Archive for September, 2009

The Swineageddon Industry – An Update

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

“Swine flu ‘could kill millions unless rich nations give £900m'” the Observer’s “investigations editor” Rajeev Syal breathlessly reported on Sunday. This revealed that in a masterpiece of the investigative churnalism we have come to know and love from the Observer these days, Mr Syal had uncovered a press release from WHO (“leaked to the Observer”) which promises that “the swine flu pandemic could kill millions and cause anarchy in the world’s poorest nations”.

Blimey! Millions dying and anarchy reigning in the third world, eh? Who’d have thought? We’ll have to put a stop to that! But how? Read more…

Get a grip on the fertility figures

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Been to the doctor’s recently? Despite whatever illness or ailment you saw them for, you can be sure they will also have checked off one or more of the following boxes: Smoking, drinking, diet, exercise and probably swine flu. You can now add to that: don’t have more than two kids and save the planet!

No, you haven’t stepped back into India circa Indira Gandhi or even China today. The advice comes in the once august but now sadly looney-tunes British Medical Journal from John Guillebaud (emeritus professor of family planning at UCL) and Pip Hayes (a doctor). Doctors, they say, should advise patients against having a third child because it is the environmental equivalent of a patio heater or a gas-guzzling vehicle. Read more…

Spinning the Spanish Main

September 8, 2009 1 comment

Lord Peter Mandelson has been about a bit recently. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, we seek him here, we seek him there and sure enough, there he is, with a pithy little sound bite to fit whatever the media has set for that week’s soundbite agenda.  Though sometimes you wonder if it’s not Mandy who’s setting the agenda. This week his compass was set fair for internet pirates. And the media dutifully walked the gangplank. Read more…