When ‘Prevention’ Becomes ‘Misinformation’

06/01/2019

Around 10 pm  last night, herself asked for a couple of paracetamol tabs because she had a headache. “Are you sure that you want two tabs?” I asked (she usually has one). “Yes”, she replied. So I gave her two.

I went to bed at about 2 am. I noticed that the paracetamol box was on my bedside table. What had I given her? I went back into the living room and found only a box of ibuprofen tabs which are 400 mg. The paracetamol tabs are 200 mg. I had given her 800 mg of ibuprofen.

When I read the leaflets in these tab boxes, I take what they say as ‘the truth’, so when to ibuprofen leaflet said one tab at a time with a maximum of three tabs per day, I took it as gospel. That was THE MAXIMUM.

I vaguely thought of calling an ambulance, but, by that time (2 am), she was snoring happily. Besides, calling an ambulance seemed to be way over the top. What was the danger? You read about people taking loads of paracetamol tabs in one go to kill themselves, but they often fail. I decided to let it go.

This morning, she was perfectly OK.

You might reasonably ask why the recommended doses are low. When I checked the internet earlier, I got several conflicting responses from ‘reputable’ sources. One said 800 mg 4 times a day = 3200 mg per day. The NHS said no more than six 200 mg tabs per day with a max of 1200 mg in a day.

It seems to me that the leaflets in boxes sold in the UK follow NHS ‘precautionary’ guidelines. I wonder what the leaflets in boxes sold in other countries say?

It seems to me that the ‘Health Dept’ has gone mad. It seems happy to recommend the lowest levels of painkillers regardless of whether or not people suffer unduly. That is where words like ‘prevention’, ‘protection’, ‘care’ get all mixed up as regards their meaning. ‘Protect’ could mean protect the NHS from charges of negligence. By recommending the lowest possible dose, it might be expected that over-doses, requiring hospitalisation, will be reduced. But the lowest possible dose to be effective might well be very different in different circumstances for different people. Thus, the recommendations are very misleading. They are easily manipulated and few people complain.

This callous attitude seems to pervade ‘Health and Wellbeing’. It is a sort of ‘hanged for a sheep as a lamb’ attitude. That is, if you are going to steal a lamb, you might as well steal a sheep – both are punished by death. You might as well have a ‘recommendation’ (which rapidly translates in the media to a ‘limit’) of 14 units of alcohol per week. It may ‘prevent’ a person from drinking 20 units, even though 20 units is still harmless for the vast majority of people. What is almost certain is that those limits will not deter alcoholics.

I detest the likes of Silly Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer of England. I also detest all her acolytes who make calculations of how many lives will be ‘saved’. Nobody, especially politicians, ever asks what they mean by ‘saved’. Do they mean ‘deaths postponed to a later age’?

But it would be equally callous not to help people who are very old but still ‘compos mentis’, despite their chronic maladies, to cope with those maladies and survive so that they can continue to enjoy life. The only point at which I personally draw the line is when a major organ fails, such as heart failure, or lung failure, etc. Sooner or later, one or other of our major organs will fail and we die.

“Thou shalt not kill, nor must thou strive, officiously to keep alive”.

I cannot see it happening, but we need vociferous politicians to defend us against the likes of Public Health England. Preferably, it should be scrapped, but that is hardly likely to happen. But at least its ‘terms of reference’ should be curtailed and its funding should be massively reduced.

The reason is that it cannot help but be callous and cruel in its present form.

I cannot understand why the callous and cruel nature of smoking bans was not seen within months of their enactment.

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Home Sec Sajid Javid States the Obvious and Is Pilloried

04/01/2019

Could anything be more obvious than that the people trying to cross the channel in rubber dinghies are ‘illegal immigrants’? Some crazy ‘freedom lovers’ have been shouting at him because he said so.

And yet, he has proposed no solution. I cannot see recalling a couple of Border Force boats from the Med, where they have been ‘helping’ the EU effort to stem the tide of similar people crossing the Med from North Africa, will provide a solution.

How long has this mass migration been going on now? How many years? How many people? And not an end in sight.

it strikes me that Javid is just going through the motions. I saw a short video of him apparently on a Border Force boat chatting to the crew. I suppose that the message was, “Look at me. I’m doing something about it”. Politicians are very fond of such ‘virtue signalling’.

