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When Nanny-Statism Kills

This is totally outrageous. Heads need to roll over this kind of sickness:

A pregnant woman, her husband and their three-year-old son were killed in a house fire early yesterday as police who arrived before the fire brigade prevented neighbours from trying to save them. The woman screamed: "Please save my kids" from a bedroom window and neighbours tried to help but were beaten back by flames and were told by police not to attempt a rescue.

By the time firefighters got into the house in Doncaster, Michelle Colly, 25, her husband, Mark, 29, and son, Louis, 3, were dead. Their daughter, Sophie, 5, was taken to hospital and believed to be critically ill.

Davey Davis, 38, a friend of the family, said: "It was the most harrowing thing I have ever witnessed. Michelle was at the bedroom window yelling, 'Please save my kids' and we wanted to help but the police were pushing us back and not allowing us near. We were willing to risk our lives to save those kiddies but the police wouldn't let us.

"Tempers were running very high, particularly with the women who were there, but the police were just saying we have to wait for the fire brigade because of health and safety.

"There were four or five police officers. They were here before the fire brigade. We heard the sirens and we came across to help but they wouldn't let us.

"I thought the police were there to protect lives. At one time they would have have gone inside themselves to try and rescue them.

"When a family is burning to death in front of your eyes, rules should go out of the window - especially with kids. Everybody wanted to try and help."

Sick. Disgusting. Those police who stood there and watched that family burn to death are pathetic cowards and should be so ashamed of themselves that they should fear showing their faces in public again. I hope the family of the victims sue the British government because it's the government that issues these insane rules.

Update: Mark Steyn at The Corner has much to say that is important for all Americans to read because with the direction the liberals are taking us we may very well find ourselves facing a British style nanny-state (emphasis mine):

Well, there weren't any "deceased bodies" at the time Her Majesty's constabulary showed up. And there might not have been any had they not shown up at all. The incident has strange echoes of that fire at a school in Saudi Arabia not long after 9/11, where the fleeing schoolgirls escaped the blazing building but, because they were unveiled, were beaten back by the stick-wielding religious police to die in the flames. In both cases, the emergency responders who are supposed to save you (or at least make an attempt) instead wind up killing you - because a rote prostration before rule enforcement trumps their basic humanity. In recent years, the British police have evolved from being merely useless (at least when it comes to traditional activities such as solving crime) into what John O'Sullivan calls "the paramilitary wing of The Guardian" - the blundering enforcers of the nanny state.

Still, you begin to see why so many lazy government officials are wedded to that "there's no right to shout fire in a theatre" rubbish. Even when the building's burning down, you've no rights. New Hampshire's great motto, "Live free or die", is not just a bit of bloodcurdling stemwinding but a real choice that Britons, Canadians and, alas, Americans ought to ponder: You can live as free men, with all the rights and responsibilities and vicissitudes of fate that that entails. Or you can watch your society decay and die before your eyes - as England, once the crucible of freedom, dies a little with every day.

Indeed. Americans, pay attention. This is where we are headed if we don't stop this insane, collectivist, nanny-state slide.


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Comments (24)

I wonder ... is there somet... (Below threshold)
James H:

I wonder ... is there something here we're not seeing in the report? I can't imagine what it might be, but still, I wonder ...

Clif Notes Version:<p... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Clif Notes Version:

Story: Some people in England die in a fire.

Conclusion: Americans will be someday perhaps be less safe because of creeping nanny statism.

From a strictly legal stand... (Below threshold)

From a strictly legal standpoint, the police ARE in the right. Waiting for the fire department was the LEGALLY correct thing to do.

That said - sometimes being legally correct isn't the way to go. Yes, it's important to keep people from just wandering randomly into a blaze - but here it sounded like people had a plan (ladders) to get to the second story windows to get the people out.

Time was of the essence here. Seconds mattered. Sure, it would be best to wait for the fire department... but having poorly equipped people available and willing while the folks needing rescue are still alive beats waiting for properly trained and equipped people who got there too late...

And imagine watching them die, when you think you could do something, ANYTHING to help - but are prevented by the police. Because RULES must be followed, even while people are dying. Morally, blocking the people (even though some might have gotten hurt or killed) was likely the wrong move.

If anything, it's eroded the respect of the people for the authority of the police and fire services. It would have been better if one of the police had gone "Okay - 4 men, 1 ladder - go to the window, get the woman! Nobody goes inside - you don't have the gear!"

But then, the police would have opened themselves up to being sued if anyone had gotten hurt, or thought they were hurt. Imagine the headlines - "Police tell people to run into burning house!"

No clear solution here - balancing the potential lives saved versus the possibility of people being hurt is a calculation I wouldn't even want to attempt.

