Monday, October 22, 2007


From the Daily Telegraph:

While millions of patients in England will still be expected to pay for vital medication, prescriptions in Scotland will be available free of charge within four years.
The move was cited as the starkest example yet of the "unfairness" of the current funding arrangement, with English taxpayers forced to pay towards improvements to health care and education available only in Scotland.
Scottish residents already have access to free eye care and dental check ups, free personal care for the elderly, extra central heating grants and a number of drugs deemed "too costly" for the National Health Service in England and Wales.
As a result of plans announced earlier this summer, Scottish students will receive a free university education and pupils in the early years of primary school could soon be taught in class sizes as small as 18.

This is grossly unfair as many other things are in life but leads on quite well to my next moan with a Scottish connection.

I recently purchased The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction by Barry Forshaw with a foreword by Ian Rankin. This book covers crime fiction around the world and does contain an enormous amount of valuable information, but a lot of people new to crime fiction will probably buy it because it has the name Ian Rankin on the front.
However I think the book is fatally flawed and I am still shocked that the editor of Crime Time magazine and Ian Rankin did not notice the omissions.

"Barry Forshaw has tackled these issues [and many others] in a book that covers crime fiction from every part of the world-it's a daunting task."

"This insider's book recommends over 200 classic crime novels and mystery authors...."

I wondered whether my copy has some missing pages, or were the author and publisher more interested in getting Ian Rankin's name on the cover than producing a definitive summary of crime fiction.

Among the missing authors are;

Rex Stout, creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin

Laura Lippman

Giles Blunt

R.D.Wingfield, creator of Inspector Frost

Ken Bruen

And if these omissions were not shocking enough:

Reginald Hill, creator of Dalziel and Pascoe
Any suggestions as to why these authors were omitted from an "insider's book"?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No suggestions here, but I just thought I'd rock your real life boat further. Not because I'm a bitch, but because I deal in the factual and "objective evidence of" on a daily basis.

So here it is: here in Wales we have had free prescriptions for some time now. Great for the Welsh, but BAD for a NATIONAL Health Service. A misnomer if ever there was one. And whatever happened to a UNITED Kingdom?

Not that I want to raise your blood pressure further, dear Norm...

We have a benefit in Wales, but at the expense of so many others. Even in Wales alone that benefit may come at the expense of many others. Where some benefit, others lose out. It happens by region and trust, alas, and the original idea was free health care at source for all.

It really annoys me that one woman can get a life saving cancer drug in the UK in one area, but not in another. This holds true for other drugs and conditions and other areas too. There is no longer any equity in healthcare in a service that was created to achieve just that.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That "book" sounds like a savvy piece of branding. The Rough Guides were once travel guides that wanted to make the reader think they were different, as the name indicates (though the "rough" in the title was always at odds with lavish color photographs in the books).

Once Rough Guide starting issuing guides to pop music and crime fiction, well, they'd pretty much do anything. And the drafting of Rankin to write the introduction is synergy of two brands. I suspected this would be the case when I first read Rankin's introduction published as a standalone article in the online edition of one of the British newspapers that noted the article was taken from the introduction to the book. No surprise an ad for the Rough Guide accompanied the article.

What a great piece of cross-promotion, a chance to grow the Rough Guide and Ian Rankin brands! That the book may fall short of what it promises is beside the point.

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

3:10 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Crimeficreader, don't worry my blood pressure is almost under control. But I am concerned that the current shambles and gross unfairness of the present NHS system will be used by some to exploit the divisions in our society. A charismatic politician might say how unfair it is that your wife can't get those cancer drugs, get you free prescriptions and by the way get rid of the immigrants. He or She would also have to make the trains run on time.
Of course our present political leaders have all the charisma of an amoeba, but it could happen in a few years if we don't face up to reality.

Peter, I am afraid my antipathy to the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath [aka Our Great and Glorious Unelected Leader] has probably marred my appreciation of Brand Rankin.

11:55 AM  

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