Empower, Include, and Transform

Something I came across a few days ago:

Obese people and smokers in the East Riding are to be denied non-life threatening surgery for six months.

Routine operations, including for hip and knee replacements, will be delayed for patients with a BMI of over 35 and smokers, who will be offered weight loss and stop smoking programmes.

The measures have been introduced by East Riding CCG, which has denied that it is about saving money, saying it is to “encourage and empower patients to take greater responsibility for their lifestyle choices.”

I don’t know what it is about words like “empower”, but they’re like flashing red warning lights, telling you that there’s trouble ahead. Like masonic handshakes, they’re code words to signal to other people that the speaker is One of Us. And if anyone ever tells you that they wish to “empower” anyone, what they really mean is that they want to comprehensively dis-empower them. For all these words usually mean the exact opposite of what they mean to ordinary people.

But at least some people are appalled by it.

The measures however have been condemned by the Royal College of Surgeons, which warned that other groups of patients could face rationing.

Its president Clare Marx said the ban was the “wrong approach and frankly shocking”.

She said decisions about whether to treat a patient should be based on their need and “not arbitrary criteria about weight and smoking status”.

She added: “If smokers and patients are hit this time, where will the rationing decisions fall next?”

It would seem that the Royal College of Surgeons isn’t a hotbed of antismokers and lifestyle police like the Royal College of Physicians or the British Medical Association. Because if she’d been one, Clare Marx would have thoroughly approved of the proposed measures, and probably called for even tougher ones.

I wondered what East Riding CCG, who introduced the measure, might be. Here the bastards are (click on pic to enlarge):

They all look fairly normal, don’t they? Nine men and seven women. Only the women seated. In school photos 50 years ago, the only people seated were the schoolteachers and prefects – the rest of us had to stand. And the headmaster sat in the middle. So I’m guessing that the headmistress is the lady sitting in the middle.

But standing off to the left are two guys with what I think of as Michael E. Mann beards (right). He’s the guy who created the “hockey stick” graph of global warming, and I think beards like this may also be masonic-handshake signals that the owner is One of Us. They’re neatly trimmed to surround the mouth, and have the appearance of being a second mouth, open wide and shouting.

And they are standing out to the Left, aren’t they? Need I say more? They’re probably both members of the East Riding Antismokers, Global Warming Alarmists, and Leftwing Radicals Association.

Here’s what’s in About Us:

Welcome to the East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group website. We are here to put local healthcare needs at the heart of local decision making. This website provides information about our area, our members and our priorities.

Our aim is for patients to be central partners in their care and our vision and values reflect this:

Our vision:

‘better care, more locally, within budget, through transformation’

Our values:

‘Patient-centred, working in partnership, transparent in our decision making, legitimate and inclusive’

We recognise that transformation means working in a planned and carefully managed way to do things differently across the health care system. We are working with patients, carers, clinicians and our other health and social care partners to decide how best to deliver care in the future.

Oh dear. “Vision”, “transformation”, and “inclusive”. More warning buzzwords, with attendant flashing red lights and sirens.

Anyway, of those 16 people, it seems that at least 9 must have voted to deny smokers and “well-fed” people surgery. My guess is that it was the five slimmest women (which excludes the two sitting on the outside – hint: as outsiders –),  the three slim men standing behind them – hint: backing them up –, and of course the two Michael Mann beards on the left.

It looks like I’m right about the headmistress. She’s Dr Gina Palumbo.

Amazing what you can glean from a photo, if you look at it closely enough.

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38 Responses to Empower, Include, and Transform

  1. garyk30 says:

    Looks like the ‘Mann’ look-alike is obese enough to not elective surgery.

    So do several others in that group’

    But. I would bet, the rules do not apply to them and only to others.

    • Manfred says:

      Oh, they’re way above ‘the rules’. Guaranteed. Likely well removed from the quagmire of their social engineering and their ideologically motivated decisions by the cushion of private health insurance. I don’t begrudge them that, only the auto self-exemption of their one rule for all.
      The social and economic options become limitless once the provision of care is based on ideology. As our host alludes, this is more of the same “save the planet” chant that justifies any and everything, UNTIL IT DOESN’T.

