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Showing posts from January, 2013

The Epidemic around the corner

The outbreak of Norovirus in the UK has been greeted with the customary restraint and good sense we know so well from the British press. It is certainly an unpleasant infection, and anecdotal evidence suggests that it has been particularly nasty this year. Yet in fact the disease is relatively safe in that, in almost all cases, the symptoms will clear up quite quickly by themselves. 

However, the breakdown in several areas of the healthcare system that have come as a result of the outbreak should absolutely terrify us. If the infection was one that needed medical intervention in order to treat, then it is clear that the British NHS would struggle to cope. The benefits of large, centralised hospital centres of excellence, that are much touted for the treatment of non-infectious diseases, such as heart conditions or cancer, become huge liabilities when trying to contain a large scale outbreak of infectious problems, such as Norovirus. Healthcare professionals are amongst the first to suc…

Nigel Farage, Political bounder

Nigel Farage could be name from the pen of  PG Wodehouse, and if so, it would clearly be a name to represent a bad lot

In real life the actual Nigel Farage, with his tobacco scented, saloon bar heartiness and rather loud taste in shirts, in fact comes close to the Wodehousian archetype. He is a man who Jeeves would undoubtedly view with disfavour- too loud and somehow too... well, vulgar, a wide boy, rather than a gentleman. Mr. Farage himself would probably cheerfully concur, regarding his personal brashness with some pride, as the antithesis of the machine politician that he affects to despise. In the looking-glass world of UKIP, a gaffe is not a mistake, but proof of humanity, and populist point scoring is not political immaturity, but a respect for the democratic process.

Except that in the real world, UKIP has a huge mountain to climb to even match the Green's single, lone representative in the House of Commons. UKIP support is broad, but shallow and in no Parliamentary const…