Isn't it lucky the legalistic answer was so simple? No thought required, no moral dilemma, no ambiguity - just go ahead and keep everyone back, even if they could have rescued someone before they died!

You know, having been train... (Below threshold)

You know, having been trained as a member of a fire brigade, once upon a time, I can understand the mentality of "don't try to rescue", as those attempting a rescue without proper equipment often need rescuing later.

Having said that, I still would have attempted rescuing those people.

A state that encourages it'... (Below threshold)

A state that encourages it's people to quietly stand by and watch people die, is one step removed from herding those docile sheep into cattle cars.

I'm afraid those police wou... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

I'm afraid those police would have had to shoot me to stop me from trying to rescue those people...

Seems to me the best soluti... (Below threshold)
James H:

Seems to me the best solution would have been for police officers to ADVISE that going in would be a bad idea (risky, etc., etc.), but then to try to organize those people who want to rescue the victims.

Way to go, Adrian. You comp... (Below threshold)

Way to go, Adrian. You completely left out the part about the police forcibly preventing any rescue attempts by the horrified onlookers. Nice attempt at spin, though. There may be a job waiting for you at the New York Times.

8:I'm not in a pos... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


I'm not in a position to second guess the police who were actually there or to fantasize about magically becoming a superhero.

I was wondering how Kim came to the conclusion she did.

There seems to be something missing. Isn't there a step in between police-procedures-in-England and people-in-America-dying-due-to-creeping-nanny-statism?

Adrian, When you're ... (Below threshold)

When you're backed up to a brick wall and
no exit, you don't care who rescues you
as long as they're successful.
Nanny statism anywhere leads to a zombie
citizenship who stand mutely and watch
in times of emergency.
Then again, they also don't care as they
watch death happen.

maggie,Thanks for ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


Thanks for clearing that up!

I'm not in a posit... (Below threshold)
I'm not in a position to second guess the police who were actually there or to fantasize about magically becoming a superhero.

In other words, you're deliberately choosing to ignore the central fact that made this article newsworthy. No wonder you're confused. But don't blame Kim for something you're doing to yourself.

Adrian, You're welco... (Below threshold)

You're welcome.

12:Thanks but magg... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


Thanks but maggie cleared up the "confusion" I was having.

Although I'm still not willing to second guess the police
officers (as some others are) but now I understand
that police procedures in England will turn Americans
into zombies who won't care as they watch death happen.
And brick walls.

I'd feel so much safer if r... (Below threshold)

I'd feel so much safer if republicans who want to keep the government off our back were in control.

People like Rep Michelle, "Congress should be investigated to make sure they're really pro-American" Bachmann.

or Newt-Everyone shoud have to get a drug test in this country to end the drug war Gingrich.

Republicans, will always keep the goverment off your back, as long as you do exactly what they say.

Adrian, Wow. You a... (Below threshold)


Wow. You are obtuse.
Anytime the population of any nanny state
is treated like so many beasts of burden,
whose only value is that of labor and taxes
you get a zombie population.
Weak Adrian, very weak.
Hopefully you'll never find yourself in a
life and death situation where all you'll
have is an audience.

Come on guys, Adrian is ALR... (Below threshold)

Come on guys, Adrian is ALREADY a zombie. I thought you were all hip to that....

We were willing to risk ... (Below threshold)

We were willing to risk our lives to save those kiddies but the police wouldn't let us.
"I thought the police were there to protect lives.

Is no one going to acknowledge that that's exactly what the police were doing?

If these same people ever f... (Below threshold)

If these same people ever find they're in a similar predicament in the future where a fellow human being is in mortal danger, they may decide it's better to wait to call the police. Unintended consequences....

"Is no one going to ackn... (Below threshold)

"Is no one going to acknowledge that that's exactly what the police were doing?"

Why yes, I think if you look, JLawson understood as much and so did ExSubNuke.

No, those would be inten... (Below threshold)

No, those would be intended consequences. Everyone thinks they can be Rambo when they find themselves in a situation of danger. I'm sure the police and fire departments have zipped up enough adrenaline-filled Rambos in body bags to know what message they want to be sending.

Why yes, I think if you ... (Below threshold)

Why yes, I think if you look, JLawson understood as much and so did ExSubNuke.

Well, ExSubNuke did, yes. JLawson argued that while the police were legally right, they were still wrong.

Brian, if you're looking fo... (Below threshold)

Brian, if you're looking for an argument, you won't find it with me. Not anymore.

Who's looking for an argume... (Below threshold)

Who's looking for an argument? I went back to look at ExSubNuke and acknowledged you were right. Geez, count to 10 or something!






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