Complaints culture ‘is bleeding schools and hospitals dry’ as NHS faces £16bn of claims

I have great respect for Frank Furedi but I would be much more sympathetic to his views below if I thought that Britain’s inert government employees made an effort. They very often don’t, it seems to me, and the volume of complaints that they generate seems evidence of that. There are many complaints against the NHS that reveal quite scandalous negligence

I am however a little surprised to see Frank lumping the NHS and the schools together. Both are dysfunctional but in different ways.

Britain’s escalating compensation culture is ‘bleeding the health and education services dry’, according to a report to be published tomorrow. The scathing report shows that the increasing number of legal claims against the NHS and schools after accidents or mistakes has reduced the quality of services rather than improving safety and accountability.

It says the litigation culture is ‘ingrained in the national psyche as a warped form of normal behaviour’. This has the effect of undermining the role of doctors and teachers and preventing them from doing their jobs properly, it claims.

A huge amount of time and money in the NHS and education is spent dealing with such claims.

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), which deals with legal action taken against the health service, estimates it now has liabilities of £16.8 billion – equivalent to 16 per cent of the annual healthcare budget.

The report, produced by the think-tank Centre for Policy Studies, has described this as ‘a spectacular own goal’ because the money must eventually come from the taxpayer.

One of the report’s authors, Professor Frank Furedi, from the University of Kent, said: ‘Demanding recompense for accidents is now perceived not only as a commonsense way of gaining financial compensation, but as a way of holding public services to account.

‘But taken together, the combination of an engrained compensation culture and litigation avoidance is bleeding the health and education services dry: both financially and in terms of their public-sector ethos and professional role.’

Prof Furedi added: ‘The increasing fear of litigation is also extremely damaging to the professionalism of doctors, nurses and teachers. It erodes professional autonomy, stifles innovation, leads to defensive practices in both hospitals and schools and encourages greater bureaucracy.

‘If we want to put a brake on the culture of litigation and litigation avoidance in Britain we need to look beyond ambulance-chasers and greedy lawyers to the cultural conditions that have allowed litigious sentiments to flourish as common sense.’

One GP who contributed to the study, who has practised in London for 25 years, said the compensation culture encouraged a ‘defensive form of practice’ where treatment was given not because of what was in the patients’ best interests, but to cover the doctor’s back.

He said doctors often referred patients to hospital for investigation just in case they sued if it turned out they had cancer and the diagnosis was delayed. This ends up costing the NHS more money because it means patients are often examined unnecessarily. He also argued there was a ‘culture of complaint’ where patients were on the lookout for ‘less-than-perfect care’.

Payouts made by the NHSLA have trebled in ten years to £911 million in 2010/11. However, 2,922 clinical claims were closed in 2010/11 without any compensation being paid – but still at a cost to the NHS of £10.9 million because of legal fees. Staffing the NHSLA alone now costs £7million a year.

The problem is similarly acute in schools, according to the report. It reveals several cases where local councils have been forced to pay compensation to school pupils injured in its care, and says many schools will now not take pupils on trips in case they are sued if something goes wrong.

One council in Derbyshire paid out £40,000 after a pupil broke a leg on a school trip.

The headteacher of a primary school in Warwickshire said it was the norm for parents to sue following injuries in the playground.

He described a recent incident in the playground, involving a boy who had cut his head after running into a bench.

He said: ‘It was probably two days later that I noticed something very odd, that I hadn’t had happen for many years. ‘I didn’t receive a letter from the parents asking for a written account of the incident, witness statements, the contact details for the school’s first aider. ‘And then something even odder – the dad brought in chocolates. Nowadays we expect the opposite to happen.’

Tim Knox, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said the rise in the compensation culture ‘has created a climate in which professionals will prioritise litigation avoidance above what is best for their pupils or patients’.


Boy, 7, died ‘partly due to hospital’s Bank Holiday staff shortages’

A little boy who went into hospital for heart surgery suffered cardiac arrest within a week and died partly due to Bank Holiday staff shortages, according to a report. Luke Jenkins, seven, was expected to make a full recovery after his successful corrective surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

His grieving parents are angry and disgusted at what they claim is the lack of care before and on the day of their son’s death.

Stephen Jenkins, 30, and wife Faye, 27, of St Mellons, Cardiff, south Wales, were stunned by the contents of a report into the tragedy. Put together by an investigative team at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, it is called a root cause analysis (RCA). What it identified amounts to a tragic catalogue of avoidable human errors which combined with fatal consequences for Luke on April 6.

