Archive for the ‘Hilary Benn’ Tag

Pessimism: not my usual state of mind

220px-Hilary_BennI’ve noted the names of all of the Labour MPs who voted to bomb Syria in the recent vote. Hilary Benn (left) in particular is a disgrace and clearly short of rhetorical intelligence. As Simon Jenkins, the Guardian columnist noted after the debate, those who invoke Hitler (as Benn did) to argue for war need to think through their nonsense. ISIS, notes Jenkins, is not a threat to UK sovereign territory, unlike the UK in 1939. Moreover, we are in “dodgy dossier” territory here. The dodgy dossier was used by Tony Blair to make the “case” for war in Iraq in 2003 claiming weapons of mass destruction.

Human folly knows no bounds. The discovery of Penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming heralded the era of antibiotics and the ability to treat many serious diseases such as Tuberculosis and syphilis. This is humanity at its most creative. But their effectiveness always depended on their irregular use. Essentially, show the micro-organisms antibiotics too often and they will find a way to be resistant. Humans, however, cannot seem to use finite resources appropriately. Doctors seem to over-prescribe; patients seem not to take a necessary whole course of treatment. But most stupidly, they are given to animals not to protect them against disease; i.e. for their welfare, rather to enable intensive farming to be possible. Seemingly the antibiotic of last resort, Colistin, has now been found to be ineffective against Enterobacteriaceae, a nasty little microbe that causes pneumonia, amongst other things. This might be a  high price to pay for cheap meat. The challenges are, however, even greater.

Some of the public figures I most admire are those that have eschewed gongs – honours bestowed upon subjects ofLynton_Crosby_Political_Strategist the Queen for good work. Musician, David Bowie, playwright Alan Bennett, artist L.S. Lowry (won award for the most times rejected) and scientist Michael Farraday are notable declinees. But the list is impressive and honourable. This year’s list of gongees, as I might call them, include Lynton Crosby (right), the architect of the Conservative Party’s “victory” in the General Election in May 2015. Crosby’s campaign was an abomination. One in which blatant lies were used against the opposition and David Cameron’s refusal to debate head-to-head with David Miliband. These are not services worthy of a Knighthood, even if I believed in them.

Enough. Happy new year to my readers. Thank you.


Hilary Benn –

Lynton Crosby – Cobber27 Wikipedia