August 2007

Drugs not health

A NICE little earner

statins poster
statins poster Your GP earns an average of £106,000 per annum. A single practice GP can earn an extra £126,000 making a potential total of £232,000 a year. In order to earn the extra £126,000 he needs to gain all 1050 points on the government's Quality and Outcomes Framework 'QOF' Over half of these points relate to clinical targets.One of the points is gained by prescribing statins for those at some risk of coronary heart disease. The patient is then on the drug for life, making this QOF point an easy one to maintain.There is little realistic possibility that a GP will be permitted to exercise his own independent clinical judgement and would be scared of legal action brought by a patient if NICE guidelines had not been followed.

Farm animal welfare

Some animals are more sentient than others

CIWFCIWFThe farm animal charity Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) bases its work on the premise that all animals are 'sentient beings'. This is not surprising but it does mean that organisations that legally recognise this fact should aim to avoid the maltreatment of farm animals. Amazingly, the European Union recognised animal sentience in the Treaty of Rome 1972. However, when one considers the plight of North Sea fish under the Common Fisheries Policy or the introduction of American style hog farms in Eastern Europe, the short, sad life of factory farmed chickens, force-fed geese and so on, one does wonder whether the bureaucrats ever read this section or whether this was translated correctly into 27 languages.

Ash subsidies

Archived Stop Press article

Afghan stamp
Afghan stamp Many lives are to be saved in war torn Afghanistan because smoking has been banned in public places. ENSP the European Network for Smoking Prevention praised President Karzai for his forward thinking. A spokesperson said: "when suicide bombs are a thing of the past and the heroin trade but a distant memory, passive smoking would have caused untold deaths. We praise his foresight. We subsidise our farmers to the tune of one billion Euro so Afghans can buy cheap tobacco to smoke in the pure open air. The network has much to be proud of. Many countries in the EU are now smoke free. We have achieved a great deal".

I was then honoured to be invited into the Berlaymont building where the EU parliament sits at times. We had a smoke together to celebrate the achievements of ENSP. Smoking is permitted here because this is where the rules are made.

Our man in Brussels

Crime is down?

Archived Stop Press article

breaking the chains
breaking the chains ...but the number of police associations is up. The National Black Police Association Conference/AGM is to be held at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol from the 24th to the 26th October. This museum has an exhibition called 'breaking the chains' about the slave trade and its abolition. The Black Police Association calls its Conference 'Our Journey Abolition 200' (2007?). The cost is a snip at £250 per delegate. The Met alone has 16 associations selected by race, disability, religion, gender and/or country of origin.

long pole dancer
long pole dancer The recently formed National White Police Association was refused funding from the Home Office and not allowed to hold its AGM at the Dome. The pole dancing acts were said to present a health and safety hazard and the theme of the conference 'Catching Criminals' was considered to lack both vibrancy and relevance.

The undertrials

Archived Stop Press article

Undertrials
Undertrials Nearly a quarter of a million 'undertrials' languish in Indian jails. They have been accused of a huge variety of crimes from murder to theft. Innocent and guilty, none of the cases have ever reached court. Many have been incarcerated for decades and some as long as 50 years.

Mayor of London

The race is on:

Dursley Pedersen bicycle
Dursley Pedersen bicycle Not so many weeks ago in a radio interview the present Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, got terribly excited as this year's Tour de France was starting from... London. According to Ken, here was another example, as if it were needed, that London was, under his thumb, doing it right. And then he went on to implore ordinary people to get a bike, to do their bit and 'help' etc. At no time was there a mention of the phalanx of vehicles that follows this event, and the fuel they burn, or the disruption caused.

Do biofuels help?

The widow's mite.

Indonesia is helping us.
Indonesia is helping us. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you,That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury.For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had,even all her living.
St.Mark. Chapter 12. Verses 42-44

José Manuel Barroso the president of European Commission sometimes fondly calls his empire the Environmental Union. The EU likes to think that it is leading the world in Green issues.

Paedophilia

The new Salem witch trials

bus
bus I went to an all girls' school. At 8.00am of a weekday morning the top deck of the 152 double decker was filled with giggling schoolgirls. Every morning at James' Road a man got on and came upstairs. There would be subdued squeals and a dashing about. One day I was sitting on my own and he sat beside me. He seemed very old, quite scruffy in a long beige gabardine mac and a bit whiffy. He seemed to be breathing deeply, his hand shook and kept seeming to hover over my thigh. I would move my leg away and he would put his hand down. Then the deep breathing would begin again and the hand would hover. I realised something sexual was going on but just gulped and kept my legs as far away as possible. I made sure that I never sat in a single seat again.

in

A bit rum

Archived Stop Press article

Sgt.Joseph Darby.
Sgt.Joseph Darby. Who would have thought that Gordon Brown and Donald Rumsfeld had something important in common? This is , did they lie or were they stupid? Gordon says the EU Treaty is not the same as the constitution. Surely he wouldn't fib? Surely all his friends and colleagues in New Labour wouldn't try to deceive him? The gardeners tried to fool the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland by painting the white roses red. Perhaps he is being fooled? Gisela Stewart, Frank Field and Austin Mitchell are telling him that the treaty is the same as the constitution, but they are merely lowly courtiers

Sgt. Darby was the whistleblower who exposed the Abu Ghraib abuses.He was a star witness under a witness protection painting roses
painting roses scheme. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld praised his " honorable actions" at the start of the Senate hearings in 2004. The subsequent trashing of Sgt. Darby's house and the intimidation his family suffered, meaning that he had to be given protection and a new home was a 'regret' to Mr.Rumsfeld. He simply couldn't believe that this could possibly be the result of his praise. He merely wanted to publicly thank Joe Darby. I suppose even really important politicians make mistakes. It's all a bit rum.

Flooding and the environment

JOOTT

Floods 1981
Floods 1981 Our new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was quick off the mark to mention Climate Change, what we once called Global Warming, when talking about the floods that have affected so much of the UK this 'summer'. It was as if there was no chance that central, local government or any agency had failed in any way, re. flood defences. However, we have seen this trick before. We saw the blame game being played when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. But it was later to be established, beyond any doubt, that the flood defence measures of that city had been neglected for some time. This must be very annoying for people in the UK with strong memories of only the upper part of their house fit for occupation, and then only just, due to the strong smell from the water below, and doubly annoying that the playing of this silly game goes on, and on.