Why GP call centres won’t happen in Spain
By Anna Nicholas
Recently I was on the mobile to Mumbai -a call centre to be exact- attempting to query an anomaly on my credit card. A slow and methodical female operator asked me a series of turgid security questions. And then some more. After several minutes of remonstrating I lost my rag and began reeling off the names of my cats, the pet hamster, my husband’s shirt size, my son’s favourite underpants brand, venue of my wedding and other crucial data that would, surely, unlock the key to my account.
Why am I telling you all this? Because very soon, ringing the doctor’s surgery for an appointment might be a thing of the past as NHS Direct call centres become the vogue. Next thing you know it, the whole caboodle will be whisked off to some far flung, dirt cheap, steamy global zone where the operators won’t know who you are, where you are, or one end of a stethoscope from the other.
My lady in Mumbai thought me so unhinged that she put her supervisor straight on the line who in fairness apologised, explaining that she was a young trainee. Imagine getting her on the line as you began trying to explain about the stitches that had just come loose, or the terrible pain in your stomach. ‘Sorry sir, before you continue, please may I have the surname of your dog?’
True, some GPs’ receptionists have more bite than a starved piranha but at least they also have local knowledge and are often genned-up on a patient’s history and even able to make an educated guess at diagnosis. Some claim that GP practices are now clogged full of pen-pushers with touch screen check-ins making their jobs practically obsolete but of course receptionists do far more than just make appointments. There’s a great deal that goes on behind the scenes.
In Majorca, and I can only guess at the rest of Spain, the national health care is superb and works seamlessly. I have two local surgeries, the first being that of beloved Dr Colom, the male equivalent of Mary Poppins, who has no receptionist and takes all of his patients’ calls. I just pitch up at his rooms and wait usually no longer than five minutes to be seen. If the waiting room’s empty, he’ll often spend time discussing literature and new works about the Spanish Civil War with me. It’s all very edifying.
Our other larger town practice -spotless and gleaming new- is manned by efficient and friendly receptionists who know their patients well and are sympathetic and sensitive, particularly to the elderly and very young. They chat to patients, arrange appointments, do the admin, play with the babies and keep everything moving along. One can pre-book an appointment any time or just turn up. The Spanish expect this level of personal service and would be appalled to contemplate anything else.
So back to the proposed NHS Direct scheme. Last year in a report produced by the Department of Health, it was suggested that introducing national and regional call centres for patients would reduce costs and simplify the system. But at what price? Dehumanising surgeries and leaving ill and vulnerable callers at the mercy of those who might as well operate from the moon, would be a false economy. Or is it that in David Cameron’s much vaunted Big Society, the concept of empowering local communities is proving just too big a pill to swallow?
I had to have five CRB checks … it’s crazy, says former Archbishop of Canterbury
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has criticised ‘unnecessary’ criminal record checks after disclosing he has undergone five just to conduct a service or preach a sermon. Lord Carey said that after he retired from his role in 2002, he had been asked by some dioceses to help out as an assistant bishop.
He said that every time he agreed to a new role he was required to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check – to vet those working with children or the vulnerable – even if he would not be working with children. ‘I had five sometimes,’ he said. ‘It’s crazy.’ Friends of Lord Carey, 75, who was an assistant bishop in Bristol and Southwark, South London, said the repeated CRB checks took place over several years.
As an assistant bishop, he would occasionally stand in for a bishop at a service, but would never have any role working with children.
One friend said: ‘Similar to supply teachers, clergy who work in a number of dioceses can have endless checks.’
He said another retired bishop, who had been asked to work in a neighbouring diocese, refused because he did not want to undergo the onerous checks.
Lord Carey made his comments on the BBC1’s This Week programme on Thursday night, the day before the Government announced it is to scale back Labour’s controversial Vetting and Barring Scheme. On the show he called on the Government to put flesh on the bones of its Big Society proposals by axing ‘unreasonable and repeated’ checks on volunteers who may never come into contact with children or vulnerable people.
Responding to the new Government plans yesterday, he said: ‘I welcome Nick Clegg’s proposals to relax CRB checks. Many people who have only occasional contact with children were forced through this hurdle unnecessarily in the mistaken belief that this safeguarded children. While child protection is vitally important, there must be a sense of proportion if all volunteering is not to be discouraged.’
