British anti-cancer pill keeping terrorist alive but not available in Britain
Abiraterone acetate, the life-extending cancer pill keeping the Lockerbie bomber alive, has been hugely successful in drugs trials but is not available to patients on the NHS
A medic in Tripoli confirmed that Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi was receiving Abiraterone, the expensive hormone-based therapy drug which can extend the life of late-stage cancer patients by several months.
Despite being developed by British scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, and tested at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, it has not been approved for use on the NHS.
The man convicted of the aeroplane bombing which killed 270 people over Lockerbie in 1988 was given three months to live when released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds – but is still alive on the eve of his second year of freedom.
In recent US trials it was found to add two to five months to the lifespan of late-stage cancer sufferers, who have an average survival span of a year and a half. Another study of 21 men found the drug shrank the painful tumours of 80 per cent of patients. Trials are underway to find if the drug is effective on breast cancer patients.
Consultant urologist Professor Roger Kirby, founder and director of The Prostate Centre in London, believes that abiraterone is likely to be responsible for Al-Megrahi’s prolonged life.
“In clinical trials abiraterone was proven to prolong lifespan by almost a third for late-stage cancer patients. Mr Al-Megrahi will have some of the best therapists and medical healthcare at his disposal so he will almost certainly be using this drug alongside other advanced treatment options,” he said.
“He has long outlived the speculative three-month prognosis, and it appears he may continue to do so for a while yet. I strongly suspect that this drug has been central to that.”
Abiraterone is now set for review by the European Commission, after which it will subject to approval by the NICE, the body which decides which drugs the NHS should provide, according to their cost and effectiveness. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in April. Professor Kirby is now lobbying the European Commission to fast-track the drug.
“Abiraterone can provide a vital lifeline to men by shrinking tumours and improving the cancer symptoms. It is inconceivable to think that the European Commission would opt against its use in Europe. Put bluntly: it would deny prostate cancer sufferers a chance to extend their lives,” he said.
But even if it is approved it is feared the drug, to be marketed by Johnson and Johnson under the name Zytiga and costing around £3,000 a month, may be too costly for use on the NHS. [They’ve got an army of bureaucrats to feed first]
Warmists have contributed to the nihilism behind the British riots
Got kids? Watched as they’ve been indoctrinated – sorry, I mean educated – about global warming over the last decade? Then you’ll know what I mean. They come home from school moodily depressed about the future of our planet and, of course, what that means for their own lives. What’s the point? We’re all doomed! Why study? Why bother getting an education? It’s futile. Sea levels are rising. Temperatures are soaring. Soon we’ll all be living in a polluted hell-hole constantly battling the equivalent of the Queensland floods or the Victorian bushfires year upon year. And you want me to waste what precious time I have left studying accountancy?
It’s called nihilism, and it’s even more terrifying to witness in your teenage children than hickeys, drunkenness, truancy, insolence, idleness, bad marks or bullying. Nihilism, or the conviction that life on Earth is totally pointless, saps the young of their energy, their ambition, and their will to strive, struggle and triumph.
Any amateur psychologist (or even better, parent) will tell you how easy it is to demotivate a child. So as parents we go out of our way to imbue our children with a sense of self-worth and optimism. We try and tell them what a great life lies ahead of them.
Yet at the same time, our teachers and our politicians are determined to do the complete opposite. To convince an entire generation that life on Earth as we know it is, well… stuffed. There is no worthwhile future.
The Sex Pistols are famous for coining two phrases, other than “God Save The Queen”, which wasn’t strictly theirs. “Anarchy in the UK” and “No Future”. Unsurprisingly, the two go hand in hand. As in Australia, the UK education authorities have spent the last dozen years or so doing their utmost to persuade our kids that they have no future. No future for the planet, which equates to a very bleak future for themselves. Combined with an unrelenting culture of consumption and acquisition, the average child grows up believing a) life is shit and b) grab whatever you can whenever you get the chance. Combine that philosophy with a stimulative diet of violent computer games and a “bling” culture that prides overt materialism above all else and you get, um… Give me a moment while I figure it out.
Oh yeah! Got it! Anarchy. No respect for authority, an instant “thrill” addiction, no interest in long-term consequences, and a very real understanding that “the system” will never dare blame you for anything that you have done. Awesome, dude!
“We’re just getting our taxes back!” yelled one over-excited young woman as she happily looted a corner store the other night in full view of the TV cameras. “This was the best day ever!” yelled talented athlete and (now disqualified) Olympic ambassador Chelsea Ives after allegedly rampaging through Enfield smashing and stealing.
