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Sunday, 03 February 2013

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I often wonder just what the rank and file Tories were actually thinking when they ousted Lady Thatcher (optimistically assuming they were thinking anything at all when replacing 'the greatest Prime Minster since Churchill' with a non-entity). What would Britain have been like without the ineptitude of 'the Grey Man', would we have had 'Bliar' and his triumph of 'style over substance' (not that I'm saying he was stylish, you understand, but that it was the beginning of 'spin' politics).

I can't say I agreed with all that the Thatcher government did but it at least showed some basic understanding of reality, an ideology and leadership, none of the following ever showed anything other than self-interest, pandering to pressure groups and knee-jerk reactionism.

As to the current incumbent and his faithful followers? (In my humble opinion a complete 'light precipitation of excreted faecal matter'. I still suspect he was chosen as leader for no other reason than his appearance - since he has literally no substance or convictions) Just more of the same. The topic is the 'straw that broke the camels back' for many Tory faithful, but he's only listening to the rabid fanatics of the pressure groups yet again (and lining up to follow Bliar into corporate sponsorship millionaredom).

(as to "Homosexuals represent roughly 1 to 3 percent of the population" look where they congregate to understand how much Cameroid will pander to their every whim [MSM]. From my own experience, the NHS appears to have a large number of gay men in it (especially in nursing). Whilst, as you say, the vast majority work and contribute no differently than any other group and have as many differing opinions, there are a vociferous minority who play the victim card to gain their craved power status - the numbers of senior male nurses is almost entirely gay [known internally as 'the gay mafia'] - to watch any confrontations between the gay lobby, the feminists and the ethnic minority lobby in a debate is almost worth bringing popcorn to - 'handbags at dawn'.)

Marriage is an institution still seen as being for the benefit of children, which they cannot have (although their friends in social services seem quite happy to assist them in forcing adoption on children - the childrens interests come poor second compared to the gay need for fashion accessories apparently, it's not as if they are smokers or members of the EDL is it?), and representing the norm (being common throughout cultures and history) and as such 'a bad thing' to the fanatics. So their aim is not 'equality', and never was, but simply to undermine and destroy another pillar of normality.

Democracy - the tyranny of the majority. Since we have the tyranny of the minority now, what do we call that?

"I often wonder just what the rank and file Tories were actually thinking when they ousted Lady Thatcher": they didn't, it was the MPs wot dunnit. And they thought that she'd cost them the next election. I dare say they were right: "Humankind cannot stand very much reality".

An intriguing electoral conundrum, should the gays be denied what seems a reasonable right just to satisy MPs from the shires who have failed to keep their electoral support structure up to date? Sensible legislation put on the back burner for obviously grubby political advantage. I reckon Dave will be seen as gutless if he gives in and lose landslide style. As things are he may lose anyway - not that any alternative will be better.

Some Tory MPs rely on their Conservative Associations to hand out election literature, ferry old dears to polling stations, run sherry mornings etc etc. Run by folk of the bourgeous class with more than a few from the 'Mrs Marple' tendency they are very vulnerable to a voluble minority who have no relevance to the voters and ordinary people of the UK. But it is they who deliver the leaflets and knock on doors - the Tory salesforce - hence the current mess. Take a stiff drink Mr Cameron and tell those MPs to get their act together with an updated salesforce - or sod off.

Actually, Able, I am in need of medical attention myself because I still haven't recovered from the shock of experiencing a private hospital whose facilities have been laid on by the NHS. No doubt the staff have their grumbles but their public face is one of cheerful efficiency and they seem to have lost that habit prevalent in too many NHS factories of treating patients and visitors as a nuisance spoiling their otherwise smoothly operating day! I exaggerate, of course, because not all NHS facilities are like that - but too many are!

Didn't realise you were an Eliot man, DM. Can't get on with him, myself, his 'verse', if such it be, leaves me unmoved.

Roger, I disagree with you and I shall set forth my reasons why in a post later this morning - that'll be a fun thing to look forward to, won't it?!

On a point of order, Mr. D., I don't think constituency workers can be counted amongst iDave's supporters.

I believe if you check the figures from the last leadership election, you'll find that a Mr. Davis was the winner as far as constituency parties were concerned.

Point taken, Andrew, so let's hope they give him the heave-ho asp!

DD, Sir

Private medical services, especially those operated within NHS hospitals (almost all large hospitals have a private ward/wing), perfectly illustrate the benefits of a free market (specifically competition and choice).

There are pros and cons of course. The private units receive more money and as such hire more staff and (with certain caveats) the best they can afford. The management is, usually, more 'streamlined' and focused on service delivery rather than 'political/ideological matters' too.

The flip side of 'cherry picking' the lucrative conditions (no drunken yobbos or long term dementia for them) and of having no costs of training (hiring away the staff trained at great expense by the NHS). As it currently operates in the UK the private medical establishment is to an extent 'parasitic' on the NHS (a gross oversimplification I admit) funded, in the main, by 'leaching' significant funds which were used to subsidise less 'glamorous' service provision.

As someone with a few years experience I have mixed views. The NHS has become (and to an extant always was) the archetypical 'bureaucracy' and 'public sector' fiasco. The bureaucracy sees itself as the most important part (look at hiring practices, clinical staff hiring freezes/reductions whilst mass recruitment of administrative and management continues apace). Promotion based on ideological, as opposed to competence criteria.....

