Archive for June, 2012

@number10gov What would happen if a privatised trust hospital went bust?

June 29, 2012

It has always been the plan that the NHS would be privatised. That’s why all nursing ranks were re-categorised and their jobs de-skilled. De-skilling meant that wage bills would be lower, even though service levels would suffer.

The idea of setting up trust hospitals and GP groupings is simply to make bite size chunks for selling to privateer’s, with prices according to locale and catchment (same pattern as schools).

To ensure that people would fall out of love with the NHS, the Trusts were filled with administrator’s and paper pushing systems that made services less accessible.

The Walk-in centres eased the transition but, having served their function, they are now to be closed down, forcing plebs to join lengthening waiting list queues.

Lengthening queues causes disaffection and cuts costs through “too late” diagnoses.

The next stage was to cause trust hospitals to go bankrupt, through overspend on non-essentials and inefficient procedures, which a privateer could come in and immediately cut away, leaving a leaner more profitable enterprise.

This stage has arrived.

Already one Trust has gone bankrupt (helped by that wonderful scam opf buying new build using PFI ( ie. Gov’t approved loan shark deals).

The Gov’t will reluctantly write off the outstanding debts and sell the trust off to the highest tender (these are of course commercially sensitive so the public can’t be told the details, such as the amount contributed to party funds, the placing of selected personnel on the privatised boards etc.).

The big problem that Government is not discussing what happens if this privatised hospital goes bankrupt doing its own PFI type scammy deals.

Do they save the hospital by paying off its new debts, putting out new tenders, maybe even selling the debt-free hospital to the same private entities, now operating under a new corporate identity?

How long before they realise that like the trains, water supply etc. such services can not be operated in the National interest by people motivated only by profit.

In wartime, these services are nationalised because they need to work effectively. It’s only in peacetime that greedy politicians collude with

But they never explained what would happen if the privatised Hospital also ran into debt. If we don’t bail them out we lose a hospital. If we do bail them out then they’ll repeat the process, because it’s an easy way to make money

Privatised banks are of necessity corrupt. State banks don’t have to be.

June 29, 2012

When your sole aim is to make money, using money, it’s called gambling.

That’s why privatised banking attracts and employs the greedy and the feckless.

When your sole aim is to maintain the economy, it’s called management:  As in managing one’s household budget. (Unfortunately, management is now construed to be giving orders, regardless of good sense, which is presumably part of the reason Banker’s bosses “don’t know” that their employees are corrupt. “I just told them to earn their bonuses”)

The trust, fusty, musty old book-keeping civil servant is the best type of manager, if you just want the books to balance and money spent wisely. The problem is that past Governments have tried to modernise the Civil Service by setting targets and bringing in Harvard business school training.

Recruit people who lack ambition and imagination. Recruit  nerds, people, who are happy to plod along, ensuring that bills are sent out and received in. Recruit people who are happy to know that their bosses consider them trustworthy. Recruit these people and have them running a nationalised banking service.

 

Military humour email

June 29, 2012

WISDOM FROM MILITARY TRAINING MANUALS

‘If the enemy is in range, so are you.’

– Infantry Journal-

 

‘It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.’

– US.Air Force Manual –

 

‘Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons.’

– General MacArthur –

 

‘Tracers work both ways.’

– Army Ordnance Manual-

 

‘Five second fuses last about three seconds.’

– Infantry Journal –

 

‘Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once.’

– Naval Ops Manual –

 

‘Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.’

– Unknown Infantry Recruit-

 

‘If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up to him.’

– Infantry Journal-

 

‘Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil.  For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.’

– Sign over SR71 Wing Ops-

 

‘You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3.’

– Paul F. Crickmore (SR71 test pilot)-

 

‘The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.’

-Unknown Author-

 

‘If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage it has to be a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe.’

– Fixed Wing Pilot-

 

‘When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane, you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.’

-Multi-Engine Training Manual-

 

‘Without ammunition, the Air Force is just an expensive flying club.’

-Unknown Author-

‘If you hear me yell;”Eject, Eject, Eject!”, the last two will be echos.’

If you stop to ask “Why?”, you’ll be talking to yourself, because by then you’ll be the pilot.’

-Pre-flight Briefing from a Canadian F104 Pilot-

 

‘What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots?

If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; but  if ATC screws up, …. the pilot dies.’

-Sign over Control Tower Door-

 

‘Never trade luck for skill.’

-Author Unknown-

 

The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in military aviation are: ‘Did you feel that?’ ‘What’s that noise?’ and’Oh S…!’

-Authors Unknown-

 

‘Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight.’

-Basic Flight Training Manual-

 

‘Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight  to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.’

– Emergency Checklist-

 

‘The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world;  it can just barely kill you.’

– Attributed to Max Stanley ( Northrop test pilot) –

 

‘There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.’