In fact, I would not be at all surprised if ‘virtue signalling’ was the reason for smoking bans. We all know, I assume, that persecuting people by levying massive taxes on tobacco are just a way of robbing smokers. They have nothing to do with health. It isn’t the taxes which are ‘virtue signalling’ – it is the bans and PP and such. ‘Minimum pricing of alcohol’ in Scotland is virtue signalling since it was designed simply to avoid increasing duties whilst increasing prices.

All those ‘virtue signalling’ devices are a scandalous misuse of power. The ‘wellbeing’ of The People is for them to decide. It is certainly not something for politicians and academics to decide. 40,000,000 adults in the UK will have their own ideas of what constitutes their wellbeing, and they have every right to do so. In July 2016, they decided to ‘leave the European Union’, and yet, two and a half years later, we are still in it.

There seems to be no political solution to any of the travails of our Nation. No bad laws are repealed, no costs are cut, we stagger from crisis to crisis. And now, the simple matter of leaving the EU has also been turned into a crisis. The UK should have left the EU within a couple of months, and THEN started negotiating matters of trade. By ‘leave the EU’, I mean disconnect from the political entity known as the EU. Treat the EU as though it was the USA. “There is nothing to be gained from disrupting trade at this time. We shall continue present trade arrangements for a period of time if you agree”. There was no need to try to sort out all the ramifications which have accumulated over 40 years within a few months.

The smoking ban was a bad law. The original proposal was to exempt ‘wet led’ pubs, meaning pubs which were just that with no pretensions to be anything but drinking and meeting places. But we all know that that was just a delaying tactic so that that exception could be withdrawn at the last moment. Another scandalous misuse of power.

I am wondering how the impasse will be resolved. It does not seem to matter which major political party you vote for. Both are obsessed with trivia.

The Creation of ‘Fake Truth’

03/01/2019

Herself likes watching Emmerdale, Coronation St and such in the early evening. Nothing wrong with that. This evening, there was a gap which needed to be filled between episode 1 and episode 2 of Corrie. There was a programme about the Galapagos Islands which nicely filled the gap.

I have seen several programmes about those islands and they are always interesting. It is not just the islands themselves but the seas around them. Apparently, the people in the programme found a new species. I am not sure, but they went down 1500 metres in a small pressurised, strong machine into the dark and found a small, colourful squid. Or it might might not have been that small. But it existed.

Needless to say, it was not five minutes into the programme before the presenter mentioned climate change. Those islands are as near a damn it on the equator, and are thus warm and have equal days and nights. They were formed by volcanoes, one of which, at least, is still active. The caldera of that volcano is huge. If it ‘blew’, all hell would result and very little would survive.

Of what importance, therefore, would be the minute variations caused by climate change?

What really, really annoys me are the assumptions: 1. That a warmer world would be bad, and, 2. That species in the deep oceans matter. Those that can tolerate changes in temperature survive; those that cannot become extinct. That has always been so.

And yet the presenter talked about ‘preservation’ as though it matters. Who cares if some species of iguana dies out? Who cares if a a some species of animal which is food for predators dies out? Whales gobble up millions of plankton; who cares about the fate of the plankton? Are they not living beings? How about:

“KILL THE WHALES! THEY KILL PLANKTON!”

But what is important is that the presenter introduced climate change when there was not reason to do so at all. She mentioned it as though it was FACT. But she did not even mention how climate change might affect those islands, as compared with the active and huge volcano. It is almost as though the script writer inserted a sentence about climate change totally out of context.

The same has been happening with smoking. It is a GIVEN that anyone who smokes will die a horrible death shortly after he is old enough to collect his state pension. That is what Doll’s ‘Doctors Study’ purported to show. But it was ‘junk science’ because, as the famous statistician, Fisher, pointed out,  no account was taken of the individual circumstances of each doctor who died. Smoking alone was not strong enough to provide an explanation for why an individual doctor died.

‘Fake truth’ is especially in the latest news – that children are consuming so much sugar that, by the age of 18, they have consumed 50% more sugar than they should have. The numbers might be correct, but they mean nothing. They are ‘fake truth’ because they are based upon some sort of ‘ideal’.