So private medicine in the UK is exactly what you'd get staff wise (the same staff, trained in the same hospitals- but with incompetents fired and competence rewarded), more of them (with significantly reduced administrative/managerial 'tail' and a similar level of 'trained' staff as 'of old') with up-to-date infrastructure (instead of wall-to-wall diversity coordinators)...

As I've said before. I believe the NHS as is is no longer 'fit for purpose'. Whilst the American system has its benefits (and losers of course) I favour the French and Australian (well unless they mange to destroy it as thy appear to be attempting to) models.

I admit I despair, because your description is exactly the situation I remember in many ward areas, in many hospitals, and all of them NHS. I am sure some still exist, but only despite the mismanagement and constant 'reforms', and how long for I dread to think.

To an extent the NHS is a microcosm of British society as a whole, reflecting what is happening elsewhere, but in a more visible fashion. It doesn't bode well.

I'm glad you came back on this, Able, because I was rather ashamed of my Saloon Bar honking on the subject of the NHS - the subject deserves a more considered opinion.

I have been lucky in my life not to have had much to do with the NHS, at least, the hospital part of it. Such hospital treatment as I have required was provided by British Military Hospitals which, as you can imagine, were somewhat different. However, I do remember back in the late '90s visiting regularly a very elderly relative in a huge 'Souf Lun'on' hospital. I am not able to judge the medical service provided but the experience of being there was appalling. It took me a while to realise that the unshaven, brown-skinned,jean-wearing scruff-bags wandering around with stethoscopes were actually the doctors! I never once saw a nurse with her hair covered. I was sort of amused to note that the entrance/reception area to this palace of socialism looked like the entrance hall to the Ritz - but the minute you left that area it rapidly declined to look like downtown Beirut!

I have a sinking feeling that this apparently crafty way of privatising the NHS is going to end up in an even bigger financial scandal that those wretched PFI schemes. Even so, whilst it's there I am delighted to avail myself, or to be precise, the Memsahib is, of Shepton Mallet clinic. Her surgeon is Hungarian and I rather warmed to him because he is obviously a man who resolutely refuses to follow the advice of his doctor - being as wide as he is tall!!! With a belly like his I'm not sure how he's going to reach the operating table on Friday!

I'm afraid I don't have to imagine military hospitals having both availed myself of their services (too many times) and worked in them (Halton, Ely, Akrotiri and Wegberg).

Your lack of use is also typical, I believe the figures indicate that over 80% of NHS services are consumed by <20% of the population (with usage split a similar amount by gender, females using the vast majority of services). Most peoples entire use of the NHS is limited to a few episodes of minor illness and a final farewell tour at age >70.

Having had a previous 'career' area (see my penchant for firearms) I trained at the point that the culture was beginning to change from an 'ascetic vocation' to a 'profession' (from Matron, bed-pan rounds and 'egg-white and oxygen' to degrees, 27 layers of useless management and high tech interventions). Whilst some of what has occurred was too long delayed I suspect a lot of babies went out with the bath-water.

Part of the decline has been, without a doubt, due to the 'right-on' socialist leanings of those who constantly tamper with what was a working system (and I mean constantly, never a month goes by without new guidelines, demands, paperwork,...). Part though is due to more and more expensive therapies, drugs and staff (when demand was basic, costs low and expectations reasonable it could work), with ever increasing demand from those who've never contributed, an ageing population and therefore less paying.... I'm amazed it has lasted as long as it has (please don't let me start on fertility treatment, non-emergency cosmetic surgery etc. on the NHS).

It's interesting you mention a Hungarian surgeon. Peruse the details of Britains limited number of medical schools to see just how many of those limited places are taken by foreign nationals (who leave soon after qualifying), ladies (who leave for pregnancy) to have some idea why we have such a shortage of doctors here (and their consequent massive salaries). Also (having upsetting doctors as part of my therapeutic stress management regime - quoting research which contradicts their 'learning' is so much fun and sometimes you not only make them cry, but their tutors too!) I feel the education they receive has, like so much else, become more of an indoctrination.

(Funnily, concurrent with the decline in cleanliness and rise of the 'super-bugs' was the decline in smoking. It used to be common to see nurses smoking at the nurses station on duty, now we hide outside the car-park. I think I'll start pointing that out to medical students!!!)

A small incident summed up BMHs for me. The missus went in to BMH Singapore to produce 'SoD'. I was permitted to sit by her bedside, pat her hand and be generally useless until suddenly she let out a squawk and the show was on! Immediately, one of those formidable QARANCs entered, took one look at her and then, turning to me, barked, "You! Oot!" Needless to say, I was out in a flash.

As for the NHS, the only answer has always been - a large dose of free marketeering aimed at giving the patient choice. My wife was offered the choice between three different hospitals in which to have her operation. There's nothing like being the customer to ensure a civilised response from the provider.

Actually, the NHS is a bit like our 'edukashun serviss', there are some good people beavering away inside but they're swamped by the layers of non-management.

Too true, unfortunately, as with the political machine, the choice given is limited, rigged and offered to those who should never have been given any involvement or access.

For me, the experience of a senior physio (WO) threatening (his dulcet tones possibly heard in the gatehouse a mile away) me with Jankers should I not 'stop whining and fcuking about and start walking' two days post surgery for dislocated knee and removal of sundry foreign metal objects deposited in my person (caring and sympathy personified?). Oh to be able to do that to some of my patients!

Could have been worse, Able, it might have come through the pursed, tight lips of a QARANC - terrifying!

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