  2. RdM says:

    OT: I just watched this on live TV, a delightful gentle tale and romance, 101 years old

    The world’s oldest blogger reveals how it’s possible to transform your life and find happiness at 100 years of age.


  3. RdM says:

    And apropos of nothing, the Rolling Stones are about halt-way through their new European tour


    No Filter!


    Already video up on youtube, some full concerts. And comments.

    • nisakiman says:

      I get the distinct impression, RdM, that you’re quite keen on the Stones. :)

      I think they’re magnificent. Mick still gyrating manically on stage, Keef still smoking and boozing (and no doubt availing himself of other goodies when he feels so inclined), and they’re still belting out great music.

      And to this day, ‘Let it Bleed’ remains one of my favourite albums.

      I’ve never seen them live, unfortunately. And to be honest, the mega-stadiums they play are so vast that you’re better off watching the video anyway.

      • nisakiman says:

        I’ve never seen them live, unfortunately.
        I just realised when I re-read that that I tell a lie. I was at the ‘Stones in the Park’ concert in Hyde Park in 1969. I and a few friends were quite near the stage, too. As I remember it, it was a bit of a dope-fest, with most of the audience (including us) off their heads on all sorts of stuff. Hence the gap in my memory. I do remember picking up a very pretty young hippy and taking her home, though.

        • Frank Davis says:

          I went to that concert too. We hired a boat on the Serpentine, and spent much of our time rowing around the island in the middle of it trying to escape pursuing motorboats after we out-stayed our time.

      • RdM says:

        Sorry it took me a while to get back to this!
        I think they’re magnificent too, all that you wrote.
        I did have the great good fortune to see them live with a free ticket in Auckland late 2014, way up the back in metal stands in a stadium I’d never been in before, Mt. Smart, there was slight drizzling rain and wind and the wind was blowing the sound around a bit too, and I forgot to bring a camera or even binoculars, but it was still a great experience!

        They had this weird truncated trapezoid center video screen, framed with lighting effects, and a pair of outlier screens, and so the central image seemed a bit cropped;- I think that they improved on this for the 2016 Latin America tour and even more for the current one.

        Here’s the opening intro for the Auckland show, just 1:21 m from an audience member:

        And (there’s very little) Satisfaction, again off the side, low tech, some persons capture – if you persist, you can see the drizzle and wind blowing around, Mick singing through it.

        (10 minutes)

        Again, https://iorr.org/ is a great resource, you can follow the 2017 tour there.

        Actually I also saw them live outside Western Springs 2006, half way down the Bullock Track beside the venue top to bottom, a gap through the trees allowed a view of half the stage & half the catwalk, and the sound was still pretty good, a gaggle standing there.

        But I might imagine people who can go to the latest current tour, a few concerts left.

        Yes, Let It Bleed – they play a few tracks off that these days still.
        I see I have 3 versions of it, CD, original UK LP, & a later boutique 200g LP release.

        Waiting in moderation… ;=}))

        • RdM says:

          And some audience member has already uploaded some lo-tech footage of Barcelona 2017, pity about the ads, maybe some better live video will be available later.

          Wed 27 Sep 2017

  4. jariel says:

    So unfair…
    Being a senior citizen, and living in an apartment building for senior citizens, and attending a synagogue where the majority of the congregation is 65 and over, I know MANY people who have had or are preparing to have knee and/or hip surgery. None of them are obese. (okay, a few are a bit chubby, but definitely not obese) None of them are smokers. Obviously their painful physical problems have nothing to do with smoking or obesity, but with old age. If I lived in East Riding and unfortunately needed hip or knee surgery, I would be denied this necessary operation because I smoke? I’d have to live in extreme pain unless I stopped smoking, when smoking has nothing to do with why I needed the operation? This is insane. Totally insane.

    • garyk30 says:

      Indeed it is.