Ministers say they want the checks, introduced in 2006 after the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, to be reduced to ‘common sense’ levels. The vetting scheme, which requires everyone working with ‘vulnerable’ groups to register, has been fiercely criticised for requiring checks on a staggering nine million adults, many of them volunteers.
Among those affected by the legislation were a group of cathedral flower arrangers who last year staged a rebellion against demands they undergo the intrusive checks. Twenty women from Gloucester Cathedral Flower Guild, including head flower arranger Annabel Hayter, 64, refused to have their pasts examined.
Miss Hayter, who was forced to resign because she refused to have the check, said: ‘It is insulting. They are all lovely ladies who would not hurt a fly. They are not paedophiles. When I can rise above the sadness of it all it is laughable, pathetic.’
The scheme was also forced on church bell-ringers and St John Ambulance volunteers who had to undergo the vetting process to clear them to come into contact with children.
But now it will apply only to professional childcare workers or teachers – those who have the most close and regular contact with children or vulnerable adults. The number who will need to have background checks will halve to around 4.5 million, officials predict.
Checks that are unnecessary and which breach an employee’s privacy could be referred to the data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner said. Employers found knowingly to have requested an unlawful check could face fines of thousands of pounds.
The quango due to administer the scheme, the Independent Safeguarding Authority, will be merged with the Criminal Records Bureau.
Those who do require checks will have their records constantly updated so a new trawl is not required when they move jobs. The measures will be contained within the Coalition’s flagship Protection of Freedoms Bill.
Why, Mr Broken Reed, is being controversial a sacking offence?
Who said these words? ‘Approximately 20 to 33 per cent of child sexual abuse is homosexual in nature.’ I will tell you. It was the Home Office, on Page 14 of Sex Offending Against Children: Understanding The Risk, published by the Policing and Reducing Crime Unit in 1998. I have a copy.
For saying roughly the same thing, Dr Hans-Christian Raabe has just been sacked – by the Home Office – from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). That’s right. He has been sacked from a body to do with drugs, for having unfashionable views about sex, views that the Home Office has itself espoused.
A pathetic creature called James Brokenshire has allowed his name to be put to the letter that formally dismisses Dr Raabe. This is the first known instance of anyone being fired from a Government post under the provisions of Harriet Harman’s Equality Act 2010, Section 149, though I don’t think it will be the last.
Mr Broken Reed did not actually sign the wretched epistle, as a smudged rubber stamp indicates. I don’t blame him. It is a cowardly document and so sloppily prepared it even manages to misspell Dr Raabe’s address.
Dr Raabe is accused of having expressed ‘controversial’ views on homosexuality and of having ‘failed to declare them’, though they are traceable in seconds on the internet and he had no good reason to think they had anything to do with his appointment.
It has come to something when a man is required to guess which past words of his may be regarded as ‘controversial’ when seeking a state appointment, and be dismissed for getting such a riddle wrong.
I have spent several days trying to discover exactly what the Home Office means by ‘controversial’ in this case, or who defines this word. No reply. I think we should also wonder why it is a sacking offence, in a free society, to be controversial.
When I asked them if their own publication’s words on the subject were ‘controversial’, they wouldn’t say. They’re hiding something.
And what they are hiding is this. That when the Prime Minister defined himself the other day as a ‘muscular liberal’, he meant exactly what he said. The official ideology of Britain, from Downing Street downwards, is a militant and highly intolerant political correctness, originating in Marxist thought and forced on us by EU directives (so much for ‘Euroscepticism’).
Interestingly, this miserable dogma is all he has to offer in response to the growing challenge of Islam in our streets and in our culture. Not centuries of Christian tradition, and the heritage of Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution, but ‘equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality’.
The affair of Dr Raabe is one of the most fascinating episodes of modern times. The doctor, who is German-born and so at least can’t be accused of ‘xenophobia’, works in a poor district of Manchester and observes every day in damaged lives the dismal effects of the law’s feeble attitude to supposedly illegal drugs.
He can see for himself that the official policy of ‘harm reduction’ is actively doing harm. His appointment to the ACMD (to a seat reserved specifically for a GP) was a great moment for every mother and father who wants the State to stop complacently accepting mass drug abuse as an unalterable fact, and instead to help keep their children safe from the little packets of madness on sale at the school gates.
