Again, I was able to speak to my mother in Cairo today, it seems that last night was mayhem around the whole city as prisoners escaped in large numbers and were intent of looting and causing destruction around all neighbourhoods. I knew this was happening through the excellent and continuous reporting of the BBC, but, as my mother told me, all young men from her little street together with those from other streets on the island organised themselves into shift groups and barricaded all entrances to the little island where they all live, with local families also arranged in shifts sending them home cooked food at all times, older children with parents in cars doing the deliveries.
Armed only with sticks and knives, those courageous youths and the generation above were able to catch a number of offenders who were then handed over to the army tanks stationed at the top and bottom of the island. Those criminals and their like caught from around the city are now placed in a military prison for 'a tough' trial at a later date as announced by the army authorities. Only, where did the police go?! There is usually a huge number of those everywhere, all but disappeared! I am told there is now a call for the trial of the minister of interior, messy! ... and, although I understand he's doing it out of being pressured, I don't like the picture of this army officer acting alone either. When an officer, you act with your own, not on your own, especially those are not doing any harm at the moment ... sad state of affairs.
Talking to my mother, I could hear army fighter planes circling the sky at the background. Indeed, the BBC is reporting the same too and that this is happening everywhere affected. Although the BBC is saying that this may cause further unrest, the word on the ground is that in the absence of the police and the escape of prisoners intent on destruction, the reality is that people are reassured by the army presence and not the other way round. So, it is not a show of force to the citizens, but is viewed as protection for those citizens from those criminals who are now on the loose when they shouldn't be, and to try and impose some order on what is a chaotic situation. I agree.
The BBC is reporting what it can see and the voices it hears, but there are also the views of those who did not come out or paticipate in riots, and those are the majority. Although discontent may still be high amongst them, they do not neccessarily believe the current way of trying to just topple the current president on uncertain terms is the right way. Of course, I understand that the BBC or other reporting agencies have no access to those, but the problem remains that the silent majority is not heard, while the vocal ones are not necessarily that politically savvy, but still the ones who chant loudest, but with no or little understanding of the consequences of their requests. Although not that political myself in general, let alone on Egyptian affairs, I too am wondering whether those out on the streets chanting "Down with Mubarak" have considered the 'then what'? Especially that everybody knows there are not many cards on the table to choose from. Of course there are many above board Egyptians who can handle the governing role, but who are they? Currently, those cards on the table I am aware of are, Amr Mousa, a well trusted moderate, El-Baradei, who lives in Vienna and yesterday said that the people want Mubarak out after 38 years, when in fact, they are 31 years, and the Muslim brotherhood who promise fair reform internally, but may not succeed on the international scene, hence, the current peace as well as trade and other connections would most likely be jeopardised thus harming future Egyptian potential and prosperity as well as western interests in the whole region, let alone it's stability ... So, who else can be president? The new vice president Omar Suleiman is one, but I've only ever heard of him yesterday so, obviously, have no right of say because I do not know.
Then there is the West's reaction to this turmoil. In light of the recent requests by the president of the USA, it seems that the Americans too are now supporting a change of regime but without considering the viability - and suitability - of the alternative/s. I find that surprising! Why aren't they asking what are those alternatives? Egypt has been an ally with the USA and the west for all the 31-ish years Mubarak has been in charge, not forgetting peace with Israel which he maintains for Egypt and for keeping the rest of the Middle East calm too. This is a huge achievement that many Egyptians do not want to sacrifice by the uncertainty of the current situation even if Mubarak is no longer in office. Then there was the British voice together with the French and the Germans, and although I commend our Prime Minster for calling on the Egyptian authorities not to attack civilians protesting peacefully, I was hoping that they would, rather than what seems to me like maybe joining the protesters call for instant change, although that has so far not been said directly, to try to calm the situation in order to keep stability in Egypt and the region by demanding the restoration of order first then a speedy repeat of the elections which allowed Mubarak to remain in power and which was perhaps the cause of this sudden uprising.
I personally can not see how Mr Mubarak would refuse this request now, since my own feelings is that what he is trying to do at the moment is to put back some law and order in place as well as calm the existing high emotions so that a dialogue on 'what next' can be started. A civilised and proper democratic repeat of the elections is the best option, and if he loses this time, surely he now knows he would have to go. This would be good effort to resolve a highly charged situation peacefully, therefore, protecting civilian lives too by restoring some sanity. Because I hate to see Egypt descending into more chaos, even into civil war if this volatile situation is allowed to spiral out of control. The current high is in nobody's interest either as there are still a loud minority who are mostly under class, but because of political ignorance as well as economic difficulties, they still believe the west is enemy while the majority wishing for peace want to maintain and improve the current status quo.
