Today is April Fool’s Day, and being a born prankster I usually run something silly. I won’t be doing that this year, for two reasons:
1. No matter how ridiculous I made the article, it would be impossible to tell it from the rest of the news.
2. There are enough fools running the world twelve months of the year to bother fooling fools on just one day.
This is a hypothesis I should like now to support with the use of examples. First slide, please….
* Justice perverter and serial perjurer former MP Chris Huhne is in an open prison where the inmates have the choice of a gym, three tennis courts, and an ornamental garden. Huhne allegedly spent just 36 hours in a prison for ‘ordinary’ people.
* Under the proposed NHS ‘reforms’, 211 GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England will replace primary care trusts – NHS management who had the final say on who gets what treatment, and by when. The CCGs are entirely primary care and referral-focused, but they will control £65bn of NHS funds in the fiscal year that starts today. This break’s the first rule of dealing with doctors: never give them anything to do beyond healing. Like people in show business, they become idiots when talking about, or doing, anything else. Also a majority of GPs are ‘very uncomfortable’ with being given the role as ration-masters. £65 bn, by the way, is a staggering 60% of the total NHS budget. As medication costs come in on top of CCG budgets at around £12bn, this means that every single hospital in the UK must share out just £34bn. Absolutely bonkers….but really designed to put hospitals de facto into isnolvency, and allow entry for the private sector.
* Thursday’s Soaraway Sun (don’t we all wish it would) had a YouGov poll with Labour opening up a ten-point lead over Camerlot. This is a lead gained by a Party led by a bloke who has failed spectacularly since being elected either to establish himself as standing for something – anything – or assuaging the grudge his brother still holds against him for winning. It is also a Party that has no clue what to do about the EU, and not much more about how to fix our debt and economy trap. The figures in full were Conservative 30%, Labour 40%, LibDems 12%, and UKip 13%. So now, having screwed up the 2010 election and been forced into a Coalition with Nick Clegg, David Cameron faces 2015 with the near-certain knowledge that he will need another Coalition with the Faragists to stay in power. Only Cameron can do this, because he depresses the figures other leaders cannot reach.
* In the US, Washington State may soon join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia as a state with legal gay marriage. Microsoft is headquartered in Washington State, and is enthusiastically backing the same-sex marriage Bill. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs, says the law is essential to the company’s competitive edge. He told CNBC, “As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington’s employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits, and their families.” Listen, if business wants it, that’s good enough for me: I just feel sorry for Brad Smith, as there is no law in Washington giving equal rights to knobheads.
Today is Easter Monday. When you go onto Ask and type “What are we celebrating on Easter Monday?” the recommended answer is ‘Easter Monday is known as a ‘bank holiday’ and is recognised on the Monday following Easter Sunday in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.’ Presumably, the religious reason wasn’t on the syllabus.
Enjoy the day, more later if anything normal happens.
PS Google Guardian Goggles. It’s actually quite clever.
Yesterday at The Slog: Why we need to aim higher than ‘the needs of the shareholders’.