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code99

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Everything posted by code99

  1. Also, I would have thought that as part of the ‘green agenda’ the IOMG will try and increase the availability of public transport to discourage the use of gas guzzling private vehicles on the road. Surely, any reduction in BV services flies in the face of any logic.
  2. The LGBT community has been (and in many places globally still is) a persecuted minority in which many lives have been ruined by prejudice and bigotry. Even in the civilised West, in countries like ours, up until fairly recently, the legal system criminalised a lot of behaviours and through those processes legally prosecuted people. E.g., Alan Turing, the genius behind the codebreaking programme at Bletchley Park (which was a major contribution to the allies’ winning WW2) took his own life when he was outed as a gay man. The current BBC documentary “Aids: The Unheard Tapes” is also an acidulous reminder of cruel attitudes that some in society, often through ignorance and stigma, espoused against gay people. I will gladly purchase merchandise from businesses that are trying, albeit in a small way (“10p of each purchase donated to Isle of Pride” is not exactly king’s ransom), to put right these dreadful wrongs of the past. Isle of Pride is local LGBT peoples’ opportunity to exuberantly express their joy of being free and not being threatened, ‘because of who they are’. I will also use the ‘preferred pronoun (‘he’ or ‘she’) that someone wants to be greeted with. I personally do not mind a jot as long as this does not cause any damage or hurt anybody.
  3. Quite obviously, masks do make a difference, otherwise medical professionals including dentists would not wear them. The purpose of wearing a mask is not only to protect the wearer but more importantly to protect other people, especially vulnerable people. Anyway, you can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink...if it is stubborn and silly.
  4. Have you actually read and thought about the article or are you just jesting ?
  5. According to Jonathan Van-Tam "people must learn to manage Covid risks'', and he no longer wears a face mask as a matter of course...perhaps the following article will change his mind? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/01/herd-immunity-covid-virus-vaccine
  6. The right wing of politics almost always regards ‘privatisation’ as a solution to society’s problems. They constantly obsess about the ‘efficiencies’ which one gets in the private sector and lament the ‘bloated/ inefficient’ public sector. (Their dogmas are often bolstered by chronically poor transparency about jobs and functions within the public sector). When it comes to health services though, they tend to gloss over the grotesque US health system, which epitomised everything that is wrong with the ‘privatisation’ of essential services, especially the government-sponsored racketeering (ongoing government willingness to pay exorbitant prices for medical supplies) perpetrated by the cartel consisting of the US pharmaceutical companies and the US medical profession. The victims of this racket are US taxpayers and US patients and their wellbeing, who come a distant second after the main objectives of making obscene sums of profit and pushing up share prices. Thankfully, the NHS is a very different creature. Unfortunately, in publicly run healthcare organisation(s) patients’ wellbeing often gets mired and compromised by admin’s ‘autocracy’ and attempts to cover up mistakes by an organisation adamantly trying to protect its reputation. But, these failures are not systemic and they can be rectified, provided there is strong leadership and a politcal will to do so. I am sure most of us believe that in the 21C, in the UK/IOM, quality health care is a basic human right, not just the prerogative of the rich. Worse still, I am concerned that Manx Care, a private company seeking to make profits, is already a government-endorsed monopoly that could potentially undermine competition from other private health service businesses. I am glad to hear that there is now a private clinic which offers cataract operations to those willing to pay, thus ultimately reducing NHS waiting lists. Sadly, the only private radiology service provider on the Island has recently shut down, adding misery to the patients on the waiting list at Manx Care. I have also been told by a client of a local private ‘pain management’ healthcare provider that they are worried that this private business will also shut down. There is an obvious risk that Manx Care will turn out to be expensive, inefficient and inadequate healthcare provider that will not meet the needs of the IOM public, and this will only add to the general catalogue of fiascos of the IOMG who will be busily learning lessons all over again.
