Elderly patients being killed by “chemical cosh” drugs

This is murder

Elderly people in nursing homes with dementia run double the risk of dying from certain ‘chemical cosh’ drugs, warn researchers.

Alarm bells have been sounded about the dangers of premature death caused by antipsychotic drugs in recent years, but a new study shows some are more risky than others.

It found people over 65 taking haloperidol had double the risk of death compared with those taking a newer drug called risperidone.

Those taking highest doses of antipsychotic drugs – often known as the ‘chemical cosh’ because they are wrongly used to sedate elderly patients – were at greatest risk.

The Harvard Medical School study, the largest ever undertaken among US nursing home residents, looked at 75,445 older nursing home residents between 2001 and 2005.

The drugs investigated in the study are all used in nursing homes and on general hospital wards in the UK.

A Government-commissioned review in 2009 found 180,000 people with dementia were prescribed antipsychotics, of which 144,000 were given them inappropriately. Research suggests this could mean 23,500 people dying prematurely each year.

Haloperidol, which was originally licensed for schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions, is one of the oldest used, while newer antipsychotics include risperidone and quetiapine.

In the six-month study published in bmj.com – the online edition of the British Medical Journal – researchers found 6,598 nursing home residents died, almost nine per cent.

Patients treated with haloperidol had double the risk of death compared with those taking risperidone, the most commonly prescribed drug which was used for comparison with the other five drugs.

The effect of haloperidol was strongest in the first 40 days of treatment, while those taking quetiapine (sold under the brand Seroquel) had a slightly reduced risk of death.

There was no significant effect on death rates from the other drugs, aripiprazole, olanzapine (marketed as Zyprexa) and ziprasidone.

Almost half of deaths were recorded as due to circulatory disorders, 10 per cent due to brain disorders and 15 per cent to respiratory disorders.

The experts concluded ‘The data suggest that the risk of mortality with these drugs is generally increased with higher doses and seems to be highest for haloperidol and least for quetiapine.’

The Daily Mail has long called for an improvement in the care of dementia sufferers as part of our Dignity for the Elderly Campaign.

Manchester University academics earlier this week found more than a quarter of elderly patients with dementia were receiving antipsychotics, sometimes for years even though they are supposed to be used for a few weeks at most.

Most antipsychotic drugs are not licensed for treatment of dementia but are frequently prescribed to control agitation and aggressive behaviour, making life easier for carers and nursing home staff.

But Dr Anne Corbett, research manager at the Alzheimer’s Society charity, said the practice must stop. She said ‘This research supports existing studies that have shown antipsychotics can raise the risk of death, particularly when used over the longer term.

‘As many as 150,000 of the 180,000 people with dementia who are on the drugs in the UK have been prescribed inappropriately. For a minority of people with dementia antipsychotics should be used, but then only for up to twelve weeks, and under the correct circumstances.

‘People with dementia are currently having their lives put at risk because of dangerous antipsychotic medication. Too often we hear about an over-reliance on medication as a response to distressed reactions of people with dementia, when a person-centred approach is what is required.

‘This needs to stop now. There has been some progress but good care rather than antipsychotics must become the norm. Staff need to be trained and supported to be empowered to provide person-centred care.’


London is no longer an English-speaking city

Australia has been multicultural much longer than England has so I do understand the frustration of the writer below but I also have some news for him: He will get used to it. After about 60 years of frequent dealings with people who have limited English I just accept that as part of life. And in the end it all works somehow. And the better food has certainly been worth it

I can’t boast of being particularly good at languages. But, what with an inordinate amount of to-ing and fro-ing over a lifetime, I manage to get by in most countries when it comes to buying things or ordering a meal.

I even make a point of refusing English-language menus, and, if one is thrust upon me, only ever look at it for amusement value. For example, a Petersburg restaurant once had a mystery item on special, called ‘boiled language.’ I like mine nice and blue with lots of salt and pepper, I wanted to say, even though I knew that the Russians have the same word for tongue and language (yazyk, if you’re interested).