Prime Minister, please call for calm, reason, and an urgent elections in Egypt. The Brits have always had a special place in the Egyptian people's hearts and I know you can do it.
Egypt Violence: PM expresses 'Grave Concern' [click] and [Google]
Live: Egypt unrest [Click] and [Google]
Thousands of years of history down the drain?! :-(
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Saturday, 29 January 2011
"When that branch began swaying ..."
Those soldiers must be hungry, "cheap bananas, sweet, like honey ya bananas"
Video of rebel in defiance, but soldier driving won't go over him, halts and nearly switches off water flow
Friday, 28 January 2011
I have just been talking to my mother on the phone in Cairo and I was able to get through at the first attempt using a landline. It seems that apart from the areas most affected by the riots in Cairo, mainly at the huge Tahrir [liberation] Square in those pictures and Giza Square west of the city but still in a central location, life goes on as normal ... my family resides on a small island with the Gamaa bridge connecting Giza with the main road 20 minutes walk away from Tahrir Square. Giza next to the bridge and all along the river is one of the most affluent areas in Cairo. However, less than 2 miles away and west of Giza Square, is one of Cairo's largest and most populated poorest areas too and this is where the rioters are protesting. As for Tahrir Square, those who protest there gather from all around the city because the Square is right in the middle of the center of Cairo where are the major government departments are.
I must say that I have been very worried since the start of this unrest, I have been phoning at least twice a day and always got through. I have also been preparing to go to Cairo at very short notice should my elderly parents need, but so far, not many people think these riots will result in any significant change, and there hasn't been any disturbance on that little island or further out ... and I'm still watching.
Ironically, Egyptians are watching the BBC for the latest news as the local media is reporting that although there is unrest in places, everything is under control. Indeed, police soldiers do not usually attack the protesters unless there is a much higher rank officer on the scene and that's when arrests and injury occur. So, all is not what they seem if you look close enough. But for many Egyptians, the most they are worried about is should there be a change of government, who would be in place.
That, I find too, is a very worrying thought!
Egypt protests escalate in Cairo, Suez and other cities [with maps of affected areas ] [click]
Riots in the Streets [click]
Obama responds to Egypt unrest [click]
Egypt violence: PM Expresses 'Grave Concern' [click] and [Google] *
Mubarak names Omar Suleiman as VP [click]
Live: Egypt unrest [Click]
Thursday, 27 January 2011
******* Voucher bid to boost healthy diet [click] ... Nintendo issues warning on 3DS games for children [click] ******* Revealed: The people's guide to common sense [click] ******* London's new year fireworks set to music [click] Music :-( BBC! *******
2011 a 'difficult' year [click] ******* Lansley faces flak over yet another broken promise on healthcare [click] ... GP uncertainty over NHS overhaul [click] ******* Minister Grant Shapps wants 'stable' house prices [click] ******* Government art collection: What the minister saw [click] ******* God² - how science and religion rub along [click] ... Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens debate religion [click]
The rise of Robodoc [click] ... Inquiry into UK dementia spending [video] ... Scottish Labour criticises NHS 'luxury cars' [click] and [Google] ******* New rules for bankers' bonuses come into force [click] ******* More maths, longer days … Michael Gove's school vision takes shape [click] ******* Is Julian Assange a coward or a hypocrite? [click] ******* Brave cat tests dogs' suitability [video]
Andrew Lansley's NHS will be unrecognisable [click] ... For ‘Liberating the NHS’ read ‘Dismantling the NHS’ [click] ******* 'Dodgy' online self-diagnoses 'a risk to health' [click] ... NHS call centers may be outsourced to India [click]... and [Google] ******* Psychological tricks to keep you on your New Year diet [click] ******* The birth and death of a star [click]
******* Leading medics challenge GPs to fight Andrew Lansley over NHS reforms [click] ... Fury over 'cheapskate' NHS plan for Indian call centre [click] and [Google] ... NHS managers wasting £1bn a year overpaying for supplies [click] ... The MMR scare was 'deliberate fraud' the British Medical Journal has said [click] ... Scientist says designer drug makers 'stole' his blueprints [click] ... Is working with your hands better than just with your head? [click] ******* Taking the magic mushroom drug psilocybin for a trial [click] *******
The Lords on health reform 16 december 2010 [click] ******* Honey inspired bandage heals 'more quickly' [click] ******* Jets implicated in solar riddle [click] ******* Bank bonuses 'to run to billions in 2011' [click]
