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Monday, 27 April 2020


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I saw Boris's address this morning. He seems to be lacking the swagger he once had. His hair is still itself, though.

How come the Swedes are having so much more luck with herd immunity than you Brits? (Cue SoD, the NHS is a cover for a group of radical euthanasists and eugenesists.)

By George and all the Saints, the Spitfire app flies again! ...

My mate on the project tapped up his spooky mates at GCHQ and hey presto - a magic workaround appeared for the Apple / Google keepy-uppy / power problem.

Remember Apple / Google want all the contact tracing data kept on the phone and only the phone ID number sent to the cloud. NHSX wants more than the mere phone ID sent to their servers on the cloud so they can do all sorts of other stuff with it. So Apple / Google had a technical blocker - not any more!

No doubt the quid pro quo will be a little feed over to GCHQ for the tracking data to help them with their anti-terrorism enquiries.

And, oh-dear-what-a-pity-never-mind, the Ozzies are struggling with their app because they ain't got the workaround! Looks like Blighty's Spitfire app might pip them at the post after all. Always worth surrendering a civil Liberty or two to stick one on the Ozzies!

Once Blighty's got the gold medal then maybe the 5 Eyes can get 007 and Q to spill the beans and give them a hand.


Who's struggling? Over two million signed up in the first 2 days.

China nearly killed Boris:

This is one Aussie not downloading the "Where I am App".

At some stage there has to be a limit on the sort of information that is available to Governments about its citizens.

I have seen the system working data before and I trust a pollie like I would a hungry crocodile.

Last comment here (you win JK). I have a half sister approaching her eightieth year, married to an eighty year old who retired twenty years ago. He has recently declined chemotherapy for his advanced, incurable cancer. A few weeks ago he received a letter. It was from the NHS suggesting that he return to duty ...the following Monday was the suggested start date.

I should probably have mentioned that he was a consultant surgeon.

The Apple / Google power problem seems more prevalent with Apple ...

Good on the 2m for downloading it and persevering anyway.

As that article says the data being harvested could infer more than is strictly necessary to help defeat C19. But it doesn't look like anything deliberate has been targeted. The issues appear to be more to do with competency than intentional data creep.

C'mon OzD, sign-up and do your duty, everyone already knows about those dodgy massage parlours you visit on a Saturday night anyways!

Quick one about the Nightingale Hospitals: Looks like they're a death trap by design as well as having no doctors and nurses ...

The vast open wards combined with the top down aircon act so as to spread the virus around the space as close to perfection as any engineer could have designed it to do.

Note the curt, callous, and unhelpful "yeah, whatever" comment from the NHS showing its true colours. Clap this one on a Thu evening why don't you?..

A spokesperson for the NHS said: “This story is nonsense - every patient in the Nightingale Hospital is there because they already have covid-19, and all staff working on wards wear PPE so they are fully protected.”

So we can spray you with C19 because you've already got it. Nice. No mention of any remedial action like enclosing the space into smaller areas as proposed by the article. Quite incredibly callous. Would anyone go anywhere near these hospitals if they were a universal insurance payer with a choice delivered by competing privatised service suppliers?

No mention of the fact that there are no doctors and nurses in the Nightingale Hospitals because they've got none to spare, in spite of the NHS having 1.3m staff and being the 5th largest employer on the planet.

No mention of the PPE shortages, in fact a bald faced lie that the non-existent staff would be wearing PPE.

That's what you get when the state owns and operates a monopoly. I defy Bob to prove that the NHS isn't being run by a group of radical euthanasists and eugenesists.


SoD, you're okay. I even like you a little. The NHS has been struggling for years, If you're unfortunate enough t have a personal health crisis then there are some hospitals in the UK that will give you the best chance. They're the best in the world. Ask Boris. It's a different story in the regional hospitals. My son worked at St Thomas' hospital, a few years ago. It is the best resourced, equipped, super staffed hospital in the UK. The smaller hospitals are completely starved of resources.


