Animal aromatherapy

June 30th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Jim Barker pointed out a No. 10 Petition (this one, “Maybe this petition explains why ex-pats make such bitter comments on the Daily Mail website”) and after signing it A. Bollockhead, had a look at some more.

This one came up

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Permit Qualified Aromatherapists and Wiccan Practitioners To Treat Animals.

Why not allow Woo-ists to practice on animals, eh?

Well, in the ‘more detail’ bit the originator of the petition does indeed go in to a bit more detail, but doesn’t really give aromatherapy any more relevence to animals…

The practice of aromatherapy is recorded from Egyptian times, so we can assume that it is probably older than that. References to aromatherapy appear in the famous Ebers Papyrus, which dates from the eighteenth dynasty. The Holy Bible contains many references to the use of oils, in Israel.

All those qualified to us it should be permitted to practice it with animals also.

I don’t doubt the truthfulness of anything that the Karen Stapleton has asserted there, especially as I can’t be arsed to find out, but I don’t think that she or her co-horts in witch-doctory have taken in to account, not just robust investigation in to the effects of their sugar pills, smelly oils and water with memory, but also the ability to fool ourselves which we cannot do to animals

[Q]uackery might just about be justifiable on humans on the account that the placebo effect might give some relief (although I would argue against taking this position). But an animal cannot experience the placebo and will gain no benefit whatsoever from homeopathy, reiki, or ear candling for that matter. The only person who will gain is the carer, thinking they are doing good for the prickly little fellow. Placebo Effects work on humans. It’s a cultural thing. Hedgehogs do not cotton on to the significance of the psycho-suggestive shamanistic healing rituals involved in homeopathy. They would just prefer to curl up into a pin cushion. Many go on about homeopathy tests on animals proving the case for homeopathy think they do not need to have randomised blind controls, since animals cannot have a placebo effect. But this dodges the fact that it is their carers and owners are reporting the animals’ health improvements – the placebo works on the carers. Blinded trials on animal medicines are still absolutely necessary. For more details on homeopathy, placebos and animals see the excellent British Veterinary Voodoo Society.

I also feel that one of the five other people to sign the petition may have missed the point a little as they’ve signed as…

people should have the choice

Crooked Smile blues

June 26th, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

The video’s a bit dark, but it’s not about the sight. It’s all about the sounds, man.

Crooked Smile

The Stall

June 23rd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Starring Daniel Hoffmann-Gill

John Bercow is Speaker…

June 23rd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

…despite the Tories.

I don’t know if Bercow is the best speaker or not, but it sure did piss off Nadine Dorries.

And that, is a Good Thing.

Equality in the NHS

June 19th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

The BNP are making wild inaccurate claims again. Apparently travellers of various sorts are treated much better than British people…

At least half of all Gypsies and Travellers in Britain are Romany in origin and are officially placed above indigenous British people in a range of National Health Services, according to an official guideline.

The shocking anti-British document emerged in the wake of anti-Gypsy violence in Belfast following months of criminal activity by the Romanian Gypsy community which drove local people to the breaking point

So in the wake of anti Gipsy violence, because they’re all thieves, naturally *rolls eyes*, the BNP are helping to keep the sentiment going.

The BNP site quotes an NHS pamphlet, Primary Care Services Framework: Gypsies & Travellers, which they also shoot there own foot with by providing to a link to a copy they host, and they start off with…

states that many of these “Roma Communities” are recent arrivals, and “possibly comprise half of all Gypsies and Travellers” in England.

According to the NHS, there are up to 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers in Britain in total, which means that there are possibly 150,000 Romany Gypsies living here.

This is indeed nearly true. The pamphlet does say that half of the Gypsies and Travellers in Britain are possibly Roma Gipsies. The 300,000 figure is also mentioned but only as an upper figure for how many travellers and Gypsies are in Britain. That figure might also be as low as 120,000. Nobody really knows any better than that because the 2001 census didn’t count Travellers & Gypsies as a separate ethnic grouping. Which obviously means that the amount of Roma Gipsies could be as low as 60,000.