-Sign over Squadron Ops Desk at Davis-Montham AFB , AZ-

 

‘You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal.’ – Lead-in Fighter Training Manual –

 

As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives.

The rescuer sees the bloodied pilot and asks,’What happened?’

The pilot’s reply: ‘I don’t know, I just got here myself!’

 

@Ed_Miliband ….Wigan Traffic Engineer: comment arising from protest letter (Wigan Observer) by a fellow victim.

June 28, 2012

A letter to the Editor of Wigan Observer:

I came across this letter in The Wigan Observer but I was unable to comment there, as you no longer seem to accept on-line comments.

It is probably a wise move in regards to this issue, as it would undoubtedly show that the only person, who thinks this attempt to raise the profile of the three storey high Belong Village (presumably it offers some benefit to the Council/councillors that the rest of us are unaware of), is a “Good Thing”, is Wigan’s Traffic Engineer; K.Hargreaves

 I’m equally sure that the majority of other respondents would, judging by comments that I’ve heard, be decidedly against this dangerous and inconvenient scheme of The “Wigan’s Traffic Engineer”.
In earlier letters to me, printed in my blog, his alleged reason, for this blocking of Miller’s Lane, was to divert traffic on to the traffic island, mentioned below.
He alleged that it would reduce traffic on Platt Street. (he no doubt has data to support this ludicrous claim, based on the afternoon of observations of the two yellow clad counters, who I saw lounging around the Miller’s Lane junction).
He further supported this scheme, by pointing out the six traffic accidents, in the previous three years that were adjacent to this junction.
Again he, by virtue of his special training and superior standing, was able to totally dismiss my concerns regarding the negotiability of his “improved” traffic route. (pictures etc. in previous blog posts.)
Getting to the point, the concerned resident who says that she has, in the last year, “seen 12 accidents and heard the screeching of brakes on numerous occasions to avoid more.”seems to accord with my own experience of having to do some sharp accelerating and braking to avoid mishap on this route, which, because of the bus stop and pelican crossing, at the previously used junction, was never a concern for anyone, except Mr. Hargreaves.
I’m copying this letter to my MP and my Councillor’s, in full confidence that they have absolutely no say in such issues, which seem to be decided by Wigan’s Traffic Engineer, without reference to any higher authority, except for the highly paid raising of Labour Councillor’s hands, when rubber stamping Mr. Hargreaves schemes.
For instance, the more recent issue of phoned payment of parking (I suggest it is meant to keep the plebs away from the Council Officers “Life Centre”) also seems to have been put in place by him, judging by the fact that he was the person who rebuffed the protests of another of your reader’s, who had insufficient income to warrant a credit card to pay by phone.
Was there any consultation of the users of the “Life Centre”?
Did any Councillor’s even voice a concern, assuming that they were aware of the decision being made?
New road is dangerous.
 I’m concerned about the redirected traffic from Millers Lane to the new road, now named Sherwood Way, near Sherwood Crescent. The residents who live in the Crescent met with people from the Council to discuss concerns about the new road being built, the new road went ahead despite those concerns. The Council’s interest I suppose was for the safety of the people who would be moving into the new Belong Village, but those who live in Sherwood Crescent are mostly elderly or disabled. Since the road was altered I have seen 12 accidents and heard the screeching of brakes on numerous occasions to avoid more. My husband is one of many who has to cross at the bottom of Sherwood Way on his mobility scooter which can some times be a nightmare. It’s a guessing game now for the pedestrians, as many motorists coming from Liverpool Road to the island at the entrance to Sherwood Way don’t indicate which direction they are going and the bend in the road at Millers Lane makes it difficult to see traffic travelling from Abram. Something really needs to be done quickly before there is a fatal accident.
 Name and address supplied.

Wigan Council’s “Borough Life” . All hype and no useful action

June 26, 2012

I’ve just got my latest edition of “Borough Life”, The Labour Council’s self publicising magazine, which we pay for.

The first item is a complaint about people parking across a home-owner’s car access (fully paid up with Council H marking). Typical response: The usual Pontius Pilate bit followed by “Yes it’s a shame that some people don’t know the law”.

Rubbish! they know the law and they know it’s not enforced.

If I were in charge of the Council, I’d tell the home owner to give us the registration of the vehicle (better still a photo, in situ) and we, (the Council) would enforce proceedings to charge the ignorant sod with Obstruction.

If the Police know that this is Council policy they’d respond to calls to deal with such obstructions and they’d end.

Next up, there’s a complaint about litter on a canal walk.

Again typical reponse: “It’s a shame that a few ignorant people spoil it for the rest of YOU”.

I’d have had pix of the cleaner’s that I’d had sent out the following day and a pic of a patrol warden, whose job it would be to call out cleaner’s, as required, so the public wouldn’t have cause to make complaints.

