Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Feb 19th


And the BBC reports that psoriasis care around the UK is inconsistent. They interviewed a number of doctors and patients all of whom were trying really very hard not to describe the quality of care in the UK as patchy or flaky. The report is actually pretty gruesome with claims that even basic things like bathing and showering facilities were insufficient, patients are having to apply potentially dangerous creams and lotions themselves and counselling is unavailable to many who want it, including those feeling suicidal. The government responded saying it was up to primary care trusts to choose local priorities for improving services. True enough, but it was the government who established the primary care trusts, assuring us at the time that treatment wouldn’t be affected. It’s kind of like if you’re supposed to be running a kitchen and someone asks why the dishes aren’t washed and you respond with “it’s up to junior members of kitchen staff to prioritise cleaning duties in their own areas”. You’d get fired, of course but then that’s an important job, running a kitchen, not a trivial one like running the country’s health.

Intl News

Fidel Castro has stepped down as Cuban leader. The move prompted both Gordon Brown and George Bush to announce their hope that this would lead to democracy in Cuba, and that Cuba may sometime soon have a popular leader elected fairly by the people. Unlike the US and the UK. In case the Cuban people are still failing to see the benefits of a western democracy Bush has erected a small theme-park-style attraction in Cuba where the spoils of capitalism and democracy can be seen. It’s called Guantanamo Bay.


Mark Dixie, the man accused of murdering Sally-Anne Bowman really needs to think a bit more before he stands up in court and says things. Remember the story so far – his DNA is all over Sally-Anne’s body. He claims he didn’t kill her but he did have sex with her corpse as he was wandering home. Giving evidence yesterday he explained, so we wouldn’t all be totally horrified by his claims. He now says he didn’t realise she was dead until after he’d had sex with her. You really know your sexual technique isn’t up to much when you only realise afterwards that the person you’re shagging is dead.


The government’s counter terrorism watchdog has suggested that control orders – placing suspects under virtual house arrest should last no longer than two years and instead suspects should be given ASBOs. Now I’m not a fan of the ASBO, much as I dislike seeing behooded youths spitting, swearing and congregating in underground car parks kick cans about, I don’t think it’s the sort of thing that legislation solves and nor do I think that it’s a policy that stands any chance of being fairly implemented. The problem with ASBOs for terrorists however is isn’t it stretching it a bit to describe blowing up innocent people as "anti-social"?

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