Doctors from EU twice as likely to blunder than those trained in Britain
Doctors from the EU are twice as likely to be struck off as those who trained in Britain. They stand a much higher chance of being disciplined by the General Medical Council over serious concerns that they are putting patients’ lives at risk.
The findings are further evidence that patient safety is being put in the hands of overseas doctors whose training is not up to scratch.
Last week it emerged that a Nigerian doctor who qualified in Italy had been allowed to work in 14 English hospitals although he could not perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and did not understand basic medical terms.
There are particular concerns over the standards of doctors from Europe, as strict EU laws mean they cannot be tested on their competence or even ability to speak English as this would breach ‘freedom of movement of labour’ laws.
Researchers from Kings College, London, looked at almost 7,526 cases of doctors referred to the GMC between April 2006 and March 2008, including 624 from the EU and 2,190 who qualified outside the EU.
The findings, published online in the British Medical Journal, show that doctors who qualified elsewhere in the EU are 2.16 times more likely to be disciplined than their British counterparts, while the figure for those who trained elsewhere in the world is 1.48.
Migrant crime wave revealed: Foreign arrests in Britain have almost doubled in just THREE years
The number of foreign nationals arrested in Britain has almost doubled in just three years, police figures show. And the biggest rises are among rural forces, such as Kent and Cambridgeshire.
In the worst-affected rural areas, arrests of non-Britons have soared nearly four-fold since 2006.
A total of 91,234 foreign nationals were arrested last year on suspicion of crimes including murder, burglary and sex offences. In contrast, the figure for 2008 was 51,899 and 81,625 in 2009.
And the true number is likely to be much higher, as only 19 out of the 52 police forces provided the figures, in response to Freedom of Information requests.
For the country’s biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, foreign-national arrests more than doubled. Scotland Yard recorded 24,264 in 2008, but last year the total reached 58,870.
Critics blame surging migration for placing a huge burden on forces, which are already facing cuts. Peter Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: ‘I’m not surprised it’s so high because London is getting more diverse by the day.
‘It’s a problem when you get someone in who can’t speak English and we wait hours for an expensive interpreter to hear their side of the story. Even in trivial cases where you might be giving a caution, officers could be off the street for five or six hours.’
Kent Police saw arrests rise from 1,075 in 2006 to 4,119 last year. Surrey Police recorded arrests going up from 1,959 in 2006 to 2,079 last year.
For Cambridgeshire Constabulary, these types of arrests rose from 3,316 in 2008 to 4,803 in 2010. In 2007 it made just 1,850. Durham Constabulary saw arrests rise from 65 in 2006 to 474 last year.
The rise comes despite an overall fall in crime recorded during the past five years.
In January 2008, Mike Fuller, then chief constable of Kent, warned that his force was struggling with an ‘immigrant crimewave’. He said surges in migrant numbers had contributed to sharp increases in violent crime.
An Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman said: ‘The growing number of new communities has certainly brought greater complexity to the pattern of crime and have contributed to already stretched resources.’
Hugh Robertson, Conservative MP for Mid Kent, said: ‘These figures are deeply concerning. Immigration is a key issue that many people in my constituency speak to me about and it’s a very emotive subject. It may be that the rise in arrests is linked to the mass increase in immigration but it’s hard to say for sure.’
Official figures show 5,235 foreign national prisoners were deported last year. Nearly one in seven of the 85,000 inmates in England and Wales was born overseas.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘When people commit a crime they should feel the full force of the law regardless of their nationality. We are committed to removing foreign law breakers from the UK.’
Pathetic! British PM says Britain caused many of the world’s problems
It’s bad enough for a Leftist leader like Obama to be disrespecting his own country but to have an alleged Conservative do it…!
Britain is responsible for many of the world’s historic problems, including the conflict in Kashmir between India and Pakistan, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister appeared to distance himself from the imperial past when he suggested that Britain was to blame for decades of tension and several wars over the disputed territory, as well as other global conflicts.
His remarks came on a visit to Pakistan, when he was asked how Britain could help to end the row over Kashmir. He insisted that it was not his place to intervene in the dispute, saying: “I don’t want to try to insert Britain in some leading role where, as with so many of the world’s problems, we are responsible for the issue in the first place.”
His remarks about Kashmir were greeted warmly by the audience of Pakistani students and academics, but drew accusations from historians that the Prime Minister was wrongly apologising for Britain’s past.
