The first thing that caught my eye this morning was from the Times, and concerns the effects of the Credit crunch on some people.
It seems that desperate people are advertising their Kidneys for sale at £25,000 or more. One person willing to sell a kidney is a 26-year-old mental health nurse who said he needed the money to pay debts after a business he set up went bankrupt. Another is a 43-year-old taxi driver from Lancashire, who wants to raise cash to pay off some of his mortgage and buy a new kitchen.
Professor Peter Friend, a former president of the British Transplant Society, said: “The West has outlawed it for all sorts of good reasons, but the result is it goes underground. It is really important to have a debate.” Nearly 7,000 people in the UK are waiting for kidney transplants and 300 died last year while on the waiting list.
Offering to sell an organ in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is an offence under the Human Tissue Act even if the seller is planning to travel to another country for the transplant operation.
Should putting people in the position of contemplating selling part of their bodies because of indefensible policies and lack of government also be an offence?
Then there is the prince of darkness “Lord” Mandelson, who has bared what might be his soul to the Telegraph and offered the suggestion that he would be willing to work for the Tories if they win the next election saying “he would be willing to put his experience at the disposal of the country, if Labour lost power. "As I grow older, I can imagine more ways of serving my country than simply being a party politician,"
He added: "Of course, it wouldn't be serving the government, it would be serving the country and I wouldn't be doing it by becoming a member of that government."
Mandelson, who will be 56 next month, said he was "too tribal" ever to become a Tory minister and insisted he was focused on helping Labour win the election.
It seems that the unelected and probably unelectable Mandy is ever ready to follow the money and the Kudos.
It does show an interesting side of his character.
Despite all the promises and reassurances from Gord’s gang the NHS is in for a bit of amputation.
Health service managers are warning of an "Armageddon scenario" facing NHS finances as they draw up secret plans for swingeing hospital cuts.
There are plans afoot to reduce the number of patients referred to specialists, or treated in Accident and Emergency departments, while GPs will be asked to cut down on the amount of time spent in consultations.
But not yet, these plans will come into effect after 2011 when the current spending round ends. The NHS Confederation, which represents NHS managers, will tell this week's Labour Party conference that the impending challenge is so great that hospital closures and job cuts must be enforced across the country.
It comes as two leading think tanks predict a future funding gap of between £20bn and £40bn within six years of 2011.
Regional health authorities have ordered hospitals and primary care trusts to draw up plans for cuts worth billions.
In London, NHS trusts have been told to divert more than half of A&E patients, and those seeing specialists, to cheaper "polyclinics" run by groups of GPs. Meanwhile, family doctors will be asked to speed up their consultations, reducing the average time per patient from 12 minutes to eight.
The instructions drawn up by NHS London, and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, order trusts to demonstrate that they can deliver an "aggressive scenario" in response to funding pressures.
A spokesman for NHS London said its documents provided planning scenarios, rather than forecasts, to cope with a changing economic environment. He said the NHS was investing heavily to ensure care was provided in the most appropriate setting.
Yes; until 2011 and then we will see the result of years of wasted billions on “upper management”, Kharzi clinics, specialization centres and piss poor policies.
And last but not least:
The future is here, well sort of, the Royal College of Art's Helen Hamlyn Centre is holding an exhibition of the “latest” gadgets designed to make our lives more complicated.
Among the prototypes are a Smartphone for people with impaired sight, medical products to slow the spread of infection and mobile phone packaging aimed at the elderly.
Also on display are items using solar power panels such as a fruit bowl which can re-charge a mobile phone and a park bench that lights up at night.
Talking cars? Great, just what you want when you are trying to avoid speeding, the Numptys that never indicate, the “pushers in” and road rage, a car that blathers on about the weather.
As to the fruit bowl that recharges your mobile; I suppose it is one way of getting your five a day, and a mobile for the elderly? Does that mean a phone that is actually a phone and not some internet surfing, mp3 playing, video clip cinema, face book linked twittering gadget that rings every ten seconds with a text? GOOD.
If you like today’s format let me know, I may make it a permanent fixture.