Morning Call: pick of the comment

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers

1. The only certainty about this plot: it will damage Labour (Independent)

Steve Richards argues that Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt have shown "colossal misjudgement" and have made Labour's task suddenly much harder than it already was.

2. A last opportunity (Times)

But a Times leader says that Labour MPs must finally have the courage to act and remove Gordon Brown -- or the electorate will do it for them.

3. Mandelson will save Brown until he can be properly sacrificed (Daily Telegraph)

Benedict Brogan argues that Peter Mandelson is saving Brown now in order to ensure that, come election day, both he his henchmen are destroyed. Mandelson's aim is to ensure the survival of New Labour centrism.

4. These protests should shame the west into a change of policy on Iran (Guardian)

Timothy Garton Ash calls on Europe to use its economic leverage in Iran to aid dissidents.

5. Google's open battle with Apple (Financial Times)

John Gapper says that Google's insistence on not doing "evil" obscures a simple fact: it fights for its own interests as hard as Apple does.

6. It's not the economy -- and voters aren't stupid (Times)

Anatole Kaletsky argues that voters are instinctively opposed to high state borrowing and will punish Labour for the deficit.

7. With US support, a brighter future beckons for the Kurds (Independent)

Gareth Stansfield says that the Kurds can make progress while their alignment with American interests lasts.

8. This warning shot against Gordon Brown matters, despite its probable failure (Times)

Peter Riddell says that history shows divided parties are always unpopular with the electorate.

9. A breakdown in our values (Guardian)

Klaus Schwab argues that extortionate bonuses are symbolic of business's eroded sense of duty.

10. Nagging your husband is not a crime (Daily Telegraph)

Ceri Radford says that a French bill banning "psychological violence" between couples will do little for those who really need help.

 

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter

#Match4Lara
Show Hide image

#Match4Lara: Lara has found her match, but the search for mixed-race donors isn't over

A UK blood cancer charity has seen an "unprecedented spike" in donors from mixed race and ethnic minority backgrounds since the campaign started. 

Lara Casalotti, the 24-year-old known round the world for her family's race to find her a stem cell donor, has found her match. As long as all goes ahead as planned, she will undergo a transplant in March.

Casalotti was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in December, and doctors predicted that she would need a stem cell transplant by April. As I wrote a few weeks ago, her Thai-Italian heritage was a stumbling block, both thanks to biology (successful donors tend to fit your racial profile), and the fact that mixed-race people only make up around 3 per cent of international stem cell registries. The number of non-mixed minorities is also relatively low. 

That's why Casalotti's family launched a high profile campaign in the US, Thailand, Italy and the US to encourage more people - especially those from mixed or minority backgrounds - to register. It worked: the family estimates that upwards of 20,000 people have signed up through the campaign in less than a month.

Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, also reported an "unprecedented spike" of donors from black, Asian, ethcnic minority or mixed race backgrounds. At certain points in the campaign over half of those signing up were from these groups, the highest proportion ever seen by the charity. 

Interestingly, it's not particularly likely that the campaign found Casalotti her match. Patient confidentiality regulations protect the nationality and identity of the donor, but Emily Rosselli from Anthony Nolan tells me that most patients don't find their donors through individual campaigns: 

 It’s usually unlikely that an individual finds their own match through their own campaign purely because there are tens of thousands of tissue types out there and hundreds of people around the world joining donor registers every day (which currently stand at 26 million).

Though we can't know for sure, it's more likely that Casalotti's campaign will help scores of people from these backgrounds in future, as it has (and may continue to) increased donations from much-needed groups. To that end, the Match4Lara campaign is continuing: the family has said that drives and events over the next few weeks will go ahead. 

You can sign up to the registry in your country via the Match4Lara website here.

Barbara Speed is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman and a staff writer at CityMetric.