“Children now have the power over their parents, not the other way around,” said the father of another middle-class teenage looter. Every time he tries to criticise or correct his daughters behaviour, she has been taught to loudly accuse him or either verbal or physical abuse.
Clearly, today’s “rioters” aren’t actually interested in changing the world with catchy slogans and idealistic sentiments. They’re far too busy helping themselves to shoes, clothes, electronic goods, alcohol, chips and cash.
Only a few weeks ago, Pink Floyd offspring Charlie Gilmour was sentenced to 16 months for his role in the “student riots” of last year. “We’re very, very angry!” he proclaimed, smashing his way into Oxford Street’s Top Shop, presumably grabbing the opportunity to get some new clothes. “You broke the moral law, we are going to break all the laws,” he carried on, as he then set about attacking Prince Charles’s convoy and desecrating the Cenotaph.
All because of cuts to student fees? Um, his step-dad made one of the biggest selling albums of all time. I don’t think so. Nihilism is a pernicious, debilitating and self-fulfilling doctrine. In the UK, as here, the “authorities” have been preaching it relentlessly for the last decade. It comes at a price. Al Gore, I hope you watched the riots in a London as avidly as our kids were all forced to watch your breathless prophesies of global gloom, doom and destruction.
It’s not rising sea levels we have to worry about. It’s a rising tide of nihilism, thrill seeking and moral ambiguity.
Absurd English law-enforcement lies behind the riots
The most amazing thing about the reaction of English MPs to last week’s terrible violence was how surprised they were. For a country whose criminal law is invariably sympathetic to offenders, nearly always harsh on their victims, and unwilling to pay for adequate policing the surprise is that they were surprised.
Two stories hitting English papers during June and July provide a glimpse of current British law in action.
On June 23 around midnight a masked gang broke down the back door of a home in Salford, in northwestern England. The householder, 59, his son and the son’s girl friend called the police and tried to defend the home and themselves. They managed to stab one of the gang who died of his wounds. When the police arrived they arrested the householder, his son and the son’s girlfriend on suspicion of attempted murder.
On July 11, a headline in The Sun read “Shopkeeper, 72, nicked after `stabbing to death robber.’” Mr. Coley’s Manchester flower shop was closed and he was playing dominoes with a friend when two masked men armed with guns broke in. In the struggle that followed, Mr. Coley’s friend was injured but Coley managed to stab one robber, who later died, while the other fled wounded. The Manchester police are holding Mr. Coley for attempted murder.
Since at least 1953 the English government has insisted that citizens depend on the police for protection and not try to protect themselves. The Prevention of Crime Act of 1953 prohibited anyone carrying an article in a public place with the idea it could be used for protection if they were attacked. If discovered they are charged with carrying an offensive weapon.
Since 1964 self-defense has not been considered a good reason to keep a handgun, even if for those who lived in a remote area. Then in 1998 all handguns were banned. Toy or replica guns are also illegal. A man was arrested for holding two burglars with a toy gun while he contacted the police.
More recently knives with points have been made illegal. A list of prohibited weapons, possession of which carries a 10-year prison sentence, includes not only machine guns but chemical sprays and knives with a blade more than three inches long. An American tourist from Arizona who protected herself from attackers in the subway using her penknife was arrested for carrying an offensive weapon.
The government does not permit even someone who is unarmed from acting forcefully when attacked if his or her assailant is harmed in the process. If a citizen is attacked in the street he is to flee. If a citizen is attacked in his home he is not to injure the attacker beyond what a court later considers a reasonable use of force. If a citizen harms his assailant he will be accused of assault, or, as the cases cited above illustrate, murder or attempted murder should the attacker be killed.
Burglars can sue for damages and the police are careful to ensure they don’t get hurt. This past February the gardeners of Surrey were told they could not use wire mesh on the windows of their sheds because burglers might get hurt breaking in.
Tony Martin, an English farmer jailed for killing one burglar and wounding another with his shotgun during the seventh break-in of his home was denied parole because he would pose a threat to burglars. The career burglar he wounded was granted parole and sued Martin for his injuries. Worse, the burglar was given public funds to pursue his lawsuit.
While law-abiding citizens have been treated strictly offenders have not. Since the 1950s it is only under extraordinary circumstances that anyone under 18 is put in jail. Instead offenders are given a warning, a fine or community service. Since young offenders know they will not be incarcerated there is little to deter them from committing ever more bold crimes. One of those brought to court during the recent riots was an 18-year old who had been hauled before the courts 21 previous times but never jailed.
