Probably because of its ubiquity, we tend to forget that a car is a potentially lethal weapon. To my mind, anyone who drives a car when their reflexes and concentration are impaired is not so much an accident waiting to happen as a potential killer looking for a victim. I would suggest that this is the case whether the impairment is due to alcohol, illegal or legal drugs, tiredness, ill health, old age or any other reason.
Ward’s case is particularly iniquitous because she was out of her mind on 3 illegal drugs! It is also disturbing that she was treated so lightly because she is young, female and had a small child. I noted at least one similar case where the killer was imprisoned, despite being young, male and having a small child.
Mr Heaton-Jones says that the judge and the attorney general acted in accordance with the law in, respectively, treating Ward so leniently and refusing permission to appeal against the sentence. However, I have to say, to repeat a famous saying, if the law says this, then the law is an ass. In fact, I would go further and say that the law is an evil ass, because, by being so at odds with plain justice, it brings the law into disrepute and so helps undermine the very basis of our society.
Santa has been out and about in town on his sleigh.
The maternity unit at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) has come under attack recently, although, it has to be said, not by its users. Amongst other things, it appears that staff are demoralised. Is it any wonder? For the last year or so, they have been told that services have to be cut back and that “there are no red lines”. Wouldn’t you be demoralised if you were told that that you job was not safe but you wouldn’t be told what would happen until some indefinite time in the future? Even now, when they, and we, have been assured that a maternity unit will remain at NDDH, the future is uncertain, since they know better than most that, once services start to be taken from a hospital, there is no telling where and when the process will stop.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am concerned for the future of medical services in the region and, specifically in Ilfracombe. Some people have interpreted this concern as a criticism of the medical staff of the NHS. I hold doctors, nurses and their support staff in the highest esteem. Most of them work excessively long hours for inadequate reward under conditions that would periodically cause more stress than most of us experience in a lifetime. My wrath and my contempt are restricted to those bean counters and button pushers – administrators – who gladly take inflated salaries to dismantle an NHS that once was the pride of our nation, of these, in my view, the worst are those who were once doctors or nurses who now have sold out and have turned on the NHS which once nurtured them.
If you share my concerns, I urge you, whatever your political beliefs, to support SOHS (Save Our Hospital Services), at http://www.sohs.org.uk/. SOHS says firmly “There are red lines”.