Friday, 27 February 2015

Free from! (Sense)

Yesterday's Guardian had a nice article about the rise of the gluten free diet, the latest pseudo scientific preoccupation of the worried well. I didn't give it too much thought. I've seen this sort of phenomenon many times before.

But today I found something that takes this to it's most absurd extreme.

That's right. Gluten free cosmetics! WTF!  Do ordinary cosmetics contain any gluten? Does even the most seriously affected coeliac sufferer have a problem with gluten on the skin?

There are people out there who will sell you dog shit if they could get you to buy it.
And with attention to presentation there are people who would buy it.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


"I want to have a standard of living that my professional background would normally entitle me to have,”

"...............ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Monday, 16 February 2015

Silver lining

Back in 2011 DZ commented on the takeover of Hinchinbrook Hospital by the private firm Circle. I'm glad to see my predictions have not come true, and Circle seem to have had their fingers badly burned.
 Serves 'em right. The government too have had a serious setback with their experiment in privatization crashing and burning so spectacularly.
 Why is it so difficult for them to understand that health is a service, and not a business venture? The only question a government should be asking is "How much are we prepared to spend?" and not "How can we use the NHS as a conduit to divert funds from the taxpayer to our mates in the private sector?"

The silver lining to all this is that perhaps it will make other carpetbaggers  more reluctant to look to the NHS to make their fortunes. And just maybe the government will think twice before trying a stunt like this again.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


Most of the papers today run a story about the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo. But while they all bleat about freedom of expression I couldn't find a single one that has the balls to actually publish a copy of the front cover.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Freedom of speech

The Murders in Paris yesterday have quite rightly been universally condemned as an unacceptable assault on freedom of speech. DZ has been a fan of Charlie Hebdo for some time and has used some of their cartoons here on this blog. He is deeply saddened by the fact that people have been killed simply for expressing their views.

It may be seen as not in the same league but here in the UK the same principle is being tested in relation to a member of the medical profession who has run into trouble for airing his views. I've not actually read anything written by Meirion Thomas but it appears to be distasteful to many. But freedom of speech applies to all, and we're just as entitled to express controversial views as any.

The view has been expressed that the disciplinary action taken against him by his employers is justified as it might be implied that he is “speaking on behalf of his employer”. Bollocks! It's even been stated that we “don't know what's in his contract”. Let's lay that one to rest for a start. He'll have a contract on national terms and conditions, the same as every other consultant in the land. And there, at paragraph 330 of the Terms and Conditions of Service for Hospital Medical and Dental Staff, it states; “A practitioner shall be free, without prior consent of the employing authority, to publish books, articles, etc, and to deliver any lecture or speak, whether on matters arising out of his or her hospital service or not.” It doesn't say anything about “representing his employer.” It doesn't say anything about it at article 10 of the human rights act either.

Lets get this straight. This is simply an attempt to create a loophole, to gag people and prevent them from expressing unfashionable views. It's a screen, hidden behind by cowards who want to shut someone up because they don't like the views expressed. It's even been tried by that hive of scum and villainy the GMC who have tried to suggest that bloggers, in what they write, might be considered as representing the views of the profession as a whole. The implication is that this gives them a loophole to fuck us over if we say stuff they don't like.

To be fair to the GMC the penny seems to have dropped on this occasion and they have declined to take action against Mr Thomas for speaking his mind. Good for them. They got it right this time.

The argument that you can't speak in case someone thinks you're doing so on behalf of someone else is totally manufactured, contrived and indefensible. Those who side with management on this occasion are walking a dangerous path. If they are allowed to get away with it on this occasion, then they'll be able to invoke it again against anyone else they please. Allowing Mr Thomas to be gagged allows us all to be gagged.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Gaviiformes Tredinnii

David Tredinnick is the Conservative MP for Bosworth. He is also one of the most raving loons in parliament, far outlooning anything that UKIP can throw up. His first job was as a second lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards, and even then it is clear that his intellectual capacity did not go unnoticed, and he left without even rising to the dizzy heights of lieutenant. After he left the army, much to the relief I expect, of his soldiers, he had a number of jobs, none of which he was able to hold down for very long. I wonder why.

I'm not going to detail the full depths of his ignorance, you can read it all here.

What is stunning is that a man of such profound scientific and medical illiteracy and ignorance has managed to get himself onto both the Science and Technology select committee, and the Health Committee, both committees providing an opportunity for him to do immense harm. He is a prime example of the Dunning Kruger effect and appears virtually ineducable.

What is so utterly disheartening is that the reason he got onto the Science & Technology committee is that, out of 306 conservative MPs he was the only nominee. For fuck's sake Cameron do you not give a shit?