28/02/2014

Saint David's Day Conundrum


Atheists don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Secularists don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Protestants don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Non-conformists don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Anglicans actively opposed the adoration of Saints, with vigour, at one time, but seem to have gone soft on the issue!

Despite this the Cult of Saint David, is on the increase in modern Wales with more and more St David's parades in 2014 than ever before – BUT WHY?

As a nationalist, I will re-tweet calls for Gwyl Ddewi to be a bank holiday, I will make St David's Day felicitations to my followers, because that's what Nats do. But having done so, I will still wonder why we make such a fuss about Saint David,  when so few of us, actually, believe in the adoration of Saints!

26/02/2014

Will Brussels be kicked out of the EU?


It is interesting that when Cameron, Rajoy and Barroso make comments about the difficulty that newly independent nations might have in remaining in the EU they only concentrate on secessionist movements in Spain and the UK, they forget about the third EU member state that has secessionist issues and is, possibly, more likely to split than the UK or Spain – Belgium!

If a newly independent Catalonia and a newly independent Scotland might find continuing membership of the EU difficult, if not impossible, then the same MUST be true of a newly independent Flanders and a newly independent Wallonia! And therein lies a rather interesting problem, in that the EU could find itself in a position where its parliament and headquarters are in a country which would find it difficult, if not impossible, to remain in the EU.


Any scenario that envisages Brussels being kicked out of the EU is based on abject stupidity, of course. It would never happen, it could never happen; but remember the basis of the scenario is the exact same stupid argument as Cameron, Rajoy and Barroso are making about Scotland and Catalonia's continued membership of the EU!

01/02/2014

The Lords of Independence

It is interesting that the House of Lords held what it called a "debate" on Scottish Independence.

A "debate" by definition needs people of different views discussing opposing opinions, as there are no SNP Lords, a proper debate in their Lordships chamber was nigh on impossible. I was disappointed, but not surprised, that the two Lords who could have given the SNP a pennyworth of support - Lords Wigley and Ellis Thomas didn't contribute to the debate at all!

I am not surprised because both of the Plaid lords have reneged on the Welsh National cause. When they were nearly elected in 1970 and elected with small majorities in 1974 they were both staunch Welsh Nationalists. In 1974 Welsh nationalism was seen as a greater threat to the "brake up of Britain" than Scottish Nationalism. Scottish Nationalism has advanced because SNP MP's remained true to the National cause, whilst Wigley and DET thought more about personal re-election than Nationalism and did nothing to advance Welsh Nationalism.

I have a pragmatic attitude to the House of Lords. I don't like it, the concept of it existence peeves me, but like it or not, whilst it rules over my life I want people of my opinion represented there. Whilst Scotland and Wales are governed by Westminster I want Nationalists in both chambers. It would have been good to hear an SNP Lord's contribution to the Lords debate. But then, when the only two supposed nationalists, jib out of the debate one has to question the value of their membership of the House!

I thought that one of the few Welsh Lords who contributed to the discussion, my friend and minister The Rev Lord Roger Roberts of Llandudno made a pertinent point that if Scotland became independent:

"The immediate cry would be for Welsh independence. People such as me who are in favour of a federal solution for the whole UK—we have not really spoken about that—might join the independence bandwagon, because Wales would be ruled by a party that had never been in the majority there, and that represented only 20% of its people."

I hope Scotland votes yes and look forward to welcoming Roger into the Welsh independence bandwagon.

As to comments made by many Noble Lords about people fighting in World War 1 for Britain – the recruitment posters posted in Wales were generally an encouragement for Welsh Recruits to support "Welsh Nationalism" (look at the comment in the sun). I suspect that the same was true in Scotland!



There is something sick in the British State using Welsh and Scottish Nationalism to support a war and then using the war to oppose our nationalism! A sickness worth remembering in the 1914-18 memorial and especially on Sept 18 2014!