There is no such ‘ideal’.

Best Wishes for 2019!

01/01/2019

I was tempted to say ‘Happy New Year’ since it is now nearly 1 am on New Year’s Day, but ‘happiness’ does not seem to be appropriate for our times. I can be ‘happy’ one minute and ‘miserable’ the next.

What I think is more important is that 2019 should be a year of reckoning, or at least the start of reckoning. It is about time that politics became serious. For too long, it has been about the PM saying stuff like “This is best for the UK” without any explanation as to why her plan is ‘best for the UK’. Even in the House of Commons, no explanation of the virtue of her plan for Brexit is forthcoming. Not a word has been said about how the EU has been ‘best for the UK’ since the Treaty establishing the EU was signed. I am not talking about the Common Market – I am talking about the political establishment know as the EU. I am talking about the semi-secret arrangements with the WHO, IPCC, etc. I am talking about the corruption and the horse-trading in the so-called ‘parliament’. It is We, The People, who suffer the costs of the dissembling.

So let’s hope that politicians see the light and realise that the internet has changed everything; that The People are no longer ignorant masses who fall for slogans. We want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Should ‘Public Health’ Be Called ‘Public Wellbeing’?

31/12/2018

Ever since PHE (Public Health England) started to demand bans on certain foods and drinks, amongst lot of other similar demands, the thought has nagged away in my mind. For example, there is not a ‘band of weights’ between being overweight and being obese. There is a huge difference between the two. My three daughters (and my wife if I dare says) are all ‘overweight’, if the ‘standard’ of correct weight is determined by clothes models or many actresses of their age, but they are by no means ‘obese’. ‘Plump’ is a good word. Even better is ‘pleasantly plump’.

We must think about how long a period of time academics had to mull over their strategies for persecuting the people of the healthy, wealthy West.

We had a visit from the wife’s sister and her husband today. They are both retired and not short of funds. Not long ago, they went on holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia. They told us that there is no such thing as ‘Social Services’ over there; no such thing as ‘national health service’. People rely upon family. Living conditions are far from what we would describe as satisfactory, and yet the people are happy. I would imagine that, for most people there, if you come down with a ‘non-communicable’ disease, then your body either gets over it or you die. But the people are happy.

For some strange reason, a few academics decided to get their knickers in a twist about the West’s opulence. Since the West was in total control of the UN, it must have been an easy step to infiltrate the WHO with their own people. Thus, it is quite easy to see how funds from, say, the UK, intended to improve the lot of really impoverished people, could be expended on committees and such which discussed the ‘inequality’ between the healthy, wealth West and the rest of the world.

What could be easier than to pick on smoking as a terrible scourge worldwide and thus equalise the healthy, wealthy West with the rest of the world? The same epidemic exists everywhere! The reason that it exists everywhere is due to Tobcom advertising and promotion.

What is missing are questions about the expansion of academia. Why on earth are universities doing conducting courses on ‘gender inequalities’ etc at massive expense? I know that students have to take on debts to pay for the courses, but do those payments from students cover all the costs of academics and the university as a whole? What about grants from Big Pharma and such? I get an impression that such grants genuinely search for the truth, but that negative results are just not published. Why should they be? Only positive results see the light.

Lots of misconceptions would be avoided if ‘Public Health’ was called ‘Public Wellbeing’. At least the fraud of pretending that a reasonable level of alcohol consumption is deathly, as opposed by the statistical fact that moderate drinking is good for bodily health, as would the deathliness of enjoying tobacco. At least ‘Public Wellbeing’ would have to come clean about its motivation.

It has perplexed me for some time how it came to be that politicians were so gullible. Why did they accept the word of academics and other ‘experts’ that there was an ‘epidemic’ of SHS deaths and thus not only persecute smokers by ‘exiling them to the outdoors’ and massively defraud them via duties, criminalise publicans who did not enforce the smoking ban, and create a massive detestation of politicians amongst 25% of the population? It was not just Blair who introduced the smoking ban – it was almost all of Parliament of the time.

