Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present

Friday, 27 February 2009

The meningitis C vaccine scare continues ..

My scare value is high. My arena is controversy. My tough front is my biggest asset.

"Doctors have been asked to trace all babies in Britain who have been injected in the past month with the meningitis C vaccine which was recalled on Wednesday after it emerged that it may be contaminated with a microbe that can cause potentially fatal blood poisoning.

The Department of Health also announced it is also going to test unused batches of the vaccine sent from Italy and stored in GP surgeries in the UK to see whether any of them are contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, the same type of microbe responsible for the hospital-acquired infection MRSA.

The health department said it does not yet know how many of the 17,000 doses of meningitis C vaccine sent to GPs on 22 January and 20 February – but recalled on Wednesday night – have been used as part of the national childhood vaccination programme. However, it is likely to be in the hundreds or possibly thousands.

"We can, and are going to, track the vaccine to individual GP surgeries. GPs can then contact the patients who have had the injection. Although, as we've said, this is as a precautionary measure and we are not aware of any problems in the UK," a spokeswoman for the health department said."

Some of the readers in the article in the link left comments saying that this type of bacteria is found in it's billions on our skins anyway .. well, parents don't know that! and they don't know what this bacteria will do when injected inside the bodies of their young babies either and so, parents will be scared by this incident!

Then again, I don't think that the officials at the DoH are so vindictive and as evil as to allow a harmful vaccine to cause fatality to British babies. The very fact that the 'pointy heads' knew of the possible contamination on Monday but did nothing until they were approached by 'The Independent' on Wednesday is proof enough to me that the vaccine is not harmful.

But it seems that the Dept of Health has itself been 'unnecessarily?' scared by the media into taking action re this 'contaminated?' vaccine, it is now trying to identify the babies who have already been injected and will also be testing the remaining vaccine for contamination before it is re-released for use. But, by saying that the recalled batch will be tested to make sure it is safe calls for the question; why doesn't the DoH test random samples from any imported medicines before they are released for use?! .. just in case .. and to avoid such scares ... and the costs of recall and the like?!

I do not think this recall and test is a good move myself as it confirms to the public that there is something wrong and that the dept was trying to cover it up. If the 'pointy heads' at the DoH are certain there is no harm from this vaccine then, why recall it?! Wouldn't it have been better, more reassuring and less costly to release an official statement through the press to explain exactly; the nature of this contamination, why the dept believes there is no risk to the public? the likelihood of it causing harm and how the dept generally ensures the safety of the public when importing medicines from abroad?

Meningitis C is a vicious disease that kills in hours if left untreated. I remember when two medical students at Imperial College died of it a few years ago .. everyone was broken hearted for the loss of such young lives so, this vaccine is vital if we are to protect people from its dangers. It would be a shame to see people being scared off vaccinating their children because of such media reports, especially if those reports prove to be unfounded.

This incident again highlights the role of the media when it comes to reporting matters that affects the health of the public, does the media have any limits to what it can publish? .. who sets those limits?

Sometimes, it's the things that scare you most that are most worthwhile.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

To David Cameron and family ...

I am not there

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the snow on the mountain's rim,

I am the laughter in children's eyes,

I am the sand at the water's edge,

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle Autumn rain,

When you awaken in the morning's hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight,

I am the star that shines at night,

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die,

For I have your love

I wish you peace ...


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Vaccine alert!

Trust your hunches.... Hunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.

Toxic alert over child vaccine ( Article originally released by the independant 25/02/2009 was revised and re-published dated 26/02/2009 .. even the title has now changed. Original article was not much bigger than the extracts below .. my opinion is based on the original article :-))

"Thousands of babies may have been injected with a vaccine contaminated with a potentially lethal blood-poisoning bacterium as health officials prepared to withdraw 20,000 doses of the meningitis C vaccine from GP clinics around Britain ...

More than 60,000 doses of the vaccine which is offered to all four-month-old babies could be contaminated with the hospital-acquired infection – the Staphylococus bacterium – but 20,000 of these had already been issued to vaccination clinics before officials became aware of the problem ...

The Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said last night that, despite the recall, there was no evidence of any risk to children from the vaccine but she could not say how many babies could have already been injected with the shipped vaccine. "The recall is purely a precautionary measure. There is no reason for UK children to be at any risk from this product. All vaccines supplied to the UK had passed the test required for it's use," she said. "

This above is one of the reasons why many parents decide not to go for vaccination. It's a mixed message; the vaccine has been withdrawn because it is contaminated with ' hospital-acquired infection bacteria' no less but was given to loads of 4 months old babies already! .. Then, in the same article you get a completely opposite message that those same vaccines 'Passed the test required for it's use'! How can any parent 'trust' this logic less and very flawed information?

With such contradictions, parents will rightly question; why was the vaccine withdrawn nationwide? ... Just in case? But parents don't swallow this 'just in case' scenarios well .. It's the life of their children at stake here, as a responsible parent you don't jeopardise that for 'just in case' scenarios! If you are a parent worried about vaccines in general, you then ask yourself: Was that vaccine tested for the lethal Staphylococus bacterium as part of that test mentioned above? .. If it wasn't, was the lethal bacteria part of the ingredients of the vaccine, an intended component? The answer to both questions seem to be no! Then you think, how can any contamination be declared safe or not posing any risk then? ... Then be withdrawn from use?!

You see, this article does not answer key questions that will go through any parent's mind when they read about this vaccine .. more so, it leaves the way open for parents to answer those questions themselves resulting in parents making the wrong decision or falling victims to programmes like that LBC one against the MMR vaccine hosted by Jenni Bennett! If allowed again, I can imagine similar ignorant presenters now hosting programmes using this very article as proof of why 'they' think people should not vaccinate .. a 'didn't I tell you so?' programme again hosted by a non medically qualified presenters wanting to promote their own ideology .. which can be very harmful!

If that vaccine is really safe because I don't know if it is now, then this article treats parents as if they were stupid .. and they are not!

And that's why many parents refuse to vaccinate their children! I personally would have been petrified if one my children was given a dose of this 'contaminated' vaccine, I probably would have refused to vaccinate altogether afterwards 'just in case' other vaccines were contaminated in one way or the other too... scary stuff!

If indeed this vaccine does not pose 'any' risk but was withdrawn 'just in case', then leaving matters like this above to be interpreted by journalists who are not medically qualified is dangerous and can result in a nationwide scare with dire results! In these cases, there should be official Dept of Health releases to the media telling them exactly what to write in their report when something like this happens so as to avoid scaring the public into not vaccinating their children.

This indeed is a safe refuge, it is the refuge supreme. It is the refuge whereby one is freed from 'all' suffering. :-)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Unlocking 'my' talents ... :-)

I sometimes write what can be termed as 'short stories' and 'poetry', nothing much for I have never had any specialised training in writing. I just jot down feelings, ideas and things that come to my head at any given time. I mostly write those down in Arabic because I can express myself more in my mother tongue .. better vocabulary too, I think. Did I ever tell you? I once got a national 1st prize for this my primitive writing in Egypt centuries ago when I was 16 years old. I have never stopped since although, at times, I stopped writing, sometimes for years, but I have always went back .. and yes, I am the type that keeps a daily diary .. but sometimes I don't make entries for months .. I always go back to it though .. and write a summary of what was missed. Only disorganised as I am, I have never kept proper logs of everything I wrote and IMO, some were quite reasonable, sometimes very funny to read :-)

This one I wrote around two months following MTAS 2007. It was a true picture of how I really felt then. Not the strong woman who went for the fight as my contributions on Remedy UK and elsewhere including here depicted but a really vulnerable person who wanted the whole think to end 'for her' one way or the other, so see, I didn't really cope with MTAS as good as I made everyone believe ... at times I was desperate.

I have recently been having the same feelings sometimes but, while some may think that I maybe giving up, the reality is .. I am not ... I can not afford to. Actually, I think contraray to this, I think that by sometimes showing the human side inside you that this helps you gain momentum .. strength to continue and to cope with whatever adverse event you may meet in your life .. and we all have some of those. Most, if not all of those few who read the rubbish I write here know me since MTAS 2007, two years ago now so, you probably know lots about me already, about my fears as well as times when I am happy ... I am not the type that can hide or wants to hide emotions .. we all have some inside and so, why not add some more? BTW, I am an only child spoilt rotten in childhood but not since so, sometimes you will see what you medics may describe as 'an only child syndrome' ... ignore .. my children always do ... the 'condition' never lasts for very long anyway ... a day or two at the most .. :-)

I have a few more stories and a few more poems that I can still either find jogged down in a scrap book lying around the house somewhere or that I can remember myself. Some are based on real events in my life and some are totally fictional. However, I think that any fiction is always the result of real emotions felt at a given time.

