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By David Vance On September 9th, 2011 at 8:44 am

Did you read that nurses from Eastern Europe are putting NHS patients in danger because they can’t speak proper English?

One of Britain’s top doctors. Lord Winston said that he was particularly worried about those from Romania and Bulgaria who had limited communication skills ‘even in their own language’. He told the House of Lords they had been trained in a ‘completely different way’ to British nurses, and were not used to speaking to doctors or their own patients.

Under strict EU laws, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) watchdog is banned from testing nurses coming in from European countries on either their language or clinical skills.Such tests are deemed to restrict the ‘free movement of labour’ – the same rules apply to doctors.

At the same time, British Nurses travel elsewhere in the world to earn a living. Isn’t life strange? We export our own well trained English speaking nurses and import those who, according to this senior Doctor, have limited communication skills “even in their own language”. Makes you feel confident that should be so unfortunate to have to go into a hospital, you will assuredly be given the requisite care by Romanian and Bulgarian angels.


By David Vance On September 9th, 2011 at 8:32 am

UK readers will be only too aware of the BBC’s flagship weekly political debate programme – Question Time. US readers may not so familiar but essentially it consists of an invited panel being asked questions by a selected audience. It has, shall we say, a certain reputation for being left-wing, and that is why I set up a Question Time LIVEBLOG over on Biased BBC a few years ago – allowing my readers a chance to have their say on it as it happens. Usually, this is good fun and whilst the programme is predictably dreary, massively pro-Labour and reliably leftist in all other zones, I get quite a kick out of the Biased BBC commentariat and their caustic wit!

However there is a serious side to this. 10 years, after 9/11, the edition of Question Time that was broadcast that week became infamous. The Towers lay burning, thousands were dead (reduced to ash) and I think most people were in a state of shock. On the panel of Question Time that week was the then American ambassador Philip Lader. He was reduced to tears by the unbelievable hostility of the “selected” BBC audience which baited him, blamed America and essentially suggested that the US got what it deserved. The BBC seemed shocked by the reaction from people across the UK and apologised for the atrocious programme.

Last night, the BBC ran a 9/11 special edition of Question Time, ten years on. As usual, I hosted the live discussion. After 20 minutes, I was thinking of leaving the debate, after 40mins, I did. Quite simply, this was ANOTHER opportunity for the “invited” BBC audience to vent their spleen against the Great and Little Satan. America was berated, Israel was berated, Islam was exonerated and Muslims were defined as the real victims since, as Tariq Ali stated, “their lands are occupied”. In short, the programme made me sick.

There is plenty to be said about 9/11, but I would have thought most decent human beings would sympathise with all those innocents who had their precious lives taken, so horrendously, so unimaginably. America was the VICTIM of a vicious terror attack by militant Islamists who shouted how great Allah was as those planes detonated into those offices. Since 9/11, there have been 17,000+ additional acts of Jihad. America made mistakes before 9/11 and it has made mistakes after 9/11. Perhaps we can all agree on that but in the final analysis, it was America that was attacked and it is America that has every right to defend itself.

Bonnie Greer, Tariq Ali and all those others US haters in the Question Time audience last night made me feel ashamed to be British. When it comes to the BBC’s Question Time – my response is NOT IN MY NAME.


By Pete Moore On September 8th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

We’re almost there. Tomorrow morning (0930) the All Blacks get things going against Tonga and the world asks: can England’s much loved rugger chaps do it? We’ll come to that.

This then is the ATW preview featuring the main runners and riders as well as Ireland and Wales. You’ll notice that, like most of the teams I played, it’s ill thought and alcohol fuelled. Let’s hope for a proper game to get things going. You never know, with competing hakas we might even get a punch up before the first whistle. That would be marvelous.

Preview and predictions below the fold:

Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes, I do despair!

By Mike Cunningham On September 8th, 2011 at 11:11 am

So the world rightly condemned the Norwegian fruit-and-nutcase after his murderous slaughter on the island, and with the bomb attack.

But now the inmates have taken over the asylum, and are demanding that he changes his clothing!


The logical assumption being that, if you wear Lacoste, you are assumed to be planning a massacre, and therefore should be shot on sight!


By David Vance On September 8th, 2011 at 8:49 am

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness will travel to the United States on a trade mission

One of the greatest scams that Northern Ireland politicians perpetuate on the electorate is that there are endless jobs that can exported to the Province from the USA. In effect this has been the essence of Industrial Development policy for years now, and of course it flies in the face of huge unemployment in the States. But that doesn’t stop Peter and Marty setting off for Hollywood, oh no.

Stormont leaders are set for another stateside mission in search of potential investors. First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will traverse the USA on their five day trip next week. The ministers will initially travel to the west coast where they will meet a range of senior executives from the entertainment and technology industries, including representatives of the five major Hollywood film studios along with several other studios. Before leaving Los Angeles they will also address the Southern California Chapter of the Irish Technology Leadership Group. The ministers will then fly to Chicago to meet with a number of potential investors and city mayor Rahm Emanuel

So, Peter and Marty are off a roving across the USA (First Class naturally) securing high value jobs for us peasants. This is the same cliched strategy that has failed for YEARS and yet they keep at it. Why? Because they have no imagination, no vision. If they were serious about bringing lasting employment to Northern Ireland, efforts would be made to go the world’s emerging economies such as Brasil and India, looking for possibilities there. This is a PR stunt aimed at placating the monstrous egos of McGuinness and Robinson and planned assiduously by their legions of highly paid lackeys.