Under race relations legislation, Romany Gypsies are defined as minority ethnic groups and this forces the NHS to consider their “needs and circumstances” when meeting their general and specific duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.

Just like any other ethnic minority. As it should be.

Along come some bullet points. Makes it nice and simple for the knuckle-draggers…

In practice, the NHS document says, this means the following:

* Gypsies must be “fast tracked” when being provided with NHS services. This means they must be seen before any other patients, even if the indigenous patients have been there earlier or have prior appointments;

There is a recommendation that there should be a policy of not turning away a Traveller or Gypsie that attends a GP without an appointment. There is not a compulsion to, and it certainly doesn’t mean they must be seen straight away before anybody else. In reality, the Traveller could be left to wait until the end of the day.

Doctors have been told to see any Gypsy who walks into a surgery, even if all consultation times for the day are full

What the guidelines incourage, is for the local surgery to register Gypsies and Travellers that are local, on various sites and not to de-register them so quickly, so that a better health record can be built up. The pamphlet also says that when the surgery has got the trust of the Traveller that they will travel a considerable distance to see their doctor. The whole point of this exercise with the NHS is because Gypsies and Travellers do not visit the doctor very often and to try and change that so that the standard of health of these people improves from being the lowest of the English speaking ethnic minorities. The chances of a Gypsie walking in to any surgery is, I would say, pretty slim.

Gypsies are also to be fast tracked for nurses and dental appointments

The pamphlet says nothing about dental and nurse appointments. The BNP have split these types of care from the word ‘surgery’ used in the pamphlet, to mean all types of treatment that is non-emergency type of health problem including visits to the dentist and nurse.

Gypsies must be given 20 minute consultations (in comparison to native British peoples’ five or ten minutes) and must be allowed to bring relatives into the consulting rooms

Again, there is that word ‘must’. Nowhere in this document does it say ‘must’ (except for one instance where the document talks about when a surgery must de-register a patient. Page 28). Practices should give longer consultations. That is generally because the Travellers will ask for another family member to be seen. This request should be accepted within reason.
This is a Good Thing as it enables the doctor to “improve the screening status of potentially vulnerable patients”.

NHS staff are given “mandatory cultural awareness” training so they can fully understand what it is like to be a Traveller or Gypsy

OK. The Nazis have really got in a mix with this one. From the pamphlet…

PCTs’ with Gypsy and Traveller communities should consider including cultural awareness training as part of their regular mandatory training for all new and existing staff.

Still no compulsion. In the mandatory training that everyone gets, cultural awareness training should be considered. It doesn’t even say it should be included. It should just be considered.

The BNP then go on a little rant…

The NHS document tries to justify this blatant anti-British policy by claiming that Gypsies suffer from greater health problems than indigenous British people.

… and quote from the pamphlet about the poor the health is of Gypsies and Travellers but offer no rebuttal of any type to back up their implied claim that the Travelling community don’t suffer greater health problems that ‘true Brits’.

And they finish off with…

The implication of the document is that Primary Care Trusts will be breaking the Human Rights Act and the Race Relations Act of 2000 if they do not discriminate against British people in the ways suggested.

I suppose if you’re paranoid in that way, it could. But the whole tone of the guidelines is just that, a guide. A guide to help make it easier to make an unhealthy section of society healthier.

It’s called a Freedom of *Information* request

June 18th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Like most people today*, I’ve had a quick squint at my MPs’ receipts that have now been published, thanks to a FoI request, on the parliament website.

The following picture is a snapshot of one of the .pdf’s and seems fairly typical (click to enlarge)…


What bloody good is that? You can only presume the two bits go together by the total, as on the proper receipt even the name of the company is blanked out. Why is that? Why can’t we know the company that issued the receipt?
Why are the items blanked out? Why aren’t we allowed to know what the £64 was actually spent on?

All that tells us is that Dr Evan Harris spent £64 on something from a company that might be called Caudwell Communications.