These weaselly responses are immediately followed by Baron Smith of Leigh’s column, with the opening statement: “Providing value for money and maintaining services to our community are Wigan Council’s key priorities” ..

Here’s me thinking that their key priority is to get their expense claims in and preventing anyone investigating the details of them.

I hope you’re into re-cycling, because nearer the end, after all the Olympic hype and feel-good stories (not created by the Council but associated with, by context) there’s a warning about the re-cycling police coming to “educate” you.

If you fail this GCSE then “enforcement action will be considered”

Forget GCSE’s, now the exam farce has hit the bumper’s. Time for a total re-think of how to make life decisions

June 22, 2012

I’m short & fat and no matter how hard I exercise, I will never be taller, or slimmer.

Why do people insist that others can become Scientistific geniuses just by having better teachers.

We all have strength’s of different kinds, or our genes wouldn’t have been passed on.

It may be that your particular genes may simply be successful, because you are fecund and have a very strong mothering instinct

Not all genetic strengths may be laudable but they could have their value to human Society. E.g. the genes that produce thieves, help keep down genes that encourage complaceny.

The point that I want to get to is that life roles and education are not one size fits all.

The Tertiary education system had the top 20%  IQ taking the academic route, via Grammar schools, the next 20% taking the artisan route, via technical schools and the rest doing extra literacy and numeracy in Secondary modern schools. This system was a very crude way of selecting an education to match an individuals abilities.

Noticeable failings (mainly exceptions that proved the rule) led to a cry that Secondary moderns were consigning 60% of the population to the scrap heap and that wasn’t fair. It wasn’t true, as the exceptions were those who still went on to higher things e.g. dyslexics such as the founder of Tesco’s and the actress Susan Hampshire.

Whatever the case, it was a crude attempt at fitting children to their adult roles in life, concentrating mainly on the academics, who might go on to achieve Graduate status.

For many Baby Boomers, such as myself, it provided an escape from working class status into the middle classes. As I became a teacher, I was quickly relegated to Working Class status but other’s went on to become banker’s etc.

It was those who became Labour politicians, who closed off that escape route by condemning the Secondary Moderns and calling for the Comprehensive schooling system.

The idea sounded good, in that it amalgamated several schools into larger populations where it was thought that pupils could mix and match study subjects, according to their abilities and talents. Unfortunately Education budgets were never a match for those in the States, which the Comprehensive system had half-heartedly attempted to copy. (American school budgets are about 500% of ours).

The cost of providing technical skills was too expensive, so the CSE was brought in, for those unlikely to reach Graduate level. The CSE was a total failure, in that pupils knew that they were second class, within the school (first class, if within a Technical school, or best in their Secondary School) and book learning does not appeal to those skilled with their hands, or exceptional physiques.

To overcome the disaffection of the majority of pupils and to cater for the predicted lack of labour-intensive industry, New Labour (Blair) came up with the wheeze that the combined GCE and CSE would be dumbed down to cater for all.

Instead of 15% achieving sufficiently good “O”-level grade “C” qualifications, educational standards would be raised so that all but the bottom 15%  (previously bottom 20% were classed as ESN, Special in modern parlance) would achieve this standard. We still needed road sweepers!

Instead of only 5% of the population achieving Honours degrees we’d have 50% going on to Higher education. It’d keep them of the unemployment statistics and if America could have Clown degrees (“Homie the Clown” is the 15th episode of The Simpsons‘ sixth season), why not have degree’s on popular TV soaps?

The truth can’t be hidden anymore, with massive unemployment, evaporating job opportunities and an economic meltdown.

Gove has tried to turn back the clock by saying that he will introduce GCE exams.

Too little, too late and squandering an opportunity to do something more socially useful.

Defer employment until people have tasted life and had a chance to make a suitable career choice. Stop trying to categorise them before they’ve even reached puberty. We all undergo tremendous mental, as well as physical changes between the ages of 11 and 18.

We have to support a large population of unemployed people, why must it be when they are older? Support them until they are in their early 20’s (we stop growing at about 21, from then on we age).

Give them an opportunity to taste what’s on offer including a bit of Hedonism (all first years, on a degree course have always been known as “bloody students”, as they revel in life without parental control).

Let them do some hard labour, clearing waste land and planting trees instead of breaking Council property.

Let them be attached to Public Service units: Police, hospital orderlies, Army, Store orderlies, nursing assistants, receptionists, Admin services etc. on six month turn arounds. These could be attached to employment benefit up-grades or entitlements. They could be certificated as skills qualification’s, with individuals able to gain specific qualifications within that time. The more academically inclined such as Scientists, linguists, musicians, artists and artistes could take on six-month periods of school based training, which they could ditch or progress through, as they felt suited.