Daisy Cooper, the director of the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit, said: “This is typical of the UK’s schizophrenic relationship with former colonies where it is both proud and embarrassed about its past. The Coalition has said that it has big ambitions for a modern Commonwealth and the UK should stop being embarrassed about its colonial past and they should work with other countries to help improve their human rights.”
Tristram Hunt, the Labour MP, historian and former television presenter, said: “To say that Britain is a cause of many of the world’s ills is naïve. To look back 50-odd years for the problems facing many post-colonial nations adds little to the understanding of the problems they face. “David Cameron has a tendency to go to countries around the world and tell them what they want to hear, whether it is in Israel, Turkey, India and Pakistan.”
Mr Cameron’s apparent willingness to accept historic responsibility for the Kashmir dispute has echoes of public apologies issued by his Labour predecessors. In 1997, Tony Blair apologised to the Irish people for the famine the country suffered in the mid-19th century. And in 2006, he spoke of his “deep sorrow” at Britain’s historic role in the African slave trade. In 2009, Gordon Brown issued a formal Government apology to tens of thousands of British children shipped to Australia and other Commonwealth countries between the 1920s and 1960s.
In the same year, Mr Cameron said that Britain should do more to celebrate its history, writing: “We must never forget that Britain is a great country with a history we can be truly proud of. Our culture, language and inventiveness has shaped the modern world.”
Sean Gabb, of the campaign group Libertarian Alliance, said Mr Cameron should not apologise for Britain’s past. He said: “It’s a valid historical point that some problems stem from British foreign policy in the 19th and 20th centuries, but should we feel guilty about that? I fail to see why we should.
“Some of these problems came about because these countries decided they did not want to be part of the British Empire. They wanted independence. They got it. They should sort out their problems instead of looking to us.”
Mr Cameron’s remark is striking because he has previously spoken of his pride in Britain’s past and named Viscount Palmerston as one of his historical inspirations. As foreign secretary and later prime minister in the mid-19th century, Palmerston was popular for his brazenly interventionist foreign policy, an approach that later became known as “gunboat diplomacy”.
Mr Cameron was in Pakistan to make amends for any offence he caused last year by accusing the country of “exporting” terrorism.
Kashmir has been contested since 1947 when India was partitioned. The original borders were drawn up by Viscount Radcliffe, a law lord who became chairman of the two boundary committees set up with the passing of the Indian Independence Act. He submitted his partition in August 1947 and the two nations were created.
While some historians say that makes Britain responsible for the dispute, others point to Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir in 1947. Despite an expectation that Muslim areas of the subcontinent would become part of Pakistan, he decided that Muslim-majority Kashmir should be part of India.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars over Kashmir since partition, and the dispute continues to strain their relationship. On a visit to India last year, Mr Cameron was criticised when he said Britain should approach its former imperial possession “in a spirit of humility”.
As well as Kashmir, some historians say Britain bears historic responsibility for other international disputes. Many trace the Israel-Palestine dispute back to Britain’s decision in 1917 to establish a “national home for the Jewish people” in the territory then known as Palestine.
The borders of many Middle Eastern states were also drawn by Britain. The badly-defined and highly unstable border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan was also largely defined by Britain in the late 19th century.
Britain may have a Tory PM – but Lefties and luvvies still run the place
Over at Ofcom it is shrug-your-shoulders time. The broadcasting regulator had shown leniency to ‘edgy’ comedian Frankie Boyle after he made jibes about a disabled child — letting him off with no more than a rap on the knuckles.
Boyle’s remarks were made on Channel 4, another public body. Chairman David Abraham and the channel’s liberal supremos were similarly disinclined to take the matter too gravely.
In the House of Commons the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, was asked about the soppingly wet commission which will consider a Bill of Rights. It includes Leftist lawyers Anthony Lester, Helena Kennedy and Philippe Sands. Mr Clegg wafted aside concerns from Tory MP Esther McVey that the commission might not ‘reflect the will of the British public’.
Over on Twitter, meanwhile, millionaire actor and Labour supporter Eddie Izzard was regaling his faithful munchkins with his latest political apercus, attacking the Government’s cuts. What a tangled web!
This is not about Frankie Boyle, horrible though he sounds. Nor is it a beef about Ofcom, Channel 4 or Nick Clegg, richly though they may all deserve criticism.
I hope simply to draw attention to a lesson from these unrelated events. They all show the way that our politics is increasingly being influenced by unelected voices from the Left.