I would like to see a new Political Party, which could easily be a reformed Conservative Party or Labour Party. It does not matter which. The new party would oppose persecution and take active steps to reduce it. The duty on tobacco would be reduced and the same with alcohol and petrol. The simple idea is that EVERYONE must pay their fair share towards the maintenance of our civilisation. Sure, people who sit at home watching TV will not get into fights and finish up in A & E, but they might do so if they scald themselves with boiling water. Everyone must pay as equally as possible for the provision of ‘on tap’ services. I resent paying ‘road tax’ (even though it is now known as ‘vehicle tax’). The reason is that I hardly use my car at all. But I would accept that, even though I use my car very infrequently, the roads have to be maintained. How sad is it that the ‘road tax’ is now no more that an additional cost on motorists which has been swallowed up in general taxation?

I say again that I would rather vote for a political party which was always in opposition provided that it opposed strenuously. Members of such a party would never have voted for the smoking ban.

What Is The Dept of Health FOR?

26/12/2018

Christmas day night. We’ve had a great day, and now everyone has necessarily gone home and it is only 9.30 pm. What better than to write a post?

The above question has been floating around in my mind for some time, and I do not know the answer. The question has only just clarified itself in my mind somewhat.

I do not know when or how, but the words ‘and wellbeing’ were added at some point. Thus the ‘Minister of State for Health’ became the ‘Minister of State for Health and Wellbeing’.

As I said in my last, short post, the word ‘wellbeing’ has no precision about it. And yet the WHO has introduced the phrase ‘Health and Wellbeing’ somehow into its objectives.

‘Health’ is not that difficult to define reasonably. It means physical, bodily correct functioning. Your heart pumps blood with the correct balance of this and that nutrient and water etc; impurities are filtered out and disposed of; you eat, drink, poo and pee regularly and with some enthusiasm; your brain (not your mind) functions correctly and sends out the right signals.

The mind is significantly different. The ‘old’ brain is automatic. Animals, and we, pee and poo when the ‘old’ brain sends automatic signals. Both animals and we can ‘hold it’ for a while due to ‘habit’, but a human has no more control that an animal if push comes to shove. He well urinate or defecate because he must, but he will tend to look for a place to do so which is the best place as he sees it at the time. He might pee in a flower pot and poo on newspaper. Your mind, because it able to reason, can make choices. ‘Mental Health’ is a bit weird. I do not know, but it is possible that the ‘automatic emotions’, which animals also possess, override the mind. ‘Fear’ is one such automatic emotion.

We all agree that such ailments are the business of ‘The Health Dept’, but how did ‘wellbeing’ find its way into that Dept? ‘Wellbeing’ has little to do with Health, either physical or mental. In fact, economists suggest that we can weigh up our own wellbeing via ‘trade-offs’; well-off people can buy more expensive and succulent foods than poorer people, but that does not mean that poorer people are starving. Most people have a way of life which is regular; they buy foods which they can afford and spend some money on entertainment. Even in the difficult years immediately after WW2, working people could afford their rent, food and a few pints on a Saturday night. But they did ‘make do and mend’. Socks were darned and clothes patched.

Only in the 1960s did paid work become plentiful and well paid so that male youths could buy teddy suits and female youths could dress up like harlots (as seen from a puritanical point of view). There was an excitement in the air in those heady 1960s.

But it was not only young folk who enjoyed the atmosphere. Older people flocked to working men’s clubs and played bingo and enjoyed a few beers. They were happy. The ‘trade off’ was NOT between starving and enjoyment. It was about how you spent your time.

At some point in the recent past, ‘Health’, in the sense of physical bodily functioning, has been downgraded. It has been replaced by ‘wellbeing’, which no one can define. Anything other than ‘contagious’ disease is ‘wellbeing’.

Thus, smoking is an affront to ‘wellbeing’. It does not matter that smokers enjoy smoking. It does not matter that smoking, for each individual smoker, is a pleasant experience.

When ‘Wellbeing’ invaded the ‘Health Dept’, that dept became ‘not fit for purpose’. Wellbeing has created loads of work for the NHS. Finding minor problems in old people is to be expected.

So we come to the crux. What does the Dept of Health and Wellbeing exist for? Is it Health or Wellbeing? The two things are not synonymous.

