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Posted: Sun 26 Mar 2006 00:36
Today on Radio 4s Any Questions program.
Sir Gerald Kaufman MP said that Norman Kember(rescued Iraq hostage)
was as irrisponsable as potholers who go into caves and then expect people to risk their lives to get them out!!!
Any commemts for Sir Gerald?
Posted: Sun 26 Mar 2006 10:02
It depends on your definition of potholers.
If it is:-
a) people without helmets or any specialist equipment wandering around lost then YES he is right
b) experienced, well-equipped and/or well-trained hazard-aware cavers then he is wrong
Kaufman could equally have said
"People who go to the beach for a day trip and expect the RNLI to risk their lives to save them from drowning"
"People who visit National Parks and expect Mountain Rescuers to risk their lives to save them from hypothermia"
... and there would be a forum somewhere with upset specialists writing along similar lines. I think it's fair comment to say we can see the point Kaufman is trying to make without necessarily having to throw our toys out of the pram.
I'm sure K could easily point to examples where even the best cavers would have to admit that people have been irresponsible (i.e. group with no equipment, call out, survey, back-up lights, brain cell etc.).
Posted: Sun 26 Mar 2006 10:06
I would say that a westerner who visits a war zone with a record for hostage-taking without an armed guard is irresponsible.