Britblog roundup #151

Welcome everyone to this week’s roundup of all that’s best in UK blogging. Today’s roundup is the first of 2008 and incidently also the fist one done by me.

My first two items are by Devil’s Kitchen, who is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s suggestion that people only be entitled to NHS treatment if they live healthy lifestyles. DK also notes that Gordon Brown seems to have nicked the idea from David Cameron.

Moving on to culture, Michelle Kazprzak talks about pop culture versus high art. She concludes that while much of it is garbage, “the best and the worst of it can be fodder for other artists to make bigger, more interesting statements”.

A blog that’s being going for some time, but which I only recently became aware of, details the experiences of William Lamin, a British soldier during the First World War. No, the blog isn’t written by way of a time machine; Lamin’s grandson writes it based on Lamin’s surviving letters from the trenches.

Natalie Bennett writes about the Sleeping and Dreaming exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London. Did you know that some of the first resuscitation devices involved tobacco being blown into the body via the rectum? I didn’t either.

Nee Naw (who works for the London Ambulance Service) writes about the recent fire at the Royal Marsden Hospital, and how some people thought that rescuing seriously ill cancer patients from a burning hospital was less important than their own needs: “If there was an award for selfishness, there’d be two callers fighting for it. A nurse at another hospital, who was waiting for an ambulance for a routine transfer, so she could go home. And a first aider in a well-known department store, who rang because a child had cut his foot and couldn’t walk properly”. Personally I think the LAS should publish on their website the most ridiculous, selfish and timewasting calls they get and invite people to vote on which is the most absurd.

Lady Bracknell is peeved by the amount of packaging for Christmas presents overflowing from people’s bins. And because the people haven’t separated it out into the separate blue wheelie bin for recycling that the council provide.

The Daily Maybe writes that George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels, has died. Bummer. Fraser was a brilliant writer and if you haven’t read his books you should do so.

A group of Fifers — calling themselves the Fife Diet — have vowed to eat locally. But is it possible in the Scottish climate?

Philip Booth writes that the Anti-Slavery Arch at Paganhill in Stroud — Britain’s oldest anti-slavery monument — has had its listed status upgraded.

Jonathan Calder wrties that the old Tory Party is alive and well. He comes to this conclusion because Nadine Dorries, a Tory MP, apparently thinks the TV stations shouldn’t broadcast programmes that she personally finds distasteful. Is she not aware of the “off” button?

Peter Dunphy writes about the legacy of the Young Social Democrats, who were only active between 1982 and 1987, but whose alumni have since been influential in the Labour, Conservative and Green parties as well as of course the Liberal Democrats.

Chicken Yoghurt notes the 2-pints rule for aduts with children in Wetherspoons pubs, and remarks that “If you had any respect for yourself or your children you wouldn’t be in Wetherspoons in the first place”.

Bill Jones disagrees with Ed Balls about The Election That Never Was — Balls things it hasn’t harmed Gordon Brown, Jones thinks it has.

The ARCH Blog notes that patients can opt-out from having their records put on the NHS data spine — but they might not be able to do so for their children’s records.

Finally, Bishop Hill is confused by all this talk about “carbon footprints” and “food prints” and suggests a way of simplifying things.

That’s all for this week’s Britblog Roundup. I hope you’ve found it as interesting and informative as I have. Next week’s roundup will be by Clairwil; if you have anything you want to be in it, send your nominations to the usual address, britblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

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7 Responses to Britblog roundup #151

  1. fifediet says:

    ‘A group of Fifers — calling themselves the Fife Diet — have vowed to eat locally. But is it possible in the Scottish climate?’

    In a word: “Yes”.

    Mike, The Fife Diet: http://fifediet.wordpress.com/

  2. Pingback: Britblog Roundup # 151

  3. Tom Paine says:

    “‘A group of Fifers — calling themselves the Fife Diet — have vowed to eat locally. But is it possible in the Scottish climate?’

    In a word: “Yes”.”

    …but only if you care as little about decent food as the average Scot?

  4. Chameleon says:

    Splendid first hosting!
    On the subject of weird and wonderful medical treatments of yesteryear as raised by Natalie, according to Jan Bondeson’s morbidly fascinating Buried Alive (New York, W.W. Norton, New York, 2002): “Antoine Louis [a surgeon at the Salpêtrière hospital in 18th century Paris] had also proposed another method of testing life, or at least stimulating the vital spark in the apparently dead person: with a powerful bellows, he administered an enema of tobacco smoke. One of the pipes of this remarkable apparatus was thrust into the anus of the apparently dead person; the other was connected, by way of a powerful bellows, to a large furnace full of tobacco. Such enemas of tobacco smoke were thought to be very beneficial and were used to try to revive not only people presumed dead but also drowned or unconscious individuals. In 1784, the Belgian physician [his nationality does not really surprise me, given the ongoing obsession with suppositories amongst doctors in Waffleland] P.J.B. Previnaire was given a prize by the Academy of Sciences in Brussels for a book on apparent death, which described and depicted an improved bellows for enemas of tobacco smoke, which he called Der Doppelbläser. These enemas were used well into the nineteenth century, particularly in Holland; modern science has discerned no physiological rationale to their use, except that the pain and indignity of having a blunt instrument violently thrust up one’s rear passage must have had some restorative effect” (pp138-40). Sadly, the author does not delve into the inspiration for the idea…

  5. Pingback: Britblog Roundup #151 « Gary Andrews

  6. Pingback: BBRU on BBC Radio 5 « Amused Cynicism

  7. fifediet says:

    “but only if you care as little about decent food as the average Scot?”

    What boring casual racism.

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