As I see it, the word ‘wellbeing’ was deliberately used to create uncertainty. After all, no one actually needs alcohol or hamburgers.

What is needed is that people become aware of the fact that they are being misled by fake statistics. It is not about forming some sort of political party. It is about spreading knowledge. Don’t bother about smoking bans. They are not important. What is important is that the Gov has no right to decide what constitutes ‘wellbeing’  for any individual.

Efforts by Gov, other than genuine persuasion, are persecution. The Smoking Ban was persecution and still is. If a person wishes to venture outdoors with a shroud over his/her body and a mask over his/her face, then he/her must be willing to be laughed at and ridiculed. That would not be persecution.

Massive taxes are persecution. Remember that the massive taxes on cigs exist ONLY to raise revenue for Gov. Smokers are being persecuted.

But such persecution is becoming  more and more widespread. What else is minimum pricing in Scotland? And yet people vote for the SNP. It can only be that the vast majority of voters rarely go to pubs or drink at home.

Somehow the persecution must end.

 

Season’s Greetings!

25/12/2018

Merry Christmas to all my dear readers. The ‘comedy of errors’ will, no doubt, continue into the new year.

I leave you with this thought:

For decades, we had a ‘Secretary of State for Health’. Recently, but I don’t know when exactly, the title was changed to ‘Secretary of State for Health and Wellbeing’.

‘Wellbeing’, as a word, has been around for some time, but nobody knows with any precision, what that word means. Does it mean a sort of aura of happiness for each individual, or does it also include a sort of objective count of good points and bad points? For example, you may have just paid off your mortgage, but on the same day, you find yourself in hospital because you collapsed for some unknown reason.

In that situation, how ‘well’ are you? Where does your ‘wellbeing’ lie?

Enough for now, but that question is an important one.

Merry Christmas!

Hospitalised Again. Getting Boring.

24/12/2018

A week after the ‘procedure’ (removing ‘slough’, pronounced ‘sluff’, from the inner surface of the bladder) and all is going reasonably well. Still problematical urinating, but slight improvements daily. Then, spots of blood emanating from the penis. Shit! No urinating. So, at 2 am, I get myself a taxi to A & E.

“What’s up?”, says the receptionist. “Bleeding a bit from my penis”, says I. “Don’t worry. We’ll sort it out. Take a seat over there”. Fortunately, it was a quite night and I was seen for a preliminary chat after about 15 min. I had put into my pocked the tissues which I had used to ‘blot up’ the drips. All I had to do was show the nurse the tissues – not much other explanation required. After another 15 min or so, I was escorted into the A & E area and told to strip from the waist (but I left my socks on), don a gown, lie on a bed and wait. I did not wait long. The staff were great – cheerful and kind. They have some wonderful machines these days. One was a gummage which could be rubbed on one’s tum and which revealed how much urine was in one’s bladder. “Gosh”, said the nurse, “There’s about a litre in there”. I did not previously know that my bladder was big enough to hold a litre, judging from the frequency with which I normally have to go for a pee when in the pub for any length of time. I finished up with a catheter up the willie. The insertion did not hurt as much as I expected, and the urine was drained. A good start. They decided to keep me in for a while and found me a bed around 5 am. I could not sleep, but I relaxed as much as possible. Cutting out several intermediate steps, including breakfast, the urology boss came round about 11 am and told me that I was OK to go home. She told me that small wounds inside the bladder, caused by the removal of the slough, sometimes crusted (aka scabbed over?) and, after a few days, those crusts could break loose and block the urethra. A doctor had previously asked me if I had noticed any clots of blood coming out or the willie, which indeed I had, at the beginning.

Is it not weird that they do not tell you about those possibilities immediately after the op? The staff nurse would not let me go until I had passed urine, via the catheter, which was not there to start with. She was happy to let me go when the quantity of urine emitted exceeded the quantity found to be in my bladder when I went to A & E. But I managed to get lunch before departing. I had minestrone soup and tuna mayonnaise sandwiches, and very nice they were too. I took one sandwich and the sweet, jelly, home with me.

So here I am with a catheter up my willie. It has its good points – no need to go for a pee during the night, or at any other time. I could get use to this.