Sentences for adult criminals have been shortened and they routinely serve only half of these. In lieu of policemen on the beat the English have opted for surveillance cameras. These are much cheaper but all a potential offender needs to do is to wear a hood or mask to greatly diminish their value. English police now dealing with the riots boast they have 20,000 hours of footage.
Even offenders who have been apprehended tend to be let off with a caution or electronic bracelet. This saves money on prison but means they are back on the streets in short order. In 2009 70 percent of burglars the police managed to apprehend avoided prison.
The extent of the tolerance of criminality and refusal to allow law-abiding people to protect themselves has led to an atmosphere where gangs can operate with virtual impunity. The recent, widespread riots, apart from their scale, are not radically different from the violence that has been occurring for many years.
Let us hope the English politicians so surprised and angry at the lawlessness in their cities realize it is time for change, time to permit people to protect themselves and to bring some rigour into the punishment of offenders.
Attacking press freedom in the name of privacy
“Having made private conduct central to politics, it’s a bit rich for MPs now to slate the press for being obsessed with private peccadilloes.”
At the Edinburgh international Book Festival over the weekend, Sarah Brown, author of the Downing Street misery memoirs Behind the Black Door, had a veritable treat in store for her audience. A surprise guest. One can only imagine the anticipation before he made his appearance. And one can only imagine the deflation when he actually appeared, ex-prime minister Gordon Brown, the man with a rain cloud for a hat and a demeanour to darken even the most desolate of wakes.
But Brown is energised these days. He’s got a cause, a target. And he can see that finally, in light of the interminable phone-hacking furore, this target – the press – is on the defensive. Sunday was no different, as once again Brown rounded on journalists and their surfeit of freedom.
So when questioned by an audience member about the phone-hacking scandal, Brown renewed the attack he had made a few weeks ago in parliament. Then, his anger was matched by his rhetoric as he launched himself, figurative fists flying rather than clunking, into the ‘criminal media nexus’ of News International. He talked of the ‘wholly innocent’ men, women and children who had been treated as ‘public property’, and he described how ‘their private and inner most feelings and their private tears [were] bought and sold by News International for commercial gain’.
In Edinburgh on Sunday there was less rage in his attack, no doubt because he was attacking the press more broadly rather than just Rupert Murdoch’s outfit, but his target remained the same: the press’s relentless pursuit of people’s private lives, their willingness to rip an individual to shreds in the interest of a story. ‘In Britain’, Brown said, ‘what the press do if they want to really get at someone is try to challenge their motives and integrity, and try to suggest that they are not the person that they say they are… the way the press acts is that they try to doubt people’s motives and try to suggest we have a malign purpose, and they try to destroy people’s character.’ Brown proceeded to talk of the time when the Sun took photos of him praying at the 2007 Festival of Remembrance in the Albert Hall and claimed that he had fallen asleep during the sermon.
Specific anecdotes aside, Brown’s criticism is far from unfamiliar. In fact it echoes that of his New Labour frenemy Tony Blair, who in 2007, as outgoing prime minister, decided to criticise the ‘feral beast’ that the press had become, ‘just tearing people and reputations to bits’. In this reading, the press, especially its redtop contingency, is held responsible for nothing less than the degeneration of public life. In the words of a columnist at the respectable Guardian newspaper, the scandal-seeking, profit-driven tabloids have made ‘this a shallower, more selfish country’. Peter Wilby at the same paper prefers to talk of how the Sun et al have ‘coarsened British culture’.
If this narrative is to be believed, the press has not just coarsened and phwoarified British culture, reducing so-called watercooler discussion to celebrity and political sex scandals, but it has also degraded and trivialised our political and civic life. As Blair argued four years ago, the obsession with digging dirt, with seeing the venal motive in every public act, ‘saps the country’s confidence and self-belief’: ‘It undermines [society’s] assessment of itself, its institutions and above all, it reduces our capacity to take the right decisions, in the right spirit for our future.’ Where there was once trust, now just a corrosive cynicism prevails – and it is all down to the press.
