15 October 2010 (Friday) - Extinctions, Abolitions and Cards

Rinderpest is a disease of cattle, and may be familiar to my rural readership. Or (to be precise) it *was* a disease of cattle. It is no more. Humanity has rid the world of rinderpest. So far mankind has managed to make two viral species extinct: first smallpox (in 1980) and now rinderpest.
It’s a shame we are so much better at extinctions with larger creatures such as Thylacines, Chinese River Dolphins, Passenger Pigeons, Pig-footed bandicoots… the list is endless.

And talking of permanently getting rid of things, I see the government is axing many of it’s quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations (quangos). Some of these bodies had to go – they were rather nonsensical. After all, did we really need the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the purchase of Wines? I think not – and as it disappears we say goodbye and good riddance to it. The Football Licensing Authority is no more. One wonders what it did in the first place.
The Hearing Aid Council and the General Social Care Council have both been subsumed into the Health Professions Council, which is arguably the only Quango worth keeping. If only for the fact that they look after my professional registration.
I’m a tad concerned that British Nuclear Fuels Ltd has been given the chop. Are we seriously going to privatise nuclear power stations? (I expect it’s already happened…). And making the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence a self-funding body is a dubious thing to do – after all any body which has to go looking for its own funding automatically lends itself to accusations of not being impartial.

Meanwhile back in reality, despite Chippy never having been sure about dick (!) and not using the pink ones much (double !), we settled down for a game of cards. “My Boy TMwas all for taking part until he realised it was just for fun and that no money changed hands. Then he realised he had better things to do.
It is probably as well that no money changes hands – much as I like a game of cards, I always lose. For some reason the Rear Admiral did well this evening. Shenanigans…?

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