Must not offend against the NHS pro-abortion religion
No room for a balanced view
A Christian mental health worker has been sacked after passing colleagues a booklet warning of the physical and psychological damage some women suffer after an abortion.
Margaret Forrester discussed the booklet with family planning staff at the health centre where she worked because she felt that the NHS was failing to give patients information about the risks and other options to terminating a pregnancy.
But after a six-month disciplinary process, during which Ms Forrester had to fight her own case and became ill, she was found guilty of “gross professional misconduct” and fired.
She has spoken out over the “scandal” of the pro-abortion culture in the medical profession and claimed that Christians were “an easy target” for “politically correct” bureaucrats in the NHS.
“The NHS has a pro-abortion stance which comes from a secular religion. It is a belief system which is aggressively anti-Christian,” she said.
Ms Forrester’s difficulties began on Nov 2 last year, when she had an informal conversation with a colleague in her role as a psychological wellbeing practitioner in Westminster, central London.
The 40 year-old, from Battersea, south London, was worried that women seeking medical advice for a “crisis pregnancy” were routinely offered abortions without consideration of other options, and with no meaningful discussion of the risks.
“Women would be coming in crisis — anxious, depressed, alone,” Ms Forrester said. “As an example of the patients I was concerned about, I showed my colleague a copy of a pamphlet called Forsaken, which details five true stories of women who had an abortion, were traumatised and were not informed of the potential consequences or alternatives.”
But a week later, after her managers found out, Ms Forrester was suspended from her duties at Central North West London Mental Health Trust. Last month, after a series of lengthy hearings and an unsuccessful appeal, she was sacked.
“There is a conspiracy of silence in this country on the issue of abortion,” she said. “If we are professionals, we really must listen to patient experiences.”
There is no room in the “dysfunctional” NHS even for a conversation between colleagues that respects a traditional Christian viewpoint, said Ms Forrester, a Roman Catholic. “Christians are an easy target. There are frankly so few of us who are trying to practise our Christian faith that we become a minority.”
The ultimate reason for her dismissal was her refusal to work in a new role in a different mental health team, to which she was transferred as a disciplinary measure.
Blessed are the Spongers? That’s not what St Paul said, Archbishop
Why is it so bad to draw a line between the deserving and the undeserving poor? I have searched the Sermon on the Mount for the words ‘Blessed are the Spongers’ and I cannot find them – or anything remotely like them. So why does the Archbishop of Canterbury speak as if it was obvious that we should treat people who can work, but won’t, in the same way as we treat those who are truly in need?
As Dr Williams has decided to take up political commentating, I think I shall do a little bit of Archbishoping. Here beginneth the first lesson: In St Paul’s first epistle to Timothy, Chapter 5, we read: ‘If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’
And in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, St Paul rubs it in, in that way he has: ‘This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’
This seems pretty clear to me, and a dozen generations before my own knew these words by heart and lived according to them. They gave to charity and supported the helpless and needy with all their might.
But they scorned those who sought to live off others when they had no need to. Our Welfare State took much the same line until Harold Wilson ‘reformed’ it in the Sixties.
I don’t mind bishops intervening in our national life. That’s what they are for. I like having them in the House of Lords to remind us of the foundations on which our country stands. But they are not there to act as reinforcements for the Liberal Democrats. They are there to remind us that we are at heart a Christian nation and people.
They should stand up for lifelong marriage, denounce the lax treatment of wrongdoers and the neglect of their victims, condemn public drunkenness, defend unborn babies against those who wish to kill them, stand in the way of stupid and unjust wars, and of selfish cruelty of all kinds. But they really have to get out of their heads the idea that the Welfare State must be unconditionally defended.
For it is the hard-working poor who pay for it, and who see their near neighbours living lives of shameless idleness on their money. And they also watch criminals profiting by their crimes, and getting away with it.
If the parsons, pastors, priests and bishops of this country took the side of the poor against these parasites, instead of acting as their spokesmen, they might find their churches filling up again. But as long as they talk like the TUC, they will stay at the fringe of our national life.