It was a great blow to the selfish, irresponsible people who have for years spread the false idea that drugs can be taken safely, and denied the growing evidence from the mental hospitals that many young cannabis-users go irreversibly, horribly mad.
His dismissal is a great loss to those who care about the lives and minds of the young.
I will reserve for another time an examination of the fascinating role of a senior figure in the supposedly impartial BBC in what happened next. He deserves a lot of time to himself, and I shall get round to that.
But let us say that a campaign to remove Dr Raabe, boosted by anonymous misty threats of resignations from the ACMD, roared rapidly into action.
And that, preferring political correctness to an honest, decent doctor worth dozens of any of them, this Government swiftly bowed to that campaign. And that the person directly responsible for this grovelling [Brokenshire] hawked himself to the people of Old Bexley and Sidcup as a ‘Conservative’. And they believed him. It would be funny if it were not so disgusting.
Secret filming at Muslim schools in Birmingham and Yorkshire shows pupils being beaten and ‘taught Hindus drink cow p***’
It is an assembly hall of the sort found in any ordinary school. Boys aged 11 and upwards sit cross-legged on the floor in straight rows. They face the front of the room and listen carefully. But this is no ordinary assembly. Holding the children’s attention is a man in Islamic dress wearing a skullcap and stroking his long dark beard as he talks.
‘You’re not like the non-Muslims out there,’ the teacher says, gesturing towards the window. ‘All that evil you see in the streets, people not wearing the hijab properly, people smoking . . . you should hate it, you should hate walking down that street.’
He refers to the ‘non-Muslims’ as the ‘Kuffar’, an often derogatory term that means disbeliever or infidel.
Welcome to one of Britain’s most influential Islamic faith schools, one of at least 2,000 such schools in Britain, some full-time, others part-time. They represent a growing, parallel education system.
The school is the Darul Uloom Islamic High School in Birmingham, an oversubscribed independent secondary school. Darul Ulooms are world-renowned Islamic institutions and their aim is to produce the next generation of Muslim leaders. In fact, these schools have been described as the ‘Etons of Islam’.
This school is required by its inspectors to teach tolerance and respect for other faiths. But the Channel 4 current affairs programme Dispatches filmed secretly inside it – and instead discovered that Muslim children are being taught religious apartheid and social segregation.
We recorded a number of speakers giving deeply disturbing talks about Jews, Christians and atheists. We found children as young as 11 learning that Hindus have ‘no intellect’ and that they ‘drink cow p***’.
And we came across pupils being told that the ‘disbelievers’ are ‘the worst creatures’ and that Muslims who adopt supposedly non-Muslim ways, such as shaving, dancing, listening to music and – in the case of women – removing their headscarves, would be tortured with a forked iron rod in the afterlife.
In 2009 this school was praised by Government-approved inspection teams for its interfaith teachings. The report said that ‘pupils learn about the beliefs and practices of other faiths and are taught to show respect to other world religions’.
It seems that the inspectors were unaware of the teaching methods revealed by our undercover reporter, Osman. He was taken on as a volunteer at the Darul Uloom school in Birmingham in April 2009 and was allowed to sit in on some lessons – but not their Islamic classes.
So, in July last year, he went into one of the rooms where we’d heard they taught Islamic studies and left a secret camera to record the lessons. Filming intermittently over a period of four months, the camera recorded children being taught a hardline, intolerant and highly anti-social version of Islam.
During the same period our reporter also attended the Markazi Jamia mosque in Keighley, West Yorkshire, after hearing of serious allegations that children were being hit at its madrassa.
Madrassas in the UK are part-time after-school or weekend classes, often held in mosques, where children are taught to read the Koran. In Keighley it is not what they are being taught that is the problem, but how.
Again, Osman went into the mosque and left the camera in the room where classes took place.
The film shows children as young as six sitting on the floor of a large room in the mosque, one of the biggest in the country. The boys are hunched over wooden benches, rocking backwards and forwards as they rote-learn the Koran in Arabic. A man with a long white beard dressed in a traditional shalwar kameez – tunic and trousers – sits at the head of the class.
Periodically he gets up and walks behind the boys. As he passes, the children appear to cower and watch him nervously. It soon becomes clear why. He unexpectedly raises his hand and slaps a young boy hard on the head. Moments later he strikes another. And then he kicks a third child.
In just two days of filming in December 2010, the camera recorded the teacher hitting children as young as six or seven at least ten times, in less than three hours of lessons.
