NHS ‘in peril’ if health reforms fail, warn senior GPs
The NHS will be ‘in peril’ if the Government’s controversial health reforms are prevented from going ahead, a group of senior GPs have warned.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the heads of more than 50 new doctors’ groups argue that the British Medical Association’s policy of “blanket opposition” to the Health and Social Care Bill fails to represent GPs’ views.
They warn that previous reforms have not gone far enough and have consequently “paid the price of disengaging the frontline staff most needed to modernise the NHS”.
They argue: “We cannot allow that to happen this time. Without strong clinical leadership and the co-ordinated efforts of local clinicians the NHS itself may be in peril: local services can only be improved if we all pull together.”
The letter has been signed by 56 GPs who are helping set up clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England. Under the Bill these will effectively replace primary care trusts (PCTs) and be handed their budgets.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has consistently argued that the central thrust of the Bill is to give doctors a greater say, and key to this is giving them more responsibility for commissioning health services.
However, many believe the real motive is to open up the NHS for greater private sector involvement.
Last November the BMA moved to a position of total opposition to the Bill, and since the New Year the Royal College of Nurses and the Royal College of Midwives have followed suit. The Royal College of GPs is deeply sceptical, although not yet publicly in total opposition.
However, some BMA members are deeply unhappy at its stance, which is reflected in the letter.
It notes: “Blanket opposition to the NHS reforms by the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nurses is not representative of the views of GPs who, like us, already lead CCGs, and the large numbers of GPs and nurses who support us.”
The letter was organised by the NHS Alliance, which describes itself as “an independent non-political organisation proud to be at the forefront of clinically-led commissioning”.
Dr Shane Gordon, chief executive of North East Essex CCG, who helped draft the letter, said: “The BMA and RCN have strong and respected voices within the profession, but a range of views is vital to a rounded discussion.
“As leaders of CCGs, who have already tried and tested some of the principles of the NHS reforms, we are united in our view that clinical leadership of commissioning is essential to the future of the NHS.”
Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s GPs Committee, said if the reforms were just about commissioning “the BMA would be in favour”.
But he added: “However, they are not; the wider reform agenda will make the improvements these CCG leads, quite rightly, want to make to patient care, harder rather than easier to achieve.”
Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the RCGPs, said: “GPs must understand their role in commissioning and we support the principle of greater clinician involvement.
“But many of our members feel that this could have been done in a less disruptive way by placing GPs on the boards of existing PCTs.”
Most GPs would struggle to find the time to “play a major part” in commissioning, she added, while the Bill “also brings an emphasis on competition and the removal of Governmental responsibility, which we feel will result in an adverse effect on quality of care and patient safety”.
The Leftist gospel constantly preached in the schools and elsewhere (“There is no such thing as right and wrong”) bears fruit
The other morning I woke to find a voicemail message on my mobile phone, beginning with the words: ‘This is the police station at Charing Cross. As it turned out, the message was to inform me that some honest soul had handed in my sister’s wallet, which she had dropped at Embankment Underground station on her way to her early shift at the BBC World Service that morning.
The police had looked diligently through her business cards, finding mine among them, and since my surname matched the one on Catherine’s credit cards, they guessed rightly that I would know how to get in touch with her.
My faith in human nature was instantly restored, and I felt a stab of guilt at having suspected our blameless boys of having got into trouble.
All the parties concerned had come out of the incident well — from the kind stranger, probably on his way to work, who had gone to the trouble of handing the wallet in, to the police who took such care to see it returned to its rightful owner.
As the cynics (or realists) among you may guess, there’s a depressing sequel to this story. But I’ll keep that until the end.
For now, I’ll just say that after my initial amazement that someone in central London had been honest enough to hand in a bulging wallet, I began to wonder why I should really have been surprised at all. After all, I know that if I found somebody’s wallet, I would certainly take it to the nearest police station.
I would have done so even before my own was stolen by a sharp-suited pickpocket in Rome this summer — when it came home to me what a devastating loss a wallet can be in this high-tech age, when our whole lives are encoded in electronic strips on plastic cards.
What’s more, I’d be 100 per cent happy to bet the entire contents of my new one — restocked with cash and plastic after days spent cancelling and reapplying for everything — that the enormous majority of people reading this article would do the same good turn for their fellow man, without so much as a passing thought to pocketing his property. (Well, perhaps just a nanosecond’s thought before our innate honesty kicked in.)
