Archive for February, 2011

hospital trust immunity

February 28, 2011
I seem to be reading/hearing of increasing numbers of people being refused admission to hospital, or if admitted, being diagnosed with trivial ailments, only to die  within days from severely serious conditions, which could and should have been diagnosed.

Invariably a hospital spokesman issues an apology for this tragic death and claims that “lessons will be learned” from this “administrative error” , while at the same time informing Press and the bereaved  families that they “can not reveal clinical details”.

I find it incredible that this last aspect is allowed to go unchecked. Where they say “can not”, they apparently mean “will not”.

Why has none of the MP’s , who should have involved themselves in these case, raised this issue?

Why should the Hospitals be able to deny disclosure of vital evidence of their culpability? We place our lives in the hands of these Hospitals. We are not in America. They should not be able to claim some sort of Fifth Amendment style confidentiality escape clause. If the families are to receive justice then they should have full access to all records relating to the deaths of their loved ones.

When the NHS is eventually fully privatised, will there be some Government body that the bereaved can appeal to, because there seems to be nothing  and no-one, at present, that will listen to them.

can cats see Infra-red?

February 28, 2011

When my cat has decided to have a nap, it will always choose a warm place to lie.

This is not unusual, as most cats do, and is the reason why you should watch out for a cat’s tendency to lie on baby’s faces.

In my cat’s case, however, I have noticed that she tends to study the room before deciding on her preferred spot. Some of this may simply be reasoning (even though cat’s are notoriously thick), as to which spot may be warmest and draught-free. Too often, however she seems to be able to “see” a warm place and select it, contrary to simple logical suppositions.

I am convinced that my cat can see in the Infra-red but can not find any strong supporting evidence on the web.

I shall experiment further.

NHS voucher system

February 28, 2011

In response to this item I received a youtube link from nony mous (sic!) to which I have posted this reply:

Thank You.  I’m pretty sure that I checked out this name in relation to the Rothschilds. (as an amateur I find it very difficult to find any track from this family and their connections to politicians, banks, oil interests etc.) but I just googled again and can only find my own blog and a link to Africa Confidential.
I think I’ll leave the item as it is but just add this reply to it.

As the pace to privatise the NHS increases, more opinions are being aired by interested parties.

For those of us, who are reliant on the state financed NHS, this is a cause of concern, as we can see ourselves becoming a Second-class citizenry, such as exists in America.

The proposal by the French neurosurgeon, Vladimir De Rothschild (see above), to issue vouchers may be a way forward that would safeguard those without wealth and/or able to afford Private Health Insurance.

Unfortunately his membership of a family(see above), which provides generous donations to selected political parties and which is likely to gain financially from the sell-off of NHS facilities, creates a mistrust of his motives.

Peat (or Council compost)

February 26, 2011
In respect of the proposed tax on peat, I suggest that our Green Warriors direct their attention elsewhere.

Any tax collected will only be squandered through Eurocratic black holes and gardeners will still buy growbags for their tomato plants, because for many it is a hobby and not judged by hard economic reality. The truth being  that it is cheaper to buy such produce than to grow it oneself.

I have four compost bins and still prefer to use growbags for the produce that I grow in my greenhouse. It is less likely to harbour pests and diseases.

A more suitable target for their attention might be all the garden waste being re-cycled by our Councils. This waste should be getting fed back to us via cut-price growbags.

 I would imagine that such Green growbags would be warmly embraced by a populace eager to see some payback from the efforts that they put into re-cycling.  A little carrot to ease the pain of ever increasing Council charges and ever decreasing  Council services.

Time to ask what does happen to this recycled waste and who benefits from this public spiritedness.

Schizoid U.K.

February 26, 2011
We seem to be living in schizophrenic society with a push-me-pull-you Government.

First we have a report that the figures on which pensions have been based have been grossly under-estimated (allegedly by incompetent Civil Servants and not, more likely, Political directive), then we have a demand that pensioners be subject to cuts in the very “perks” that were brought in to calm claims that pensions were being raided.

Next we have a demand for action over guestimations of future deaths from alcohol abuse, swiftly followed by the advice that a tipple a day keeps the doctor away.

We have repeated warnings about an obesity epidemic alongside stories of bed-ridden elderly being starved to death.

We have stories of cuts in hospital provision and care for soldiers, maimed fighting against enemies in foreign lands. These stories lie badly alongside stories of huge amounts of aid being handed over to the same, or allied, people.

We have stories about the “glorious” fight for democracy in North African countries, alongside stories of how our un-democratically appointed European leaders (e.g. Sarkozy) are being given money, that we don’t have, to support the autocrats in those same countries.

We have just bailed out Ireland to the tune of £7 billion, which we are having to borrow at horrendous interest rates, yet they still harbour terrorist groups, who, we are informed, intend to celebrate the Royal Wedding with a bombing campaign, to kill ordinary people, who have no say in the management of this country, let alone a country that gained independence decades ago.

As someone fast reaching State pension age, might I recommend a way of solving some of these issues: Give pensioners free booze passes and free pie deliveries.

We’ll die fat and out of our heads but the State will save a fortune in pensions and The Trust Hospitals will be able to sell their beds to those with private health insurance.

