Somehow I slept through the night and the thunderstorms at 6:30 am. And the window was wide open because it was a hot night. Nothing better than waking up to the sounds of laughter. Set your radio to Radio 5 and put it on anytime between 9 and 11 on a Saturday morning. And we need laughter after the week we’ve had. Going to bed Monday night, again with Radio 5 on, I got to hear the beginning of a story that by the following day had evolved into an attack by a suicide bomber which has caused the death of 22 and many more injured. Would have been better for the rest of us if the bomber had just driven his car off a cliff. Or sought help, not that there’s a lot of it about. This week whilst at work we got a report of someone feeling suicidal. The GP service were contacted and asked to do a home visit. But GP had their quota of visits already set up so not possible. So it was left to the police to go and see this vulnerable person. Is that the really the job of the police? Not that I doubt they’d do their best.
But back to Manchester. I’d love to say there’s a simple solution that would stop people killing themselves and as many others as they can. And some think there is a simple solution. One such person said (and got a tv interview to say it)
“All these people who have shown intent, no matter how big or how small – whether it be a photograph waving a black flag or turning up to a demo, if you’ve got stuff on your phone or your IP addresses are reeking of this ideological rubbish, you need to be dealt with straight away. That means you go back to wherever you came from or alternatively you’re locked up.”
So for example, if I want to research ISIS and am found with this in my search history I’m going to be locked up or sent back to where I came from.
Guys Hospital in south London.
Well, I was very close to where I came from last week when I travelled to London Bridge Station for a night out. I can’t bear to say his name but the murderer was born in Manchester, in the UK, as was the one who drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. Ah but he was black some might say.
And your point is?
Are you really advocating sending people to places they’re parents were born in?
How does that work with me? My parents were born in a country the British government doesn’t recognise even exists. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The British government only recognises the Republic of Cyprus. So the Greek Cypriot government would be asked to take me? This is absurd it really is and I hope I’ve made my point.
The other point I’d like to make is that we’d have to have a lot more surveillance before we were confident we knew what we were all doing on our phones and computers. If you’re still interested in this idea I urge you to read about communist Romania in the Ceaucescu period. Half the country were spying on the other half. And people were turning their neighbours in to avoid becoming a suspect themselves.
So like I said there are no simple solutions. So here’s what I’m going to do.
- argue for greater understanding and empathy of each other to prevent hatred and hostility becoming stronger.
- promote peace not war.
- enjoy life. Enjoy music. Films. Culture of all sorts. Friendships with people no matter where they come from, or what religious background or none.
I would like to thank the overworked and underpaid public servants for all they did this week. Those who worked in the hospitals, the paramedics, the police and those who didn’t but felt they should do something. Offer their homes as a place of refuge. Assist the victims on the scene. Give people a lift home.
And I would like to say shame on those who leaked information to the American media whilst an investigation is going on.
9 days ago the Tories announced their manifesto on which they hope to be re-elected. 5 days ago they changed one of their policies. This has to be a record. In my blog last week I said this;
And there are changes to social care, a field I work in and have knowledge of. There is some good news. If you are in a care home and have sold your house to pay for your care you will be left with £100,000 instead of £23,250 before your local council pays towards your care.
But if you are cared for at home and have less that £23,250 in savings but own a house you are shafted. You will now, if your house is worth over £100,000 pay for ALL of the costs of your care.
Watch this clip from the Guardian. It’s the second video and is 40 seconds long.
The woman being door knocked said
‘I’m a little bit unnerved, I have to say, about the old people’s care changes.’
Teresa May tried to defend her proposals. And the woman said;
‘I would be 100% behind it if there was a higher allowance for people in the south because leaving a £1,000 to your children in Yorkshire is very different than here’.
Well firstly the member of public got her figures wrong. It’s not £1,000 you were going to be allowed to be left with after paying your care costs. It was £100,000. And secondly she highlights her knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of property values by contrasting ‘down south’ with Yorkshire. Here’s a cheap house up north.
But more importantly I want to highlight that the Conservative’s are trying to normalise the idea that your care needs should be paid for from the sale of your house.
When it’s so expensive for young people to buy a house most old people would like to think that when they pass away they will be able to help their children and grandchildren to have a roof over their head without having to pay an extortionate amount of rent to a private landlord. What the Tories are saying with this proposal was if you drop dead from a heart attack, count yourself lucky. But if you live and become in need of care ‘tough’.
What they did on Monday was what they said they weren’t going to do between Thursday and Sunday. Put a limit on the amount you should pay towards your care costs.
But no figures. It could be £50,000. It could be £500,000.
I know of two retired people in Sussex who will stop voting Conservative because of this issue.
I have a much more radical idea.
We as a society decide that the social care of all vulnerable adults needs to be as good for someone with money as someone without. That we pool our resources together into a pot. And if we’re lucky enough to not become dependent on others that’s good enough for me. And if I have to pay an extra £50 a month in tax for it that’s a price worth paying so that people can be treated with dignity. And not subjected to 15 minute care visits. Or made to get ready for bed at 6 pm because that’s the only time the care agency can get someone to call round. Or left in their bedclothes till 11 am for the same reason. Or put in incontinence pads because the local authority can’t afford to care for people properly and ensure someone has enough care to be able to remain independent with the use of a toilet.
What I’ve described above is what the principle of health care was which the Labour Party created the National Health Service to provide. We need a National Social Care Service.
On a lighter note this week we had a discussion about whether ‘snot’ should be recorded in someone’s care plan. The Oxford English Dictionary came to our rescue and provided a colleague with an alternative. Nasal mucus.
I’m sticking with snot. Or bogey.
Finally this week UKIP outlined their manifesto and one of their proposals was that they would ban women wearing balaclavas and burkas in public spaces. Those wearing hoodies are safe. Explaining the policy the deputy leader Peter Whittle said
‘We need to see people’s faces. It is simple as that. Because we communicate by faces’
And then Eddie Mair of Radio 4 pointed out that they were speaking to each other from different studios and couldn’t see each and seemed to be doing it quite well.