British police ‘covered up’ violent campaign to turn London area ‘Islamic’
Police have been accused of “covering up” a campaign of abuse, threats and violence aimed at “Islamicising” an area of London.
Victims say that officers in the borough of Tower Hamlets have ignored or downplayed outbreaks of hate crime, and suppressed evidence implicating Muslims in them, because they fear being accused of racism.
The claims come as four Tower Hamlets Muslims were jailed for at least 19 years for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls.
The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered more than a dozen other cases in Tower Hamlets where both Muslims and non-Muslims have been threatened or beaten for behaviour deemed to breach fundamentalist “Islamic norms.”
One victim, Mohammed Monzur Rahman, said he was left partially blind and with a dislocated shoulder after being attacked by a mob in Cannon Street Road, Shadwell, for smoking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last year.
“Two guys stopped me in the street and asked me why I was smoking,” he said. “I just carried on, and before I knew another dozen guys came and jumped me. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in hospital.”
“He reported it to the police and they just said they couldn’t track anyone down and there were no witnesses,” said Ansar Ahmed Ullah, a local anti-extremism campaigner who has advised Mr Rahman. “But there is CCTV in that street and it is lined with shops and people.”
Teachers in several local schools have told The Sunday Telegraph that they feel “under pressure” from local Muslim extremists, who have mounted campaigns through both parents and pupils – and, in one case, through another teacher – to enforce the compulsory wearing of the veil for Muslim girls. “It was totally orchestrated,” said one teacher. “The atmosphere became extremely unpleasant for a while, with constant verbal aggression from both the children and some parents against the head over this issue.”
One teacher at the Bigland Green primary school, Nicholas Kafouris, last year took the council to an employment tribunal, saying he was forced out of his job for complaining that Muslim pupils were engaging in racist and anti-Semitic bullying and saying they supported terrorism. Mr Kafouris lost his case, though the school did admit that insufficient action had been taken against the behaviour of some pupils. The number of assaults on teachers in Tower Hamlets resulting in exclusions has more than doubled from 190 in 2007/8 to 383 in 2008/9, the latest available year, though not all are necessarily race-related.
Tower Hamlets’ gay community has become a particular target of extremists. Homophobic crimes in the borough have risen by 80 per cent since 2007/8, and by 21 per cent over the last year, a period when there was a slight drop in London as a whole.
Last year, a mob of 30 young Muslims stormed a local gay pub, the George and Dragon, beating and abusing patrons. Many customers of the pub told The Sunday Telegraph that they have been attacked and harassed by local Muslim youths. In 2008 a 20-year-old student, Oli Hemsley, was left permanently paralysed after an attack by a group of young Muslims outside the pub. Only one of his assailants has been caught and jailed.
Even during meetings of the local council, prominent supporters of Tower Hamlets’ controversial directly-elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman – dropped by the Labour Party for his links to Islamic fundamentalism – have persistently targeted gay councillors with homophobic abuse and intimidation from the public gallery.
The Labour leader, Josh Peck, was attacked with animal noises and cries of “Unnatural acts! Unnatural acts!” when he rose to speak. The Conservative leader, Peter Golds, was repeatedly heckled as “Mrs Golds” and a “poofter”.
Mr Golds said: “If that happened in a football stadium, arrests would have taken place. I have complained, twice, to the police, and have heard nothing. A Labour colleague waited three hours at the police station before being told that nothing would be done. The police are afraid of being accused of Islamophobia. Another Labour councillor said that the Met is now the reverse of what it must have been like in the 1970s, with a complete lack of interest when white people make complaints of harassment and hatred.”
In February this year, dozens of stickers appeared across Tower Hamlets quoting the Koran, declaring the borough a “gay-free zone” and stating that “verily Allah is severe in punishment.”
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that during a routine stop-and-search at the time police found a young Muslim man with a number of the stickers in his possession. He was released without charge on the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service. Police also had CCTV images of a second unidentified Muslim youth posting the stickers at a local railway station, but refused to release the pictures for several weeks.