I can understand the blacking out of an MPs’ phone number or most of their address, though there is no reason to black that out completely as just leaving us with the town or city would be enough to give some scrutiny. But to leave a receipt with just a total figure and present it as being open and transparent is just complete bollox. The receipt could be for a bucket of used condoms from ‘Cocks R Us’. How would we know?

MPs’ reckoned they were sorry. My fucking arse, are they. Even when told to be open and transparent, they still try to cover up. They knew they had been milking the system, it was never ‘sloppy accounting’ or errors of judgement, as we were kept being assured.

If it hadn’t been for the Telegraph, these money grabbing shits would’ve been able to blag their way to keeping their seats and their reputations (ha!) thanks to a metaphorical black marker.

It’s called a Freedom of Information request, dummy. So lets have some information.

*actually, most people are probably having a long hard look.

BA to move in to the voluntary sector

June 16th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

BA are asking 40,000 staff to work for sod all for a month. Just like the the boss, Willie Walsh and his Chief Financial Officer, Keith Williams…

The call for unpaid work is set out in individual letters to staff, and in the BA in-house newspaper British Airways News under the headline Action Time.

It says bluntly: ‘Colleagues are being urged to help the airline’s cash-saving drive by signing up for unpaid leave or unpaid work.
‘From tomorrow, people will be able to opt for blocks of unpaid leave or unpaid work, with salary deductions spread over three to six months, wherever possible.’

It is a hell of a lot easier to forego a months pay if a months pay is £61,000 than it is if your pay is only a grand or two a month. Should a company that is in that much shite that it’s asking it’s staff to work for nothing really be paying its’ boss more a month than most of its’ staff be paid in 3 years?

Could this be the new mantra for capitalism? Work for nothing or you won’t have a job to go to.

Ah, diddums

June 15th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink


Look at that face. Isn’t it sad?, maybe even a little bit scared. It makes him look almost humane. Even his eyes are nearly pointing the same way. I would feel sorry, for him, but he’s a racist, so I don’t.

Destroying the BNPs’ arguments is all well and good, but now and again you gotta have a laugh, ain’t ya. And if No Platform can produce things like this, then it must have some merits.

Picture curtesy of Daniel HG

Fly, my pretties

June 15th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

An audience with a racist

Sitting in his suit and tie, with neatly combed hair and trotting out psephological jargon, he comes across as a sort of racist version of Tony Blair: coolly spouting dodgy dossiers of misinformation to justify a “war” against weapons of mass immigration and miscegenation. Most people don’t believe him; we’re not sure whether he sincerely believes himself, but he’s going to keep pushing his line for as long as he can.

At the moment he is trying to soft-sell repatriation. “We’re not talking about turfing everybody out. We’re talking about encouraging some to go. It would benefit them if we did a proper, sensible deal with countries that have suffered hugely from brain-drain, with people coming here – it’s the final form of colonialism. Instead of stealing, erm, gold and old statues, we steal the people and best brains, and the countries suffer as a result.

“We would help to stabilise all sorts of countries if some of their nationals or people who originate from there returned to their homelands with some of the skills that they’ve learnt here and applied them to make those a better place instead of coming here because it’s convenient for Britain and easier than training our own people.” Xenophobia as humanitarianism is just one of his verbal gymnastics.

So. Nick Griffin isn’t a racist that wants to keep the white race on top and withdraw Britain just about every international organisation you can think of, because we don’t need them.

Nick Griffin is going to save the world and improve all those third world countries (is that still a valid term or is it ‘developing nation’) by returning all those immigrants that we have train. Nick Griffins’ flying monkeys are good flying monkeys.

How the interviewer managed to carry that through, I’ll never know.

Letting them play at having their own home

June 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

BBC News

In a landmark speech, weeks after US President Barack Obama urged him to agree a two-state plan, Mr Netanyahu said the Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish state.

He said a Palestinian state must have no army, no control of its air space and no way of smuggling in weapons.

Isn’t that what the Palestinians have now*?

Israel wants to be secure, but how can they be when they are still demanding the denial of a proper state to the Palestinians. Even when they say it can go ahead!

Where am I?

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