Are the awful relevations of antiquated medical procedures ever going to cease in this country? Now after many medical scandals it now emerges thanks to RTE1 Prime Time that a particular hospital in Drogheda continued a brutal severing of the pelvis during difficult births, well into the eighties, after it was abandoned elsewhere since the sixties. Symphysotomy took place often without the knowledge to consent of women during childbirth, leaving people with severe pain, incontinence and depression. Even the HSE didn’t have the full facts or pretended it was only a few hundred when in fact it was over fifteen hundred.
How can this official loss of facts like loss of memory be acceptable? The programme suggested that Irish obstetricians sought to establish the practise as an alternative to Caesarean sections because it was thought that women who were subjected to repeated sections might be tempted to use contraception. Dark, cruel stuff, where so-called moralistic and mostly Catholic doctors decided medical practice to please a church short on charity or human feelings.
ITV caught a popular theme of CCTV with Cashing In On Cameras that showed, that there are an estimated 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain but instead of being used to pre-warn about urban violence are instead being used to earn money for cash-strapped local authorities by filming motorists.
This generates a fine sum from a series of traffic offences. While street muggers get away because nobody or a small few actual watch these systems in real time. So many urban street systems are no better than small shop recorders available for viewing. Is the same happening in Ireland and I suppose the answer is yes, where we actually have such cameras.
Sometimes viewers, plan their lives or leisure around favourite TV programmes that is what makes Larkrise to Candleford and Dancing On Ice so popular. But when these shows hit a slow patch or the viewer thinks it is padded out or the zip has gone out of it then alarm bells start ringing as happened with Big Brother. Sunday night viewing has hit that problem with weeks of these shows to run. There’s not much else to learn about characters into a third season in Larkrise and it just slows down too much.
It is sort of obvious who might win on the Ice and Wild at Heart has used up its romance and animals all ending in a party or a nifty bit of animal surgery or are viewers more fickle and prone to channel hopping than programme makers realise.
Now that the Winter Olympics are on our screens, along with football, some channels are able to show the sort of serious work that might get lost otherwise. Recently, we got a clever programme about infinity and like the Toy Story says – to infinity and beyond – you learned that there is not just one infinity but an infinity of infinities. So was it any wonder that BBC2 took a look at Genius and Intelligence. Something that Arsenal defenders may have a shortage of when they couldn’t stand over the ball while arguing with the ref.
Professor Marcus du Sautoy looked at whether we are born with intelligence – hardwired in the brain – or we learn if we follow various strategies devised by scientists. Why are some people musical, creative, artistic or maths geniuses? Sautoy got bogged down with a variety of boffins but agreed with Einstein that creativity is more important than intelligence but you have to nourish and support both. Are you any wiser? Any wiser than Arsene Wenger?
Women in TV
In a recent skillset employment census the figures about women in TV makes uncomfortable reading. Nearly 5,000 women left the TV industry between 2006 and 2009 compared with just 750 men. Recession has hit this industry hard, but it has hit women harder. Worse still, the number of women in permanent employment has fallen by 12% compared with a 2% overall decline. And while we are at it – just one in ten women in TV are over 50 years of age or more, compared with three in ten men.