Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is no one immune?

When I entered my chosen profession, far too many years ago now, I did so in full expectation that the number of complete plonkers I would meet on my side of the fence would be kept to a minimum. For nigh on forty years this expectation has been fulfilled. I've come across, in general, very few total tossers. A few irritating sods, the odd thicko (mercifully not many of these which is a good thing considering the line of work I'm in), an uncoordinated being who couldn't tie his shoe laces let alone remove an appendix in a timely and safe fashion or two (these can easily be shifted off into paediatric virology or something equally useless and harmless) but by and large the medical profession is populated by reasonably intelligent people who think in straight lines and are personable to boot.

I am therefore unsure whether I am grateful or not to Mr Rockhopper. Mr R is a blast from the past who used to read this nonsense in it's previous life as 'Granny Herald' on He sent me a link to a story from the Times of London that blows all the above out of the water.

Any article that starts off 'Doctors are neglecting their duty by staying silent on the issue of climate change and its implications for public health, a leading doctor warns.' gets my attention and a vomit bowl. There are doctors who are complete and utter imbecilic wankers after all. The illusions of youth shattered by twenty four words. It gets worse by the line. The tosser who is quoted is one Sir Muir Gray. How can you take anything seriously that is the opinion of someone named after an anchor winch? He's already right up there with Alamein Kopu and a bloke I knew called Remy who really was named after a bottle of cognac. This dement used to be 'Chief Knowledge Officer for the National Health Service'. What the bloody hell is a 'knowledge officer'? And why do you have to have two or more so there is a chief one? No wonder the NHS is in dire straits if they are spending money on 'knowledge officers'. Anyway, Sir Anchor Winch is the full monty when it comes to climate change bollocks.

Before we delve further into this crap we'll have a go at the first sentence shall we? This wally is telling me that I'm neglecting my duty. To whom, pray tell? If you are suggesting the object of my neglect is my patients I'll rearrange your face for you with a Louisville Slugger. Wait a minute he's not talking to me after all as I am not 'staying silent'. I am shouting from the rooftops 'Anthropogenic global warming is a load of lefty political bollocks'. Got that, Sir Capstan? It's crap. Read my lips. Rubbish, tosh. bullshit. Plain enough yet?

OK, we've got that out of the way. What other pearls of wisdom (sic) does the foredeck appendage have for us? He continues thus: “doctors are effectively silent on the health threat that will come to define our age”. We've done the first bit. The second bit is beyond belief. Having read it many times I still cannot believe that it comes from the mind of a bloke who has a fully registrable medical degree. Climate change is a 'health threat'? Long bows don't even get close to it. Multi antibiotic resistant bacteria sprayed all over immunocompromised people I'd grant the appellation 'health threat' but not a warm summer and a shortened ski season. Pink Floyd (or even Sir Donald Bradman) define an age but never in a million years will a load of political hijacking of bogus science do so.

We move on - hellfire this is a struggle. 'Sir Running Backstay's warning follows the findings of a climate change commission from University College London, published in The Lancet, which identified a raft of public health implications that will come with global warming including patterns of disease and mortality, food security, water and sanitation and extreme events.' If we've been through the total insanity of yet another commission once we've been through it a hundred times, but what the hell is it doing getting published in the Lancet? This weekly journal is not peer reviewed (obviously not by me) but has had the reputation of being a very high standard medical newspaper. Their article selection is done by a small number of 'wise men' and The Lancet is where things get published in short order because they bypass the lengthy (months/years) peer review process. Well, the wise men must have taken to meeting in the boozer. This crap has no place in a reputable medical journal.

The Times reports this inclusion into the Lancet 'a call to arms' and it comes on the eve of a Nobel Laureates Symposium to be held in London to which the newspaper is a 'media partner'; surprise, surprise. It has been well known for years the the main stream media has been worshipping at the Temple of Albert but now The Thunderer is trying to drag me in with them. I won't come, I tell you.

Can you imagine the levels of nausea the Nobel Laureates Symposium could generate? Twenty three senile winners of gongs for literature, mathematics, economics, physiology etc discussing things they know nothing about. All being reported in glowing and totally non critical terms by a fawning press as 'fact', 'consensus', 'learned opinion' and on and on for ever.

A sad day. I thought the medical profession was smart enough to steer clear of all this but it looks as though, as a group, we have fallen. But rest assured that in a far flung corner of the Empire I'll stay true to commonsense.

Sir Starboard Genoa Sheet, you are a disgrace to our profession.

Monday, May 25, 2009


The English language is a wondrous thing and I have long been fascinated by the uses some words get hijacked into. We are not talking nonsense new age made up words here; spokesperson for example. No, words that have morphed over time and not over centuries. In my lifetime, my adult lifetime even, 'gay' has been transformed. As an innocent youth in the fifties and sixties I often had gay times. This was going to the beach with Mum and Dad, eating ice creams and winning a goldfish at Verwood carnival. I now never use the word gay for anything - wouldn't dare.

