Defence Spending

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is a bit like the National Health Service. It is a sacred cow to whom the nations of the Western world must irrevocably commit, and like the NHS any threat to or reduction in the effectiveness of NATO is met with almost condemnation.

Recently Mr Trump pointed out the disparity between defence spending by various NATO members. NATO guidelines call on nations who are members to spend at least 2% of their gross domestic product (their gross incomes) on defence. The USA actually spends 3.61% on defence; poor and impoverished Greece spends 2.38%; the UK manages to spend Continue reading

Keep it Clean

A hundred and fifty years ago Joseph Lister discovered that simple hygiene for surgeons, doctors and nurses would prevent most commonplace diseases contracted after operations in hospitals. He introduced a regime of washing hands and clothes of surgeons and sterilising surgical instruments with results that astounded surgeon of the day. Since then doctors all over the world recognised the importance of cleanliness in hospitals. Continue reading

Ashya King and the European Arrest warrant

The dangers of the European Arrest warrant, and indeed of international extradition arrangements is shown quite clearly by the recent case of Ashya King, a five year old boy who is very sick. Against medical advice his parents removed him from the hospital where he was being treated. the news media reported that doctors had said that he could only live for a few hours if he were taken out of hospital being his feeding arrangements, powered by battery, would run out. The Police launched a hue and cry and when it was discovered that the parents had taken the boy abroad the courts issued a European Arrest Warrant, on the evidence of the doctors and the police, which warrant was granted by a District Judge. Continue reading

Rotting From the Head

When you find an organisation that is undertaking some critical task for society, and undertaking that task badly, or incompetently or in ways which are scandalous, and you dig deep into the organisation you usually find at its head someone you has been knighted. The National Health Service is headed by Sir David Nicholson; that organisation has not been free from scandals and incompetencies of many kinds. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority chairman is Sir Ian Kennedy, who managed to decide that Members of Parliament should get a rise of 11% per annum while most of the rest of the workforce of the country for whom MPs make laws experience in real terms a fall in income year by year.

Unfortunately, these bosses are not very perfect gentle knights. Would be unkind to remind ourselves that a fish rots from the head and it seems that knighthoods hasten the process?

Hospital car parking and climate change – a national Health service disgrace

Climate change, almost unreported eight years ago when I established Genersys is now a subject that has become for many a marketing opportunity and for others an excuse for bad behaviour, shameful policies and practices. 

I suppose it started with BP, who was initially very active in photovoltaic cells. BP’s core business is the extraction of oil and gas from the ground and its processing and sale for fossil fuel. By its business operations BP is responsible for a huge amount of carbon emissions and setting up filling stations with a few PV panels does not offset an hour’s worth of its annual activities.  Continue reading