But it seems that we’re in a shrinking minority, you and I. For a disturbing report from the newly established Centre for the Study of Integrity at Essex University finds that honesty is going out of fashion in modern Britain, as increasing numbers of our fellow subjects think it acceptable to lie and cheat.
In my book, the two most striking findings of the survey are that the under-25s are twice as likely to condone dishonesty as the over-65s — and that while women are slightly more honest than men, integrity in both sexes bears no relation to social class, education or income.
I hope I’m not being too hard on my sons’ middle-class friends when I say that neither discovery surprises me in the least (while the second one should explode once and for all the patronising libel that the poor are more likely to be dishonest than the better off).
To illustrate what I mean, I remember one occasion when several of one of my son’s teenage friends came round to take him off to town for a party. I asked my boy if he had enough money for his train fare and one of his friends told me: ‘It’s OK. They leave the station gates open at this time of night and there’s never anyone around to check.’ He said this in a matter-of-fact way, to a stuffy middle-aged man he hardly knew, as if he was just passing on a helpful tip.
It didn’t seem to occur to him that he was proposing that my son should join him and the others in committing the crime of defrauding the Southern Railway Company of about £25. Or if it did, it simply didn’t occur to him that this was wrong. As far as he was concerned, it was a morally neutral matter — and if there was no chance of getting caught, it would be downright silly to pay.
It’s the same with internet piracy. God knows how many people are at it, each carrying around stolen albums worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds on their iPhones.
To them, it’s a victimless crime — and no doubt countless teenagers will tell you, with a look of insufferable piety, that they support Wikipedia’s protest against U.S. plans to crack down on ‘free information’.
But to those of us, musicians and others, who rely on our intellectual property to feed our families, it doesn’t feel victimless at all. Heaven knows, however, it’s not only the young who seem increasingly unable to spot the difference between right and wrong, between behaving with integrity and not-getting-caught.
Think of the legions of Incapacity Benefit claimants who are miraculously cured as soon as the summons to a medical check drops on to the doormat. Or the swelling numbers of motorists, encouraged by shyster lawyers, who claim for undetectable whiplash injuries after minor car crashes — so pushing up premiums for the rest of us.
As for why the nation seems to be losing its moral compass, I imagine the decline of religion — and with it, the fear of eternal damnation — must have something to do with it. So, too, must the increasing leniency of earthly punishments for dishonesty.
But shouldn’t we also lay much of the blame for its spread on the collapse of integrity in public life? I’m thinking, of course, of the orgy of larceny that was the MPs’ expenses scandal.
I’m thinking, too, of the vast rewards reaped by unpunished bankers for parcelling up bad debts and selling them on to the unsuspecting.
And I’m thinking of the endless lies — from the monstrous whoppers told by Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell when they took us to war against Iraq, to the knee-jerk fibs told by so many MPs, whose first instinct when they find themselves in a hole is to try to lie their way out of it.
But I’m in danger of sounding hideously priggish. Like most of us, I’ve told many a lie in my time, ranging from the white (‘I absolutely love the jumper you gave me’), to the off-white nod to the boss suggesting that, yes, I paid close attention to the Foreign Secretary’s interview on the Today programme this morning.
To be honest, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even bother to hand in a sum of less than £20 if I saw it lying the street. I’d probably just leave it there — and let someone else wrestle with his conscience. But a wallet …. now, that’s different.
Which brings me at last to the sequel to my sister’s tale. When she lost her wallet at Embankment station, it contained just over £40 cash. When she collected it from the police station — you guessed it — the money had gone. I told you it was depressing.
Why I let my son dress like a girl for five years…and why for his sake I put a stop to it
By Lorraine Candy (Editor-in-chief of British Elle magazine)
As a toddler, my son Henry used to sleep in a nightie, after I gave up on trying to wrestle him into pyjamas. Later, he took to calling himself Stephanie, Jean, Olive or, most frequently, Miss Argentina.
His favourite game was wearing his elder sisters’ sequin party dresses while running his imaginary boutique ‘Slinx’ or greeting customers in his hairdressing salon ‘Slapchicks’ (God knows where he got that name from).
Once, aged three, his penchant for dressing as a girl even landed us in A&E, where a patient doctor had to remove Barbie’s earring from inside Henry’s ear canal. ‘Which one is it?’ asked the doctor, meaning which ear. ‘The pink one with gold round the outside,’ he replied.
