Monday, August 29, 2005

Give the People What They Don't Want

Call that a holiday, Nicko? Well, the hardest working man in showbusiness is back for the attack. With a couple of comments so boneheaded the Standard might have rejected them (Good old George Bush for taking his holidays on his own ranch! Talk about not setting the bar too high. And apparently Uzbekistan is all the fault of the EU, because it was absolutely impossible for us not to have sacked our own ambassador there for cutting up rough).

But the main comment is red meat for the Watchers. We're in the business here of every week teasing out the ways in which Tweedledum and Tweedledangerous are always trying to advance the Decent Left agenda, even in seemingly sensible or unobjectionable columns. And this week's Cohen piece on homeopathy is a nice easy full-toss over middle stump of which even an Australian might be ashamed:

On the rare occasions the NHS is forced to defend pandering to ignorance, it says that large numbers of people believe in complementary medicine, which is true. It adds that an aromatherapist or dispenser of Bach's flower remedies can at least offer patients the herbal tea and sympathy which busy GPs haven't the time to deliver, which is also the case. We're a democracy and the public likes to have its superstitions treated with respect; where's the harm in giving the punters what they want?

The answer is that the government is dealing in deceit. It may be a harmless deceit most of the time, but it can be cruel and occasionally fatal deceit when the quacks are set loose on the seriously ill. A government which is prepared to deceive about medicine will deceive about much else besides.

Well yes Nick. Meanwhile, I'm stuck on the Azed crossword. Four letters, begins with "I" and ends with the British Army presiding over Iranian-style sharia.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely the point about Uzbekhistan that Nicko overlooks is that it's run by our shits. It's not some kind of moral oversight but a piece of realpolitik, no?

8/29/2005 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Thinking about the George Bush comment, which was to congratulate the President on his courage in telling people where he is holidaying, his heavily-guarded by the Secret Service ranch, I think Nick might now be just tossing a few up to deliberately annoy his readers. This is not a long-term strategy, so I suspect he'll announce he's moving to the Mail before the end of September. Presumably no-one writes a "Voice of Reason" column anymore. Nick could be the one to revive it.

8/29/2005 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

I don't think we can declare a winner at all this week (unless there's something in the Standard; Aaro is apparently still on the road). I have huge sympathy for Simon but I just know that it's going to lead to arguments down the track if we depart from the tough standard.

8/30/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

That's fair. It is a sign that Cohen is casting his net wider than Harry's Place for opinions to plagiarise, though, so I'd keep a close eye on Investors Chronicle this week.

8/30/2005 09:18:00 PM  

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