the index

All of the articles originally written for the independence index have been imported to and tagged with the index.

Because I say so

kids love energy companieskids love energy companiesGreat Britain is leading the world in saying that it will cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. Note the words in saying that ; our own civil servants at the new DTI , forgettably named the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, say, in a leaked document, that even the EU Renewable Energy Target of 20% by 2020, that Tony Blair signed up to, is impossible. At present renewable sources provide 2% of our energy and they say that even a 9% total renewables target by 2020 is really pushing it and would cost us an extra £4 billion per year. Nonetheless, what's a few billion here or there? That's another expensive problem for Alistair Darling, who is, poor man, between a rock and a hard place.

A shared past, and future?

From 1932 until 1968 the Portuguese were ruled by their dictator Salazar.Time moves on. Portugal is a democracy and now it's the turn of the Portuguese to have the EU presidency and they see absolutely no problem with Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe attending the EU-Africa summit this December.This despite the EU travel ban on him visiting any of the 27 EU countries.

NHS plays Blindman's Buff

We have all heard about the wildly expensive new drugs that the NHS finds hard to fund, leaving it with the agonising problem of prioritisation. We now learn that it is deliberately bowing to the wishes of the pharmaceutical giant Genentech.

The NHS has licensed the drug Lucentis to prevent wet macular degeneration. It costs £1,793 per injection and is only recommended for about 20% of cases and only a few authorities will fund this. Hence, elderly people are going blind. However, another drug, Avastin, also developed by Genentech, technically a cancer drug, is just as effective and costs $30 per dose from America. It is not licensed for eye use in this country and hence only available to private patients.We are unsure as to whether Genentech's claim that Lucentis is the superior drug is based on research or financial considerations. There must certainly be a conflict of interest.The firm says that it is only concerned about patient safety, however, if you're rapidly going blind I think you'd be prepared to take the odd risk. Patricia Hewitt immediately stepped in to fund Herceptin for a breast cancer patient in Stoke, overriding the local trust simply because the mainstream press caused a furore. Elderly people going blind would appear not to be as newsworthy as breast cancer patients.

Pro Referendum Rally

There is a Pro Referendum Rally this Saturday the 27th October, 12.00 noon at the House of Lords. Unfortunately the troops seem split as I want a referendum thinks that there will not be enough people so neither supports nor advertises the rally. We are going to see what happens and shall let you know.

Post referendum rally

The rally audience seemed to consist of a mixture of eurosceptic organisations. I did not know that the communist party was anti EU but I have the leaflet to prove it.

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