Three in four nurses say they are TOO BUSY to talk to patients
Three quarters of nurses lack the time to talk to patients, a major survey has revealed.
A quarter admit that too many under their care have serious falls, develop bedsores or are mistakenly given the wrong dose of drugs.
The results of a survey involving 3,000 nurses by researchers at King’s College London will prompt further alarm over the standards of care on some NHS wards.
Yesterday the Care Quality Commission warned that one in five hospitals was neglecting the elderly to such an extent they were breaking the law.
The watchdog’s inspectors saw patients on some wards rattling their bedrails or banging on water jugs just to attract the attention of nurses.
The report warned that some hospitals were ‘putting paperwork over people’ with patients being left for more than ten hours without a drink.
Now a study involving 2,943 nurses seen by the Mail has found that 76 per cent did not have enough time to talk to or comfort patients.
Researchers said there was an absence of humanity and nurses would have no way of knowing how patients felt or whether they needed anything.
The King’s College poll, which was carried out at 31 NHS trusts across England, found that 40 per cent of staff were too busy to carry out necessary checks on patients such as taking their temperature.
Thirty-nine per cent admitted they did not have enough time to record details about patient care such as whether they had been given anything to eat or drink.
Twenty-six per cent said they were too busy to administer drugs on time and 24 per cent had not been able to check skin for signs of pressure sores.
A further 44 per cent admitted that in the past month at least one patient under their care had suffered a serious fall.
And 26 per cent said that at least one patient in the same period had been given the wrong dose of drugs or developed bed sores.
Professor Peter Griffiths, of the national nursing research unit at King’s College London, said: ‘Talking and comforting patients is very important as nurses need to know how they are and how they feel.
‘It’s about having humanity, having a relationship with people. It’s important to understand what patients need. Sometimes staff feel that paperwork has to come first.’
The Royal College of Nursing admitted it was ‘not surprised’ that so many nurses lacked the time to talk to patients.
Janet Davies, its executive director of nursing and service delivery, said: ‘We know many nurses are wilting under the strain of longer working hours, taking on the burden on unfilled vacancies and reduced staffing levels.
‘Caring is an integral part of the nursing profession, so it is vital that nurses have the time to provide reassurance and support to all patients.
There is a clear link between staffing levels and patient care and if there are not enough nurses on a ward then patient care will undoubtedly suffer.’
The CQC’s report was based on findings from unannounced inspections at 100 hospitals to check elderly patients were given enough to eat and drink and were treated with dignity.
These spot checks were partly triggered by a Mail campaign with the Patients Association earlier this year which exposed harrowing cases of neglect.
Inspectors found that 20 hospitals – one in five –were not meeting basic standards of care required by law.
These trusts have a few months to improve – or face prosecution.
Hundreds of women aborting healthy babies after NHS scan blunders: Toll tops number of cot deaths in a year
Hundreds of mothers-to-be a year are being wrongly told they have lost their baby because of mistakes in reading ultrasound scans, doctors fear.
Some of the 400 women given a wrong diagnosis each year will choose to wait to see if they go on to miscarry naturally but others will take the option of terminating the pregnancy.
Last night the researchers said that the possibility of an ‘inadvertent termination’ was the ‘worst possible outcome for any woman’ and called for the guidelines used to determine miscarriages to be changed immediately.
Professor Tom Bourne, of Imperial College London, said: ‘For most women, sadly there is nothing we can do to prevent a miscarriage.
‘But we do need to make sure we don’t make things worse by intervening unnecessarily in ongoing pregnancies. We hope our work means that the guidelines to determine miscarriage are made as watertight as we would expect for determining death at any other stage of life.’
Around a third of the 500,000 miscarriages a year in the UK are confirmed via ultrasound scans of the foetus and the sac that envelops it in the womb.
The scans from very early pregnancies are particularly hard to read and a second scan will often be carried out to ensure accuracy if a miscarriage is suspected.
For instance, if the foetus is very small and a heartbeat can’t be detected, the woman has a second scan seven to ten days later. The same applies if the gestational sac that should contain the foetus is relatively small and appears to be empty.
But if the foetus or sac is not unusually small, for example if the sac is over 2cm, just one scan is done before the woman is told she has lost her baby.
She then has the option of waiting to miscarry naturally, taking pills to induce the miscarriage or surgical removal.
But experts say the 2cm cut-off point between having one scan and two is too risky.
