Friday, 26 February 2010

A Sunflower Bonus for Homeopaths

It’s Mothers’ Day soon. Yesterday Hay organised some flowers for her mother, which kicked me into motion by having a look at the Next website (they deliver flowers). One of their offerings is a bunch of sunflowers. Now while sunflowers can look quite nice in the right setting, a bouquet of the buggers is a bit reminiscent of a bunch of marrows. There’s something rough and earthy about them and I’m not overly enamoured of sending mum a veg basket for Mothers’ Day.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) yesterday announced losses for 2009 of £3.6bn ($5.5bn), after struggling with billions of pounds of bad loans. Despite the losses, the bank is set to announce it will pay bonuses totalling £1.3bn to its staff. The bank's head, Stephen Hester, said the bank still had to pay out bonuses to retain top talent. I suppose that’s the same top talent that got them into a pickle in the first place. If I were a competing bank on the lookout for top talent, RBS is the last place I’d scour. Having the words RBS on your cv must make you as marketable as gonorrhoea in the banking world.

Having said that, there must obviously be a handful of employees who did perform extremely well and it’s only fair that they are recompensed and it’s sensible to retain them. In the feeding frenzy of anger there is great risk of tarring everyone with the same brush. Lose the few high performers and there will be no chance of the tax payer getting a return at all and it would be tantamount to cutting off one’s cheque book to spite one’s wallet.

Have you noticed how the news programmes are always trotting out ‘experts’ who seem no more knowledgeable than the bloke down the pub? I think I’ll become one. Not sure what expertise I should specialise in, but it doesn’t look to be a particularly onerous task.

Homeopaths are really scraping the barrel now. Here’s some woman who claims her cancer was cured by homeopathy. Note how she gets extremely flustered and evasive when asked about evidence.

It’s strange how this evidence is never there when the scientists are looking. A bit like God really. The claim that ‘lots of people use it’ is hardly evidence of efficacy. I’d have loved to see Jeremy Paxman interview her. She claims that homeopathy is thousands of years old, but this scam was first dreamt up in the late 18th century, prior to which blood letting was the favoured manner of killing someone slowly.


  1. Now - after watching today's video - I know what it is that I am doing wrong - At the next full moon, when the moon is hight in the sky - I shall go out, and standing straight I shall eat a sunflower and recite the Lays of Ancient Rome - BACKWARDS - And so I shall be cured of cancer - why didn't anyone tell me it was so easy!

    In fact that woman is evil, and the presentation of the interview is evil. Although to be fair I suspect that they were trying to be even-handed. I have met many, many people and their families who are desperate and will do anything and try anything to find a cure for the incurable. This presents a false hope - and I think that is wrong!

  2. I don't understand the Maths! RBS have announced losses of £3.6bn for 2009 and are going to give away £1.3bn in bonus payments to it's staff - where is that money coming from - after all they're down £3.6bn - or are we going to lend it to the bank? Will they then have losses of £4.9bn?

  3. I once gave my cat a Bach Flower Remedy.
    She then proceeded to throw up over my feet.

  4. Richard: You hit it in one on both counts.

    Scarlet: That was probably the brandy.

  5. The fact that this woman says homeopathy has two thousand years of evidence to back it up just goes to show that she shouldn't be on tv. As you say, that's simply WRONG, and she would have covered the history of homeopathy in her training. If I was sick I'd give her a wide, a very wide berth!

  6. Oh, I so love homeopathy. If you have been hit by a number 6 bus should they treat you with an infinitely dilute solution of a number 6 bus grill?

    I always want to ask a homeopath if, after their child had been bitten by a Death Adder, are they comfortable administering an infinitely dilute solution of venom as opposed to using the anti-venom?


  7. Lee: I have a dilute solution of a number 7 bus grille, but I guess that won't work?

  8. I was sent this link by a friend

    I find it quite scary

    Richard x x x