THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain

Posts categorized "Humour" Feed

The cost of high-tech medicine

Britain has fewer high-tech medical machines than Estonia and Turkey - Telegraph.
This will not surprise anyone who has lived in an emerging market. The interesting question is "why?" In a spirit of scientific enquiry let me offer a theory for you all to shoot down;

The profitability to the vendor of a a good or service varies directly with the number of bureaucrats involved in its purchase, multiplied by their average annual remuneration but divided by the square of the number of decision makers with a financial interest in the outcome. Where "bureaucrat" is defined as a paid, office-bound employee with no financial interest in the outcome of the purchase.

Please note that it is not specific to the public sector (although the number of decision-makers with a financial interest in the outcome is likely to be lower there). Let's call it "Paine's Theory of Purchasing."

Any thoughts?


An English New Year's Eve tradition, but not in England

YouTube - Dinner for one.

I was intrigued to learn today (h/t Omnium) that an obscure English sketch was (a) one of the first pieces ever recorded to videotape by German television and is (b) an intrinsic part of the New Year's Eve tradition in the German-speaking world. According to Wikipedia;

The 18 minute single take black-and-white 1963 TV recording featuring British comedians Freddie Frinton and May Warden has become an integral component of the New Year's Eve schedule of several German television stations.

It is always played in the original English, has not been broadcast in England for 30 years and yet is seen by half the population of Germany each year. This year, apparently, it can be seen at 12 different times today on various channels. It seems the Germans do have a sense of humour and that - oddly - it used to be ours.

The full version, with German introduction, can be seen here. The main English course can be seen below. What a strange kind of immortality for long-forgotten (in his own country) Freddie Frinton.


A happy new year to all my readers. Here's hoping for a peaceful, prosperous and successful 2010 for all. And to our weirdly-humoured German friends, Einen guten Rutsch!