I have decided to share some of these with you. I will always leave a note at the bottom to give an approximate time of when I wrote the particular piece I am posting. Those are not intended to any any literature value whatsoever and are very limited in content most if not all of the time but, hey .. it is what I in my own very limited way felt at one time or another of my life ... I will just sometimes post one of those in between other posts as and when I feel I have a need to post them .. I have no idea how many will I post, one, two? A few? lots? who knows ... :-)

.. and this is one of my favourite songs by the beautiful Nina Simone .. enjoy :-)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Deja -vu ... MTAS disguised ...

" I love colour", said the salamander"

The results of the job allocations for next year's F1 doctors have just come out for a new medical school. This is it's second graduating batch and those graduating are medics who decided not to intercalate a BSc or mature students who had a BSc then followed the 5 year medical degree for mature students as this school does not do the 4 year course. There were also some of those who intercalated a BSc. A first is awarded 5 points and the award decreases according to the grade obtained.

A few months ago, all those medics were divided into quartiles based on their academic achievements and of course, they 'thought' this is how they will be allocated their first jobs; according to merit. But, oh, no! They had to fill the application form to apply for the jobs and, surprise, surprise .. there were 5 'white box' questions on that form.

Now that the results of that are out, the medics are absolutely shocked to find that loads of those who were in the top quartile were left aside while many of the bottom quartile medics were allocated the best jobs; their first choice! Those with excellent
record of achievement got their 10th choice and below! That you were a top achiever throughout your time at med school did not matter, nor that you had a 1st in your degree or even higher qualification, a live long record of being tops .. etc .. etc!

I know one of those medics and I have known them for years now, nothing special at all, not even as a human being .. actually more of a trouble maker too .. they got their first choice job! .. Thank you little

Does anybody have any idea why those medics were put into quartiles according to their ability to start with?! Why award points for degrees according to merit just to discard all achievement at the end in favour of a few silly and ficticious 'white box' senarios?!

What is the meaning of merit nowadays?!

What were these 'quartiles' for?! If selection was 'not' going to be on merit?!

MTAS has now been camouflaged folks .. It has now re appeared as little MTASs ensuring injustice at a local level ... rather than nationally as was with hurricane MTAS 2007

Since hurricane
MTAS 2007 was declared 'an unprecedented disaster in the history of British medicine.' Why then have all these little MTAS's reappeared with their ugly heads?! Of course, all graduates are guaranteed jobs as F1s but what next? How will little MTAS affect a doctor's career in future years? .. will it be; have you been shunned by little MTAS at F1? ... then no place in specialty training for you, a young aspiring to excellence and with potential to lead and innovate doctor with 1sts, prizes, even a PhD and proven flying colours doctor?! .. Then you think, who will do all the innovation in the future? .. Who will 'aspire to excellence'? .. who will lead British medicine into the 21st century? definitely not the ones who were in the bottom quartile but were favoured by little MTAS because they attended courses on how to fill the stupid white boxes?!.. Leaders without merit?! Give me examples from history!

Where is the 'logic' in that then?!

What are these white boxes for?! Could this be one of the reasons ... even ...
'the' reason? Could another reason be that you have to speak 'buzz word' NHS bureau before you you are allowed to enter the system? Enable .. empower .. envelope .. jargon, jargon? If indeed this is one reason for the 'white boxes', then I don't understand .. if the NHS is opening up, then surely .. bureaucracy should also be minimised to facilitate positive change? Change of idiology can't happen without a change of culture, right?!

What 'buzz words' are those that are Mutilating Medical Careers?! .. making or breaking careers and livelihoods?!

What are those white boxes for?

It is not easy being an
MTAS parent going through selection for specialty training for the second time ... so, I sincerely hope I am wrong in thinking about the motives for these white boxes .... But no one is explaining what are they for? .. Why not select 'fairly' on merit?!

Show me evidence that 'white boxes' and not merit produces the best doctors, the best innovators, best leaders .. excellence! ..

