Our six-week-old baby died after THREE doctors in nine days missed his treatable illness, say heartbroken parents who now plan to sue

A six-week-old baby died after three doctors failed to spot a treatable illness.

Over nine days James Payne was seen by a GP, an out-of-hours doctor and then a locum after he developed a nasty cough – but he was sent home each time.

Hours after the third visit, his mother Mandy, 33, found him lifeless in his Moses basket with his face blue and blood coming from his nose.

She desperately tried to resuscitate him on the living room floor in front of her two-year-old daughter, but could not save him.

Mrs Payne said: ‘I screamed and cradled him while I called the ambulance but I knew then he was gone and it was too late.

‘I put him on the floor and desperately tried to resuscitate him. I can remember the taste of his blood in my mouth and thinking “I can’t believe this is happening to me”.’

An inquest heard the cause of death was a build-up of fluid in his lungs and inflammation of his throat caused by a viral infection.

One of the doctors told the inquest that hospital treatment would have saved James.

All three claimed they were not aware of his breathing problems – a claim the family disputes.

Recording a narrative verdict, Southend Coroner Yvonne Blake said ‘no organisation identified’ the illness.

Mrs Payne and her husband Andrew, 38, plan to sue the NHS.

Mr Payne, a surveyor, said: ‘I feel James was robbed from me, from my family – it is someone’s fault and someone has to be held accountable for that. It is an unbearable loss which only someone who has lost a baby can ever understand.

‘It is an unimaginable pain I feel daily and I want answers as to why this was ever allowed to happen.’
James’ parents, Mandy and Andrew, took him to three different GPs but they claim each one failed to provide him with the treatment that could have saved his life. They are pictured with their daughter, Chloe, 2

James’ parents, Mandy and Andrew, took him to three different GPs but they claim each one failed to provide him with the treatment that could have saved his life. They are pictured with their daughter, Chloe, 2

Mrs Payne, of Hadleigh, Essex, first took her son to her local GP when he had a bad cough in November last year. But he was sent away with paracetamol and nasal drops.

Less than a week later she called the NHS out-of-hours doctor service and was told to take her son to Southend Hospital to be seen by a doctor, who said he suspected a possible viral infection but claimed that was normal in a child of his age.
Hours after his third visit to a doctor, James’ mother found him lifeless in his cot with blood coming from his nose. She tried to resuscitate him in front of two-year-old Chloe but he was already dead

Hours after his third visit to a doctor, James’ mother found him lifeless in his cot with blood coming from his nose. She tried to resuscitate him in front of two-year-old Chloe but he was already dead

On the morning of James’s death, Mrs Payne made an appointment with a locum doctor at her GP surgery. She says the doctor did not examine her son’s chest despite telling him that his breathing had worsened.

The doctor told the inquest that he could not remember if he had removed James’s clothes or exposed his chest for examination. He denied that Mrs Payne had told him that her son had a wheezy cough.
An inquest into James’ death heard he died from a build-up of fluid in his lungs caused by a viral infection. His mother says she doesn’t know how to tell Chloe what happened to her brother

An inquest into James’ death heard he died from a build-up of fluid in his lungs caused by a viral infection. His mother says she doesn’t know how to tell Chloe what happened to her brother

Mr Payne said: ‘As a father I look to protect my family and I feel like I failed as a dad.

‘I loved him so much and we lost him far, far too soon.

‘Every day I wake up and the first two, three seconds, it hits you all over again and a piece of your heart simply breaks again. ‘And it continues to break all day.

‘I drive past the park and I see fathers and their sons having a kick about and I know I will never be able to do that with my son.

‘I’ve had that taken away from me and I am incredibly angry. I want someone to be held accountable.’

A spokesman for NHS England said: ‘We are deeply saddened and concerned to hear of this case, and would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family. ‘However, we cannot comment on individual cases.’

A spokesman for Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We offer our sincere condolences to the family and will continue to support them at this sad time.’


