Friday 19 April 2024

Big Green Bills


We don't need no stinkin' objectivity

Health charities and unions lead strong criticism of Sunak’s welfare reforms

Leading mental health and poverty charities and unions have strongly criticised Rishi Sunak’s planned welfare reforms as “deeply damaging” and an “irresponsible war of words”.

The Prime Minister announced a series of major changes to the system on Friday and warned against “over-medicalising the everyday challenges and worries of life”.

Among the proposed changes was a consultation on a “more objective and rigorous approach” in the benefits system, and having so-called specialist work and health professionals charged with responsibility for issuing fit notes instead of GPs in a bid to end the “sick note culture”.

This is an irresponsible war of words on people who already aren’t getting enough support, which the Government would rather not talk about.

It is worth adding the well understood caveat that government isn't usually guided by  a “more objective and rigorous approach” to any of its favoured policies. 

We could begin by measuring what "enough support" might mean, but such questions might be “deeply damaging” and an “irresponsible war of words”.

Sioux chef

16th century cafe wins 'best fry-up in Derbyshire' award in recent poll

The cafe uses Derbyshire-sourced ingredients across the menu

A fantastic kitchen team consisting of Perry, head chef Simon Earl and Sioux chef Oliver Gillott operate out of the new kitchen.

I wonder if that's an AI spell checker spicing up the story a little? Or maybe wild buffalo sausage is on the menu.

Thursday 18 April 2024

A grim document

This grim document popped through the door today. Strange how there are only two official answers to bureaucratic incompetence -
  1.     More bureaucracy.   
  2.     More money.

It's usually both, as in this case. 

Fear of scams

Millions of older people live in fear of scams and a huge number worry about answering the phone or front door

One in five older people fear picking up the phone and one in 10 worry about opening the front door in case it is a scammer, new research reveals.

Although anyone can be scammed, older people are at greater risk of becoming victims of certain kinds of fraud, particularly those who live alone or are cognitively impaired or recently bereaved, says Age UK.

I'm particularly afraid of that scam where unsuspecting folk are persuaded go to "polling stations" and give votes to people who shoved glossy leaflets through the door then don't deliver what they promised. That one has been going on for a long time and it's about time it was dealt with. 

Then there's that Net Zero scam where we are persuaded to pay a lot of money for electricity generation that doesn't work properly. 

And don't get me started on that GP business - what are they supposed to be?

Wednesday 17 April 2024

A Masterclass In Sarcasm

Patrick Boyle takes apart Neom - The Line. Quite long but a most entertaining and remarkable insight into the many predictable failures of this vast project. It leaves some obvious but fascinating questions hanging in the air too.

Fake philanthropy

Smoking ban UK: What does the new bill do as MPs vote to ban tobacco for generation alpha?

MPs have voted to pass a landmark smoking bill which the government says will create the UK’s first “smokefree generation”.

First announced in the King’s speech last November, the controversial bill passed through Commons on Tuesday (April 16) as Labour threw their weight behind it. It was not without opposition.

56 Tory MPs voted against Rishi Sunak’s bill, while a further to 106 either abstained or were absent. However, members had been given a free vote by the government, meaning they have not been told which way to vote. This softens the blow for Mr Sunak in against this backbench rebellion.

Yet another step away from conservative politics. Ban lying to children about climate change and gender would give them a better start in life. Apparently Sunak prefers fake philanthropy.

The philanthropy was what he most hated: all these expensive plans for moral forcible feeding, for compelling everybody to be cleaner, stronger, healthier and happier than they would have been by the unaided light of Nature. The longing to get away into a world where men and women sinned and begot, lived and died, as they chose, without the perpetual intervention of optimistic millionaires, had become so strong that he sometimes felt the chain of habit would snap with his first jerk.

Edith Wharton – Twilight Sleep (1927)