Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How to conserve energy by ignoring most news stories

One thing about having low energy levels is that you have to make hard choices about which news items to bother reading in full. My approach has been not to waste energy reading items which I know will simply reinforce my many existing prejudices, or claims which I know will later turn out to be false. Here is a far-from-exhaustive list of the types of stories I now deliberately choose to ignore:

NHS administrative incompetence and poor patient care 
I had to make a whole series of Kafkaesque calls last week to find out why I didn’t yet have a hospital appointment ten weeks after it had first been requested. At one stage during this mind-numbingly tedious process an NHS bookings operative with an impenetrable African accent gave me two numbers to call (evidently being paid to make bookings for patients doesn’t actually involve checking to see if those bookings have been made – apparently that’s now the patient’s responsibility). As I was dialling the first of the two numbers she’d given me I realised it was the last number I’d dialled – in other words, she’d given me the number of the call-centre she worked for. I don’t need to read about this particular nation-wide nightmare – I’m living it.

Daft EU regulations 
Nothing could make me feel more contempt than I already do for this horrible, seedy, fascistic organisation.

EU expenses scandals/wastes of money on pointless projects
Every penny the EU spends, whether legally or otherwise, represents a scandalous waste of money – spare me the details.

Evidence of current or historical police racism
If it’s historical, so what? If it’s current, the authorities can sort it out. Policies introduced to combat previous claims of “institutional racism” within the police force have undoubtedly made Londoners less safe, making it rather difficult to care much about the subject. Anyway, Doreen Lawrence has been accorded secular sainthood and can now evidently distract the Prime Minister from affairs of state whenever the fancy takes her: that should be enough.

Judge refuses to deport foreign criminal because of some ridiculous made-up human “right”
Just figure out a way of sacking the lefty fuckers who make these judgments, tell the Euro-socialists who dream up this nonsense to do one, and let’s have done with it.

Government fails to meet immigration targets  
Well blow me down strike a light you amaze me there’s a turn-up for the books go find a feather and use it to knock me down.

Any story about corrupt politics in Tower Hamlets
As this is what happens in Third World pseudo-democracies, the fact that it’s happening in an area of London with a high immigrant population (47% black and minority enthnic) isn’t in the least surprising: after all, isn't this what cultural diversity is all about?  If I ever see a headline suggesting that fair and free elections have taken place in the borough, I might be bothered to read the attached story.

Alarmist predictions based on the theory of anthropogenic climate change
Cock and bull. All of them. We are mad.

Claims of a widening income inequality gap within free market economies
French economist Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, was released to wild acclaim earlier this year. It claimed to prove that the poor in Britain and America are becoming poorer at the expense of the rich, which would, of course, be A VERY, VERY BAD THING INDEED. Lefties were particularly delighted by Piketty’s conclusion, which was that governments should steal even more money from the rich and hand it to the poor in order to narrow the gap. Anyone who seriously argues that such a move would benefit the poor in the medium-to-long term is, of course, either a total fucking fool, or a liar, or both. After reading one half of one article about the book, I decided not to afford it any more brain-space. I went back on my decision only once, to read the Financial Times article which demonstrated that much of the data on which Piketty had based his claims was flawed. Well, dur!

Anti-Gove stories spread by the Education “Blob”
I read headlines yesterday claiming that Michael Gove had banned certain modern classic American novels from the curriculum, including To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men, on the grounds that he didn't like them. Headlines today suggest there wasn’t a jot or scintilla of truth in these allegations. Oh, really?

Stories about LGBT “discrimination” cases in the UK
Almost invariably total nonsense.

Claims that British troops committed atrocities abroad
Partly because I don’t want them to be true, and partly because they so very rarely are.

Too few state school pupils at top universities
That’s entirely the fault of the Education “Blob”. There were more state schoolers at Cambridge 40 years ago when I was there than there are now. Sorry – but that’s what happens when an education system is run by left-wingers.

Suffering caused by the government's unbelievably cruel "bedroom tax"
If you don't like it, here's an idea - don't live in subsidised housing!

Children suffering because of "cuts"
First demonstrate that their parent (it's usually singular) doesn't spend money on cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, gambling, holidays or Sky TV subscriptions - then let's talk about "cuts".

Come to think of it, maybe I should start taking a left-wing newspaper - I wouldn't have to read anything but the sports pages!


  1. Agreed on all the above. I would respectfully add any story about nutrition of food. They are always pseudo-scientific claptrap of the worst kind.

    1. I gave up reading health stories about five years' ago when I began to suspect they were being generated by a computer programme which, deopending on which day of the week it was, would spew out a story announcing that, for instance, raisins either cause or cure cancer, while another app came up with reasons why every single thing that happened or didn't happen in the world was the result of AGW.

  2. I think you'll find this Telegraph article has everything you're looking for.

    Prince Charles: reform capitalism to save the planet
    A “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” is needed in order to tackle climate change, the Prince of Wales has said

    By the way, Twitter is saying that Labour have lost control of Tower Hamlets.

    1. Couldn't agree with him more - after all, communist countries have always husbanded our precious, fragile ecosystem so tenderly and wisely.

      The top story in today's Guardian was "Racism on the rise in Britain", subheaded: "Exclusive: British Social Attitudes survey finds proportion of people in the UK who say they are racially prejudiced has risen since 2001".

      The top story in the Telegraph was about a proposal for taxpayers to pay for very fat people to attend Weight Watchers - on the basis I suppose that the very fat people will already have spent all their money on food.

  3. Just to lower the bar a little: I switch off the wireless with the speed of a Cassius Clay jab whenever the BBC broadcasts You and Yours, Moneybox Live, anything whatsoever to do with Association Football, any programme, particularly the fatuous Just a Minute, whenever I hear the whining, swooping, grating, self-satisfied voice of Graham Norton. The tripe emanating from the main TV stations is alleviated by programmes on art history (discussed earlier this month) most documentaries and once in a while an unbiased news broadcast. Crikey, I forgot to pour scorn on the ghastly Greg Wallace of Master Chef and all the contrived excitement and suspense that makes even greater fools of the fools who watch.
    As to the world of the printed media: people with tattoos; talent shows and all the drivel associated therewith; news of the failure of Giant Pandas to procreate in Edinburgh; commentary on the comings and goings of soap operas and their camera-hungry thesps struggling to justify their existence outside their world of make-believe.
    In fact there is almost fuck-all out there in the modern world that doesn't cause my bile to rise but I do enjoy the postman's knock which signals the arrival of the The Spectator.
    I haven't rattled my own cage and put under scrutiny the world of politics and the self-serving, sanctimonious, hypocritical practitioners thereof as it's nearly 2:30 in the morning and I need to rest....

    1. I agree with every word, Riley - especially regarding the appalling Just a Bloody Minute: I mean, why??? Next time you find yourself awake at 2.30, you might try Harry and Paul's Story of the Twos on iPlayer - worth it for Alan Yentob as Gollum and the Masterchef demolition (as James May put it, a programme which pretends that cooking pasta is difficult).