A study of more than 1,000 British women estimated that around one in 200 who are deemed to have miscarried because they have an apparently empty gestational sac of over 2cm will actually still be pregnant.
These women would benefit from waiting for a second scan a week or so later that would be expected to reveal the foetus was alive.
A further study revealed this figure could be much higher, as the measurements taken from the scans vary by as much as 20 per cent between medical staff.
This means that the size of an apparently empty gestational sac could be overestimated, and miss the cut-off point for a second scan, increasing the possibility of the mother undergoing a wrongful termination.
Mistaken diagnoses can be caused by difficulty in reading the complex scans, old equipment and simple human error.
The researchers said the precise numbers are unclear, but writing in the journal Ultrasound In Obstetrics And Gynecology (sic), they estimated that errors could lead to 400 women with healthy pregnancies being wrongly told their baby has died each year.
It is not known how many of these will go on to have terminations but the figure of 400 compares with 300 cot deaths a year in the UK.
The research team, from four London hospitals and the Catholic university of Leuven in Belgium, said: ‘These numbers are significant and relate to pregnancies that would be highly likely to reach term.’
Professor Bourne, who led much of the research, called for an immediate interim change in the guidelines, pending further large-scale research.
He would like the cut-off point between one scan and two to be raised to 2.5cm or one inch.
In the meantime, he recommends those who are anxious to consider requesting the option of returning in a week to have a second scan.
Dr Mark Hamilton, a consultant gynaecologist at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, said the research reinforced the need for staff to take the greatest care when determining miscarriage, and urged that medical or surgical procedures should be postponed until the outcome of the pregnancy was a ‘certainty’.
The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists said a review of its guidelines was already under way and it will take the new findings into account.
Immigrants will be made to learn British history rather than how to claim benefits
Labour were masters of producing a half-sensible policy on immigration then swiftly wrecking it. They introduced a ‘points-based system’ which had the potential to – finally – bring economic migration under some kind of control.
Then, instead of being genuinely selective, ministers set the bar far too low – meaning virtually any migrant who wanted to come here got the points they needed to pass the test.
Next came the idea of earned citizenship. Ministers said it was only fair that foreign nationals wanting to settle in Britain should first contribute to society through voluntary work.
They suggested this would involve activities such as running a Scout group – then promptly said standing on a picket line would do just as well.
But perhaps the most egregious example of how a sensible policy was ruined by pig-headed stupidity was the Life in the UK test. Migrants wanting to settle in the UK permanently have been required to sit the multiple-choice quiz for the past six years.
It’s based on a handbook which contains a long and impressive section on British history. But the last government ruled the test itself should not include a history section because there was ‘too much and it would not be fair’.
Let’s consider that again: there’s ‘too much’ British history so no need to bother learning any of it. How idiotic is it possible to be?
Instead, applicants were grilled on the structure of the European Union, how to claim State benefits, equal rights and discrimination – and the Life in the UK test was reduced to being a laughing stock.
So it can only be good news that, in only his second major immigration speech since entering Number Ten, David Cameron yesterday announced the test was to be re-written.
Out will go questions on the operation of the single market and on the differences between the Council of Europe, EU, European Commission and European Parliament.
In will come Roman Britain, Boudica, the Norman Conquest, Magna Carta, the Wars of the Roses, Elizabeth I, the Civil War, the Battle of Britain and Winston Churchill.
Junking questions on the EU sends out an important message on Mr Cameron’s part that the EU – for all its meddling – should not be the centre of British life. It’s also a long overdue recognition that unless a person understands a nation’s history and culture, they cannot truly become a part of its society.
The Prime Minister has not given a public anxious to see immigration brought under control much to applaud over the past 17 months. But swapping lessons in claiming benefits for lessons in history is one such moment.
Useless British police again
Police refuse to investigate rooftop lead theft as it was ‘too dangerous’ to climb ladder to get to crime scene — but publicity brings a bit of backpedalling, of course
When thieves stole lead from the roof of Nina Nash’s jewellery shop, she called police to report the crime. But she was stunned to be told that the long arm of the law did not extend far enough.
Hampshire Constabulary said officers could not attend the scene of the crime because climbing a ladder 15ft on to the roof ‘breached health and safety rules’.
Miss Nash, 34, who owns the Wedding Ring Studio in Southampton, described the rules as ‘ridiculous’. She said: ‘The message appeared to be, if you’re going to commit a crime, do it up high. ‘In real terms it seemed to suggest that they are not allowed to use the necessary equipment to get to the scene of the crime.’
