Bridge Over the River Kwai

We all recall the film starring William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and Alec Guinness.  Perhaps less memorable is the novel, which was the basis of the American/British film in 1957.  The novel was written by a French prisoner of war who was forced to participate in the Burma-Siam Railway project.  In his book titled Le Pont de la Riviêre Kwai (1952), Pierre Boulle later claimed that his character, LtCol Nicholson, was an amalgamation of French military officers whom Boulle observed did collaborate with the Japanese.

The fact that French officers collaborated with the enemy should surprise no one; the Vichy French were, after all, part of the Axis Powers.

Fred Seiker 1946The real allied commander of the Burma-Siam Railway prisoners was Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey, who passed away in 1975.  He has been recently joined in death by a comrade, Mr. Fred Seiker (shown left), who on 1 June 2017 passed away at the age of 101.  Both gentlemen were preceded in death by around 120,000 victims of Japanese atrocities, including Asian laborers and allied servicemen.

Mr. Seiker tells of his trials as a prisoner/slave laborer in his book entitled Lest We Forget.  He is right, of course: we should not forget the trial and suffering that he and others endured.  If we do forget, then we are doomed to repeat a very sad history—and we will deserve no less.

Rest in peace, Mr. Seiker.

Concluding: a bit weird

A mother, aged 47, lost her husband seven years ago.  Then she remarried; her new husband wanted to have a child, but nothing was working in the normal course of things.  In Vitro Fertilization wasn’t possible because the mother was “too old.”

What to do?  Oh, what to do?

Well, here’s their idea: the mother’s 30-year old daughter agreed to have a baby with her step-father.

Voila!  Problem resolved.

Now, if you think that is a bit weird, here’s a summary of the official surrogacy laws in England and Wales:

When a child is born, its mother is considered as the woman who carried the infant through pregnancy.

If this woman is married, her husband is considered the legal father, which means that the intended father has no automatic claim to legal parenthood.  If the woman is unmarried, it is possible (but not certain) for the genetic father to be considered a legal parent.

The surrogate (woman) is responsible for registering the birth of the child, so her name and that of the legal father will go on the birth certificate.

A “parental order” made possible by the 2008 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act, can then transfer full parental status to the intended parents.

The foregoing cannot happen until the child is six-weeks old, but must do before the child is six-months old, and strict conditions must be met.  One condition is that no money must be paid by the would-be parents to the natural mother or to an agency, except for legitimate expenses.

Applicants for the parental order must be husband and wife, a married same-sex couple, civil partners, or in a long-term relationship.  Note: Presumably, they must also be human species, but this has not been emphatically stated.

Another Attack

Well, here we are again; another Moslem attack upon the innocents of London.  What we know so far is that murdering filth have killed six people during attacks in two closely connected areas of London on Saturday night.  Three suspects have been shot and killed by police.

Once more, Enoch Powell correctly predicted these kinds of events in 1968.

The government’s political correctness is aiding and abetting the murder of innocent citizens.  When will government begin protecting the innocents as much as they protect, make allowances for, and hide the truth about Islamists?

Political correctness: the gift that keeps on giving.

Good news for the Brits

Even though MI5 reveal the presence of 23,000 jihadi living in Britain (those are just the active inquiries, mind you), Manchester police say they’ve arrested “most of the suspects” in the recent attack against the innocents (and those, by the way, who are unable to defend themselves).

Most of the suspects, they said … meaning of course that some suspects remain on the loose.  British society is closing in on Katie Hopkins though, for daring to suggest in a Tweet that it is time for a final solution to the Islamist problem in the United Kingdom.

Well, it isn’t as if the British people weren’t warned, is it?

Question: Where Was Powell Wrong?

Rivers of Blood

By Enoch Powell, 20 April 1968

The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature.

One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: at each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future.

Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: “If only,” they love to think, “if only people wouldn’t talk about it, it probably wouldn’t happen.”

Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical.

At all events, the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician. Those who knowingly shirk it deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after.

A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalised industries.

After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country.” I made some deprecatory reply to the effect that even this government wouldn’t last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: “I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”

I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?

The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so. Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that his country will not be worth living in for his children.

I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history.

In 15 or 20 years, on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants. That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General’s Office.

There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London. Of course, it will not be evenly distributed from Margate to Aberystwyth and from Penzance to Aberdeen. Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population.

As time goes on, the proportion of this total who are immigrant descendants, those born in England, who arrived here by exactly the same route as the rest of us, will rapidly increase. Already by 1985 the native-born would constitute the majority. It is this fact which creates the extreme urgency of action now, of just that kind of action which is hardest for politicians to take, action where the difficulties lie in the present but the evils to be prevented or minimised lie several parliaments ahead.