Junior nursing staff lost vital time because they did not know where resuscitation equipment on Ward 32, where Luke was placed, was kept. The emergency team was also unfamiliar with the equipment because cardiac arrest was rare in the ward environment.

The fact that Luke suffered a cardiac arrest on Good Friday meant that the duty surgeon was at home when he collapsed and had to be urgently called in to attend hospital.

The surgeon was on the scene within 19 minutes of receiving the emergency call, although the report does not say when it was made.

‘On the 6th April when the patient deteriorated it was a bank holiday; although it is recognised that the resuscitation team arrived quickly,’ the report states. ‘The cardiac surgeon had responded from home and had the chest open within 19 minutes of the emergency call.’

What is clear is that Luke’s heart stopped for 43 minutes before he was resuscitated, after which he underwent exploratory surgery. He died the following day.

Luke was born with a congenital heart defect and had already had two of three corrective operations before undergoing the third. He was initially put into intensive care after his successful operation but was transferred to Ward 32 after several days.

While staff numbers on the ward was set according to official guidance, low staff levels had been a problem for at least two years. ‘A risk assessment identifying low and unsafe nurse staffing and high dependency patient acuity issues was developed following a high-risk incident in October 2010 remains outstanding,’ the report states.

There have been eight separate patient safety incidents on the ward since January, two of those sparking ‘high-risk’ investigations. All eight were linked to problems of low staffing levels.

Other worrying factors include the resetting of potentially vital alarms on Luke’s condition monitoring equipment after his arrival on Ward 32.

‘The patient was frequently triggering the alarms on his monitoring equipment; and the family witnessed the alarms being reset to a lower threshold by the nursing staff to stop the alarms from being activated,’ the report states. ‘Triggering the alarms did not appear to trigger a medical review.’

The 40-page report makes eight recommendations and draws a raft of conclusions based on the experience of Luke’s tragic death.

But the child’s parents claim the report is less than honest and fails to give a true picture of what really happened.

They claim a series of factual errors appear to combine to hide the full extent of the negligence their son suffered. An assertion that Luke underwent an x-ray the day before his death is questioned in a letter sent in reply to the report. ‘If he had had an X-ray they would have found what was wrong with him and he would still be here now,’ said an emotional Mr Jenkins. ‘But we were with him all day and we know that it never happened.’

He said that the family intended to fight on until the full truth was revealed.

‘There have been eight other incidents since January 2012. They cannot tell us who the people were but that should be made public,’ Mr Jenkins said. ‘We have written saying that we are not happy with the report because some of what is in it is not true.’

He said one major problem was that nursing staff failed to listen to them when they were anxiously calling for help for Luke.

That view is supported by the report itself, which states: ‘Failure to listen to the ‘voice of the patient’ is recognised to be a major contributory factor in patient safety investigations.’

However, it concluded: ‘The RCA team were unable to comment on whether listening to the family on this occasion would have changed the patient outcome.’


British girl, 13, taught in isolation by school because special shoes for her painful tendonitis were the WRONG COLOUR

If she had wanted to wear Muslim garb, that would have been OK, though

A teenage girl who has to wear special shoes due to a foot condition, has been told by her school she will be taught in isolation if she doesn’t wear the ‘correct’ shoes.

Keeley Skov has to wear achilles tendon supports and orthotic insoles as she suffers from achilles tendonitis which causes her chronic pain.

The supports don’t fit into standard school shoes, and so Keeley wears a pair of black and white trainers to school.

But Wilnecote High School in Tamworth, Staffs, have told the 13-year-old she must wear regulation black school shoes – despite Keeley having a medical note to explain the situation.

The school will not accept the letter and have said they will keep Keeley in isolation until she wears a pair of plain black shoes.

Mum Carrie Skov said: ‘Keeley is a shy girl, she works hard at school and she was devastated. She was in floods of tears.

‘I was told by a teacher that she would be in isolation until she wore the correct shoes and that they would not accept the letter from the hospital.

‘I want an apology for how she was treated – there is a medical reason for why she wears these pumps and I provided medical evidence. ‘She should have been treated differently – she cried all day about it.’

Headmaster Stuart Tonks said that at the end of last term, pupils were given new letters reminding them of the strict school uniform policy and parents were reminded of this by text last week.

Stuart said: ‘Wilnecote High School is reinforcing its uniform policy at the start of the new school year and footwear needs to be black.

‘Keeley was in school with shoes that were black and white. This pupil has medical reasons why she has to wear a certain type of footwear and we appreciate that.

‘We want to work with the family to help her fulfil our uniform policy.’


Are wind farms saving or killing us? A provocative investigation claims thousands of people are falling sick because they live near them

It was Uplawmoor’s tranquillity and wild beauty that drew civil servant Aileen Jackson to settle there 28 years ago. She’d had enough of life in the big city. Now she wanted somewhere quiet and rural to start a family, keep her horses, and enjoy the magnificent views down the valley and out to sea to the western Scottish isles of Arran and Ailsa Craig.

Then, two years ago, she says, it all turned sour. A neighbour with whom she and her family had been friends decided to take advantage of the massive public subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy.

He put up a 64ft-high wind turbine which, though on his own land, stood just 300 yards from the Jackson family’s home.

The sleepless nights caused by its humming were only the start of their problems. Far worse was the impact on their health.

Aileen, a diabetic since the age of 19, found her blood glucose levels rocketing – forcing her to take more insulin and causing her to develop a cataract, she says.

Her younger son, Brian, an outgoing, happy, academically enthusiastic young man, suddenly became a depressive, stopped seeing his friends and dropped out of his studies at college.

Aileen’s husband William, who had always had low blood pressure, now found his blood pressure levels going ‘sky high’ – and has been on medication ever since.

So far so coincidental, you might say. And if you did, you would have the full and enthusiastic support of the wind industry.

Here is what the official trade body RenewableUK has to say on its website: ‘In over 25 years and with more than 68,000 machines installed around the world, no member of the public has ever been harmed by the normal operation of wind farms.’

But in order to believe that, you would have to discount the testimony of the thousands of people just like Aileen around the world who claim their health has been damaged by wind farms.

You would have to ignore the reports of doctors such as Australia’s Sarah Laurie, Canada’s Nina Pierpont and Britain’s Amanda Harry who have collated hundreds of such cases of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

And you’d have to reject the expertise of the acoustic engineers, sleep specialists, epidemiologists and physiologists who all testify that the noise generated by wind farms represents a major threat to public health.

‘If this were the nuclear industry, this is a scandal which would be on the front pages of every newspaper every day for months on end,’ says Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry who has been leading the parliamentary revolt against wind farms, demanding that their subsidies be cut. ‘But because it’s wind it has been let off the hook. It shouldn’t be.’

Wind Turbine Syndrome. Until you’ve seen for yourself what it can do to a community, you might be tempted to dismiss it as a hypochondriac’s charter or an urban myth.

In December 2011, in a peer-reviewed report in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Dr Carl Phillips – one of the U.S.’s most distinguished epidemiologists – concluded that there is ‘overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate’.

According to a study by U.S. noise control engineer Rick James, wind farms generate the same symptoms as Sick Building Syndrome – the condition that plagued office workers in the Eighties and Nineties as a result of what was eventually discovered to be the Low Frequency Noise (LFN), caused by misaligned air conditioning systems.

The combination of LFN and ‘amplitude modulation’ (loudness that goes up and down) leads to fatigue, poor concentration and dizziness.

And sleep specialist Dr Chris Hanning believes it stimulates an alert response, leading to arousal episodes throug the night that make restful sleep impossible. ‘I’ve spoken with many sufferers and sadly the only treatment is for them to move away from the wind farm.’

But if the problem is really so widespread, why isn’t it better known? The short answer is money: the wind industry is a hugely lucrative business with millions to spend on lobbying.

What’s more, until recently, it benefited from the general public mood that ‘something ought to be done about climate change’ and wind power – supposedly ‘free’, ‘renewable’ and ‘carbon-friendly’ – was the obvious solution. ‘For years among the metropolitan elite it has been considered heretical to criticise wind power,’ says Heaton-Harris.

In Britain, onshore wind farms are subsidised by a levy on consumer bills at 100 per cent; offshore wind is subsidised at 200 per cent

In the last decade, however, a host of evidence has emerged to indicate it is not the panacea it was thought to be.

From economists such as Edinburgh University’s Dr Gordon Hughes we are told that wind energy is unreliable and intermittent, with no real market value because it requires near 100 per cent back-up by conventional fossil-fuel power.

From research institute Verso Economics we are told that that for every ‘green job’ created by taxpayer subsidy, 3.7 jobs are killed in the real economy.

It is said that thanks to the artificial rise in energy prices caused by renewable subsidies, expected to reach £13 billion per annum by 2020, at least 50,000 people a year in Britain are driven into fuel poverty.

And newly released Spanish government research claims that each turbine kills an average 300 birds a year (often rare ones such as eagles and bustards) and at least as many bats.

Yet still, despite collapsing share prices and increasing public scepticism, the industry continues to grow. As Matt Ridley noted recently in The Spectator, there are ‘too many people with snouts in the trough.’

Aristocratic landowners have done especially well, such as the Earl of Moray (£2 million a year from his Doune estate) and the Duke of Roxburghe (£1.5 million a year from his estate in Lammermuir Hills).

South of the border, the Prime Minister’s father-in-law Sir Reginald Sheffield makes more than £1,000 a day from the eight turbines on his Lincolnshire estates. Even smaller landholdings can generate a tidy profit: around £40,000 per year, per large (3MW) turbine, for no effort whatsoever.

The biggest winners, though, are the mostly foreign-owned (Mitsubishi, Gamesa, Siemens) firms for whom wind was until recently a virtually risk-free investment.

Much more HERE

Sam Brick again

Englishwoman Samantha Brick reports very adverse results of her being moderately good-looking. She says other women hate her for it. She now reproduces stories (one such below) from other women who say the same.

I am a little perplexed, however. I have known quite a few attractive women in my time in Australia (and even married some of them) but have not heard such reports as Samantha’s. In fact one of the most attractive women I have known was literally dripping with friends. She had more friends than she could keep up with. Eyes would light up as soon as she entered a room. And she was a born “lady” (in the behavioural, not the hereditary sense), which could in theory have evoked resentment. She was/is however a very bright lady beneath her porcelain exterior and used her brains to understand other people.

So I have two theories: 1). England and Australia are different. England is a very commpetitive place and Australia is very relaxed. That is broadly true and may apply to relationships between women. 2). It is only flirtatious women (maybe unconsciously flirtatious) and women who have “tickets” on themselves who attract hostile treatment from other women. Only some sort of objective study would be decisive, however

Amusing if it is only in Australia that the “sisterhood” proclaimed by feminists exists. It certainly does not exist in Sam Brick’s world

In April this year, the Daily Mail published a piece I had written entitled Why Do Women Hate Me For Being Beautiful? In the article I recounted several incidents when I had been negatively treated or bullied by other women because of how I look. I also described the upside of being attractive: having drinks bought for me, being presented with flowers and once receiving a complimentary bottle of champagne on a flight.

Even as I wrote it, I realised I was challenging one of the biggest taboos of our time: you can think you’re pretty, but you must never admit it publicly. But then I’ve lived in France for the past five years, where it isn’t considered a sin to look in the mirror and like what you see.

On publication, I naively assumed that, at best, I’d provoke a gentle ribbing, at worst that there would be a staunch riposte to my piece from a fellow writer. What I didn’t expect was the global condemnation that was fired at me in a very personal and unpleasant way. People posted messages on Mail Online, Twitter and my personal email saying that they hoped I’d die and would be ‘bricked to death’. That I was ugly, stupid and must have a ‘beer mirror’. Had what I’d written really merited such vitriol?

I was also unprepared for the media requests that came flooding in from around the world. A bidding war erupted between two major US TV shows who wanted me to appear, hundreds of radio stations also wanted an interview, then there were the countless requests from British TV programmes, magazines and newspapers.

Yet I’m fascinated why every single British female columnist chose to ignore what was at the heart of my piece: that women do not like other women who are more attractive than they are. Why do we still deny the existence of this dirty little secret? Our reactions to other more attractive, confident women can veer from malicious remarks to full-on bullying. Why don’t women want to admit that there is an ugly part of our psyche that is constantly comparing ourselves with our friends and colleagues?

But there were positives to writing the feature: the support of my husband and my mum, dad and sisters in the UK, and the feedback I received from other women who have had similar experiences. I received thousands of emails from women of all ages around the world who shared with me their own personal, hugely scarring experiences of being dropped by friends or bullied by other women because of how they look. Yes some of these women are models, but others work in the armed forces, call centres, educational establishments and offices.

You see, even more insidious than the abuse women like me get for daring to come out and say they’re attractive is the endemic and systematic bullying attractive and confident women are subjected to in the workplace. Every woman I have spoken to for this feature has been given a hard time at work by other women. In an age when we no longer tolerate sexism, ageism or racism in society, that this can occur is intolerable.

Today I still feel great about myself. I know I’m far from perfect, yet I think I look fabulous. I hope that one day we’ll all be permitted to think and talk this way about ourselves – whatever size and shape we are – without the bitter and ugly consequences I experienced recently. To look in the mirror and be happy with what you see is a brilliant feeling.

Rachel Wagstaff, 35, works in financial services, is single and lives in Birmingham.

I felt so sorry for Samantha when I read about her experiences because they echoed mine in the workplace. I know I’m lucky that I’m 5ft 4in and a dress size 4-6, but other women are always accusing me of being anorexic or tell me I need to ‘fatten up’. I like to make an effort with my appearance: I go to the gym, have regular Botox injections and have had breast augmentation. People tell me that because I’m attractive and bubbly, I must be full of confidence and have great self-esteem, but that isn’t the case at all. I have the same insecurities as everyone else.

Ten years ago, my whole world was turned upside down by one of my superiors at work. She was 15 years older than me and picked on me for the slightest thing. On two occasions her aggression was so extreme that it left me in tears. Then there were the silly things such as being banned from wearing stilettos to work. Colleagues began to notice – the receptionist speculated that this woman was jealous of me and even my boss conceded that this might be the case. My work environment deteriorated to such a level that I ended up leaving.

I went through hell because of her and it really knocked my confidence. No one talks about the fact that one woman’s jealousy can ruin another innocent woman’s life. This might sound ridiculous, but sometimes I think that women who are overweight are the lucky ones, simply because other women don’t treat them as a threat.


Apartheid: The modern British response to social disorder

Instead of dealing with delinquents, they just move decent people away from them

Desperate times, as they say, call for desperate measures.

And one woman, fed up with being plagued by yobs making life a misery on her Worcester estate, has decided to stage a protest highlighting her plight which nobody can ignore.

Artist Barbara Steele knocked up a giant banner listing complaints about antisocial behaviour in her area that she said has made her feel ‘suicidal’ – and hung it from the balcony of her flat.

The frightened 52-year-old says claims to have become a prisoner in her own home after being assaulted on her landing and forced to regularly endure loud music and parties throughout the night.

She says she regularly has her life threatened by thugs on the estate, who have made her life ‘a living hell.’

Miss Steele resorted to hanging the 5ft by 5ft sign as a final cry for help because Worcester Community Housing and Worcester City Council have left her waiting for new housing for 16 months.

The banner explains how much she loves her flat and the area but says the antisocial behaviour she has been subjected to has left her feeling suicidal.

It reads: ‘My peaceful protest. I love Sheepscombe Drive and I love my flat. But I am fed up of being blamed for the conduct of my neighbours. WCC (Worcester City Council) and WCH (Worcester Community Housing) make me suicidal. I have no justice. I have no rights.’

Single Barbara said: ‘It’s been horrible – myself and others are scared to leave our homes. It’s made my life a living hell.

‘I have been assaulted on my landing and constantly subjected to loud music and parties.

‘People have threatened to kill me and there are disturbances going on throughout the night with people drinking on the streets and breaking bottles.

‘The banner was the only way to get my message across because the council and the housing association have just ignored my cries for so long.’

Miss Steele described herself as a ‘peaceful person’ who just wants to have a ‘nice quiet life.’

‘I’ve written to and phoned the council but they have just fobbed me off,’ she said. ‘I’m now a prisoner in my own home.’

Iain Harkess, head of operations at WCH, said they had been working closely with Miss Steele and other agencies to make sure they could get the best possible outcome for her.

He said: ‘We are aware of her situation and will continue to work with Miss Steele to help her find a suitable home that she would be happy to move to.’

A Worcester City Council spokeswoman added: ‘We are very much sympathetic to her situation.’


Drinkers in soft water areas at higher risk of liver disease, warns surgeon

In the absence of a journal reference, the report below is hard to evaluate — but given that a previous large and well-controlled study (“Magnesium in drinking water supplies and mortality from acute myocardial infarction in north west England”) showed NO protective effect of magnesium, the speculations and proposals below would seem incautious

People who live in areas with soft water are more likely to develop alcoholic liver disease (ALD) than those elsewhere, according to one of the world’s most eminent specialists.

Professor Roger Williams wants the Government to medicate the water supply to combat the effects after his research revealed the danger.

A paper co-authored by Prof Williams, who helped carry out the UK’s first liver transplant in 1968 and was George Best’s surgeon, found those living in soft-water areas may be more at risk because of lower levels of magnesium. The mineral can help to protect the liver from alcohol.

It is the first time a link between water softness and the disease has been established.

The study examined hospital admissions in 28 English regions between 2003 and 2006.

The six areas with soft water – Lancashire, Birmingham, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, the South West and County Durham – had rates of alcoholic liver disease 21 per cent above the national average.

But the 13 areas with hard water – including South London, Essex, Shropshire and Staffordshire – had rates 13 per cent below the average.

The research may also explain why rates of the disease in Scotland are almost double those in England, despite average alcohol consumption being approximately the same. Most water is soft north of the border.

While the call to add protective magnesium to the water supply will be controversial, there is increasing concern at a deteriorating health situation.

Liver-disease deaths in England as a whole have risen to record levels. Prof Williams, director of the Institute of Hepatology, said: ‘We have never understood why some people will consume large amounts of alcohol and be unscathed while others drink more moderately and develop ALD.

‘These results suggest for the first time that the water supply may be a significant factor in explaining this anomaly. Perhaps we should supplement the water supply with magnesium.’

Andrew Langford, chief executive of the British Liver Trust charity, said: ‘Treating the water supply would be controversial but, if explained properly to the population, I think most people would say, “If it’s protecting the health of my liver then what’s the problem?” ’

However, campaigners who have opposed adding fluoride to the water supply are likely to oppose any proposed new measure.

John Graham, spokesman for the National Pure Water Association, said: ‘This sounds like nonsense. Why would we want to dose all of the water and all of the population for a tiny number of people who have a problem with alcohol?

‘Recommending supplements for those at risk seems much more sensible.’

The content of drinking water is affected by local geology and the minerals that seep into it.


Evolution could explain the placebo effect: Human immune system has developed on-off mechanism to save energy

The explanation below does not seem to acknowledge the power of suggestion generally

Scientists have discovered a possible evolutionary explanation for the placebo effect with new evidence suggesting the immune system has an on-off switch to save energy.

People who suffer from a weak infection often recover whether they take a medicinal drug or a simple sugar pill – which suggests humans can heal themselves.

But this has begged the question why people need to wait for the placebo before the recovery process from an infection begins.

According to the New Scientist, researchers have now found that something similar to the placebo effect occurs in animals, after studying Siberian hamsters.

If lights above the hamsters laboratory cages mimicked winter, they found the hamsters would not fight the infection. However, if the lighting was changed to replicate summer conditions, the hamsters mounted a full immune response.

Similar to this, people who think they are taking medicine to treat an illness, but are actually receiving a placebo, can see a response from their immune system twice that than people who take no pills. The evidence shows that intervention causes a mental response which kicks the immune system into action.

According to Peter Trimmer, a biologist at the University of Bristol, there is an explanation for this.

He suggests that the immune system uses up lots of energy when it is in action. So an animal’s energy reserves could be severely depleted if the immune system launches a long response to an illness.

If the infection is not likely to causes death, it could be better to wait and see that fighting the illness will not put the animal in other dangers.

Evidence from a computer model designed by Mr Trimmer and his colleagues now supports this evidence.

It found those animals which live in more challenging environments were food was harder to find, they lived longer if they put up with infections rather than launch a response from their immune system.

However, for those animals living in much more favourable conditions, it was better for them to launch a response from their immune systems so they return to health quicker.

This is because in better conditions they have more access to food which provides energy to sustain an immune response.


Christian groups’ fury at T-shirt which mixes sex and the Bible

Hmmmm … I would have thought it a positive thing to have the Bible message included. In Britain today, they might not see it anywhere else

Fashion chain Next has been slammed by Christian groups over a graphic ‘Sinners’ T-shirt which depicts women as sex objects and uses Bible references.

A Twitter storm has erupted over the shirt with one blogger even claiming the shirt, image and message effectively condones rape.

The T-shirt carries the headline ‘Sinners – The Night Before’ above the seductive image of a woman in black underwear lying on a bed. The image is surrounded by a series of slogans which read: ‘Live for the Day – Seize the Night and all it may hold’

Finally, there is a long smallprint passage which carries a number of definitions of sin including one from the Bible from epistle to the Romans, chapter seven.

Gareth Davies, of Christian Action Research and Education, contacted Next via its official Facebook page to complain about the T-shirt. He asked: ‘Why are you marketing graphic T-Shirts with misogynistic poses of women in underwear and promoting such images using The Bible?’

Mr Davies said: ‘The image itself is very unhelpful. It gives a message about availability and vulnerability of women. They are then using the word sin and words from the Bible to suggest this is both naughty but nice.

‘The whole concept is wrong-headed and demeaning to women. Human dignity should be cherished and women should not be reduced to the level of an object.’



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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