Miss Nash said the thieves had left plenty of evidence, including footprints up the shop wall as they climbed up to the roof and two pieces of lead which could have carried fingerprints.
Yesterday John Apter of the Hampshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents police officers, criticised the force’s response. He said: ‘If there is a victim of a crime we should find a way to provide a service even if that presents a little bit of danger. After all, policing is a dangerous job.’
Senior officers claim call centre handlers may have been over-zealous and have promised to look into the crime.
Inspector Rachel Stokes of Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘Unfortunately the wrong information may have been inadvertently handed out by the call-taker in this case and we are looking into this. ‘However, in line with all crimes it was reviewed by an officer and it was quickly picked up that there was potential forensic evidence that should be looked at.’
She added: ‘There is no ruling automatically stopping a crime scene investigation officer from climbing. ‘We will be making sure staff at the force inquiry centre are aware of the policy.’
Hampshire is not the first force to claim climbing is too dangerous for officers. In 2005, police called in to investigate acts of vandalism at Middleton Parish Church, near Rochdale, refused to inspect the damage because, they told church officials, that they did not have specialist ‘ladder training’.
A man whose mobile was taken from his car in a police station car park on Saturday suggested that officers viewed their CCTV footage. But Carl Rundle, 38, was told it would have to wait until Monday because the cameras are run by a private firm who charge a call-out fee at weekends.
Mr Rundle, whose car was outside Abingdon police station in Oxfordshire, said: ‘I was shocked because you instinctively think that a police station will be a safe place.’
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: ‘It was felt that the review of the CCTV footage could wait until normal office hours.’
And sometimes the BritCops are stupid as well as useless
And the courtesy for which they were once famous seems to have vanished entirely: Old lady watering flowers for holiday neighbours is threatened by police with Tasers after being reported as a BURGLAR
Good neighbour Patricia Cook was only too happy to look after her friend’s house and garden while she was away on holiday. The 67-year-old and her daughter Louise dutifully visited to water the plants and pick up windfall apples.
Suddenly they were confronted by police wielding powerful Tasers after they scaled a 7ft fence to challenge her. The drama happened after another neighbour rang 999, fearing that burglars had broken in.
Mrs Cook said yesterday: ‘I was mortified and so embarrassed about it all. ‘It was a bit over the top, to say the least.’
She had gone into her neighbour’s garden opposite her house in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, with her daughter. Less than ten minutes later two police cars with flashing lights raced up, and three officers climbed the garden fence.
Mrs Cook said: ‘I had the watering can and Louise had picked up about four apples, when this voice from the other side of the fence asked us what we were up to. ‘I asked, “What do you mean?” At this point, I wasn’t sure who it was. Next minute these police officers were scaling the fence with Taser guns, the whole lot. ‘There were two patrol cars parked skew-whiff on the road outside with their lights flashing.
‘If you break into someone’s house you’re hardly going to go and pick up a few bruised apples from the garden.
‘I showed them the letter my friend gave me to explain what we were doing there. ‘But they still insisted on taking down all our personal details – our names, dates of birth and addresses. I was very angry. Why should I be on their records when I’ve done nothing wrong?’
Mrs Cook has now sent a strong letter of complaint to Hertfordshire Police. She said: ‘It’s such a waste of time and public money – the taxpayers are paying for this. I didn’t even get a “sorry”.
‘One of the officers mentioned that a neighbour rang up. He said they were just doing a good job.
‘I’ve lived here for more than 40 years and I go to that house every week. All it would have taken was someone to ask what I was doing. ‘I was very upset that night. I’ve never broken the law in my life.’
A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said: ‘We understand that a complaint is pending and once this has been received we will look into the circumstances of the incident. ‘However, until this has been completed we are unable to make a further comment.’
The strange mind of a veteran British socialist politician
She even defends Britain’s deplorable National Health Service (socialized medicine)
What a stroke of bad luck for Shirley Williams. At the very moment when the Lib Dems’ ‘Shirl the Pearl’ was on her feet in the Lords this week, mounting her dewy-eyed defence of the ‘altruistic’ NHS against the Government’s planned ‘money-based’ reforms, the Care Quality Commission was publishing the truth about what all this altruism actually means for patients.
