Giving birth must wait on the convenience of officialdom: If it’s not the NHS, it’s the British police

Are there any brains anywhere in Britain

A mother was forced to give birth in a dark hospital car park after her dash to the labour ward was delayed by two police road blocks.

Rachel Rodger and her husband Jason had to stop and answer officers’ questions at one of the roadblocks despite the expectant woman being in the advanced stages of labour.

When the couple finally made it to Perth Royal Infirmary at around 4am, Mrs Rodger did not have time to go inside as she started giving birth to son Luke when she got out of the car. The 26-year-old said: ‘My husband ran to press the intercom and asked for the midwife to come down. My legs gave way, I was on my knees on the tarmac and the baby’s head came.

‘I was screaming and panicking. Thankfully I had a towel with me because I was worried he was going to drop on to the tarmac.’

Last night the new mother, who lives in Coupar Angus, Perthshire, told how their trip to hospital had been held up by the Tayside Police roadblocks. They had been set up in the early hours of May 13 following a break-in at a shop in Scone, Perthshire. All vehicles on the surrounding roads were stopped and their occupants questioned.

Mrs Rodger had already been in the hospital a few hours earlier but was sent home because staff did not feel the birth was likely that night. However, in the early hours she was painfully aware that the arrival was imminent. When the couple set off from home they expected the journey to take half an hour.

Mrs Rodger, who works for a coach firm, said they first had to wait until police had stopped talking to the occupants of a car in front. Her husband told officers at the outset that they were hurrying to the hospital but they insisted on asking all of their questions.

She added: ‘When we got to Scone, we got stopped and my husband shouted out to the police officers that I was in labour. ‘They still stopped us and asked lots of details like my name, address, date of birth and place of birth. ‘They then asked what our purpose for being on the road was, even though I was clearly in labour – why else would we be on the road at four in the morning?’

On entering Perth, they came to a second roadblock, but this time police recognised the urgency of the situation and they were allowed through.

Mrs Rodger said: ‘We did get an apology from the police but I don’t think it was much of an apology.

‘I was panicking and having to stop myself from pushing. I had had a child before and I knew what was coming. When we got to the hospital and I stood up from the car, I just couldn’t go any further.’ A midwife alerted by Mr Rodger helped to deliver her baby in the car park.

Mrs Rodger said: ‘They had to cut the cord in the dark, I was very frightened. Afterwards I realised people in the houses round about must have all been looking out of their windows wondering what was going on and why I was screaming.

‘I was terrified being on my own in the dark, it wasn’t nice. We are so lucky everything is okay but what if there had been any complications? What if the baby’s cord had been wrapped around its head?’

Mrs Rodger’s mother, Isobel Hindmarch, later wrote to Tayside Police to complain, telling them the delay could have had tragic consequences if there had been complications with the birth. The trained nurse said: ‘I’m very angry about what my daughter went through. Every second counts if you’re expecting a speedy delivery. ‘It should have been clear to the officer at Scone that Rachel needed to be waved through immediately.’

Responding to Mrs Hindmarch’s complaint, Inspector Ian Martin, of Tayside Police’s community policing division, apologised for the incident. He said: ‘It is a matter of great regret that our actions, intended to affect the arrest of those responsible for a break-in to a premises in Scone, resulted in a delay in your daughter getting to Perth Royal Infirmary.

‘I offer my apologies if the delay in being stopped at the road block impacted on subsequent events and for any anxiety or distress caused to your daughter.’ [Empty bullshit. No word about the erring cops being spoken to]


Muzzled Britannia

Incorrect speech by whites is punished more severely than racial violence against whites

Back in 2001, Britain’s political parties signed a fantastic pledge. They agreed to say nothing to “stir up racial or religious hatred, or lead to prejudice on grounds of race, nationality or religion.”

This gag order did more than keep the parties polite. Vital issues — from massive immigration and multiculturalism to their eradicating effects on British civilization — were officially banned. Thus, such concerns became impermissible thoughts. Not that such issues weren’t already thoughtcrime, as George Orwell would have put it. But this unprecedented pledge turned “violators” into political lepers.

I thought of that elite code of cowardice this week when a London judge sentenced a 42-year-old British secretary named Jacqueline Woodhouse to 21 weeks in jail. Her crime? An expletive-laden rant about immigration, multiculturalism and the disappearance of British civilization. Not in so many words. But that was the unmistakable gist of Woodhouse’s commentary one January night on the London Underground.