Top 10 issues for junior doctors in 2011 [click] ... Happy hospitals 'save money' [click] ... Music 'releases mood-enhancing chemical in the brain' [click] ******* How Sweden turns human body heat into useful energy [click]
BBC News: Can we be nudged to good health? [click] ... Mindspace [click] ******* Offer bingo to hospital patients 'to boost morale' [click] ... Patient experience [click]
New laboratory aims to revolutionise surgery with real-time metabolic profiling [click] and [click] and [click] ******* NHS to 'match European cancer survival outcomes' [click] ... 2011 - a year to remember, or regret? [click] ... CEAs essential to incentivising NHS consultants [click] ******* 'Astrophysical brass in the microwave muck' [click] ******* Cross-eyed opossum Heidi becomes German star [click]
Are we all secret geniuses waiting to happen? [click] ******* Crap journalism at it's worst [click] ... Unions say no to pay increment freeze [click] ... Taking regular breaks from desk 'good for the heart' [click] ******* IT the key to NHS efficiency savings [click] ... BMA questions restructuring of NHS data access and availability [click] ... KPMG wins NHS commissioning deal [click] ******* Conservation and Schrodinger's cat [click] ... Lost in Wiki [click]
Is the profession in favour of GP commissioning? We still don't know [click] ... Breast Is Best? [click] and [Google] ******* Trafalgar Square Fourth plinth art divides opinion [video]
Health chiefs issue stark warning over damaging effect of NHS reforms [click] ... NHS signs up KPMG to support GP commissioning pathfinders [click] ... Hit squads of matrons to probe patient care [click] ******* Astronomy professor suggests zodiac signs are wrong [click] ******* Jimmy Wales says Wikipedia too complicated for many [click]
KPMG to aid London GP commissioning groups [click] ... British Medical Association: 'NHS reforms hugely risky'[video] ... Inflexible and stressful work 'harming families' [click] ... The bigger picture [click] ******* From the USA: UK public health system 'gridlocked' by swine flu [click] ******* Bank bonuses in a different era [video] ******* Smart kitchen [video] :-)
******* Health reforms in England took NHS by surprise, MPs say [click] ... Patients miss operations as Government 'tosses grenade' into NHS [click] ... Tory free-market hurricane will blow our NHS apart [click] ... Times letter signed by 300 doctors [click] ... Lansley’s NHS hand grenade; ban on cheap booze; best cure for a hangover [click] and [Google] ******* GP: 'Excited about the future of health service' [click] ******* US student pays fees in 14,000 single dollar bills [video] *******
NHS bill to detail major overhaul in England [click] ... NHS chief slams "dangerous" health reforms [click] ... Public health faces an uncertain future [click] ... Medicine that could kill, not cure, the NHS [click] ... NHS reforms: Lansley's big bang logic [click] ... Andrew Lansley wants patients 'at the heart of decision-making' [video] ******* Budget cuts are deeper than Cameron would have you believe [click] ******* MP Graham Allen calls for early years intervention [click] ******* Eating insects 'could cut greenhouse gas emissions' [click :-( ... India police dogs in disgrace after having puppies [click] *******
NHS changes debated by healthcare experts [video] ... Increased control over health budget worries some GPs [video] ... Cameron's NHS reforms will make or break him [click] ... NHS shakeup could set patients against their GPs, warns report [click] ... Yes, the NHS needs reform but not if it's going to lead to more patients on trolleys in hospital corridors [click] ******* Health Secretary Andrew Lansley had second job [click]******* Chinese president's US visit set to boost trade ties [click] ... Dembisa Mayo: Proectionalism can help the west recover [click] *******
Alan Johnson quits front-line politics [click] Best wishes Alan :-) ******* “New system risks quality of medical training” [click] ******* Oh the Horror. Price Competition in the NHS [click] ... Seven in ten will keep their jobs despite 'biggest shake up ever' [click] ******* Swedish family's six month eco-house experiment [click] ... Climate scientists targeted for fraud [click]
Alan Johnson: I was nearly put in a home when our mum died - my sister argued with a welfare officer for us to be kept together [click] ... Alan can fix it [click] ******* Dr Lansley’s Monster [click] ... NHS reforms not privatisation [video] ... Your essential guide to the Health Bill [click] ... Job cuts [click] ******* How board game experts' brains differ [click] ******* Plastic adorns the nests of birds fit for a fight [click]
NHS surgeon: Lansley's reforms are a 'phony revolution' [click] ... Cancer sufferers 'to be given chemotherapy at branches of Boots' in extraordinary shake-up of NHS [click] ...