I bet no one can .. because it is IMPOSSIBLE!

Medics are no longer motivated to achieve their best! What for, they say .. if at the end, your placement as per merit will be ignored? Why bother?! .. If it is a 'tombola' at the end and not 'may the best wo/man win' as it should be if we apply 'reason'?!

What are we teaching those youngsters?!

As for 'cracking the nut' .. or .. application to specialty training ... My daughter has heard nothing yet .... I know of some who have ... no comment ... but ...

Let's hope ...

Artists can colour the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.

Friday, 20 February 2009

The flat staircase ...

... Higher ... Higher ... H I G H E R !

... Higher ... Higher ... H I G H E R !.

- OUUUCH! ... Ay .. Ay .. AAAAY!

Oh .. Excuse me! ... Are you hurt?!

- What do you mean am I hurt?! ... 'you' hurt 'Me'?! ! .. I am God!

- The LORD?! .. Oh my God! .. I am ever so sorry!

- What do you mean you're sorry?! ... Never mind! .. What are you doing here anyway?! .. I don't remember calling for you!

- I ... I was ... I was 'aspiring' O lord ...

- Aspiring?! .. A S P I RING?! ... You idiot! Don't you know when to stop that 'A s p i ring' of yours when you must?!

- Well, no O Lord .. you .. yo didn't tell us if we should ...
or how ...

-Didn't I! ... mmmmm ... We have to sort that out then ... but you ... What to do now?!

- Maybe I should ... go back? ...

- Ya .. course .. thing is, all the angels are busy! .. mmmm

- The angels are busy?! Oh! ... what then O Lord? ..

- Let me think! ... thing is, I finish my shift very soon! ... Ah .. maybe
you should just keep aspiring till you get to the next level ..

- N ... n .. next level? ... W .. what next level O Lord?

- The big one .. where the one in charge is .. He's 'The' one who lays a
ll the rules of aspirations ... and ..keeps the book too ...

- Ooooh! .. maybe I should go now then, thank you O Lord, thank you, thank you ...

- You can't go of your own will .. I have to authorise it .. there ... off you go ... Aspire!

- Aspire?! yeah? .. I will .. I will ... goodbye o'Lord... for now .. (smile) ... "
Higher ... Higher ...
H I G H E R ... "

- Oh look at her! .. The stupid fool! ...Good riddens you idiot .. and .. when you find that next level, come show me the way ....

- What was that?!

- Nothing, it's that idiot .. she's just fallen and broke her neck ...

- Did she die?

- Yes .. but ... who are you?

- The one on the second level ... leave her to me ...

- Come on woman .. rise ..

- Huh? ...

- Rise .. up .. stand up and give me your hand ...

- Where am I?

- You are here .. with me?

- Are you my god?

- Yes ...

- This is the second level? Am I in heaven .. or hell?

- You're in between ... We'll decide where you should be when your time comes ... but you're not alone ...

- Not alone? ... but where is everybody ...

- They're here .. being judged .. but
you can't see them ..

- No .. I can't .. why not?

- Because you're not meant to be here ... you will see when it is your time to see ... when it is your judgement time .....

- So, what now? ..

- I haven't got a clue .. let me think ..

- If I can't see .. and I am not going to be judged ... what will become of me? .. can I go back where I came from?

- It's not as easy as you think .. aspirations go up ... never down ... Downward 'aspirations'?! ... silly woman!

- I can't stay here and I can't go back?! Oh my god! .. What will become of me now? ..

- Let
me see ...

- I am going to send you on a mission ... Go down my stairs ..

- Where to? ...

- Where you came from ...

- But I thought you said ...

- Yes, you can't go back .. and you're
not going back .. Go down .. until you can go no more ..then I will tell you your fate ...

- Well, here I am, I went back all they way and .. I am

- No, you are
not .. you are still on my stairs but you can no longer see them, nor can you tell if you are going up or down ... walk woman ... you will see those around you ... and they will see you .. .. BUT .. you are not with them .. or with me .. or yourself .. you are floating .. and your mission is .. decide where you want to be ... Then aspire .. again ... only this time ... you will not get lost ... your mission is ... go find yourself ... and remember .. when you return, there'll be no going back .. no more stairs going up or down ...