The word that has fascinated me for ever, though, is 'support'.


verb [trans]
1 bear all or part of the weight of; hold up : the dome was supported by a hundred white columns.
• produce enough food and water for; be capable of sustaining : the land had lost its capacity to support life.
• be capable of fulfilling (a role) adequately : tutors gain practical experience that helps them support their tutoring role.
• endure; tolerate : at work during the day I could support the grief.
2 give assistance to, esp. financially; enable to function or act : the government gives $2.5 billion a year to support the activities of the voluntary sector.
• provide with a home and the necessities of life : my main concern was to support my family.
• give comfort and emotional help to : I like to visit her to support her.
• approve of and encourage : the proposal was supported by many delegates.
• suggest the truth of; corroborate : the studies support our findings.
• be actively interested in and concerned for the success of (a particular sports team).
• [as adj. ] ( supporting) (of an actor or a role) important in a play or film but subordinate to the leading parts.
• (of a pop or rock group or performer) function as a secondary act to (another) at a concert.
3 Computing (of a computer or operating system) allow the use or operation of (a program, language, or device) : the new versions do not support the graphical user interface standard.
1 a thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright : the best support for a camera is a tripod.
• the action or state of bearing the weight of something or someone or of being so supported : she clutched the sideboard for support.
2 material assistance : he urged that military support be sent to protect humanitarian convoys | [as adj. ] support staff.
• comfort and emotional help offered to someone in distress : she's been through a bad time and needs our support.
• approval and encouragement : the policies of reform enjoy widespread support.
• a secondary act at a pop or rock concert.
• technical help given to the user of a computer or other product.
in support of giving assistance to : air operations in support of the land forces. • showing approval of : the paper printed many letters in support of the government. • attempting to promote or obtain : a strike in support of an 8.5% pay raise.
supportability |səˌpôrtəˈbilitē| |səˈpɔrdəˈbɪlədi| noun
supportable |səˈpɔrdəbəl| adjective
ORIGIN Middle English (originally in the sense [tolerate, put up with] ): from Old French supporter, from Latin supportare, from sub- ‘from below’ + portare ‘carry.’

All good dictionary stuff and all true. But it is no longer used like that. It has come to have its biggest use in the advertising industry. More of this in a while. First a brief history of Obald and support. The earliest use of it that struck me as a bit weird was when I first came across the athletic support. We are in noun territory here. Is the humble jock strap a secondary act at a rock or pop concert? Hardly. Does it act in a tripod like way to support the camera one keeps in ones nether regions? I think not. Emotional support in times of athletic distress? Do you wrap it around an ailing computer? Athletic support - a load of tosh. And even in these early days it is advertsing tosh. An Acme Athletic Support is much morre likely to get you to part with 3/6 of hard earned dosh than a mere jock strap, is it not?

The next use of support that got on my goat and still makes me squirm is the support person. If one of the victim class is about to go through a trauma in his life - paying the rent out of his own money for example, returning an overdue library book, this sort of thing - he is entitled to take a support person with him. What a load of crap. These people don't have friends, relatives or even mates - they have to have 'support people'. These are the same wallies who have caregivers instead of parents. Not much advertising here I'll grant you but this leads us onto Support's latest role in his lexicographical life.

We are urged at every turn to buy quackery products that support things that don't need support and are in most part totally unable to receive any. 'One simple pill of rat's foreskin and goat dropping extract is all you need to support your immune system' Eh? Now I know a bit about the human immune system. I'm not a clinical immunologist I'll grant you but I can guarantee I know an awful lot more than the tosser who tries to sell me snakeoil on the box before the weather. The immune system cannot be 'supported' by anything let alone the ground up bits of obscure shrubs no one has ever heard of. Pine bark? Jolly good to make a pine tree feel all warm and comfy but not much use if you are not a pine cone. I won't be using any bits of pine tree to support anything about my person thank you very much. Another thing I was never told needed any supporting during my time at medical school was 'joint health'. Apparently all you need to get this little number into spiffo form is to mince up a shark or two and make them into 'easy to swallow capsules'. What capsule that isn't the size of a loaf of bread isn't easy to swallow, pray tell? What a load of bollocks.

People who would have you support various unsupportable bits of your anatomy and physiology also tend to be very big on wellness. They talk down to you in smooth, no smarmy, voices and point out that their macerated lizard eyelid juice is clinically proven without giving any evidence of same. They respect things a lot and they make me vomit.

This bridge nonsense

And that is what it is, nonsense. If you are to be really anal about the whole thing it is illegal nonsense. The Cyclonazis are nuts. They want to cycle over the bridge because it is there. Their claims that there is a great demand for such a practice is just crap.

