We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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“They’re not coming. You’re on your own.”

Even people who habitually decry the uselessness of the State often have a soft spot for the emergency services. When catastrophe strikes, they say, enlightened self interest will not make men run forward into danger. For that you need an ethos of service. For that you need a flag, a uniform, a loyalty, a government.

“Manchester Arena bombing: New rules delay paramedics at terror attacks”, the Times reports.

The only paramedic to reach the scene of the Manchester Arena bombing in the first 40 minutes after the attack would not have been allowed to attend under new rules.

The inquiry into the attack at an Ariane Grande concert was told that paramedics are unlikely to be at the scene of a terrorist attack for at least half an hour as a result of rules that require detailed risk assessments to be made first.

Patrick Ennis “self-deployed” to the arena within ten minutes when he heard there had been an explosion.

You can judge how that turned out by the fact that the original Times headline was “Manchester bomb paramedics ‘banned from helping’ for 40 minutes”.

However, neither he nor two colleagues who eventually joined him in the City Room foyer treated patients immediately. Ennis has previously said to do so “would have been to the detriment of the overall management of the greater number of casualties”.

Sir John Saunders, the chairman of the inquiry, which began in September last year at Manchester magistrates’ court, said: “I have been told for the first half an hour after an incident, you can’t expect the staff to be there, paramedics are unlikely to be there.”

Here’s a vote winner for Boris: we start a specialised public service staffed by people specially trained and ready to be there – even without a risk assessment. You know, like the Ambulance service used to be.

Although most of the responses to the Times story were hostile to the North West Ambulance Service, some did point out that terrorists have been known to set a second bomb timed to kill early responders to the first. The IRA were particularly fond of that trick. It is a fair point. But that risk must be balanced against the certainty that at the Manchester Arena people were dying for lack of help. And, I have to ask, if the Ambulance Service only goes in when it is safe, why have a service at all? Privatise it.

The following particularly riled the Times commenters:

Gerard Blezard, director of operations at NWAS, became the most senior officer to give evidence to the inquiry.

Sophie Cartwright QC, for the inquiry, asked Blezard why there should not be any “self-deployment”.

“Several reasons, you need to have business continuity. Who does the day-to-day business the next day, how do we know who is at the scene?” he said.

A new system called Cascade means that paramedics can contact a central number and their details are then passed to the tactical commander. It has been tested several times, but “not in a live environment”, Blezard said.

Guy Gozem QC, for the victims’ families, asked: “A lot of those who self-deployed actually performed a valuable service, didn’t they? Had it not been for their self-deployment, there would have been an even greater wait for assistance?” Blezard agreed but said the new system meant paramedics were deployed in a “controlled way”.

Emphasis added. Business continuity? Private sector organisations sometimes are saved from the osteomalacia that is characteristic of our time by the prospect of bankruptcy. Government bodies are not so fortunate. But never let it be said that the North West Ambulance Service learned nothing from the private sector. They were bang up to date with their buzzwords.

On the Times website, one of the most highly recommended comments was by William Croom-Johnson who said,

Death certificate: “Cause of death: business continuity”

But the most recommended comment of all came from “Mr N D”. It said,

Prior to London Bridge and Manchester Arena some people in this country may have lived under the entirely false impression that the emergency services would come to help them if they were ever caught up in any kind of serious incident.

Now we know with absolute certainty: they won’t. Forget it. They’re not coming. You’re on your own. Whether you live or die is far down their list of priorities.

Related old posts: Loss of nerve: “just standing there watching”

Loss of nerve: the Strathclyde Fire Brigade preferred not to rescue Alison Hume and Loss of nerve: the Sheriff’s judgement on the death of Alison Hume

“We have to wait for the fire brigade because of health and safety”

And the post back in 2007 that started the series, called simply Loss of nerve.

43 comments to “They’re not coming. You’re on your own.”

  • bobby b

    I suppose they could just all become coroners.

  • Exasperated

    Wow, this possibility is something that never entered my mind; we are so immersed in stories of NYPD and NYFD from 9/11. I think the Boston Marathon Bombing victims got immediate aid. Though, I think EMTs may be held back in the case of an Active Shooter, as occurred in the Parkland, Florida High School shooting. It’s a sobering thought.