Anyway, by accident of birth I’m bilingual in English and Russian, so whenever I find myself in Moscow (which is as seldom as I can help it) I can ask anything I want, such as ‘I like my food hot, my vodka cold, and not vice versa’ or ‘Please don’t hurt me.’

Since I’ve been spending much time in France for many years, I can go so far as to exchange off-colour jokes with the maître d’ at my favourite Paris restaurant, secure in the knowledge that he is duty-bound to laugh at my one-liners (nowadays professional obligation seems to be a precondition for anyone to appreciate what my wife calls my infantile humour).

Having lived in Italy for a while and travelled extensively through Spain, I can order a fairly sophisticated meal in Rome or Madrid, and the waiters don’t even feel tempted to insult or overcharge me.

The only capital city in which I can’t make myself understood at shops and restaurants is the one where I happen to live: London. And I’d be lying to you if I claimed that my reaction to this linguistic conundrum is invariably good-natured.

This morning I was at a major supermarket where I couldn’t find Polish cucumbers in brine, which normally live in the Foods of the World section. I had to stop several assistants before I found one who could understand the word ‘cucumber’. Not a single one knew what brine was. ‘Vinegar?’ they’d suggest helpfully. ‘No, not vinegar! Brine! Salt and water!’ ‘Vinegar,’ they’d say with decisive finality.

On another occasion I was driven to distraction by a shop assistant who kept pointing me towards the butcher’s counter where I could buy ‘peeg’, rather than the pickle I had trouble finding. And when buying bread at a French bakery, such as Paul, one had better be able to speak French if wishing to communicate the difference between ‘rye bun’ and ‘rum baba’.

Now I don’t mind speaking French, but there’s a big difference between not minding and having to. In fact, I’m bloody-minded enough to refuse to speak any language other than English in my city. If they take my money in my country, they should damn well speak my language – just as I try my best to speak theirs in their country.

If this makes me sound as if I were somehow against immigrants working in London, I want to dispel this impression once and for all. I’m not. In fact, I welcome it – it’s nice to buy real bread from people who know how to make it; I like ordering my pasta from people who don’t pronounce it ‘passter’; I’m ecstatic about getting a tapa from a waiter who knows the difference between Serrano and Ibérica hams. I just don’t want to have language problems in my own city.

Moreover, I’m a firm supporter of free trade, including the import of labour, though I do draw the line on the import of welfare recipients. I just wonder why I’ve never met a Paris waiter who doesn’t speak proper French (and some of them aren’t natives), while these days hardly ever meeting a London one who speaks proper English.

Our economy is in the doldrums, 20 percent of British young people are unemployed (and God only knows how many more on the ‘sickie’), and yet catering and retail jobs go to people who don’t understand me even when I speak slowly and loudly. I could suggest why this is happening, and even what needs to be done to change the situation, but I’ll save that for a different article.

For now I’ll just go on saying, ‘Well, you better habla, mate. This is England, you know. Inglaterra! Entiende?’


The real reason Britain should cut aid to India

When Britain begs India to keep taking handouts, you know aid is more about nourishing soulless Westerners than feeding hungry Southerners.

The debate about whether Britain should continue giving aid to India will surely rank as one of 2012’s most ‘Alice in Wonderland’ political moments. An outsider to the world of international aid probably imagines that it is cash-strapped countries in the South who do the pleading, sometimes having to humiliate themselves by asking Western nations for financial assistance. Yet in the surreal affray over aid to India, it was the well-off giver – Britain – which was on its knees, begging, beseeching the Indians to continue accepting our largesse because if they didn’t, it would cause the Lib-Con government ‘great embarrassment’.

