You would indeed have a heart of stone not to laugh. The British Medical Association are a very effective trade union. Ask any health minister. However, the house journal, the BMJ has long been a bizarre mix of news, science and copious quantities of right-on drivel.
Global warming, banning boxing, bullying smokers, compulsory abortion (er…not quite, but you get the picture). The list goes on. This week provides a heart warming gem:
Would action on health inequalities have saved New Labour?
Gerry McCartney, specialist registrar in public health, MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, Chik Collins, senior lecturer, School of Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, Danny Dorling, professor of human geography, Sheffield”
This satisfyingly conforms to The Knife’s theory that the majority of authors, despite the ‘M’ standing for medicine, are not actually medical doctors. In addition, a specialist registrar in public health may well have a diminishing grasp of what treating sick people actually involves.
“Gerry’s” thesis is that Labour inclined areas have a lower average life expectancy, so that if they hadn’t dropped dead on the way to the polling booth, or been too ill to exercise their franchise, the outcome of the election might have been different. He helpfully provides this brilliant example:
“Competing interests: GM is a member of the Scottish Socialist party. DD is a member of the World Health Organization’s Scientific Resource Group on Health Equity Analysis and Research and of the advisory group of the Equality Trust (www.equalitytrust.org.uk).”
Which is nice..