And they follow reports suggesting all graduates will struggle to secure a job at a top firm unless they undertake an internship while studying.

But rising student debts mean many simply cannot afford to do unpaid work, and many internships are unpaid.

Union leaders said the figures heap further misery on students and warned the Government that they will ‘fail a whole generation’ if they do not make immediate investment in education and employment.

The worrying statistics, from the Labour Force Survey, also show that graduate unemployment has increased faster than for the UK as a whole.

By the end of the recession, the unemployment rate for new graduates was 2.3 times higher than the rest of the UK -18.5 per cent compared with 7.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2009.
Chris Grayling: ‘Young people are shouldering the burden of the Labour Government¿s mistakes’

Employment Minister Chris Grayling: ‘Young people are shouldering the burden of the Labour Government¿s mistakes’

At the start of the recession, the rate for recent graduates was around twice that of the UK -10.6 per cent compared with 5.2 per cent.

Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students (NUS), said: ‘These new figures show that graduates are encountering an exceptionally hostile jobs market and the Government persists with policies that put the burden of the country’s debt on the young.

‘Following the disappointing growth figures earlier this week, NUS calls on the Government for renewed targeted investment in education and the reinstatement of the Future Jobs Fund to support graduates into employment.’

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), said: ‘Today’s graduate unemployment figures are further bad news for students and young people. The coalition has slashed university budgets, tripled tuition fees, axed vital support for college students and the Future Jobs Fund.

‘Those who do make it through university are going to face a difficult job market without support, but saddled with record levels of debt. She said a ‘whole generation would be consigned to the scraphead of inactivity’ if the Government did not make immediate investment in education and jobs.

The ONS figures show that young people aged 21 to 24 who have left education and have a degree are still less likely to be unemployed than those of the same age without a degree – 11.6 per cent compared with 14.6 per cent.

But unemployment rates for graduates aged 21 to 24 increased by 6.3 percentage points over the recent recession, while rates for non-graduates of the same age rose by 5.3 percentage points.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: ‘These figures are further evidence that young people are shouldering the burden of the Labour Government’s mistakes.

‘The priority now must be to create financial stability in the economy so businesses will invest and create jobs.’

Official figures last week showed almost a million young people aged 16 to 24 – 951,000 are unemployed, which is the highest number since records began.


Waiting to take HRT ‘lessens breast cancer effect’

The risk is tiny in absolute magnitude anyway so there is no point bothering about it in any case. It would make more sense to avoid crossing the road

Waiting to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after the menopause can lessen its effect on raising breast cancer risk, a new study has found.

Eight years ago Oxford University research based on data from the Million Women study, which had 1.13 million volunteers, found that taking combined HRT (oestrogen and progesterone), doubled the risk of developing breast cancer. Taking oestrogen-only therapy increased the risk by 30 per cent.

Now Prof Valerie Beral, the same Oxford epidemiologist who spearheaded the 2003 study, has found that the increased risk is highly dependent on when HRT is begun.

For those who took combined-therapy, the additional risk dropped to 53 per cent higher than ‘normal’ among those who waited at least five years after the onset of menopause. For those on oestrogen-only therapy, waiting five years appeared to negate the additional risk altogether.

The authors wrote: “A new finding of this study, which has been little investigated previously, is that the interval between menopause and starting hormonal therapy has a substantial effect on breast cancer risk.”

Ed Yong, Cancer Research UK’s head of health information, commented: “We’ve known for a while that HRT can increase the risk of breast cancer. This study suggests that there might be some situations in which that risk is small or negligible.”


Must not express anti-Muslim sentiments in Britain

We read:

“Five men have been arrested after a Facebook site was set up declaring “all Muslims should be thrown out of Wales”. Around 150 people joined the group on the social networking site claiming they would march through the Rhondda Valleys to make their feelings known.

The proposed march has been described as “mindless bigotry” by racial equality groups. But South Wales Police have now stepped in and arrested five men for religiously aggravated public order offences.

It is one of the first occasions people have been arrested over comments posted on Facebook. The group has also been removed from the site.

Police now believe the march will not go ahead, but they will be on standby in case anyone turns up. Members of the group, which was entitled Rhondda March, said they would walk from Treherbert down to Pontypridd on February 28.



About jonjayray

I am former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody
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