The natural and rational first question with a nation confronted by such a prospect is to ask: “How can its dimensions be reduced?” Granted it be not wholly preventable, can it be limited, bearing in mind that numbers are of the essence: the significance and consequences of an alien element introduced into a country or population are profoundly different according to whether that element is 1 per cent or 10 per cent.

The answers to the simple and rational question are equally simple and rational: by stopping, or virtually stopping, further inflow, and by promoting the maximum outflow. Both answers are part of the official policy of the Conservative Party.

It almost passes belief that at this moment 20 or 30 additional immigrant children are arriving from overseas in Wolverhampton alone every week – and that means 15 or 20 additional families a decade or two hence. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancés whom they have never seen.

Let no one suppose that the flow of dependants will automatically tail off. On the contrary, even at the present admission rate of only 5,000 a year by voucher, there is sufficient for a further 25,000 dependants per annum ad infinitum, without taking into account the huge reservoir of existing relations in this country – and I am making no allowance at all for fraudulent entry. In these circumstances nothing will suffice but that the total inflow for settlement should be reduced at once to negligible proportions, and that the necessary legislative and administrative measures be taken without delay.

I stress the words “for settlement.” This has nothing to do with the entry of Commonwealth citizens, any more than of aliens, into this country, for the purposes of study or of improving their qualifications, like (for instance) the Commonwealth doctors who, to the advantage of their own countries, have enabled our hospital service to be expanded faster than would otherwise have been possible. They are not, and never have been, immigrants.

I turn to re-emigration. If all immigration ended tomorrow, the rate of growth of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population would be substantially reduced, but the prospective size of this element in the population would still leave the basic character of the national danger unaffected. This can only be tackled while a considerable proportion of the total still comprises persons who entered this country during the last ten years or so.

Hence the urgency of implementing now the second element of the Conservative Party’s policy: the encouragement of re-emigration.

Nobody can make an estimate of the numbers which, with generous assistance, would choose either to return to their countries of origin or to go to other countries anxious to receive the manpower and the skills they represent.

Nobody knows, because no such policy has yet been attempted. I can only say that, even at present, immigrants in my own constituency from time to time come to me, asking if I can find them assistance to return home. If such a policy were adopted and pursued with the determination which the gravity of the alternative justifies, the resultant outflow could appreciably alter the prospects.

The third element of the Conservative Party’s policy is that all who are in this country as citizens should be equal before the law and that there shall be no discrimination or difference made between them by public authority. As Mr Heath has put it we will have no “first-class citizens” and “second-class citizens.” This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendent should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to imposition as to his reasons and motive for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.

There could be no grosser misconception of the realities than is entertained by those who vociferously demand legislation as they call it “against discrimination”, whether they be leader-writers of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it, or archbishops who live in palaces, faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads. They have got it exactly and diametrically wrong.

The discrimination and the deprivation, the sense of alarm and of resentment, lies not with the immigrant population but with those among whom they have come and are still coming.

This is why to enact legislation of the kind before parliament at this moment is to risk throwing a match on to gunpowder. The kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and support it is that they know not what they do.

Nothing is more misleading than comparison between the Commonwealth immigrant in Britain and the American Negro. The Negro population of the United States, which was already in existence before the United States became a nation, started literally as slaves and were later given the franchise and other rights of citizenship, to the exercise of which they have only gradually and still incompletely come. The Commonwealth immigrant came to Britain as a full citizen, to a country which knew no discrimination between one citizen and another, and he entered instantly into the possession of the rights of every citizen, from the vote to free treatment under the National Health Service.

Whatever drawbacks attended the immigrants arose not from the law or from public policy or from administration, but from those personal circumstances and accidents which cause, and always will cause, the fortunes and experience of one man to be different from another’s.

But while, to the immigrant, entry to this country was admission to privileges and opportunities eagerly sought, the impact upon the existing population was very different. For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country.

They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. They now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by act of parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent-provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.

In the hundreds upon hundreds of letters I received when I last spoke on this subject two or three months ago, there was one striking feature which was largely new and which I find ominous. All Members of Parliament are used to the typical anonymous correspondent; but what surprised and alarmed me was the high proportion of ordinary, decent, sensible people, writing a rational and often well-educated letter, who believed that they had to omit their address because it was dangerous to have committed themselves to paper to a Member of Parliament agreeing with the views I had expressed, and that they would risk penalties or reprisals if they were known to have done so. The sense of being a persecuted minority which is growing among ordinary English people in the areas of the country which are affected is something that those without direct experience can hardly imagine.

