December 2018

Now here actually is a good idea from the Senior Lecturer

It’s more difficult to get an appointment to see the GP in a poor area than a rich one.

I might perhaps suggest that GPs, who are paid well, don’t like living in poor areas. Fancy that, eh? People who can afford not to live in grot prefer not to live in grot.


Ritchie suggests:

As I would also add, based on personal knowledge, once the second trend is in place it becomes increasingly hard to recruit because workloads are so much higher for those GPs who do work in such places.

What to do?

Differential pay would be a start. I can see no reason why not.

Well, other than that the TUC, every union up to and including the BMA would kill you for suggesting it. Because if there are no longer national pay scales then there’s no point in national pay bargaining, is there?

Why, we might even move to market determination of wages, how much do we need to pay to fill this job in this place? Expect this idea to be backtracked upon.

Interesting thought

2019 risks
The collapse of effective government in the UK
The risk of unrest given almost any outcome
The possibility of economic turmoil, created by choice, which is unprecedented
The absence of effective political leadership
The risk of the U.K. breaking up into two and maybe three parts
The choice not to govern in the USA and indifference to the rule of law
The act of looking to extremes for solutions
German drift
French floundering
Elections and growing extremes
Hungary and the fall of democracy
Italy and the rise of the right

Etc, etc, cont pg 94.

Every one of his risks leading to 2019 being horrid is political really. And yet this is the man who insist that more of life must be run by the political.

Bird getting old insists we must listen to the old

Baby boomers led the cult of youth. Now we should heed the wisdom of age
Yvonne Roberts

Intolerance towards the old is deeply embedded in our society. The potential of an ageing population must be unlocked

When she was young her articles were about how this brave new world must listen to the young. Now she’s old it’s the wisdom of the old which must be heard. Presumably, when she was having hot flushes it was those with hot flushes who must be obeyed.

That is, an entire lifetime of shrieking “Listen To Me!”

OK, so we know this is bollocks then

The reputation of the meat industry will sink to that of big tobacco unless it removes cancer-causing chemicals from processed products such as bacon and ham, a coalition of experts and politicians warn today.

Led by Professor Chris Elliott, the food scientist who ran the UK government’s investigation into the horse-meat scandal, and Dr Aseem Malhotra,

If Malhotra’s involved it’s bollocks, that’s all we need to know here.

Not quite what I thought

British Film Institute celebrates ‘unapologetically bad leading ladies’

Kitsch can be fun and the truly awful acting can be joyous. In a sarcastic, kitsch, manner. Take any pair of tits that is on screen just because tits for example, some gorgeously bad examples of acting there. There’ve been many a pair of youthful cheekbones featured because youth, beauty, and not much else – or perhaps plus skills on the casting couch. Anything with whatshername in it for example.

As Bette Davis once said: “When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a b****.”

Now that theory is to be put to the test in a season of films at the British Film Institute (BFI) that celebrates “unapologetically bad leading ladies”.

From Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind to Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, the month-long series of films in June will look at screen anti-heroines and ask if their traits would be regarded in the same way if they were male characters.

Ah, don’t bother, it’s woke not realist.

The alternative would actually be much more interesting. Who got rich just because looks? And how does this map over the group whining about how older women don’t get good parts?

And so say all of us

‘We would rather die at sea than go back to France,’ say migrants in Calais

All inhabitants of these sceptered isles are, far enough back in he genealogy, refugees from France of course. It’d just that the way these things work we get to decide who is allowed to join us…..

Ex-Cabinet Minister gains knighthood

The veteran Eurosceptic John Redwood has received a knighthood in the New Year honours list, prompting accusations that Theresa May is using the honours system to smooth the way for her Brexit deal.

With the vote on the prime minister’s deal due to take place in the week of 14 January, the Conservative backbencher and former Wales secretary is one of three MPs to be knighted.

It’s about par for the course in the gongs list, isn’t it? Actually, Redwood could fairly expect a peerage – not inevitably gain one, but fairly expect. So, not much of a bribe at all.

You say tomahto and I say tomayto

Councils have given thousands of rough sleepers and homeless people one-way train, bus and flight tickets to leave areas and sometimes even to leave the country in the last four years, a Guardian investigation can reveal.

The tickets were bought through “reconnection policies” that aim to encourage rough sleepers to voluntarily return to areas where they have family and support networks. It has been described as “street cleansing” and an abdication of responsibility by some campaigners and MPs.

Advice – and aid – to homeless people to go home where they’ve got a home is a good or a bad idea?

I like the idea, sure

Scientists have discovered a breakthrough treatment to fight cancer, as they claim the disease will no longer be deadly for future generations.

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London believe it is possible to strengthen the body’s defences by transplanting immune cells from strangers.

Patients will begin to receive the new treatment next year, and the team now wants to establish ‘immune banks’ to store disease-fighting cells.

