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A World War 2 Trilogy - By FRED NATH (Novelist and Neurosurgeon)
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December 2010

Dress Code

Happy New Year to you all!
An hour and a half to go before the first guests arrive and my daughter who’s thirteen insists I can’t wear this or I can’t wear that. What is it about teenagers that makes them embarrassed about what their parents might wear at a casual social gathering like New Year’s Eve?
Surely a host should dress to the level of the least dressed-up person in the gathering so no one feels left out?
No?
Damn. OK, I’ll give in but there’s nothing wrong with denim jeans.
It is the spirit of compromise that neither party is truly happy so I suppose I’ll have to capitulate, smarten up, dress better.

Fighting disease and Ignorance...

It may be old news for some, but Pope Benedict announced in November in the Vatican newspaper that the use of condoms by prostitutes should be condoned by the Catholic church. I raise a glass to him. He did qualify the statement by saying ‘it is not the true and appropriate way to fight HIV’. I presume he had to qualify his statement to appease the hierarchy beneath him.
 
In Africa during the last ten years, the refusal of the Catholic Church to condone condoms has resulted in the spread of HIV among the Catholic population where statements like, ‘condoms do not protect you from HIV’ ‘viruses pass through rubber’ and other similar dogmas, have been promulgated by the Church’s representatives.

Maybe it isn't all that bad!

So they stabbed the students in the back.  Predictable wasn't it?
All that can be done now is a sort of damage limitation thinking.
What bothers me most is the future generations of students of all types who will exit with debts of a minimum of £18,000 once they graduate. Larger figures are bandied about because you need to add student loans on top and some universities will charge £27,000. So, maybe an average degree  from a cheap university will cost you £25-30,000 to be paid back once you are earning over £21,000.

Flood warnings?

It's cold where I am.
Snow lies round about, smooth and crisp and even. Media hype over the weather rubs us all raw here in the UK at the moment, but what of flooding?
The snow in the hills will melt. When it does, I suspect (though I'm no expert), it will all come together to cause the same floods we've experienced in the last couple of years.
Now would be a sensible time to prepare if you live in a flood-prone area. Maybe make it easy to shift gear upstairs, make sure your house insurance covers flood damage, make sure your policy is paid up and up-to-date.

Manslaughter

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) have just published an article questioning whether bringing manslaughter charges against doctors is of any value. They argue that it leads to a more closed and secretive information culture, reduced reporting of mistakes and fails as a deterrent.
Must say I agree with them. Almost all doctors do what they do to help their patients and most a e people of good conscience who would never purposely harm anyone.
Harold Shipman was an exception of course. His case doesn't highlight the medical profession but the appalling gaps in the system which allowed him to murder his patients.