Saturday, 21 February 2009

Temper, Temper...

Satire, especially political satire, has a long history going back over three hundred years in this country and much further in what is now the middle east with some material from even further back - ancient Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire - generally being accepted as satirical in nature. A long and distinguished history by any standard.

It is at this point that so-called 'social scientists' go into the sort of long, tediously boring and throughly deranged analysis guaranteed to drive any sane person to hide in a corner gibbering in abject fear.

I'll simply say that satire usually has a serious point to make. A fact which was not lost on Ms Waccy-Baccy if her reaction to a recent article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology is anything to go by.

No, I'd never heard of it either and probably never would have were it not for her temper tantrum.

Written by Professor David Nutt of the University of Bristol, the article in question compares society's perception of risk in taking ecstacy with that of "equasy" or Equine Addiction Syndrome and found that horse riding resulted in acute harm to a person once in 350 episodes as opposed to ecstacy which only caused acute harm once in 10,000 episodes.

And if this wasn't sufficient to infuriate the woman who last year told a select group of chief police officers that the scientific evidence was "irrelevant", the article went on to ask the question "Why are harmful sporting activities permitted, whereas relatively less harmful drugs are not?" in what may have been an unintentional parallel with the controversial Alcohol vs. Cannabis debate.

I understand that the learned gentleman subsequently received what was described as "a severe talking to" from Ms Waccy-Baccy and while she hasn't taken to throwing chairs yet, I understand she can be quite mean with a sharpened pencil. Something I'd rather not witness first hand as I'm no longer as quick on my feet as I used to be.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Stiffer Penalties?

Iain Coucher, Chief Executive of Network Rail wants stiffer penalties for the suicidal idiots who 'jump the lights' at level crossings. For some unfathomable reason, he seems to believe that this will help discourage offenders from behaviour which "has the potential for massive damage, disruption and death".

Which is a bit silly really. If the possibility of being hit by a train weighing in excess of 90 tons and travelling at 60mph doesn't act as a deterrent then it's rather unlikely that anything else will.

Of course, actually being killed by a train would stop them from re-offending but a longer ban and/or a few more points on their license certainly won't.