Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Making a Complaint

I saw a TV advert on Sunday that, for the first time, made want to make a complaint. The advert was quite short and simple, for BUPA and made a simple claim, if you go with BUPA you will be treated in a clean and comfortable hospital. You can see the advert here

Personally I was shocked, what idiot at BUPA decided that slagging off the NHS was a good way to promote private health care? In my experience, using negatives like this in advertising rarely results in a successful campaign. The advert does not mention the NHS by name, that would have gone way too far, but what other source of hospital care is commonly available in the UK? Any intelligent viewer would draw the same conclusions as I did.

Consequently, if I worked in the NHS (I don't, but mother worked as a nurse for many years), I would be deeply offended by the advert. There has been lots of talk over the past few years about cleanliness in hospitals and MRSA, but I am not aware of any research that shows private hospitals are any cleaner than NHS. In fact a quick search of the BUPA website shows no information to substantiate the claim, there is an article which claims that "access to a clean hospital" is the deciding factor in choosing health insurance, but no independent verification that BUPA hospitals are any cleaner than their "competitors".

We can debate the rights and wrongs about NHS funding, how the funds are used and the effectiveness of NHS management, but my reaction to the advert was more on behalf of the average NHS employee. I am sure the vast majority of these people are doing their best every day in a challenging environment and seeing an advert like that would be very irritating and annoying. I am sure people will tell me if I am wrong...

Anyway, it annoyed meso, I went along to the ASA website and registered my complaint. I know from personal experience that the ASA has the power to review an advert even if only one person complains. Of course, it is better if more do it too. So if you agree with me, don't sit there and do nothing, go to the ASA website and add your own complaint against BUPA.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

15 Goals in 3 games!

It's been a frustrating season for Liverpool fans, with so few goals this year and a run of bad luck in important games. Then look what happens, 15 goals in 3 games, admittedly against some of the less proficient teams in the premiership, but nevertheless, last night's performance against Birmingham was fantastic.

What is even more amazing is that the team that started last night had five different players than the match against Newcastle on Sunday. There is lots of discussion about the need for a comprehensive squad of players especially with the heavy schedule of games for any club involved in European football. Last night's performance demonstrated to me that the size of the squad is less important than the training and integration of the players.

Hats of too Raf for keeping the first team squad at a level of performance that has allowed players to slot in and out of the team on the pitch and function effectively with different team mates and sometimes in different positions.

The team performance over the last few games also bodes well for England. Apart from his total f**kup against Arsenal:

Gerrard has been magnificent, especially last night, setting up 4 of the goals.

Carragher has been the linchpin of the defense, time and time again. He provides a solidity and dependability for the team that allows them to push forward and take the game to other side, confident that they are well defended from the fast break.

Finally, Peter Crouch, long the concern of England and Liverpool fans alike is now showing the capability that others have seen in him and he has certainly won over the Liverpool crowd, very unhappy with his substitution last night, denying him the chance for a hat trick. Ask any Liverpool fan if they would have been concerned about that several months ago and they would have just laughed at you.

Come on you mighty Reds!

Web 2.0

There is lots of talk in the news about Web 2.0 and I just found this really useful list of Web 2.0 applications, thanks to another blog Sacred Cow Dung. Even more interesting is that one of the sites I am involved in, BlogCode.com is in the list :)

Take a browse through and look at some of the amazing ways people are adapting internet technology to create or serve a need.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Barcelona 1 (3) : 1 (2) Chelsea

As a lifelong Liverpool fan, I am not dispapointed in the least by the departure of Cheslea from the Champions League.

Especially because the behaviour and comments of Chelsea manager Mourinho seem to grow more bizarre by the day.

In this article on the BBC, he blames "bad luck" for his teams loss and with reference to the sending off of del Horno in ther first leg he said "We have not seen two games where we had 11 players versus 11, so we have not seen Barcelona win against 11 - that's all I can say,"

What a great comment, he then went on to say: "This season we played one hour in the first leg with 10 men, but if Barca are in the next round they must be the better team"

I think that about sums it up, such insightful words of wisdom.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pub Quizzes

For the past few months, several friends and I have been attending a regular Tuesday night pub quiz at the "Wheatsheaf and Pigeon" in Staines. The quiz is particularly difficult, either that or we are just plain dumb.

According to Wikipedia A pub quiz is "a quiz held in a pub" - doesn't that just show you how useful open source websites are :)

Our team, "Detritus" varies from the hard core of two, Peter and myself, regular contributor Phil and occasional attendees, James, Louise, Wendy and Janne.

Considering there is usually only two or three of us, against teams of 4-8, it is not surprising that we consistently come either bottom or near bottom in the quiz.

However, I am sure it has something to do with the third round (of four), called the Bastard round.

Let me give you an example: How many of you, without looking it up in Google, know which Polish Concert Pianist became Polish Prime Minister in 1919? We certainly didn't, but if you really want to know, click here.

The final factor I am sure is about beer, our scores do tend to deteriorate during the quiz. Last night we got one of our worst scores, 14 out of 40 and for the second time only we got 0 out of 10 in the 3rd round. Ah well, better luck next time.

You may wonder why we do it, especially when you hear that the quiz master, Chris, takes great delight in ridiculing wrong answers as he reads out the scores. But then, I think that adds to the atmosphere and the challenge of thinking up a stupid but funny answer when you don't know the real answer.

But it would be nice not to come last so often, so if you are reading this and live near Staines, come on down and join in the fun, but only if you got the question wrong above, we don't need any more smart competition.