Tolerating Mohammed and Mark’s photocopying.

Feel a little pride with yesterday’s title, so today’s will bring about my downfall. Now this might be a British value, or more precisely axiom ‘pride before a fall’, such as our lovely British Press who like nothing better than building our pride in someone before knocking them down.

It’s 05.40 and the steroidal fuckers are having their effect, hence writing now. I am, if anything having less mouth/throat pain at night and I’m still swallowing.

I often am intolerant of others being reactionary and as such showing intolerance myself. A young nurse asked me yesterday after my fill at the radio saloon about looking after my neck, there will be skin damage to some degree. I told her of my current cocktail of coconut oil (100% pure), Aloe Vera (99.9% pure), niaouli and lavender oils (100% pure), the nurse, in what I perceived as rather bossy tone, that if things got worse to use aqeuous cream, I bridled but kept it to myself.

Typical of me I determined to prove the nurse wrong and me right. As I mentioned in earlier blogs I have done very little reading and research about cancer, this is beginning to change and yesterday went online to check out treatments for radiation skin damage. The typical advice amongst the British sites such as Cancer research, MacMillan and specialist cancer hospitals such as The Marsden was to follow the advice of your individual hospitals and medical teams. I found 1 paper in a journal called ‘Current Oncology’ which was a meta study of other studies into different possible agents of prevention. They found no convincing evidence for any particular treatment and advocated that there should be some research into finding the most efficacious treatment. Maybe I could yet become a medical researcher! I still clearly remember Marky B breaking the photocopier in St George’s Hospital medical school library as he tried to copy far more than he was ever going to read, we slunk away.

It would appear that there are no specifically agreed protocols for treatment of radiation affected skin.

My neck skin is beginning to redden.

So the bulk of this blog, to give you apolitical types fair warning, is my attempted deconstruction of last night’s Question Time. Kate and I watch it every week and every week and I often annoy her as I rant at one thing or another. The line up didn’t at first seem that propitious: Sajid Javid (Tory culture secretary), Jill Kirby (writer and former director of Thatcher’s think tank), Yvette Cooper (labour shadow home sec.), Omid Djalilli (comedian) and Shirley Williams (liberal).

The first question: “Why can’t politicians tell us the truth about the 60% of cuts coming our way”. This in response to S&M Osborne’s budget statement  and the office for budget responsibility that the scale of cuts he is proposing will take us back to 1930 levels (and by implication a massive cut in the state, especially welfare). Well, Mr Javid did the usual mainstream politico stuff and didn’t answer question and went straight back to the Tory trope of blaming the 2007 financial meltdown on Labour. Ms Cooper did a little better and said what Labour would do but not a great deal about actual cuts. Same with Mrs Williams. None of them answered the truth question. Now despite my booing the Thatcherite woman straight away, she dissed condom Cameron straight away with his spurious claims of debt reduction. She also pointed out that the Tory mantra since 2010 of reducing debt has been the exact opposite and the debt has grown and is growing. Not enough people realise that for the last 2 years S&M Osborne has been borrowing a lot, Keynsian style, and it’s this that’s responsible for our somewhat anaemic current growth, although the Tories and their media friends are claiming some sort of economic success.

What was not discussed was that maybe the current capitalist system is bust and we need to explore alternatives. Only the Greens of the national parties dare to suggest this, although groups like Compass make valiant attempts.

What came from the audience was less of the frequent reactionary stuff we get from the likes of UKIP and banging on about the EU and immigrants. Omid dared to propose that the people be asked what, if any, cuts we make., maybe Swiss style referenda? And also not to just have all the x-private schoolboys braying at each other in parliament.

Two audience members said they would pay more tax for better services, for too long we’ve had the neoliberal matra of taxes bad ( I agree there has been waste, especially to the banksters and kleptos), but taxes do provide for the common good.

Another question was about the report this week saying that Mohammed was now the commonest boy’s name in Britain. All the panelists decried this for the racism that underpinned it. Seems like it was got up by, have a little guess now, that’s right, our friends at the Mail. The questioner reflected the confusion and loss of firm grounding that seemed to be the case for his father’s generation and he struggled to think what being British now means. Various panellists trotted out the usual supposed British values of fair play, tolerance…………………tolerance!!!!!!!!

We are an increasingly intolerant society, thanks Thatch. Yesterday in both the chemo bar and radiotherapy saloon I listened to conversations that were essentially racist. The first about all the immigrants in London and how there were less here in Poole because they didn’t get so much in in the way of benefits. Their talk was basically a succession of assertions about the nature of immigrants, what they’re like, what they do or don’t do and so on, I had to really bite my tongue to simply ask them for one piece of actual evidence. They may well have had some evidence but I doubt it. So this is how many people think and UKIP tap so well into it and yet more cognitive dissonance as people promote this British value of tolerance when all around us there is more and more intolerance, blaming these others for our ill fortune, I’ve been in so many waiting rooms these past few months and I’ve had my fill of intolerant people whingeing away about their waiting, I’ve had enough of this tolerating of the intolerant who claim they’re tolerant, just fuck off to some nazi land or maybe just try to be a little bit tolerant.

On a more positive note all, and I mean all the audience, spoke about their belief in a more tolerant society towards everyone and an implicit understanding that if you are intolerant to others then you might expect the same towards you. One man said his name is Mohammed and he wanted people to judge him as a person not on his name. It was so refreshing not to listen to the UKIP style bile.

Finally a question about Devon and Cornwall NHS considering not treating smokers and the obese. Most said that this should not happen, although Thatcher Mark II did follow the Thatcherite line and people take more responsibility. Now this is OK but needs to be put into the context of people’s existence; for example those who work long hours in crappy service jobs for little pay the odd fag (or vape) break gives them a temporary escape from the endless grind. And no one mentioned the elephant, that of big business, our corporate world where fag makers, fast food and the whole food conglomerate continually look to profit from people smoking, eating and drinking all the crap that causes addiction to the stuff that makes them so unhealthy. Oh, and makes these corporations so wealthy and powerful.

And finally, finally Mr Javid in his answer to the last question uttered a succession of words that made absolutely no sense, very funny.

Still with me? Don’t blame you if you’re not, this has been the longest.

Manifesto 37:

  • when speaking in public all politicians are hooked up to a lie detector which in turn is connected to a big bullshit meter which everyone can see.

Keep on keepin’ on, love Duncan.


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