April 2011

From the director of the centre for Ernst Bloch studies

The solution to all our problems:

But in the medium to long term it means a complete recentering of the economy towards a more sustainable ecology and a more efficient and low impact mode of production, in which the pursuit of growth in order to simply accumulate more capital is abolished. This is also known as socialism.

It\’s quite remarkable how the meaning of socialism has changed in only a century, isn\’t it?

Back a hundred years, indeed, until 40 or 50 years ago, socialism was about more growth. That planning, the scientific exploitation of, rather than market based groping with, the resources of the nation, would increase growth and thus liberate the poor and make them free and rich.

Now socialism seems to mean no growth at all.

Easy enough to understand of course, for we\’ve now 100 years of experience and know very well that what socialism is very good at doing is providing no growth at all. So at least they\’re being honest about what\’s on the tin this time.

One other thing, what is the University of Sheffield doing running a centre studying the works of a low level late to the party Marxist? One who went to the GDR in 1949 but when offered the opportunity to contribute to really building socialism decided to nip out to the DDR  in 1961 as the building of the Wall removed the opportunity to do so?

U. Sheffield….ah, isn\’t that where Danny Dorling is? I suppose keeping all the idiots in one place makes them easier to avoid….

Caring for a coeliac

The sense of righteousness here is simply nauseating.

Simply put, middle class Mummy has two year old with coeliac disease type thingie. And she\’s outraged, outraged I tell you, that she will no longer be getting gluten free foods on prescription. The PCT has decided to spend the money on other things.

And as it turns out in the comments, even that\’s not quite right. Gluten free basics will still be available on prescription. It\’s the treats, the sweeties, that no longer will be.

At which point there\’s three things that can be said.

The first is that in recent years there\’s been an explosion in the availability of gluten free foods. Here\’s the Tesco list. It\’s not immediately apparent that such foods need to be on prescription any more even if they arguably once did need to be. (If Pootergeek is around we\’ll let him comment on that.)

The second is that this massive increase in availability comes from, in part, one of the readers of this blog (Hello there Cleanthes!) and his wife. In fact, they\’ll even offer you £1 off a loaf of gluten free bread and, nice guy that I am, I pointed out this coupon to the author of the piece.

Thirdly and finally, jeebus, grow the fuck up woman. Looking at the Tesco prices the diference between normal bread and gluten free appears to be, for something wholemeal stylee, full of crunchy goodness, about 50 p a loaf. For a two year old, perhaps one loaf a week? You\’re seriously taking to the newspapers about how oppressed you are that you might have to do a whole \’nother 5 minutes of minimum wage work to feed yer ickle darlin\’?

I\’m all for there being a safety net, even for the existence of a welfare state. But don\’t you think that perhaps, just somewhere in the dim recesses of your soul, you might just be overdoing the indignation at what it doesn\’t provide you with?