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School lunch search party

By Mike Cunningham On July 2nd, 2015 at 9:21 am


“But. my young friend,  what makes us even more suspicious is the fact that you carried not only two cooked ham sandwiches with mayonnaise, but also a crab salad; both rich in unhealthy super-saturated fats and items forbidden under the new Healthy eating regimes!


Phases; and phrases.

By Mike Cunningham On May 30th, 2015 at 4:58 pm

I have often thought that all human life, all the experiences of a varied, full, sometimes too exciting life: can be explained or catalogued within phrases and sentences which are self-explanatory:-

  • Your application has been approved, can you join the vessel Pacific Reliance in Liverpool?
  • ‘Play the drums? Me? Of course I can play the drums; Hic!’
  • ‘For better, for worse, in sickness and in health……’
  • ‘You have a healthy son’
  • ‘Your new son and your wife are both fine.’
  • ‘We shall call her ‘Alice.’
  • ‘You need to accept that your wife is very, very ill…’
  • ‘Your wife can go home with you today.’
  • “its just a short trip into Zambia, then on into the Congo; some friends of a mate of mine need some expert advice on High Voltage Switching. Its perfectly safe, there aren’t any problems where you are headed!’
  • ‘All you have to do is visit the Hwange Power Station in Zimbabwe for the mandatory Tender Site Visit.’
  • ‘and here is my Weapons Licence, and the balance payable so I may purchase and carry the legally-authorised revolver so chosen. I guarantee that I shall only use the weapon either in target practice at a registered gun range; or in defence of myself and my family’
  • ‘Your grandson Marco was born ten weeks prematurely.
  • ‘No worries, Marco is fine; he’s the noisy one in the corner.’
  • ‘Your wife needs treatment, as was demonstrated by her dissappearance, and you need to agree to commit her immediately!’
  • ‘Well, Mr. Cunningham; we removed all the mass of the sarcoma; and we are delighted to state that it was found not to be malignant. Sorry about the two-foot long scar across and down the front of your body!’
  • ‘Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. Your brother has about a week to live.’
  • ‘Your MRI was carried out this morning; your Doctor will know the results in about ten days.’



Light match, then plunge hand into middle of fireworks bundle…….

By Mike Cunningham On October 2nd, 2014 at 10:51 am

As an ordinary Englishman, trained from early years in the field of Engineering, and being fairly successful in my chosen work for some forty-odd years, I am by no means knowledgeable of medical practices, except of course by immediate knowledge of illnesses and conditions which I, or family members have suffered from and mainly conquered over my life-span. However, the science of treating communicable diseases is well-known, even when the disease itself is both frightening in its efficiency and mobility.

The Ebola virus which is running rampant in West Africa is a deadly bug. Deadly to a point of some 80%+ of those who are infected; die. It is as simple and complicated as that. The first symptoms apparently resemble a bad dose of influenza, but once that virus takes its course, the human body usually cannot resist the viral onslaught. The patient is infectious from some three or four days into the disease’s journey, and the virus is spread by contact with bodily fluids; namely sweat, semen, blood, nasal and vocal sputum. Barrier nursing, using high-tech clothing, masks and gloves, is essential if the people who are attempting to treat those suffering from this deadly disease are not to be infected themselves. Total isolation of all those either suffering from, or adjacent to, Ebola is and must be adhered to, if the virus is to be beaten!

So why is the UK importing ‘experts and politicians’ from bloody Sierra Leone to hold a bleeding conference, when most of those same ‘experts’ have probably been exposed to the f**king virus back in bloody Africa?

The query is ..”.and what the F are you doing?”

By Mike Cunningham On June 12th, 2014 at 1:22 pm


and after reading the full article, and recalling how over 500 million were infected worldwide; with some 50 million dying, some in a single day from infection to death; I too am inclined to ask

“What the F*** are you thinking, never mind doing?”




By David Vance On August 26th, 2013 at 9:47 am


One of the major issues afflicting the UK is an inadequate  supply of home-grown and educated and trained doctors.  So why does this happen?

Straight-A students are being turned away from medicine degrees at British universities due to ‘bonkers’ government quotas, health experts have warned. The news comes as the NHS recruits foreign doctors in record numbers, many of whom have ‘little or no knowledge of British culture’.