I am going to allow just one of those hundreds of people to speak for me:

“Eight years ago in a respectable street in Wolverhampton a house was sold to a Negro. Now only one white (a woman old-age pensioner) lives there. This is her story. She lost her husband and both her sons in the war. So she turned her seven-roomed house, her only asset, into a boarding house. She worked hard and did well, paid off her mortgage and began to put something by for her old age. Then the immigrants moved in. With growing fear, she saw one house after another taken over. The quiet street became a place of noise and confusion. Regretfully, her white tenants moved out.

“The day after the last one left, she was awakened at 7am by two Negroes who wanted to use her ‘phone to contact their employer. When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door. Immigrant families have tried to rent rooms in her house, but she always refused. Her little store of money went, and after paying rates, she has less than £2 per week. “She went to apply for a rate reduction and was seen by a young girl, who on hearing she had a seven-roomed house, suggested she should let part of it. When she said the only people she could get were Negroes, the girl said, “Racial prejudice won’t get you anywhere in this country.” So she went home.

“The telephone is her lifeline. Her family pay the bill, and help her out as best they can. Immigrants have offered to buy her house – at a price which the prospective landlord would be able to recover from his tenants in weeks, or at most a few months. She is becoming afraid to go out. Windows are broken. She finds excreta pushed through her letter box. When she goes to the shops, she is followed by children, charming, wide-grinning piccaninnies. They cannot speak English, but one word they know. “Racialist,” they chant. When the new Race Relations Bill is passed, this woman is convinced she will go to prison. And is she so wrong? I begin to wonder.”

The other dangerous delusion from which those who are wilfully or otherwise blind to realities suffer, is summed up in the word “integration.” To be integrated into a population means to become for all practical purposes indistinguishable from its other members.

Now, at all times, where there are marked physical differences, especially of colour, integration is difficult though, over a period, not impossible. There are among the Commonwealth immigrants who have come to live here in the last fifteen years or so, many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated and whose every thought and endeavour is bent in that direction.

But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one.

We are on the verge here of a change. Hitherto it has been force of circumstance and of background which has rendered the very idea of integration inaccessible to the greater part of the immigrant population – that they never conceived or intended such a thing, and that their numbers and physical concentration meant the pressures towards integration which normally bear upon any small minority did not operate.

Now we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences, with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population. The cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, that can so rapidly overcast the sky, has been visible recently in Wolverhampton and has shown signs of spreading quickly. The words I am about to use, verbatim as they appeared in the local press on 17 February, are not mine, but those of a Labour Member of Parliament who is a minister in the present government:

‘The Sikh communities’ campaign to maintain customs inappropriate in Britain is much to be regretted. Working in Britain, particularly in the public services, they should be prepared to accept the terms and conditions of their employment. To claim special communal rights (or should one say rites?) leads to a dangerous fragmentation within society. This communalism is a canker; whether practised by one colour or another it is to be strongly condemned.’

All credit to John Stonehouse for having had the insight to perceive that, and the courage to say it.

For these dangerous and divisive elements the legislation proposed in the Race Relations Bill is the very pabulum they need to flourish. Here is the means of showing that the immigrant communities can organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century.

Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.

~End~

Death Panels are Real

Health care in the United States was never perfect, but in the days before Medicare[1], it was the best the world had to offer.  Whenever we begin to discuss such things as socialized medicine, we are almost immediately drawn to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service system, its baby brother in Canada, or the “single-payer” system in Japan.  I think they call it managed health care —which I think is not only appropriate, but true.  The questions are, who manages it, what is the effect, and at what cost?

I recently came across two analyses of the British NHS and Japan’s[2]; it was not only interesting, but should serve as a warning bell to the American people who somehow feel as though we can trust the government to do the right thing.  The problem is in determining what the right thing is, as we shall see below.  But first, a summary of managed care in the United Kingdom and Japan.