This same week, another London judge ordered two black girls, 18 and 19, to perform community service after a savage physical attack on two white legal secretaries. “I am satisfied what you both did, you did that night because you were fueled by alcohol,” Judge Stephen Kramer said, as though tut-tutting a child’s unknowing apple theft.

A few months ago, another London judge freed four Somali Muslim women who set upon a white couple, yelling, “Kill the white slag,” and other anti-white slurs. The gang beat the woman to the ground and ripped out a patch of her hair. Judge Robert Brown was lenient because, he ruled, as Muslims, the women were not used to being drunk.

Jacqueline Woodhouse was drunk, too, but that was no mitigating factor in her case. She harmed no one, but that was no mitigating factor, either. Judge Michael Snow invoked the “deep sense of shame” Woodhouse’s display elicited, because “our citizens … may, as a consequence, believe that it secretly represents the views of other white people.”

“Thoughtcrime is death,” as Orwell wrote in “1984.”

And, thanks to YouTube, it becomes continuous spectacle. Woodhouse’s court-deemed “victim,” Galbant Singh Juttla, recorded and uploaded her display. After the six-minute clip went viral, Woodhouse turned herself in to police.

But what might she have confessed to?

I did it, mates. I said: “I used to live in England. Now I live in the United Nations.”

That’ll be 21 weeks in the clink?

Woodhouse said a lot of other things as she surveyed her fellow passengers, her squawky voice weirdly reminiscent of an Eliza Doolittle grown old without having met her Henry Higgins. “All bleeping foreign bleeping bleeps,” she says. “Where do you come from? Where do you come from? Where do you come from?” She estimated that 30 percent of the train’s passengers were in the country illegally.

Off with her head.

Expletives fly regarding England (“this bleeping country is a bleeping joke”), Pakistanis, illegals, pigs.

“I wouldn’t mind if you loved our country,” she said, lucid, to a Pakistani beside her.

“Long live Pakistan,” he said twice in Urdu, later leading a chorus of the Pakistani national anthem.

Woodhouse then notices her “victim” recording her. “Oh, look, he’s filming,” she says. “Hello, government.” She leans into the camera.

“Why don’t you tell us your name, as well?” Juttla the “victim” says.

“Why don’t you tell me where you’re from?” she says.

“I’m British, I’m British, yeah? I’m British,” he tells her.

“Right. OK,” she says.

“So, what’s your problem?” he says.

“Oh, what’s your problem?” she says.

“Yeah, you should watch what you say.”

“Watch what I say?”


“I used to live in England. Now I live in the United Nations.”

“So keep your mouth shut then.”

“Why should I?”

Twenty-one weeks in jail, folks.

Why, Woodhouse quite rationally asks, “am I not allowed to express my opinions?”

“We don’t want to hear your opinions,” Juttla replies.

This tears it. “Why is it all right for you but not all right for me?” She’s shrieking now, her voice cutting the air like a ragged-edged razor.

There is background laughter, but nothing is funny. For a few, farcical minutes, a nation’s tragedy, its unmarked passing, has taken the spotlight, the lead role played by a drunken secretary because there is no one else.

“Just keep your mouth shut,” Juttla says for the umpteenth time.

“Why should you open your gob and I can’t open mine?”

“Because you questioned me first,” he says, which isn’t true. Juttla questioned Woodhouse first, asking for her name. Surely, Big Brother would want to know.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “Not one rule for you and one rule for me.”

Oh, yes, Jacqueline. One rule for indigenous islanders.  One rule for everyone else.


British-born doctor told she was ‘wrong colour’ to get job in Cumbria and to ‘go back where she came from’ by boss

Since she would have been perfectly familiar with the British language and customs and had successfully completed  her training in Britain,  there was no excuse for this

A senior doctor was told by her boss that she was ‘the wrong colour’ to get  a top job in nursing, a misconduct hearing was told.  British Dr Sarina Saiger, who has Indian heritage, was advised to ‘go back to where she came from’ rather than try to become a director of nursing in Cumbria.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council heard how Dr Saiger’s boss, Bruce Skilbeck, made the remarks during a 2005 appraisal into her performance.

Dr Saiger, who has already been awarded £115,000 in damages at an earlier tribunal after being sacked in 2008, said: ‘After we did a brief resume of the work I had been doing, I remember clearly he said technically I was the most brilliant nurse he had ever worked with.