The document makes horrifying reading. As this paper reported yesterday, in one in five of the hospitals they visited unannounced, the Commission’s inspectors found neglect of the elderly so serious that it breaks the law, while in nearly half of them staff were not doing enough to ensure patients didn’t go hungry or thirsty.
On some wards, they saw frail patients rattling their bedrails or banging on water jugs to try to attract the attention of staff. On many others, elderly invalids were forced to undergo the indignity of using commodes next to their beds, because staff were too busy to take them to the lavatory.
At Alexandra Hospital in Worcester, meanwhile, they found that some dehydrated patients hadn’t been given anything to drink for more than ten hours. Imagine that, Shirl the Pearl — and then tell us about the altruism that underpins the good old NHS.
In the words of the CQC’s chairman, Dame Jo Williams (no relation, as far as I’m aware): ‘Time and again, we found cases where patients were treated by staff in a way that stripped them of their dignity and respect.
People were spoken over, and not spoken to; people were left without call bells, ignored for hours on end, or not given assistance to do the basics of life — to eat, drink or go to the toilet.’
Meanwhile, over in the Lords, Dame Jo’s namesake, the bluestocking baroness, was burbling on in that deep, bossy voice of hers about the sacred founding principles of the NHS and this wicked Government’s attempts to dismantle what she described last month as ‘one of the most efficient public services of any in Europe’.
Before I explode with rage, I must acknowledge that, of course, there are thousands upon thousands of hugely dedicated doctors and nurses in the NHS, who are as angry as any of us about the unnecessary suffering they so often see around them, and who do what they can to relieve it.
Indeed, if there were an index of the milk of human kindness, graded from one to ten, I would guess the medical profession would top most, if not all, other occupations, with an average score of perhaps seven. I must also make it clear that I am not saying Lady Williams is a cruel woman. On the contrary, she has always struck me as very well-meaning. Give her a six-and-a-half on the scale….
For what has always struck me about Shirley Williams, and never more so than this week, is that like so many intellectuals, she is profoundly silly.
And although she is neither cruel nor ruthless herself, she has clung doggedly throughout her life to a Socialist belief system that taints everything it touches with cruelty and ruthlessness, causing misery to the very people she most wants to help.
The most maddening thing is that even when the evidence of Socialism’s failure is all around her — whether in the poverty of Soviet Russia in her youth or the black and white print of this week’s CQC report on the state of the NHS — she refuses to see it. In her eyes, it’s never the theory itself that’s wrong, it’s just the way that people have put it into practice.
So what if the health service, as it is presently constituted, cannot manage on £2billion a week of taxpayers’ money without subjecting old ladies to torture?
The answer’s simple, say the Williamses of this world. Just give it £4billion a week. Or if that doesn’t work, try £8billion. But don’t, whatever you do, whisper the blasphemies ‘private enterprise’ or ‘market economics’, or else the poor baroness will fall into a swoon.
Witness her horror over the Health Secretary’s plan to allow ‘any willing provider’ to supply services to the NHS. This is ‘stealth privatisation’, she says, as if no worse crime could be imaginable. ‘The NHS was always seen as the preferred provider. That is swept away.’ Can’t she see that those cruelly-abused patients, parched with thirst and rattling their bedrails to try to attract attention, would count it the greatest blessing on Earth if only a willing provider would hand them a glass of water?
Or take that entirely false contrast she seeks to draw between an ‘altruistic’ and a ‘money-based’ NHS. Doesn’t she remember what happened when the last government gave GPs hugely generous new contracts, with the option of skipping work in the evenings and at weekends? In their droves, they headed for the golf-course, abandoning their patients to strangers —some of whom couldn’t even speak English. Where’s the altruism in that?
And where’s the sense in Lady Williams’s ideological horror of a money-based health service? Leave aside that under the health reforms, care would remain free at the point of delivery. Forget, too, that much of the NHS has been money-based since its foundation, with drug companies and equipment suppliers selling their wares for hard cash.
Imagine that our bread was funded by general taxation and supplied to us on prescription, under the altruistic health service model. Does Lady Williams honestly believe, in her heart of hearts, that it would be cheaper, fresher, better than the bread we buy now, under the wicked money-based system operated by the supermarkets? Come off it! There would be queues round the block for a week-old, £10 bread roll.