  7. For me it’s a tantalising idea that Scotland would become an independent country, not the least is my desire to see someone else stick it to the Tories. However, when I look at what’s happening in the UK post-Brexit I’m wondering if this is naïve thinking, and confronted with the harsh economic reality of what Scottish independence would be like…this could be the ultimate folly and could flop really badly… Perhaps a better move would be for all of the ‘progressive’ parties to stick together, adopt a strategy of ‘tactical voting’ and unseat the Tories for a generation. Then, the newly-elected UK Labour government should form an alliance with the Lib Dems and begin the process of re-joining the EU. In a few years from now, it will become obvious that being a relatively small trading nation, outside any of the major trading blocks, would make the UK a sitting duck for more powerful countries like China and India who are cosying up to Poo-tin.
  8. In post-Brexit/ Covid ‘new normal’ the UK, and the IOM, are suffering staff shortages. But, Brexiteers think it is price worth paying for gaining ‘taking back control’ and attaining a kind of romanticised self-sovereignty. It’s a pity that this also means there are too few workers to wipe bums and serve cuppas in nursing homes/ care homes, etc. On top of that, word has gone out that much of IOM’s existing housing stock is of poor quality and since Covid it also costs a small fortune; the health services are poorly run and much more limited than before (many local residents understand that if something serious needs to be done they only have one sensible option – which is to go to either Liverpool or Manchester for their treatment). And unless one likes to bob up and down on a ferry to go across, the air links are now stretched. Crime may be low, but I know people who have been burgled several times (apparently by ‘feral’ kids) and they have moved back to Devon as they felt their complaints were not taking too seriously. Education is no longer a great selling point either, apart from the KWC. There is a lot of work for the IOMG to do in order to address all of these fundamental issues, a task which is made more difficult by the ‘predicament’ that the Public Service Pension Reserve (the fund out of which Public Sector pensions were previously paid) has just run out of money (note: in the future all Public Sector pension payments will either be paid out of the General Reserve Account or out of unspecified 'Income’).
  9. Sorry but not surprised to hear this – hopefully they can sort out the problem reasonably quickly! The health services on the IOM are turning into ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ state of affair, with a clear distinction occurring between those who are left languishing in pain and discomfort and those who can afford to pay private fees to make their pain to go away - by seeking medical treatment in the UK, unfortunately.
  10. I’ll wager that when our dim-witted politicos have signed up to this Manx Care (sadly, a totally hands off/ arms-length agreement) that they appear not to have fully understood how inconsequential they would make future Health Ministers. They may have willingly signed up to an excuse for washing their hands off any practical responsibility, but I am not sure that at the end of the day the suffering public will see things that way. To date Mr Hooper has not made much of a difference to waiting lists (cataract operations, hip/ knee replacements, etc) or the provisioning of the better IOM health services, largely because there is not much he can legally do. Sadly, he is too a product of our current political system where our national leaders seem to think that by preoccupying themselves with trivia, they can make themselves appear to be doing something useful. Meanwhile, they live in the hope that the delegation of the actual responsibilities to the senior CS/PS managers for running the country will somehow work - that the ‘professionals’ would somehow know what they were doing and that ultimately ‘outsourcing responsibility’ would be in best interests of the Island. Given the number of recent resignations, not to mention Dr Glover and Dr Ranson cases, this assumption is clearly a more wishful thinking than tangible reality.
  11. "But once the reasons for the strikes were explained to the 1,000 Brits being polled, support grew with 41 per cent backing striking workers while just over a third continued to oppose the industrial action. In total, 62 per cent said their thoughts were with railway workers." Source: Ipsos Hardly ''little'' public support, IMHO.
  12. I agree. Prior to Covid, unless we had a particular bad year or a person was particularly prone to catching flu, the vast majority of healthily adults would have either dodged winter/ summer flu completely or suffered a relatively mild dose. Like you, I too know fully vaccinated people who have had Covid twice – in December and now in June, both times symptoms have been severe. I should point out that they are currently too ill to work, and it is their own family business, so there is no incentive for them to shirk the work! Society simply cannot function when large swathes of population are getting seriously ill twice a year. My point is quite simple – in the last couple of weeks the UK Health Minister alluded to the possibility of extending the UK Autumn Booster programme to younger people. In order to ‘live with Covid’, the IOM absolutely must do the same.
  13. IMHO, the overturning Roe v Wade may be the first of many seismic shocks which threaten not only women's rights but any rights *. America is currently in very bad place and is fearful for its future. * ETA - except crazy gun owners whose rights will be increased.