‘But I would never be a director of nursing in Cumbria because I was the wrong colour and wrong culture for the organisation.  ‘He said I needed to go back to where I came from to get a director of nursing position.’

Skilbeck, who was the director of nursing for North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust but has now retired, has been hauled before the NMC charged with two counts of misconduct against Dr Saiger which was allegedly ‘racially motivated’

Halifax-born Dr Saiger had been parachuted into the trust in 2004 to raise standards as assistant director of nursing.  She had excelled academically and harboured ambitions of going on to the top job, but was shot down by Skilbeck in the appraisal meeting on November 3, 2005, shortly after he joined the trust.

Dr Saiger added: ‘I was just stunned, I have been a nurse since 1986 and I’ve faced many things in nursing.   ‘It’s a difficult profession, but I never expected to hear that, not from someone who is supposed to be of an intellectually senior standing.’

A tearful Dr Saiger told the hearing how she was studying for her PhD and raising her son Michael while working in an increasingly hostile environment.  She said: ‘I was finding things out after the event, excluded from meetings. My PA Maria was absolutely loyal and would get me information because I wasn’t kept informed.

‘I didn’t have an office; I was working out of the back of my car. Other nurses and senior managers who were appointed after me were given an office and a desk, and access to equipment.  ‘I was actually quite lonely.’

Eventually, Dr Saiger launched a grievance against the trust, including the comments made by Skilbeck.  But a prolonged investigation delivered a ‘whitewash’ which absolved senior managers of blame, she said.  She said: ‘It was just a farce really. It completely and utterly absolved everyone and anything.  ‘They would find reasons, excuses, policies – everything I was saying was completely untrue.’

Skilbeck is also accused of violently grabbing Dr Saiger by the arm and dragging her along a corridor, on May 31, 2007.  Dr Saiger reported the incident, which left her with a badly bruised arm, to the police, but no charges were brought.

She was sacked from her £42,000-a-year post in 2008, but launched an employment tribunal case which ruled she had been a victim of a campaign of racially-motivated discrimination and harassment.  The tribunal found she had been subjected to an ‘intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’.

The tribunal upheld 16 of her 27 complaints and awarded her £115,000 in damages.

Skilbeck, who is now retired, did not attend the hearing in central London today, but emailed papers to the NMC to support his case.  The hearing into his alleged misconduct continues.


My parents supported Enoch Powell – but that doesn’t mean they were racist

Anne Robinson’s very personal recollection of Britain’s most controversial politician

My first awareness of the existence of Enoch Powell came, like many other things in my life, from  my mother. She was fascinated by politics: a frustrating world away from her everyday life, even though in many ways her life was extraordinary.

In post-war Britain when it appeared the rest of womankind, who had enjoyed freedom and the right to work while their men were away fighting, had been firmly returned to their domestic boxes, my mother was doing the polar opposite.

In food-rationed Britain she’d created and was running a wholesale poultry business.  Her alarming skill at money-making was sufficient to move her young family to the grandeur of a large mansion in Blundellsands, a suburb of Liverpool.

She naturally voted Tory. Not that she took any active role in local politics. Indeed she held most politicians in contempt.

But there were two exceptions: Michael Foot and Enoch Powell. A socialist and a Tory, but significantly both fiercely independent and hard to pigeonhole. She singled them out because they excelled in what mattered to her most — oratory and advocacy.

Powell and Foot’s flair, she would frequently declare, was second to none. Thus, their names reverberated around our home. The fact that these two men appeared to have little in common politically mattered not a jot to her.

They were the intellectuals of their day, with the skill to convey their views.

In the 1950s you’d have needed to have a keen interest in politics to follow Enoch Powell’s career. I was barely 14 when he first made headlines in 1958, having resigned from the government in protest at the level of public spending.

He was a rebel, or if you were looking on from our vantage point in Blundellsands, a hero — since, naturally, my mother adored Enoch even more for his magnificent display of awkwardness.

His next act of swimming against the tide left no one ignorant of his name. His immigration speech of April 1968 gripped the whole country. By then I was a young Sunday Times news reporter. A paper, which prided itself on its campaigning reputation. The paper’s condemnation of the speech was unequivocal.

Looking back, it is hard to think of a year as important politically as 1968. Every day seemed to produce a spine-tingling headline.