Visitors to our house assumed I had three girls because he rarely wore boys’ clothing at home. He said he preferred to wear something ‘more comfortable’: dresses, skirts, tights or princess costumes.
At first I let him get on with it, because it seemed to make him happy. My husband rolled his eyes at the sight of his chubby, short-haired boy squeezed into a tutu. ‘He’s just in touch with his feminine side,’ I told him.
But essentially we were in agreement —‘banning’ anything in the early years is the route to rebellion later. So we let him dress as he pleased, and indulge his ‘feminine’ side.
And his love of all things girly started to colour other aspects of Henry’s life too. He refused to go to football club because he didn’t like the uniforms, despite my explanation that even the girls wore the club’s outfit. ‘Shorts are for boys,’ he would protest.
You may assume, from all this, that I’d be in favour of what has been termed ‘gender neutral parenting’ — raising a child as neither boy nor girl, but giving it free rein to express itself in whatever way he or she chooses.
That was the approach taken by Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper. They’re the couple who made headlines last week for raising their five-year-old son, Sasha, as ‘gender neutral’. Like me, they allowed their little boy to dress in girls’ clothes and play with girls’ toys.
But unlike me, it seems Sasha’s parents’ ‘experiment’ formed part of their wider ideology, using it to examine whether ‘boy/girl’ stereotyping could be bypassed altogether.
I know, from my own experience, that some children do not conform to the conventional behaviour expected of their gender anyway. But I know also that there came a time when I had to put a stop to my boy’s ‘girlish’ instincts. I knew it was my duty as a parent to make it stop — for reasons I will come to later.
Little angel? Unlike Lorraine’s son, five-year-old Sasha is being raised as ‘gender neutral’
Little angel? Unlike Lorraine’s son, five-year-old Sasha is being raised as ‘gender neutral’
So where had my Henry’s love of girls’ clothes come from? To start with, my husband and I found it hard to understand. I turned to parenting books, they indicated that it was probably because Henry worshipped his two older sisters (now aged eight and nine) and wanted to be ‘in their club’.
Apparently, all children need to ‘belong’; they crave positive recognition as they develop between the ages of three and seven. They seek the approval of their peer group to make them feel secure so they can develop with confidence.
Before he started school, Henry’s sisters were his peer group. Dressing like them was his way into their world, where he felt safe. They wore nighties, so he wanted one too.
When he was a toddler, this was fine. Other toddlers pay no heed to what fellow miniatures wear. But older children do. When Henry was four, I noticed that the older children of some of my friends would laugh at his feminine attire.
I couldn’t bear to watch him run off red-faced to change. Of course, he didn’t fully understand why people laughed at him. But I did. And I began realise how, as he grew older, his cross-dressing would become a habit which enabled others to hurt him. I had to stop that happening.
My husband and I decided to wait until Henry’s fifth birthday in November to break the news to him that there would be no more sequins, no more Slapchicks or Miss Argentina. We tried building up to it gently, mentioning it every now and then so he would know what was coming.
Then one night last November, we packed away his nightie and the dresses for good. ‘From now on, you need to wear boys’ clothes and sleep in boys’ pyjamas,’ I told him.
He was mildly upset but not unduly worried. He didn’t fully understand why he could no longer dress in the clothes he loved, but since starting school in September, he had become more aware of the difference between boys and girls anyway.
‘Can I still do it on special occasions?’ he asked. We said he could — but he hasn’t asked since.
The fact he had a new baby sister helped. ‘These are Mabel’s things now,’ we told him.
Actually, it was me who grieved most. I was sad to say goodbye to the alter ego he’d created (and accessorised so stylishly) with such joy. I think my husband was relieved — and Henry’s two older sisters were pleased that he’d stop ferreting through their jewellery boxes.
Some may see my decision as pandering to convention. But I didn’t make this decision because I was scared of what the future holds for a boy happy in his feminine skin or because I believe cross-dressing is wrong. Remember, I work in fashion.
No, I made this decision because although I truly wish fashion’s liberal and inclusive attitude extended to all other industries, it just doesn’t. Allowing my son to continue down his feminine path would only incur ridicule and hurt.
A video of Sasha Laxton talking about how ‘silly’ it is to have girls’ and boys’ colours was put on You Tube by his mother
A video of Sasha Laxton talking about how ‘silly’ it is to have girls’ and boys’ colours was put on You Tube by his mother
This is what confuses me about parents like Sasha’s. He has been hailed as an experiment in breaking stereotypes, but who would want to expose their child to possible derision for the sake of their political beliefs?