By David Vance On September 8th, 2011 at 8:29 am

Sad to read that almost 600 Irish call centre workers are losing their jobs because their work can be done for a tenth of the cost in Asia.

Stunned employees were in tears as they left the Talk Talk building in Waterford last night, after being told they face the dole in 30 days. Their work will be switched to the Philippines and India, where customer service agents earn less than €2,400 a year. Staff in the Waterford centre, which employs 575 people, have been earning up to €30,000 a year doing the same job. This works out at an average difference of around €80 a day for each worker. The company is pulling the plug on the Waterford operation after a huge fall in customer service phone business.

But what to do? Labour costs are an important if not essential consideration for any employer and if the same level of skill can be offered at a fraction of the cost elsewhere in the world, why would an employer choose to pay more? The truth is that low value jobs have little security of tenure and it’s hard to understand why developed countries fail to grasp this. That said, I hate it when I get through to off-shore call centres where the English spoken is poor and frustrating. But perhaps the advocates of minimum wages and maximum holidays might like to explain preciselyWHY any employer would not migrate to places with lower wage costs assuming transferable skills

You have won, against the odds!

By Mike Cunningham On September 8th, 2011 at 8:21 am

There is a great deal of cash to be won by buying a ticket on the Lottery. Millions are paid out every week, with some lottery draws ‘rolling over’ to produce prizes worth six or seven million pounds. The ‘EuroMillions’ draws can be even more lucrative, with the latest prize on off totalling over £100 million after five or six twice-weekly draws. But, and it is a big ‘but’, everyone who plays, who buys a ticket understands, or should understand, that the odds against a big win are huge. For a National Lottery win, the odds are some 13 million-to-one against; for a EuroMillions prize, because of the numbers, the odds are a staggering 76 million-to-one against. But people still buy the tickets, because it is a gamble, because it is one of the most secure methods of playing the odds, for the thrill of ‘it could be you’, which was the slogan for Camelot’s Lottery.

But how would you feel if a decision was made, which would make everyone in Britain literally gamble their lives against odds of 4 million–to-one against contracting a deadly infection? How would you feel if, because of a continuing programme of pressure from one group of people, a medical decision which has protected us all against this deadly infection was reversed, and that the threat of a nasty death or prolonged illness was increased by those same odds?

Because that is what is going to happen if the  Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs has its way. What is at stake is a return to a blood bank which may well contain HIV/Aids contaminated blood, because homosexuals will not be screened out from donations without a sizeable and tested  time after they have had ‘sex’ in any form with male ‘partners’.

Believe me, I am not trying to demonise or ostracise homosexual people because of their sexual practices, despite the statistics which show a rise in HIV/Aids infections throughout Britain amongst homosexual men. If they wish to indulge themselves, fair enough, but why should the whole population be placed at risk because they feel they are being ‘discriminated against’?

I was happy to submit to a major operation a few years back because I knew that my surroundings were sterile, the surgeons had a great record, and most importantly because I knew that the blood which I would need would be uncontaminated by infections from selfish hedonistic individuals who think only of their own pleasure and gratification with never a thought for the wider problems of their sexual actions and activities!


By David Vance On September 8th, 2011 at 8:15 am

Blood donor

I see that the lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men is expected to be lifted in the UK.

The restrictions were put in place in the 1980s to prevent the risk of HIV contamination. However, the latest medical evidence presented to a government panel argued that such a ban could no longer be justified. Several countries have relaxed the rules, basing them on the time since the last homosexual encounter.

The other interesting statistic is that HIV infections in the UK have risen by 70% in the past decade.

So, are you feeling lucky? Fancy a gamble on the blood you may receive? What a ridiculous proposition being offered as sage advice. Of COURSE blood donations should be banned from those who partake in such reckless and dangerous activities.


By David Vance On September 8th, 2011 at 8:08 am

First the facts. There are THOUSANDS of children in foster homes across the UK and they would undoubtedly benefit from being in a loving family home. But such humanity is secondary to the need from the tobacco-fascists to enforce their will. Consider this;

A couple who applied to become foster parents say they were rejected after the husband admitted having smoked two cigars in the previous  18 months. Clare and Paul Baker were ten months into the year-long process and were hoping to take a young child into their home by Christmas when they say they were told they were no longer eligible. During an interview with a social worker, 36-year-old Mr Baker mentioned having a cigar at a wedding and another at an office party although the couple never smoke at home. The following day the businessman and his wife, who have four children of their own, say they were contacted by Essex County  Council and told they had fallen foul of its policy that potential short-term foster carers of children under five must be tobacco-free for 12 months.

It would be good if whoever thought up this inane policy could be allowed to spend MUCH more time with their own family – ie sack them!


Republican Debate, Sept. 7, 2011

By Patty On September 8th, 2011 at 12:02 am

The Republican debate is tonight.  Photo live-blogging here. 

The debate will be held at the beautiful Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and  starts now, 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

This is your chance to judge for yourself:  is Huntsman really “intensely intellligent,” as Phantom claims?  Does Bachmann have “crazy eyes” like Tina Brown/Newsweek  portrayed her having?

Will Rick Perry remain the front-runner? Will Mitt Romney somehow make up for his lack of charisma by saying something so right and so wonderful that we all suddenly want to vote for him as Newt GIngrich did in the last debate when he criticized the lame stream media?

Follow along with drunk blogger Stephen Green, here.