  • Fraser Orr

    I vote Natalie for “Word of the day” for “osteomalacia”. What a perfect word to describe this situation.

    I’m going to guess that the Ambulance men were straining at the bit to get in there and help, while the accountants played with their spreadsheets.

    It is the age old story. We just saw it in Afghanistan too. Lions lead by donkeys. Donkeys with soft bones.

  • Martin

    It’s not as ridiculous as it sounds, I suppose. What I believe “Business continuity” means in the context, if very poorly phrased is that, if all your first responders respond to an even, which might possibly not require that amount of attention, they are not available to respond to the normal traffic and home accidents and such, which will still occurr on the next day.

    “Business continuity” in this context means to keep a reserve to be able to deal with the stuff you know will regularly happen, the “normal business”.

  • By that argument, Martin (September 9, 2021 at 6:44 am), no-one could ever do anything since it would risk their not being there to do something else that was wanted next.

    In a country of 60 million people – or indeed within just a city of half a million plus – reserves can be drafted in from elsewhere to handle ‘next day’ if the locals get overwhelmed by today’s tasks.

    I am tempted to say that they must have plans for such moving of reserves from place to place, granting of overtime pay, calling in the army and etc., but the story – and some others of recent years – warns me to cautious of assuming even such routine contingency planning.

    The argument also assumes that bosses at a distance will on average make a better call than responders who chance to be at the scene, and that the loss of the possibility of immediate local initiative is more than outweighed by the allegedly better resource deployment of the distant higher-ups. In its own small way, this exemplifies a discussion we often have on this blog.

  • APL

    “Mr N D: You’re on your own. Whether you live or die is far down their list of priorities.”

    To be fair, we’ve known that for some time.

    I can recall but cannot recall the news article at the moment, an instance where ‘shots were heard’ from a house somewhere in the midlands. The police waited about a quarter of a mile distant, essentially until the last lifeblood had drained from the victims before they went into the scene of the crime.

    Like most everything else in the State sector of the ‘modern UK’ you pay a lot of money and get very little in return.

  • Paul Marks

    It should be stressed that it is not the people who are at fault – it is THE RULES.

    Where do these rules come from? “They are policy” – yes but where does “policy” come from?

    Politicians do NOT think up these policies – people can scream “paranoid” and “conspiracy theorist” as much as they like, but I am TELLING you that politicians do not think up these “rules” and “policies”.

  • Mr Ecks

    So you need to literally fight with Plod. If you want to help.

    Good. We need many more reasons to get into it with the costumed scum.

    Paul Marks is correct. Bureaucratic psychopathic scum are behind such rules. The Political shite are too cowardly.

    We need names and addresses. If anyone I loved died because of the above I would go calling on any policy-making cunt behind such rules.

  • Paul Marks

    Who thinks up “the rules”? Why thinks up “policy”?

    It is NOT politicians – so debate over whether (for example) “Boris is useless” (or not) is totally beside the point.

    Whilst officials can create rules with the force of law (rules that politicians never voted on, created by officials that elected politicians did not hire and can not fire) “democracy” is just a word.

    The Supreme Court of the United States ruled (nine justices to zero) as recently as 1935 that it was wrong for officials to make rules that had the force of law – the case was about the “National Recovery Administration” (the Blue Eagle thugs) created under the vague enabling Act which was the “National Industrial Recovery Act”.

    But now it is considered quite normal for Congress (or the British Parliament) to pass a vague Enabling Act – handing over power to make rules (with the force of law) to unelected officials.

    “That is the only way the modern state can operate”.

    Then the “modern state” should NOT operate.

    If the government is too big (is responsible for too much) for elected politicians to control it – then make the government MUCH SMALLER, so they can control it.

    Otherwise – why have elections?

    And the elected politicians must be able to higher and fire the staff of the government – bodies such as “The Health and Safety Executive” short circuit constitutional government.

    Chief Justice Hewart warned about what was happening – as long ago as 1929 (“The New Despotism”).

    In the 19th century Britain defeated China but then, bizarrely, decided to copy its system of government, hence the term “Whitehall Mandarins” (or perhaps decided to copy the system of government in Prussia and France – a bureaucracy controlled by examinations and so on) – the “reforms” of Sir Charles Trevelyan, starting the growth of the modern bureaucracy.

