A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
“APPY” NEW YEAR: self-surveillance, big brother and the worried well

“APPY” NEW YEAR: self-surveillance, big brother and the worried well

I got a new watch for Christmas. It tells me how far I walk each day, how many calories I burn off through movement and it reminds me to stand up and move around every hour. It rewards me when... More…
Public Protest and Debate: Katie Hopkins and the Welfare State

Public Protest and Debate: Katie Hopkins and the Welfare State

On November 23rd 2015 my mind was concentrated on the politics of health and the welfare state in a way that I had not anticipated, raising issues that I now realize I had never adequately thought through before. Brunel University... More…
Tales of Everyday Drinking: Risk, Alcohol and Government Advice

Tales of Everyday Drinking: Risk, Alcohol and Government Advice

“My name is …and I’m an alcoholic” – Wednesday, 13 January – 10pm on Channel 5 We have a complicated relationship with alcohol. Many of us are as likely to drink to drown our sorrows as we are to celebrate our successes.... More…
Highlights of 2015

Highlights of 2015

Dear Readers, Thanks for reading our posts and for following us on twitter. Also thanks to the many guest authors who have blogged for us over the last year. We hope you all have a merry break over Christmas and... More…
Chemsex

Chemsex

Made for VICE by directors William Fairman and Max Gogarty, Chemsex is an eighty-minute documentary film about drug-fuelled gay sex parties, the men involved, and the risks they take with their health. While the stories and images of injecting drug... More…
You and Your Genetics

You and Your Genetics

You are distinctly Neanderthal, you have an elevated risk of getting colon cancer, and quite possibly your Dad is not your Dad….“Happy Christmas!” One of the stranger xmas present suggestions that I have run into this season is a through-the-post,... More…
Watching the Detectives: Epigenetics and Ethics

Watching the Detectives: Epigenetics and Ethics

Detective fiction routinely uses DNA technology as a plot device. So much so that that the “CSI effect” has been blamed for distorting the criminal justice system. Victims of crime and jurors have unrealistic expectations about the role of evidence... More…
Why cutting spending on public health is a false economy

Why cutting spending on public health is a false economy

Public health spending is under threat. This despite the fact that increasing investment in prevention is the foundation of a sustainable NHS. Cutting these budgets is alarmingly short-termist and indicates a fundamental failure of the government to understand the changing nature... More…
Why do older British ex-pats trust Spanish health care?

Why do older British ex-pats trust Spanish health care?

When we went to talk to British ex-pats who’d retired to Spain, it was not surprising to find them enjoying the ‘good life’. Sun, sea and the ready community of other British retirees all made Mallorca or the Costa Blanca... More…
Suffragette: On 100 years of votes for women

Suffragette: On 100 years of votes for women

On the week the Bond film Spectre was released, as I entered the cinema through a 007 themed red carpet for the only screening of Suffragette that day, I was struck by the juxtaposition with Britain’s most popular misogynist. I... More…
Cracked

Cracked

How does it feel to have a young person in your care experience psychosis for the first time? An impressionistic answer to this question played out over sixty minutes in a studio theatre in Easterhouse, Glasgow: distress, frustration, repetition, annoyance,... More…
On euphemism & sheer cloudy vagueness: the case of tax credits

On euphemism & sheer cloudy vagueness: the case of tax credits

In his celebrated essay Politics and the English Language, Orwell talks about politicians calculated use of purposively vague language. Last week’s vote on tax credit reform, if you listen to Tory commentators, has precipitated a constitutional crisis in the UK.... More…
Manufacturing fictions: Gothic morality tales

Manufacturing fictions: Gothic morality tales

I am not the first person to point out the Gothic nature of capitalism, nor is it a particularly recent observation. The full extent of just how gothic it is dawned on me during my time at Shades City Centre... More…
Saving Helen? Social Responsibility and Domestic Violence in The Archers

Saving Helen? Social Responsibility and Domestic Violence in The Archers

Media strategies can help challenge domestic violence and a fictional story can often give audiences a unique perspective on the lived reality of abusive relationships. This is because it is considered to operate outside of the legal and ethical constraints... More…
Social policy and austerity outcomes

Social policy and austerity outcomes

It has been argued that sociologists should ‘catch up’ with behavioural scientists and get more involved in trials of social policy, engaging in a culture of ‘experimental government’. I would be the first to agree that we could develop a... More…
“A Kinder Politics and a More Caring Society”

“A Kinder Politics and a More Caring Society”

Jeremy Corbyn stood for election as the leader of the UK Labour party on the pledge of a new “kinder politics and a more caring society”. Taken at face value it seems difficult to see how anyone can argue, or... More…
Declining health outcomes, rising health inequality and extreme economic inequality

Declining health outcomes, rising health inequality and extreme economic inequality

Evidence is beginning to surface of the possible health effects of the rapid social polarisation that is taking place in the UK. This evidence is often hidden, or at the very least hard to find, but it will soon emerge... More…
Becoming a scientific society: making the living laboratory work for public services in Wales

Becoming a scientific society: making the living laboratory work for public services in Wales

Government departments and their frontline staff are constantly experimenting with new policies and different methods of delivering public services to try to discover better ways of doing things. For example, it’s thought that some health boards in Wales are now... More…
Scary clones and space-ready humans - the genome debate hots up

Scary clones and space-ready humans – the genome debate hots up

Hopes and fears around new developments in genome editing have sparked a fresh round of arguments about the ethics of eugenics. Until recently, a great deal of ethical thinking about genomics focused on what would happen if scientists ever worked... More…
Alan Kurdi

Alan Kurdi

The pitiful picture of a child who drowned during a failed sea crossing from Turkey to Greece seems to have done what reams of analysis and commentary could not: shifted the narrative. The image of Alan (also reported as Aylan)... More…