Peter Tatchell, the gay human rights campaigner, said: “The police said no-one was allowed to talk publicly about this because they didn’t want to upset the Muslim community. We’ve made very clear the difference between the Muslim community as a whole and these particular fundamentalists, and the fact that the police wouldn’t publicly say what they knew was an absolute disgrace.”
When the CCTV footage was finally released, in early April, the culprit was quickly identified as 18-year-old Mohammed Hasnath, who last week pleaded guilty to a public order offence and was fined £100. Jack Gilbert, of the Rainbow Hamlets gay group, said a more serious charge should have been brought. “The vast majority of the community saw the material as threatening, but the police were not willing to accept it as threatening,” he said.
Hasnath’s “interests” on his Facebook page include Khalid Yasin, a hate preacher who describes Jews as “filth” and teaches that homosexuals must be killed. Yasin has spoken at least four times since 2007 at the East London Mosque, Tower Hamlets’ most prominent Muslim institution. Although the mosque claims to be against extremism, discrimination, and violence, it has hosted dozens of hate, extremist or terrorist preachers and also hosted a “Spot The Fag” contest.
In the same week that it issued a press release condemning the anti-gay stickers, the mosque was also due to host a “gala dinner” with Uthman Lateef, a homophobic hate preacher.
The mosque is controlled by a fundamentalist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe, which says that it is dedicated to changing the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed … from ignorance to Islam.”
The IFE’s community affairs co-ordinator, Azad Ali, is chairman of the Muslim Safety Forum, an organisation officially recognised by the Met as its “principal [liaison] body in relation to Muslim community safety.” Mr Golds said: “This relationship may explain the police’s feebleness.” The IFE also has close links to the Tower Hamlets mayor, Mr Rahman.
There is no suggestion that any mosque official has been personally involved in any act of violence or intimidation. However, in an email obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, one IFE activist, Abu Talha, used the name of the group to threaten a local Muslim woman who ran a dating agency.
“I am asking you kindly to stop these activities as it goes against the teachings of Islam,” he wrote. “Let me remind you that I have a huge network of brothers and sisters who would be willing to help me take this further…If by tomorrow you haven’t changed your mind … then the campaign will begin.” The dating agency has now closed and the woman has left the area.
Mr Ahmed Ullah said: “There has been a gradual increase in these kinds of attacks, that’s for sure.” A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “When any allegation of crime is made to us, we investigate appropriately. We will always take action against hate crime in accordance with, and within the confines of, the law.”
Forever young: The pill that will keep you youthful by preventing the ills of old age
If you are a mouse. Human growth hormone was once seen as such a drug but its side effects tended to make you die younger
A ‘forever young’ drug that allows people to grow old gracefully could be available in just ten years, a leading scientist said last night. Professor Linda Partridge, an expert in the genetics of ageing, said that the science is moving so quickly that it will soon be possible to prevent many of the ills of old age.
By taking a pill a day from middle-age, we will grow old free from illnesses of the body and mind such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease. People could work for longer – or simply make the most of their retirement. Some research even suggests skin and hair will retain its youthful lustre.
Professor Partridge, of University College London, said: ‘I would be surprised if there weren’t things within ten years. If told you could take a drug that has minimal side-effects and that’s going to keep you healthy for another five or ten years and then you’ll drop off your perch without disability, most people would want it.’
Extraordinary as the professor’s prediction may seem, it is based on a host of promising scientific studies from around the world. They have discovered key genes linked to longevity and health – and found ways of tinkering with them, at least in animals.
In one of the remarkable examples, a Harvard University doctor made old mice young again, in experiments that mirrored the plot of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, where the lead character played by Brad Pitt ages in reverse.
At the start of the experiment, the animals’ skin, brains, guts and other organs resembled those of an 80-year-old person.
Within just two months of being given a drug that switches on a key enzyme, the creatures had grown so many new cells that they had almost completely rejuvenated. Remarkably, the male mice went from being infertile to fathering large litters.
Other research has shown that chains of reactions in the body involving insulin and related hormones are key to health and ageing. This means that years of research into diabetes could have yielded medicines that can be reinvented as anti-ageing drugs.
