Two thoughts…

4 01 2009

I have just a couple of ponderances to give to you today.

1. With the trouble in the middle east kicking off one more with disappointing gusto, just where is Britain’s middle east envoy? That’s right, he’s over in America telling everyone how part of everything is luck. According to Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye Tony,  the other half is fate. At a time when the middle east is crying out for help from anyone who is willing to give it, wouldn’t it be nice to actively see Blair doing something about it rather fattening his own wallet by participating in student conferences?

2. At the moment I have nothing to confirm this, as I’ve heard it only in conversation, but guess who the biggest advertiser is on the tv? That’s right, it’s the government. Various governmental campaigns such as the “know your limits” campaign, the car-tax advert or the new obesity advert all come from those at the top concerned with our well-being. It goes a long way to explain just why most people get really annoyed with adverts, and, naturally enough, change the channel.

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4 responses

8 01 2009
phil

maybe it’s cheaper for them to spend money on adverts advising you how to eat healthily now, rather than spending even more money sorting out an operation to treat your coronary artery disease in ten years time…?

9 01 2009
Luke_D

It’s not just the obesity advert though. It’s all the other ones (speeding, alcohol abuse, car tax, benefit fraud etc) too. And yet despite all this, I’m certain I haven’t seen any significant impact made upon the population, there are still speeding accidents, A&E’s are still full of people on a Friday nights vomiting their insides out, people still cheat the system. If things aren’t working, that is no reason to simply produce more, or change the appearance of what is essentially the same message.
I’m not saying lose the adverts altogether, obviously the risks of such things still needs to be promoted, but I did find it interesting that the government is the biggest advertiser in Britain. Surely some of the money could be better spent elsewhere (the NHS is still suffering), or in a better manner relevant to the things it is warning about?

9 01 2009
phil

i agree with most of that, although i’m curious as to where you have or haven’t seen those significant impacts. do you regularly hang out around a&e departments recording people’s injuries? or have you delved into some nhs report on binge drinking? ask claire about it. she’ll know more than either of us.

also, you’re probably right that the absolute number of accidents, etc are not decreasing but this observation has to be made in relation to the total population. as an example, the total number of people dying each year in england is higher now than ever before, but the death rate has fallen from 26 per 1000 in 1901 to 10 per 1000 today.

i think you need a bit more evidence to back up what you’re saying.

9 01 2009
Luke_D

I actually did a blog about binge drinking a while ago (albeit underage drinking), it’s there to be read.
A quick scan of this report seems to confirm some of my views in relation to drinking, but it is a few years old: http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/files/20031212_114408_Binge%20drinking%20update%20%202003.pdf

Likewise this document has enough information which seems to substantiate my thoughts: http://www.ias.org.uk/resources/factsheets/binge_drinking.pdf

There are countless other reports of increased problems, google it, the results are there to be found.

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