    • nisakiman says:

      Look on the bright side, Jariel. Your non-smoking fellow worshippers at the synagogue are more likely than you to need those joint replacements anyway:

      Men who smoke have less of a risk of needing joint replacement surgery than those who have never lit up a cigarette, according to a new study published online in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
      The study, which was led by George Mnatzaganian, a Ph. D. student at the University of Adelaide in Australia, analyzed study data of more than 11,000 subjects and discovered that those who had smoked for 48 years or more had a 42% to 51% lower risk of needing a total knee or hip replacement than those who had never done so.


      I also seem to remember reading somewhere, although I don’t seem to have bookmarked it, that smokers had better outcomes after that type of surgery than non-smokers. That, however, is from memory, so I can’t be sure.

      • Manfred says:

        11,000 subjects and discovered that those who had smoked for 48 years or more had a 42% to 51% lower risk of needing a total knee or hip replacement than those who had never done so.

        We all know association is not causation but there may be a relationship around raised basal metabolic rate and smoking and less weight. Ironic isn’t it. As they lean on smoking, many may turn to food, and in addition not helped by a decline in metabolism, they may gain weight and remain or become excluded from intervention. Another observation is the endemic chronic under-reporting of smoking (by demonized smokers) and over-reporting of smoking (yes Me Lud, I smoked one ciggy behind the library at prep school). The stats around the whole ideologically galvanized persecution are unadulterated bollocks, totally contaminated by bias and confounding (at a low level of smoking).

    • beobrigitte says:

      Jariel, unfair?

      Hippocratic oath: (1948)

      I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity . . .

      I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;

      The health of my patient will be my first consideration;

      I will respect the secrets that are confided in me . . .

      I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;

      I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;

      I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat . . . .

      They are not keeping their sworn oath! Perhaps the eager crowd in East Riding needs a reminder?

  5. Barry Homan says:

    As Liam Neeson said in the film about Kinsey: “A moustache is a mask. So is a beard. In films, the man with the moustache is always the villain.”

    When talking people about their sexual backgrounds and experiences, Kinsey wanted his interviewers to be clean-shaven – no masks, that way the interviewees would be more trusting, relaxed and expansive.

    Prohibitionists may tend to be the bearded or moustachioed type, I’ve noticed. It helps to mask the villain behind it.

  6. Joe L. says:

    I arrived at work this morning to find that almost all of the ashtrays that were cemented into the ground some 20+ feet from most entrances of the office buildings here (in accordance with current state laws) were removed overnight last night, cut off at ground level with a Sawzall, without any prior notice, let alone discussion or input.

    This is completely out of control. It’s apparent that we smokers no longer matter enough to receive an email or an invitation to attend a company meeting to discuss potential changes. No, these fucking control freaks will just silently inconvenience us further, pushing us farther and farther away from society, both figuratively and literally. I’m absolutely livid right now. This will not be a productive day at work for me, to say the least.

    • waltc says:

      Ashes and butts should go on the ground right where the ashtrays were. In fact, if I were you, I’d save up butts from home and surreptitiously dump them there for effect

    • smokingscot says:

      Sorry if you’re already up to speed on pocket ashtrays.


      I have one identical top that at the top of the page – it’s good for 3 to 4 manufactured butts. Also another larger one that has a less delicate thing to rest the cigarette – and is good for half a dozen butts.

      The idea is to stay strictly legal, avoid litter and so on. They stink if you don’t empty them and I look for a litter bin to dump the lot before placing it in my pocket.

      There was a case where the supermarket had no ashtray outside and I was playing taxi driver for a friend who was rather picky about produce. After about 20 minutes of looking like a stooky, I lit up, did the usual bit, then when my friend appeared I popped into the entrance where they had a litter bin and dumped the lot in that.

      • Joe L. says:

        Thanks for the link. I’ve never considered buying a pocket ashtray; it’s just one more item to carry around and take up pocket space. Maybe I’ll consider it.