999 delays that cost lives

Bella Hellings would, in all probability, still be alive if the ambulance had arrived on time.

Just three months old, she died after suffering a fit and her breathing stopped. Her mother, Amy Carter, had dialled 999, but the ambulance took 26 minutes to arrive – more than three times as long as it should – because the driver got lost.

On the way to hospital, the driver took another wrong turn and by the time Bella reached hospital she had not been breathing for nearly an hour.

“If they had got to her in time she would be alive today,” said Miss Carter, 24. She, her boyfriend, Scott Hellings, and their daughter had the misfortune of living in Norfolk, served by Britain’s worst ambulance service.

Bella’s death highlights the crisis threatening England’s emergency service.

The Government set a target for paramedics to reach 75 per cent of “life-threatening” emergencies, such as cardiac arrests, within eight minutes.

A second target stipulates that an ambulance must arrive to take a patient to hospital within 19 minutes in 95 per cent of all such cases.

But a look at March, the latest month for which data is available, reveals that six of the 10 English trusts failed to reach the first target: East Midlands, East of England, North West, South Western, Yorkshire, and South East Coast.

The first four also missed the second target.

It was the third busiest month in the past three years, according to NHS England. In all, 430,182 emergency journeys were made, compared with 417,892 in March 2012, a rise of 3 per cent mainly caused by a combination of a reduction in GP out-of-hours services, the failure of the new 111 helpline to cope with calls, and an ageing population.

Figures analysed by The Telegraph show that for the year ending March 31 the East of England Ambulance Service, which caters for a population of six million, was the only one to miss both targets. The failures are being blamed on understaffing and mismanagement.

East Midlands missed its target for reaching 95 per cent of cases within 19 minutes over the past 12 months and was fined £3.5 million.

Things are worst in Norfolk, with East of England reaching a little over 60 per cent of “life threatening” cases in eight minutes. It is being fined about £2.2 million.

A Care Quality Commission report in March said the trust had “fallen short” of national standards, concluding: “Since our last inspection the trust’s performance in relation to its ambulance response times had deteriorated and people could not be assured they would receive care in a timely and effective manner.”

The report suggested the times between sending “solo responders” who could then call for ambulance back-up varied widely.

An ambulance could take as long as 100 minutes to arrive once a paramedic, on a motorcycle or in a car, had requested emergency transport to hospital.

The report prompted Maria Ball, the ambulance trust’s chairman, to resign immediately. Its chief executive, Hayden Newton, left in October.

Bella, who was born prematurely, had a congenital heart problem. It took 26 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at her home in Thetford after the driver – relying on a satnav – got lost.

On the way to hospital in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, Miss Carter yelled directions from the back of the ambulance. But it is alleged the driver still got lost after twice driving around a roundabout, then taking a wrong turn.

Miss Carter said: “The people who were meant to help failed Bella.”

In the month Bella died, four adults also died in incidents where delays by East of England – which also covers Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire – in reaching them were a possible factor.

The trust has also faced criticism over delays in non emergency cases. In April, an inquest heard how Isabel Carter, 74, from Wymondham, Norfolk, died in 2011 after waiting four hours for an ambulance.

By the time it arrived, the grandmother, who had originally complained of stomach pains, had gone into cardiac arrest. She died within minutes of reaching hospital.

An internal investigation found control room procedures were not followed, so the call was not upgraded from “urgent” to “emergency”.

Sharon Allison, a medical negligence lawyer at Ashton KCJ, representing Bella’s parents, said: “The plight of the ambulance service has been known for months, if not years … Yet the same excuses are still being trotted out.

“The service was warned of dire consequences if it didn’t recruit more staff. It refused to do so. Patients died.”

East of England published a “turnaround” plan in April, including hiring 350 specialist staff and new “tough” sickness absence targets.

Andrew Morgan, its new chief executive, said: “We need to improve the service we give to patients and better support our dedicated and committed staff.

“Transforming the organisation will take time, but we have the staff and the focus to turn things around together.”

