Category Archives: income tax

£1.8 trillion National Debt

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest
Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 BC

So, evidently, we’ve learned nothing in the past 2,053 years.

 

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 17 September 18

The next pandemic and when it will happen

Foot and Mouth Disease of cattle, new global diseases of bees; these are pandemics.  Pandemics in the global human population are part of our history and future;

Date                 Place                       Pandemic Pathogen                             Deaths

BC430                   Athens             Typhus or Smallpox?                          75,000 to 100,000

AD

541 to 542 Europe & Asia             Bubonic Plague                                  25 to 50 million

1347 to 1351 Europe/Asia/Africa  Black Death Bubonic Plague          75 to 200 million

1545 to 1576         Mexico            Smallpox                                               17 million

1665 to 1656         Europe             Bubonic Plague of London               100,000

1817 to 1824         Asia Europe    Cholera                                                100,000

1918 to 1920         World              Spanish flu                                          20 to 50 million

1980 to date          World              HIV                                                     35 million

2013 to 2016         West Africa     Ebola                                                   11,000 plus

Diseases like Ebola are truly awful but are transmitted in body fluids, i.e.by touch of bodies or contaminated materials.  So, with very careful, detailed isolation these diseases are comparatively easy to contain.  Airborne disease, such as flu viruses, can be transmitted very quickly in high population densities where transfer to others, and mutation to more, or less, virulent strains are more likely to occur.  Cross infection is easier too, particularly in public transport places such as busses and underground railways.  Avian and swine flus, fortunately for us, mutated the right way and became less fatal.  Mutation to be more fatal will, sooner or later, happen. It is difficult to be precise about when the next one will occur but any time now would not be misleading. This year: possible.  Within 5 years; very likely

How to prepare to combat the next pandemic, see the next blog in this series.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd   5th July 18

 

The NHS is a national gem

This is the exact spot where two Novichok sufferers entered what is certainly the best place in the world to go under those circumstances.

It is time to accept that we cannot go on with the NHS the way we are doing.  The key, fundamental, world-best feature is “free at the point of need” with no-one denied service when the need it. That is a staggering commitment. Unfortunately, with a net population increase of 500,000 people  in the UK every year and an aging population (because the NHS is so good), we cannot afford what we are trying to do.  We need to have a public discussion about what the NHS should do and which treatments is should not be doing.  Perhaps the most tricky possibility is to find a way of the NHS working with patients who might wish to pay for a bit extra without either short-changing those who do not pay a bit extra, nor privatising the organisation by the back door,  Do I think it is possible?  Well, I am hoping so because I have been humbled recently by being appointed a Governor of the Salisbury NHS Hospital.  To be part of the discussion is a privilege and one that all of us should be part of.  Each of us has an obligation, partly for selfish reasons, to write to our own MP and tell them all what we think the NHS should do and what it should not do.  Aall of that without losing the competence, care and compassion of which the nation is justly proud.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 19 June 18