Monitor was a groovy young hipster once upon a time, oh yes. So what better way to bid hello to the soon-to-launch Health Development Agency than with a look at the wild and crazy days of it youth. The Health Education Authority - which will be replaced by the HDA - has always known how to get down on the streets with the kids, and current messages on temperance and chastity are no exception. Its sex education website, www.lovelife.hea.org.uk, provides an animated - the word is used advisedly - illustration of the old adage that wearing what old Ma and Pa Monitor used to know as a sheath can cause impotence.
Elsewhere, a festive campaign puts the spotlight on links between folk guitar and booze-addled destruction. Even Auntie Carol might end up having one too many to celebrate the new millennium, pontificates the HEA (see left), before directing Kumbaya fans to its website.
Still at www.wrecked.co.uk, Auntie Carol might be shocked by the range of synonyms for inebriated hich spit hallucinogenically from the screen on the HEA site. Should she investigate further, the kindly educators are ready to cause more confusion with a taxing true or false quiz. Among the myths, Monitor spotted several home truths. Having a drink does indeed steady your nerves and help you cope better with problems - try a swift Scotch before turning your mind to waiting-list targets. And most of you grey suits are probably already well aware of another fact flagged up on the site: the top tip that you're more attractive to the opposite sex after a few drinks.
Monitor's better half has always insisted on a few sherries of a Thursday.
Which brings us neatly to our next topic. Romance, some might think, is a sadly neglected area in the pages of HSJ. Can the same be true of our readers? Did your eyes meet across a not-so-crowded room at an Institute of Healthcare Management conference? Or perhaps waiting-list busting gets readers in the mood. As St Valentines ay approaches, heart warming tales of love in a budget slashing climate would be most welcome. And if you've been working too hard to try a little tenderness, take heart from flirt maestro Alan Milburn, who warned South London GP Dr Tom Coffey, in front of a crowd of blushing academics: You will lead me astray if you continue to talk this way. The topic - the financial pressures inherited by primary care groups - may not be everyones idea of pillow talk, but for the Institute of Public Policy Research this was pretty hot stuff. So take a leaf out of Mr Milburnsbook. If a health secretary whose cheeks are permanently flushed - presumably from all that modernising - can find time to flutter his eyelashes, so should you. And do let Monitor know about any intimate encounters between consenting managers that ensue.
Over at the British Psychological Society, distinguished professors finally draw the dividing line between reality and things that are made up. Inspector Morse is a fantasy, thunders the society's latest press release, with little thought about the ramifications of these revelations for the standing of the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and Deirdre Barlow as was. Further exploration reveals that what the crusty academics really meant to say was that, unlike the fictional Inspector Morse, senior police officers are actually a modest lot with a surprisingly good awareness of their management and leadership skills. The research, by David Wigfield, a copper and academic from Sussex University, found that senior police officers opinions of their own skills are generally in line with the way they are seen by their colleagues. Yet they still get out of bed each day, brave souls.
Moving swiftly from sleaze to the queen of squeaky clean, little Yvette Cooper has already managed a New Labour marriage and a glittering CV which got her the job of junior health minister at the age of 12. Now baby Yvette is being tipped for the top, with bookies giving odds of 4-1 on her chances of becoming this centurys first female prime minister. Former spinster Charlie Whelan reports in the New Statesman that odds for predecessor Tessa Jowell are not looking so healthy, at 14-1.
Meanwhile, old chums of Baby Cooper reveal that she was a goodygoody way back when. Fellow travellers on a university trip to India reveal that while they were happy to lie back and inhale the vibes, man (soft drugs, for those of you the HEA has yet to reach), Ms Cooper was having none of it. Up each day at the crack of dawn, everyones favourite Brownie attempted unsuccessfully to marshal befuddled students into a rigorous itinerary of sight-seeing the way only a future public health minister could.