House prices rose dramatically in January, which is not the brighter note! But 25,100 first-time buyer mortgages were granted that month - 4.6% up on 2018. Like it or not, the house market is a massive part of the UK economy. It’s not just the big things either, with things as small and as simple as a new cup hook all adding up and creating jobs. Not that there are many places you can buy just one cup hook now, so you buy 4,5,6 or whatever, then when you need one in the shed you can’t find the rest!
I forget how many years ago the MMR vaccination was challenged which resulted in many parents being scared into not letting their children have it. Cases of measles soared and the data on which the challenge was made was found to be flawed. But measles is still on the rise, so I was delighted when looking at the public service promos I received for my Faversham Natters show this week that there was one from the Department of Health promoting the MMR jab. Measles in particular is a very dangerous and unpleasant disease but if you catch it as an adult it can be far worse than having it as a child. It can lead to epilepsy, fits and mental health problems. How does a measles infection develop? As soon as the virus enters the body, it multiplies in the back of the throat, lungs, and the lymphatic system. It later infects and replicates in the urinary tract, eyes, blood vessels, and central nervous system. Well done the DoH for promoting the use of vaccination. We need 95% of the population vaccinated as a minimum, and it is currently only 87%.
Teenagers as young as 13 lacking in self-esteem and suffering with mental health issues are turning to Botox jabs. They seem to think (mainly girls) that they have to look like celebrities and are ‘solving’ problems that actually don’t exist. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics wants it to be illegal to have cosmetic surgery under 18. That would raise the issue of repair work after, say, a road accident, but why are parents allowing, one might even say encouraging, and certainly paying for such treatments. I was on TalkRADIO in January, the day Superdrug introduced a mental health questionnaire which had to be completed before treatment could be carried out… I was tempted to put this in the mad section!
The Sunday Times tells us that Donald Trump is nicknamed Pele of the golf course. Apparently, if his ball goes into the rough he kicks or even throws it out!
Apparently one in six people will post pictures on social media suggesting or even claiming they live in a lavish house which isn’t actually theirs, in order to impress people. As the American Ambassador Lois Susman famously said when I was interviewing him and dropped in a question on Downton Abbey… “no comment!”
I wrote recently how good it was that the British people were so generous with donations to Comic Relief. But we learn this week that while making political statements on the state of things like homelessness in Britain today, Comic Relief are sitting on £117million of unspent money - that’s nearly twice what we all coughed up this year. It is madness not to be using that to fight hunger and other major issues. I know you have to keep reserves for rainy days and I know you have to pay people. In 2017, £11.9million was raised with 30 people earning over £60,000 per annum. I wonder what they and the six earning over £100,000 a year actually do and how much value they add to the cause.