I hope that readers find my experiences interesting. I was going to talk about how smokers might actually become sufficiently angered to start to create waves. I think that we all know that TobCON is waiting for smoking prevalence to reach some low point, at which point it will call for prohibition. You would think that they would have really, really welcomed ecigs for that reason. Why have they not? The difference is especially noticeable between the UK and the USA. In the USA, there is vehement opposition to ecigs and HNB, whereas in the UK, ecigs have been cautiously welcomed, provided that ownership of them, via regulation, can be achieved by ASH ET AL. There is something of a split at the top there.

Enough for now. Things should get back to normal around mid-Jan when the catheter is due for removal.

 

Gullibility

18/12/2018

When I was a child, I was pottering about playing with something whilst my Auntie Annie, Auntie Alice and my Mum were chatting about something or other. 70 years or so may have passed, but I distinctly remember Auntie Annie saying, “It must be true because it said so in the newspaper”. I have no idea what they were talking about, but that statement has stuck in my mind. Perhaps that is because similar conversations have taken place over the decades, and I have been reminded of it from time to time.

But even as a child (about nine years old?), I knew that the statement “because it said so in the newspaper” was false. I don’t know why I knew that. I just did. Needless to say, I did not say anything.

But let’s be fair. It is natural to believe what we read since, most of the time, we have no other source of information. That is especially true when we remember that most of us went through school and some sort of further education, whether educational as such or work related.  And most of what we learnt came from teachers, either via lessons or books. By ‘teachers’, I mean any sort of person who shows you or tells you what to do, and points you in the direction of ‘authoritative texts’. For my banking exams, I used rapid results college and passed with honours in one particular subject – banking practice. For all I know, the RR courses might have been utter balderdash, but it was the ‘received wisdom’ of the day.

Was I gullible? I think not in that instance, but I would be if I believed everything that I read in newspapers. I would be even more gullible if I believed PM May when she said of her Brexit agreement, “This is the best thing for Britain”. Frankly, I am not even sure that she has read the 580 pages of the agreement herself! How would she get time with all the gadding about to and from Europe, whistle tours of factories, speeches in the House of Commons, cabinet meetings, eating, drinking, bathing, pooing, etc? There again, she might have skimmed through it when sitting on the loo.

Perhaps she is the most gullible of them all.

But are the People gullible? No doubt many, many are. But enough of them saw through the morass of ‘project fear’ to make their own minds up.

Those who are agitating for a second referendum claim that voters did not know what they were voting for. They complain that the People were misled by the Leave propaganda (ignoring, of course, the Remain propaganda).

But they forget something of supreme importance.

What was the referendum question again?

“Do you wish to:

a) Leave the European Union, or

b) Remain in the European Union?

Or words to that effect.

Why was the question so simple? Why were there no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’? There is a simple answer which has not be emphasised enough. It is that EVERY INDIVIDUAL VOTER COULD DECIDE FOR WHATEVER REASON THAT HE WISHED, WHETHER TO LEAVE OR REMAIN.

For some, it would be sovereignty, for others, immigration, for others, trade. Any number of reasons could have applied. The only important thing was the result, and nothing else mattered. If some people were swayed by propaganda, fear or lies, so be it. Each individual voter decided for him/herself.

The situation is nothing like that which occurred in Ireland and other places. In those places, the People were asked to decide upon a specific treaty. How would any but a tiny few know the ins and outs of the whole treaty? It was easy to tweak the treaty and resubmit it. In the case of Brexit, there is nothing to tweak. The issue has been decided. We leave.

The idea of a referendum about PM May’s agreement ought to be a complete non-starter. A 580 page document, with hundreds of clauses, cannot be simplified. Every clause is important, as anyone who has ever read and signed a contract would know.

The ‘Northern Ireland backstop’ is a case in point. Where did the use of that word ‘backstop’ come from? A ‘backstop’ is a kind of barrier. The only ‘backstop’ that I can think of in relation to North and South Ireland is a hard, fenced, patrolled border. That would be a ‘backstop’. What the EU wants is not a ‘backstop’ in Ireland, but one in the middle of the Irish sea. That is, Northern Ireland remains in the EU for trade purposes. What is worse is that the ‘backstop’ in the Irish sea could not be abolished without EU agreement.