02/10/2013

Don't fart in Welsh - it might make the kids laugh!

When I was a lad the suffix in the English county names Essex, Sussex and Middlesex use to reduce me to fits of giggles, I'm sure that little boys still get a laugh from such names, but as far as I know puerility has never been used as a reason to suggest that these ancient place names should not be used or be changed.

Can you imagine the outrage and the ridicule any local or national politician would be subject to if they said that these names should be changed in case naughty boys laughed at them?

But yet in Wales the fact that kids might giggle at finding that the Welsh name Y Farteg contains the English word Fart has been raised in both Community and County Councils, been commented on by a former Secretary of State for Wales and yesterday was even the subject of a Question to the First Minister in the Senedd. Incredibly the First Minister's response was that the correct Welsh spelling should not be used for what he called "obvious" reasons.

The only thing that is obvious is that the correct spelling should be used because it is correct.

If the correct spelling gives kids a giggle so what? Personally I prefer to hear the kids laughing than to hear the politicians faux outrage; and if politicians can't understand that kids will still find the Fart Egg joke in Varteg they clearly don't know how little boy's dirty minds work.

18/08/2013

What do Cardiff and Swansea FC's give to Welsh Football?

When the Ryder Cup was getting Mega Bucks from the National Assembly Government we were told that the expenditure was justified because it was more than a Game of Golf it was a worldwide advert that said "This is Wales –Come Visit, Come and Invest"

It was a load of baloney, of course. 99% of worldwide references to the Ryder cup placed it in Europe / Britain / England. The only time that Wales got a mention was when the poor weather intervened and then it was "Welsh Rain" that gave our nation negative publicity.

This makes me wonder about the "Value to Wales" of all the hype about Swansea and Cardiff being in the ENGLISH Premier League actually offering Wales, as a nation!

Far from putting Wales in the international spotlight, don't the Cardiff and Swansea teams confirm the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1771 entry of WALES: See England?

It is not so much a Nationalist issue as Parochial one, how many playing members of Man U or Man City have any local connection with Manchester? Very few, I suspect. That disassociation gets passed lower down the line until we get a failed former Blue Square player on the bench for Llandudno Junction, forcing a local lad out of the team and that Junction lad stops a Glan Conwy born and bred boy from being part of his village team.

That is not the way to spread sporting activity at grass roots level. If football in Wales is to succeed we MUST find a way to spread success up from local activity to international level, rather than continuing to "buy" failures into our village clubs on their way down!

I don't like the rugby v soccer rivalry, but I think that RGC1404's attempt to foster local talent to a regional and international level should be a lesson to the Welsh FA, because North Wales football has been too long a resting place for Accrington Stanley Non Milk Drinking, Wanabees, rather than a breeding ground for native Welsh success!

Who are the anti-English?

According to the Scotsman, BBC reporter Andrew Marr has claimed that Anti English Feeling is Entrenched in Scotland and is the basis of the Yes campaign for Scottish independence. So much for BBC neutrality!

To many people the terms United Kingdom / Britain / England are coterminous. It is beyond their ability to accept that England isn't the UK and the UK isn't England!
The problem with Andrew Marr's comments is that he cannot distinguish between being opposed to the UKainian State and being Anti-English!

As a proud Welsh Nationalist I have no hesitation in saying that I am 100% Pro-English. I support the Yes cause in Scotland, I want Wales to be part of the family of World Nations and I want England, a nation that I love and have a huge amount of respect for, to be an Independent World Nation too!

The anti-English are the pro UKainians in the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP parties - who cannot perceive the concept That England is a Nation in its own right, rather than a by-word for Britain / the UK!

It is not the pro Welsh in Plaid, the pro Scots in the SNP or the pro Cornish in MK who are anti-English. The parties who oppose Plaid, the SNP and MK are the ones who don't want England to flourish as a nation in its own right! They are the truly anti-English.