From what we could see, every single blow was pretty much unprovoked. We soon realised that the beatings were routine. The behaviour of the boys, the way they flinched and backed away when he approached, indicated that they were long-accustomed to being hit and kicked as they studied.
In another incident an older boy, left in charge of a class while a teacher is out at prayer, picks up a bench and threatens to hit a younger boy with it.
During the making of this Dispatches film I have often counted my blessings. I received my Islamic education at home. My mum would read the Koran with me and most of my knowledge of Islam came from within the family. Others have not been so lucky.
Osman was subjected to beatings at four separate madrassas in the East Midlands as a child. He says that for the nine years he spent going to after-school Koran classes, he was hit regularly, at least a couple of timesa week. ‘It destroyed my confidence,’ he says, ‘and the worst bit was never knowing when it was going to happen. I had a horrible teacher who would use his fists, a stick, a shoe, anything he could find. He’d just get angry and lash out.’
Osman’s young cousins go to the same madrassas he attended and told him the beatings were still continuing. This persuaded Osman to try to reveal the truth behind the private world of faith schools. Over a period of two years he bravely placed cameras in both schools and collected highly sensitive material for us. His experience of madrassas is not uncommon. But persuading people to go on camera about this has been difficult. One family who were willing to talk were too frightened to do so openly.
Academic and theologian Dr Taj Hargey invited me to visit his part-time Islamic school in Oxford where children are taught in mixed-gender classes.
Here I witnessed a modern and refreshing method of teaching. Pupils were told to respect other faiths, ask questions about their religion and recite from the Koran in English as well as Arabic.
Dr Hargey told me he set up this school because of claims that Muslim parents had made to him about beatings in other madrassas. ‘It’s an outdated, archaic concept,’ he says, ‘and if we inflict this violence we will sow the seeds of violence in them.’
Sir Roger Singleton, former Government chief adviser on the safety of children, and Ann Cryer, former MP for Keighley, want the law to change to ban physical punishment in supplementary classes, as it does in full-time schools. ‘It just isn’t acceptable,’ says Cryer. ‘We wouldn’t allow this to happen to white kids going to Sunday schools.’
If the law on physical punishment does change, that would be one way to protect the very young that attend these classes. But these part-time and full-time Muslim schools also need closer scrutiny – the regulatory system needs to be tightened up.
However, we have a Government that, on the one hand, gives grand speeches about tackling the causes of extremism, as David Cameron did last week, while, on the other, encouraging local communities to set up their own schools – including faith schools. It’s time to stop these mixed messages.
And Muslims can no longer sweep this under the carpet – they need to face up to what is happening behind closed doors. Many warn that if we don’t all tackle this toxic mix of hatred and violence head on, we will reap the whirlwind in years to come.
British Council gets in on the climate act
Why is the British Council spending taxpayers’ money on the recruiting of 100,000 “international climate champions”, asks Christopher Booker
Last December, our television screens were filled with scenes of young demonstrators from all over the world parading through the streets of Copenhagen to call for action to halt global warming. Few people will have been aware, though, that they were being funded with the aid of millions of pounds from British taxpayers. What makes this even more curious is that the money was provided by a body set up to promote British culture internationally.
Last Sunday, when I reported on some of the ways in which an array of British ministries have poured hundreds of millions of pounds into projects related to climate change, I overlooked one branch of government which has been as active in the cause of saving the planet as any – the British Council, created more than 70 years ago to stage lectures on Shakespeare and Jane Austen, and to spread the use of the English language.
In recent years, however, on the initiative of Lord Kinnock when he was its chairman, the British Council has been hijacked to promote the need for action on climate change. In answer to a Freedom of Information request, we can now see some of the curious ways in which the British Council has been spending our money.
More than £3.5 million has gone on recruiting a worldwide network of young “climate activists” in over 70 countries to engage in climate change propaganda – what Marxists used to call agitprop – and to pressure their politicians to join the worldwide struggle.
Under a programme called Challenge Europe, £1.1 million has been paid out to fund young “climate advocates” in 17 countries across Europe, including Britain itself. But £2.5 million has been spent on a more ambitious project to recruit a global network of 100,000 activists in 60 countries across the world, led by 1,300 young “International Climate Champions”, to participate in “international peer networks, both in person and online, to share ideas, projects and experiences”.
