Saturday Sound-off: Weak, Unstable and Disunited

May has spent most of her tenure as Prime Minister trying to put off a decision about how to approach the negotiations. She apparently made her decision to call the election whilst climbing a mountain in Wales. She still has a much more important mountain to climb. The election has not made that climb any easier for her. Continue reading Saturday Sound-off: Weak, Unstable and Disunited

Saturday Sound-off: Mixing Politics With Other Work

This recollection is provoked by the news that the MP for Tatton, George Osborne, has been appointed to edit the London Evening Standard whilst maintaining his seat in Parliament and his other highly lucrative, if part-time, jobs. In the 1980s I decided that, if I wanted to change the world, it was time to stop moaning and get involved in politics. I joined the Liberal Party and stood for election to the County Council. I didn’t make it at the first attempt but four years later – in May 1985 – I was successful. I became one of four Liberals … Continue reading Saturday Sound-off: Mixing Politics With Other Work

Malnutrition and Indolence – Lessons for Today

In my previous post I postulated that poor diet in expectant mothers and infants had, in the past, a role in preventing the poor in Ireland from improving their conditions. But can it also explain the lack of aspiration evident among the poor in modern developed economies? The British government during World War II was concerned to ensure that expectant and nursing mothers and infants received proper nutrition despite the food shortages and rationing that characterised the war years and those immediately following. They would have been ignorant of the relationship between diet and brain growth. But they were certainly … Continue reading Malnutrition and Indolence – Lessons for Today

General Practice: Unable to Cope?

I have been shaken recently by claims that in England you might have to wait 2-3 weeks for a GP appointment. The most recent instance was during an interview on the BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ programme yesterday evening, Dame Julie More, the CEO of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, remarked, in what was little more than an aside, that she had spoken to a patient in A&E that morning who had stated she had been told by her GP there was a 3 week wait for an appointment “so I’ve come here.” It is no wonder that A&Es up and down the … Continue reading General Practice: Unable to Cope?

#Brexit and Trump: Two Great Confidence Tricks

I don’t generally give much credence to conspiracy theories. But in these times of “fake news” and “alternative facts” it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid them. George Monbiot is a journalist and commentator that I trust. He references all his claims to well documented real facts. So when he writes about a long term plan to undermine the European Union and promote the agenda of corporate America I believe him. And the tragedy is that, in order to achieve their aim, this small but powerful group have conned the most disadvantaged citizens of both Britain and America into supporting their … Continue reading #Brexit and Trump: Two Great Confidence Tricks

Why I’m an Unashamed Bremoaner

The very people who voted ‘leave’ in the UK, and for Trump in the USA, are the ones most likely to suffer as a consequence. Élite (ĕlët’), n. The choice part, the best, (of) The above is from my ancient copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary. Confirming that ‘elite’ means best. So how did the expression ‘the elites’ become a term of abuse, used in contempt to describe those we believe have too much power and influence? And, if we accept that there are individuals who singly, or as a group, have too much power, what is the best way … Continue reading Why I’m an Unashamed Bremoaner

30 Raids

This was written in response to a prompt from our writers’ group: “It throbbed and vibrated”. I think the person who came up with it had in mind something in the ‘weird science’ genre. My take on the phrase turned into a tribute to my dad and, by extension, all those who have given their lives in the name of freedom. I didn’t initially have the significance of 11th November in mind. The engine throbbed and vibrated. Uncle George released the clutch lever and set off at a fast pace behind the mower with its sputtering exhaust, the sound uncannily … Continue reading 30 Raids

Stranger in a Strange Land

Thanks to Stevie over at https://steviet3.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for the ‘Three Quotes for Three Days’ challenge. The rules of the challenge are: Three quotes for three days. Three nominees each day (no repetition). Thank the person who nominated you. Inform the nominees. For my third and final quote I am going to take another from George Bernard Shaw: Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. George Bernard Shaw. I have been unable to find the context for this quotation, but he had this to say on the … Continue reading Stranger in a Strange Land