  14. Love him or hate him, Karl Marx had a point when he said: “Religion is the opium of the people. It is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of our soulless conditions.”
  15. I agree. It is quite natural for humans to follow the “theory of one”. I.e., if I know someone who is seriously ill with Covid, then the theory goes that ‘sample of one’ leads me to believe that Covid is a pretty dangerous illness. But, on the other hand, if I know someone who has Covid, and their only symptom is an occasional cough, then I regard Covid as being a relatively harmless nothing burger. The truth of course is that Covid is an incredibly complex disease that afflicts every one of its victims differently – to some people it is harmless disease, to others it is deadly. Also, when these patients are too unwell to study or to perform work tasks, etc they put additional burdens on the economy and other aspects of everyday life. Even some so-called ‘young and healthy’ people will not be able to avoid being hospitalised. The CNN article that I posted yesterday about the latest study in the US (believable because it was conducted by scientists and not politicians) clearly identifies why Covid is not like ‘seasonal’ flu and that ‘herd immunity’ from Covid is still wishful thinking. One of the main reasons for this is that the frequency with which Covid mutates. These mutations are not related to the changing seasons like the flu virus does, but are occurring far more quickly and unpredictably. The scientists have demonstrated that most patients who caught the original Omicron strain at the end of last year do not have much immunity to Omicron’s latest sub-variants. Undoubtedly, the existing vaccines are helping to alleviate the worst of their symptoms but not all of them. Hence, for the benefit of all individuals and also society as a whole, the IOM Autumn Covid booster programme must be extended to much younger age groups than is currently being planned. I have great respect for Jonathan Van Tam, but it is worth noting that the European health authorities appear to be much less sanguine than he/ we appear to be. As always, time will tell.
  16. The Boris Bunter 'BB' in No10 has no shame, integrity or morals. BB cheats and double-crosses friends and foes in equal measure. Today BB wrapped himself into Pollyanna’s rags and told everyone that everything is rosy in the Tory garden - that the two byelection defeats are just a bit of inconvenient noise. His (up until now) good chum, Olly D, is taking the fall by resigning... I suspect only an earthquake, which topples the actual building, will remove this despicable political charlatan from Downing Street.
  17. According to data shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday: "...3-fold reductions of neutralizing antibody titers induced by vaccination and infection against BA4 and BA5 compared with BA1 and BA2, which are already substantially lower than the original COVID-19 variants i.e. the neutralizing antibody levels were lower by a factor of 6.4 against BA.1; by a factor of 7 against BA.2; by a factor of 14.1 against BA.2.12.1 and by a factor of 21 against BA.4 or BA.5". "BA.4 and BA.5 are the fastest spreading variants reported to date, and they are expected to dominate Covid-19 transmission in the United States, United Kingdom and the rest of Europe within the next few weeks, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control". Far too soon to pop a Champagne cork yet, IMHO.
  18. IMHO, well worth a read: "Covid-19 vaccination is still expected to provide substantial protection against severe disease, and vaccine makers are working on updated shots that might elicit a stronger immune response against the variants". https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/22/health/ba4-ba5-escape-antibodies-covid-vaccine/index.html
  19. In the EU they are getting jittery about Covid. As of today, in France “hospital admissions were up 27% and intensive care admissions 17% in a week”. Germans have concluded that “the combination of a more dangerous variant with rapidly waning immunity could pose serious problems…masks indoors and capacity limits at major public events could soon be advisable.” In the Netherlands “the two biggest Dutch employers’ organisations called on Monday for people to return to observing basic coronavirus hygiene rules, saying a new wave appeared imminent”. Some local IOM residents who contracted Covid in the last couple of weeks are fully vaccinated ‘50 something’ professional people who are otherwise fit and healthy. I was told they have been feeling like cr*p with symptoms including fever, coughs, debilitating fatigue, etc. My point is that Covid has not gone away, and consequently even more people will become ill. The vaccines’ sphere of protection only appears to last 6 months or so. It looks as if the new emerging ‘vulnerable’ category consists of individuals (generally healthy ones in their 50s) who are too old to naturally resist Covid, but are currently considered to be to too young and too healthy to receive the latest booster jab. IMHO, unless vaccines will be administered in a campaign similar to how this was conducted last year, we could potentially be sleepwalking into another public health crisis. What is unclear is how permanent this solution is going to be and whether this is infact ‘new and normal’ way of life. Hopefully not, nevertheless another booster is clearly much more preferable to another lockdown. The other day on MR our Health Minister said that at this stage he was not too worried about the number of positive Covid cases on the Island. Given how the situation is unfolding on the Continent, I think he should be worried.