This is not an accusation levelled solely against the redtops. The broadsheets’ increased interest in personality, character and scandal is equally as marked, something writ large in the diminution and sometimes absence of parliamentary reporting from their pages. Given that for most of the twentieth century, between 400 and 700 lines a day were dedicated just to reporting on parliamentary debates, the loss of interest (and lines) is notable (1). In a piece written in 2008 for the British Journalism Review, ex-BBC political editor John Cole wrote: ‘If you seek the reason parliament now stands so low in public esteem, do not look only at the quality of the speeches, which is doubtless as uneven as ever it was, but at the paucity of the coverage.’
The striking aspect of such criticism is that at some level it resonates. The horizons of public life do seem limited. And what has often passed for politics over the past couple of decades does seem increasingly, achingly trivial. Whether it’s current PM David Cameron snapped drinking champagne at, er, a Spectator champagne reception or, way back in 2002, his predecessor Tony Blair supposedly trying to get a prominent position at the Queen Mother’s funeral, the press seem obsessed with appearances, or rather with politicians failing to keep theirs up. Politics seems to have been sacrificed for a forensic examination of personality.
And yet there’s something that really sticks in the craw seeing the political class – helped by a commentariat which thinks itself above tawdry story-grubbing – come together to condemn the press for diminishing public life, slamming it for reducing public virtue to little more than a parade of private vice. And that is because politicians are not the victims of a personality-obsessed press that has grown craven in search of dwindling profits. Rather, those politicians played a key role in making a public and political virtue of private conduct.
In fact, New Labour’s success was as a party more or less born from this elevation of private and personal conduct into the lingua franca of political life. At the time of New Labour’s rise, during the mid-1990s, its promotion of its members’ general decency was no doubt viewed as a pragmatic step. New Labour was seen as simply capitalising on the rot at the heart of the then Conservative government, whose private failings were manifest in the libel and perjury trials of Tory minister Jonathan Aitken and the ‘cash for questions’ imbroglio of his colleague Neil Hamilton between 1994 and 1996. But New Labour did not just take advantage of its parliamentary rivals’ misfortunes. It made being ‘clean’, being of unblemished character, being privately virtuous, into its political cause.
Such was the political importance now being ascribed to the character of politicians that New Labour’s key 1997 manifesto pledge was to ‘clean up politics’ and ‘reform party funding to end sleaze’. In place of the ‘the totalising ideologies’ of yore, as Tony Blair described left and right in 1996, stood politicians themselves (2). Shorn of grand, overarching political vision, what was important was personal conduct, being seen to be morally upstanding.
The problem with this elevation of private conduct into a public virtue is that it made private misconduct supremely newsworthy. If your electoral ticket is based on appearing as white as Martin Bell’s famously white suit, then any journalist worth his salt will try to seek out the stains. The exposure of hypocrisy becomes the objective. New Labour discovered this in the subsequent 13 years of its rule. From the numerous party-funding scandals to ‘peerages for cash’ right up to the MPs’ expenses scandal of 2009, the cross-party obsession with appearing to be clean, with insisting upon being judged for what one is rather than what one stands for, drove the press to concentrate on what politicians are rather than what they stand for (if anything). And now, with the phone-hacking scandal tainting anyone it touches, even David Cameron, through his appointment of ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson, is having his private conduct scrutinised for, as Gordon Brown put it, ‘malign purpose’.
Yet rather than grasp the diminution and trivialisation of political life in terms of the diminution and trivialisation of politics, its political party-led reduction to character and private conduct, politicians, even fading ones like Brown, feel able to blame everything on the press. And worringly, given the current post-hackgate climate, few are taking Brown up on what looks and feels like an impending clampdown on press freedom.
It probably won’t seem like an assault on press freedom, of course. The talk will be of ‘raising journalistic standards’, of encouraging journalists to concentrate on the ‘public interest’, of becoming less ‘feral’. But take away the soft-soaping rhetoric and the curtailment of press freedom becomes clear: it is a demand that the press be respectable and pursue respectable stories. While stories about MPs’ expenses and ministers’ peccadilloes might not be edifying, better an unedifying but free press than a controlled one full of prescribed stories about how brilliant a carbon floor price is.
We should be philosophical about university
The heartburn Americans feel is over WHICH university or college their kid will get into. Everyone can get into something but what does the something deliver?
In Britain there is a real chance that the kid will get into no university at all, which is a very visible and upsetting failure for many families.
So how to deal with such upsets? I myself cannot help with personal insight as my son’s admission to the best university in the State was never in question. He completed a full university subject (in mathematics) during his final High School year and got good marks for it.
