I have started a petition to call on the government to ensure that drivers who kill as a result of driving under the influence of drugs are charged with manslaughter. The first hurdle was to get at least another 5 British citizens to sign it. This has been achieved. The petitions committee will now make sure it is acceptable, which they say will take a week. If it is, it will go live. Assuming all goes well, it should be live by the time I post my next blog, and I hope you will all sign it.
There is a similar petition in relation to drink driving at:
Please sign this. For too long killers have walked free because the penalties for careless and dangerous driving are too lenient and because drivers who kill are rarely charged with manslaughter.
There have recently been two court cases involving corruption among very senior administrators in the NHS. In one, Jon Andrewes was charged with false representation, by claiming qualifications he did not possess.
The other was Paula Vasco-Knight, who admitted fraud by paying her husband £11,000 for work he never did.
Now, I wonder which of these two did the more harm to the NHS. Mr Andrewes actually did a good job, so who lost out? OK, it could be said that other applicants might have lost out, but there is no certainty that any of them would have got the job if Mr Andrewes had not. The NHS does not seem to have been harmed.
Mr Andrewes’s case is very interesting, since if a builder with no relevant qualifications can hold senior positions in the NHS and do a good job, it begs the question why the NHS needs to pay its pen pushers so generously. I am sure, for example, that there are many builders who would be happy to do Alison Diamond’s job for half her salary. Somehow, I doubt that Ms Diamond could do a builder’s job!
Devonlive.com reports an interesting interview with Jo Locke, who has worked in North Devon Theatres for nearly 20 years. She said: "I still don't really understand quite why it happened the way it did and when it did. Pantomime has always been the most profitable trading period for our theatres as it is with most other venues around the country so for the insolvency event to happen immediately after a pantomime where income was up on last year, still doesn't make sense to me.” This supports a comment that I heard from another senior member of the theatre’s staff and which I reported last week.
My daughter, Elizabeth, is taking on the world's longest obstacle course in May - 20 miles and 200 obstacles to raise money for Children with Cancer. Please support a worthy cause!
I am told that the whole of any money raised will go to the charity.
Many of you will know, or know of, Alison Murray. I only know of her through Facebook, but it seems that to describe her as “an angel” may be an understatement. She has been devoting herself to helping the homeless, something that is desperately needed when local authorities seem to be doing their best to kill them off. Recently one of “her” homeless, Alex, died.