        Since I was “exiled to the outdoors,” I always try to be courteous and dispose of my butts in ashtrays whenever the proprietor of an establishment is thoughtful enough to provide them. However, if I’m forced to brave the elements to smoke a cigarette and there’s no ashtray to be found, I have no qualms littering the ground. If I was still able to smoke indoors and extinguish my cigarettes in proper ashtrays, I would have never been forced to litter in the first place.

        The Antismokers, by forcing smokers outdoors, have created (at least) two new issues that didn’t exist before: 1.) forcing nonsmokers to walk past loitering smokers, and 2.) forcing smokers to litter.

        Both of these previously non-existent issues have become new reasons for people to complain about smokers, thus justifying further outdoor smoking bans and littering laws. Antismokers have manufactured more disdain for smokers by forcing us to become “inconsiderate” through their attempt to “help.” Fuck them straight to hell.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Was this done by your management, or by some outsider? It sounds like it may have been outsiders if it was done overnight using a machine tool.

      • Joe L. says:

        It appears to have been done by management; very professional, clean cuts and the metal has been sanded flush with the concrete.

        Also, my initial report of “almost all” the ashtrays being removed was incorrect. After walking around the property, I noticed that only the ashtrays nearest to doors (still 20+ feet away, mind you) were removed. These were the ashtrays most frequently used (for the obvious reason of proximity), and also the ashtrays which had the largest amount of non-smoking passers-by. A handful of more remote ashtrays remain standing (for now).

        I’m curious whether the bastards are done or if they will continue to remove more (all?) of them over the following days.

  7. beobrigitte says:

    At least 4 of these won’t qualify for elective surgery due to being well fed and I guess at least one due to smoking. (There is always at least one smoker in a group of a very stressed work group)
    Unless, of course the rules don’t apply for them.

    The measures have been introduced by East Riding CCG, which has denied that it is about saving money, saying it is to “encourage and empower patients to take greater responsibility for their lifestyle choices.”
    Of course it’s about saving money!! And making money. I don’t think the dietary push is for free and neither are Zyban… Champix … etc.etc. for which the NHmesS will have to pay and this hospital intends cash in.

    Actually, there is a cure for this sickness. It’s called avoiding this hospital. Patients have the right to choose which hospital they wish to have their elective surgery in.
    Therefore: if conscious avoid this hospital!! Cross the country if need to! If all well fed people and smokers have their elective surgery elsewhere, the place can’t survive. In elective surgery is a lot of cash!
    The Royal College of Surgeons knows that best. They are not appalled or even care about other groups of patients facing rationing.

    But at least some people are appalled by it.

    The measures however have been condemned by the Royal College of Surgeons, which warned that other groups of patients could face rationing.

  8. waltc says:

    And, yes, ” empower you” means we beat you about the head until we force you to submit to our power over your life

  9. Smoking Lamp says:

    “Empower you” is classic Orwellian newspeak. The lifestyle controllers have become full-blown totalitarian authoritarians.

  10. Joe Public says:

    Smokers & portly ones in East Riding might be tempted to withold their taxes to “encourage and empower twats like those to have greater understanding of who pays their wages.”

  11. Smoking Lamp says:

    Perhaps the draconian overreach is starting to crack? Just saw this from Edmonton, Alberta (Canada): “Edmonton mayor candidate wants to bring back indoor smoking” https://globalnews.ca/news/3774609/edmonton-mayor-candidate-wants-to-bring-back-indoor-smoking/

    There is a poll (currently 77.67% No; 22.33% Yes where yes means remove ban and allow smoking indoors). Of course the comments are dominated by astroturf antismokers.

    • waltc says:

      Still about the same in the poll now.

    • Joe L. says:

      Very refreshing to finally hear this from someone running for public office!

      Looks like Koziak struck a nerve with Tobacco Control because the comments section on the article is littered with astroturfers. There are a couple brief comments that appear to be from genuine smokers, simply stating they will be voting for Koziak. However, the majority of comments from “smokers” are all formulaic, copycat, long-winded statements to the effect of, “I’m a smoker … but I love the indoor smoking ban because [insert tired, worn-out Antismoking propaganda cliche here].”