    The same process started in the United States in the late 19th century.

  • Paul Marks

    I would remind readers that under (say) Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel in the United Kingdom, or President Grant in the United States, none of the “essential structures of modern government” existed.

    They are NOT “essential” – this form of administration is harmful, it undermines elected control over government.

    What is the point of elections to “throw the bums out” if the people who make “the rules” are not subject to election, and are not hired-and-fired by those who are subject to election.

  • Sam Duncan

    “Strathclyde Fire Brigade preferred not to rescue Alison Hume ”

    Of course, there is no Strathclyde brigade any more. It’s the “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service”. If you phone 999, you get through to one of (I believe) three call centres, only one of which is anywhere near Glasgow. It’s the same for all the emergency services.

    I don’t know how it was in the rest of the country, but for minor crimes the procedure used to be to phone your local police office (station), rather than 999. Can’t do that now. They don’t publish the numbers, so you’re entirely at the mercy of the call centres.

    And, although it isn’t exactly an emergency service, I recently tried to report a broken street light. Apparently this can’t be done over the phone at all now, and you have to open an online “account” with the “Scottish Government”. What they have to do with it is beyond me. I’ll leave it to someone else. (An attitude that I expect everyone else is taking; the light has been out for at least three years now.)

    They call this “devolution”. It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

    “That is the only way the modern state can operate”.

    Then the “modern state” should NOT operate.


  • Cesare

    Do not tell me this is an over sight or simply those wacky bureaucrats at it again. This is another part of an ongoing attempt to turn that sceptered isle into an anonymous land mass, to smash the high trust social order and deny there is even such a thing as the British way of life. Great Britain so long a pillar and enormous contributor to Western Civilization must be homogenized and impoverished the same as Australia and America for the Davos/WEF greater good.

  • Paul Marks

    The American Pendleton Act of 1883 (which really created the Civil Service – although it was formally created in 1871) at first only applied to some positions – but it gradually applied to more and more.

    It was only in the time of President Jack Kennedy that the Federal Government became unionised – and then (as even Franklin Roosevelt had predicted) it really got totally out of control.

    As for Britain – there is an added factor, the Parliamentary system.

    A British Prime Minister is not really the head of the Executive as the Governor of an American State is – even with the Civil Service at State level.

    For example, Governor De Santis of Florida has far more real control over the executive (over the operation of government) than a British Prime Minister does. A Prime Minister has to spend a lot of his or her time as a “Parliamentary performer” (which sounds a bit like being a circus act).

    An American President is also supposed to be actually in charge of the machinery of government (in a way that a British Prime Minister is not) – but as President Trump found, the control of a President over the Federal Government is more notional than real.

    The Federal bureaucracy (including the “security” and “justice” bureaucracy) is horribly corrupt and horribly out of control – ironically what the Civil Service Acts were meant to prevent.

  • Paul Marks

    Sam Duncan.

    The way that Strathclyde is governed sounds awful – even by modern standards.

    Glasgow is a large city – the fact that you are directed to call centres outside the city (for basic city matters) is insane.

    Even if the bureaucracy is really in charge (which I suspect it is), I do not understand why the people of Scotland do not at least do a protest vote.

    Why do so many people vote for the SNP – which wildly supports the horrible mutilation of Scots Law and Scottish education that has taken place since “Devolution”, and now has introduced a “law” that seems to make saying “Down with Big Brother” in your sleep a crime?

    After all the minister who pushed for the law making things said in your own home a crime is from a visible minority (as he is always reminding people) – and “Big Brother” could be reasonably be supposed to be “Hate Speech” directed as him, as he is the minister responsible for the law.

    So, therefore, saying “Down with Big Brother” in your sleep is now a crime in Scotland? Or is there a “I was asleep” defence?

    I wish that modern administrators (and the establishment in general) did not follow the book “1984” as an instruction manual, rather than seeing it as a warning.

  • Paul Marks

    Sam Duncan.

    I just went to refresh my memory on dates.

    As the City of Glasgow has been a Unitary Authority since 1996 (just before the horror of so called “Devolution” hit), the Region of Strathclyde (created after 1973) being a abolished then, it makes no sense for anything to do with local government to be based OUTSIDE the city – but then you know that.