Like the sentiment of the article but the other way of looking at it is Oz has deep interests in China that will take some breaking if Oz is to be a committed member of the Don's Posse against the Chinese Socialist state.

Knocking out the green blob from blocking Africans having an electricity grid and then selling all that coal to them for their power stations would be good for Oz exports

And then a concerted effort by the Don's Posse to switch iThingy manufacturing to India could replace all the cheapo manufacturing imports too.

To a greater or lesser extent these two switches are necessary for every Posse member.

The green blob has to go if the Don's Posse is to triumph against the Chinese Socialist state, period.

And everyone's gotta embrace India for iThingies and the rest of the plastic shite. The benefit of dealing with India is they have a functioning democracy and a heritage of the same legal system as Blighty and her Anglo-Saxon offspring, unlike China. Less chance of having your patents and copyrights nicked. Guess who's to thank for that one? The good ol' Blighty Empire - I say, well done Carruthers!


Just to counter the rabid anti-NHS posts we get, perhaps I could post a few words about my recent experiences. In, by the way Mary, a regional district hospital. One operation was in what used to be called a cottage hospital. There was also an assessment clinic in another cottage hospital. The final two operations were in a general hospital. The whole thing was conducted with speed and efficiency. The bureaucracy worked well, with plenty of letters and texts. Above all, all the staff were efficient, cheerful and kindly.


You just can't stop yourself and are now bravely daring me to prove a negative. I'll admit to being at fault for not including "cold blooded killers" along with "radical euthanasists and eugenesists", however. I'll repeat that a centrally planned system like the NHS is a bad idea - maybe even worse than employer provided healthcare.

I also don't blame AussieD for having reservations about how his data will be used. Problem is, the privacy ship has already sailed and sunk. Apple zealously guards the info it grabs from its users because without doing so they cut themselves out of the really big money to be made selling it.

I wasn't going to add this because it would just seem like needling the right wing Americans here, but then it dawned there's no reason not to needle the right wing Americans here. We're still on our way to a different healthcare system by an 8 to 1 vote by the most conservative court we've had in decades:

Look on the bright side, with the recent announcements by the US top Medical Expert Donald Trump my shares in Dettol are staggering now. Cheers Don, think I will celebrate with a drain cleaner cocktail tonight

China is desperate to stop an inquiry:

I don't think China is up to a halt in food importation. They are desperate to maintain the virus cover up.


This guy died before the invention of the 12 dimensional comb-over, but his estate should sue:

Did the aliens release Covid to depopulate the earth in preparation for a full-scale invasion? ...

Maybe they sent an advance recce party, read War of the Worlds, and decided to turn the tables?

I really can't wait for the Don's take on this, I hope his "sarcasm" is up to its usual high standards, could really knock us out this one! ...

"Mistake, it's not the China Virus, not my mistake, bad mistake, DOD mistake, didn't tell me about it. Just heard. It's the Alien Virus. From Mars, horrible place, Mars. Green people, reallly horrible people, horrible green people. Military are on standby, with Russia, China, great people the Russians and Chinese, beautiful people, really beautiful, all together with us now, altogether, really beautiful, it's the Alien Virus, from Mars ..."

Mind you, that would really cap the year off wouldn't it? An alien effing invasion.

Covid 19, an alien invasion, and IR35 all in one year, and it's not even bloody May yet.


BOE, this is a comment generated by this thread. You misunderstand me if you think that I denigrate the dedication of the staff who toil in NHS regional hospitals. It's a fact of life though, that just as one state school is not the same as another, neither is a hospital.

For the record, I am a medicare patient in Australia. That is, I have no private insurance, having been back and forth between continents our latest landing rendered me high-risk. That is, likely to need care. Premiums are appropriately adjusted so I didn't bother.

I shattered my ankle. Almost two years ago. The care that I received in a public, regional hospital was second to none. I have a lot of metal in me and won't ever be the same, but I can walk without a limp. And my "small bone specialist" did a fantastic job. The nurses were caring and super efficient. I couldn't be more grateful. It cost me nothing.


