Sunday, 2 February 2014
Pain and pus in suburbia.
In the pub a small group of non-rugby fans chatted while most of the punters remained glued to the telly. The talk touched upon parents moving to leafy, expensive suburbs because the schools are good. For "good" read "white". For "poor" read "poor". It's the kind of conversation that I find it difficult to be part of without losing my temper so I was pleased that it was mercifully brief. Back home Michael Mosley's excellent Pain, Pus and Poison concentrated this week on the control of infection and in particular the eradication of smallpox. The dedicated band of workers who set out to inoculate smallpox into the history books had a selfless concern for all children not just their own offspring. A huge gulf of neo-con individualism separates such concern from the narrow interests of today's chattering classes. It was with some delight that I discovered that my own leafy suburb has been given a mention in Crap Towns Returns. Needless to say there has been considerable response from estate agents and suchlike pond life. Here is an example….. "With it's prime location next to the River Thames on one side, Bushy Park on the other, outstanding Ofsted-rated schools, leafy avenues, a buoyant property market and a thriving town centre filled with unique independent shops etc. etc." I think I had better take one of my tablets and have a lie down!