- But I am on the stairs now .. and I must .. Oh god .. I must dance ... and aspire ... which way are those stairs going?! .. up? .. or down? .. up? .. down? ... up? ... Oh god! .. they are flat! .. It's a flat staircase!

- those who see my wisdom will see the direction ...
... dance woman .. dance! .... and ... while you aspire .. do no hurt .. and .. do no harm ...

- (Dancing) ... yes , yes ... no hurt .. no harm .. no hurt .. no harm .. no ...
Higher ... Higher ... Higher ...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Picasso ... :-)

Pablo Picasso - Girl before mirror

“Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.”

Picasso had just finished painting a masterpiece when a friend said to him:

- "This painting is really beautiful, can I buy it from you right now?

To which Picasso replied:

- "I wouldn't if I were you, it's a fake."

- "How can it be fake, I've just seen you paint it?!"

- "Soo, Don't I have the right to paint fake Picassos?!"


Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion - the right type of rebellion.

Can't remember who painted this one, can anyone help .. Please :-)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Starbucks?! .... Noooo ... Starshine! :-)

"I enjoy making a contribution. I don’t wake up in the morning and say ‘I’m a minister’..."

". . . I’m still a surgeon at heart.”

"I came to realise some years ago that with policy, you can have a much bigger impact"

.. he did say he does't do p'waa .. right?
With best intentions ... as always :-)

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Babylon .... could not be saved

'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' as imagined by ( Mario

(Daniel 2.24) " Do not excute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king and I will interpret his dream"

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Amazing exhibition now at the British Museum London

East bank of the River Euphrates, about 50 km south of Baghdad, Iraq, there was an amazing
Palace with legendary gardens built on the banks of the E
uphrates river by King Nebuchadnezzar II (which might have never existed except in the minds of Greek poets and historians, although recent archaeological excavations uncovered the foundation of the palace). Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote: "The approach to the Garden sloped like a hillside and the several parts of the structure rose from one another tier on tier... On all this, the earth had been piled... and was thickly planted with trees of every kind that, by their great size and other charm, gave pleasure to the beholder... The water machines [raised] the water in great abundance from the river, although no one outside could see it." [Painting by Mario Larrinaga] . From this description, it seems that Babel was not only a beautiful and powerful ancient city but it actually resembled the nearest thing to a heaven on earth ....

But Babel's hanging gardens did not look like Mario Larrinaga's vision in his painting above but were even better. Historians believe they were 70 meters high in all on a base of 90 square meters wide. The structure was stepped up on 5 platforms with each smaller than the previous base thus forming corridors surrounding the structure at each level. On that long corridor, the plantation of the gardens was established and thrived to become what we call 'the hanging gardens of Babylon', which of course went on to become one of the ancient wonders of the world because of the amazing structure and beauty.

The Babylonians not only were great in their architecture but also thrived in Maths and Physics. and were the first to divide the day into 12 parts .. or hours! They were also the first to use the number 60 to divide each hour into minutes and seconds, a practice that was followed at the time by all neighbouring cities and then spread to the world. . So, we're still following ancient Babylonian genius till this day!

The Babylonians also excelled in the arts, not on the same grand scale as the ancient Egyptians, but to a degree that would put them as some of the best artists of their time nonetheless. On the walls of Babel, there stood huge reliefs of great big lions as well as scenes of warriors being victorius while fighting wars against enemies of the time and showing how powerful the city was. There are also reliefs of human characters with bird heads very much resembling Horus of ancient Egypt. Of course Horus was the main god of ancient Egypt well over one thousand years before Babylon existed! It is amazing though how the concept of the one god rippled through from Egypt to civilisations as far away as Iraq and after so long ... Food for thought ... :-)

As the Bible described it, Babylon came down because of corruption and sin .. It's wise men were executed for daring to attempt to save it ....

A great city and a thriving civilisation was brought down to it's knees because there was no 'true' leader, no knight in shining armour to save it from it's doomed fate ... but do we 'humans' ever learn from those who preceded us?! None of the actual hanging walls remain today, however, Baghdad still has an archaeological site with remnants of the ancient city.

