Bad for my blood pressure

3 Apr

I turned 60 a couple of months ago. My doctors offered me an extensive health check and another branch of the Health Service sent me a testing kit for bowel cancer. I did the health check but still have the testing kit waiting. It turns out that I have very raised cholesterol levels – no surprise, so did my mother and so does my sister. This is genetically inherited, but still poses a health problem. I am now on statins, having said I would not go on them again after previous experiences. And so far it has been OK. My blood pressure is also raised, but not very significantly and I am resisting taking tablets for that for the time being.

Last night there was a televised debate between Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Party and Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government and Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). The debate concerned the future of Britain in the EU, or not, as the case may be. We will be having elections for the European Parliament shortly and UKIP are predicted to make widespread gains. I did not watch the debate because of my blood pressure. At the very best UKIP are a harmless bunch of little Englanders who whine on continually about the EU and are fool enough to swallow the black propaganda of the right wing press. More likely, they are bunch of loosely connected wierdos, xenophobes and assorted nutters. The trouble is, if you give them the oxygen of publicity, they thrive. In such debates the audience favours those arguments which reinforce their prejudices rather than listening to challenges to those prejudices. This is something we are all guilty of, and I admit to it myself, though I hope that I am sufficiently open to reason to change my opinions on occasion.

Nigel Farage has carefully cultivated the act of being a man of the people, a saloon bar prophet. In reality he was privately educated, worked as a commodity broker and was linked to extreme right wing groups since his teenage years. Mr Farage wants to end our current relation with the EU, end immigration and, well, er, I’m not sure what else he actually wants to do. There is nothing positive or forward looking about his message. With the support of the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, The Daily Star and now of the usually ‘one nation Tory’ Daily Telegraph, Nigel Farage has plenty of media types arguing his cause. In a beauty contest of a ‘public’ debate there was only going to be one winner. After all, UKIP have no responsibilities; they are not in office. That makes them both irresponsible and the only fresh thing on the menu. There was no way Nick Clegg could win*. So there was no way I was going to risk having my blood pressure raised.

Another story this week was that the British National Party (BNP), our very own British Fascist party, was giving food parcels to the needy. Provided that the needy were ethnically white British. The Sikh temple in Southall gives out over 1000 meals a day to the needy, regardless of creed and colour and has done so for many years. Go figure who is morally better.

*Opinion polls conducted by the very newspapers mentioned!

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