There were the assassinations of Martin Luther King and then  Robert Kennedy, the Paris riots, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the continuing horror of the Vietnam War, and Richard Nixon’s election as U.S. president.

The new heroes of the decade were those who’d sacrificed their lives in the name of liberty. In contrast, Enoch Powell had become a figure of hate in the world of the London glitterati. A young journalist on a liberal newspaper had no reason to challenge this conclusion.

My mother, however, was under no such constraints. She believed Enoch had had the nerve to say out loud what everyone was thinking — except for the small political and journalistic elite in which her daughter now mixed.

Significantly, Liverpool was a city with a history of immigration going back far beyond that of the Midlands and Enoch’s Wolverhampton constituency.

The difference was that Liverpool’s immigrant population, referred to unashamedly as ‘darkies’, was almost exclusively confined to the city’s ghettoes.

The idea that my mother’s rather grand area of suburbia (Liverpool 23) — where there were ‘in’ and ‘out’ drives and plentiful employment for cooks and gardeners — might become akin to the downtrodden slum areas of Liverpool 7 and 8 would have been every bit as distressing to her as it was proving to be for the long-term white residents of Wolverhampton.

To make sense of that view, you need to remember what life was like 50 years ago. The now popular idea that the ‘Swinging Sixties’ heralded tolerance and free-thinking is an almost comically lopsided picture.

Much of what was regarded as acceptable and normal behaviour would today be judged as abhorrent; not just the language of Enoch Powell.

This was the decade when young boys — my brother Peter was one of them — were shipped off at the tender age of six or seven to the harsh regimes of prep school, where corporal punishment and bullying were the norm.

For women, there was no equality of pay or opportunity. The Pill was not available for unmarried women. Abortion was a luxury for rich girls. Babies were called illegitimate (or worse) if born out of wedlock.

It was normal practice to  send unmarried mothers away to give birth, and within a few weeks  to have the babies forcibly removed for adoption.

A woman yelling ‘rape’ could expect to be disbelieved or told she was ‘asking for it’. So much so that a woman who experienced rape would not have considered it anything other than her own stupid fault. Maternity leave was almost unheard of.

In 1968, a woman wishing to rent a television set required the supporting signature of a man. Any man! A woman requiring an overdraft or applying for a mortgage needed to have the conditions read aloud by her bank manager.

The Married Women’s Property Act of 1964, giving married women a legal share of the matrimonial home, was in its infancy.

There were remarkably few female accountants, estate agents, barristers or senior police officers. As late as 1980, BBC Radio 2 had a policy of never playing two female singers back to back.

The Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised homosexual acts in private between consenting males over 21, was less than a year old. Indeed, those in the 1960s who forecast new laws against racial discrimination and sexual discrimination were dismissed as scaremongers.

‘I didn’t judge my parents as racists for supporting Enoch Powell. Like many others, they felt they hadn’t come through a war to see their neighbourhood transformed and property values threatened.’

Of course the above now seems barbaric and jaw-dropping. But it’s muddle-headed to suppose that all the politicians who accepted the status quo were ‘sexists’, any more than people like my mother were ‘racists’.

Equally, expressions that now are rightly regarded as racist were used without anyone having the foggiest idea they were offensive.

I didn’t judge my parents as racists for supporting Enoch Powell. Like many others, they felt they hadn’t come through a war to see their neighbourhood transformed and property values threatened.

Of course, when re-reading today the ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in full (and how many do?), there is no doubt about the odious wording it includes.

Much the same could be said of Churchill in the 1930s, when on occasions he referred to African nations as ‘savages’.

Nevertheless, after the immigration speech, Enoch was entrenched in the public psyche as a formidable, forbidding creature; his dark aura assisted by the pencil-thin moustache, the mostly unsmiling countenance and the scary black homburg hat.

It was a few years later, in the mid-1970s, that I found myself at the House of Commons interviewing him for a newspaper profile. He was famous for not having an office in the House, and our chat was conducted on one of the green benches near the central lobby.

Anyone who met Enoch Powell remembers the first occasion.  Those penetrating blue eyes and his clipped manner of speech were intimidating (even for a girl whose own mother was regarded as terrifying by most people).