So I turn to two approaches by British writers that may help soothe upsets. The first below asks whether bloated modern universities still offer a practical benefit to youngsters and the second points to later success by those who have initially missed the boat
1). What is a university? There’s a discussion in one of A S Byatt’s Frederica novels on the subject. One of the characters gives a beautiful description of the aims of such institutions: in essence, there’s a clue in the word.
A university must be universal: open to support inquiries concerning human understanding of medicine, law, the sciences, mathematics, the humanities. Open, too, in that it should recruit anyone for study; anyone who has the ability to benefit both themselves and the subjects in which they wish to be immersed.
I had the great luck to attend such a place, the University of Glasgow. Remember your alma mater, shouted the dean as we took our degrees, and I always will; the time I spent there remains among the best in my life. You, the British taxpayer, paid me to study for a first degree in a subject I loved: I was allowed, by you, to sink into my discipline and learn how to swim through it. You then paid me to complete doctoral research in one abstruse area of that subject which I found technically fascinating. You never once asked me to prove that the research was “worthwhile”, either in terms of the nation’s GDP or my own future employability; or that, other than through academic aptitude, I deserved the funding.
Neither before nor since have I been so free to pursue inquiry into a topic solely because of the random coincidence that I had a vague talent for it. I don’t exaggerate: I will die grateful to the society that let me do that. There were around 10,000 students at Glasgow when I started in 1986 – hold on to that number.
These days, young people (and their parents) are less likely to ask the philosophical question we opened with. Not so much “What is a university?” as “How much will it cost me to go there?”, followed by (understandably) “How much money will I earn when I’ve got my degree?” These days, there are around 20,000 students at Glasgow: double the number in just over 20 years. There are two other universities in the rest of the city, one extra over the same period. Something has to give when “access” is expanded like this: the vast fees, the concerns over degree quality, the sad complaint (because of what it says about how we view the point of education) that some graduates don’t earn huge incomes.
I do understand that it’s right that people who benefit from a system, as I have, should be expected to pay towards it. But it’s equally undeniable that the path I had through life – bright boy from a good state school goes to a great university; flourishes – is less open to the less wealthy than it was to me in 1986. And yet, more children than ever want a degree.
My partner says something similar about his career. Keith is an electrician, which he became after four years’ apprenticeship in the Department of the Environment: one day a week in college learning theory, and four days a week learning his trade. He received his “deeds” after taking an examination which sounds remarkably like my finals. These days, most skilled trade isn’t managed directly by institutions such as the one which articled Keith. The work is outsourced to third-party contractors, and so there are fewer long-term practical apprenticeships; and the exam now consists of multiple choice questions, which can be taken by anyone, regardless of how much practical work they’ve done. As with the universities, it’s not wrong to worry about a diminution of quality. It’s as though we want more electricians, but we don’t want to pay for them.
Testing the theory, I wrote to a friend who is that living emblem of quality, a London cabbie. I asked Richard how the Knowledge worked and if he had any worries about the maintenance of standards. The good news is that he doesn’t think so – yet. But he does fear that as governance of the Knowledge has moved from the Public Carriage Office (“old-fashioned but effective”) to something called “Taxi & Private Hire” within Transport for London, then one day costs – and access issues – will lead TfL to lump cabbies in with private taxi drivers. We would have more London cabbies, but one of our most venerable institutions would be gone. (Are you reading, Boris?)
This morning a huge number of children, desperate to get into university, might not make it – because the institutions, expanded beyond recognition, still don’t have sufficient places for them. Do we want yet more, vast universities? Or should we wonder if all these children will benefit from attending, in either the intellectual or the financial sense? Compared with 1986 there are more (debt-ridden) graduates, more electricians, more cabbies. The question is: are they better? Or has the drive for volume caused the loss of something precious, something universal, in our training?
2). It’s the same every damn year. We are so busy totting up the A stars, that we forget about the flops with the D grades and less who’ve nothing to shout about. The newspapers are full of golden, jubilant boys and girls, whooping and crying as they rejoice in their brilliant results; hitting the road to adulthood like greyhounds after an electric hare. Forget the clogged-up clearing system, the desperate scrabble for a diminishing number of university and college places, the world is their oyster Rockefeller.
Good for them – and I mean it, although I’d argue for a legal limit on how many weeks their parents are permitted to bang on at dinner parties about their marvellous children. The mother who is doing her best to scoop Harry off the floor and dust him off into a semblance of employability can do without a running commentary on how Tabitha is getting on with her packing for Oxford.