Memory tells that there are various things going on with extracting bits of the immune system, beefing them up, then injecting again. Working very well so it seems too.

But from other people? Confuses me – as with transplant rejection etc, isn’t the immune system, in a chemical sense, what actually makes you, you? Your one attacks that which isn’t you – thus, presumably, that of someone else attacks you?

Obviously, I’m wrong here, but why?

Doesn’t really work, does it?

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has offered federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown a guide for negotiating with creditors, landlords and mortgage companies while their income is cut off.

The Thursday tweet notes that workers should consult with a “personal attorney” for advice but offers templates for how one might seek financial assistance for various financial obligations.

Among the suggested strategies: A furloughed employee might offer to trade maintenance services such as painting or carpentry work in exchange for a reduction in rent.

If they could do useful work like painting or carpentry then they wouldn’t be bureaucrats, would they?

The heart of development economics

The reason places like Africa are poor is not because of capitalism, exploitation, the residues of colonialization, or even the long, dark shadow of the slave trade. Nor is it poor even because of idiotic socialism or the propensity of politicians to run off with the national treasury. You can blame any selection of those as you wish, and with some of them you’d even be right, but they are all proximate causes. The ultimate reason is simply that poor places are using less productive technologies, richer ones more productive. All of those varied things can be blamed for reducing the use of more advanced technologies, but it is the lack of technological advance itself that causes the poverty.

And how we are diminished

A decade ago it was an argument among such female labourers that suddenly flared into an accusation of blasphemy and set in train bloody events that are still unresolved.

The accusation against a Christian mother-of-five called Asia Bibi and the death sentence that followed divided Pakistan and prompted religious extremists to assassinate two senior politicians who spoke out for her.

The 54-year-old was in October acquitted on appeal, but remains in protective custody until the ruling has been reviewed. She is widely expected to be freed to flee to the West and claim asylum.

Pakistan’s supreme court demolished her conviction saying it was fatally undermined by procedural problems, contradictory testimony from her accusers and an apparently forced confession.

But even settling her abroad is not without complications. Wary of a reaction from Britain’s Muslim community, prime minister Theresa May reportedly shrugged off the pleas of cabinet ministers that the UK step forward and offer a route to safety. Australia, the US or Canada are likely alternatives.

Is that actually true?

Sure, there’s no legal reason why we should offer Bibi asylum or refuge. No real reason at all other than being the ex-colonial power and thus the grown ups in the room.

But the reason why not? There’re enough from there here that’ll cut up rough if we do?

Time to bring Charlie Napier’s management method back from there to here then isn’t it?

Aren’t we about reaching the time when we just throw this society away?

Dump it in the ocean, burn it, bury it, summat? For it’s clearly well past its sell by date:

We’ve a useful sign here that we’re in the grips of a religious mania – the government is to ban the kiddies using clingfilm to wrap their packed lunches. This following on from another arm of government’s announcement yesterday that they’re to make the Big Mac illegal. That this is mania of the religious kind is easy enough to show. If we begin with a standing start, that government should insist upon a law to make children’s sandwiches stale, one to make them fall apart, then we’d all insist that the ergot has got into the bread again. Perhaps that some other madness inducing chemical was infesting the water supply in the committee rooms. And yet we’ve got here by stages, as religions do. The same way the Catholic Church ends up saying that condom use is indeed permissible but only between a married couple, only if one or other has HIV and even then there must be a hole in it.

That is, it’s entirely logical assuming that we accept the initial claims but we end up somewhere ridiculous – thus it’s the initial claims which require the analysis.

Fascinating really

Sajid Javid has defended his right to highlight the Pakistani Asian background of grooming gangs.

The home secretary said it would be wrong not to investigate why more than 50 per cent of those involved in recent child sexual abuse grooming cases were of Pakistani heritage.

Mr Javid, himself of Pakistani heritage and a Muslim, warned that ignoring the ethnicity of abusers would give “oxygen” to extremists.

He also defended his previous comments in a tweet in October in which he described a Huddersfield gang as “sick Asian paedophiles.”

Isn’t is remarkable that a defence is thought necessary? Rather than it just being an obvious statement of truth?

No, it is not true that all men of Pakistani background are kiddie fiddlers. It is true that a preponderance of child grooming gangs are of Pakistani background. Yet to say so requires a defence?

The perils of puffing

Queen Victoria’s daughter died in debt to tobacconist due to secret smoking habit, documents reveal


Queen Victoria’s daughter died with outstanding debt to a tobacconist due to her secret smoking habit, documents have revealed.

Princess Louise, the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, died in 1939 when she was 91-years-old with an unpaid cigarettes bill to a cigarette shop R Lewis Limited, located near Buckingham Palace.

The princess, who was known for her unconventional lifestyle, was a “regular smoker” who managed to hide the habit from her mother who detested smoking.