Rod Liddle

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas
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Zippedy doo-dah, Zippedy-ay

My oh my what a wonderful day

Plenty of sunshine heading my way,

Zippedy doo-dah, Zippedy-ay

Yyeeeeeeesssssssss! Back of the net!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s all go out to celebrate, get really hammered! Drinks on me. The news is true, you didn’t dream it – Sir Liam Donaldson has resigned! A giant ginger monkey has been lifted from the back of the nation, a ginger monkey jabbering false statistics and whipping up the health scares. Has there ever been a public figure more frequently wrong about sort of everything? Has there been a public figure ever more determined to spoil our lives? I suppose in both cases you might say “Gordon Brown”, but I think that’s just your partisan nature showing through. Anyway, let’s put our petty differences aside and head down the pub. Mines a Jack Daniels, no ice, no water.

It is said that Sir Liam is resigning on account of having botched the review of doctors’ training, which he indeed did, but this is a bit like Hitler resigning on account of parking violations. This is the man who cheerfully predicted that in Britain 50,000 people were “likely” to die from avian flu and the figure could be as high as 750,000. How many died? None. None at all. Did they fail to die because Sir Liam had developed a fiendish strategy to beat the illness? Nope. They didn’t die because he was spectacularly wrong. How about swine flu? Sir Liam predicted 60,000 British people would die. We all knew he was wrong back in July when he said this. How many have died so far? In England, 178 people with swine flu have so far succumbed – and that includes the overwhelming majority with underlying health problems. Close the schools, prepare the body bags, said Sir Liam.

It is Sir Liam we can thank for the smoking ban, for making a night down the pub exponentially less pleasant for most of us (ie those who smoke and also those who are friends of those who smoke) to the extent that we don’t go down the pub anymore and they’re all closing as a consequence. It is Sir Liam who has demanded that the price of alcohol be increased which would – and here come Sirliamstats again – save the lives of 3,393 people every year. What, not 3,394, mate? Even the government was able to see through that.

But still, enough carping – the bloke’s gone and we should rejoice, rejoice. Maybe we’ll get someone a bit more competent at the job in hand next time. Jedward, say. Or a bowl of oxtail soup. Someone less inclined to foist his lifestyle choices on the rest of us to the enormous detriment of the country, someone less likely to wake up every morning howling “we’re doomed, doomed I tell ye.” Get em in will you, and I’ll have a packet of scratchings as well please.