... and so, Babylon and it's beautiful gardens became no more! ... ;-)

There are those who resemble Manhattan - New York to the Ancient city of Babylon and feel that Manhattan destruction is inevitable since it too is a city of corruption and sin .. will Manhattan be allowed to meet the same fate? I hope not .. I hope they are wiser down there :-)

AMAZING exhibition! It is at the British Museum until around mid March 2009 .. worth the visit ... I am passionate about 'interpreting' and learning from history and not just merely reading about it.

"His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird" Bible : Book of Daniel 4.33 ;-)

Babel revisited .. Resembling Babylon to Manhattan NYC .. by (Julee Holcombe)

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Love is ... Murder! .... :-( )

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can?t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all

i-Love ... Dare to be different?!

Murder someone you adore tonight ... they deserve it!

Happy Valentine's ... :-)


... oh Middle East ...

Thursday, 12 February 2009

On inequalities ...

May the dreams of your past be the reality of your future

Tina Turner is returning to touring again, nearly 70, the mega star shot to fame late in her life when she was near 50 years old then disappeared for a while but then decided to return because her fans miss her .. True .. I too miss the unparalleled talent of Tina Turner and there are millions round the world who feel just like me .. Of course Tina must have been under the surgeon's knife on many occasions but no surgeon can give her that amazing drive or energy .. This comes natural to her ..

Only a few day ago, I watched a 'dispatches' program on Channel 4 (You can watch again by clicking the 'catch-up' link) .. It is about the rife ageism in the work place. How it is very hard for those over 45 to get a job once they lose the job they do for any reason. How companies make it a habit of disposing of workers over 50 before anyone younger is asked to leave! .. Currently, there is 30% unemployment between those aged 45 and 65! Wow! What a waste! Very qualified and experienced men and women of that age group are being discarded for nothing but their age. Despite, as the programme says, medical research not finding any cognitive deficiencies that accompanies growing older .. Certainly not in this age group anyway .. nor is there any deficiency in the energy level for the majority IMO. As a result of this injustice, many able people who happen to have surpassed their 50th birthday do not bother to apply for jobs simply because they know they do not stand a chance out there!

Of course, many men and women start having families late these days and it is now quite common for many women to get pregnant well above age 40. Those will still have young families to support when they hit the 50 divide and will become a burden on society if they lose their income and become unable to find other work. Not only that but, I often wonder about the psychological impact of the frustration this may cause those parents as well as the same when kids aged 5 or a little older hear from others that their parents can not find work because they are old! Then again, those who started and raised their families earlier are excluded from work despite the fact that are now in a position to give their all to their work simply because they no longer need time off work for family commitments; no maternity leave and/or pay .. for example. One would have thought that those would be sought after because of this and also because of their experience and expertise but that's not the case!

Like any segment of society, the majority of over 50s are just ordinary, normal people who have hopes and aspirations like everybody else .. This above is stark discrimination that should never be tolerated ... it is madness!

The programme goes on to address the blight of some over 65 who still have mortgages but despite being proper professionals and qualified to the teeth, they are unable to find 'any' work, let alone a job that matches their abilities. This is because there is a new law that gives the right to employers to terminate any workers at 65 without giving a reason.While I do sympathise with the over 65 because I believe that people should be allowed to do whatever they want at any age so long as they are able to do it well, I can not understand why the programme discussed everybody over 50 as if they were one group?! With improvements in health care, 50 and above, certainly at least until becoming 65 is no longer old age and members of this group have lots and lots to offer as well as valid aspirations for a bright future for themselves .. and rightfully so.

The programme however concentrated more on the over 65 thus lost the opportunity to highlight the blight of those who are currently below the normal retirement age. In hard times like these, this may even generate the audience's prejudices against those over 65 and still dare to want to work. Again, the programme failed to address the impact on health and well being for those who are below retirement age and are unable to find work ... a lost opportunity IMO.

Of course, there will always be some who may fall victim to disease but that's true too in any age group and the trend is that the likelihood nowadays is that maybe those over 50 won't suffer major illness due to the current improvements in health but that's providing they have the right environment to stay active and well .. Surely having the same opportunities as everybody else in the work place or otherwise is a major aspect for achieving this.

