A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
The Fragility of the Enterprise

The Fragility of the Enterprise

I’m at a medium-sized conference, one I’ve attended several times before and I am in a deep depression*. An anthropologist I don’t know is looking at me, intently. She has just told me that she’s especially interested in what I... More…
Nudging behaviour is ineffective, naïve and unethical

Nudging behaviour is ineffective, naïve and unethical

Interventions to ‘nudge’ people into desirable behaviours have become popular with policy-makers internationally.  In the UK, the Behavioural Insights Team – established under former premier David Cameron – are prolific nudgers, designing (amongst many others) inputs to reduce meat consumption, protect... More…
Promoting health without promoting stigma?

Promoting health without promoting stigma?

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is again under fire for its campaigning on obesity.  There was a lot wrong with their most recent posters, which equated obesity with smoking as a cause of cancer.  The debates that followed highlighted the vital... More…
Mortality rates are still rising in the UK

Mortality rates are still rising in the UK

And everyone is ignoring how many more people are dying When the UK’s annual mid-year population estimates were released in late June 2019, much of the media coverage focused on the fact that the population had risen, but growth rates had stalled. The... More…
On the buses...

On the buses…

Last week, Boris Johnson’s claims about making model buses in his spare time, were met with some incredulity. It was widely reported, and the general reaction seemed to be it was yet another bizarre interview, with commentators arguing it once... More…
Student Mental Health, Social Class and Insecurity in Sally Rooney’s "Normal People"

Student Mental Health, Social Class and Insecurity in Sally Rooney’s “Normal People”

ISBN 9780571334650 Format Paperback Published 02/05/2019 Length 288 pages Sally Rooney’s second novel Normal People (recently published in paperback) has drawn a great deal of praise being suggested as a “future classic” for its zeitgeisty insights into the relationships and... More…
Leadership Blues

Leadership Blues

As Britain descends further into the dystopian nightmare that Brexit has become, the latest instalment of our journey from serious country to sick joke is the Tory leadership contest.  That a country, that considers itself a democracy, can choose a... More…
Colour-blindness in Sweden: Revealing the veiled truth

Colour-blindness in Sweden: Revealing the veiled truth

“Our fight against right populism is needed in Europe” The quote above was the campaign slogan of the Center Party (Centerpartiet) in Sweden during the recent EU election, which clearly positioned the party as having an anti-right populist political stance at... More…
Simple Solutions for Complex Lives

Simple Solutions for Complex Lives

Magical thinking and multiple, complex needs in the UK In the UK at present, we appear to have an epidemic of magical thinking about the lives of the unhoused victims of universal credit (UC), the ‘20%’ with multiple and complex... More…
Her bloody project – managing menstruation at work*

Her bloody project – managing menstruation at work*

Recent legislative limitations placed on women’s rights to abortion in the US, similar to those in Northern Ireland, are a timely reminder of how certain aspects of society hate and want to control women, and the ways in which that... More…
The Colonisation of Pondering and Pottering

The Colonisation of Pondering and Pottering

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where... More…
Acknowledging Unpaid Public Work

Acknowledging Unpaid Public Work

The Need for Authentic Peer Support The idea of unpaid public work is an underexplored aspect of many women’s lives. Unpaid work might include: being a trustee on charitable boards, providing pastoral care and signposting people to welfare services, participating... More…