Gabble, gabble, gabble!

I am not sure why we listen to Classic FM, as it regurgitates all the old classical favourites and rarely plays something that I haven’t heard before.  This is irritating to my wife, because I tend to whistle along or provide harmonies (I am pitch-perfect on the tenor part in Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah, and pretty nearly perfect for the Faure and Mozart requiems – though in the latter case they never play my favourite movement, the Libera Me).  It is also annoying to me, because there’s a wealth of great stuff which I would like to hear.  As the station only plays bits, except in the Full Works concert in the evening, it would be nice to have some bite-size standalones; Brahms’ piano Rhapsodies (Op.79), Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, Schubert songs.  Mind you, I would sing along to those, too…

But one thing on the station, and indeed on other commercial radio programmes, really, really annoys me.  The adverts.  Not all of them; I adore Alexandr the meerkat, for example.  But there seems to be a need for advertisers to cram in every last detail about terms and conditions, exclusions, deadlines, selected dealers only, APR representative and so on. One can only admire the voiceover artists who spiel through this rubbish faster than I can think, rushing over the cliff like an avalanche of words.

But who can possibly remember every detail, having listened to it?  The triple speed spouting is about as much use as saying “rhubarb”; 30 seconds of garbled gabble is a total waste of advertiser’s’ money.  As most of these adverts end by spitting out “See website for details” why not just leave it at that?  If you really want to know which “selected models only” have been selected you don’t get that from the advert anyway so you will have to visit the website for details!

Come on, high-end car salesfolk (for it is mainly you). Get your acts together.  Cut the cackle and give us relaxed adverts that are as pleasing to the ear as the music that comes between.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first turn mad

Today the medical mag for GPs, “Pulse”, reports the following:

The chief executive of Health Education England has suggested that hospital physicians could be encouraged to spend the last few years before retirement in general practice to help solve workforce problems.  

Speaking before the Commons Health Committee, Professor Ian Cumming said he would like to see the performers list reformed so physicians who want to ’work on a much more structured basis’ could work in primary care.

Oh boy! As Mr McEnroe once said “You cannot be serious!”  The thought of me, a rheumatologist, going into general practice after years of specialist work, and dealing with paediatric emergencies and gynae problems not only fills me with horror but should alarm the patients! Who will retrain us and how long would it take? Why did we specialists become specialists in the first place? Could it be because we didn’t want to be GPs? My parents were both GPs and I knew exactly what I wasn’t going to do even if at first I didn’t know what I was going to do.

This has to be the most insane suggestion I have ever heard.  Prof Cumming is head of Health Education England? He should be going, not Cumming.  I suppose the MPs lapped it all up – unless he was actually suggesting that the specialists continued practising their specialism, but in a GP setting.  But I fear he wasn’t, given the context.  Anyway farming specialists out “into the community” is insane as well, as it isolates them from their multidisciplinary teams and colleagues and is totally inefficient throughput-wise.  I should know – I used to do it long ago (but not for long!).