Yet, they are by no means alone. Last year, the US parents of a five-year-old boy called Dyson wrote a book called My Princess Boy and appeared on live TV with him in a ballet outfit.
He was to be the poster boy for a radical change in gender thinking, they said — as he sat there supremely uninterested in the discussion. Meanwhile in Canada, another five-year-old called Storm is being raised gender neutral. In Sweden they have two-year-old Pop, while one Swedish nursery has instigated a ‘gender neutral’ policy referring to the children as ‘friends’ rather than him or her.
Of course, a more open-minded attitude to gender can be a positive thing — whether in childhood, to counteract Disney’s ridiculous glorification of Cinderella (a world where blondes are good, brunettes are bad and falling in love makes everything better), or in adulthood, to help challenge the ‘gender gap’ between male and female rates of pay in the workplace.
I would happily ban all those wretched pink-frilled dolls that fill the shelves of supermarkets across the land, mini ironing boards and kitchen utensils (who wants to be a indoctrinated into domestic drudgery that early, boy or girl?).
Perhaps if there were gender- neutral schools in every borough then Sasha, Dyson, Storm and Pop would be welcome trailblazers for a new way of thinking. But in the real world, schools separate boys and girls for many sensible reasons.
It’s a huge responsibility for children as young as five to be expected to change this thinking. And a little arrogant of parents, who don’t work in the field of child care or child psychology to assume they can do this through a lone child.
But perhaps the most important point is that many of these attempts to unburden children from the constraints of gender are misguided. Dressing up is what pre-schoolers do. You may think your toddler is striking a blow for feminism or his future right to wear women’s clothing in public but he’s not — he’s just playing a game.
You may think you are giving him the rare freedom of ignoring society’s expectations of his gender but actually he’s just thinking: ‘Whoa, sequins! They look cool’.
No child expert has advocated this as a resolution to gender stereotyping and its consequent inequalities. While they say it’s unlikely to be damaging (as long as the child is not forced to dress a certain way), it probably won’t have the effect these parents desire either.
But we should also remember that in today’s world of rapid, global information, these images of Sasha and all those YouTube videos of Dyson will live for some time. They’ll be there for all to see whether these boys like it or not. They have had no choice in the matter — is that really fair?
Wouldn’t it be better for parents to encourage schools and nurseries to talk more about gender and how it affects their charges as they grow rather than to put such a burden on very young children.
And perhaps more importantly, parents like Sasha’s should remember these precious early years belong to their children, not to them.
Betrayal of bright pupils: Two thirds of British pupils who shine at age of 11 are steered into soft subjects at High School
Two thirds of bright teenagers are missing out on key academic GCSEs, school league tables reveal. More than 111,000 of the 177,000 children who shone in tests at the age of 11 have gone on to study the softer subjects often shunned by employers.
While all pupils must study English, maths and science, the tables suggest schools are steering youngsters toward drama, sociology and vocational qualifications – which are seen as easier to do well in – for their remaining subjects.
Students sitting their GCSE examinations
Less than four in ten pupils across the state sector sit a GCSE in foreign languages, while just under half opt for geography or history.
The Coalition has introduced a new measure to check how many pupils score grades A* to C in English, maths and science, as well as a language and a humanities subject such as history or geography.
Before the introduction of this ‘English Baccalaureate’, the measure was five good grades in maths and English and in any three other subjects.
The tables published yesterday show the success rate for thousands of state schools plunged when the EBacc was taken into account. One school scored 92 per cent on the old measure but just 6 per cent on the new. The tables also revealed how low, medium and high achievers performed in their GCSEs last year.
Among the pupils who had surpassed expectations in national curriculum tests at 11, 62.8 per cent – 111,437 – failed to achieve the EBacc. Less than half of this 177,447-strong cohort had been entered for all the EBacc subjects in the first place.
In 285 schools, not a single high achiever gained the award.
Thousands of bright pupils are also effectively going backward in English and maths at secondary school. Some 22,713 – 12.8 per cent – are not making the progress expected of them in English and 26,262 – 14.8 per cent – are not improving sufficiently in maths.
Chris McGovern, a former headmaster and chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said bright children were ‘clearly being failed’. He added: ‘This is a betrayal of a generation of children who are not being prepared for the 21st century and they’re not being prepared to help sustain this country with the economic challenges it faces.