Quotas mean that top students are forced to study medicine abroad – and fund their own education – or choose another degree. For 2013-2014, English universities were allowed to recruit just 6,071 medicine students, even though the General Medical Council registers 13,000 doctors each year and the NHS struggles to recruit enough staff. An estimated 6,000 newly-registered doctors each year are foreigners who trained overseas.

Experts have warned this practice puts lives at risk, because many of these doctors have poor English and are not always familiar with drugs used in this country.

Our priorities are so wrong! We should be encouraging as many British students to train to the highest medical standards and pursue a career in health here in the UK. Instead, bizarrely, we limit their numbers via quotas and then import foreign doctors, often with lethal consequences.  This really needs fixed. We churn out legions of “media studies” graduates who end up stacking shelves in supermarkets and we cannot supply enough new doctors.


By David Vance On July 17th, 2013 at 7:32 am


Labour boasts that the NHS is safe in its hands. Most voters trust Labour with the NHS. The question is …. why?


Labour faced its ‘darkest moment’ yesterday over its stewardship of the Health Service as a devastating report laid bare an appalling catalogue of failings at 11 hospitals where ‘thousands’ of patients needlessly died.

Labour had presided, they said, over a culture of ‘cover-up’ where targets were more important than people and ministers’ reputations more important than care. A damning review by the NHS medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh, into 14 hospitals with higher-than-expected death rates found that all had ‘ingredients’ of Mid Staffs, the hospital where up to 1,200 died on filthy wards.

Yesterday the Health Secretary announced 11 have been put into ‘special measures’ after a review by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh found they were guilty of ‘fundamental breaches of care’.

13,000 Patients are judged to have lost their lives “needlessly” since 2005 in the NHS. That is akin to four  9/11’s. Yet this grotesquerie was celebrated in the London Olympics opening ceremony and is still portrayed by some as a wonder of the world. The real wonder is that it still exists when it is so dangerous to the health of those who enter its portals.


Yet during this time, Labour preened itself over the wonders of Statist healthcare and those like me who have criticised the NHS system are treated as lepers. The reality is, as this report comprehensively proves, is that huge chunks of the NHS constitute a DANGER to patients. It is beyond incompetent as is the Party that postures as a “safe pair of hands” when it comes to the running of it.

There’s Us; and then there’s Them

By Mike Cunningham On March 12th, 2013 at 3:58 pm


alungI took my wife to the local NHS hospital for an ultrasound scan of her tummy region, which helped prove that the cyst detected by an earlier Cat-Scan was benign. Apart from the never-ending struggle to get parked close enough to the main entrance to achieve a smooth journey with a wheelchair, there were no problems for either my wife, or myself. No problems, that is, from the vituperation and verbal abuse aimed at my head by a group of four women standing some three yards away from the entrance doorways.


Due to the aforementioned parking problem, I had to leave my car on ‘double-yellows’ some 200 yards away after leaving my wife inside the hospital foyer, and was walking back to join her. Immediately above this group of women was a huge sign stating that the whole hospital was ‘Smoke-Free’, and all smoking was therefore banned. My lips must have twitched involuntarily as I passed these four people, all of whom were gripping a cigarette between their lips or fingers; none of whom I have ever seen before, but that small sign of my distaste for the practice was sufficient to unleash a storm of obscenities from all four, interspersed with the regular number of coughs and splutters which accompany such habits.


Now I will freely confess to have smoked in the dim and distant past, but thankfully have kicked this filthy, dangerous and disgusting habit, and hopefully have also leached out all the poisons which have inhabited my lungs; but also am Libertarian enough to accept that if some idiot wishes to consign him- or her -self to an early and painfilled death, that is indeed their prerogative. But the idea of standing outside a place which sees more than its share of the results of smoking, in the lung cancers and other diseases of the cardio-vascular system brought on by the combinations of the tarry poisons carried by that same addiction; standing directly underneath a warning against smoking which literally could not be missed: the only conclusion I could reach for their behaviour was that they simply could not read!

“Who is my neighbour?”

By Mike Cunningham On February 7th, 2013 at 10:18 am

The theme around the Stafford Hospital tragedy seems to lean towards ‘responsibility’ and whether  a nurse, a doctor or, indeed, a management executive, upon seeing something disturbing; such as a patient lying in their own urine or faeces, should attempt to do something about this, or pass by on the other side of the ward.

I used to work in Construction as a M&E (mechanical, electrical) consulting engineer, on the supervisory side of things; directing, checking and approving all activities related to my expertise. The first day of my time on a very large project in the City of London, our big boss said to all present, “The one thing you must do is never to walk past a dangerous situation; you must always sort it. Because if you don’t, and someone is either injured or killed, you are responsible for that injury or death. No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’, no excuses; that is the Law!”