    Also street lights and so on, should not be under a “Scottish Government” website – because that is in Edinburgh (I walked passed the Parliament building some years ago – a horrible modern building that disfigures Edinburgh) and it is about general Scottish matters – not a street light.

    But then you know that as well. You know all of this – but neither of us know what the bleep to do about it.

  • Duncan S

    Sam Duncan & Paul Marks

    I don’t know where you live Sam, so I can’t comment on why you say you have to contact ScotGov to report a streetlight problem. Although it does appear that more and more council services are being pushed onto some App or other.

    If I need to report a street lamp outage in my area,it’s handled by the “Ayrshire Roads Alliance”, AKA the roads department of South/East/North Ayrshire via a website which doesn’t require me to login.

    If the fault is on a streetlight on a trunk route, e.g. the A77, then I contact the road contractor, Amey plc, via their fault reporting web page: again, no need to login. Although with Amey I’m now on first name terms with several of their maintenance managers after long years of correspondence over the drains in my village.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    APL, it happened in Berkshire rather than the Midlands, but the incident you are thinking of may be the murder of Julia Pemberton and her son William Pemberton by her estranged husband Alan Pemberton in 2004. It is mentioned in my 2007 “Loss of Nerve” post. The police waited six hours to go in.

    Or, of course, there may have been several similar incidents and you were thinking of a separate one.

  • APL

    Cesare: “This is another part of an ongoing attempt to turn that sceptered isle into an anonymous land mass, to smash the high trust social order and deny there is even such a thing as the British way of life.”


    Yes. And we about to absorb an unspecified number of Afghans who, it seems obvious, weren’t prepared to defend the lifestyle that they’d grown accustomed to at the American and UK tax payers expense, in their own country. Despite the US leaving so much military hardware lying around, that now, the Taliban have a better equipped military at their disposal than the Australian armed forces.

    Apparently, because the UK and the US spent billions of their respective currency units in that country, we owe them a living.

    Robert Jenrick the UK (Tory, Ha!) housing minister has told us that accommodating this unspecified number of individuals is our ‘National project’, he also wants four bed accommodation to be made available for them.

    Well, 4 bed accommodation in, for example Wandsworth London, is only a matter of £1,100,000 or so, – So, definitely worth it for the British tax payer. Who has been invited to pay another 1.25% National Insurance contributions just recently.

    On top of that, apparently, our other ‘National project’ will be to absorb unspecified millions from Hong Kong. I dare say, they’d like four bed accommodation too.

    Meanwhile, your average Joe, can expect to wait between ten and twenty years ( yes, 20 years ) for a pokey little flat provided by the local authority in London.

    “to smash the high trust social order”

    That hasn’t existed for decades. You can’t let a fart free without having some petty bureaucrat demand copies of your passport, or proof of your address, and your last six months bank statements.

  • Paul (Paul Marks, September 9, 2021 at 12:15 pm), the Scottish executive has been centralising power even since the natz gained control of it, reducing such devolution of power from the executive in Edinburgh to the Scottish regions as their Labour predecessors had left. The replacement of the various Scottish regional police forces with a single ‘Police Scotland’ renders power in Scotland more responsive to them, albeit less responsive to the task of fighting crimes that are not politically fashionable.

  • JohnK


    Doesn’t the very sight of Robert Jenrick’s smug face make you want to get busy with a cricket bat?

  • Paul Marks

    Duncan S. – yes your experience seems far more rational.

    APL – I have seen examples of a “high trust social order”.

    For example, only a few years ago I was out walking not too many miles from Kettering (I could manage walking much better then) and I happened upon a church with a noted stained glass window in honour of the United States Army Air Force (sign outside indicating this) – so I popped in.

    There was no CCTV in the church (I could have destroyed the place) and there was kettle, tea and coffee and biscuits – with a little honestly box.

    That is a high trust society.

    In Guernsey and Jersey there are still (or were when I visited with Mr Ed) telephone books in the telephone boxes – that is a high trust society. If there were such things in our cities they they would be destroyed.

    In Germany (only two years ago) there was a library – out of an old telephone box (a British one) – people in a small town just took books and brought them back then they had read them.

    No one stole or destroyed the books.

    It must be good to live a high trust society.

    Even London is not that bad – I walked around parts of the place for hours last Friday (I paid for that later) and was pleasantly surprised.

