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Editor's blog Monday 1 November 2010: Nights of drawing in

My grandmother was a world-class fatalist. One of her many endearing habits of form was to stare out of the window on a darkening evening, and intone, "ah, the nights are drawing in".

Celtic melancholy to the power of ten ... whose impact was only slightly blunted by her tendency to start doing this almost immediately after the midsummer solstice. It doesn't really work in early July.

And now it is November, and the nights really are drawing in.

The more mainstream media have finally notice that, as we pointed out back in April, the logic of NICE and the logic of a national cancer drugs fund cannot co-exist.

On the one hand, you have rational rationing. On the other hand, you have political populism.

It is not wildly surprising that the contortions of the latter have beaten the straightforwardness of the former.

It is interesting that in an age when this country has turned its face away from its traditional religious faith, we seem to have chosen healthcare to be our new secular religion. High-tech drugs are greeted with the reverence that once would have been the right of mystics and prophets.

Yet bizarrely, as we fetishise and consume more and more healthcare, we as a population are getting more obese; health inequalities worsen.

Oh, we of little faith.

If healthcare is our new national religion, then the direction of travel is of separating church and state.

The Reformation is on the horizon.