Monday, 16 June 2014

We didn't start the fire

Someone clever once said, you never stand still, you are either going forwards or backwards. Well that is certainly the situation this month, as we cross the channel twice in as many weeks. Firstly, I would like to say congratulations to the National Health service for their intelligence and  care, but sadly I can’t. Instead, I find myself flabbergasted about the fact that they only work 5 days per week, and that their food isn’t fit for a hungry pig to roll in, let alone eat, and that they are so obsessed by health and safety rather than health CARE that the whole organisation is rotten to its shoelaces. Isnt it time someone with a little more business nous took over the reins? Stick Richard Branson in there, he knows how to make things work. Start by firing everyone and then only re-employing those with a smile and a decorum of common sense. Yes nursing and hospital work is not nice and I wouldn't do it for all the noodles in China, so I dont. Those who do find themselves in that profession, I would sympathise with you, except that it is your chosen career. If you don’t want to look after sick people with all your heart, then please do something else instead of hiding behind the smokescreen of self-preservation and health and safety gone mental. While my Mum has been in hospital, she developed a blister on her foot, so now they wont allow her to attempt to walk in case it bursts and they have an ‘incident. How outrageous. You are nurses, bandage it! Doctors and staff are continually late as they are no longer allowed to wear wrist-watches at work. What the…? TV costs £10 per day, so patients cant afford to watch it to break up the boredom of four walls. Not that they would hear it above the sound of never-answered phones and fellow patients buzzers being ignored. Flowers not allowed on the ward? Grapes not allowed. Visitors not allowed to sit with patients while they eat - for hygiene reasons. The list of ridicule is endless – and it stinks. Ah yes. Didn’t someone mention that we should bring back good old cottage hospitals? Now that is a great idea. Except we can’t, can we, because they have all been sold to greedy property developers and bulldozed to the ground?
Having recently ranted with rage about the security checks at Bristol airport, I have to report today that something radical has happened. They now have erected a little stand once you have passed all your checks to ask if  your trip through security was a pleasant experience, with a selection of buttons to press to endorse the fact. Much though I wanted to scream at it and press the ‘disgraceful’ button, I have to admit that on my most recent trip it was a lot less intimidating than usual. Why is this? What has happened? Is it because they are being monitored that they feel obliged to be nice to passengers? Or did they read my rant from last year? Or just maybe, passengers are getting fed up with the place and using different airports instead. Either way I am annoyed now, as there wasn’t one there when I wanted to scream at it last year. My prediction is that the machine will break down within the month so the staff can return to their old ways. Or maybe someone will break a fingernail while pressing a button so that Health and Safety can close it down and cordon it off with Danger Keep Out tape like they have with the kid’s playground at Worcester Royal Infirmary.
Anyway, my writings this month are rather novel in that they come to you from 20 miles under the sea. No, I have not joined the submariners service, just that I am sitting on the rather pleasant and painless train journey that connects the motherland with my chosen habitat. I have to admit, I am not looking forward to being in UK again, and instantly ready to complain about the gross overcrowding problems of the south east, particularly highlighted by the World biggest car-park which calls itself the M25. Somewhere in the middle of these feelings, I have to confess to a pang of guilt. Let’s face it, England is my country of birth. 100 years ago and again 30 years later, brave and patriotic men fought to defend its shores from invasion, so that they and their children could live out their lives in peace and harmony. Even this week, that patriotism still remains as the nation awaits the greatness of our group of eleven heroes, suffering the heat of south America, diving for their country in the name of football.
So when was it that the slogan of ‘what makes this country great’ got replaced with ‘how the bejeezus did we come to accept so much crap in our daily lives?’ As Billy Joel once stated, ‘we didn’t start the fire..’ but does it really take a stint of living outside the tent to actually see the problems without wearing good old St George’s rose-tinted specs? Well, here is another verse to add to Billy’s classic song, which includes a few unacceptable things that we thankfully don’t put up with in France, and highlights the reason I and many others chose to leave.
Potholes, Microwaves, Ready meals, Road-rage
Rude staff, Car-flags, Road-works, Plastic bags
Service-stations, gutter press, track-suits, Political correctness
Car tax, Celeb TV, ludicrous Health and Safety!
We didn’t start the fire, but it’s about time we dialled 999 to put it out!

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