This unseemly spat sums up the problem with modern aid: it’s all about Us, not Them. The reason British ministers were prostrating themselves before India, effectively begging the Indians to remain as beggars, is because aid is now more about generating a moral rush in the big heads of politicians and activists over here than it is about filling the tummies of under-privileged people over there. It is designed to flatter and satisfy the giver rather than address the needs of the receiver, which means ‘aid to India’ is way more important to Britain than it is to India. And for that reason, because aid has been so thoroughly corrupted by the narrow needs of its distributors, it would indeed be a good thing to stop foisting it upon India and other nations.

There was something almost Pythonesque (and I never use that word) in the sight of British politicians saying ‘We must continue giving aid to India’ while Indian politicians were saying ‘We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development spending.’ Those were the words of India’s finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who told his parliament that the nation should ‘voluntarily’ give up the £280million it receives from Britain each year. Cue outraged – and panicked – ministers and do-gooders in London kickstarting a PR campaign to show that the Indians are wrong – they do need British aid, because otherwise, according to Britain’s minister for international development Alan Duncan, in an article illustrated with a photograph of him accepting flowers from grateful little Indians, ‘millions could die’.

But it soon became clear that it is Britain, not India, which needs this aid set-up – existentially speaking. Indeed, during last week’s weird clash, it was revealed that, last year, British ministers sent a private communique to India begging it not to free itself from Britain’s apron strings. According to a leaked memo, the Indian foreign minister, Nirumpama Rao, proposed that India should ‘not avail of any further DFID [UK Department for International Development] assistance with effect from 1 April 2011’. Officials at DFID subsequently contacted the Indians and told them that cancelling British aid would cause ‘grave political embarrassment’ to the British government, not only because Britain had spent £1 billion of UK taxpayers’ money on aid to India over the past five years, but also because it has expended much ‘political capital’ on ‘justifying the aid to their electorate’.

‘Political capital’ – that’s the key phrase in this topsy-turvy situation where a relatively well-off Western nation pleads with a developing nation to continue taking alms. Aid is now all about the political capital it provides to the givers, the moral mission it creates for politicians and NGO types who can say ‘WE CARE’. Aid is less about feeding the poor than it is about feeding the egos of Western campaigners who, lacking direction in life, leech off Third World unfortunates in an effort to advertise their own moral decency. This outlook, this use of charity to boost the moral fortunes of the givers rather than dramatically improve the lives of the receivers, is beautifully summed up in a promo leaflet currently being distributed by the British charity Plan – it shows a poor but smiling African girl, wearing rags, alongside the words ‘She can change your life forever’. That is, by giving charity to this girl you can turn your empty, consumerist life around by becoming Good!

This is what poor Africans and Indians now represent to many in the aid industry – symbolically destitute creatures who can help change our lives by allowing themselves to be cooed over and cared for. Forget the days when aid or charity was about trying to change their lives, about improving the lot of the properly downtrodden; now it’s about improving the moral lot of modern-day missionaries in the West. The problem is that, in order to sustain this moral charade of caring Westerners ostentatiously ‘saving’ smiling African girls and empty-tummied Indians, the receivers of British largesse must dutifully play the role of skinny, bewildered, desperate people, because if they don’t, then the self-serving magic of the aid relationship, its ability to change our lives forever, will be lost. And modern India is simply no longer willing to play that role.

Indeed, Indian officials said the reason they want to reject British aid is not only because it is ‘peanuts’, but also because DFID has a tendency to present Indians as financial and moral basket cases who need the help of their now-reformed former rulers. A leaked Indian memo railed against the ‘negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID’, while an Indian journalist said his country is ‘increasingly exasperated at being treated as a needy beneficiary’. As well it should be. India has grown exponentially in recent years and there have been corresponding leaps forward in social life – life expectancy has risen eight years over the past two decades, to a new average high of 66.8 years. Of course, development is uneven in India and there is still much poverty – but it’s just not on to expect India to play the role of the bowl-waving nation, not only because that’s an inaccurate image but also because it is one cynically drawn up by Western campaigners who need India to stay in that position in order to sustain their own life narratives.