Of this sum, £303,093.24 went to China; £71,262.91 to Brazil; £53,006.25 to Japan; £70,132.88 to India (including £11,000 to Dr Pachauri’s Teri institute); £77,507.89 to oil-rich Qatar; and £50,000 to the US. There was £120,000 for a dozen different countries in Africa, including £14,000 to fund climate champions in starving Zimbabwe.
All this, it is comforting to know, is being led by the climate-change activist Dr David Viner, formerly employed by East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (the focus of the “Climategate” emails scandal), who is most famous for the prediction he made in 2001, that within a few years winter snow would become “a very rare and exciting event”. No doubt the climate champions we are funding in the eastern US will have been grateful for our support last week as they tried to explain the several feet of snow across the region which broke records established in the 1880s. What it all has to do with Macbeth or Pride and Prejudice is something of a mystery.
Enoch was right
In a speech to a security conference in Munich, British Prime Minister David Cameron declared state multiculturalism a failure. For good measure, Cameron said Britain also must get tougher on Islamic extremists. Predictably, this has angered Islamic extremists.
A genuinely liberal country, he said, “believes in certain values and actively promotes them. … Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law, equal rights, regardless of race, sex or sexuality.”
Britain’s policy should be to require — yes, require — immigrants to become part of a melting pot and not individual vegetables floating around in a multicultural stew. Otherwise, they should not be admitted.
When critics of multiculturalism and unbridled immigration warned of the inevitability of a loss of nationhood and national identity, they were denounced as alarmists, even racists.
The late British parliamentarian Enoch Powell suffered such attacks (and earned many kudos) when he repeatedly warned about the dangers of open-ended immigration without assimilation. In a controversial speech to a Conservative Party conference in 1968, Powell began his address, known as “Rivers of Blood,” with what ought to be an obvious statement: “The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles, which are deeply rooted in human nature.”
Powell argued that when it comes to multiculturalism and immigration, Britain had failed in that mandate. Looking into the future, Powell accurately predicted what has come to pass from mass and uncontrolled immigration: “Of course, it will not be evenly distributed from Margate to Aberystwyth and from Penzance to Aberdeen. Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population.”
Powell wasn’t so much railing against immigrants, though his critics read it in those terms, but against Britain’s refusal to integrate them into British culture.
And then Powell let the timid class have it with this line: “There could be no grosser misconception of the realities than is entertained by those who vociferously demand legislation as they call it ‘against discrimination’, whether they be leader-writers of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it, or archbishops who live in palaces, faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads. They have got it exactly and diametrically wrong.”
In 1968, Britain still had time to reverse course, but because its leaders didn’t want to be called “racists” and immigrants were doing jobs British citizens were increasingly reluctant to do (sound familiar?) the floodgates were left open. It may be too late for Britain, as it may be too late for France and Germany.
It isn’t too late for the United States, though it is getting close. Too many American leaders suffer from the same weak-kneed syndrome that has gripped Britain. Who will tell immigrants to America that the days of multiculturalism are over and if they want to come to America, they must do so legally and expect to become Americans with no hyphens, no allegiance to another country, and no agenda other than the improvement of the United States?
Enoch Powell was right four decades ago. David Cameron is right today. If British leaders had listened to Powell then, Cameron would not have needed to make his Munich speech.
Pupils must not be forced to eat halal Church tells schools
The Church of England has told its schools to ensure they are serving non-halal food after concerns that a number are only providing meat slaughtered according to Islamic law. The official guidance was issued after Church members complained that the use of halal meat was effectively ‘spreading sharia law’ across Britain.
The Church’s financial arm has also come under pressure to withdraw its investments – worth millions of pounds – in supermarkets that do not clearly label halal food. The moves follow disclosures by The Mail on Sunday last year that halal products were widespread in schools, hospitals, pubs and sporting venues but members of the public were not informed.
More than 10,000 Christians, many of whom have reservations about eating meat from animals that are bled to death while an Islamic prayer is recited, have signed a petition calling for proper labelling. Animal rights campaigners have also expressed anger because animals are often not stunned before their throats are cut with a sharp knife.
Alison Ruoff, a long-standing member of the Church’s ‘parliament’, the General Synod, said: ‘The Church is only just waking up to this. We have been pathetic and mealy-mouthed but we should be really concerned about this. ‘There is a lot of fear about upsetting Muslims but as a Christian you have to stand up for Christian values. Because we are unwittingly eating halal meat, we are spreading the practice of sharia law.’