But it’s not for her failed attempt to sabotage the NHS reforms that this well-meaning old biddy deserves a special place in the hottest circle of Hell. In my book, her greatest crime was to press ahead with the destruction of grammar [selective] schools in her days as Education Secretary (and yes, I know, though it grieves me to say it, her successor Margaret Thatcher was also guilty there).
The difference is that Lady Williams was driven by a blind ideological faith in the new comprehensive school system (though it was not so blind as to prevent her from sending her own daughter to a fearsomely selective London state school. Comprehensives may have been good enough for other people’s children, but not for hers).
So it is that she bears a large part of the blame for depriving bright working-class children of their surest chance of a leg-up in life, while condemning the not-so bright to empty lives in a new, unemployable underclass.
But of course she wouldn’t see it that way. Never mind the evidence of all our eyes. As far as she’s concerned, Socialist theory is never wrong. It’s just the facts that tend to be a bit awkward.
Rank pupils by their marks, not by grades: This would better distinguish stars at A-level, says British education boss
Pupils could be ranked on their raw exam marks under proposals to tackle grade inflation at A-level. Currently, the marks awarded to candidates are converted into grades.
However many employers and academics have complained it is too difficult to distinguish between pupils’ abilities as so many of them are awarded top grades.
Under measures outlined yesterday by Education Secretary Michael Gove, raw marks would instead be used to rank all pupils, allowing a clearer comparison of their ability.
In addition, Mr Gove is also looking at re-introducing a system that only allows a fixed percentage of pupils to get top grades.
The ranking data would be published in online tables and show whether a pupil came tenth in the country or 200,000th. This information could be accessed by employers, parents and pupils across the country and would enable youngsters to compare their performance with peers.
In addition schools, colleges and universities could use it to better differentiate between candidates. If introduced, the proposals would lead to the biggest shake-up of exams in 60 years – since the A-level was introduced in 1951.
Speaking at a conference on standards, organised by exams watchdog Ofqual, Mr Gove pledged to ensure grades reflect ability and to ‘tell the truth and shame the devil’.
While experts welcomed the plans, some critics claimed the emphasis on competition will place undue pressure, and possibly shame, on non-academic children with poor grades. It is not yet clear whether the ranking information would appear under pupils’ names, or if youngsters would be given individual reference numbers.
Mr Gove is also looking at reintroducing ‘norm referencing’, a grading system last used between 1963 and 1987. This would, for example, see just five per cent of candidates awarded an A* grade in maths.
In contrast, currently any student who gains an A overall as well as scoring at least 90 per cent in each of their papers in the second year achieves an A*. Mr Gove said this change would be suitable only for top grades.
Over the past two decades, exam pass rates have risen dramatically. Some 44 per cent of pupils obtained an A-level at C or above in maths in the early 1990s, compared with more than 55 per cent in 2008.
Mr Gove yesterday cited Burlington Danes Academy in west London, which has set up a system to rank pupils. The method sees pupils tested every half-term and given a ranking which is shared with the pupils, their parents and teacher. At the end of term the rankings, which have proved popular among parents and pupils, are published.
He said: ‘Is there a case for exam boards publishing more data about the performance of students, rather than less? It could be a completely wrong-headed idea. But I put it out there explicitly for debate.’
Professor Robert Coe, director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University, welcomed the move. He said: ‘We have the data to rank pupils so we should be doing so. Ranking is crucial to selecting candidates. Whole grades no longer give us enough information and lots of youngsters now get three A*s.’
A spokesman for exam board Edexcel said: ‘We know universities and employers want to get more detailed information about how students perform at A-level, and we think students would welcome more information on their achievements too.’
‘We welcome a conversation regarding the possible introduction of norm referencing for A* candidates, although we should not limit discussions to just one method of differentiating outcomes.’
British government Minister tells us to eat less to tackle obesity but won’t put pressure on the food giants
That heading is a non-sequitur if ever there was one. A more reasonable statement would be: “Minister tells us to eat less to tackle obesity but won’t put pressure on us to do so”. What are the food merchants supposed to do? Make their food too repulsive to eat?
The nation’s daily diet needs to be slashed by five billion calories to prevent an obesity epidemic, the Government warned yesterday. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said that the country is collectively over-indulging in the equivalent of 17million cheeseburgers every day.
His latest plans rely on consumers being ‘more honest’ about what they eat and drink.
But doctors and campaigners, including TV chef Jamie Oliver, described them as ‘woefully inadequate’ and an ‘abdication of the Government’s responsibility to protect public health’.