In sending the signal that it no longer wants British aid, India is implicitly rebelling against an aid system that is now more about nourishing the souls of the givers rather than boosting the living conditions of the receivers. Today, it is a lack in the hearts and minds of Western activists, rather than in the stomachs of Southern peoples, which motors the massive aid and NGO industry. At least the old colonial missionaries to the Third World actually had a mission – one which involved trying to ‘improve’ dark-skinned people by giving them the Bible and teaching them English and manners. In contrast, today’s mission-less missionaries, from officials like Alan Duncan to the army of do-gooders who staff Plan and Oxfam and other patronising Third World charities, go to the South in search of a mission and they fundamentally need the poor to stay as they are, as symbols of destitution, in order to prop up the billion-pound piece of moral theatre that is modern international aid.

British historian William Hutton once said, ‘The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation’. That is pretty much all that remains in the world of aid: pride and ostentation. Indeed, it is striking that, in 2010, when DFID announced cuts to spending on the publicity side of ‘fighting global poverty’, various NGOs went ballistic, slamming the focus on ‘output-based aid’ over important things such as ‘increas[ing] public understanding of the causes of global poverty’ – that is, who cares about providing on-the-ground stuff, when there’s so much awareness-raising about the wonderfulness of NGOs to be done? Britain’s aid budget should be slashed, not because it costs the taxpayer too much money, as Daily Mail moaners argue, but because it costs too much in terms of the self-respect of nations in the South. Britain should have an emergency aid budget, of course, so that, like all civilised nations, it can assist quickly and generously when people are immediately threatened by starvation or disease, such as after the Haiti earthquake or the Pakistani floods. But the rest of the time, even sometimes struggling peoples don’t need the massive side orders of moralism and fatalism that come with Britain’s ‘peanuts’.


Official Inquiry into misbehaviour by some journalists has created ‘chilling atmosphere that threatens free speech in Britain,’ says Tory minister Gove

The Leveson inquiry into Press standards has created a ‘chilling atmosphere’ that threatens free speech in Britain, Michael Gove warned yesterday.

In an outspoken defence of the Press, the Education Secretary cautioned against allowing ‘judges, celebrities and the establishment’ to set the boundaries of free speech because they had a vested interest in shackling the media.

Mr Gove, one of David Cameron’s closest allies, also appeared to question the Prime Minister’s decision to set up the inquiry last year, warning there was a danger it would produce ‘a cure that is worse than the original disease’.

Addressing a Westminster lunch, Mr Gove acknowledged the need to investigate alleged wrongdoing at the News of the World.

But he said there were already laws to prevent reporters ‘going rogue’, including specific offences of intercepting voicemail messages and bribing public officials.

Mr Gove, a former senior journalist at The Times, said there was a natural temptation for politicians to ‘succumb’ to demands for an inquiry by ‘establishment’ figures in the wake of a major scandal.

But he warned there were ‘dangers’ in the wide-ranging inquiry chaired by Lord Justice Leveson.

He said: ‘There is a danger at the moment that what we may see are judges, celebrities, and the establishment, all of whom have an interest in taking over from the Press as arbiters of what a free Press should be, imposing either soft or hard regulation.

‘What we should be encouraging is the maximum amount of freedom of expression and the maximum amount of freedom of speech.’

He added: ‘Journalists should be more assertive in making the case for Press freedom, and politicians should recognise that we have nothing to gain and everything to lose from fettering a Press which has helped keep us honest in the past and ensured that the standard of debate in this country is higher than in other jurisdictions.

‘The big picture is that there is a chilling atmosphere towards freedom of expression which emanates from the debate around Leveson.

‘I think that there are laws already in place that we should respect and principles already in place that we should uphold that are central to ensuring that this country remains free.’

Mr Gove said previous inquiries into national scandals had produced reports that ‘give birth to quangos, commissions, and law-making creatures that actually generate over-regulation, over-prescription, and sometimes a cure that is worse than the original disease’.

