Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Tuberculosis in East London

Well it's official. I live in the tuberculosis capital of Britain (read BBC news article). As if it's any surprise, since I have always suspected the old-style employees of Newham were Communists intent over the last decade on their hidden agenda of creating multicultural anarchy.

So next time I am in the depressing GP clinic that I have to go to, where very few of the patients sound like they have been in England long enough to say a coherent sentence in English, I suppose I shall have to avoid the people who cough and splutter in my direction.

Nick Ferrari on LBC radio was discussing the topic this morning. Of course, he is a Devil's Advocate kind of provocateur rather than a bigot of any real substance. He was trying to ask whether TB is at its greatest in East London because of some of the immigrants here. In an issue that is plainly of public health importance, even he had to be careful to avoid offending the politically correct.

There was talk of the spitting and gobbing in the street that some cultures seem to regard as socially acceptable, and which is plainly evident in some parts of East London.

There were counter arguments that the TB numbers were due to "poor housing in East London". Poor housing in East London? Compared to where? There has been so much investment in social housing in Newham and East London, that you will undoubtedly find areas of England and Scotland that have much poorer housing. In East London, the newest and most refurbished homes are given to people who get to the top of the homeless lists, which generally favours homeless families, such as my next door immigrant neighbours. So why are TB levels rising in East London, wherease they are not rising in the other "poor damp overcrowded housing areas" in Britain?

Without any pussy footing, the real reasons for dangerous TB levels in Newham are that:

1. The TB is imported by new immigrants
2. Longer term residents who have family links in poor countries with TB prevalence often have movements back and forth to those countries, and import TB themselves or through their guest visitors.

Does Britain actually health-screen its immigrants before they are allowed into the country to take up permanent residence? That has been happening in Canada since the early Seventies. Why not in Britain?

When will Britain ever have a coherent immigration policy and process, that attends to pragmatic necessities without arousing knee-jerk cries of Racism?

See also British Medical Journal%3A Detecting tuberculosis in new arrivals to UK - Letter to the Editor

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