Why on Earth did PM May et al ever contemplate such an idea? I can only think that they were so shocked by the result of the referendum that their brains seized up. They had no idea what to do, and so were wide open to the use of of totally inappropriate words. A ‘backstop’ is a barrier, and the People of Ireland, both North and South, do not want a barrier. The UK is a single entity and cannot be split up. It is a perfect paradox.

But it is only a paradox because the EU is involved. the UK and the Republic of Ireland could sort the matter out in seconds. The answer is simple.

Is there not a similar paradox in that criminals disobey the law? What is the answer? It is penalties and punishments. That has been the answer to the criminal paradox since time immemorial. Stealing other people’s property is a crime. If the thief is caught, then he suffers the consequences.

In the same way, importing goods from the South of Ireland into the North, without paying the duty, could be designated to be a crime. The perpetrator could be imprisoned and the goods and other chattels confiscated. Payment of the duty would be made in advance.

The same applies to some extent with Europe as a whole. What has been freely traded in the past can continue to be freely traded, at least until either the UK or EU decide otherwise.

What is critical to understand is that trade is conducted between INDIVIDUALS, even if those individuals form companies. The State does not trade.

We all have to be aware that we share a tendency to be gullible. We think that the Gov has our best interests, as a Nation, in mind. The Smoking Ban opened my eyes. I gradually realised, after the ban, that the ONLY reason that politicians dared to impose it was that smoking prevalence had fallen to a fraction of what it was in the later half of the 20th Century. No politician would have dared to impose such a ban when smoking prevalence was at 65% or so.

The imposition of the smoking ban and the massive increase in taxes on smokers has only been possible because politicians are gullible. No wonder that Blair et al could twist them around their fingers.

What Brexit has shown is that The People are gradually becoming less gullible. The internet has had a large part to play in that freeing of minds. But it is not just politics. It is in every walk of life. Politicians, medics, academics, etc, are going to have to be a damn sight more transparent than they are now.

‘Experts say’ will simply not wash any more.

An Update About the Surgery

17/12/2018

This will be short.

Before the op, I received several sheets of paper describing the anaesthetic. Among them was  a sheet which described ‘pain management’ after the op. Somehow, I missed reading that sheet before my op (not surprising since I have been bombarded with communications for weeks). It talked about how the hospital would handle post-operative pain, ranging from paracetamol to morphine, and describing the risks associated with with those painkillers. EG, an epidural anaesthetic carries a risk of cardiovascular collapse (heart stops) of 1 in 100,000.

At some point, and I cannot remember when, I was given painkillers when the anaesthetic began to wear off, comprising paracetamol, codeine, ibuprofen and one other. Those worked fine, apart from the pain, severe enough to stop me from sleeping, which centred on the end of my willie where the catheter entered. I tried to slacken off the tube of the catheter because it seemed to be pulling on the end of my willie. The urine bag was hanging off the end of the bed and the tube was quite tight. Everything felt heavy. But even when I managed to loosen the tube a little, the pain was still there. I HAD NO PAIN ANYWHERE ELSE!

In retrospect, had that pain been ‘managed’, then the whole experience would have been far less unpleasant.

Now that I am home, some previous pains have gone away, at least temporarily. The back pain (sciatica?) has stopped; the ‘bladder cramps’ have stopped. The only pain I have now is in my willie when I try to pee. It is not a severe pain, but the problem is that one can do absolutely nothing about it. That makes it feel worse.

Pain management is the key at every step along the way. The night nurse, who fussed about about doing this job and that, should have been more ‘patient aware’. It was her principle duty to be so, especially for those who have just had an operation. In the event, on my second request, she gave me a drink of some kind which helped a little. But I should not have needed to ask. She should have asked me. And, if she was not trained in pain management, then she should not have been doing the job.

But I do not really blame the nurses. They are scared to death of making mistakes. It seems to me that doctors have no freedom to make decisions. They have to follow ‘rules’ laid down by ‘central authorities’, like the MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).

Wherever we look, we see the swamp. We see politicians wallowing about in it and pretending that it is perfectly OK. On the one hand, the EU around 1989 condemned smoking whilst, at the same time, it subsidised tobacco farming.

Wallowing in the swamp.