He said the Food Standards Agency, which was born out of the BSE crisis, had gone from being a ‘body that was responsible for governing the safety of our food to one that became yet another meddlesome and nanny organisation that was telling us what we should eat and in what proportion’.

And he said 800 pages of guidance produced in the wake of the deaths of Victoria Climbie and Baby P was ‘impenetrable and has still not ensured that our children are safer today than they were two, three or five years ago’.

He acknowledged that he had sometimes been ‘irritated’ by Press coverage of his own conduct, but insisted that the media had a key role to play in holding politicians to account.

Sources close to the Education Secretary last night said he supported the decision to set up the inquiry but was concerned about the direction it had taken.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister stood by his decision to order the inquiry, but insisted he valued the role played by the media.

His official spokesman said: ‘He has made very clear on a number of occasions since how important he thinks it is that we have a free Press and free media that is able to challenge governments and others.’


“One of the things that struck me over the past few months is that a new set of stereotypes every bit as misleading and caricatured as those about politicians, have grown up around journalists and about the media and the way in which it operates. I am thinking in particular about the Leveson inquiry and the debate that has surrounded it.

“One the things that struck me about politics is that there is a particular tendency to which all politicians are tempted to succumb. In the aftermath of a specific crisis, when an undoubted wrong has been done, there is a desire to find a judge, a civil servant, a representative of the great and the good, inevitably a figure from the establishment, to inquire into what went wrong, and to make recommendations about what might be put right.

“It is a natural thing for politicians to do, but there are dangers associated with it. Sometimes the recommendations of that report may be modest, proportionate and sane. But sometimes they give birth to quangos, commissions, and law-making creatures that actually generate over-regulation, over—prescription, and sometimes a cure that is worse than the original disease.

“If we look back at government’s response to various crises in the past, there have been some profound crises that have affected all of our consciences. And because they have affected our consciences, people have wanted to be seen to act. So for example in the immediate aftermath of BSE and the problems associated with the quality of our food, the Food Standards Agency was quite rightly set up,

“But one of the problems is that the Food Standards Agency morphed over time from being a body that was responsible for governing the safety of our food to one that became yet another meddlesome and nanny organisation that was telling us what we should eat and in what proportion.

“The same thing applied to the vetting and barring scheme and also to the Every Child Matters agenda in the wake of the tragic deaths of Victoria Climbie and subsequently Baby Peter. In both cases the tragic death of two children led to an attempt to ensure that we more effectively policed those that worked with young people but the result of that was a situation where Phillip Pullman had to apply for a Criminal Records Bureau check in order to go into a school to read to children.

“In the same way we developed guidance which is 800 pages long, is impenetrable and has still not ensured that our children are safer today than they were two, three or five years ago.

“I see the same dangers in the Leveson inquiry and in the way in which the debate on press regulation are moving now. It is undoubtedly the case that there were serious crimes which were committed, but we know those crimes were serious because they broke, if the allegations are proven, the already existing criminal law. There are laws against the interception of messages, there are laws against bribery, there are laws that prevent journalists like any other professional, going rogue. Those laws should be vigorously upheld, vigorously policed. However, there is a danger at the moment that what we may see are judges, celebrities, and the establishment, all of whom have an interest in taking over from the press as arbiters of what a free press should be, imposing either soft or hard regulation. What we should be encouraging is the maximum amount of freedom of expression and the maximum amount of freedom of speech.

“The reason why I say there is a particular danger at the moment is that because we all know that newspapers are under threat, under threat from the pressure of advertising migrating online, under threat from a variety of new news sources, that is why whenever anyone sets up a new newspaper, as Rupert Murdoch has done with the Sun on Sunday, they should be applauded and not criticised, and that is why journalists should be more assertive in making the case for press freedom, and politicians should recognise that we have nothing to gain and everything to lose from fettering a press which has helped keep us honest in the past and ensured that the standard of debate in this country is higher than in other jurisdictions.”

“The big picture is that there is a chilling atmosphere towards freedom of expression which emanates from the debate around Leveson. I think that there are laws already in place that we should respect and principles already in place that we should uphold that are central to ensuring that this country remains free.”