      • junican says:

        22% for indoor smoking. Total vote 7000+. Enough to be a representative sample. 22% of votes in the bag for Koziak,

        • smokingscot says:

          It’s up to almost 25% in favour of as of this evening.

          Checked on how many adults still smoke in Canada. The latest I found is 2015 and they claim it’s 17.7%.


          Also the Canadians have the same attitude as our lot, namely it’s the low income (poor), not well educated (stupid) and so on who still smoke.

          Now that demographic seldom has access to the web and are very unlikely to read a newspaper.

          My point is there seems to be an abnormally large number of people who would welcome the return of indoor smoking, certainly far more than just the people who smoke.

          What’s obvious from the comments and the photos they attach to them is very few of the faux impassioned are of the demographic to actually go out of a night and really use the facilities most likely to welcome the return of smoking – and some of those who say they’ll never vote for Koziak don’t even live in Edmonton.

          Take that lot out and perhaps Koziak’s chances of becoming Mayor are pretty good.

  12. Roobeedoo2 says:

    ‘NESTS are made from things birds find in the environment. For those that live far from human dwellings, twigs and leaves predominate. For those that live in cities, the list of materials is more eclectic. Often it includes plastic bags, paper, aluminium foil, electrical cables and even cigarette butts. Most of these have been assumed to be the result of birds simply making do with what the urban world provides them, but a study just published in Avian Biology by Monserrat Suárez-Rodríguez and Constantino Macías Garcia of the National Autonomous University of Mexico has demonstrated that the cigarette butts are being woven into nests not by accident but by design.’


    • Joe L. says:

      I remember reading about this hypothesis years ago. It’s great to see they continued their research on this, and have supported their theory!

      Now I feel even less guilty about littering my cigarette butts when there is no outdoor ashtray provided.

      This news creates quite the moral dilemma for brainwashed, tree-hugging environmentalists. I would love to hear their responses.

    • Rose says:

      We’ve been here before.

      Birds line nests with cigarette butts
      December 6, 2012

      “While most animals seem to be indifferent to cigarettes and tobacco smoke, it seems that birds actually like them:

      Birds line nests with cigarette butts to repel pests, scientists claim

      Birds are lining their nests with cigarette butts to repel pests and keep themselves warm, according to research.
      Wild birds have long protected their nests from mite invasion by importing chemical-emitting plants.

      But now birds living in cities seem to have adapted similar behaviour, filling their nests with up to 48 cigarette buts to make use of the repellent properties of tobacco.

      The nicotine and other chemicals in discarded filters act as a natural pesticide that repels parasitic mites. At the same time, the cellulose butts provide useful nest insulation.

      Scientists in Mexico City studied nests of house sparrows and house finches that each contained, on average, about 10 used cigarette butts.

      Birds who stored larger numbers of butts saw their nests significantly less infested by mites.”

      “Along similar lines:

      A quick smoke? It’s good for the wings

      12:01AM BST 02 Jun 2007 Birds are picking up discarded cigarette butts and using the smoke to fumigate their wings of parasites, experts said yesterday.

      Rooks have been spotted swooping on to the tracks at Exeter St David’s railway station in Devon and placing their wings over the smoke to collect the fumes underneath.

      Commuter Jeff Jones, of Budleigh Salterton, said: “I noticed the rooks because they are not usually found in towns. They were generally flapping about when a chap flicked a cigarette butt on to the track.

      “It was still all right and one of the rooks swooped down and picked up the butt with its beak. It then flew around and landed on the platform, dancing around with this smoking cigarette in its beak.

      It looked quite comical. But then it dropped the butt on the platform and pulled its wings over it, collecting the smoke. It seemed as if it were using the smoke to rid itself of perhaps ants or something similar.”

      By now this fact should be unarguable.

      Use of tobacco smoke against parasitic mite syndrome

      It’s only for the benefit of TC and government that any confusion is still maintained.

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