(Photo credit and HT to https://twitter.com/SteCymru14)

16/08/2013

Reintroducing Grammar Schools – providing the best for Tory Bastards?


It is interesting how often in British novels the working class boy (it is always a boy) who succeeds against the odds, usually by winning scholarships to a good school and then to Oxbridge, almost always turns out to be a secret posh kid born on the wrong side of the blanket. It's always the Earl who roggered the maid's son or the managing director who took advantage of the cleaner's boy who gets the grades and the education or the success.

Jeffrey Archer's Clifton Chronicles and Ken Follett's Century Trilogy are the latest that I have read, but it is a recurring theme, overused to the point of boredom.

But it makes one wonder if this recurring theme is really art reflecting life!

Is the Tory obsession with reintroducing Grammar Schools really based on the worry that the Comprehensive system isn't allowing their bastard children to raise above the hoi-poloi?

The crap novel reading public MUST be told!

14/08/2013

The Tory Legacy of Disability Hatred

I went shopping to the Iceland / Asda site in Llandudno Junction yesterday with my severely disabled wife. All the dedicated disabled parking bays were blocked by young drivers parking across the bays rather than in them. Because of their actions I was unable to access a bay where I could open the car doors wide enough in order to help my wife into her wheelchair so that we could shop together.

I approached some of the youngsters and explained my difficulties (not in the most polite terms, I must admit) their response was that they do it all the time in order to Stop the lazy scrounging spazers from parking. I complained in both shops. Iceland sympathised but didn't think they could do anything. Asda said you can't blame them!

When Iain Duncan Smith began his investigations into barriers to work, he had no greater supporter than me. Disability isn't and should never be a barrier to work, people with some of the most severe disabilities can work and should be encouraged to do so and government, at all levels, should do their utmost to enable people who live with disabilities to work within their abilities.

But somewhere along the line the message has been distorted the disabled are to blame! If they don't work it's their own lazy fault, they deserve to be bullied and ridiculed, nothing should be done to protect them or enable them. They are just bloody scroungers and the kids blocking their parking spaces in the Junction were right to oppress them!

Guto Bebb MP, David Jones MP, Janet Finch Saunders AM, Darren Miller AM are you proud of your legacy to people who live with a disability? Or are you going to do something positive to stop the disability prejudice that your party propaganda has caused?

17/07/2013

The benefit of large families and young mothers

My father had sired 5 children before he was 30 years old, as his children were born towards the end of the 50's and the beginning of the 60 his output was symptomatic of the fact that working class people were having fewer children. His breeding rate was unimpressive in comparison to the 15-20 babies that many of my earlier ancestors were baring even at the beginning of the 20th century.

I was a late comer to the breeding game, I was 35 when my first child was born and 36 when my last child was born, my wife is some years younger than I am but at 29 and 30 when the boys were born she left the biological clock ticking dangerously low before becoming a mother.

Attending parent / teacher evenings in school my wife and I didn't stand out as old parents, indeed we were in the median range of parents, we are typically part of what has been described as The Demographic Time Bomb where the number of younger people available to service the needs of the elderly for care, pensions etc is diminished. Added to this is the fact that children born to older parents and smaller families are, themselves, likely to be less healthy than those born to younger parents and larger families, because of both biological and practical reasons - so they may add to the general burden of care rather than contribute to familial care.

There are three things that can help offset the demographic time bomb; immigration (young people being invited into our community to make up the lack of native youngsters); encouraging parenthood at a younger age and encouraging youngsters to have larger families. That all three are opposed by those who are most likely to suffer when the demographic time bomb explodes appears to me to be total madness!

20/06/2013

Will Plaid have me back?

Yesterday I made an application to re-join Plaid Cymru. I don't know if my application will be successful or if Plaid will tell me to **** off!

I joined Plaid in 1979 after the first devolution referendum vote, I defected from the Liberal Party because, despite the Liberal party's 100 year support for Home Rule for Wales, I was the only party member in Merioneth who actually went out in that bitterly cold January and February to campaign for a Yes vote.

