Those harbingers of misery, the clinical research laboratory technicians or scientists as they like to style themselves, The Dr. Strangloves of medical science are busy peddling their misinformation and disinformation, or research results as they like to call it, again. Having kept up their 100% record for talking utter arse dribble last month with warnings on hazardous drinking (actually moderate alcohol consumption which is good for us) and how even thinking about having a cheese sandwich increases a womans risk of breast cancer by ninety nine million percent, they are now directing their attention towards our bacon butties. Is no British institution safe from these people as they target our dietary habits.
Their five year mission (sorry, scrub that I wouldnt want to give the impression these people are sad obsessive geeks who spend all their time in laboratories molesting small furry animals and get together once a year to celebrate Mr. Spocks birthday) their mission as they see it is to make everyone live forever. Their approach is to make life so boring we will not live forever but it will seem as if we have. If we heeded the warnings, everything that makes eating pleasurable would have been removed from our tables by now.
The problem with the Governments letting these nerds off the leash is that because the warnings are general rather than selective, nobody takes any notice. We all know that what is going on is the manufacture by a government intent on privatising the National Health Service, of excuses for denying people treatment in publicly funded hospitals. Unfortunately due to this and to the ineptitude of civil servants in all aspects of PR, the warnings are going unheeded by the people who need to heed them. Instead of mumbling about obesity and the discredited Body Mass Index ( BMI – this is the method of measuring obesity that showed Lynford Christie and Lennox Lewis at the height of their careers were both clinically obese yeah, right.) why not show pictures of a hugely overweight couple and their overweight kids and caption it Mr & Mrs Too Fat To Wipe and their family. That would bang the message home. Forget the effing Body Mass Index, check the mirror. Love handles are OK, saddle bags are a no no.
The Strangelove boys will never get their heads round such effective ways of communicating, quite simply they cannot communicate with organisms more complex than lab rats. The idea that human beings are all individuals who think for ourselves and make our own decisions is beyond their understanding. And we understand that we all die of something and the choices we make may effect that.
But if the choice is between a couple of years extra tagged on to the incontinent, demented, non ambulatory end of our lives or a tasty breakfast now, bring on the bacon butties.
No doubt the dull witted denizens of the Bad Science forum, followers of thick boy science guru Ben Goldacre will be anxious to remind me that as I am not a scientist I cannot understand these things and merely react emotionally to the hysterical misrepresentations of the media. Well as usual I looked up the reports and they are written to give the impression that eating red meat three or more times a week is a critical factor in the development of intestinal cancers. The statistics used in the report however show that if there is any critical factor it is simply old age.
The key to writing these reports is to use language with such precision they cannot be spun. A high level of red meat and particularly processed meats in the diet, combined with other lifestyle and environmental factors may contribute to the development of certain cancers. There is a science to language you see. Unfortunately scientifically precise language is never going to be sensational and hysterical enough to attract any big fat research grants, which is the real purpose of all these reports.
Before I move on to politics, economics and corporate fascism, kudos to the guys who won the Nobel Physics prize this year for their work on giant magneto resistance. Absolutely fascinating stuff, bordering on the mystical in fact, and an evolution from a technology I helped develop during my career. Got that Bad Science Forum thick boys. Science is a big church, we all have our specialities and only those who are wannabees would refer to themselves with characteristic lack of precision as scientists.