    I did not have to fight for my life – or anything like that. The stories I had been told about the place were greatly exaggerated.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Just wondering, can we expand on the original title? Something along the lines of “they’re not available, you’re on your own, you could go private“?


    The number of people waiting for hospital treatment in England has hit a record high of 5.61 million, as the NHS struggles to clear the growing backlog of care caused by Covid-19.

    It means 1.4 million more patients are waiting for procedures such as a hip or knee replacement or cataract removal than when the pandemic struck in March 2020, forcing the suspension of much NHS care such as diagnostic tests and surgery.


    Anecdotal evidence?

    One friend has spent many days in our local hospital, with his wife and a very premature baby. He reports that three-quarters of the hospital is empty.

    Another friend, an NHS Specialist Nurse, had not worked for more than 12 months, as their specialist role was furloughed.

    Does this match anyone else’s experience (or not)?

    Will the NHS backlog be used as a wedge to privatise more services?

  • Rudolph Hucker

    @Paul Marks
    “It must be good to live a high trust society.”

    Yes it is.

    The common denominator might be (at least for the examples you mention) they are small communities, where most folk know most other folk, and community spirit is still strong. With a good tradition of people helping each other, with charity and goodwill, with no dependency on busy-body public authorities and risk-assessments.

    Once upon a time, the BBC produced a parody of that called “Jam and Jerusalem”, so Metropolitan Intelligentsia could laugh at the goings-on of silly country folk. It wiped the smile off their faces when the silly country folk voted Yes to Brexit.

  • Eric Tavenner

    When catastrophe strikes, they say, enlightened self interest will not make men run forward into danger. For that you need an ethos of service. For that you need a flag, a uniform, a loyalty, a government.

    Does anyone remember, 20 years ago almost to the day, the New York Boatlift, when private citizens evacuated Manhattan without interference by the government? Or is that just American exceptionalism?

  • bobby b

    Well, Dunkirk was nice, too. 🙂

  • APL

    Rudolph Hucker: “He reports that three-quarters of the hospital is empty.”

    Your friend would do well to be cautious with his ‘reporting’. Here is an instance where a so called ” COVID denier ” has been charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act – meaning she used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour which was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

    Hicks wandered into the hospital and started filming the “empty” ward in a bid to prove that no one was being treated for Covid.

    The film was later shown on social media – and eventually led to her being arrested at her home while she was wearing her dressing gown.”

    Nothing must impede the official narrative, comrade.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes indeed Rudolph Hucker – the smile was wiped off their faces. At least for a time. Whatever came later 2016 was still a good year – with both the vote for British independence, and the defeat of the Collectivist establishment in the American Presidential election.

    APL – yes it is sickening. Anything can cause “alarm or distress” to someone, these “laws” are drafted to give the Collectivist establishment the “legal” power to crush dissent.

    No doubt that swine (and he is a swine) the “Secret Barrister” will deny this – and declare it all “Fake Law”. Doing his normal party trick of finding some small mistake in the reporting of a case, and declaring the whole report “false” or “a lie”.

    He knows perfectly well that Freedom of Speech, and all other basic liberties, are being undermined by the Progressive Establishment – he just does not care. Indeed it is worse than that – the “Secret” Barrister (under his pretence of being a dissenter) is part of the Progressive Establishment, out to destroy basic liberties, himself. He is not part of the solution – he is part of the problem.

  • APL

    Paul Marks: “Anything can cause “alarm or distress” to someone ..”

    I saw the video, the thing she was reporting appeared to be correct. The hospital did appear to be deserted, the wards appeared empty. There was no one there to cause alarm or distress to!

    The only individuals I can think might have been alarmed, were the police ‘officers’, who went there to arrest her.

    Police officers should not be disposed to be alarmed. They should be substantial individuals with some presence of their own.

  • Fraser Orr

    This incident with Ms. Hicks is quite shocking. If free speech is to be protected, the primary category of speech needing protecting is political speech, and particularly political disagreement. I doubt I’d agree much with Ms. Hicks on much, but the idea that the police should arrest someone for politically unpopular speech is the very essence of tyranny. What next? Arresting someone for climate denial? Arresting someone for criticizing the NHS? Arresting someone for disagreeing with the Koran? Three years ago to even suggest these three things would be ridiculous. Now, in Britain anyway, it seems quite a realistic possibility.