The moment I mentioned ‘rivers of blood’, my tutorial commenced. The expression never appeared in the speech, he said. And he went on to explain from where the quotation ‘the Tiber foaming  with much blood’ derived —  Virgil’s Aeneid — and why, when viewed in its context, it should have hardly caused offence to any reasonable person.

It was a nerve-racking start. But the fact that he bothered to go into detail in a gentle, respectful manner convinced me that beneath the forbidding exterior he was actually courteous, kind, painstaking.

As I left, he asked if I’d bring my completed work to him to correct any errors of fact. Accordingly, a few days later I turned up at his house in Belgravia. He answered the door and led me to the basement, where we sat at a tiny kitchen table. Saying a private prayer, I handed him the finished profile. It felt like being at school again.

Thank goodness for the unexpected interruption of Pamela Powell, his wife. She bustled in with an apology for disturbing us. ‘Your lunch, Enoch,’ she said, ‘is in the fridge. There is apple pie to finish. The cream is in a jug at the top of the fridge. Do not spill the cream.’

The great Enoch Powell nodded meekly. For one who had grown up in a matriarchal home, the scene was reassuringly familiar. I relaxed. Mr Powell even smiled for the first time and then, having corrected only the grammar, said: ‘Very good. Thank you for coming along.’ I left his house much endeared to him.

In the early 1980s, I moved to Hampstead in North-West London, where Michael and Jill Foot were my neighbours, and like me besotted dog owners. We formed a close friendship to the extent that I came to regard the Foots as secondary parents.

Jill was an exceptional cook and endearingly hospitable both to young journalists and to her husband’s favourite political colleagues.

Thus to my great amusement I learned the Powells were frequent supper guests. Scholarship clearly took precedence over political views. And while Michael disagreed with Enoch on immigration, he never, ever believed Enoch was a racist.

How my mother, who had so often been ridiculed for her twin support of Enoch Powell and Michael Foot, would have enjoyed knowing there was nothing foolish in her choice of heroes.

I have one final memory of  Enoch. Shortly after I’d made the transition to television as the presenter of the BBC’s Points Of View, I dipped my toe into the world of TV current affairs.

My chance came with Southern Television, which invited me to present a programme of a  similar format to today’s Question Time. It appeared once a week in different venues along the South-East coast.

The series coincided with the First Gulf War of 1990. Enoch had ceased to be an MP. But he was still a very good booking.  It was a coup to have him as a guest on the first programme. Another on the panel of four was the Daily Mail’s Ann Leslie.

Before the start, I wandered into the makeshift make-up room to say my hellos and found them deep in conversation. Not that I could understand a word. They were speaking Swahili to each other. I left them to it.

For a relative newcomer to television, ahead of me was the tricky task of conducting proceedings from the middle of the audience with a handheld microphone. The show was live. There was much to deal with. There was much that could go wrong.

On the way to the stage, I whispered to Enoch that I remembered him saying he always made it a point to perform on a half-full bladder to keep him on his mettle. ‘I’ve taken your advice,’ I hissed, ‘I’m petrified.’

The programme began and, to my relief, we got through the first question.   Then from the middle of the audience, I caught Enoch — out of sight of the viewers at home — smiling, and to my utter astonishment he gave me a ‘thumbs up’.  It was charming. An adorable gesture I’ve never forgotten.

Yes, Enoch was a controversial figure. His language in the 1968 speech was ill judged. To come to a satisfactory verdict on any of his pronouncements, you need to read the small print.

Enoch’s intellectual force, and his pig-headedness, meant he failed to make allowances for the fact that many people would not do so.

But to ascribe racist motives to a politician simply because he used language which, for many of his listeners was normal, is sloppy logic. Enoch deserves better. My mother was right. He was a worthy hero.


Students’ pushy parents must cut the umbilical cord, say Oxford dons, as demands for exam remarks soar

After the family purse pays for GCSE and A-Level resits, students are taking their overdependency on home to university, says bursar.

They believe their sharp elbows and pushy nature have helped to smooth the path for their children into one of the country’s oldest and finest universities.

But parents of a new generation of Oxford students are causing consternation among dons, who claim they are responsible for the number of appeals doubling in the past year.

Some parents refuse to “cut the umbilical cord”, it is argued, and after paying for remarks and resits “at every stage” of the A-level and GCSE process, they see nothing wrong with encouraging their children to appeal against their university exam marks as well.

Of the 224 appeals received in the past year, only one case of incorrect marking was found.

