A busy week visiting old haunts in Finsbury Park area but my return to Hastings was accompanied by a telephone call letting me know my mum had fallen and had been admitted to hospital on Friday night. By Saturday lunchtime she’d had a hip replacement op and I visited yesterday. Revisiting North Middlesex brings up a mixture of feelings. It was where my two boys were born but the last time I was there was in 2000 when Penny was a patient for a number of weeks in the summer before we moved to Hastings. Yesterday’s visit allowed me to see at first hand how the NHS is doing. Firstly they have a spanking new addition to the hospital, no doubt funded by Private Finance Initiative that will keep the health trust in debt for generations unless a government radical and progressive enough takes power. Secondly the modern facilities are understaffed. I have no problems with the dedication and commitment of the staff I saw. The staff come from every part of the world and all have their own roles and all form part of a team. If you want an example of socialism in action you have to go back to the foundation of the National Health Service. It was set up so that being rich didn’t mean the difference between life and death. Between good health and bad health. Nye Bevan was the Minister of Health and this is what he had to say.
Unfortunately since then successive governments, even Labour ones, have compromised the vision he had. When an army is sent to war, no expense is spared, and we’re about to spend billions on Trident. The health service however, is split into numerous areas and is expected to balance its books. If the government nationalised the pharmaceutical industry we could save money and not be held to ransom by the ridicolous, Premier League football salary costs of medication.
My blog about native Americans last week got a response from a fellow blogger called Silenceofmind who’s tagline is ‘Where God speaks and creation listens’. Amongst his arguements was this;
‘The cultures of the great majority of indigenous people the world over were destroyed and assimilated into technologically superior cultures.’
I asked him
‘You then refer to indigenous people being destroyed by technologically superior cultures. Only technologically? Or do you subscribe to the notion that they were destroyed by racially superior cultures too? Please clarify. Then I will know where you’re coming from.’
I’m still waiting for a response but I don’t think I’m going to get one. Or maybe he’s still working out what to say.
Slowly the character of the Prime Minister is becoming evident. She doesn’t ‘shoot from the hip’ as one of her supporters said. Let’s get this clear. Two weeks ago she was repeatedly asked if she knew about the Trident missile heading towards Florida instead of the south Atlantic and she said nothing. Until the day after.
Last week she was asked whether she agreed with Trump banning Muslims from 7 countries and she said nothing. Until two days later. It comes to something when you need to think before you can tell the truth about a weapons system that costs billions and will never be used. Or to offer an opinion about another persons religious prejudice. What will Teresa dither about next?
And what to make of her holding hands with Trump? She values the ‘special relationship’ (about to become more ‘special’ once she’s finished pissing off 27 of our neighbours) so much she allows herself to look stupid next to that creepy man that boasts of grabbing women’s body parts.
This week also saw the release on the Dandelion Radio website of the 2016 Festive Fifty. This used to be the end of year charts that listeners to John Peel’s radio show voted for. It’s been carried on by this website, named after a record label the great man once was involved with. As well as the usual offerings from The Fall and The Wedding Present were two from David Bowie’s final LP. His first and last time in these charts.
Things I recommend; a National Health Service, free prescriptions, eye care and dental care.
The takeover of all private hospitals. Without compensation to shareholders. They can have their money back. But no dividends.
Nationalization of the pharmaceutical industry.
A ban on hospital closures. We need more services not less.
Things I don’t recommend; sitting on the fence. It’s getting tough out there, who’s side are you on?