• Britain’s Doctors: Hoisted by their own petard.

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    The news that Britain’s doctors are to strike on 21st June confirms that the British Medical Association is little more than a trades union for doctors. It comes as no surprise that these are the latest in a series of public sector workers protesting that their gold plated pensions are going now to have a slightly lower carat rating than previously assumed.

    The British Gazette makes the following observations:
    - the BMA’s decision to hold the strike on the Summer Solstice has a pleasing touch as it brings to everybody’s attention to how medicine was practised in ancient times: the entrails of goats were often examined to try and ascertain what aliment their more important patients were suffering from (Julius Caesar et al).
    - the doctors are the victims of their own success as through their diligent efforts in getting people to quit smoking, eat healthier, take more exercise &C. have increased average life expectancy. This is increasingly making pensions unaffordable.

    If Britain’s doctors had wanted better pensions they would have been much better advised to have held their tongues over the past forty years or so and just get on and treat their nicotine addicted, junk food eating, lethargic couch potato patients for their angina and diabetes.

    You see, doctors just do not understand how the world works.

    The designers of motor cars however do.

    Back in the 1960s and 1970s car makers such as Ford and General Motors ensured that their cars had a limited life; that they would rapidly rust and therefore become unusable after half a dozen years or so. This ensured a constant need for new cars. Then, as time moved on the powers that be insisted that cars should be built to last longer. So what did such as Ford and General Motors do? Put in lots of computers which would pack up after a dozen years or so. By the time these required replacement the car had depreciated in value to such an extent, the computer chip was near equal to the trade in value of the car – hence built in obsolescence was maintained.

    Human bodies are a bit like cars. As they get older more things tend to go wrong. The great advantage of tobacco, alcohol and fish and chips fried in dripping is that the majority of human bodies subjected to these things last for 60 years or so before conking out and ending up in the mortuary. During this time their owners will have been in work and have paid taxes. Happily for those of us who are not addicted to these slow poisons (well the first two at any rate) these folk are not around to draw their pensions – which means that there is more of the pie for us still living. What the doctors do not seem to realise is that their efforts to get people to live healthier lives does not make them immortal. It only postpones the inevitable. Now a non smoking, healthy eating regular exercise enthusiast can expect to live well into their nineties and many will get their centenary telegram from President Ed Miliband. The trouble is that there will be so many of them they will be very poor pensioners indeed.