Stephen Dorrell, the Conservative chairman of the health select committee, which is carrying out a review of emergency services and emergency care, said: “I think it is a cause for concern.

“It is another symptom of the same issue that arises when we look at 111 and A&E care.

“The ability of the health service to deliver urgent and emergency high quality care is one of the things increasingly coming into focus.”


Classroom extremists will be rooted out: British PM orders crackdown on ‘conveyer belt’ of hate in schools and universities

David Cameron today ordered a crackdown on extremism in the classroom in the wake of the brutal killing of solider Lee Rigby.

Education and business ministers have been told to step up efforts to root out those spouting extreme views in schools and universities.

The Prime Minister convened a new taskforce aimed at tackling the spread of the sort of ‘poisonous’ views which can lead to violent acts on Britain’s streets.

Senior ministers covering the police, education, local government and faith met in Downing Street to plot the official response to the threat posed by radicalisation.

In a statement to the Commons Mr Cameron said it was important to learn the lessons from the attack on the soldier in Woolwich.

He told MPs: ‘Those who carried out this callous and abhorrent crime sought to justify their actions by an extremist ideology that perverts and warps Islam to create a culture of victimhood and justify violence.

‘We must confront this ideology in all its forms.’

Mr Cameron, who chaired the first meeting of the new taskforce in Downing Street, said the Government’s Prevent Strategy had closed down websites and helped people vulnerable to radicalisation.

Since 2011, more hate preachers had been excluded from the UK than ever. And 5,700 items of terrorism material had been taken down from the internet with almost 1,000 more blocked when they were hosted overseas.

But he hinted that he will attempt to resurrect the controversial Communications Data Bill – dubbed a ‘snooper’s charter’ – to give security services more power to track web and telephone use.

Mr Cameron added: ‘It is clear that we need to do more. When young men born and bred in this country are radicalised and turned into killers, we have to ask some tough questions about what is happening in our country.

‘It is as if that for some young people there is a conveyor belt to radicalisation that has poisoned their minds with sick and perverted ideas.

The taskforce meeting was attended by ministers including Deputy PM Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne, Home Secretary Theresa May, Justice Chris Grayling, faith minister Baroness Warsi and policy minister Oliver Letwin.

They were tasked with working ‘on practical suggestions which the task force could discuss at future meetings’.

The meeting agreed that it is ‘necessary to tackle extremism head on, not just violent extremism, particularly in light of the appalling murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich’, a spokesman said.

In particular, Education Secretary Michael Gove and schools minister David Laws to ‘look at confronting extreme views in schools and charities’ and Business Secretary Vince Cable will examine ways to stamp out extremism in universities.

Mr Grayling will look into similar issues in prisons while Baroness Warsi will draw up work in communities. Experts in these areas will address future meetings of the taskforce.

Mr Cameron said: ‘What happened on the streets of Woolwich shocked and sickened us all.

‘It was a despicable attack on a British soldier who stood for our country and our way of life and it was too a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.

‘There is nothing in Islam that justifies acts of terror and I welcome too the spontaneous condemnation of this attack from mosques and Muslim community organisations right across our country.

‘We will not be cowed by terror, and terrorists who seek to divide us will only make us stronger and more united in our resolve to defeat them.’

Mr Cameron said Tory former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who chairs the Intelligence and Security Committee, would look at how the suspects were radicalised, what the security services knew about them and whether anything more could have been done to stop them. The committee would conclude its work by the end of the year.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair made an extraordinary intervention into the debate at the weekend, launching an outspoken attack on ‘the problem within Islam’.

He departed from the usual argument that Islam is a peaceful religion that should not be tainted by the actions of a few extremists.

Instead, Mr Blair urged governments to ‘be honest’ and admit that the problem is more widespread.

‘There is a problem within Islam – from the adherents of an ideology which is a strain within Islam,’ he wrote in the Mail on Sunday. ‘We have to put it on the table and be honest about it. Of course there are Christian extremists and Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu ones.

