Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The Spread Of D**kensian Diseases In Modern Britain

We’ve diseases we thought were confined to Victorian, D**kensian, times making a reappearance in modern Britain. Something indeed should be done. The question is, obviously enough, what is it that should be? It’s not wholly obvious that the Labour Party’s response is correct here:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] There has been a sharp rise in hospital visits for diseases that were common during the Victorian era, such as scarlet fever, whooping cough and gout, research reveals. Despite certain illnesses virtually being eradicated in the 1950s, hospital attendances for some “Victorian diseases” have risen by 52% since 2010-11, an increase of over 3,000 admissions a year. [/perfectpullquote]

Calling gout a disease is a bit misleading. It’s not infectious, for example. It’s certainly genetically related and also to lifestyle – a predisposition plus a port-laden diet will do it. It’s also not really Victorian. Whatever the truth here it’s connected in the volk-mind with the Georgians. The very much more temperate diets of the Victorians just aren’t associated with it in the same manner.

The others, yes, they are indeed diseases and ones we really did think we’d got rid of.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] The research, conducted by the Labour party, was verified by the House of Commons library. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health and social care secretary, said: “D**kensian diseases on the rise in Tory Britain today. Isn’t it shameful and as socialists we must respond.” He added: “The damning truth is austerity is making our society sicker. It means the poor die younger. Since 2010, while food banks scatter across the land admission to hospital for malnutrition have increased by 54%. 2,539 people were diagnosed with tuberculosis last year.” [/perfectpullquote]

Of the three, scarlet fever, whopping cough and TB, two are prevented by vaccine. Who is it that doesn’t have the vaccines in our society? That’s the flatulent tosspottery of the anti-vaxxers, the idiot middle classes and their naturalness. Bring millions of migrants into a population less than fully vaccinated and?

Quite, this is nothing at all to do with austerity nor b’stard Tories. It’s a deeper point about the society and how it has been changing.

This is not, by the way, to say that the changes have been bad in themselves, only to point out that everything, but everything, has costs as well as benefits. The return of these diseases is indeed due to the importation of the vector itself, plus the idiocy of a substantial enough section of society in not protecting against them.

As to what should be done about it all, we here suggest a damn good slap around the ear for that more stupid end of Mumsnet.

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Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
2 years ago

I didn’t realise there was a spectrum of stupidity on Mumsnet.

BarksintheCountry
BarksintheCountry
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Ryan

Now, that’s funny.

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
2 years ago

If you have familial gout that prevents the body from efficiently eliminating urates from the blood, diet has little effect. One of my brothers and I suffer, as did my maternal grandfather, who was thin as a whippet and a riveter all his life (when there was work). Port and grouse did not feature in his diet.

Dodgy Geezer
Dodgy Geezer
2 years ago
Reply to  Quentin Vole

There is a strong and very influential history in the medical profession of believing that diet is both the cause and cure for many ailments.

Needless to say it is almost always completely wrong, but it still persists to this day.

Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer

Fad exist in all human endeavours – doctors are no better than climate scientists in this respect.

Dodgy Geezer
Dodgy Geezer
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Ryan

It is interesting to read Retraction Watch occasionally – the web site which notes retractions of scientific papers (which usually happen with minimal publicity!). You will see that medical papers are overwhelmingly the largest group – and often withdrawn due to straight fraud…

Q46
Q46
2 years ago

Nothing to do with incomers from Countries were such Victorian diseases are commonplace, bringing them and their lower standards of hygiene with them.

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