Parents/voters aren’t obsessed by GCE’s, they are obsessed with their children’s happiness and ability to maintain that happiness by ensuring for their future.

The rich know that in Britain, as she is Today, the best chance for happiness lies in having attended the best public school and making contacts (institutionalised nepotism) so you get a good (remunerative but not onerous) job.

GCE’s form part of that pathway and, so, the Rich will fight to keep them, at our expense, which is why life progress by examination needs to end. New paths to entrance into The Legal profession, Politics and Medicine need to be explored, which don’t rely on buying your way in, based on the right connections and on paper qualifications, which can be as bogus, as driving test pass.

 

 

It would be nice if The Gulf War had re-established Kurdistan, as a separate country.

June 21, 2012

At the end of the First World War. the major powers divided up Kurdistan, giving part to Iraq, part to Iran, part to Syria and part to Turkey.

(Wikipaedia says: According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, Kurdistan covers around 190,000 km² in Turkey, 125,000 km² in Iran, 65,000 km² in Iraq, and 12,000 km² in Syria, with a total area of approximately 392,000 km².)

Ever since, Kurds have been attacked by their over-lords, although they now have autonomous regions in two of them.

It would be “nice” if the four countries, involved, agreed to allow the re-establishment of Kurdistan, to allow them to be free of attacks, whenever local politicians needed an Aunt Sally to direct public opinion away from domestic issues (like Kirchener is doing with The Falklands).

As I understand it, Saladin was a Kurd and one would think that people’s obsessed by the “crimes” of The Crusaders might think this a fitting tribute to his memory as well as a way of reducing periodic genocidal attacks on a people whose only fault was to be absorbed into the Ottoman Empire.

If Assange ends up in a U.S. court, will this prove fuel for the conspiracy theorists?

June 21, 2012

I don’t know whether, or not, Assange is guilty, as charged but I’m not eager to see the Swedish courts hand him over to The U.S. Government..

The truth is that as long as any Government tries to keep secrets, either to protect us from panicking, to track down terrorists (quite an elastic term), or to prevent us from finding out that they are scum of the highest rank, we will want to dig out the truth.

It’s obvious that the FOI act doesn’t actually enable us to find out the truth for ourselves, so like The Police we need informer’s.

We need people like Assange, who aren’t bound by Official Secret’s Acts, or D-notices.

I’m aware that there are conspiracy nuts out there but there wouldn’t be so many if we had no cause to think that people in power weren’t capable of such conspiracies.

I listen to the conspiracy nuts, support the concept of Occupy protests  and Assange’s Wiki-leaks, because I want to be alert to that one conspiracy that might actually harm me.

That may seem paranoid but as a post-war child, I was brought up knowing that those who were paranoid got out of Nazi Germany and escaped the fate, which awaited the more rational.

24 hour injunctions,Traveller’s, Chief Constable’s, Theresa May act in concert to make the Police look stupid.

June 21, 2012

This is the version of my letter to the Express:

Tricky travellers outsmart police time and time again

AN old saying goes: “Fool me once,; shame on you, fool me twice; shame on me”.

$o how many times must our police be made to look like buffoons before the Home Secretary tells chief constables, to get their act together and stop making the law look inept (“Travellers move in after naive’ police takedown barriers to keep them out”, June 19)? .

Travellers often occupy land at weekends in the knowledge that council officers are either unable or not bothered enough to get an injunction to remove them.

Often only bigger, private firms, those geared up to a seven-day-a week operation, are smart enough to respond quickly to this sort of nuisance but I wonder if the officers that moved the railings to allow the travellers back knew it.

 In any case, the logic of a having a “quit within 24 hours” notice deadline seems ridiculous to me.

It shouldn’t take a` lot for the Home Secretary_ to ensure that deadline includes bank holidays and for chief constables to stop kowtowing to antisocial menaces.

It must have been considered pretty right-wing, because it’s substantially the same as my original:

The saying is “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”.
How many times can our Police be made to look like buffoons, before The Home Secretary issues instructions to Chief Constables on how to avoid traveller’s making The Law look totally inept.
It has been printed in past cases that Traveller’s have occupied land on the weekend, knowing that Council Officer’s would not be able, or concerned enough, to get an injunction to remove them.
As such an injunction can only be granted within 24 hours, only large private companies, which are geared up to to a 7-day week, with a legal team on hand, are quick enough to respond to this nuisance.
Did the Police, who ordered the removal of playing field railings, to allow the Traveller’s to turn around (!), know this?
Did Local Official’s know?
Did anyone, in authority, think to tell those affected?
In any case the logic of a 24-hour deadline seems to be falsified and it shouldn’t take much effort, or Parliamentary debate, for The Home Secretary to push through the necessary legislation to extend the deadline to encompass Bank Holiday’s and those Chief Constable’s, who insist on their men kow-towing to these anti-social menaces.