I have just seen an advertisment on TV showing how sneezing could spread the new  ‘flu and I started thinking about the posters which were prevalent when I was growing up,  “Coughs and sneezes spread diseases.”

So often now “new” initiatives come up, and they are just rehatching of ideas which we took for granted, and had not realised had gone so far out of fashion and use, that “experts” now go into a “think tank” to think them up again!

Recycling was second nature when rationing was in place and/or money was tight, we had not heard of climate warming then and depletion of the earth’s resources, just personal financial depletion.

There used to be notices in public places “No spitting” Spitting is another way of spreading diseases, but I have often seen sportsmen on TV spitting, but no one seems bothered by it (maybe the think tanks are still out on that!)

“Dig for victory” was another poster, although this time it is victory over the financial crisis rather than in a war, which is motivating  a lot of people to be going back to producing more of their own food.

I read today that primary schools are to trim down the curriculum and concentrate on English and maths and IT, with other subjects being woven in. This is more or less what they used to be like. The only worry I have about stopping national tests is, what happens if a school has a useless head? Not all head teachers can be trusted to place the right emphasis on what is taught. I personally know of one who thought handicrafts had equal value to any academic subjects, fortunately she has now retired, but  there must be others like her.

When I heard that the government in the 1980s was contracting out the cleaning in hospitals, I foresaw problems, because they would accept the cheapest and no one would be directly responsible for specific tasks. There could be different cleaners every day, then MRSA became prevalent and a “think tank” pronounced that hospitals must be cleaned properly!

When we were growing up each bank had a branch manager, who knew his customers and decisions about loans etc. were made by him, not an anonymous computer in a far flung place. We paid money in and got interest on it or borrowed money and paid the bank for the privilege. This occupied the bank staff. They did not try to sell us other products and I doubt if they had targets to fill.  We have been exhorted in recent years to “make our money work for us” and could have spent half our lives chasing an extra percentage point on the interest rate up or down. Now we are seeing the results of this and are demanding tighter regulations again.

Foods have gone in and out of the health fashion over the years, once we were advised to “go to work on an egg”, then they were bad for us, and now I see they are good for us again! At some time most foods have been “bad” for us according to the “experts”

Perhaps we should ban “experts” and “think tanks” and listen to those who have years of practical experience, have seen theories proved and disproved, and worked out the best solutions from their own common sense.

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