  • sonny wayz

    “Does anyone remember, 20 years ago almost to the day, the New York Boatlift, when private citizens evacuated Manhattan without interference by the government?”

    ISTR the same thing happened when Sully put his plane down in the Hudson. From memory, the small boats were backed up by a ferry, whose captain probably neglected to check with the higher-ups.

  • TMLutas

    The imposition of rules that delay or deny emergency services, or even utilities based on the unacceptable lack of safety for the service personnel are an excellent functional definition of a “no go zone”. Some time ago I recall we all had a debate as to whether such zones exist in the West.

    Apparently they do in the UK.

  • bobby b

    “Some time ago I recall we all had a debate as to whether such zones exist in the West.”

    Come to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Police were stopping on some zone borders until they had permission from the anarchists to enter, and then only entered when they had enough officers for safety. Ambulances waited on the edge until sick or injured people could be carried to them. I think that meets the definition.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    The fun thing we all pay for these so-called services–and pay again and again–and have no say in any of it.

    So much of modern life is decided behind closed doors (or more probably via encrypted email) and no one among we peasants is ever asked how they feel about any of it. No politician will ask you how do you feel about this or that aspect of life. They may promise that everything will be a bed of roses with them, but they won’t ask what’s wrong with the thorns on the stem.

    They’re not only not coming for you, they’re not even bothering to come and ask for your opinion.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    @Natalie Solent
    If I remember correctly, in an earlier post, you mentioned “lack of specialist equipment” being one excuse used for “do-nothing-by-policy“.

    It gets worse.

    Recently, I was involved in checking that one small organisation had complied with the local county’s Fire Precautions Assessment, and liasing with a Fire Risk Assessment Officer. We’d got all the right ticks in all the right places, except for fire extinguishers. What had been done wrong? (I asked). Were they out of date, or the wrong kind perhaps?

    The astonishing answer (and I kid you not) was that this county fire brigade preferred people not to have fire extinguishers at all. What? Why? Because of the Health & Safety risk of people using the extinguishers “in an incorrect manner“.

    Please add this to the long list of examples of Government Agencies (that are not your friends) not approving of private individuals taking responsibility for their own lives, and disapproving of people acting in affirmative ways for the well-being of other people around them.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    More along the lines of “they’re not available, you’re on your own, you could go private“.

    Several ex-military people have commented that the last of the US, Canadian & European visitors to Afghanistan were not extracted by the various NATO Governmental Military Organisations by air from Kabal before August 30th. They were (and are still being) extracted by “private contractors” after August 30th by other routes and other means, sometimes with unoffical help from junior members of the NATO Governmental Military Organisations on the ground who ignored policy/orders from more senior members back at home.

    That has not, it seems, been commonly reported by MSM sources.

    Partly because so-many MSM “journalists” rely on copy-and-paste press releases from the very organisations they are reporting on, and partly because the same organisations would (of course) not mention anything that detracts from their own performance (or lack of).

    It hardly needs adding that it’s almost exclusively ex-service people that are brave or foolhardy enough to go public and make critical comments. For still-serving people, it’s career suicide, or they get referred for mental health assessment, or both.

  • TMLutas

    Albion’s Blue Front Door – I would consider that you might be making a small error a lot of other people have been making. Services provided by the government are not necessarily monopoly services and competition is terrifying to governments. The US Constitution’s 2nd amendment points to the problem and the solution. If you are beset by little tyrants threatening you by withholding services, you can escape that tyranny so long as you are armed enough to make it stick.

  • Paul Marks

    APL – the point I was making was that words such as “alarm and distress” should not appear in a legal document. If causing “alarm and distress” is a crime then shouting “BOO!” is a crime. The fact that modern “laws” are drafted using such language tells us all we need to know about them. And if “The Secret Barrister” turns up and starts squeaking about “Fake Law”, “the law is not as you evil reactionaries say it is” then just throw him into the nearest volcano. “A threat of violence – I will have you arrested!”

    TM Lutas.

    Both Valentinian III (in 440 AD – I have recently been remined) and the Emperor Majorian (the last Emperor of the West to have any success – before he was betrayed and tortured to death) tried to restore the right to keep and bear arms.