  20. Carole Cadwalladr: "I won the libel claim brought against me by Arron Banks, the main funder of the Leave.EU campaign...I’m writing this today because the law must change. We cannot and must not allow another journalist to go through this. Not for the sake of their sanity but for the health of our democracy. Because this is not democracy. It’s oligarchy. And Banks v Cadwalladr needs to be the last time these obscene laws are used against a journalist in this way..." https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/commentisfree/2022/jun/19/arron-banks-set-out-to-crush-me-in-court-instead-my-quest-for-the-facts-was-vindicated
  21. The problem is that when MHKs are tasked with Ministerial duties they can quickly turn from heroes to zeros; it is like Superman in reverse in a phone booth where they strip off their ‘I can fix it’ Superman (or Superwoman) garb and end up looking like mice. I wish CT the best of luck in DOI because he will need it. More importantly, the Island needs him to succeed, given that not so longer ago the Chief Minister expressed his concerns about whether the department was ‘fit for purpose’. I believe CT should review all of the departmental senior staff performances and adjust the assessment and evaluation criteria to better reflect personal accountability for not just decision making, but also the delivery of projects. And he should also show the door to those who are unwilling to be responsible for their own actions. This could be a mammoth endeavour, but it has to be done somehow and with minimum cost to the taxpayers. NB and IL replacements’ suitability is also vital. Incidentally, CT must not become the ‘new David Ashford’ – the man who ‘trusted’ civil/ public servants too much.
  22. Surely, the old maxim “Trust, but verify” must apply to DA. Unfortunately, he was not even able to do that, let alone lead! The man was a massive disappointment as a Minister. He should have realised all of the skulduggery that was going on, on his watch, for months. He failed Dr Glover, he failed Dr Ranson and in doing so he failed the IOM public.
  23. Even if all of human life cease to exist today, the already existing global warming feedback loops are proably sufficient to destroy the planet anyway. The argument that there are too many people in the world (and/ or the argument that there are too many of the wrong type of people) are not new or original. These perspectives however lead to very dark places with potentially dire consequences, as history has shown us. Be careful what you wish for.
  24. Science and scientists have known since the 1970s that the climate was changing with varying degrees of adverse consequences for life in every form on the planet, human and non-human (the evidence of the climate change and its causes had been presented to the UN multiple times). Unhappily (for all of us) the scientists were pressured to ‘keep shtum’ by big ugly money-grabbing polluters. Therefore, I hope that it will only be a matter of time before the fossil fuel companies will face lawsuits against them, which should be even more explosive than the ciggies/ tobacco industry scandal. And rightfully so – rising sea levels could make the inhabitants of many Pacific islands the first victims of the apocalyptic future that we will ultimately all share; African nations will suffer as a result of accelerating drought, desertification, famine and malnutrition; kids in England are growing up with increasing respiratory ailments courtesy of polluting emissions, etc. Should any of these events be considered to be ‘normal’ that should be ignored? I agree with Greta Thunberg that the “dreams” of her generation “have been stolen” through climate change inaction/ denial and “empty words” and promises. And yet there are buffoons out there who cover their eyes and ears (and in the process stick their proverbial middle finger to the world’s poorest and disadvantaged) so that they can see and hear nothing. Their ilk will continue to lobby weak governments and will continue to peddle their conspiratorial propaganda that the scientists ‘are lying’. But, they are the ones who are lying and deceiving a gullible and ill-informed public. That said, “in October 2021 three-quarters (75%) of adults in Great Britain said they were either very or somewhat worried about the impact of climate change”. Clearly, public awareness is changing, so perhaps there is still a chance to step away from the abyss. The big question is of course “How ”? The ‘good will’ of ordinary people will not be enough. Governments must stop dithering and produce coordinated and specific plans of action – this is what we are paying the IOMG for, not for sorting out doggy’s whoopsies on the pavement (we have Rob C for that).
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