‘It’s failing children and damaging the country. The consequences will be found out in five, ten years’ time when we’re not producing the engineers and the scientists but we are producing the media studies students.’
Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: ‘The emphasis in recent years has been getting as many children as possible up to the floor targets and we haven’t been giving enough attention to our brightest pupils.
‘It’s important that young people study the core subjects because that keeps their options open. ‘Within our system, where schools have been judged in terms of GCSE points, it’s been too easy and too tempting for young people to drift away from the subjects that would be in their best interests.’
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: ‘Children only have one chance at education. These tables show which schools are letting children down. Heads should be striving to make improvements year on year, and we will not let schools coast with mediocre performance. ‘We are driving up standards right across the board.’
The figures showed that 45.6 per cent of ‘medium’ achievers – almost 120,000 – who reached the standard expected of their age in national curriculum tests aged 11 failed to get five good grades in subjects including English and maths. More than 2,800 of the nation’s 3,000 schools had fewer than half their pupils gaining the EBacc standard as well.
Teenagers at selective schools were almost five times as likely to achieve the EBacc than pupils in comprehensives. The figures were 68.1 per cent and 13.7 per cent respectively, according to data released by the Department for Education.
The private sector is ushering in a university revolution in Britain
Delays to the Higher Education Bill will not stop the rise of privately-funded universities.
For the higher education sector, these are interesting times. This September, fees will rise by more than 200 per cent at most universities; a new loan scheme will be in place; the quota system for allocating places will be relaxed to enable greater competition; and an auction process for 20,000 places will be introduced. This is hardly a Government that can be accused of ducking the difficult issues.
At the same time, however, ministers have not had it all their own way. Earlier this week, it was reported that David Willetts’s plans for private universities had been put on hold. Certainly, the Government’s Higher Education Bill – which was expected to introduce a host of reforms that would enable the expansion of provision by private institutions, as outlined in the Coalition’s White Paper – has been delayed. It is unlikely to be published before 2015, for lack of parliamentary time, although the Government insists that nothing has yet been decided.
On the surface, this might seem strange. If ministers encourage new “free schools” to increase competition and offer greater choice and diversity, surely it makes sense to do the same with universities? Across the world, private higher education is growing, since governments cannot afford to continue to fund the old system, under which only a tiny elite of the population attended university.
Critics of such institutions, who have an interest in maintaining the status quo, point to the situation in America, and warn that the same might happen here. But the US has some of the world’s best private universities: Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, MIT. Embracing a private model does not mean that standards have to be compromised.
In 2004, Labour “modernised the criteria for the granting of degree-awarding powers in the UK”. Since then, some of Britain’s most prestigious private providers in specialist fields have earned the right to issue their own degrees: Ashridge Business School, the College of Law, IFS School of Finance, and BPP University College, where I am principal. The route to obtaining this power is an exacting one. It rightly requires us to demonstrate the very highest standards over time, with our efforts reviewed by our public-sector peers. Because such standards are expected, it has not damaged the reputation of Britain as a higher education community.
At BPP University College, we work with employers to offer degree programmes in business, law, accounting and finance that are closely tailored to the needs of those professions. We operate in 14 cities, training almost a third of new entrants to the legal profession and two thirds of all accountants at some point in their careers.
One of the advantages of private provision – which could be emulated by traditional institutions – is that we offer students choice. Undergraduates can study through the long summer holidays, completing a degree in two years and avoiding the costs of a third year out of the workforce. Alternatively, they can opt for the traditional schedule. We employ a full-time faculty who have been practitioners of their discipline: lawyers and accountants who understand the latest developments, and are not just confined to academic research. This model does not suit everyone, but the CBI’s survey of employers last year indicated that private providers are best at meeting the needs of employers.
The Higher Education Bill was expected to make it easier to set up more institutions such as ours, and to integrate them more closely into the university system. It would also have given students greater access to information about universities and courses, empowering them to make informed choices in a more competitive environment.
There is no doubt that higher education in Britain is in need of modernisation – and there is room for a high-quality private sector that challenges the educational status quo. Delaying the Higher Education Bill will not stop it from developing.
Why Brits are no longer so keen on being green: Number of people willing to change the way they live falls by 10%
Public concern about climate change is on the wane
The number of people willing to alter the way they live in the hope of making a difference to global warming fell by around 10 per cent last year. There was also a sharp drop in those who regarded themselves as ‘fairly concerned’ about climate change.