Page One

According to Dr. Thane, the United Kingdom’s problems arise from two post-war measures: the NHS and National Assistance Acts (1948).  The latter measure required county level governments to provide shelter for elder persons, to monitor and supervise elder care, and provide meals, home care, day care centers, and to subsidize private organizations attempting to provide similar services.  Apparently, no one in the central government stopped to consider that monetary resources were limited, and they also failed to imagine that elderly populations would eventually increase.  The latter would result in greater demands for funding that simply wasn’t available.  Labor Government in the post war period could not fund all their ideas so they simply required county government to do this, or as Dr. Thane stated, prioritized the delivery of health and senior care.  Thane argues that the relatively poor care of elderly persons living in the United Kingdom is the result of age-discrimination.  She apparently ignores the fact that younger generations are also receiving relatively poor care, but on the other hand I think she is right about spending priorities: the British government is able fund outlandish foreign aid projects, but is somehow unable to address the health care of its own citizens.

Page Two

Dr. Hayashi’s analysis of the health care system in Japan includes a short comparison to the way things used to be done in Japan (citing Confucian values) to those in practice today—one in which long term care is challenged by the same factors found in all industrialized societies: more people, fewer monetary resources (or that pesky prioritizing measure).  “But post-war social and economic change had major implications.  Japan’s economic miracle made it possible to introduce a universal healthcare system in 1961, and then free healthcare for older people in 1973.  This contributed to an increased life expectancy and unprecedented numbers of older people surviving, but requiring long-term care.”  Confucian ideals could no longer stand up to the expectations rooted in ancient values and this resulted in abuse and neglect in homes where the aged were being cared for by younger generations.

The Japanese government introduced universal long term care insurance for older people in the year 2000, funded by government and everyone over the age of 40; it may work now, but the program is unsustainable.  By 2025, almost one-third of Japan’s population will be aged 65 and over.  Included in this estimate are 7 million people suffering from dementia.

Page Three

Not to worry … our governments are watching out for us.  During the debate over Obama-Care, both Congressional parties raised the argument of death panels with each side accusing the other of horrific programs that would result in detached managers making decisions about whether a patient should receive medical treatment.  The older the person is, the less likely they will be to receive needed medical attention.  Tied to this, the federal government demanded that private doctors and hospital turn over all their patient records to the regulating agency (there are several, including the Treasury Department, if you can believe that).  In this way, panels will take note whether the patient adopted a healthy life style; drinking and smoking could result in the panel deciding not to extend health services.

Now back to the United Kingdom for this case in point: The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), developed in the 1990s at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in partnership with the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute.  This was not a form of treatment for sick or dying elderly; it was a methodology used to speed them along to their graves —making them as comfortable as possible, of course, but denying them nourishment and water.

In 2013, the LCP was excoriated in the press when it was revealed that the process implemented hastened death by starvation or over-prescription of pain killers.  Families were kept in the dark about what was actually happening to their loved ones; seniors were placed into LCP programs without theirs or their family’s consent.  What did the British government do about this intolerable situation?  Why, Parliament convened a commission, of course.

In 2015, Professor Patrick Pullicino was one of the UK’s first medics to raise concerns over the pathway to death and argued that recent government proposals were worse than the LCP: they could push more patients into an early grave.  Pullicino stated that new government policy encouraged hospital staff to guess at who was dying, in the absence of any clear evidence, and then to take steps that could hasten patients’ death.  This means withdrawing fluids and treatment and the administration of sedation to the dying, based on no more than a reasonable guess by a healthcare manager.

Page Four

If the American people were smart, and I am certainly not suggesting any such thing, they would look carefully at what is happening to Medicare and Medicaid under the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and judge for themselves if managed care is moving dangerously close to the Liverpool Care Pathway.  I only mention this because Dr. Victor J. Dzau of the Institute of Medicine once said, “The time is now for our nation to develop a modernized end-of-life care system.”

Really?  What does that mean, exactly?

Do we want government or medical eggheads to have the power of life and death over us, or our parents and grandparents?

Americans might pause to consider the far-reaching implications of managed health care; they may want to remember as well: whatever goes around comes around.

Notes:

[1] Note: the political party that gave us Medicare also gave us Obama-Care.  The people who instituted the NHS were also leftists … what they have given us today in no way resembles what they promised.

[2] Thane, Pat and Hayashi, Mayumi, Why is our elderly care services in crisis?  BBC History Magazine, February 2017

Press Influence

Page One: What Europeans know about the American people they’ve likely learned from one or two sources: they have either visited the United States (thus, receiving a direct impression), or they obtain their information from secondary sources: the opinions of others, and/or European (leftist) press.  Neither of these is necessarily all there is to know about America or her people.  I have no problem with European opinions that flow from a previous (unhappy) visit to the United States; after all, there are occasions when we deserve such criticism.  On the other hand, questions about the American voter, our political system, and President Trump are annoying, insolent, and reflect most unfavorably upon the individual posing them. Continue reading