They accused Mr Lansley of failing to take on the might of the junk food industry because he has refused to force firms to cut back on fat, sugar and salt levels. He has also resisted pressure to insist on calorie counts on labels.
And, bizarrely, on the same day the public was urged to eat less, a group of Government scientists announced an increase in the recommended daily calorie limit for those who are not overweight.
Britain has one of the worst obesity rates in Europe with some 60 per cent of adults and at least a quarter of primary school children considered overweight or obese.
They are at far higher risk of diabetes, forms of cancer and heart disease in later life, and women are more likely to suffer serious complications in pregnancy.
To address the problem, Mr Lansley has published a new strategy which encourages people to be ‘more honest with themselves’ about what they eat and drink. His ‘call for action’ includes:
* The food and drinks industry doing more to encourage healthier choices and cutting calories in products;
* Encouraging people to take more exercise, ditch public transport and walk to work;
* Town halls using new powers to ring-fence funds for public health work;
* Continued investment in the NHS’s Change4Life programme to persuade families to adopt healthier lifestyles.
But the ‘pointless’ proposals came under heavy attack by leading doctors, scientists and campaigners.
Charlie Powell of the Children’s Food Campaign said: ‘This is a deeply disappointing and utterly inadequate response which represents a squandered opportunity to address the UK’s obesity crisis.
‘It is nothing less than an abdication of the Government’s responsibility to protect public health.’
A spokesman for the British Medical Association said: ‘We do not feel the strategy has gone far enough. It will take more than industry self-regulation and personal responsibility to reduce the obesity crisis. ‘The Government needs to introduce legislation that will help people make healthy choices.’
Jamie Oliver, who launched a national campaign to make school dinners healthier, said: ‘I’m far from impressed with the Government’s empty, pointless obesity strategy. ‘Simply telling people what they already know – that they need to eat less and move more – is a complete cop-out.’
Professor Jack Winkler, who has previously advised the Government on nutrition policy, said: ‘It’s a lot of sound and fury but not much action. ‘The Government is desperately trying to sound like it is doing something without doing very much.’
Ministers claim that on average we eat 10 per cent more calories a day than we need. This works out at 250 calories for men and 200 for women – the equivalent of a chocolate bar or two glasses of wine. And collectively, for every person in Britain, it totals five billion extra calories a day.
If current trends continue, nearly half of men and 40 per cent of women will be obese by 2030. But the Government claims that if its strategy is a success, by 2020 obesity rates will be starting to fall.
Mr Lansley said: ‘Reducing the number of calories we consume is essential. It can happen if we continue action to reduce calories in everyday foods and drinks, and if all of us who are overweight take simple steps to reduce our calorie intake.’
Last year Mr Lansley announced that food and drinks firms would not face strict regulations to force them to make healthier products. Instead, they would be encouraged to sign up to voluntary promises.
He has also stripped the Food Standards Agency of its role to set targets for food firms to reduce saturated fat and salt.
‘Legalise gay marriage? You may as well legalise marriage with animals’
That’s one opinion you are not allowed to have in Britain, even if you are a Conservative
A senior Tory councillor is facing calls to be sacked after suggesting his party ‘may as well legalise marriage with animals’ because Prime Minister David Cameron supports gay marriage.
Conservative Party officials immediately took action against James Malliff, a cabinet member of Tory-controlled Wycombe District Council, Buckinghamshire, after he tweeted the remark to a former Tory MP.
Mr Malliff, who is in charge of big society and localism at the council, was immediately suspended by bosses for the ill-advised and ‘completely unacceptable’ Twitter post.
The London Evening Standard reported that Mr Malliff tweeted to former Conservative MP Paul Goodman, who had asked whether legalising gay marriage could lead to multiple Sharia marriages being made lawful.
Mr Malliff said: ‘There is no doubt the PM is wrong on this issue. We may as well legalise marriage with animals, crude I concede but no apology.’
The man was raising a “where do uou draw the line” argument and I think there is little doubt that polygamy will be the next campaign. And after that “zoophilia”? I can’t see how you can argue for homosexual marriage and oppose (say) marrying your dog. What arguments WOULD you raise? I can think of none. You could say that it is “unnatural” but that is precisely what homsexuals reject. Once you abandon standards, you are completely adrift. But Leftists like it that way, of course.
Marriage originated as a contract for reproduction and if there is no possibility of that it loses a large part of its meaning.