Petrol Prices

I’m no longer an active biker, so the issue doesn’t directly affect me, but I was watching a news report on TV this morning about rising petrol prices and I had to laugh at the interviewee who complained that fuel was so expensive that it was cheaper for him to take the train to work. Correct me if I’m wrong, but surely that’s a good thing and exactly the situation we should be aiming for.

Nobody in their right mind is claiming that reducing car use is going to be painless but most of us agree that it’s necessary. It benefits all of us, including those who still drive because they have no choice.

Homeopathy is Nonsense

A nice little article about tomorrow’s planned protest against companies like Boots selling this snake oil despite stating that they have no evidence that it works.

Homeopathy does not work beyond placebo, it is a menace to public health and a drain on the limited resource of the NHS. It is an 18th century quack medicine consisting of magical rituals practised by deluded, cargo-cult “doctors” that has no place in government thinking, and it should not be endorsed by the registered pharmacists who are at the frontline of public health in the UK.

Hear, hear!

No Means No

What part of Ireland’s ‘no’ does the EU not understand? A nice little piece by Brendan O’Neill on the recent Irish rejection of the Lisbon treaty. I couldn’t agree more with his point of view that the Irish people were presented with the arguments, made their minds up and voted, and there the matter should rest. Disagreeing with a particular piece of EU legislation does not amount to a wholesale rejection of the EU itself, and to chide the Irish for ‘making the wrong decision’ is insulting and makes a nonsense of the democratic process.

In other words, suck it up, guys.

Putting it Into Perspective

NewsBiscuit: Refugees from Congo Civil War ‘more angry about Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’. Nothing I’ve seen or heard puts the current furore over Ross and Brand into perspective better than this. The prank was stupid and they should have known better but there are more important things happening in the world. Besides, the sheer quantity of coverage of this has become deeply irritating, at least to me. Can we forget this and go and solve some real problems now? It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of them.

Phoenix Arrives Safely

The Phoenix has landed safely on Mars. To pull off such a complex and difficult thing is a real triumph. Even in the unlikely event that it discovers nothing new it will have provided valuable information on how to land probes on other bodies in space, and for that alone it’s worth it. I suspect, however, that we’re going to start learning a whole lot of new and fascinating things about Mars. I can’t wait.

Post Office Closures – A Possible Solution

Council bids to run post offices. This strikes me as a good solution to a problem which, while it clearly shouldn’t exist at all, does need to be dealt with. In essence, if you can’t be bothered to read the article, Essex County Council is proposing that it takes over the running of post offices that are due to be closed. It would be great to see such important services able to continue and the possibility of combining them with local authority services is very interesting and potentially useful.

Of course, I’m not generally in favour of closing post offices at all but I rather think that it’s going to happen no matter what I or others want, so anything that comes along that helps has to be worth considering.

Team Orders

McLaren deny anti-Hamilton bias. I must admit that I felt a little aggrieved on behalf of Lewis Hamilton immediately after the race, but now that I’ve had a chance to think about it I find myself in agreement with Ron Dennis. The drivers are, first and foremost, part of the team and the team has to come first.

Monaco is unlike the other places where the drivers compete and requires a unique approach. There’s no point in losing one or both of your cars from the race unnecessarily. As things stand now, both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have a good crack at the title and there are plenty of races to come. It should be interesting.