Shocking truth about graduate unemployment in Britain: Graduates have the same chance of being out of work as a school leaver with just junior High School attendance

A graduate aged 21 has the same chance of being unemployed as a 16-year-old school leaver with one GCSE, official figures revealed yesterday. Around one in four of both groups is currently without a job.

The shocking statistics highlight the problems facing graduates leaving university at a time of crisis in the jobs market.

Nearly six unemployed people are chasing every vacancy and economists warn that the jobless total, which has hit 2.67million, will climb even higher.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 25.9 per cent of 16-year-olds who left school with as little as one GCSE at grade C or above are currently unemployed.

The situation is almost identical for a 21-year-old graduate. Despite having A-levels and a degree, 24.8 per cent are unemployed.

The figures will fuel concerns among parents and their children about whether a degree is worthwhile at a time when students face the prospect of leaving university with debts of up to £50,000.

They also raise serious doubts about Labour’s famous pledge to have 50 per cent of school leavers going on to university.

Tanya de Grunwald, founder of the careers website Graduate Fog, said she regularly hears from graduates who are in work but have had to return to their old holiday jobs.

She said: ‘They are pulling pints [doing bar work] or doing data entry because they cannot find a graduate job that pays any better.’


Damn your low fat diet: How a reformed vegan gorges on all the foods his granny enjoyed… and has never felt better

As the kitchen filled with the smell of caramelised meat, my mouth watered in anticipation of the coming feast: a thick cut of tender steak, fried in butter and olive oil. This was not a regular treat. In fact, for the previous 26 years I’d been a vegan, eschewing not just meat but all animal products.

My diet was an extreme version of the NHS Eat Well regime, which recommends lots of starchy foods and smaller quantities of saturated fats, cholesterol, sugar and red meat.

According to government advice, I was doing everything right — and yet my health had never been worse. My weight had crept up over the years, until in 2008 I was 14½ stone [203lb] — which is a lot of blubber for someone who is 5ft 10in — and was classified as clinically obese.

I waddled around, sweating and short of breath, battling extremely high cholesterol and suffering from chronic indigestion. I was always tired and needed to take naps every afternoon. I had constant headaches and swallowed paracetamol and sucked Rennies like they were sweets.

Worst of all, I had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which left me feeling as if I had lead weights in my gut. My belly was bloated and distended after every meal. I was, to use a technical term, knackered.

But that was about to change. In 2010, I decided to give up my supposedly healthy lifestyle and embrace good old-fashioned meat.

From that day on, I ate red meat four or five days a week. I gobbled the fat on chops, chicken skin and pork crackling. I feasted on everything we’re told to avoid. The effects were instant.

Twenty-four hours after eating meat again, all my IBS symptoms had gone. As the weeks and months passed, every aspect of my health improved dramatically. I became leaner, shedding body fat and becoming stronger and fitter. My headaches went away, never to return. Even my libido increased.

It felt like being young again, like coming back to life. But though I felt energised, I was also furious. Furious with myself for sticking to the ‘healthy’ eating advice, which was actually far from a sensible diet. But also furious with the so-called experts who have been peddling this low-fat, high-carbohydrate claptrap for so long that no one thinks to question it.

My maternal grandmother would certainly have challenged it. Like my grandfather, she was born into a poor family in East Yorkshire at the turn of the century and their eating regime was simple: meat and at least two vegetables at every meal, lots of butter and full-cream milk (they would have scorned yogurt as little more than ‘off’ milk), bread, potatoes, cake and puddings.

Nothing would have swayed them from that lifestyle. Had a low-fat diet been suggested by a doctor, Gran would have told him to his face that it was all rubbish and that you needed fat to ‘keep the cold out’.

If she could have seen people buying skimmed milk today, she would have thought they had lost their minds. Getting rid of the best bit of milk? Lunacy.

Late in her life, I recall her scorning the advice on limiting the consumption of eggs because of concerns about cholesterol. On one occasion, she watched in astonishment as a celebrity TV chef made an egg-white omelette. ‘He’s a bloody fool, that man,’ she said.

She was right to be sceptical, it turns out. For years the authorities told us cholesterol-rich foods would kill us — but we’ve since learned that is utter drivel.

While Ancel Keys, the scientist whose research in the Fifties first raised concerns about cholesterol levels, suggested that heart disease was linked to large amounts of cholesterol in the blood, he never claimed those levels were linked to the amount of cholesterol we eat.

‘There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood,’ he said in a magazine article in 1997. ‘And we’ve known that all along.’

Since then, the NHS’s paranoia about cholesterol in food has been replaced by concerns about saturated fat — found in everything from butter, cheese and cream to pies, cakes and biscuits.

They suggest saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. But this is open to debate. France has the lowest rate of death from coronary heart disease in Europe, yet the country has the highest consumption of saturated fats.

Gran survived into her 80s and Grandad into his 70s, despite labouring down the pit his whole working life. Did they achieve this by gobbling low-fat spreads, soya oil or skimmed milk? No, they lived on old-fashioned foods such as butter, lard and beef fat. Indeed, a growing body of opinion suggests that the factory-made products that have replaced these staples — vegetable oils, polyunsaturated margarine and spreads — are the real cause of the degenerative diseases that are so common today.

Findings by the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit-making research organisation in America, show most cases of heart attack in the 20th century were of a hitherto little-known form known as myocardial infarction (MI) — a huge blood clot leading to the obstruction of a coronary artery.

MI was almost non-existent in the U.S. in 1910 and was causing no more than 3,000 deaths a year by 1930. However, by 1960, there were at least 500,000 MI deaths a year across the country. It surely can’t be a coincidence that this happened as the U.S. embraced a new diet based on increasingly large portions of highly processed foods and vegetable oils?

Similar changes in the national diet took place in Britain during the early years of my life and I can’t help wondering whether my father might still be alive today if it had not been for this shift.

I grew up in the North-East during the Sixties and had no idea about ‘healthy eating’. Those few people who did fret about their diet were thought of as fussy.

No one thought food was a problem, unless the chip shop ran out of battered sausage on a Friday. We ate suet puddings every week, our bacon and eggs were fried in lard, milk was full-fat — I’m not sure skimmed milk even existed in the Sixties — and we ate eggs every day.

Then, in the Seventies, things changed. We got wealthier and food became cheaper. Mam began buying more cakes and confectionery instead of home-baking. We ate more shop-bought food in general.

She also stopped using lard in the chip pan, opting for Spry Crisp ’n Dry instead. Gran wasn’t pleased. She thought vegetable oil was a new-fangled fad — it was, and that was precisely why Mam liked it. She saw it as moving on, modern and fashionable.


British TV channel forced to apologise after reporter calls black sportsmen ‘coloured’

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) must be REALLY offensive!

ITV were forced to apologise today after a reporter covering a Downing Street football racism summit twice referred to black players as ‘coloured’.

Following the ITV broadcast, dozens of viewers objected to the uses of the term ‘coloured’ on Twitter.

An ITV spokeswoman said they were sorry and the recording should never have gone out.

Using the term ‘coloured’ to refer to black people is considered offensive because it dismisses everyone who is not white as the same. The term was in widespread use in Britain in the 1960s but is now considered racist. The problem is it suggests white people are white and everyone else is ‘coloured’. There is no recognition that everyone has their own ethnic origin. [So what race you are is important?? I thought that was “racism”!]


Some very confused thinking above. Africans must not be confused with Indians? I agree with that but would normally be accused of racial discrimination for saying so. Yet above such distinctions seem to be demanded and regarded as important. But logic doesn’t seem to work on political correctness. It’s all just an emotional kneejerk.


About jonjayray

I am former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody
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  1. Pingback: Eye on Britain (2) | lugypemofim

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