Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Isn't it nice to see this twat given a well deserved kick up the jacksie.

 A man who knows nothing about health, nothing about the law, nothing it appears even about the limits of his own authority. Seriously Mr (suit full of bugger all) Cameron what were you smoking when you appointed such an ignorant fool to the post of health secretary. Were you having a laugh, or are you in the pay of "big homeopathy". GET RID!!!


Via another blogger I have had my attention drawn to the following article about higher education in California. I'm reproducing it here as it is an exact mirror image of what is happening to higher education in the UK. Read & weep.

"In their Fall 2012 article in Dissent, Aaron Bady and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal reveal what higher education used to mean and how it was systematically destroyed. Bady and Konczal transport us to 1950s-’60s California, where bipartisan support for a University of California system built the state into a land of prosperity and innovation, a burgeoning middle class sent its children to college for free, and progressive Republicans happily funded education to support inclusion and social mobility for California’s next generation. In 1960, the Donahoe Act, or the Master Plan for Higher Education, represented California’s commitment to educate anyone who wanted to be educated. Despite the concurrent trends of racism, sexism, and American imperialism that pervaded that era, California’s higher education system was a golden example of what America could achieve.
So what happened? Where did it go? In 1966, Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California and began dismantling the promising work of the past 20 years. Previously, admission had been free, except for a few relatively small fees, but the Reagan government lifted regulations on how much schools could charge in fees, allowing costs to skyrocket. Also, incentives were created for colleges to accept out-of-state students, who would pay higher fees. Both of these strategies shifted the financial responsibility for higher education onto students rather than the state. The process of culturally redefining higher education as not a right, or a public good, but an investment, subject to the whims of the marketplace and corporate capitalism, had begun."

Monday, 29 July 2013

A dumbdown too far

Other bloggers, as well as DZ, have been commenting for some time on the obsession government and management seem to have for reducing costs by having care delivered by less & less qualified people. NHS Direct was a prime example, getting nurses to do the work of doctors on the cheap. Undeterred by the disasters that NHS Direct was responsible for, the powers that be felt they could have the phone advice system run even more cheaply by employing people with no medical qualifications at all.
That they thought they could get away with this shows just how little regard they have for the public's intelligence. People weren't fooled for long. They knew full well that the quality of advice they would get from a 17 year old school leaver with no qualifications was such that they may as well ask the old lady next door, or the Daily Mail, or the cat.

  It now looks as if the 111 phoneline is doomed before it even got off the ground. It will not be missed. Perhaps this is a step back towards true professionalism.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


The newspapers are notorious for their abysmal reporting of medical matters, and the daily mail in particular is well known for it's failure to get anything right or in perspective. But the other papers are guilty too, as this article in the Independent today illustrates.
Quoting a Dr Cahill at Harvard it appears that skipping breakfast is potentially lethal. But one of the statements attributed to Dr Cahill caught my attention. "When your body is fasting it goes into a protective drive.................raising levels of insulin."
Now the first part of that statement is just pseudo scientific nonsense of the type used by quacks. The second part however is contrary to everything I was ever taught going right back to my days as a medical student. I'm pretty sure that if, in my final exam, I'd stated that insulin release increases  in response to starvation I'd have got a well deserved fail.
So has Dr Cahill been totally misquoted by the Indy or is he someone so ignorant of physiology that he should be sent back to resit his finals? Either way I think this is yet another newspaper health article that we can safely ignore.

Sunday, 21 July 2013


Conspiracy theories were once the bizarre lunatic ramblings of a very few isolated loons. Today, thanks to the internet these people can communicate with each other and so publicise their paranoia so that all of us probably know one or two people who strongly believe implausible notions. I'm not going to go into a list of conspiracy theories  here but you will all be familiar with what I'm talking about.
Recently I came across a new one. I was at a party and heard someone holding forth some of the well established nonsense about "Big Pharma" There was the usual stuff. The pharmaceutical companies are paying doctors to prescribe their drugs, cancer cures are known but hidden so that cancer can be kept going as a cash cow, and then came an assertion, stated with absolute conviction that caused even cynical old DZ jaw to drop to it's anatomical limit. As proof that cancer cures are known but suppressed he said "Have you ever noticed that rich people don't get cancer." Fortunately the young lady he was boring came back with the perfect response. "Really, what about Steve Jobs"