Lighter, not slimmer

Posted on Fri 19 May 2006 in general

When you fork out 390 of you hard earned pounds for a new trim, service and fresh brakes it really makes you wonder if your getting enough out of your car. Still I'll be driving it this weekend and I suppose my fuel bill isn't that high.

Last nights Question Time was very good. Anne and I simultaneously shout "F**k off" at the TV when an audience member suggested a national water grid would solve the South Easts water problems. The solution of course is to spread our population around more not concentrate on the "All roads lead to London" approach which seems to be the central governments policy for so many years. Perhaps those keen gardeners who dread hosepipe bans so much would like to move up north where the gardens are bigger and never go thirsty?

Baroness Kennedey made a very powerful argument for why we should be uncompromising in supporting human rights and against torture. Any country that practises torture not only harms the victims but corrupts the perpetrators. Its a corrosive effect which has repercussions for all of us down the road. I'm definitely a liberal on this issue. Human rights aren't human rights unless they apply to all humans. If we start saying that some people don't deserve them we are basically saying that its OK to treat people as non-human.

The issue of animal testing came up and it was a pleasure to see Frederick Forsyth pick apart one of the audience members anti-testing speeches. One of the arguments of the anti-vivisectionists I've been hearing more of these days is that animal testing didn't prevent the six drug trial men having adverse reactions. It's a hell of a jump to go from one experiment that failed and wasn't picked up by animal testing to say its all ineffective. Thalidomide is an example of a drug that would never of made it to the market if the proper range of animal tests had been run. The point was made that we never hear about all the drugs that don't make it to human trials precisely because of suspect reactions in animals.

It's often seems to me the anti-vivisectionists try and portray the scientists involved in animal testing as inhuman sadists that enjoy torturing animals. This argument is lacks merit as testing is a consequence of the regulatory framework which is there to try and avoid another tragedy like Thalidomide. Sure I'll be glad when our science has advanced to the point we can safely bring drugs to market without animal testing. However we should come to that point based on good solid science and not a reactionary response to emotive pictures of beagles on placards.

Note: I found an interesting pro test site which has some useful information with proper citations.