In a moment of ennui yesterday I was looking at the Mi5 jobs board. Unfortunately they weren’t any vacancies for a sales director at Universal Exports, but it did strike me as somewhat odd that when specifying the preferred location one is presented with ‘Any’ or ‘London’. Given the only location is London, why bother with Any Location? I’d make a poor intelligence officer, wouldn’t I?
Back to mephedrone for a brief instant. I found this article on the New Scientist site yesterday; some factual reporting at last, as well as some popular myths busted.
There’s a legal high which in the UK was implicated in 9,031 deaths in 2008 – that’s 13.6 for every 100,000 in the population. Compare that to 11 deaths over 3 to 5 years where mephedrone was implicated (and present), but not necessarily a contributory cause, and only one where it was thought to be the actual cause of death. This legal high is alcohol and I want to know when the government is going to get round to banning it.
Surely the logic that holds for mephedrone should hold for any other mind-altering things. How about football matches? You can’t deny that footie fanatics are on a high when their teams are winning and achieve some incredible lows when the opposition ‘scores’ a goal. There are quite a few deaths every year at footie matches – many more than from mephedrone. Footie is in fact one of the worst drugs and is classed as an amfootiemene.
I saw a report in The Star (a comic I occasionally read at work) where a woman of low intelligence was ranting against mephedrone when her 14 year-old daughter was found slipping in and out of consciousness in a Tesco car park following a mephedrone and booze binge. She seemed blissfully oblivious to the fact that it was far more likely that her wayward kid was passing out through alcohol abuse than through any fault of the mephedrone. She didn’t even mention the vast quantities of booze her kid had managed to put away – presumably that was normal behaviour.
Apparently a bunch of Hutarees in the US are being charged with conspiring to kill police officers and wage war on the USA. Now the Hutarees are a bunch of apocalyptic, militant, Christians who think Christ is about to come back and reign over us in a thousand year Reich. Part of this misguided belief is that the apocalypse should actually be hurried along. To this purpose they proactively engage in destructive behaviour, believing it’s going to bring about God’s plan much faster.
These people and their ilk are extremely dangerous. Some apocalyptic cults (like the Hutarees) are openly dangerous, while others appear less dangerous, but can have just as destructive an effect. They believe, for example, that climate change is part of God’s plan, which leads to a fatalistic, passive acceptance and a lack of will to do anything about it.
Other apocalyptic cults believe that the UK’s massive national debt is part of God’s plan and hence refuse to face up to the fact that taxes are going to have to rise and spending is going to have to be cut. The UK Conservative Party seems to have a high proportion of these fanatics at present; they maintain they will – if elected – be able to hand out tax cuts and fund them from as-yet-unidentified cost savings that are logically going to have to mean cuts in the number of employees by the UK’s largest employer – the government.
What all the above proves is that some people will believe anything and both the newspapers and politicians prey on that fact.
I hear that the Large Hadron Collider is back in action, but rather than focus on the search for the Higgs Boson, scientists are now going to look for the even more elusive MP Brain Particle.
Given they’ve spent billions of pounds on equipment to smash particles together at 99.9% of the speed of light, couldn’t they have just shone two torches at each other and monitored what happened in the gap? Light travels at the speed of light – and two torches are quite cheap.
Talking of mad extremists, the UK government's strategy to prevent violent extremism has stigmatised and alienated possible Al Qaeda recruits, a committee of MPs has warned.
In a totally unrelated story, it could cost hundreds of millions of pounds to equip the RAF's new transport aircraft to fly in war zones, the Ministry of Defence has been warned. I suggest they hand it all over to Stelios Haji-Ioannou and get him to launch easyRAF, using redundant British Airways cabin staff to perform the usual duties.
Here’s another of those misleading news headlines: “Ops refused due to 'arbitrary cuts' say surgeons.” Well, if I go into hospital for surgery, the last thing I want is some scalpel-happy surgeon arbitrarily slashing my body to bits. You should be put in jail for that!