National Rail strike
will not protect members in the railway ticket offices whom it is planned to phase out. Big saving ? Bigger mistake. Trains may be mechanical but they are driven, maintained and deployed by people for people. Reduce the human face of the railway and forget it. False economy. On-line is unlikely to be the future. It is beginning to falter. And if the whole shooting match is committed – including banking, social systems, medicine, travel, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all – the country is completely exposed and when one part of the system falters, the rest is at risk and it’s only a matter of overload and mistiming before shutdown.
NB always have a sum of old fashioned money behind a brick and don’t tell anybody about it. A secret is not a secret if it is shared. Especially if it is about money.
I re read Spartacus
the other day, the Howard Fast novel Kirk Douglas purchased which became one of those few exceptions – a better film than a book. All sorts of decent people would be horrified to think of this as a slave culture but in Britain it is more and more those who have and those who prop up the haves, who are not haves themselves, and it is chilling. The middle ground for anything is being eroded before our eyes.
We might cope with some of this, if it were explained. We might not like the explanation but at least we wouldn’t feel so out manoeuvred. When I rang my GP surgery to ask about the Covid booster I was dismissed with “Nothing to do with us.” Gee, thanks. I was polite, really I was. And a friend recently campaigned for 6/8 weeks to be seen by his doctor for a chest infection
lingering entirely too long and separately, a family history of melanoma (his nose). His GP practise sent him a form. He wrote and said he had to be seen. He was directed – this all took ages – to an Acute IIlness Surgery. Finally he got to a helpful doctor, obviously the facility is partly NHS, partly privately funded. Bad chest infection prescribed for, getting the drugs is a whole other story, different place for the melanoma (appointment as yet unconfirmed).
My friend is an intelligent man. If you explained to him that, staggering under input and expectation, the NHS can’t field enough doctors to deal with routine infections, he wouldn’t like it – he paid into it all his long working life, why can’t he have the bit he needs now ? – but he’d grasp the point. However in his professional life, he organised systems and deployed resources. They could do with him now, even on a consultancy basis for an honorarium.
There are increasing numbers of children in care
and no help for adoptive families. This is not a new story – it is repetitive. The figures for children in care only go up and it is hard work to take over a child already reneged on, brutalised, disappointed. Adoption and fostering deserves support but about every five years, this story comes round again -with the occasional bit of good news as when the local authorities pull the stops out or somebody brilliant intervenes. It is not usual. So – here we go again – it is a good thing to do, now let’s make it as difficult for you as possible.
The government is going to build umpteen new homes ? It doesn’t need to. Surely better to bring in an ordinance which rules that no building may stand empty
for longer than a year. After that, it is compulsorily sold through the local authority with the aim of primarily providing homes. And yes, bite the bullet : you will need to repair and maintain those dwellings – and that unskilled, desperate for shelter , second group ( vetted for police records, light fingers, county lines and every other kind of abuse) will get a concession and do the job. Just as they always did.
At the time of my long ago menopause, HRT was as prevalent as GSTQ (God Save The Queen) but now it has become the rallying call of women denied -though a thoughtful journalist countered with a piece about the medicalisation of women’s health.
Mixed messages, anyone ?