Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Three strikes and you're in?

Our incompetent Coalition Government has just had three strokes of luck in a week to cover up their unpopularity. First North Korea goes mad, threatening to blow up the world, which enables David Cameron to claim that we need to be able to make the same threat with our Polaris-Trident bombs. Then the verdict on the abominable Philpott, father of 17 children, of whom he kills six, calls attention to the fact that a few freaks are able to use benefits to raise families in double figures, which allows our dear leaders to imply that most receivers of benefit are skivers and scroungers. And now the death of Baronness T. has brought an opportunity for days of televised hymn singing in praise of her and her legacy. Well, she herself said that her greatest creation was the Right Dishonourable Blair's New Labour, so we really are boxed in. It is still a mystery how she was able to take economics back to the 1800s. I suppose it is because she preached a simple faith - so simple that anybody can repeat the creed. How do we persuade people that a complicated world needs complex solutions to its problems? Anyway, the immediate gripe is that taxpayers are to pay part of the £8 million cost of her funeral. Her son, now Baron Thatcher, should be made to pay the lot. He is a multimillionaire, probably through dodgy arms deals with the Saudis and others, which he was able to make thanks to who his mother was.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Very odd! I keep getting messages telling me how many people have viewed my page on academia.edu. It is news to me that I have such a page, never having set one up nor authorized anybody else to do so. I get the impression it is yet another of these self-feeding websites like Linkedin whose ambition is to gobble up the world. Anyway, any visitors to my page will be disappointed to find that I have not published anything remotely academic for years. My next paper is not due out for another 9 months, and I don't expect any interest outside the little world of Mid-Victorian studies. I doubt very much whether academe in general is going to find out much to solve the world's problems, now that most research is paid for by big corporations, which do their best to control what gets published. For anybody who has not yet read Ben Goldacre's 'Bad Pharma' I recommend it strongly as an account of how medical research - and practice - have been taken over by private interests: not a good omen for the British National Health Service under its new management!