Season of ill-will

The Conservatives are complaining that Whitehall departments spend too much money at Christmas. The total five-year spend of Whitehall departments on Christmas parties, decorations and cards was £461,000, which works out at a


twenty pence per civil servant per year. This


– almost enough for one bite of a Marks and Spencer Mince Pie – will doubtless

outrage hard-working families

, at least those who aren’t repelled by the unseasonal stench of cant and hypocrisy.

National Rail Timetable online

If the fancy takes you, you can now download the entire National Rail Timetable in pdf format from the Network Rail website. Not as easy to use as the web-based journey planners, but good for finding slow routes that wouldn’t show up on the web – like the direct Exeter to Brighton trains on Saturday mornings that are as slow as anything but also eliminate changes at Salisbury and Fratton for my mum.

A visual representation of the suckiness of American health care

If you want a representation of why the American healthcare system is so, so broken, head on over to, where you can buy a Visa-brand healthcare giftcard, handy for all those occasions where getting life-saving treatment has to be preceded by handing over cold, hard cash.

I remember attending a lecture in the late ’90s at the Institute of Economic Affairs that was saying how we should move to an American healthcare model. It seemed weird then – it seems positively crazy now.

Via MeFi