    The situation of the West was desperate – Vandal and other barbarian raiders (the Antifa and BLM of their day) were burning, robbing and killing all over the place, civilisation was plainly heading for collapse. So these late Emperors restored the right that had ended with the Republic – the right to keep and bear arms for private citizens so that they could defend themselves and others without fear of prosecution.

    For example, under Roman Law since Augustus (the Empire) even someone in the situation of Carl Rittenhouse – trying to defend lives and property against savage barbarians, would face prosecution for both owning and using a “military” weapon (I believe young Mr Rittenhouse is also being prosecuted – as the American Republic is collapsing) – these very late Roman Emperors tried to change this.

    But it was TOO LATE – after centuries as unofficial slaves of the government, all masculine virtue had gone from the ordinary civilian citizens of the West. They had been taught to see Republican virtue (such as the right to keep and bear arms) as what is now called “Toxic Masculinity” – not fitting for people who were legally free, but in reality slaves.

    As recently as 1914 it was easier to buy a firearm in London than in New York – and there were many MILLIONS of people with fire arms in the United Kingdom. The British National Rifle Association was much bigger than the American one, and there was a large scale “Constitutional Club” network in Britain

    Tell modern people any of this – and they will assume you are totally insane.

    Whether it was the Vandals, the Goths, the Lombards, or the Franks – the default behaviour of late Roman civilians was to “take a knee” and beg for mercy from the barbarians.

  • Paul Marks

    I apologise for my error – that should, of course, have been Kyle Rittenhouse.

  • Mr Ed

    This has actually taken a remarkably long time to become the undeniable reality of modern Britain. Who today knows the story of the RAF’s Flight Lieutenant John Quinton DFC, who gave away the only parachute to hand after a mid-air collision?

    Anyway, in 1974, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act was passed by Parliament. Let us look at some of its provisions, emphasis added:
    Section 7: The duty of employees in relation to work, colleagues and others:

    7 General duties of employees at work.

    It shall be the duty of every employee while at work
    (a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and

    (b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.

    So any employee, e.g. an ambulance worker, has a statutory duty to take reasonable care of his own health and safety, and under (b) to ensure compliance with duties imposed on the employer, see section 2 for that detail, for example.

    And what if an employee (or employer) fails to comply with that duty?

    Well, that is a criminal offence under Section 33 of the act:

    33 Offences

    (1)It is an offence for a person—

    (a) to fail to discharge a duty to which he is subject by virtue of sections 2 to 7;

    (b) to contravene section 8 or 9;

    (c) to contravene any health and safety regulations . . . or any requirement or prohibition imposed under any such regulations (including any requirement or prohibition to which he is subject by virtue of the terms of or any condition or restriction attached to any licence, approval, exemption or other authority issued, given or granted under the regulations);…

    And Schedule 3A provides for the penalties, which can include:

    Offence Mode of trial Penalty on summary conviction Penalty on conviction on indictment
    An offence under section 33(1)(a) consisting of a failure to discharge a duty to which a person is subject by virtue of sections 2 to 6. Summarily or on indictment. Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or a [fine not exceeding £20,000][fine], or both. Imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine, or both.
    An offence under section 33(1)(a) consisting of a failure to discharge a duty to which a person is subject by virtue of section 7. Summarily or on indictment. Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum][fine], or both. Imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine, or both.

    Two years in prison and an unlimited fine on indictment (tried as a felony to our American friends) if you put yourself at risk at work.

    And wait, Section 40 provides as follows:

    40 Onus of proving limits of what is practicable etc.

    In any proceedings for an offence under any of the relevant statutory provisions consisting of a failure to comply with a duty or requirement to do something so far as is practicable or so far as is reasonably practicable, or to use the best practicable means to do something, it shall be for the accused to prove (as the case may be) that it was not practicable or not reasonably practicable to do more than was in fact done to satisfy the duty or requirement, or that there was no better practicable means than was in fact used to satisfy the duty or requirement.

    You have to prove that you did all that you could to follow the rules, the ‘golden thread‘ that the prosecution must prove every element of its case does not apply.

    But I suspect in our hearts, we know this to be the background, although it still bears spelling out.