The country may have booted Labour out of power at the last general election, but the bien-pensant liberals remain very much in control. Though they liked to consider themselves ‘alternative’, they are in fact the Establishment, as set in their ways and as intolerant as the tailcoated elders of the Victorian age.
In the middle of the last century, public life in Britain was dominated by elected representatives. Ministers, chosen from the House of Commons, made most of the decisions. Royal commissions were rare. Procrastinating ‘consultation exercises’ were few and certainly not subject to the myriad equality audits and minority-balance assessments which today’s civil servants demand.
It is in such discussions that democratically elected politicians have their will emasculated.
Today’s politics, partly thanks to over-regulation and the deadly grip of lawyers, partly thanks to the timidity of so many MPs, is more about quangocrats and cronies — many of them still, sadly, Tony Blair’s.
We may think ourselves to be a modern, democratic land, but our public life is very much the plaything of the rich and famous, friends of the powerful, popular pin-ups.
It is about ‘celebrities’ seeking to establish themselves as concerned citizens. It is about an interfering, pro-public spending ‘third sector’ and former Blairites who still need to earn a few bob and therefore seek a perch on the public cliff-face.
Think of Blair’s ex-bag carrier Sally Morgan — his director of government relations — who has just, staggeringly, depressingly, been put in charge of Ofsted, the schools standards watchdog.
Think of Alan Milburn — the Health Secretary who resigned to spend more time with his family — being made the state’s independent authority on social mobility. Milburn! What a chancer he was as a minister.
In a few weeks’ time we will vote in a referendum on electoral reform which could alter Parliament for good. Given the effect that this referendum could have on our elected politics, you might have expected MPs to hurl themselves into the debate. But no.
The Yes To AV referendum campaign has been dominated by showbusiness personalities. Stephen Fry has been involved. Isn’t he always? So have Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick in TV’s Blackadder, Oscar winner Colin Firth, militant atheist Richard Dawkins (ugh) and dreadlocked poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
Poor old Zephaniah was dropped from some of the campaign’s leaflets in the Southern counties, though. Perhaps it was felt he was a bit black.
We had more of the same, unelected stuff when the No To AV campaign held its dismal little launch. On the stage sat Lord Winston, that telly scientist with the Groucho Marx moustache. ‘I am not a politician,’ he boasted (falsely, because he is a Labour peer and therefore a member of Parliament). Anything but an elected tribune, that was the mantra.
Hang on. Are politicians not voted in by us? Do we not choose them to represent us and to be accountable? How can an inadequate ‘star’ such as the impeccably Left-wing novelist Zadie Smith be held up to scrutiny when she appears on BBC Radio to rail against library closures? Other ‘names’ opposing changes to public libraries have included fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, actress Dame Judi Dench and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Perhaps the Archbish’ was determined not to be outdone by atheist Philip Pullman, who has long made it his business to spout forth about public funding of libraries. The naughty thought enters my head that Mr Pullman’s books must do quite good business at libraries, but I am sure it would be quite wrong to suggest that he is supporting libraries purely for personal financial gain.
Arts Council cutbacks last week were another example of vicious cultural politics, conducted almost entirely away from Westminster and to the favour of the Left. The shenanigans involved the Council’s chairman, Dame Liz Forgan (who chairs the trust which runs the Guardian newspaper), and a slew of Left-wing luvvies, all united in a common belief that they have a God-given right to spend and waste taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
Actor Sam West, whose mother Prunella Scales (of Fawlty Towers fame) appears in Labour Party adverts, was leading the pack, making daft accusations that the Tories actually enjoyed cutting the arts. If a politician made that sort of ludicrous claim we could vote him or her out of office. When the likes of West do it, we are pretty much powerless to take issue with him.
On the same day, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s director, Michael Boyd, went on the BBC to compare the Daily Mail to the Soviet Union’s propaganda sheet Pravda. Why? Because we had argued that the country, regrettably, had no option but to reduce national debt. If anyone was behaving like a hardline communist, it was Mr Boyd and his cadre of subsidised, bourgeois privilege.
The unelected Leftist Establishment confronting the Cameron Government at present is a daunting edifice. It ranges from the new Supreme Court, serial naysayers to the elected Commons (the judges seem much keener on Europe), to essentially frivolous figures such as Shilpa Shetty, a Bollywood actress who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother. She demanded continued spending on the BBC’s Asian Network, even though it costs many millions of pounds. Is she not rich enough to fund it herself?
