Free IVF for murderers is criminally offensive
00:13 GMT, 29 December 2012
Offensive: The European Court of Human Rights has decreed that convicted killers have an inalienable right to state-funded IVF
How unimaginable must be the despair and disbelief of the many childless couples in Britain who long for a baby after learning that murderers and drug-dealers are to get state-funded fertility treatment while behind bars.
Thanks to the vagaries of the NHS postcode lottery, so many law-abiding, hard-working couples struggle to receive even one free round of IVF. As a result, 60 per cent of the 45,000 women who underwent fertility treatment last year were forced to go private.
Yet in a decision that is an affront to all common sense and decency, the European Court of Human Rights has decreed that convicted killers have an inalienable right to state-funded IVF.
That ruling came after Kirk Dickson, who was jailed for 15 years after kicking a man to death, received more than 20,000 in legal aid to fight for fertility treatment for himself and his wife Lorraine, whom he befriended as a pen pal while she was also behind bars.
The couple won, collecting 18,000 damages into the bargain.
Now four murderers and a drug dealer are demanding the same right, and since European laws mean the Government may be powerless to refuse, the decision is certain to open the floodgates for more such claims.
As if wanting to give prisoners the vote wasn’t bad enough! I am old-fashioned enough to believe that if you commit a crime against society, then society owes you very little in return — whether it’s accessing Sky TV in jail, or the right to start a family.
And that’s before we even raise the moral question of whether it is right for a government to pay to bring children into the world when at least one parent is behind bars and can play no part in their upbringing.
The fact is, the NHS is already struggling to provide even basic medical care for many patients. As we learned only this week, chronic delays at A&E have risen by one-fifth in just one year, while the treatment of the elderly and especially those with dementia is often shameful.
In these straitened times, how can we possibly justify paying for non-essential treatments such as gastric bands, sex-change operations, or cosmetic treatments, let alone IVF for convicted killers
Yet, once again, we are dictated to by Europe.
Six years ago, David Cameron vowed to replace the despised European Court of Human Rights with a British Bill of Rights so we would never again be subjected to such outrageously unjust rulings. Since being made Prime Minister, he has done nothing.
Instead, he wastes his political capital on promoting gay marriage, a law that would affect just 0.1 per cent of the population.
With the PM’s priorities so perversely muddled, it’s no wonder true Tories are in despair.
I pity her parents
Instead of her father, Roger, walking her down the aisle, Kate Winslet is said to have chosen Leonardo DiCaprio
When Kate Winslet accepted an Emmy for her role in Mildred Pierce last year, she said she owed it all to her mum.
‘It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do in your life, you never stop needing your mum,’ she gushed.
Touching words. How strange, then, that when Winslet wed her third husband — the absurdly named Ned Rocknroll — earlier this month, she not only failed to invite her mum — it seems she didn’t even let her parents know it was happening.
Instead of her father, Roger, walking her down the aisle, she’s said to have chosen Leonardo DiCaprio. So much for being an ordinary Home Counties girl.
Still, chin up, Roger — perhaps you can give her away at her next marriage.
Like it Not a lot, Paul
Attempting to explain what life was like as a star in the Seventies, Paul Daniels says he was routinely offered sex by young groupies, and has no idea if all of them were over 16.
Writing on his blog, he told one story of the night he picked up a mini-skirted hitch-hiker, then ‘kissed her goodnight and it got a bit more passionate’.
When he discovered she was still at school he threw her out of his car, turned off the headlights so she couldn’t see his number plates and sped off.
It’s hard to know what’s the most disgusting part of this story — that he dallied with a child or that he tossed her out defenceless into the night when he discovered her age.
Simon Cowell's attempted talent show for pooches, That Dog Can Dance, was a complete flop. Still, what can you expect from a show in which an over-groomed dumb creature attempted to perform basic tricks for the camera And that was just its host, Christine Bleakley.
Don’t deport Piers, please!
When Piers Morgan attacked America’s pro-gun lobby in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook mass murders, it prompted an online petition to the White House, demanding the chat show host be booted out of the country.
Piers and I have had our spats over the years, but it’s absurd that he’s been vilified simply for speaking the truth in a nation that considers freedom of speech to be a right that’s even more sacred than gun ownership.
That said, I’d be awfully grateful if America didn’t send him back.
Merry Christmas, Demi: Mila Kunis (pictured) was was snapped looking washed-up without a shred of make-up
Two months ago, Ashton Kutcher’s new love Mila Kunis was crowned the sexiest woman alive by Esquire magazine. Yet last week she was snapped without a shred of make-up looking more like a washed-up waitress in a Midwest diner. Surely the best Christmas present spurned Demi Moore could have wished for.
Critisising the Beckhams for allowing son Romeo to appear in the Burberry ads, Ulrika Jonsson worries that the ten-year-old will be deprived of a normal life. Given she’s flogged her four children by four dads to Hello! at every possible opportunity, Ulrika is a fine one to lecture parents on a child’s need for privacy.
President Obama cuts short his family holiday in Hawaii to try to orchestrate a deal that will stop his country from falling off the fiscal cliff — a precipice he’s been clinging to since before the election. How predictable that leaders always take their holidays during a crisis, only to cut them short in a bid to portray themselves as the hero of the hour. It’s not as if he hadn’t seen the crisis coming.
Trendy: The Queen wore diamante-edged 3D glasses to watch her performance
In these tough times for Christians, the Queen’s Speech was a powerful and unapologetic tribute to the nation’s faith.
The hymn she quoted — In The Bleak Mid-winter — had been sung that very day in many local churches, mine included, and the words were deeply moving: ‘What I can I give Him, give my heart.’
Just as the Queen has to this nation for 60 years. As for those diamante-edged 3D glasses she wore to watch her performance – they were worthy of Dame Edna Everage.
What a shame Kate and William insisted on no pictures being taken of them on Christmas Day as they attended church with the rest of the Middleton clan (a request that much of the foreign media chose to ignore). So many of us would have loved to see her looking well and happy. A pity for the nation — and a setback for sister Pippa, who was no doubt counting on the free publicity to help plug that wretched party book.
The Australian DJs who made the Kate hoax call are unlikely to be charged, as it was revealed that the nurse who hanged herself had attempted suicide twice before. Despite this, her family had always denied any history of depression.
Egged on by vile opportunists such as Keith Vaz, in their desperation they sought to lay the blame at the feet of the two stupid presenters and the hospital.
This was a tragedy that cost one life — but there’s no need for it to destroy others.
Westminster Noticeboard This time last year, David Cameron had a five-point lead in the polls. Today his party is eight points behind Labour, and even two-thirds of Tories believe he’ll lose the next election. So how is Dave dealing with this catastrophic collapse This week, we were treated to the sight of him taking part in a charity fun run. Oh dear, here we go again. In the absence of principles, we’re given PR picture stunts. What’s the betting he’ll be back cuddling up to polar bears before winter’s overCherie Blair has been awarded the CBE in the New Year Honours List. For what — services to freeloadingA new poll reveals that three-quarters of people have no idea where our 8.8 billion foreign aid budget goes — or if it’s even well spent. And that’s just the Cabinet.The BBC gleefully reported on the close relationship between Jimmy Savile and the then PM Margaret Thatcher — as if somehow she should have been aware he was a serial paedophile. How could she have suspected anything At the time she was 50 — about 40 years too old for the pervert to make a pass.Arguing we need closer ties with Europe, Nick Clegg called the EU ‘messy, fudgy and infuriating’. No wonder he feels so at home there.