A few years back there was a shuttle bus across the Auckland Harbour Bridge that, I think, had a trailer attached in which to place your velocipede for the trip over the briny. You cycled up to the bus place, paid a nominal charge, put your bike in the trailer, hopped on the nice comfy bus, got transported over the bridge, collected your steed from the trailer and pedaled off into the sunset. Luverly. Well luverly if that's what you are into. I personally think bicycles make good television for three weeks in July if they are all in France but otherwise are as much use as a chocolate wristwatch. Why the hell did man invent the internal combustion engine for Pete's sake. Anyway some enterprising sort ran this service for the nutters who wanted to take their pushbikes from Herne Bay to Birkenhead or whatever. This service no longer exists. Why, you may ask? Because there was no demand for it, that's why. All these people who want to commute to Auckland's CBD from the North Shore don't bloody well exist.

So these Cyclists want to cycle over the bridge for recreation only. 'We have rights' they bleat. Bollocks you do when you want to cycle up the motorway. For that's what the bridge is. It is a section of motorway; no more and no less. You don't get 'Right's Groups' hankering after pedaling from Greenlane to Penrose, do you? They have as much 'right' to cycle over the bridge as a bloke in a microlight has to fly from Auckland Airport without Air Traffic Control clearance and land in Victoria Park. You just don't do it.

OK, it's unnecessary, illegal, and it is also bloody dangerous. I don't much care about it being dangerous to cyclists but it is. It gets jolly windy up on the bridge. I have felt the buffeting in a couple of tons of aerodynamic Jaguar on occasion and I shudder to think what it would be like on a push bike. The last thing we need is having to avoid cyclists being blown all over the show in the already parlously narrow bridge lanes. If I don't care about it being dangerous to cyclists I do care about it being dangerous to me. I care even more about it being dangerous to my vastly overpowered supercharged motorized transport. I mean, what if they scratch the paint?

Unnecessary, illegal, dangerous - not looking too flash thus far, is it? How about we add in a touch of expensive; no make that bloody expensive. $42 mil to add a cycle lane. And who is going to pay for this? The lycra clad Sunday jauntists? The one weird beard commuting to his job in the Public Library in the City. No, it will be funded from the tax payer's dollar. No it bloody well won't.

This sort of crap has to be stopped. Vocal minority groups are given far too much leeway in the Land of the Long White Equal Rights. Next time a bunch of nutters demands to be allowed to hot air balloon over the city to save the whale they should be a) told to piss off and then b) be locked up for a while. How big a while? Who cares? Leave the world to real people who want to get on with life in a sensible twenty first century way. And for openers leave the motorways to motors - preferably bloody big ones.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Not much

I had occasion to spend some time with both my daughters over the last couple of days. The elder actually reads this stuff (the younger has more sense and I don't think can be bothered) and she commented on the recent lack of content. What is behind this - lost interest? Too busy? No to both.

There is great danger of becoming a one trick pony. One can only bleat so much about the lunacy of the new religion of anthropogenic global warming even though they are still attracting congregation in droves. As opined before the opportunities to ridicule the ideas of a left wing administration disappear when you haven't got one. Their stupid, stupid ideas look even more so when they are little more than pained bleatings from outside the tent. How much ridicule can you poke at bureaucrats for their 'Jobsworth' view of the world before it becomes boring? You may argue that the answer to that one is 'an infinite amount' but that too becomes tedious. Bureaucrats are for the most part mindless automatons functioning under rules of the stupid. It is their masters who really deserve our opprobrium and ridicule. At the moment the role of being a curmudgeon is a bit dull and samey.

The Left's pathetic whining over the appointment of a successful woman to a position they disapprove of is just that - pathetic. The only women they approve of are ugly, dress in paper bags and strictly adhere to nonsense party dogma in the face of commonsense and logic. Any person without a Y chromosome who deviates from the formula is assumed to have '666' tattooed on every cell of their being until proven otherwise. Thus Mrs Rankin (or whatever Mrs she is this week) is the devil incarnate. Thus so is Melissa Lee. Reasonably easy on the eye, wears clothes not bought from an Op Shop and has sensible ideas. Like there are some (not all) people who call South Auckland home who do not earn a crust by running merchant banks but by robbing them. This apparently is insulting. To whom, pray tell? It's the truth. Just as it is true that there will be some people who live in St Heliers who are not beyond a spot of petty (or grand) larceny. She apparently 'offends' some people. Well, so bloody what. The wingeing in response to her refreshing ability to tell it like it is gets up my nose. So what? I expect no one to give a big rat's backside whether I am offended or not.