I gave up on Plaid in about 1995 when Dafydd Wigley made the claim that Plaid had never ever supported independence for Wales. In the intervening 18 years I have made a lot of criticisms of Plaid Cymru, I don't regret many of them. Many of my criticisms have received vocal support from within the party and from other disillusioned nationalists out with the party, but none have resulted in the creation of an alternative national movement.

The best alternatives so far have been Llais Gwynedd, Siân Caiach's People First and Plaid Glyndŵr, but all have been predicated on stealing / splitting / affecting Plaid Cymru's rather sparse share of the vote rather than widening the appeal of the national cause into areas that Plaid has failed to reach, which is pointless.

After spending 18 years waiting for a new bus at the Nationalist Bus Stop and finding that one isn't going to turn up, I feel that the time has come to get back on board the old one that, despite its faults, has been faithfully serving the route to national self determination for many years.

10/06/2013

Socialism = Middle Class Tokenism

One of the reasons that I hate Socialists is because I don't think that Socialists have a fringing clue about the real life experiences of the real people that they claim to support!

I have seen two real life examples of Socialists opposing the realities of poverty recently.

The first is the proposal that energy companies will be "forced" to give the "cheapest" tariffs to poorer people.

No thank you!

My 80+ yr old parents have been paying the most expensive tariff since time immemorial; they have been paying PAYG before PAYG was a term! And that is the way that they want to continue paying – putting a couple of quid on the gas or the lecy when they need and can afford to do so.

The Labour Party's idea of forcing the cheapest tariff on the poorest people, worries me, because it doesn't appear to have any basis on the experience of those of living in poverty, it is based on their own middle class experience.

The other example of them "protecting" the poor without any experience of poverty is the campaign against payday loans. The 3000% APR interest rate is a fallacy. Nobody borrows £100 today and pays back £300000 at the end of the year, whatever the small print says!

A Payday Loan is what it Says on the Tin. If I have a direct debit for the phone bill to be paid on Monday, but I don't get paid till Friday a payday loan will be a damned site cheaper than the bank and phone company's Bounce Fees. And 3000% APR when calculated between Monday and Friday is probably the cheapest loan available and a dammed site cheaper than bounce charges. No a Credit Union will not cover such short term loans, so the credit Union Argument is a myth!

I may NEED my Payday Loan. Middle class Socialists who cannot perceive that "need" because it is out with their experience make me sick!

22/05/2013

Localism - the salvation of devolution?

Press Release from the National Assembly for Wales

Democratic Deficit Session 2



Localism - the salvation of devolution?



At a time when the national and regional media in Wales often fail to engage the people of Wales in the work of the National Assembly, Rosemary Butler AM, the Assembly’s Presiding Officer, would like to invite you to a take part in a discussion on the regional and hyper-local media’s role.



The session will take the form of a round-robin round-table discussion where you can give your views on a number of new and emerging channels

of communicating with audiences across Wales as well as more traditional local initiatives.



The results of this session will be used to draw together a report on how the National Assembly can work with all sections of the media in Wales to encourage more people to become active civic citizens. This event follows the Cardiff University conference on community journalism, held earlier this year.



Day: Wednesday 12 June 2013

Time: 17.00 – 19.00

Venue: Pierhead

RSVP: 7 June

Tea and coffee will be provided



To book a place please email

Assembly.bookings@wales.gov.uk

or call 0845 010 5500

#newsdeficit

06/05/2013

The UKIP Conundrum



I am sick of seeing Nigle Ferage's big grin on my telly and the claim that UKIP has made some mega breakthrough.

OK!  UKIP made some gains last Thursday, so what?

UKIP won just 5% of the contested seats.

UKIP is currently in eight place re number of County and district councillors in the UK.  

UKIP didn't gain control, or even balance, on any council.

From a purely psephological  point of view UKIP had a shit result last Thursday they failed to break through anywhere!