Professor Partridge told the Cheltenham Science Festival that some medicines abandoned by drug companies may soon be dusted off and put to use. She said: ‘There are drugs there already, some of them are just sitting in cupboards. I’d be surprised if people don’t start taking them out. ‘The principle is for drugs that if taken from middle-age will ward off quite a broad array of diseases rather than doing things piece-meal or acting when the diseases appear.’
However, she said any drugs would have to be shown to be extremely safe before they were given to healthy people to combat ageing.
Glamorous historian seeks role at ‘new Oxford University’
Amanda Foreman, the glamorous historian, wants to lecture at A C Grayling’s proposed New College of the Humanities. A C Grayling’s plans for a private university to rival Oxford and Cambridge have received a glamorous boost.
Amanda Foreman, who once posed naked behind a pile of books, tells Mandrake that she wants to lecture at the London-based New College of the Humanities.
“If they asked me, then I’d love to do it,” the historian says at The Oldie literary luncheon at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, in London. “Since I’ve had baskets of babies, I haven’t had time for lecturing.”
Foreman, 42, whose book Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire was turned into a film starring Keira Knightley, has five children, but has squeezed in some lecturing. “I did a talk in New York with William Shawcross that raised something like half a million dollars,” she says.
Prof Grayling’s plans for the New College of the Humanities, which will charge fees of £18,000 per year, have provoked such hostility that the philosopher was forced to abandon a talk after a smoke bomb was thrown.
“Obviously, it’s expensive, but I’ve heard that they’re going to fund-raise for it, like they do at private universities in the States,” says Foreman, pictured right. “If they don’t offer bursaries, people won’t go. There aren’t enough rich and clever people out there.”
She supports the rise in fees at other universities. “There was a lot of crap being taught before, like David Beckham studies, Mickey Mouse courses,” she claims. “Hopefully, the rise in fees will stop that kind of course.”
Two British primary school teachers face sack after children serve Irish coffee – even though only one parent complained
Two teachers are facing the sack for allowing pupils to serve Irish coffee to adults at a primary school charity event – even though just one parent complained.
Acting headteacher Steven Raby and a colleague are being investigated for alleged ‘gross misconduct’ after the nine and 10-year-olds sold the whiskey-laced drink to parents.
None of the children was allowed to try the coffee and they were supervised by staff at St Bridget’s Primary School in Warrington, Cheshire.
Warrington Council is investigating St Bridget’s School headteacher Steven Raby and a colleague for ‘gross misconduct’
Warrington Council is investigating St Bridget’s School headteacher Steven Raby and a colleague for ‘gross misconduct’
But Mr Raby and his colleague now stand accused of ‘using children to sell alcohol on unlicensed premises’.
Joanne Prinsep, who has two sons at the school, said: ‘Hardly anyone even had the Irish coffee. It’s completely ridiculous.’
Pinaki Ghoshal, assistant director of children and young people’s services at Warrington Borough Council, said: ‘We are conducting an internal investigation into this matter following a complaint from a parent.
‘Until this is concluded, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.’
Dambusters dog to be renamed Digger for remake of iconic film… because N-word might offend Americans
“The Dambusters dog N****r will be renamed Digger for a modern remake of the iconic film to avoid offending American viewers, it has emerged.
Script writer Stephen Fry, 53, has confirmed that pilot Guy Gibson’s faithful black Labrador will be renamed for the forthcoming Peter Jackson movie.
In the original 1955 film Gibson’s dog’s name was spoken 12 times as a code word to report successful dam breaches to RAF Bomber Command.
‘In the film, you’re constantly hearing ‘n-word, n-word, n-word, hurray’ and Barnes Wallis is punching the air. ‘But obviously that’s not going to happen now. So Digger seems okay, I reckon.’
The iconic 1955 film tells the story of British Second World War scientists who developed a bouncing bomb as a means of attacking Germany’s dams.
Mervyn Hallam, curator of RAF Scampton museum, today slammed the change and accused Fry of trying to ‘rewrite history’.