Therefore, I feel that the blight of the over 50 is the result of that fictitious classification that puts children, adults with young families, etc in one group and everybody else in another! Again, this gives the impression that once you turn fifty, you are old .. and are no good! You go to bed one night aged 49, happy, healthy and prosperous, then suddenly wake up in the morning drooling, full of diseases and old! Suddenly, you will no longer be able to do any job as well as a younger person! All overnight! A ridiculous notion to say the least! Based on that stupid logic alone, the majority of world leaders including our own should be sacked and replaced with younger persons! It is time this stupid dividing line is abandoned for good IMO, if only to change attitudes because of these unreal perceptions.

The current trend is to promote prevention and good health, not only for the sake of the individuals themselves but to also cut the spiraling costs of care wherever this can be achieved. But, while the government initiatives aim to integrate health and social to achieve this, it forgets that the above discrimination will be a huge hinder to it's success in achieving it's goals! .. and what to do then?!

What is the point of promoting good health only to put a great big chunk of society into their homes doing nothing?! Not only is this economically stupid to exclude people with accumulated experience who can really benefit society with that expertise, but this will also undoubtedly lead to more and more of members of this group falling victim of disease because of having nothing to do with their brains! I don't know much about medical research in this area but I am sure that there must be a huge link between conditions like depression or dementia for example and the lack of stimulation to the brain for one reason or another, such as having nothing to do or being lonely. Dementia clinics are fine for those who have already fallen victim to lack of stimulation amongst other reasons. But it also seems that the current divide is actually planting and growing the next generation of dementia sufferers due to this injustice. There must be a link between this exclusion and diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke too ... etc?

Everybody who is anybody in charge of public health keep talking about the problem of the ageing population but don't say, other than providing for dementia clinics and providing care, what they suggest to tackle the problem at it's root. That unless this fictitious divide between the under and over 50s is removed .. they will, regardless of what they do, have a BIG problem that has no solution .. and watch the costs of caring for the victims of this spiral out of control!

Integration of health and social care to provide 'quality' care as well as cut costs is a brilliant idea but unless the department of 'Work and Pensions' efforts are integrated with health and social too to tackle this downright discrimination of ageism, not only will cost of health care spiral out of control but many good people will suffer diseases that could have been totally prevented had there been no discrimination out there. Maybe it should be made illegal for employers to ask about age for the sake of fairness and to employ the best man or woman for the job.

'Teamwork' and 'communication' should also be for government departments and not only for ordinary workers on the shop floor ... That's if the current efforts to tackle inequalities in health or otherwise are to bear any fruit.

I wonder when is Tina coming to London .. A Tina Turner concert! .. I do need the exercise ... Oh look! :-)

Nice to see you return to rock the world again Tina .. and good for you .. and happy for us .. your dedicated fans :-)

The silver [splitters]
They are not encombered , qualified and are actively seeking work but can't find any because of their age  ... and this is a good  idea for those mums who want it
Loneliness can kill

As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

That's why the lady is a ... ;-)

By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.

MMR vaccine: 'No jab, no school'

Experts investigate second mumps outbreak in Wales

Goldacre's law: the Bad Science 'nerd' talks to Journalism.co.uk (with audio)

I better let the professionals do the commenting this time ...

Welcome death, quoth the rat, when the trap fell

And I know there is a real lady in the song! .. the tramp was elsewhere ...

Monday, 9 February 2009

This should be illegal! ...

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.

Not being a medic myself, when I had my first child, I found it very hard to decide whether to give the MMR vaccine or not. For me, it was the sheer responsibility of making such an important decision for my child. Literally a life or death decision come to think of it. I spoke to my doctor and read about the subject but did not want anyone else help because I felt this was a very personal decision for me as the parent and protector of the child until he can stand on his own two feet. My approach was then to weigh up the argument, a for and against debate in my own head. The against part was about the possible risk or any unknown side effects that may damage a young baby for life. As well as the not knowing what's in the vaccine and if it contains any chemicals that may, in their own right, cause harm in later life too. Things that may not be known yet but maybe found latter or be scientifically identified to be harmful in future years.

The for argument was that, it is most likely that my child would be protected against diseases that may look mild but may in fact have major complications, although rare, that can damage the child for life or even kill him ... and so, back to square one! .. I had no idea what to do because both arguments sort of looked balanced to me .. But, I decided to go ahead with the vaccine. Reason? Because if it weren't for modern medicine, many children from all over the world would have been dead today. Of course, we see this more in poorer countries than here in the west where the majority of children do get the vaccine. Another reason was that if we were that unlucky, then it is best to get a complication because of trying to protect rather than a complication due to lack of protection. All my four children were immunised.

