I have still got toothache and it really hurts. I will be going to the dentist later on today but meanwhile I am dosing myself up with painkillers which, annoyingly I can only use four times in twenty-four hours. I don’t really understand the science but I am being obedient – well who wants to die of an overdose by mistake?
So one really bad thing is being controlled by another thing which would be even worse if I had too much of it. Unusually for me, I am helping this process by not being stupid enough to ignore sensible scientific advice when the complexities are beyond my ken.
Apparently my tooth and gum problem has been created as a side effect of the anti-seizure drug that is helping to keep me seizure-free since my brain haemorrhage.
Don’t ask me how this works but there is obviously a ballance to be struck between toothache, painkillers and life-saving medication. I just need to stick to some sensible rules which I do not understand.
In Britain today the government will announce plans to expand Heathrow Airport with a third runway and a sixth terminal.
This is really important, they will say, because it will go a long way to help unemployment – it will create thousands of jobs and will be good for the economy.
Well, unemployment and the credit crunch are certainly like toothache so, maybe just such a painkiller is what Britain needs.
So Heathrow will become a miracle drug – not only creating jobs, possibly up to 65,000, but also adding an extra 600 flights a day over London, bringing thousands more cars to the motorways leading to the airport and making it the single biggest emitter of CO2 gas in Britain.
Now, just like those instructions on my painkillers, I do not understand the science here, but when Britain has promised to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050, is this a step in the right direction?
Sounds to me, in my ignorance, as if the expansion of Heathrow could be turning it into a dangerous overdose.
This country, and we are not alone here either, has got a real problem with the car industry too.
Sales are down and motor companies, garages and car dealers are feeling the pinch.
Another case of toothache.
Another wonder drug is going to be announced by the British government today.
British consumers are going to be encouraged to buy cars under a new scheme where government money in the catchily titled special liquidity scheme will be made available to finance companies linked to the motor industry.
So the pain will go away just by swallowing another sugared pill. British consumers will save the motor industry by buying cars – well that makes sense. The only trouble is that this will be what used to be called “on the never never.” The rich will, as we know, always be rich and there will not be much anxiety in their households about how to buy their next limo but half of all motor sales in Britain, about £20 billion, are paid for by loans.
Lets hope that when tens of thousands of extra cars flood onto the motorways around Heathrow Airport, that their drivers can all afford them.
So the economy will benefit from the measures announced today.
More jobs, both at Heathrow and in the motor industry – yay!
And we will achieve this by more cars and more planes – and, of course, by more carbon dioxide emmissions.
Well, we shouldn’t worry about that. Clever scientists in white coats are working day and night to make brilliant new fuel substitutes. It is only a question of time before something will turn up – we hope.
It was like that with the nuclear power industry too. Ok the toothache here is the volatility of power supply – we are running out of oil, nasty Russians are planning to blackmail us over gas and coal is just so polluting that even President Bush could see the problem.
So what is the sugared pill? Yes, nuclear power. Essential for the economy we are told. Fine for us, fine for America, a bit more dodgy for Iran and North Korea but it is the great dream for the future we are told. The British government has great new plans for this too.
The small print on the packet does carry a warning though. Don’t throw the waste down the drain or leave it out in bins. Bury it deep, preferably at sea or ship it all to the United Kingdom where we understand these things.
Well, of course we don’t, nobody yet has worked out what to do with nuclear waste but, like those plans for motor fuel, governments believe that something will turn up.
So we should not look at those nasty cases of nuclear over-doses – Hiroshima in war and Chernobyl in peace – we should put our faith in government. When have they ever let us down?
At last, time for my next painkillers. Lets hope they will do the trick.