RBS bank losses

February 26, 2011
published version (Daily Express):
Taxpayers within rights to be angered by bank losses
ROYAL Bank of Scotland has posted losses of £I.lbillion (“Be kind to us, says RBS boss as it loses £1bn”, February 25).
So now it is planning to award bonuses totalling £950million to. investment bankers and has effectively told us to stop carping on about it.
Let’s remember this is taxpayers’ money that has been `lost’.
How ridiculous it would seem if every adult in this country burned a £20 note at the same time and :then rewarded themselves with a bottle of Wine for their actions.
RBS has posted losses of £1.1 billion. That’s £1,100,000,000.
That’s how much I’d have if I won the National Lottery Jackpot every Wednesday and Saturday for the next two years.
That is how much they say they’ve lost.
So they’ve awarded themselves bonuses all round and told us to stop carping on about it.
That’s our money that they’ve lost. That’s our Champagne and caviar that they are guzzling.
How ridiculous it would seem if every adult in this country had burned a twenty pound note, at the same time, and had rewarded themselves with a bottle of wine for their action.
Of course, as a £20 note is only an IOU on the Treasury, so that money would not really be lost, as the Treasury would be better off by that amount.
The question is who has that £1.1 billion.
It’s not The Treasury and it’s not down the back of my sofa.
So,Where is it?

Alan Türing

February 26, 2011

Why was so much paid for Alan Türing’s papers?

And in what way were they “saved for the Nation”?

His writing wasn’t important. It’s what he wrote that has made a difference to us.

It’s not even as if this act was of interest to him on a personal level. The “nation” that benefitted from his work was the same one that drove him to suicide, so it can hardly be a mark of respect for the man himself.

The same applies to Churchill’s papers (although these should have come under the Official Secrets Act and not sold off) or Shakespear’s manuscripts.

This academic nerdishness is akin to the the e-bay purchaser, who paid $300 for a wad of chewing gum, spat out by Britney Spears.

AV referendum

February 19, 2011

It seems pretty obvious that a vote for AV would count against the interests of Labour and Conservative politicians and they will campaign strongly against a yes vote.

It would also count against the interests of Political theorists and political commentators, who are geared up for and educated in a two party system. I expect that the massed media coverage will be vocally opposed to AV, as was evidenced, in my view, by Paxman’s Newsnight coverage of it.

This will not only be a blow for AV but a blow for all future referenda, as well.

If the British vote yes to AV, it will force politicians to concede that a referendum gives the people a democratic choice.

If the yes vote fails, the politicians can refer to this referendum as a reason for dismissing future referenda as unnecessary and inconsequential.

Dave’s big society

February 19, 2011
This was an email in response to a Tony Parson’s (usually vey insightful and has frequently made me re-appraise a view point) column in the Daily Mirror

Tony Parsons has missed the mark in his claim that the reason that Cameron’s “Big Society” is a dead parrot is that Cameron is not an inspirational leader.

While it may be true that he is not inspirational, the reason that his version of “The Big Society” will fail is that, as with all of Today’s politicians, he thinks that leadership derives from making speeches.

The most commonly taken example  of inspirational leadership is that of Churchill.

But it wasn’t his inspirational speeches that gave substances to his version of a Big Society, it was effective Government.

Churchill’s Government didn’t just hope that lads would substitute for miners, girls, for farm labourers and old men for a Home Guard.

They didn’t just pray that a fleet of small boats would set sail for Dunkirk.

They organised and facilitated these activities, along with salvage drives and instructions on how to manage limited household budgets.

The real curse of modern politicians is that they don’t Govern, they parade.

AV won’t affect safe seats boasts my MP

February 19, 2011

I emailed my MP about her stance on AV (as part of the sayyestofairervotes campaign) and got the reply that I expected:

Dear Mr. Shale  

Thank you for your correspondence on the issue of the alternative vote.

My public declaration in support of the No campaign is not a sudden decision on my part. I have always supported First Past the Post (FPTP) as the best voting system for electing Members of Parliament, even during the 1980s when many in my party and the wider trade union movement thought that FPTP was biased towards the then ruling Conservative Government.

FPTP has served the country well. It’s democratic because everyone gets one vote. AV would allow supporters of minority candidates to recycle their votes having them counted twice or more before a result is declared.

There is a big difference between positively wanting your 1st  preference to win and being able to ‘put up’ with another. And it’s decisive, usually allowing voters to throw out a government and put in a new one.

FPTP creates strong accountable governments and means that coalitions are less common, with no horse-trading behind the scenes

It’s simple to understand and excludes extremist parties and it is no

coincidence that countries across the world have copied our system. By contrast only three countries currently use AV and Fiji are about to ditch it. No wonder. Nick Clegg described AV as a ‘miserable little compromise

Nor is AV the reform we need to restore people’s trust in politics as

some have argued. Nor would AV have any impact on so-called safe seats. This supposedly nationwide reform would have no effect for the 15million people living in those seats where the sitting MP secured more than 50% of the vote.

This is an important referendum —changing the voting System Is not something we should do lightly. It could have all manner of unintended consequences. And I think It is right to be suspicious why tne party that is pushing in the change is the Liberal Democrats.

All electoral systems have advantages and disadvantages and I do not pretend that FPTP is perfect but I am not persuaded that AV is a better system.

Yours sincerely

Yvonne Fovargue

Labour Member for Makerfield

So “sucks! yah! boo!” to me.   Also puts Lib Dems on par with BNP.