Skip to main content

New Year Honours and all that nonsense

I have never been a fan of the honours system. It is the establishment's way of keeping us in order by the potential dispensation of patronage. Frankly the system stinks.

One example of the absurdities of this year's honours is the absence of any recognition given to Andy Murray's Olympic Gold and Silver medals, the US Open and winning Wimbledon. These are no mean achievements. We are told that it is because he already has an OBE awarded only recently. Well we are not actually told anything. That is simply the explanation accepted by the media. Throw a man a penny in order to deny him a shilling!

Perhaps Andy Murray should have adopted the same logic. 'I won't bother to win Wimbledon this year because I only recently won the US Open'.

I suppose I shouldn't get too angry about it. It is the 'great and the good' rewarding the 'great and the good'. But does it matter? I wish I could say it doesn't, but it does.

It seems that in Medicine the best way to get knighthood is to 'deliver' a royal baby. Was it really such a remarkable medical exploit that it should be rewarded with a Knighthood? Apparently so!

My new year's honours go to all those who have worked tirelessly to help those affected by the injustices of Ian Duncan Smith's welfare reforms. Well done all and Happy New Year to you.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Time to ban organophosphate pesticides?

How would you react if your neighbour told you he was going to spray his garden with a neurotoxin used in WW2? "Oh don't worry!" he assures you, "it's only a low dose!"
"A neurotoxin?" you ask incredulously "Are you crazy?"
"It's very effective!" he asserts.
"How does it work?" you ask.
"It stops the pests' brains working" he asserts with a smile.  "Everyone uses it."
"But..."

Campaigners in the USA hope that with Scott Pruitt’s resignation, and with a new administrator Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this presents another chance to apply pressure and achieve a national ban in the United States on the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos once and for all.



Organophosphate insecticides, such as diazinon, chlorpyrifos, disulfoton, azinphos-methyl, and fonofos, have been used widely in agriculture and in household applications as pesticides si…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…