The actual doctors and nurses you get to see eventually in the NHS are fine. I know this because I use BUPA and observe they are the same people.

When I had my penis reduction last November (actually a circumcision, but that's how I like to refer to it) the "Willy Doctor" (as his 5 year old son likes to refer to him) called me the day after I got home to check up how I was doing. "This is the call you get that I wouldn't me making if you were one of my NHS patients" he said. "How's your willy doing then? Being a private payer I might have to add something on to the bill for all the extra work due to size, hope you're ok with that?" (it turned out I knew the doc through mutual friends). Very entrepreneurial doc though - what bloke's gonna challenge that invoice, eh?

Same doc, same op, one extra phone call.

Efficient service, no wait, courteous admin staff, phone calls answered immediately or returned in minutes, no cock-ups, ad hoc access to doc, immaculate looking hospital, attentive attitude. The list could go on - you've heard it all already from me over the last 6 weeks.

So what's the difference between BUPA and the NHS that makes it so much better then? Well here's SoD's "parable of the digging of pits" to explain ...

Once upon a time there were 100 workmen arranged in a rectangle in a field. They were going to dig the foundations of a new building. They were all right handed and facing inwards to the rectangle. At 9am the foreman blew his whistle, and the work began.

They were the finest, fastest workmen in Blighty, earth was being lifted and shifted like billy-ho, sweat pouring off their backs. No tea breaks for these fellows! But the foundations were not getting dug. As the minutes turned to hours, nothing, not a sausage, bugger all.

The foreman couldn't see that each man was lifting his sod and dropping it to his right - straight into the pit of his neighbour! And so the earth went round and round the rectangle, never leaving the trench that never got dug.

In desperation the foreman rushed down to the labour market to hire more and more men. 1.3 million of them, to be precise.
Nothing changed.

To hide the utter lack of progress, the foreman showed the management the shallow pit of one workman, a particularly fit and hard-working individual (although all were above average competence), which due to his marginally greater exertions was slightly visible compared to the utter flatness of the pits of his colleagues. Meanwhile, the small heaps developing infront of competent but slightly slower workers were hidden from view.

Soon it became known that this job paid whether or not you got results. And so all the more incompetent workmen of the land, who had been rejected by other building contractors, turned up with the foreman on his forays to the labour market. "Look!", said the politicians, "We've solved unemployment - everyone's working!"

And they were still standing there digging the foundations of the building 75 years after the contractors, one Attlee & Bevin, landed the job.

Why didn't anyone turn the workers around to place their earth away from their neighbours pits?

To answer that question you need to scan back across D&N over the last ten years, or, better still (by an order of magnitude), get yourself a copy of Adam Smith "Wealth of Nations" and "John Stuart Mill "On Liberty" and all will be revealed. If you're tight for money and fancy a modern take on it, try Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" - a sort of two-in-one deal and update combo.


SoD, from time to time you irritate me but at other times you make me smile in appreciation!

Aren't you a trifle old for such a procedure? Besides, recalling how many places you want your ashes scattered, you'll need all the "material" you can muster.

It was a rather nasty condition called BXO. Google it and switch to the images - if you dare. There's no cure and they don't even really know what it is, possible immune disorder.

"How bad is it on a scale of 0 to 10?" I asked. The Willy Doctor replied, "5". "What would you do?" "Off" came the instant answer. I gulped and in a high pitched voice said "Ok".

That consultation cost me 250 smackers. I'm in the wrong business. Well, mind you, there was that JavaScript project, yeah, I still need to see a priest about that one ...

So I won't be inviting y'all to my Bar Mitzvah if that's what you were hoping!

Glad I got it done before all this kerfuffle kicked off though, yessiiiree!


Merciful Heavens!

SoD, I come from a family of doctors. My father, his two brothers, my brother in law, one of my sons. There is a certain amount of dedication that comes with the job.It's not all about the money. I suppose that the moral of your story is that the ditch diggers, and their foremen weren't as smart as our modern day doctors.

Ok Mary, save your pennies on Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Milton Friedman. Here's "SoD's parable of the digging of pits, part II: The unknowable truth and form" ...

