Have a fag, it won’t cost you?

6th May 2015 0

I abominate smoking and I do not grow or sell tobacco, nor do I have any shares in tobacco companies. During my medical career, I discouraged (not very successfully, I fear) all my patients from smoking, using all the usual arguments. Nevertheless I was startled by a figure in a recent article in the British Medical Journal titled How the … [Read on]

Excuse me for Living

3rd May 2015 0

May Day arrives in all its glory accompanied by a fresh set of formal apologies. Just as well as we might all forget ourselves and start running about having unbridled fun, forgetting about inclusivity and diversity, saying the wrong thing to people and jumping into rivers in a dangerous fashion. The first forced grovel this month came when Leicester City … [Read on]

‘Honest guv, it weren’t me that done it’

3rd May 2015 1

The former Governor of the Bank of England, Lord King, told radio audiences that, in effect, no human agency, certainly not the last Labour Government, was responsible for the economic crash from whose effects we have still not recovered. He told listeners: I am not going to talk about individual parties’ culpability because I think the real problem was a … [Read on]

Legal Protection Rackets

1st May 2015 0

A client of a neighbour of mine, who is a professional, had a complaint made against him by a client who was put up to it by a claim company, which I turn had been supplied, possibly illegally but certainly unscrupulously, with information by a solicitor. For the privilege of having the claim adjudicated by the relevant authority, my neighbour … [Read on]

‘Othering’ in Oxford

1st May 2015 0

My introduction to Oxford community thinking came last November when I attended a meeting at the University Church, to discuss the future of the church of England. Some of the great and the good were there including Diarmaid MacCulloch, Kt, FBA, FSA, FRHistS, Oxford Professor of the History of the Church. He was once ordained as a deacon in the … [Read on]

Unspeakable Crimes

1st May 2015 0

I was riveted to read that Ione Wells, an Oxford student, aged 20, was savagely attacked on a London street. She then wrote about the experience for her university paper and has now hit the national news. She has kick-started her career as a journalist, and discovered that a woman reporter can often do well by cannibalising her own life, … [Read on]

Nepal – the Gods are unappeased

28th April 2015 0

Everyone feels stunned and saddened by the natural disaster in Nepal. After an earthquake 5,000 are dead and eight million people, about a quarter of the population, are homeless as seventy percent of buildings have been destroyed. Nothing could have prevented this catastrophe, but the aftermath could have been better. Nepal is prone to seismic shifts and experiences bad earth … [Read on]

The Raft of the Medusa

27th April 2015 0

One of the best things about childhood was listening to fairy-tales, often terrifying and lurid, involving the abandonment and anguish of young children. Hearing about the Babes in the Wood, The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel and Blue Beard, infants could only feel a thrill of fear concurrent with a deep contentment at knowing that the story was taking place … [Read on]

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