Am I the only person that's noticed how the 'official' number of deaths from swine flu in Mexico has not so much plummeted as hurtled - from 167 to 7? Everyone else, including eminent scientists and highly credible news reporters and journalists seem to have accepted the quite startling and sudden discrepancy with not even a hint of a sneer. Call me a cynic, but am I right in thinking that the current swine flu 'crisis' has done a masterly job of deflecting public attention from the global economic situation?
Picture the scene. The powers that be are earnestly discussing ways to persuade the public that they're actually doing a fantastic job of safeguarding the public -and that they are truly a responsible and caring force for said public's wellbeing.
World leader 1: 'Hmmm. The obvious answer is a war - always gets Joe and Josephine Public fired up and brings out the old Dunkirk spirit.'
World leader 2: 'True, but it's a bit soon after Iraq - which backfired slightly if you recall. And where's Dunkirk?' (Makes mental note to fire personal assistant for not briefing him better.)
World leader 1: You're right. Well then, how about a global health crisis. Some sort of pandemic perhaps?'
World leader 2. 'Excellent idea. Plus it'll keep the pharmaceutical companies on side - always a good thing since they're so powerful. We can spend huge amounts of tax payers money on stockpiling antiviral drugs 'just in case'.
World leader 1. 'That's settled then. We just need to figure out a way to dump the last lot we spent huge amounts of tax payers money on. You know - for all that bird flu business. 'Course it's all gone off now.'