The idea that branding all the denizens of a geographical area with one behavioural brush is absurd. Rotorua. What of people who live there? Fine upstanding citizens? Patched members of gangs the lot of them? Neither true of course. But Rotorua would appear to be the recent home of a couple who are into fraud in a big way. They are probably holed up in Honduras as I type and will soon be in need of Warren Zevon's solution to all problems - lawyers, guns and money; although they would appear to already have a good supply of the latter courtesy of a typo at Westpac. How much wold you need to see erroneously appear in your bank account before you did a runner? However, this rather amusing episode does not make every citizen of Rotorua a fraudster. As an aside, in true Butch Cassidy mode, we all hope they get away with it, don't we? They won't of course as there is always some spoilsport in a white hat.

No, finding fresh ideas for this blog is a bit hard at the moment. It will pass, I'm sure.

And whilst we are talking of repetition, who would ever want to live in Wellington? The weather is dire even on a 'fine' day, the roads are awful, the building stock is old and decrepit........

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I haven't seen fit to besmirch the blogosphere with my musings for a week or so. As I opined in the second week of November it has got a lot less easy to be a grumpy old sod since we gained a mainly sensible pragmatic government. Other things have been happening to keep me occupied over the last three weeks as well, but maybe more of that later.

But it is one and half billy's worth of pragmatism that has dragged me back to the keyboard this evening. If you drive from Auckland airport to go pretty much anywhere north of Mangere you speed along a jolly spiffy motorway for about ten minutes and are then spat out in to leafy Epsom. It's a joke and has been for ever. The 'motorway' (sic) just stops in the middle of nowhere. That particular nowhere is on the periphery of the Mount Albert constituency which, for those of short memories, was the recent fiefdom of she who used to have to be obeyed. The hideous witch had decreed that the only way the ersatz motorway was going to link up with anything remotely useful in the way of a road was through a deep tunnel. NIMBY to the max. No roads going through my back garden. Now I'm no civil engineer but deep road tunnels don't come free with a packet of Weetbix. Proper roads (how would we know; New Zealand has none, but no matter) are not cheap but sodding great tunnels are eye wateringly expensive.

Well in a previous time (i.e. last year) that mattered not at all. The party that spent money that wasn't their's like a drunken sailor couldn't have given rat's arse what a tunnel cost as long as it kept motor vehicles out of Helen's petunias. Mercifully along comes the pragmatic new Minister of Transport and says 'Sod a tunnel at $3 billion for a game of soldiers, you can have road for half that and like it.' About bloody time too. We can't afford a tunnel. And that's pretty much it. But not for those cretins time warped in the past. 'We will have to demolish 200 houses' Tough. 'And a school' Tough. 'And some valuable green space'. Bollocks - and tough. 'It is ripping the heart out of the community' Well, its not and tough. On the Six O'clock News they even had a year five kid (that would make him ten or so?) giving his reasons as to why an above ground road was a bad idea. I'm surprised he wasn't asked his opinion on the cause of cancer or the meaning of life; they would have been just as relevant. Oh by the way his Mum was a leader of the 'Tunnel or Nothing Campaign' What a surprise. Well she ain't going to get a tunnel so she had better sod off to where she can have nothing. People like her are a waste of food and certainly shouldn't be allowed to breed.

Mount Albert is a dump and a few kilometres of black top instead of some ancient and crappy housing stock is marked improvement for the area. I sincerely hope this refreshing wave of pragmatism continues and grows to tsunami proportions. We need more of this. Forget all this consultation bollocks. 'You live in some scungy housing in the way of a nice shiny new road. Well, here's market value for your hovel. Now bugger off and go and live somewhere else.' Love it. And what are the yesterday's men of the Labour Party saying on all this? They are going to fight tooth and nail to keep the Wicked Witch's damned burrow. They are prepared to spend one and a half billion of my money for nothing. They say that by ditching the tunnel National are kissing good by to the by election. And National quite rightly don't give a fat rat's backside. Labour are happy to buy a by election (or Buy Election as ACT so correctly puts it) and National are happy to save money and sacrifice a useless seat.

One of the bylines of this Blog is pragmatism and six months down the track I am happy that we are getting a nice dose of it. A couple of hundred civil servants got the 'Don't come Monday' letter today. My only beef with this is that it wasn't a couple of thousand. Chrisitine Rankin has been appointed to the Families Commission. I'm not sure that the Commission is needed at all (and nor is Mrs Rankin) but the appointment has royally pissed off Sue Bradford so it was a useful move just for that reason alone. SWMBO has been shipped off to the other side of the world. Short of the moon I can think of nowhere further away. History Boy has been given the flick in all sorts of creative ways. He can't be feeling all that comfy being employed by The Rich Prick. Good, the less comfy the better.

No, I'm happy enough that the country is in much safer hands than it has been for nearly a decade.