I urge you to have the five-minute bowel test, says cancer survivor Lynn Faulds Wood [click] ... UK surgeons call for changes in weight-loss surgery rules [click] ******* Are strict Chinese mothers the best? [click] ******* Silvio Berlusconi's women [click]
The NHS might be being rewired, but its electricity runs to much the same effect [click] ... Diagnosis by email is a deadly gamble [click] ... ******* Llandovery doctor's award for excellence [click] ******* Urgent action needed to avert global hunger [click] and [video] ******* CBI boss: Coalition lacks vision [click] ... Is it fair to pay bankers big bonuses? [click] ... Banking blogger Cityboy on bonuses and the Square Mile's largesse [click] ... Liverpool opens business embassy in London [click] ******* Downing Street rat: No new cat to be taken on [click]
******* Will Prime Minister adopt new Downing Street cat? [click] ... British PM to end 'rat race' at Downing Street [click] ... 'Pro-cat faction' urges Downing Street rat rethink [click] ... Downing Street to get new cat [click] ... In praise of ... Downing Street cats [click] for article and comments ... and [Google] ******* Nicholson tells NHS doubters to go [click] ... NHS competition will prevent postcode lottery, says Lansley [click]******* Deep brain stimulation surgery 'first' for depression [click] ******* What is GDP? [click] ... The rise of 'we' [click]
Can GPs juggle patient care with NHS budget reforms? [click] ... Leader: The beginning of the end of the NHS [click] ... BMA leadership bows to pressure for special Health Bill debate [click] ******* NHS Employers pushes pay and increment freeze [click] ******* The brains behind the obesity problem [click] ... Public health 'nudges' questioned [Listen] ... Behavioural change key to fighting obesity [click] ******* 'Life chemicals' may have formed around far-flung star [click] ... Hubble telescope detects the oldest known galaxy [click] ******* Grand piano appears on sandbank off Miami [click]
Lansley rejects Healey's NHS privatisation accusations [click] and [Google] ... Central grip tightens under 'independence' bill [click] ****** Government plans mean the death of the NHS as we know it: Max Pemberton [click] ... ... Competition is good for the NHS [click] ******* Professor Brian Cox on science museum's new wing [click] ******* Florida teenager 'put piano on Miami sand bar' [click] ******* Walking gorilla [video]
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
"On the day the government’s radical reforms for the NHS were laid out in full in the Health and Social Care Bill, health secretary Andrew Lansley spoke to the audience at HSJ and LGC’s Public Health Congress about what the changes mean for the health service and the people who work in it."
Public health 'nudges' questioned [click]
Behavioural change key to fighting obesity [click]
31 January 2011: Andrew Lansley defends his health reforms with astonishing conviction [click]
Saturday, 22 January 2011
NHS shake-up: Andrew Lansley answers your questions [click]
Andrew Lansley quizzed by doctor over NHS changes [click]
Caroline Spelman denies NHS reforms are 'privatisation' [click]
Letter from Lawrence Buckman chairman of General Practitioners committee BMA [click]
... Dr Lansley’s Monster [click]
The Truth behind the Tory plans - John Healey's speech to the King’s Fund. [click]
The Myth of Free Health Care [click]
Coalition’s ‘totalitarian’ approach to NHS will lead to more deaths, says Lord Winston [click]and [Google]
Forcing GPs to run the NHS will do harm [click]
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Prime Minister and Leader of The Opposition
Secretary of State for Health
Expert academics from The London School of Economics + University of Cambridge
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
David Cameron: Public sector reform cannot be delayed [click] ******* Health chiefs issue stark warning over damaging effect of NHS reforms [click] ... NHS signs up KPMG to support GP commissioning pathfinders [click] ... Health reforms in England took NHS by surprise, MPs say [click] ... Patients miss operations as Government 'tosses grenade' into NHS [click] ... Tory free-market hurricane will blow our NHS apart [click] ... Times letter signed by 300 doctors [click] ... Lansley’s NHS hand grenade; ban on cheap booze; best cure for a hangover [click] and [Google] *******
MPs join attack on NHS shake up
Tough medicine [click] and [click]
Robert Winston: Reforms could threaten care of patients [click] and [click]
Saturday, 15 January 2011
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ' I. '
MILLIE: I is…
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'
Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.