I was given responsibility for all aspects of work on a seven-storey building which was a bit of an orphan, in that it was to be occupied by the ultimate client, but no-one wanted to look after the various bits of it. So on my first walk around site, I just noted all the areas where equipment and work activities were not to my liking, or where the possibility existed for safety problems to occur. For example, I sent back three truckloads of ventilation ducting on the grounds that all edges were razor sharp, no de-burring had been done, and if an inexperienced operator picked a section up without gloves, his hands would be lacerated within seconds. I went through the entire site like that, making sure that the men, and sometimes women, were protected in spite of themselves.

Up on the top floor slab, I came across a team who were installing large sections of plasterboard walling which would form a ventilation shaft up through the entire building. No safety barriers existed, piles of equipment were haphazardly dumped anywhere, and no safety rules were being even paid lip service. As it was the first time I had seen this crew, I mildly pointed out the many omissions within the work area; told the crew I would be watching for improvements, but decided to let them work on. As I descended the staircase, I heard the foreman mutter, “F******* Safety Bastard,. I reversed my course, stopped all their work on site, told the foreman that he would only be allowed to continue once all the relevant safety precautions were in place, all working and safety paperwork had been reviewed not only by myself but also the senior safety officer; all working practices would be monitored on a daily basis, and he would really have to watch the bad language!

Transfer that attitude to the Stafford Hospital, and those 1200 people would not have been even placed at risk, never mind died in their own filth.


By David Vance On November 9th, 2012 at 10:30 am

This is shocking and belies a level of incompetence that almost defies description…

Patients have unleashed their fury at a surgeon suspected of botching 1,000 breast cancer operations. One woman, who was among scores allegedly given a needless mastectomy by Ian Paterson, said: ‘Put him in a room with all 1,000 of us and let us hack away at his body.’ Others said Mr Paterson, 54, had robbed them of their femininity. The surgeon has been suspended from his job and is being investigated by police over allegations that he convinced 450 healthy women to have operations they did not need.  He is also accused of performing partial mastectomies on a further 700 patients – which may have increased the likelihood of them developing cancer.

How could he have been SO incompetent? It is awful so many women have endured the stress of  unnecessary masectomy. Was there no system in place to check that these procedures were necessary? Do these consultants do what they want without oversight?


By David Vance On September 23rd, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Given the issues that confront Northern Ireland it’s good to see that our politicians are really getting to grips with the BIG ISSUES. Yes, they are off…..to Cuba!

 A Stormont Committee is aiming to find a new way to improve efficiency in the health service — by flying a team of MLAs and an official across the Atlantic. The group will travel to the Caribbean in December on a fact-finding mission to observe Cuba’s healthcare system — at a cost of £6,000.

Originally the committee had discussed sending all 11 members, or a member from each party, but has now decided against it. Among those travelling to the four-day conference in Havana will be the chair of the Assembly’s health committee Sue Ramsey and deputy chair Jim Wells.

Yes, CUBA. It provides world class healthcare, you know that, yes. Well, all is not QUITE as some pretend.

“To be sure, there is excellent health care on Cuba — just not for ordinary Cubans. Dr. Jaime Suchlicki of the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies explains that there is not just one system, or even two: There are three. The first is for foreigners who come to Cuba specifically for medical care. This is known as “medical tourism.” The tourists pay in hard currency, which provides oxygen to the regime. And the facilities in which they are treated are First World: clean, well supplied, state-of-the-art.

The foreigners-only facilities do a big business in what you might call vanity treatments: Botox, liposuction, and breast implants. Remember, too, that there are many separate, or segregated, facilities on Cuba. People speak of “tourism apartheid.” For example, there are separate hotels, separate beaches, separate restaurants — separate everything. As you can well imagine, this causes widespread resentment in the general population.

The second health-care system is for Cuban elites — the Party, the military, official artists and writers, and so on. In the Soviet Union, these people were called the “nomenklatura.” And their system, like the one for medical tourists, is top-notch.

Then there is the real Cuban system, the one that ordinary people must use — and it is wretched. Testimony and documentation on the subject are vast. Hospitals and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If they do have to go to the hospital, they must bring their own bedsheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs — even toilet paper.”

What can a totalitarian regime really learn —- from Cuba?