So why does the media spin UKIP's disappointing result as exiting?

Less than 0.75% of the UK electorate actually voted UKIP last Thursday – why isn't that truth being broadcast?

 73% of those who cast a vote, voted against UKIP.

UKIP is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the new voice of Britain!.

The majority of the people who live in these islands continue to oppose UKIP's neo Nazism,!
The best way to deal with UKIP's so called "success" is to move away from it rather than embrace it!

Only Plaid Cymru, MK and SNP seem to be moving away from the fascist minority, whilst the big three want to embrace and "understand" UKIP Facism!

Do you remember 1936?

31/03/2013

Stop the Benefits Scroungers



With the Westminster government intending to hammer benefits claimants on Monday I thought that this picture published on Twitter by @RCdeWinter  is quite pertinent, despite the fact that it relates to the USA (however Walmart is, of course, the parent company of ASDA on our side of the pond).



If companies pay so little to their employees that they have to depend on state handouts in order to have a basic standard of living then it is not those in receipt of benefits who are the cheats and scroungers so despised by The Daily Mail and its ilk, but the owners of these companies who abuse the benefits system as a means to boost their profits by underpaying their staff.

If the government really wanted to tackle the benefits bill for fiscal, rather than ideological, reasons then they would increase the minimum wage to a level where a working couple with an average amount of children wouldn't need to claim any state support.

Before the usual suspects accuse me of socialist ranting or bolstering the left, I would point out that I am a fiscal conservative, and this post makes a free market point. 

The welfare state should support those in greatest need, not one of the wealthiest families in the world and a company that relies on huge state subsidies in order to pay its workforce is not working in either the true private sector or in a free market economy. If paying a fair wage would make the company unprofitable (doubtful) then they should go bust - which would be a boon for the thousands of small companies that their abuse of state subsidies squeeze out of the market place!

21/03/2013

Spare Room Subsidy/Bedroom Tax- a response to Glyn Davies MP

http://glyn-davies.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/spare-room-subsidybedroom-tax.html


There is no justification for the bedroom tax. It is a tax based on ideological spite rather than on saving money or on fairness. There is an ideological minority in the Tory Party that hates the poor and the bedroom tax is am ideological sop to them.

The fact that the bedroom tax had been inflicted on those who live in private rented accommodation before it was inflicted on people in social accommodation is not an argument in favour of the bedroom tax. It is wrong in both cases and, as the old saying goes - two wrongs do not make a right!

As it happens I have some sympathy with the problem of people living in houses that are too big for them blocking housing. My parents are part of the problem! They live in a five bedroom ex-council house - sold to them by the last Tory Government and taken out of the social housing mix. But if they sell it they couldn't afford a smaller house in the private housing market.

If your lot hadn't destroyed the social housing stock in the first place the problem wouldn't have arisen. The Bedroom Tax is punishing the poor for the effects of the anti poor policies of Thatcherism – that you and yours celebrate.

The sickest thing about your policy is that if my parents hadn't wasted money on oversubscribing their little wealth into buying a council house, which may be eaten up by age care costs, they could be living in a council bungalow with a spare room that their children, grandchildren and great grand children could use on visits. But even that would not be allowed if they were re-housed under the bedroom tax!

26/02/2013

Politics and Gender Politics

In the early 1980s my union did an exercise in attracting more female members to participate. It worked, to a certain extent, the changes initiated doubled the number of women attending union meetings, it also doubled the number of men attending – which preserved the gender imbalance! Which suggests that many of the reasons given for "gender imbalance" in politics - family friendly – time – place – terminology – structure etc aren't things that put women off politics but are things that put people off politics.

The family friendly argument is popular but doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Because of the distances travelled, by virtue of being held in two different places and because of the huge size of each constituency the most family unfriendly of elected offices is the MEP, where Wales currently has 50 / 50 gender balance and has been fairly well represented by women since the first elections in the 1970's. If a lack of family friendliness was the real reason for gender imbalance in politics 40% of all MEPs ever elected in Wales would not have been women.