‘But I am afraid this strain is not the province of a few extremists. ‘It has at its heart a view about religion and about the interaction between religion and politics that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies.’

He added: ‘At the extreme end of the spectrum are terrorists, but the world view goes deeper and wider than it is comfortable for us to admit. So by and large we don’t admit it.’


New middle school exam in Britain

GCSEs will be replaced by a new qualification called “I levels”, which will see the current A* to G grades scrapped in favour of numerical marks.

Under plans put forward by Ofqual, the exams regulator, the highest grade will be an 8 and the lowest will be a 1.

This will enable a higher grade to be added if necessary, so the whole grading system would not have to be re-done if it was decided there should be a greater distinction available to the top students.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, previously backed the creation of an English Baccalaureate Certificate under a new exam system operated by a single awarding body, but that plan has since been abandoned.

The aim of the I level – or Intermediate level – exams is to provide harder content for the pupils sitting them and greater differentiation among the highest-performing teenagers, The Times reported.

Their introduction in schools from September 2015 will mark the biggest shake-up of qualifications for 16 year-olds for a generation.

The last time such a major reform was brought in was in 1986, when the General Certificate of Secondary Education, a universal qualification, replaced the two-tier system of O-levels and CSEs aimed at different levels of academic ability.

The new changes, details of which are expected to be published imminently, will apply to qualifications in English, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, double science, history and geography.

Other subjects will not initially be included in the new system, meaning hundreds of thousands of Year 11 pupils will sit a combination of I levels and GCSEs until the reforms are completed.

In another change, coursework will no longer be part of the formal assessment in Year 11, except in science, where 10% of a pupil’s marks will be awarded for practical experiments.

Under the new marking system, many of the pupils currently achieving A* and A grades at GCSE would be expected to receive grades 7 or 6.

Ofqual does not recommend a “pass” grade, but a grade 4 would implicitly be equivalent to a pass mark.

The Department for Education will soon publish specifications for the subject content of each of the new qualifications, with exam boards working on this basis to design the new syllabuses.

Earlier this year, Mr Gove admitted that his plans to scrap GCSEs were “a bridge too far” as he backed down on proposals for a new system of eBaccs.

He said there was a consensus that the exam system needed to change but conceded that axing GCSEs was “one reform too many at this time”.

Ofqual said last month, however, that a growing number of schools had lost confidence in GCSEs following last summer’s exam grading fiasco.

In 2012, tens of thousands of pupils are believed to have missed out on good GCSE grades after exam boards suddenly shifted the grade boundaries between the exams taken by pupils in January and those sat in June.

The boundaries for those exams taken earlier in the year had been found to be too low and so the change was made to prevent an excessive number of passes being achieved six months later.

Under the new system, all end-of-course exams will be taken in the summer, except for English and maths papers that will be sat in November.

This will make it harder for pupils to re-sit papers when they fall below the grades they had hoped for, as most exams will only be able to be re-taken a full year later.

The Labour-led Welsh Assembly government meanwhile wants to retain GCSEs, along with the modules and assessed coursework that characterise the current model.


‘Superfoods’ shown to fight prostate cancer

The effect was on an indicator, not on cancer itself — and an effect was shown not on people in general but on cancer survivors. Lots of room for slippage there

Superfoods have been shown to fight prostate cancer, in a ground-breaking study.

Men who had been treated with surgery or radiotherapy for the disease were given a capsule containing essence of pomegranate, green tea, turmeric and broccoli.

At the end of a six-month trial, their PSA levels – a protein which is an indicator of the cancer – were 63 per cent lower than those who took a placebo.

While lab tests and small non-randomised studies have previously suggested that such foods, which are rich in polyphenol, have an anti-cancer effect, the British study is the first to demonstrate such an impact on sufferers of prostate cancer, compared with those who were not given the capsules.

Prof Robert Thomas, a consultant oncologist at Bedford Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge will present the results of the “Pomi-T” study at the American Society of Clinical Ontology in Chicago today.