Once upon the same time there was another land in which there were 100 fields, and in each field stood 100 workmen all charged with digging the foundations of new buildings.

In some of the fields the workmen and foremen were pretty much the same as in the original land. They were all in it for the money. Half of the foremen in these fields were as thick as the original, but half were much smarter. The smarter half turned the workmen so as to put their sods away from their neighbours pits. Their projects succeeded and they thrived. The projects of the thick half failed, and their building contractors failed. The workmen and foremen went to the labour market and were quickly snapped up by the successful contractors where they also thrived - needless to say the thick foremen were demoted to being workmen again.

As time went on, some of the workmen in these contractors fancied their chances as foremen. So they split away from their employers, and taking some of their colleague workmen with them and hiring more from the labour market, they formed new contractors and found fields of their own in which to dig the foundations of buildings.

Once again, half of them failed and returned to the labour market with their tails between their legs. But half succeeded, and so the process iterated on in an infinite positive regress.

In the course of this fractal feedback loop that ensured that everyone had work and no-one got too bossy for their boots, some of the workmen wanted to work not for the money but for the greater good of mankind. One snide hirer of these workmen said, "Oh yeah, so how come you charged me 250 smackers for a 4 sentence consultation before you even put a spade into the ground then?" But that was by-the-by, and everyone ignored him and moved rapidly on.

These workmen also wanted to make sure the worms in the ground and precious plants growing over the pit site were not harmed. So they said, "We'll take a bit of a pay cut, and we don't want the foreman being paid for just operating us. The foreman should only get paid if he actually does something. And we'll move the worms and plants before we dig the pits." There were variations on this theme. They were called Charities, Mutuals, Not-for-Profits, Co-Ops, and Clubs. Some were called Bolsheviks but that caused the foremen of the contractor organisations to uncontrollably vomit and become flushed with rage. So that was a tricky one, but once again, everyone moved rapidly along.

Over time the balance of these constitutions of workmen and foremen in the industry of pit digging settled down in proportions to suit the customers preferences and the working practices desired by the workmen and foremen.

From that time on a constant conflict existed between the feckless foreman and workmen in their single pit digging contractor in the first failed land, and the many foremen and workmen in their pit digging industry in the second successful land.

Some other lands tried to combine the two at the same time. The idealists told them beforehand that this would fail or succeed in direct proportion to the first land and second land principles applied, respectively. The materialists, mechanists, and scientists took more convincing, being rather partial to a bit of unwarranted foreman-ship themselves in spite of having no credentials in that regard whatsoever. Even after 75 years of observing the results they still didn't get it, which was a bit of an epic fail for them bearing in mind their philosophy was based around observation of results. Once again, the people moved politely along.

Everyone wondered why the second land was so successful and if it would be possible to learn the exact form of it. The materialists, mechanists and scientists were particularly interested in it. Their 5 year plans weren't going to well, if only they could discover the secret.

Eventually someone by the name of Godel proved that it was impossible for the analytical systems of the materialists, mechanists and scientists to formulate the secret at all! Almost as if to rub their noses in it, he used the very logical, formal, analytical systems the materialists, mechanists and scientists used for their 5 year plans. It was very embarrassing, but people were used to moving rapidly along by now.

Some of the idealists said "We've been saying that for years anyway, we just hadn't proved it until now. The system we referred to that does know the secret but is beyond the reach of our analytics we called the same name as the guy who proved it - with the "el" missed off the end. Funny that."

As a hat-tip to his idealist colleagues, in his retirement the man called Godel proved that the system the idealists always thought existed but had never proved existed did in fact exist. Everyone's toes curled so much their toenails dug into the soles of their feet when it became known that the system he used for the proof was also one of those used by the materialists, mechanists, and scientists for their 5 year plans. Some began to wonder if moving rapidly along was an appropriate response to such stubbornness and ignorance on their part, but that's another story as yet untold.

Not everyone was to live happily ever yet on account of the people's wondering not yet having lead to any concerted action.

The end.


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