However, it is not law that parents are obliged to vaccinate their children and so parents have every right to decide for or against vaccination as they see best. But, unless there is enough information written in an easy to understand language available to new parents out there, many will make a decision that may not conform to the norms. If government does not like that, this choice should then be removed from parents by making it law that every child in the land, unless they have a special reason to be excluded, must be vaccinated. Until something like this happens, parents do not know if it is good or bad to vaccinate .. only science will tell, but then, science keeps on changing it's mind and parents get mixed up too ending in some deciding not to vaccinate. That said, I won't go interfering with other parents whatever they decide with regards to vaccination .. It's there business like it was mine ...

But to allow a radio station to broadcast a fully interactive programme against immunisation and hosted by an ignoramus, is an atrocity to say the least! The woman, Jenni bennett, proudly stating that she was of St Marks, or, rat and mice road in the East of London! Then in her reasoning for why children should not be immunised was that, 'fortunately', those diseases, ie Rubella, measles and Mumps are rare now because of the vaccine! But I thought you were against the MMR vaccine Ms Bennett?! Then she goes on to say that other things, most likely about vaccines, are 'hidden' from us the public but she doesn't know what these are because they are hidden?! What?! ... what wisdom! .. :-)

How do we find out if you are right or wrong about that too Ms Bennett? We can't, can we?! I suppose maybe a psychiatrist can .. if you allow him ;-)

She then, continues undeterred by the medics who phoned in horrified by what she was saying on air! In full force, she still goes on to say how she did the right thing by not vaccinating her children and how that was a wise decision since children should be allowed to develop their immune system on their own. That's fine if this is your decision for your children Ms Bennett but the reason why children die in their first year of life in poorer countries is precicely because they did not have access to vaccines! She was inticing and inviting other parents to do the same like her ..

She then proceeds to tell parents that there seems to be a current world obsession with vaccines and that those who decide against are somehow hounded and are accused of causing an epidemic of one disease or another .. again, I could not understand how can this woman be allowed, by her employers, to broadcast such alarming messages to all the young parents out there?! A non qualified hence, very harmful alarm too she said herself that she was no doctor and no scientist! The strange thing is, she herself said, at the beginning of 'her' programme that making such a decision is 'a lonely business' for the parents concerned! Well, if it is, and that's how it should be Ms Bennett, who are you to budge in?! Who gave you the right to interfere with that 'lonely business' of other parents?! Shouldn't you leave other parents to, like you were allowed to, decide for their own children?!

In times when this government is concentrating and campaigning for healthy living and prevention of disease, measures should be taken to stop the likes of this ignoramus swaying public opinion on health matters that are likely to cause long term harm not only to the children involved but to society! Not only stop ignoramus herself but, more importantly, her employers too should be made more responsible so that such programmes are not aired again. IMO, the radio station itself should be made to pay a huge fine for allowing this programme to go on air and for then allowing this woman to go on air with such rubbish unchecked!

If hospitals themselves will be fined for not providing the services they should then surely, other organisations who act against public interest should be punished too .. like this radio station and it's ignorant presenters, researchers, producers .. etc! Otherwise, who knows, Ms Bennett may also decide one day that she does not approve of or like the sound of other 'things' like the pill, condoms, etc, etc ...

This woman persisted regardless of all the medical advice against doing so by the doctors who phoned in! She did use strong and very persuasive language to the point that those who phoned in to say they did not vaccinate their children were trying to impress her by being proud they did not vaccinate their children?! Their prize was a 'well done' type of message and they were ecstatic they looked upon by MS Bennett as clever! Much more clever than everyone else in the country who chose to vaccinate! ... Only Ms Bennett mattered ... dangerous stuff!

I am glad the council re-housed your family Ms Bennett and saved you too from the dire health consequences of living with rats and mice ... however much you yourself seem to have enjoyed their company! ... Speaks volumes, doesn't it ... sad?! :-(

This type of behaviour by those broadcasters should be made illegal because it is against the good of society ...

And ... Dr Ben Coldacre should never pay for having the integrity to stand up and say NO! IMO, it was his job and the honour of his noble profession to do so .. and good for him too ...

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything