Saturday, 10 March 2012

Ill health and ill-gotten wealth

This (see ) is one of the funniest bits of nonsense to be put out by a government department this week.
It really is an insight into the shallow, fluff-filled minds of Manx government ‘policy makers'.
Did the great Manx public really pay for some feather-brained fool to dream this up?
When someone says ‘health’ to me (and especially when a government department says it) I naturally think of - oh, doctors, nurses, dentists, psychiatrists and others who have spent some years acquiring the kind of knowledge one expects before letting them loose putting your body parts to rights. So how, exactly, do a sad collection of burnt-out hippies, failed alcohol ‘counsellors’, parasites on ‘Big Pharma’ and other losers pass themselves off as ‘health experts’, when they don’t have so much as a science O level between them?
For those not following me …. Gamcare is the last ditch revenue hope for the Alcohol Advisory Service, which has proved almost as incapable as DASH of advising anyone and also faces a cut in government funding. And look closely at the accounts of any anti-smoking ‘charity’ or pressure group and you will find two income sources. One is government, the other is that part of the pharmaceutical industry which produces nicotine patches – which explains why such ‘neutral’ sources of ‘expert’ advice are so keen to ban ‘e-cigarettes’ and other minimally harmful alternatives to the common fag produced by the ‘evil’ tobacco industry.
Moving on to the burnt out hippies – it might be of interest to know that some college staff have steady secondary incomes providing ‘alternative therapies’ to the terminally ill. One in particular I remember from a failed attempt to set up an Isle of Man LETS scheme years ago.
For those who lack the mental fortitude to spend much time around weekend hippies and the ‘alternative society’, a LETS scheme is a sensible enough attempt to get people on limited incomes to barter services instead of working for cash none of them have. The basic idea is that a mechanic, say, would fix your car for a couple of hours and in return you could help them with some accounts or type a few letters.
It was all going well until the Manx alternative therapy industry got involved. They argued that their dubious ‘services’ were worth more per hour than common or garden professionals such as, oh, qualified accountants or time-served manual craftsmen such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers.
At this point any sane person would have told them where to shove their essential oils, but hippies being so ‘non-confrontational’ (or scared of taking a vote for fear someone would accuse them of selling out to The Man) the whole thing descended into farce as ever more complicated systems of determining ‘relative labour values’ were suggested until everyone lost interest.
Shame really, but the biggest tragedy is that folk with real and necessary skills but no opportunity to practice them professionally lost an opportunity to get by in a way which helped everyone else at the bottom of the heap.
Meanwhile, in a community beginning to be overrun by economic refugees in white flight from emergent democracies, the alternative therapists found enough mugs with enough disposable income to get by. And when that market began to run out, they could always flog their smells and bells to people sitting around the Hospice bored out of their skulls while they wait for the Grim Reaper to turn up.
It’s enough to make you sick.

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