If any party offered me a safe seat as an MEP I wouldn't accept it, I cannot think of a worse job in elected politics, I wouldn't fight tooth and nail for it, any boy or girl who wants the job is welcome to it!

And that is the real rub in gender politics – when men stand it has sod all to do with gender it's to do with ME. I stood for election to my community council last year. If eleven women were elected and I was the only man elected, I couldn't give a shit about the men who lost, as long as I won!

I stood so that I could be a community councillor not so that a man could hold that role. I stood as an individual who hoped to contribute to the council not as a male!

The feminist movement, to a certain extent, has homogenised female politics. A woman stands election for womanhood rather than just as a candidate for her party, and that is wrong!

If I vote for Leanne (through her party) in the next election my support will be based on what we have in common between our ears and in our hearts not on the differences between our legs!

I want Wales to be an independent and successful country I don't care about the gender balance, disability balance, racial balance etc that delivers a free Wales; I just care about the deliverance!

23/01/2013

Not In or Out, but a New Europe

The European debate in the UK is rather odd. It is portrayed as one of two stark choices IN or OUT. If an in/out referendum were to be held tomorrow I would suspect, based on what my friends and family say, that most of the voters of Wales would vote OUT (not a scientific survey, but this is a blog not an academic essay).

The oddity is that most people who tell me that they would vote OUT are not anti-European; they are opposed to a European Superstate. They agree with the idea of a Common Market, they agree with the idea of a "level playing field" where employment rights or animal welfare standards etc are equal thoroughout Europe they like the idea of free trade and free travel in Europe; what they don't want is an United States of Europe.

Such attitudes are not "little Englander" attitudes, they are not UKIP attitudes; they are actually Pan European attitudes. Large numbers of the citizens of every part of Europe want to rein back the idea of a European Superstate and re-embrace the idea of a Common Market. Supporting either the Europhobes or the Europhiles in an UK stark choice referendum will be bad for Wales. What we should do is unite with those, thoroughout Europe, who want a new European settlement where independent nations are In Europe, but not under Europe's thumb!

07/01/2013

A New Year's Resolution – tell the diet industry to Fuck Off!


Every New Year thousands, probably millions of people will make a resolution to lose weight and increase their fitness levels, and they have many companies to help them achieve their goals.

Or do they?

In the pure capital society in which we in the Western World exist a diet programme that worked would be counter productive to business. If I could make you thin and you stayed thin, I wouldn't have any repeat business!

The "diet industry" has no interest, whatsoever, in keeping you thin and healthy. Its interest is in keeping you in a "yo-yo" situation where you lose weight and gain weight and lose weight and gain weight ad infiniteum! The industry' has a vested interest in making sure that it fails in order to keep you as a continuous dieting customer!

A simple example – I have two spoons full of sugar in my tea. If I stopped taking sugar in my tea I would get use to unsweetened tea and I would make a life changing difference to my sugar intake. But hey I don't need to make that life changing decision because I can use 0% sweetener instead. – so I am permanently addicted to sweet tea – so I yo-yo between taking sugar and going back to sweetener!

When you eat a Granola Bar rather than a Mars Bar you are confirming the "bar" habit rather than breaking it, you are falling into the diet industry trap. If Mars bars are making you fat – give up snack bars - don't swap them for false "healthy" bars.

And remember that normal healthy people have bellies – the six pack is unnatural and probably unhealthy!

How loyal are loyalists?

Like, I suspect, 99% of others who live on the largest of the British Islands, I don't understand the politics of Northern Ireland.

I can sort of understand the nationalist position. They want Ireland to be independent in the same way as the English Democrats, Mebyon Kernow, Plaid Cymru and the SNP want their parts of these islands to be independent or less dependent on each other.

