Friday, 28 November 2014


DZ once had the misfortune of coming down with Campylobacter food poisoning. I was sicker than I have been in my life, before or since. The source of the infection was never traced. So I was interested to see this article in today's press. It's no surprise really. Chickens are social animals, and even those raise in a traditional manner are going to have close contact with others and so bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella are going to be endemic.

So the recommendation that we should all boycott chicken is, I think, a bit of a hysterical over reaction. There is a perfectly good way of eating chicken, regardless of source, and not getting food poisoning. The solution was well known to my own mother. Cook it properly!

Thursday, 27 November 2014


Ephesians 5:18 - And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.

Single malt for me then!

Saturday, 22 November 2014


"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

                                          Bertrand Russell

Thursday, 13 November 2014


I've mentioned before one of my favorite film quotes. "What'll that asshole think of next" from the mouth of the late Slim Pickens in the film Blazing Saddles.

It's a quote that, to me, springs to mind every time Jeremy Hunt opens his mouth. Every time. And today is no exception. In this pronouncement he makes it clear he's got agency staff in his sites, and the money they cost in having to pay them. Well, as someone who does agency work I'd like to make a couple of points.

1. As the Guardian article makes clear, "He will demand action to tackle the soaring cost of hospitals’ use of temporary staff – mainly nurses – who have been supplied by employment agencies to cover shifts in order to ensure wards are fully-staffed and patients receive good quality care." Well Hunt, who's ultimately responsible for the state of affairs where wards are not fully staffed? You are, in your bid to get care on the cheap. And it's going to get worse as the staff that you have demoralised simply walk away.

2. It's nice to see you admit you are prepared to compromise quality care to save money.

3. It's clear to me that Hunt doesn't like it when staff are in a position where they can demand a decent rate of pay. Agency staff can cultivate a "take it or leave it" attitude. More than once DZ has declined work because the pay on offer was inadequate. It's called the free market. Hunt's party is in favor of that isn't it? But Hunt wants staff he can treat like shit and pay peanuts.

Agencies will continue to provide staff at a market rate of pay and more people will leave the NHS for the greener grass. Hunt only has one choice. Pay up or fuck off.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Remembrance again

I've had a little criticism over that last post which I'll answer here.

Firstly Snow doesn't mention the simple act of buying a poppy. His comments are purely aimed at what he describes as the "religious dominance" of the ceremony of remembrance at the Cenotaph. If HC doesn't see that that is the case then she has to be a little imperceptive. The entire ceremony is pretty much (christian) religious, and this means that those who wish to show their respects by participating are forced to engage in this superstitious ritual whatever they may believe. A secular ceremony would exclude no-one.

DZ attended a funeral a few years ago for a man who had participated in one of the most famous actions of the second world war. The christian priest who officiated spoke for 28 minutes. 90 seconds of that was about the deceased. The rest of the time was spent pushing his religion. More than a little bit naff and grim I think. Hijacking the funeral of a good man (who I knew was not religious) to push his own agenda.

As a matter of interest HC, have you ever served in the armed forces, regular or reserve?