There are two peaks in competitive parenting: When-will–he-walk? and the tougher, what’s-next-after-school? phase. Well, for those dealing with disappointment and despairing offspring, stay out of the game. The best way to get Harry et al back on track – and see some return on your investment in school fees and parenting time – is to boost their confidence so they can make something of their lives. First mantra: It really does not matter. No, it doesn’t. Somewhere inside that child is a seed of talent. School failed to help it germinate – that is the school’s failure, not yours or your child’s. Stick to this line. There are plenty who succeeded in the University of What Now?: Sir Michael Caine, David Beckham, Winston Churchill and John Major; Mary ”Queen of Shops’’ Portas; Richard Branson, Simon Cowell, and the Apprentice Master himself, Lord Sugar – all triumphed without a university or college education.
I remember a remark that radio presenter and screenwriter Danny Baker made on Desert Island Discs. A bright child growing up in London Docklands, he says he wasn’t tempted by grammar school. “If school made you clever, the Cabinet would be full of geniuses,” he said.
Even if you don’t believe it, pretend you do. My mother did. So abysmal were my results, so low my self-esteem, that I retreated into dead-end jobs with no prospects. But three years after leaving school, I began to read, read and read. I found ”it,’’ the thing I wanted (to do) when I was ready – and the chip fell from my shoulder.
So it will be for that boy or girl who now feels that all is lost. The truth is that flunking it will make an adult of your baby, faster than you can say tuition fees.
A baby’s first 1,000 days ‘determines their health prospects for life’
The article below suffers from a failure in calibration. Severe trauma or deprivation at any stage can obviously affect health. So why is the first 1,000 days picked out? If trauma in that period is particularly harmful, where is the evidence? In fact, the evidence is rather the other way. Brain damage and some other traumas are in fact best recovered from in the very young
You have encouraged them to eat their greens, battled to get them into the best school and sweated with them over their homework – all to give them the best start in life.
But your children’s prospects may have been determined long before all the hard work. A growing body of research suggests the first 1,000 days of a child’s life – the nine months in the womb and the first two years out of it – are vital to their long-term health.
That period can permanently affect everything from a child’s chances of developing diabetes or having a heart attack in old age, to their future weight and life expectancy.
The theory was developed after decades of research by Professor David Barker and his colleagues at Southampton University. They believe there are a series of critical stages in a child’s development. If conditions are not perfect at each step, problems can occur later.
Many of these danger points lie when the baby is still in the womb. Poor nutrition for a mother affects both the unborn baby’s weight and how well the placenta works, while smoking, stress, drugs and alcohol can also take their toll.
Professor Barker believes many health problems can be traced back to poor growth in the womb. He has shown that the lighter a baby is at birth, the higher its odds of heart disease in later life. On average, a baby weighing less than 5lb 7oz is twice as likely to die from a heart attack than one born at 9lb 7oz.
It is thought that when food is scarce in the womb, it is channelled to the fledgling brain, leaving the heart weakened. The seeds of diabetes may also be sown before birth, as the pancreatic cells which make insulin develop in the womb. Conditions in the uterus can also affect weight for years to come, studies suggest.
Professor Barker said many of these early effects are ‘set in stone’ and cannot be undone. He added that the key to health is ensuring women eat well throughout their lives.
He said: ‘It is about building a body that the baby can live off. The baby lives off the mother’s body – not what she snacks on during pregnancy. ‘What we are seeing is a window of opportunity where we can make better people.’
Must not call Britain’s rioting blacks ‘jungle bunnies’
“A Tory councillor has been suspended after he made racist remarks about rioters. Bob Frost, who is also a secondary school maths teacher, described those involved in disturbances last week as ‘jungle bunnies’ on his Facebook page.
The 49-year-old posted the insult, referring to the riots in London on August 7, less than 24 hours after trouble flared in Tottenham, north London
The remark was removed from his Facebook page after he received a phone call from another Conservative party member. Mr Frost then wrote on Facebook: ‘I have just had a phone call that accused me of racism for my above posting.
‘Looking at the dictionary it would appear that the term jungle bunnies is perjorative [sic] and is a racist slur relating to African-Americans. ‘Needless to say I did not mean to use any offensive racist term and was referring to the urban jungle.’
The councillor, who represents north Deal, added: ‘As for the bunny bit it was originally animals but I thought people might object to me calling fellow humans this so I chose something I thought was innocuous and also cuddly.’
The councillor has been suspended from the party and an investigation into the comments has been launched before a panel decides what action to take.
“Bunnies” is a bit too kind. They were behaving like jungle beasts