No discussion of pay is allowed to pass on the public airwaves without a contribution from Left-wing journalist Will Hutton. Scintillating he is not. Yet he is Left-wing, so on he goes. No debate about murdering despots passes without a contribution from the ultimate luvvie lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson QC.
Analysis of the health service is bent towards the views of The King’s Fund, allegedly independent but distinctly big-state in its views. The pink-tinged Institute For Public Policy Research think-tank has an unhealthy influence over Whitehall pensions policy.
And so it continues. The Left has been discredited at the ballot box, but its remit continues through unelected channels.
There are big guns such as the Local Government Association which opposes the cuts, and the Equality And Human Rights Commission, which uses public money to prosecute Christian hoteliers for refusing to rent rooms to gay couples.
And there are smaller fry such as athletes Denise Lewis and Dame Kelly Holmes, who opposed reductions in the tax money spent on school sport. Cyclist Jason Queally wrote to the Prime Minister ‘seeking an urgent meeting and demanding a rethink’ on that policy.
In an ideal world, Downing Street would ignore this carping chorus. In a Britain gripped by celebrity worship and run by headline-seeking politicians, unfortunately, they are listened to and allowed to set the agenda.
So far, David Cameron has appeased these people. Maybe he feels comfortable in their presence. Socially, he is ‘one of them’. They dress like him, eat the same sort of food, speak the same language, go to the same holiday destinations. Politically, however, they are a mortal danger, not only to the Government (which they hate), but also to our continued sovereign power.
If Britain is going to conquer the peril of its national debt and become competitive in the 21st century it is going to have to shake off this sly, unelected and deeply unrepresentative elite, and the sooner the better.
Save the planet by having fewer babies, says BBC presenter
The old Zero Population Growth nonsense lives on
BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham has warned the only way to protect the future of the planet is to curb population growth. The Springwatch presenter suggested offering Britons tax breaks to encourage them to have smaller families. He effectively endorsed China’s controversial one-child policy, which sees couples who adhere to the rule given a lump sum on retirement.
But he stopped short of suggesting people should be penalised for having too many children.
Packham, 49, who has no children of his own, told Radio Times: `By 2020, there are going to be 70million people in Britain. Let’s face it, that’s too many.’ He added: `There’s no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we’re not addressing the one single factor that’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other – namely the ever-increasing size of the world’s population.’
Packham suggested offering couples a financial incentive as `a carrot’ to persuade them to have fewer – or no – children. He said: `I would offer them tax breaks for having small families: say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.
`I question the way, for example, people have two children with one partner, then split up and have two with their next partner, just to even up the score. Fact is, we all eat food, breathe air and require space, and the more of us there are, the less of those commodities there are for other people and, of course, for the animals.’
Although Packham does not have children of his own, he is helping an ex-girlfriend raise her 16-year-old daughter. He said: `I consider it one of the great privileges of my life to play a part in her upbringing, and would happily throw myself in front of a train to protect her. `It doesn’t bother me one bit that she doesn’t share my genes. `In fact, I do not now (have) – and never have had – any desire whatsoever to reproduce myself.’
Experts have predicted that the British population – which is currently around 62million – will increase to 70million by 2029. A report by the sustainable development group Forum For The Future said Britain would struggle to handle such growth. The increase in population would be `catastrophic’ and put unsustainable pressure on housing, schools and hospitals as well as natural resources. Current trends will see a city the size of Bristol added to the population of the UK every year for the next two decades.
Packham, who presents new BBC2 show The Animal’s Guide To British Wildlife, was also critical of the nation’s reliance on cheap supermarket produce and fast food. `The public expect cheap food as a right, and we aren’t prepared to pay the prices farmers need in order to provide quality food. `We should insist on buying locally grown food and be prepared to pay for it.
`As for the hard-pressed mum who says she’s not got the time or money, I’m sorry, but making her children good, nutritious food should be her priority. `Everyone knows we’ve got the most obese kids in the world. `Besides which, giving them fast food actually works out more expensive than cooking them a proper meal.’
British school on the verge of a breakdown: Teachers set to walk out over pupil misbehaviour
Teachers at a struggling secondary school will stage a walk-out tomorrow in protest at a wave of verbal and physical assaults from pupils. Staff at Darwen Vale High School voted overwhelmingly to go on strike in protest at the lack of support they say they have received from senior management.
The threat came the day after Education Secretary Michael Gove announced a ‘back to basics’ crackdown on bad behaviour which he said was rife in too many schools.