CLYDE: No, sir. It's the same dog.
HAROLD: A teacher
Have a happy weekend :-)
Related: MP Graham Allen calls for early years intervention [click]
Friday, 14 January 2011
Having seen that 'report' on BBC, I have been following the Ferret's debate on the issue. One of the comments made by 'Anonymous' caught my eye, because I was thinking along the same lines:
"Their 'Health Correspondent' in an operating theatre, wearing scrubs and holding a retractor.
When she said that Consultants might "down tools" were rates lowered, she illustrated this complex issue... by putting the retractor down in the instrument tray."
Terrible! Especially when you also consider how the reporter stresses key words as they speak and the 'alarming high tone of voice, let alone that flashing 100,000 figure on the screen too ... flash, flash, very theatrical, isn't it?! It makes your blood boil those greedy surgeons are milking the system by charging for extra overtime work specially commissioned over and above their contractual duties and the free hours they give their patients on top too?! ... while providing little value for money operating to save many lives that would have otherwise had to wait with perhaps dire consequences! How can anybody bear that abuse in our times of Ausssterity? And suddenly you get that urge to scream "Do something"! But, what can that something be? You're only a viewer after all and know nothing about surgeons or theatres, after all, you were asleep when you had this op last year, though grateful you were saved, you saw nothing ... as for that BBC theatre effort, weeeell! ;-)
Then appears a young, tidy and sweet looking management consultant on the scene, never seen a drop of blood in his life except when he injured that knee playing Tennis with chums at school, for which he's grateful to the surgeon who attended to his affliction too ... and he goes on to state a fact; how much that trust spent on paying those greedy surgeons in one year ... and it's a seven figure sum! @@ ... well, now that you were already on the edge of your sofa, you probably feel like jumping in a rage! NOOOOO!
... then enters Prof Alan Maynard ... the one in the know ... le economics exxpert ... a votre sante ...
And he speaks with courtesy this time, so relaxed and at home, even I thought, well, forget about hostilities past, the man has a right to an opinion too ... speak up professor, let's know your expert opinion on this 'whole' thing ... please! ... and I was waiting, would he say that that young management consultant is most likely charging double the hourly rate of a qualified to the teeth surgeon who saves lives? Would he also say that any junior in that hospital's account department could have successfully calculated how much was paid to those doctors in total for their overtime work, thus huge amounted of money that were wasted hiring those external managers could have been saved? No! ... he doesn't say much! ... and it was what he didn't say, as an expert Health Economist, that attracted my attention.
I thought, for the sake of a balanced argument, that Prof had a duty, since the management consultant spoke about the millions spent on surgeons pay for overtime work, to also, at least, state how much this same trust spent hiring those external managers and the hourly rate they charge too? Then, as a proper economist would, comment on the value for money this trust gained from those external managers service?
... and I was left wondering too, how much did the trust make from the PCT that commissioned the service? ... must've been lots ... and lots, so the trust is actually in profit re this particular area of surgeons overtime ... right? ... and how many patients were treated? How many lives were saved? Value?
Then again, the PCT that commissioned the service to start with must have had the means to do so, or, would have gotten into deep 'Staffordshire' like trouble if it hadn't used the overtime surgeons perhaps? Hence, how much would have been spent had the services of those surgeons not been sought?! ... not forgetting the cost of compensation and complaints either ....
Since I don't know, I was just left wondering ... and I am still wondering ... surgeons save lives ... how much of that was done inside that surgical theatre V how much value was gained by how many needy patients V how much was spent on everything else, including that theatrical performance by the BBC, the management consultants, Prof Maynard's opinion ... and whether all those were value for money too?
For someone whose expert opinion has always been that " tighter NHS resource constraints may lead to nurse led primary care ", I would say "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get" Meaning, everyone has a price that corresponds to their ability level, and if that fact is ignored, you end up paying much more and get much less quality in the process too ... that's the economics I know ... I wonder how much you charge per hour Professor ... as for value, let those reading be the judge of that ....
Can I have some answers? ... please Professor Maynard
And BBC, that was biased reporting! Even bordering on propaganda too, you know!
Related: Google [click]
"After all, everybody only hears what he understands."