Professor Thomas said: “Our experience in offering high-quality clinical care, collaboration with cancer charities and world-class research with the University of Cambridge has resulted in findings which will have an world-wide impact.

“We hope this will help millions of men to help combat the onset of prostate cancer.

The study found virtually no adverse affects among the group who were given the supplement.

Because of the lowered PSA levels among those given the capsule significantly fewer men proceeded to potentially toxic therapies at the end of the study, the study said.

“Healthy eating and lifestyle is the main way of helping to combat the development of cancer but men can now also turn to a whole food supplement which has been shown to work,” said Prof Thomas.


Britain’s social work Gestapo again

Secret court jails father for sending son 21st birthday greeting on Facebook after he was gagged from naming him

A father has been jailed at a secret court hearing for sending a Facebook message to his grown-up son on his 21st birthday. Garry Johnson, 46, breached a draconian gagging order which stops him publicly naming his son, Sam, whom he has brought up and who still lives with him.

In a case which is certain to fuel concerns about Britain’s shadowy network of secret courts, a judge sent the former music executive to prison for contempt at a closed-doors family court hearing in Essex at the beginning of last month.

He was not arrested by police or even represented by a lawyer.

The order silencing Mr Johnson – which follows an acrimonious divorce eight years ago – means he cannot mention either of his boys, 21-year-old Sam and Adam, 18, in public, even by congratulating them in a local newspaper announcement when they get engaged, married or have children in the future.

The extraordinary gag is set to last until the end of his life, although his boys are now adults. Last night they condemned their father’s jailing as ‘cruel and ludicrous’.

After their parents’ divorce, the two boys chose to live with their father, following a series of rows with their mother over her new boyfriend.

But within a year of the divorce, Mr Johnson’s ex-wife made allegations to Essex social workers that he was neglecting the children and not feeding them properly at his smart family home.

An investigation by social workers cleared him of any wrongdoing and said the boys were fine.

A year later, in 2006, she made further allegations to social workers that he was mentally unfit to care for the boys.

Medical documents shown to the Mail by Sam and Adam reveal that Mr Johnson was examined three times by a local psychiatrist hired by social workers. The doctor wrote to social workers saying:

‘There is no evidence of mental illness. I cannot understand why there are concerns about Mr Johnson’s mental health.’

Social services refused, as a result, to get involved.

In 2007, the ex-wife started private care proceedings to remove the boys from their father. A judge put the boys under a ‘living at home with parent’ care order.

It meant they would continue to live with their father, but under supervision by social services.

This care order was accompanied by the gagging order to stop an increasingly anguished Mr Johnson talking about the case publicly. Even naming his sons in the most innocuous circumstances – such as on Facebook – became a contempt of court.

The care order on Sam expired on his 18th birthday three years ago. The one on Adam in October last year when he reached 18. Normally, a gagging order imposed by a family court judge on a parent expires at the same time as a care order on the child. This one did not.

Mr Johnson was imprisoned at the height of the Mail’s campaign against jailings by this country’s network of secret courts.

The secretive family court system, which jailed Mr Johnson, deals with custody wrangles, children’s care orders and adoption.

Mr Johnson received a letter in late April from Chelmsford County Court officials ordering him to go to Basildon Magistrates’ Court building on May 2 for a hearing regarding his children.

He was not warned he might face imprisonment or that the hearing was about his Facebook message, posted on Sam’s birthday a few days earlier on April 23.

On arrival, he was escorted by court security guards to a private room in the building for a half hour hearing under family court rules before His Honour Judge Damien Lochrane. He was not warned that he might need a lawyer.

At the private hearing, Mr Johnson learned he had breached a gagging order, imposed by the family courts in 2007, by sending the Facebook message.

He informed the judge that he had had four heart attacks and was awaiting a triple by-pass operation. But he was sentenced to 28 days’ jail and sent down to a court cell to await transport to Chelmsford prison.

In the court cell, he had a heart attack caused by the shock. Rushed to a local hospital by ambulance, he was then shackled and handcuffed to a bed while on oxygen and receiving morphine.