Students who had attended private schools and whose parents had paid for GCSE and A-level resits were more likely to question Oxford examiners’ decisions, according to David Palfreyman, bursar of New College and director of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies.

The university’s proctors, who act as ombudsmen for the students, have sent guidance to colleges reminding them of the strict rules surrounding appeals in an attempt to cut down the amount of time dons spend checking marks.

Mr Palfreyman said parental influence was leading to more students appealing against their finals grades.  “Mum and dad have paid for a re-mark and a resit at each phase of the A-level process. The students just carry on that mentality at university and so do mummy and daddy,” he said.  “The family is investing in it so it is not surprising if mum and dad work out that there is this appeals process.

“Compared with my day, when you had to go out of your way to get to a phone box to ring mum and dad once a week, with the mobile phone mum can track you down any time but equally you can ring mum because you don’t know how to open a tin of beans.

“It is more difficult to sever that over-dependency if you can contact them so easily. If you are not careful, the child will march into their interview with their mother. It is infantilisation.”

Of the 224 appeal complaints, almost 90 per cent related to examinations. About 70 of these appeals involved students requesting marks checks, but only one paper was found to have been inaccurately marked. A handful of complaints related to other matters, such as harassment or maladministration.

Brian Rogers and Laurence Whitehead, the university’s proctors, said some students were having difficulty “negotiating the transition from adolescence to adulthood”.  Speaking to Congregation, Oxford’s “parliament of dons”, Prof Whitehead said: “In many ways they are highly sophisticated, but many have also grown up more protected and with less experience of the world than almost any of their predecessors.”

In his oration, Prof Whitehead said “the widespread use of complaints procedures” in school exams could be a cause of the rise in GCSE and A-level resits.

“Some colleges forward requests for marks checks where the only basis appears to be that the candidate is disappointed with the mark they have received,” he said.

Prof Rogers, a psychology tutor at Pembroke College, said: “Many colleges, including my own, actively welcome parents to come up with their students at the beginning of their first year. I would never have been seen dead with my parents, I’m afraid – I would have been totally embarrassed. But they like to inspect us and are more involved.”


British University applications drop by 50,000 amid rising fees

University applications have plummeted by 50,000 as growing numbers of students are put off by annual tuition fees of up to £9,000, it emerged today.  Figures show that demand for degree courses across Britain is down by almost nine per cent in just 12 months.

Students from England – who face paying the highest fees – are being hit hardest by the new student finance regime, it was revealed.

In total, demand from English students has dropped by 10 per cent so far this year – almost five times the fall seen among those from Scotland, who receive free tuition.

The data – relating to applications lodged by late May – represent further evidence that students are being deterred from university by a near tripling in the cost of a course.

It was also revealed that demand for arts-based courses, which traditionally lead to relatively poorly-paid jobs, is down quicker than those for other degree subjects.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said: “These latest figures highlight yet again the government’s recklessness in raising tuition fees to as much as £9,000 a year.

“It should come as little surprise that applications in England are hardest hit as a result of the government making it the most expensive country in the world in which to gain a public degree education.”

Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) show some 597,473 people have applied to British universities so far this year. It is down by 49,535 – or 7.7 per cent – in 12 months.

But the data masks significant differences between countries, with overall applications being largely propped up by continuing high demand from foreign students living outside Europe.  The number of students applying from mainland Europe has dropped from 45,727 to 39,966 – a fall of almost 13 per cent.  Among British students alone, applications are down by almost nine per cent – from 550,147 in 2011 to 501,267 this year.

From this autumn, universities in England will charge up to £9,000-a-year in tuition fees – almost three times the current maximum.

Institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can charge the same amount, although devolved governments will provide generous subsidies for their own students. Scottish students receive free tuition while those from Wales have fees capped at current levels.

According to Ucas, students from England are being put off in far higher numbers than in other countries, with demand down by a total of 10 per cent. Among 18-year-olds coming to the end of their A-levels, applications have dropped by 4.1 per cent.

By comparison, applications from Scotland are down by just 2.2 per cent, while those from 18-year-olds have actually increased by 0.3 per cent.

It comes after an analysis by the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council for England last year suggested that families may consider moving from England to Scotland to avoid the fees rise.

Today’s figures also reveal sharp differences between courses, suggesting that students are being driven away from subjects that are less likely to lead to a highly-paid job.

