In the 'life' bit, the little Ps' home tutoring has been ramped up with vocabulary being a priority. When the PHSE junk, climate change indoctrination, equality conditioning, and ethnic awareness isn't being thrust down the kids' throats by our state education system, the schools find 10 minutes or so for spelling tests comprising some fantastic words. The problem is that the little Ps aren't actually taught what they mean. The result being that they can now perfectly spell words like 'according', 'illuminated', and 'technique', without actually being able to use them in any meaningful context. So, I've got them both reading like a mofo from selected texts. For a 9 & 10 year old to be entertained in their post-school time, while still being exposed to intelligent prose, I chose "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" to start, accompanied by a notepad and dictionary (or, more likely, me) to explain previously unknown words they encounter. It's working a treat ... even iCarly has been taking a back seat thanks to Douglas Adams.
The business tender front has seen a round of public sector organisations holding meetings to potential suppliers, all titled with the now endemic buzzword 'framework' so reviled by this blog and its readers, and run by local officials who seem to have no clue about the industry they are dealing with.
On an entirely tangential front, your humble host has also been invited to make a first foray into public speaking, and as these things go, it's a bit of a biggie. More info of that perhaps in the new year.
However, although merely catching up tonight, via Taking Liberties one could hardly not enjoy the righteous being shown up yet again in Spiked.
Curiously, the BMA’s press release chose not to highlight the very same article’s finding that: ‘There were no short-term significant changes in prevalence among youths or adults.’ In other words, no one in Ireland has stopped smoking because of the [tobacco display] ban: the policy is a failure.Well, of course, because tobacco control is addicted to failure, as I keep pointing out.
But that, it would seem to me, is to misunderstand their existence. They talk incessantly of the chiiildren, of protecting the poor from pernicious advertising, but the same thread runs through all their wibblings.
They just hate big business of any stripe, and in doing so they always, but always, hurt smaller businesses and punish the poor.
Let's take the tobacco display ban for starters. The BMA have been screeching about this since it looked like the coalition might - quite rightly - ditch such a barmy idea. As the Spiked article articulates (you really should read it all, by the way), there is no credible evidence of a reduction in youth smoking rates (the sole motive for it according to politicians), but the BMA desperately want it anyway. So much so that they completely change their methods to hide the stark lack of evidence in its favour.
They know it won't stop under 18s gaining access to cigarettes, they know it could be disastrous for independent newsagents and corner shops. But their hatred of 'big tobacco' is so intense that they are quite willing to risk an increase in youth smoking, and unconcerned that thousands of corner shops may go under in their war against an impervious industry.
Tobacco companies won't lose a penny.
The same applies in the minimum alcohol price debate. The assault is on the perceived evil drinks industry. It matters not that ALL evidence consistently shows that alcohol consumption is reducing, or that there is no realistic chance that a minimum price will have any effect on those dangerous 'three Stellas in one night' hellraisers (the definition of a binge-drinker, apparently).
Manchester is still pursuing this quite laughable nonsense, and the BMA are also right behind it. The problem is that the drinks industry itself would benefit greatly, while only the poorer in society would be penalised.
It's OK, though, because the righteous have a plan to counter that. No, not making sure the poor don't suffer ... don't be stupid. Oh no, just preventing the drinks industry from benefitting, of course. That definitely wouldn't do.
A levy could also be imposed on the drinks industry to stop them making windfall profits from the higher prices introduced under the scheme. The money raised would be earmarked for public health campaigns warning of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.Only public sector organisations are allowed to profit from the exploitation of the poor, you see. It's perfectly acceptable that money extracted from the less well off is taken from the productive economy and handed to the BMA's fellow tax-spongers, on the basis of a fake scare invented by the very same beneficiaries.
Because that's responsible. That's the 'right thing to do'.
Likewise the campaign against McDonalds and those other
Therefore, kids must lose their happy meal toys and calorie police must be employed so that, err, McDonalds will easily sidestep it while smaller businesses - not able to draw on economies of scale - go to the wall.
But remember, it's all to look after those chiiildren, and the little guy against big, evil business.
Only rich righteous are allowed to fly too. It's not they who are killing the planet, you see, just us plebs encouraged by a rampant 'big oil' and airline alliance.
Every righteous campaign carries the same watermark. Little or no evidence of any note; an evangelical hatred of big business; and solutions which disproportionately target the poor, small businesses, and - most bizarrely of all - children.
But then, as in every other facet of life, one must follow the money, and all these 'life-enhancing' ideas always direct resources towards the hideous bastards who are promoting them.
None of this nonsense has ever been about health, or equality, or the children. If it were, the policies being advocated wouldn't potentially worsen health, widen equality, an punish the poor and children ... while simultaneously feathering the public sector's - increasingly, and hypocritically, corporate - nest.