Monitor was slow to respond to the advances shown by the Impotence Association, recognising (though not in a judgemental way) that its newsletter, One in Ten, had landed on the wrong desk. Still, 'No-one wants to be Mr Droopy', as Uncle Graham used to say, so before tactfully passing the issue on to the relevant staff member, a quick peek seemed in order. And One in Ten certainly firms up the matter. Its latest edition points out - with an eerie sense of joy - that Valentine's Day and National Impotence Day are one and the same thing! And That is not all. The read is packed with all the news coming up (or more likely, not) about this very serious issue which is no laughing matter.
But what's this? An update falls out of the magazine. Somewhat frighteningly, It is called Seven in Ten, a title which would suggest that erectile dysfunction has hit epidemic proportions since the original newsletter went to press. Monitor groped around for an explanation, only to find the limp excuse of a survey which found that 70 per cent of the impotent are not getting the NHS drugs that would give them a rise. Better still was the original newsletter with its fascinating review of best-seller-to-be, High Blood Pressure at your Fingertips (Monitor can think of other body parts which could really use that extra blood).
Is anything more sexy than sex? Two things, actually, judging from the look of last week's New Statesman. Put the two together and you have a great cover. Hence the coverline, 'Milburn: the Politician Who Ate The Patients' (see right). Clever stuff, but not exactly scoring high on the truth score, since the piece inside actually refers to Milburn's plans to kill off CHCs rather than gobble up little people for his din dins.