Friday, 30 May 2014

Mr Brock the Badger

Big issue with TB and Badgers here in the UK especially in the south of the country.  On the one hand are the farmers who have to deal with the loss of their cattle when TB is found in their animals and on the other the wildlife protectors who feel that slaughtering Badgers is no way to prevent the disease from spreading.  What we do know is that Badgers carry TB and so do cattle.  What we don't know is the best way to control the disease.  A badger cull, organised by the government, aims to control the number of badgers in an area so reducing the chances of cattle being infected.  These animals have been a protected species and their numbers have increased.  The argument from the wildlife protectors is that we should vaccinate cattle and/or badgers against the disease. Great idea except at the moment we don't have a viable vaccine. But wait, what is this about vaccination being the solution.  How on earth can you vaccinate badgers that are already infected with the disease? You can't. Vaccines don't work that way.  You have to be healthy so the vaccine can enable the body to make antibodies against the disease.  So I'm afraid that you have to kill badgers to get a healthy enough population for you to vaccinate.  In the meantime while vaccines are being developed surely it's a good idea to start doing this in preparation for the vaccine when it arrives. Sorry Mr Brock (Badger)

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Supporting the people who need welfare

There is a definite issue with the social support we give out to old age pensioners. Free bus passes, free TV licences, winter fuel allowance and free prescriptions. Some pensioners fully deserve these because of their low incomes but some can afford it.  Why can a person living in a million pound house get free bus passes and prescriptions. How do you set up a system which supports those who need it yet doesn't also give those who don't need?  I fully understand that to Means Test everyone will probably cost more in administration than it  saves. So how do we do it? How about taxing these things? If people who are paying tax were taxed on these benefits, bus passes,prescriptions and winter fuel allowance,then it's a simple matter of altering a tax code so that those paying the most tax get no benefit from the social payment.  Those paying no or little tax will get the whole or part of the amount due to them.  No need to means test since the tax office knows a persons income and can easily alter the amount taken away.  Savings will become automatic then and those who deserve it will get it.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Does the media reflect society or vice versa?

What does our news media say about us as a society or maybe it's the news media which has helped to turn us into the society we are today.  Recently listening to the main news headlines I was amazed to hear that top of the news was the sacking of a football manager second came the terrible issues that are happening in the Ukraines and thirdly the tragic death of a young boy who had died of burns having set himself on fire.  How can any editor of a news programme come up with this order of news without feeling "I think I might have got that wrong."  Whenever media people are challenged about what they have done I have never heard a sincere apology from one of them.  Yes an apology but that's because they have been dragged kicking and screaming to the microphone not because of any genuine concern about their actions.  Everything  is a reflection of the society we exist in they say.  No I'm afraid it isn't.  That's the Tesco argument "we sell what people want" no you don't you sell what you offer because in my experience any request made is usually turned down due to lack of public demand  The News media report on what they think sells newspapers or increases viewing and listening figures. The media actually mould the society we exist in. They don't publish news but trash based around the tabloid press and in most terms cannot be considered to be news.  Oh one good thing the second news report put the Ukraine top but an overpaid football manager still beat the death of a burned boy to second place.