The figures, released by the Government yesterday, suggest that doubts about global warming have been growing since the summer of 2009. This was before the damage inflicted on the cause by the ‘Climategate’ scandal later that year, in which leading scientists were accused of manipulating data to support the case of man-made climate change.
The credibility of global warming and concern about halting it appears to have been affected by the succession of three cold winters between 2008 and 2010.
More recently, doubts about the efficiency of wind turbines and the high costs of the Coalition’s drive for renewable energy have seen enthusiasm for the cause dwindling.
Fewer than two thirds now say they are at least ‘fairly concerned’ about climate change or that they are prepared to do something about it, figures published by the Department for Transport said.
According to the research, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, the share of the population who were at least fairly convinced that climate change was happening has dropped from 86 per cent in 2006 to 76 per cent last summer.
Over the same period, those who felt fairly concerned fell from 81 per cent to 65 per cent, and numbers willing to change their behaviour went down from 77 per cent to 65 per cent.
Fewer people said they were willing to use public transport or reduce how often they used their car, and only one in five said they would cut back on air travel. Most opposed higher taxes on air travel and petrol.
The findings came as the Government published a risk assessment warning of thousands of deaths because of climate change in coming decades. The report from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said Britain risks ‘sleepwalking into disaster’.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: ‘It shows what life could be like if we stopped our preparations now, and the consequences such a decision would mean for our economic stability.’
But Dr Benny Peiser, of the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘Climate change is dropping off the political agenda. The person in the pub no longer cares. It is bottom of their list of priorities.’
Mosley v Google censorship battle
“Google has removed hundreds of web pages relating to former motorsport boss Max Mosley’s sex life from its search results index, Britain’s Leveson Inquiry on press standards has heard.
But the internet giant said it dealt with requests for material to be excluded on a country-by-country basis, meaning articles and videos might remain accessible on other national versions of its site.
Mr Mosley told the inquiry in November he had spent over £500,000 ($750,000) trying to restore his reputation after a March 2008 News of the World article alleging he had a “sick Nazi orgy”, something he strongly denied.
He described his strenuous efforts to get articles removed from websites, adding: “The fundamental thing is that Google could stop this appearing but they don’t or won’t as a matter of principle.”
Google legal director Daphne Keller on Thursday confirmed that someone in Mr Mosley’s position would have to apply individually to have web pages, known as URLs, removed from the company’s sites in different countries. She told the inquiry: “I would hope that wouldn’t be a terribly difficult thing to do, and I can tell you that in his case we have removed hundreds of URLs.”
Ms Keller said a defamatory video could be removed from one of Google’s national sites but remain up on another. “If there is a country whose law says that that should stay up, then in that country we would comply with that law,” she said.
But the lawyer rejected a suggestion that Google should block certain search terms. She said: “In the Max Mosley case, obviously there has been all kinds of news coverage about this very inquiry, and other coverage that’s legitimate, and that you wouldn’t want to disappear from search results.”
The libel judgment in his favour obtained by Mosley was handed down in London by The Hon. Mr. Justice Eady. Mr Justice Eady is well-known for leaning towards the plaintiff in libel suits, bringing that entire area of British law into disrepute. His notorious judgments often lead to censorship of material that most people would think should remain uncensored. His ruling was particularly obnoxious in the Rachel Ehrenfeld case, causing the NY legislature to pass a special law to protect her from any consequences of Eady’s judgment. So I have no confidence in Eady’s ruling favouring Mr Mosley
That lack of confidence is strongly supported by the fact that Mosley has made strenuous efforts to have the video of his behavior suppressed. If the video just showed him having a cup of tea, why would he want it suppressed? Clearly it does at least in part support the allegations made.
To help circumvent the Mosley/Eady censorship attempts, I have made a copy of one report of the matter that is still up and reposted it here. Under U.S. law it would be regarded as in the public interest for public figures to have information about their deeds known.
I am not in fact particularly critical of Mr Mosley’s actions in this matter. As I see it, it is Mr Justice Eady who has poisoned the well in the matter. He appears to have developed de novo a law of privacy that has no regard to the truth or merit of the allegations. The USA is not alone in having unelected judges who create law that would never pass muster before a democratically-elected legislature.
So until the British parliament steps in, I will continue in skepticism towards British libel judgments. The problem is well-known in Britain and the present government has promised corrective legislation — but no such legislation appears to be on the horizon yet.