There are those who propose and oppose nationalism in England, Scotland Cornwall and Wales but we tend to accept each other's views as legitimate ones to hold even in our most vehement of arguments. The vast majority of people in mainland Britain probably couldn't give a toss about the Independence / Union argument.

I don't know if my local county hall flies the Union Flag permanently, or if it flies it only on flag days or if it doesn't fly it at all, whatever it isn't a big deal to me and it won't be a big deal to most of us who live on the larger island. Even if it was a big deal we might send letters to the editor of the local rag, complain to our MP, we may even raise a petition. We wouldn't riot!

If anybody started a riot in Llandudno because the Union Flag was absent from the Town Hall the local Lore and Order Tory Brits would be the first to condemn the rioters and would insist that they were dealt with by the utmost severity of the law.

That is basically why I don't understand the politics of the north of Ireland, the loyalists don't seem very loyal to what the local Brits tell me are British values. And the local Brits tend to see the likes of Ian Paisley and his loyalist ilk as "Irish Scum" rather than a True Brits.

How can you be "loyalist" to Britain if the rest of Britain abhors and rejects your interpretation of loyalty?

11/12/2012

NURSING - the normalisation of cruelty?

One of the few taboos left in our modern society is one that makes it difficult to criticise other people's expressions of grief. Because of that it is difficult to criticise Ann Clwyd Roberts' recent attack on the nursing profession, made in the context of the death of her husband.

Of course I sympathise with Ann in her loss, I met her late husband Owen on a few occasions and I would be horrified to think that his last days were blighted by lack of care in Wales' flagship hospital, but I'm sorry Ann, I doubt that it is true.

Because professional health care workers expect to be at the butt end of anger as an expression of grief, being insouciant about such attacks is an element of being a caring health care worker.

When my eldest son was a little boy, about 4 years old, he was rushed into hospital with a very severe ear infection. A doctor told me that if the infection spread to his brain that he would die and that the severity of his condition suggested that that was the most likely outcome, his chances of survival were very low indeed!

I hated that doctor with a level of hatred that you cannot imagine – I wanted to do worse than "shoot the messenger".

I see him occasionally in the aisles of the local Tesco store and every time I see him I feel my stomach churning 12 years after the event! Did he break the news gently and with compassion or was he brusk and clinical? I don't know. All I can remember of the event is the horror of some ****** telling me that my lovely little baby was likely to die. Thankfully my son survived, but I still hate that doctor despite the fact that he saved my son's life.

When our loved ones are in hospital it is difficult to be rational, they are the most important people in the world to us we are very emotionally involved with their care, anybody who shows less emotion in such a crisis can appear "callous". But the nurse on that ward may have thirty other patients to deal with s/he has other relatives and friends who are as demanding of her / his attention for their loved ones as I am for mine. S/he can only give one thirtieth of the time that I feel my nearest and dearest deserves, because s/he has to care for the other 29 patients too.

Having a child, a parent, a spouse a grandparent in hospital coming to the end of their lives is probably one of the most traumatic experiences any of us can have. Dealing with the expression of that trauma is an everyday occurrence for health care professionals; If they become emotionally involved they will burn out! A caring professional must be able to share professional empathy with all patients and clients but they cannot give personal sympathy (which is what most of us want from them) and carry on working.

Indeed professional standards and even basic empathy can often conflict. Refuse to tell an 82 year old granny how her granddaughter and prospective great-grandchild are doing and you will be accused of being a callous "jobs worth"; give that information, unintentionally, to hacks and you have breached patient confidentiality and are the butt of a radio hoax and at the arse end of a Professional Conduct Enquiry!

What annoys me most about Ann's intervention on this issue is that she, as a Labour MP, has allowed Jeremy Cunt to respond to her grief by claiming that nursing has descended into the normalisation of cruelty! A means of blaming nurses, rather than government, for failings in the NHS

Ann - Is that sick lie about dedicated public servants what you want Owen to be remembered for?