Yesterday parents told how children at Darwen Vale in Blackburn, Lancashire, had been staging a low-level rebellion, challenging teachers to fights, pushing and shoving them and constantly swearing.
Problems are thought to have begun after the school moved to temporary premises during a £22million rebuild under Labour’s now discredited Building Schools for the Future programme.
Some teachers have allegedly been the subject of malicious allegations by pupils trying to get them suspended, while teenagers have been filming lessons on their mobile phones and threatening to post the footage on the internet.
As a result, lessons are expected to be cancelled tomorrow for all 1,150 pupils as staff form a picket line outside the school’s temporary premises. In a ballot, 95 per cent of the school’s 31 National Union of Teachers members voted in favour of the strike. Two thirds of the 29 members of the National Association of Schoolteachers/Union of Women Teachers also voted to walk out.
Parents said teachers had been complaining of a dramatic deterioration in behaviour and lack of respect since the school moved to near a former council estate. One father said: ‘It’s not the best school and there are a lot of badly behaved pupils. I’m not surprised the teachers are striking – I wouldn’t want their job.’
NAS/UWT Lancashire representative John Girdley said: ‘We sincerely hope that changes can be implemented as a matter of urgency in order to allow the staff of the school to continue to deliver the high standard of education which our pupils deserve.’
But Darwen Vale head teacher Hilary Torpey said the problem had been vastly exaggerated. In a letter to parents, she wrote: ‘It is unfortunate that matters that were being dealt with by the school about appropriate behaviour and ways of managing it have been made public in this way and blown out of all proportion.’
She said the school, which had a ‘good’ pupil behaviour rating following an Ofsted inspection in June, had been revisited by auditors following the claims and they had again been ‘highly complimentary’.
The behaviour at Darwen Vale has a long way to go before it reaches the depths of violence and anarchy that blighted what was dubbed Britain’s worst school.
The Ridings in Halifax gained notoriety in the 1990s amid shocking accounts including a 14-year-old boy fondling a French teacher’s breasts in front of a class. In 1996, teachers voted to strike unless 61 pupils were expelled. Two ‘superheads’ were appointed and they mollified staff by expelling 12 students and suspending 21. By 1998, Ofsted inspectors reported a ‘remarkable transformation’, but the school slipped back into chaos and was closed in 2007.
Dietary potassium intake prevents stroke (?)
These meta-analyses are only as good as the data input and, given past inconsistent results, just averaging the results is pretty brainless. One needs to look at the comparative quality of the studies to arrive at an intelligent conclusion. What would an average of 5 poor studies and one good study tell you?
Eating three bananas cuts your risk of a stroke, scientists say. A banana for breakfast, one for lunch and one in the evening would provide enough potassium to reduce the chances of suffering a blood clot on the brain by around 21 per cent.
The findings, by British and Italian researchers, suggest thousands of strokes could be prevented by the consumption of other potassium-rich foods such as spinach, nuts, milk, fish and lentils.
Although some previous studies have suggested bananas could be important for controlling blood pressure and preventing strokes, results have not always been consistent.
In the latest research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, scientists analysed data from eleven different studies – dating back to the mid-Sixties – and pooled the results to get an overall outcome.
They found a daily potassium intake of around 1,600 milligrammes, less than half the UK recommended daily amount for an adult of 3,500mg, was enough to lower stroke risk by more than a fifth.
The average banana contains around 500 milligrammes of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure and controls the balance of fluids in the body. Too little potassium can lead to an irregular heartbeat, irritability, nausea and diarrhoea.
Researchers from the University of Warwick and the University of Naples said potassium intake in most countries is well below the recommended daily amount. But if consumers ate more potassium-rich foods and also reduced their salt intake, the annual global death toll from strokes could be cut by more than a million a year. Researchers said in their report: ‘It would translate into a reduction of as many as 1,155,000 stroke deaths a year on a worldwide scale.’
Strokes, which are usually caused when a clot forms and blocks the blood supply to the brain, kill around 200 people every day in the UK. Many more are left disabled and in danger of a second or even third attack which could kill them. Treating and looking after the 100,000 people affected by strokes each year in the UK costs the NHS an estimated £2.3 billion. Only cancer and heart disease kill more people.
A spokesman for the Stroke Association said: ‘This research suggests eating lots of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, dates and spinach, could reduce your risk of having a stroke. ‘High blood pressure is the single biggest risk factor for stroke and past research has indicated that potassium could help to lower blood pressure. ‘This could go some way to explain the positive effects of potassium demonstrated in this study.’