A team of prison officers were put on 24-hour shifts beside his bed to make sure he did not escape.

He recovered and was sent to prison two days later, serving two weeks of the sentence before being released. Details of the horrifying case were made public to the Mail by his sons, who are not subject to any gagging order according to their Essex-based lawyer, Alan Foskett.

The jailing provoked a horrified response from MPs last night. John Hemming, the Lib Dem MP who has campaigned against the secret courts, said: ‘This is yet another example of how the secret courts are stopping freedom of speech. I have never heard of a gagging order of this kind going on into adulthood. This is a surreal case.’

Mr Johnson’s local MP, John Baron, said: ‘I have helped Mr Johnson and his sons – who always wanted to live with him – over several years. To find he has been imprisoned for sending a birthday message to one of them is troubling.

‘Whilst I appreciate the need to protect children, the family court system often ignores the legitimate wishes of families. This needs to change, and quickly.’

Sam, a telesales manager and former professional footballer, said last night: ‘My dad is a good father and has never been in trouble with the police. He was treated like a criminal. This ludicrous gagging order should not exist and must now be lifted.

Both Adam and myself are adults. This cruel ruling is now hanging over my father to silence him about the sons he loves for the rest of his life. That is a terrible thing in what is meant to be a free country.’

Mr Johnson was imprisoned a day before senior judges, on May 3, reacted to the Mail campaign by saying they planned to stop courts jailing defendants in secret for contempt.

The Ministry of Justice this week said that it does not count up people jailed by the family courts because the numbers are ‘so small’.

A spokesman said of the courts: ‘It is very rare for anyone to be imprisoned for contempt of court and it only ever happens in extreme circumstances when a person has continually disregarded legally binding requirements made by the court and clearly communicated to them.

‘A person accused of contempt of court will always be given their full legal right to defend himself or herself at a hearing will always be heard in an open court.’

However, it is estimated by campaigners and MPs that up to 200 parents a year are imprisoned for contempt by the family courts. Because of the controversial secrecy rules, some have been sent to jail for discussing their case with MPs or charity workers advising them.


Human rights fraud

He may not be much of a comedian, but he’s certainly having a laugh: Paul Shiner and The Great Human Rights Swindle

For the past decade, Phil Shiner, head of the Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), has made a handsome living suing the British taxpayer – at the British taxpayers’ expense

For the past decade, Phil Shiner, head of the Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), has made a handsome living suing the British taxpayer – at the British taxpayers’ expense

Human rights lawyers are not famous for their sense of humour. So it was something of a surprise to learn that the sour-faced solicitor Phil Shiner lists comedy as one of his hobbies.

For the past decade, Shiner has made a handsome living suing the British taxpayer — at the British taxpayers’ expense.

Shiner is head of the Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) — not to be confused with the post-punk band Public Image Limited (PiL), put together by Johnny Rotten after the self-immolation of the Sex Pistols.

Rotten once starred in a movie called The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle. If Shiner is ever immortalised on the silver screen it should be called The Great Human Rights Swindle.

Shiner’s firm specialises in bringing actions against the British Army.

I first crossed swords with him on TV during the Iraq war when his representatives were harvesting claims in the back streets of Baghdad and Basra. PIL is a yuman rites version of one of those Blame Direct outfits who advertise on daytime TV.

Have you been tortured by a British soldier? You could be entitled to com-pen-say-shun.

Shiner is always on the lookout for a jihadist with a grievance which can be used to discredit the Army and win some hard cash. Unlike Blame Direct and the rest of the ‘no win, no fee’ brigade, Shiner gets paid win, lose or draw.

He is bankrolled out of the legal aid budget.

Over the years he has secured £3 million compensation for his clients, mostly foreign nationals who have alleged abuse at the hands of British troops in Iraq.

His work won him the prestigious accolade ‘Human Rights Lawyer of the Year’ in 2004. I bet that was a fun night.

