Friday, November 09, 2007

Cross-party push to lower abortion age

It appears that a government bill just introduced into the Commons is going to be amended in an effort to reduce the abortion limit from 24 weeks to 20. So, this issue will again be a matter for public an parliamentary debate. The arguments on abortion are complex; on the one hand a termination may be needed for medical reasons, which has now come to include the mindset of the mothers. On the other hand medical science has now moved to the point that an embryo at 24 weeks is more like a baby at 24 weeks, with theoretical survival rates now around 40%. So, at that limit babies are dying who might otherwise have lived. There are extremes of opinion on either side; people who believe that abortion should not be allowed at all or people who think that it should be allowed on demand at any time before the child emerges at nine months. The former clearly have a point when it comes to regarding human life as being special, anyone who thinks differently should research societies can become when human life comes to be regarded as disposable. However, they do not have a point at least in the case of medical harm to the mother. The latter argument would at the extreme turn doctors into murderers.

Abortion should be allowed, but as medical science advances it is going to be progressively more difficult to maintain the current limits, and that situation is going to become steadily worse in the future. At this time a reduction from 24 to 20 weeks is reasonable, but it won't be the last word.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Labour Defence Minister quits to go car racing

You couldn't make it up. The defence procurement minister, you know the chap responsible for getting the kit into our soldiers' hands, has quit to go and compete in the Le Mans motor race. Our men and women are dying for want of equipment, as shown by a coroner's verdict today, and this man decides to wander off on an extended holiday. So much for being a Labour 'working' peer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Brown's Vision hidden in Queen's Speech

A Zen master once asked what is the sound of one hand clapping? The answer is the appropriate response to Gordon Brown's program for the new parliament. True there is a lot of legislation and a few sound bites, but is there is nothing on the biggest problems facing our people today. On immigration there is actually nothing. On reform of the benefits system, almost nothing, and absolutely nothing on able-bodied people ending up in permanent dependency on the State. On crime we have a measures to do things to people after they have been convicted, nothing on prevention or detection or getting more police out on the street. Then we have a manufactured row in the making about extending the detention without being charged of terrorist suspects to 56 days from the current 28. There is absolutely no evidence that this is needed, and no terrorist suspect has ever failed to be charged or released inside the current 28 days, so the only reason for this is to get the opposition to vote against and then portray them as soft on terrorism. Never mind actually doing any good for our country. David Cameron's response was to call Brown weak. Personally, I never thought I would miss Tony Blair.

Monday, November 05, 2007

John Baron MP: ISTC for Basildon is now killed off

Having now been told in writing by the Government that no Independent Sector Treatment Centre (ISTC) for Basildon would go ahead against the wishes of the local NHS, and having recently met with SW Essex Primary Care Trust (PCT) and been informed of their decision to oppose the idea, John Baron MP has said that the proposal for an ISTC for Basildon has now effectively been killed off. John and Basildon Hospital have long argued that such a scheme would disrupt existing NHS services, undermine staff training, and threaten patient choice. Now the plans appear to have been blocked.

Commenting, John said:

“Given that a Government letter to me has clearly stated that an ISTC will not be imposed on Basildon against the wishes of the local NHS, and now that both SW Essex PCT and Basildon Hospital have come out against it, a local ISTC is now dead in the water.”

“Major changes to the health service cannot proceed without the support of the local NHS and residents. I have therefore written to the Government reminding them of their promise and asking them to confirm that plans for an ISTC for Basildon have now been shelved.”

“I welcome the PCT’s decision to oppose an independent hospital in Basildon. Our existing NHS Hospital would suffer a drain of resources if a new hospital was set up next door. This would have bad effect on training budgets, planning, and cross-subsidy of services.”

“The ISTC project has been subject to secret negotiations between the Government and a private provider, with local patients and the NHS kept in the dark. There were many unanswered questions about who would pay the bill if patient numbers fell below the level agreed between Whitehall and the private sector. My concern was always that local services would suffer as a result.”

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Conservative Nigel Hastilow Resigns in Race Row

A Conservative parliamentary candidate has resigned after writing a column in a local paper which said that Enoch Powell was right in his infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech in 1968. Powell was sacked from the Conservative front bench for that one, and so expressing admiration for him was a little unwise to say the least.

Immigration has been a toxic issue in British politics for years, with those who want to close down debate on what is a legitimate political issue pointing fingers and screaming 'racist!' at anyone who dares to say that immigration might not be an untrammelled good. They have come out of the woodwork again in the form of Peter Hain who has been drivelling on about the 'racist underbelly' of the Conservative Party. That is the sort of abuse that you would expect from a government that has no idea about the numbers of immigrants in the country or their contribution to the economy, and desperately wants to close any debate down. Well, it won't wash this time. Hastilow, might have show extraordinarily poor political judgement, but that is as nothing when compared to the serial incompetence of the Labour government that Peter Hain's drivel is an effort to cover up.