Demand for creative arts and design courses is down by 16.4 per cent and subjects such as media and film studies have seen drops of 14 per cent. At the same time, applications to study medicine and dentistry are down by just 2.6 per cent, while engineering has seen a two per cent fall.


Children ‘made rude, uncooperative and aggressive by video games’ with some playing for more than two hours a day during term-time

This is all just one-eyed assertion.  How do they know if the kid would not be doing drugs except for the alternative excitement of gaming?

Children are becoming aggressive, rude and uncooperative because of their addiction to computer games, research suggests.  Even during term-time they are spending 16 hours or more a week playing games outside school hours.

And one 15-year-old boy admitted spending 18 hours a day playing computer games during his school holidays.

The British Association of Anger Management warned yesterday that the youngsters start to withdraw from family life and interaction with friends but many parents ignore the problem in order to avoid confrontations,

It surveyed 204 parents of children aged nine to 18 about their use of computer games. Forty-six per cent said their sons or daughters had become ‘less co-operative’ since they started playing video games.

Forty-four per cent said they were more ‘rude or intolerant towards others’, 40 per cent said they were more impatient, 36 per cent reported an increase in ‘aggressive behaviour’, 29 per cent cited more mood swings and 26 per cent said their offspring had become more reclusive.

Twenty-eight per cent admitted their children spent 16 hours  or more a week playing com- puter games.

Mike Fisher, director of the association, which provides one-to-one sessions for children, said: ‘We get a fair amount of young people that are referred to us by their parents, whereby they are playing up in their school and home life.  There’s a very high percentage that we work with who are compulsive, obsessive online gaming addicts.’

Children being treated through anger management programmes range in age from 13 to 17.

Mr Fisher said: ‘The typical situation that we are faced with is where the young person gets very irritable and aggressive when they’re asked to clean their rooms, do their homework or to come to dinner when they really want to finish their game.

Their brains are being orientated to the point where their capacity to delay gratification has been diminished radically.

‘Classic addiction symptoms are wanting to isolate themselves in their room and play games all day. Any distraction from the addiction and they become hostile and impatient.  ‘Other symptoms are poor concentration, not eating enough, not brushing their teeth or even bathing.’

He said that weaning children off computer games involves parents setting ground rules such as limiting the number of hours a day that they can play and making clear that any misbehaviour will lead to a week-long ban.

‘The parents also have to learn  to deal with the aggression of  the young person because often their anger holds the whole  family hostage,’ he added.  ‘A lot  of parents want peace and quiet and the child learns that by being angry, they’ll get their own way.  We train parents to hold the boundaries.’

In April Alison Sherratt, a teacher in Keighley, West Yorkshire, warned that children as young as four are hitting classmates as they re-enact scenes from violent 18-rated computer games.


Carbon credits a goldmine for British fraudsters

Figures obtained from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) revealed an explosion in companies fraudulently offering to deal in carbon credits – transferable certificates that allow companies to pollute. More than 100 companies have been reported to the watchdog over the past 12 months. The figure is up from just six prior to June last year.

The City watchdog has already published the names of 21 companies in its list of unauthorised firms. The list comes with the warning that some of the firms “knowingly run scams”.

The companies, including Green Carbon Solutions, Global Climate Agency and Carbon Credit International, have names designed to suggest probity. In fact many of them are run by individuals who used to operate boiler room scams selling shares to unsuspecting investors.

One company approached by The Telegraph, which does not appear on the FSA list, was offering “minimum returns” of 15pc per year and up to 30pc or 40pc returns were “quite possible”. The company was not authorised by the FSA.

Jonathan Phelan, head of unauthorised business for the FSA, said: “There has been a massive rise in referrals about carbon credit trading between last year and this. We have taken a close look at a number of them and referred four to other agencies. There are six we are investigating ourselves, while 21 firms have been added to our list of unauthorised firms.

“Typically we think they are the same people who have run boiler rooms and land banking fraud. They are moving from con to con.”

The rise in scams around carbon credit is being seen by law enforcers at the FSA as proof that work they have been carrying out against boiler rooms and land-banking is paying off. However, as trading in carbon credits is not regulated by the FSA it makes cracking down on the market difficult.

While the FSA can name and shame companies it believes are operating scams it cannot act against them unless they are trading carbon credits as part of a collective investment scheme or a futures contract.



About jonjayray

I am former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody
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