  • Paul Marks

    Before anyone mentions it – I know Kyle Rittenhouse has turned to drink and wearing vile shirts (with such things as “free as fuck” written on them).

    That is not the person he was back in August 2020. When his med kit and fire exinguisher were just as important to him as a his rifle.

    After endless death threats and media and legal persecution it would have taken a mind of tempered steel not to snap. 17-18 years olds should not have to take on violent (and armed) mobs on their own.

    The towns and cities of American were left open to looting and burning – and the Mayors who allowed it should themselves be in prison.

  • bobby b

    “Before anyone mentions it – I know Kyle Rittenhouse has turned to drink and wearing vile shirts (with such things as “free as fuck” written on them).”

    I think this comes from him never having to buy his own drinks ever again no matter where he is, and from every liberty-leaning brand name maker sending him their wares to wear gratis. But, yeah, a lot of pressure on a very young man. His lawyers ought to be keeping him under wraps.

    And the potential jurors who might be sympathetic to him? They’ll be knocked out, either right off the bat as being unvaccinated, or by not being good enough liars to claim that they have no political thoughts. And, should he make it through the state trial, the DOJ will be waiting to make him start all over again with new fed charges.

    I think I’d be drinking heavily too.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    And the potential jurors who might be sympathetic to him? They’ll be knocked out, either right off the bat as being unvaccinated, or by not being good enough liars to claim that they have no political thoughts.

    … or having a job which means taking three weeks off for a criminal trial at the pittance the state pays in compensation would be financially crippling for his family.
    … or having a family and worrying that if you voted against conviction of a politically unpopular person would mean your house would be attacked and your children threatened.

  • Mr B

    I don’t think this assessment is quite fair; the ambulance service differs fundamentally from the other emergency services (and from the Armed Forces), and from the sounds of things this bombing was a major incident largely handled as it should have been (though not without issues such as breakdowns in inter-agency communication, etc.).

    Firstly, both the police and the fire & rescue services have a heroic exemption from the provisions of the Health & Safety at Work Act (see Mr Ed’s comment above); police here, fire & rescue service here[1]. Similarly, the Armed Forces can also be exempted when operating within the UK (the Act does not cover overseas operations), and the Ministry of Defence is exempted from the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 when it comes to ‘military activities’. This is not the case for healthcare workers, which includes the ambulance services. In a situation like the Manchester bombing, their role is not to rush into potential danger and save the day; it is to provide the best level of medical care to the greatest number of people (although the HARTs are a bit different, and it’s unclear why they weren’t sent into the ‘inner cordon’/’warm zone’ in this instance, as this actually is their job).

    Secondly, in terms of a major incident response the most important factor is establishing and maintaining command & control over the situation. If you have all of your paramedics running around willy-nilly doing their own thing, no matter how heroic they may look or whether some patients’ treatment outcomes may be different as a result, you will be largely just adding to the chaos. For the ambulance service, the response to a major incident is not just about the treatment of casualties on-scene; you suddenly have to co-ordinate the logistics of potentially hundreds of ambulance trips, overwhelming local hospitals, etc. The considerations you have to make may appear callous within the scope of the immediate incident site, but within the larger picture they are vital. That is why the article talks about the establishment of a ‘casualty clearing station’ outwith the bomb site; you need to have a single centralised location for a) the walking wounded to bring themselves to and b) the non-walking wounded to be brought to by others. You can read all about how the ambulance services train to respond to major incidents here.

    The healthcare professionals are much more use in this area than running around in the debris upstairs. They can triage casualties as they come in, sort them into appropriate priority areas, administer urgent care (and, if time permits, more advanced care) and have a single point for efficient ambulance pick-up (if necessary). This may take longer to set up initially, but over the course of the entire response it is absolutely necessary. Is it possible that some casualties upstairs may worsen or die whilst waiting to be seen? Yes, and that’s the kind of dreadful trade-off that this sort of scenario necessitates; as another example, the basic life support algorithm that all British Army personnel are trained to follow in the event of multiple casualties states a) that you must triage all casualties before administering treatment and b) that if someone isn’t walking, isn’t breathing and you’re still under effective enemy fire, they’re dead and you move on to the next one.

    [1] I was also surprised to find, whilst looking into this, that heroism was apparently legalised for the common man in 2015, so that’s good to know.