We don’t know how much he has earned, but legal aid fees clocked up in cases filed by PIL must run into millions.

And at a time when the Government is attempting to bring under control the burgeoning £2 billion legal aid budget, Shiner continues to thrive.

As part of the proposed £350 million cuts, members of middle-class households with an annual income of £37,000 will no longer be entitled to legal aid for a whole raft of civil claims, including debt and divorce.

Yet the funding for firms such as PIL to bring claims for damages on behalf of foreign nationals over incidents alleged to have taken place thousands of miles away would appear to be unaffected.

This week Shiner turned up on Radio 4’s Today Programme peddling his latest crusade for truth and justice. He was given a prime platform by a gleeful BBC to denounce ‘Britain’s Guantanamo Bay’.

Shiner claimed that dozens of Afghans are being held in a ‘secret prison’ at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province.

He demanded they should be brought before a court or released. He said: ‘This is a secret facility that’s been used to unlawfully detain or intern up to 85 Afghans that they’ve kept secret, that Parliament doesn’t know about, that courts previously when they have interrogated issues like detention and internment in Afghanistan have never been told about — completely off the radar.

‘It is reminiscent of the public’s awakening that there was a Guantanamo Bay.

‘And people will be wondering if these detainees are being treated humanely and in accordance with international law.’

This must be where Shiner’s legendary sense of humour comes into play. He should know full well that this isn’t a ‘secret prison’. And he is aware that the Army has been trying to get rid of these prisoners for years.

Back in 2010, Britain wanted to hand over the detainees to the Afghan justice system. Eventually the High Court in London ruled that they could not be transferred to the Afghans because they might be tortured, which would breach their yuman rites.

Far from being ‘detained unlawfully’ they are being held in British custody on the specific orders of a British court.

You’d expect Shiner to know that. Because in 2010, the original Camp Bastion case was brought by, you guessed, one Phil Shiner. On legal aid, natch. So how does he explain telling the BBC this was a ‘secret camp’, ‘off the radar’, that the courts haven’t been told about?

Now, three years later, he’s heading back to court to argue that the detainees should be put on trial or set free.

Talk about playing both ends. Like Boris Johnson, Shiner appears to be pro-having cake and pro-eating it.

But thanks to the success of his earlier lawsuit, the High Court has ruled the prisoners can’t be entrusted to the Afghan legal system.

Since Shiner doesn’t approve of military justice, that means they would have to be released back into the local community, where they would be at liberty to resume their terrorist activities.

In comedy, as in life, timing is everything.

Just a week after a British soldier was murdered by Islamist terrorists on the streets of South London, this is an odd time to argue that we should be releasing their comrades-in-jihad on to the streets of Afghanistan to kill more of our troops.

Whatever happens next, one thing is certain: yet again the final bill will fall to the mug British taxpayers.

Shiner may not be much of a comedian, but he’s certainly having a laugh. And the joke’s on us.


British Christian awarded compension after ‘racist’ letter from halal meat farm

A Christian has been awarded £2,500 compensation after complaining he was targeted by a “racist” email while working at a Birmingham halal meat firm.

Christopher Turton was one of only two white workers at the National Halal Food group in Harborne Road, Edgbaston, and worked alongside up to 300 Muslims.

He had been promoted to National Concessional Manager for the company when the email was sent between fellow employees.

It questioned if Mr Turton had been favoured in landing his new role, asking: “Is it because he is white?” and also pointed out he was not a ‘Muslim brother’.

The tribunal was told that Mr Turton found the email “extremely offensive” and was made to feel alienated. He was off work with stress and eventually resigned.

He took the company to tribunal, seeking compensation for race and religious discrimination.

Tribunal judge Miss Victoria Dean said Mr Turton had found the email racist and offensive and said there had been an injury to his feelings.

She initially awarded him £3,000 but this was reduced by 15 per cent to £2,550 because he had failed to lodge an official grievance to the firm.


A bit unfair to have the company pay for what was said by some of their employees.

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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