An influential official body representing both Muslim and Christian leaders also said non-Muslims should not be compelled to eat halal meat. The Christian Muslim Forum, set up by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams four years ago, said there were concerns about ‘some public authorities which provide only halal products in schools and other institutions’. It said in a statement: ‘We urge all food outlets, catering organisations and public authorities to label halal food properly, for the benefit of both non-Muslim and Muslim consumers.’
John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford and chair of the Board of Education, which runs more than 4,000 Church schools, told the General Synod in London last week that guidance had been sent across the country. The guidance said if halal meat was served in schools it should not be the only option and suppliers should be changed.
Mrs Ruoff has challenged the Church Commissioners, who manage the Church’s £4 billion assets, to sell its shares in supermarkets that did not clearly label halal food.
The Rev Patrick Sookhdeo, an Anglican cleric who runs the international Barnabas Fund charity for Christians facing persecution, said some extremist Muslims viewed the growing use of halal food as part of their efforts to ‘impose’ sharia law on the West.
Another backflip: Forget those high cholesterol warnings, eggs are healthier than ever, say experts
If you’re eyeing up your breakfast options and fancy going to work on an egg, there’s no need to hold back. For after years of telling us to shun them as an everyday food, the health police now say that eggs have become better for us. The cholesterol content of eggs – which was previously believed to be a health risk – is now much lower compared with ten years ago, a study suggests.
Eggs also contain more vitamin D, which helps protect the bones, preventing diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets.
The reason eggs have become more nutritious over the past decade is that hens are no longer fed bone meal, which was banned in the Nineties following the BSE crisis, the researchers claim. Instead the birds are normally given a mixture of wheat, corn and high-protein formulated feed, which makes their eggs more wholesome.
A U.S. government study found that modern eggs contain 13 per cent less cholesterol and 64 per cent more vitamin D compared with a decade ago. This is backed by British research which shows that a medium-sized egg contains about 100mg of cholesterol, a third of the 300mg recommended daily limit.
Andrew Joret, deputy chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, whose firm Noble Foods made the findings, said: ‘We believe the reduction is due to changes in the feeds used in British plants since the Nineties when the use of bone meal was banned.’
Two years ago Canadian researchers claimed that eggs actually helped lower blood pressure. They suggested that when eggs are digested they produce proteins that mimic the action of powerful blood pressure-lowering drugs, known as Ace inhibitors.
A recent Surrey University study found eating one or two eggs for breakfast could help with weight loss as the high protein content makes us feel fuller longer. The study, which involved volunteers eating two eggs a day for 12 weeks, also found that none had raised cholesterol.
In the Sixties many Britons ate up to five eggs a day but by the Nineties this had dropped to two or three a week – in part due to warnings about high cholesterol levels.
Charles Saatchi, husband of TV chef Nigella Lawson, recently claimed to have lost five stone by eating eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Rastamouse provokes complaints of racism and teaching bad language
“He is an animated reggae-singing mouse who has become a hit for the BBC, entertaining children with his attempts to fight crime and spread love and respect. Yet dreadlocked Rastamouse has provoked more than a hundred complaints to the corporation with parents expressing fears the show is racist and encouraging the use of slang.
The BBC has received complaints from six viewers that the animated show stereotypes black people, while another 95 have complained about the language used in the show.
The Rastafarian mouse, who leads a band called the Easy Crew and speaks in Jamaican Patois, uses phrases such as “me wan go” (“I want to go”), “irie” (“happy”), “wagwan” (“what’s going on?”). His mission is to “make a bad ting good”.
I don’t have much sympathy with the claim that it stereotypes Jamaicans. I think it glorifies Jamaicans, if anything. But I am amazed that the BBC is teaching non-standard English. I thought that the BBC had an educational role.
I know what is going on though. Accent is very important in England, with RP (“Oxford English”) being far more prestigious than any other. BBC announcers all used to speak RP but Leftists hate anything that is not “equal” so the BBC has made a point in recent years of using announcers with “Regional” accents. Teaching Jamaican English is just the logical endpoint of that process, I suppose. The fact that Jamaican English is not even used by all people of Jamaican ancestry does not matter, obviously. Tearing down good English is all that matters.