Politics

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Katharine
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Re: Politics

Post by Katharine »

Quite agree Otter.

I am very worried about the future for all the vulnerable. What will happen to the NHS and waiting lists? What about the schools where more and more often parents are asked to pay for necessities? How many more Food banks will be needed, who will fund them? I could go on and on .... I want proof that this so called one nation Tory government will be for the many not the few. Sorry that was the Labour line, but it is so necessary.

As expected, our Plaid MP was re-elected with the highest vote for her party since the seat was created.
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Re: Politics

Post by Ajarn Philip »

Otter wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:15 pm
I [...] am sad at the national F Off at anyone from a low-income background doing an honest day's work and striving to improve their lives.
I'm inclined to agree, but I'm equally sad that a majority of those "from a low-income background doing an honest day's work and striving to improve their lives" appear to have voted for their own, self-directed F Off.
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Re: Politics

Post by Otter »

Ajarn Philip wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:00 pm
Otter wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:15 pm
I [...] am sad at the national F Off at anyone from a low-income background doing an honest day's work and striving to improve their lives.
I'm inclined to agree, but I'm equally sad that a majority of those "from a low-income background doing an honest day's work and striving to improve their lives" appear to have voted for their own, self-directed F Off.
Precisely. Baffling.

I am feeling extra grateful to CH today, in a way that I haven't done for quite a while. With people in power who want it to be harder and harder for people from the bottom to succeed, I am lucky to have had the chance of this education, otherwise I could be one of those people in foodbanks or deciding between whether to feed myself or my daughter (well, that wouldn't be a hard decision, but you get my drift).

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Re: Politics

Post by LongGone »

I've been waiting for this forum to light up following the elections. Maybe no one feels they have anything left to say.

Over here the impeachment is slowly making the way to its inevitable end: the House passes the Articles, the Senate either votes to not agree to a trial at all, or it goes to trial and returns a Not Guilty. I truly don't know which side will be hurt more, or whether it is going to have any effect on the elections next year (God I miss having everything done in a few weeks!)
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Re: Politics

Post by Katharine »

LongGone wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:46 pm
I've been waiting for this forum to light up following the elections. Maybe no one feels they have anything left to say.
The size of the majority has left me feeling absolutely gutted. I’m now clinging to the hope that Johnson will actually try to heal the wounds and do something about the NHS etc. I also hope that he may be persuaded to have a softer Brexit, possibly even one where he takes longer to negotiate the trade terms.
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Re: Politics

Post by sejintenej »

Otter wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:30 pm

I am feeling extra grateful to CH today, in a way that I haven't done for quite a while. With people in power who want it to be harder and harder for people from the bottom to succeed, I am lucky to have had the chance of this education, otherwise I could be one of those people in foodbanks or deciding between whether to feed myself or my daughter (well, that wouldn't be a hard decision, but you get my drift).
Not so sure that this is correct.
--Education is now available to all - compulsory for the young and uni availability has risen from perhaps 5% to say 50%. On top of that there is distance learning. Where I went to primary school there was nothing really after the age of 11; a bus 17 miles once a week and a ferry which ran only if the weather was good.
--Health standards were low - when the ferry allowed you to get to see the doctor. I was kept in hospital two weeks for a tonsilectonomy - how it is overnight. I injured my ankle - medicines didn't slow the flesh and tendon eating until they decided to amputate but somehow some medicines unavailable locally arrived and saved the day.
--Nutrition is a problem in two separate ways; a) ready availability of low quality quick to cook/eat meals from supermarkets and the likes of McD's and b) the degrading of raw foodstuffs - potatoes lost 100% of their vitamin A and 57% of their vitamin C between 1951 and 1999. Oranges in 1999 had 12.5% of the vitamin A that 1945 oranges contained. Those falls go across the whole range and seem to be still falling. 5 a day might have been OK back then but they are thinking of 10 a day now.
--When we were young the state help was minute compared to now (that is AFTER taking inflation into account; youngsters now often depend on the state whereas previously they knew they had to be self reliant. My next door nieghbour deliberately got herself pregnant and, aided and abetted by her parents got a council flat, furniture etc and didn't need to work - the council paid everything including the new TV and licence.
--Deception (?). Employment agencies are full of posters of available jobs but they are not effective. They send prospective employees who do not fit the profile given by the employer and are just a d**n nuisance. One of the big ones admitted that perhaps 10% of available positions are filled via employment agencies - youngsters are promised the earth and

I agree that the state (and this definitely include Labour party) has made life difficult. Kids are not allowed to do the jobs they used to like deliveries. 'elf and safety has made some jobs either impossible or so expensive that employers are simply not employing people to do them so there are jobs now unavailable. It has become difficult to get jobs without prior experience because of the increased cost of training and the difficulty in sacking staff - hence all the stupid jobsworths who plague our lives**

** I have just been the victim of this; British Gas wrote, asking me to contact them to arrange the annual boiler inspection. Easy, you think? No way, Jose. They didn't answer the phone and after 5 or 15 minutes merely stopped the call unanswered. I emailed them at the address they supplied and the email was bounced as were many other to other parts of British Gas. Annoyed, I discovered that British Gas has a list of ISPs from which it will accept messages and mine is not on that list. It appears that British Gas has no intention of correcting the matter and has lost apparently 100000 customers recently..
otherwise I could be one of those people in foodbanks or deciding between whether to feed myself or my daughter
That would probably depend upon how you were brought up. When I faced unemployment in the 1990's I made up a list of the jobs I could do with minimal outlay which would bring in (each) £500 per week - the list came to about 60 different ones. I was made redundant and went into the 61st and did very well but it was hard work.
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Re: Politics

Post by sejintenej »

Katharine wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:58 pm

The size of the majority has left me feeling absolutely gutted. I’m now clinging to the hope that Johnson will actually try to heal the wounds and do something about the NHS etc. I also hope that he may be persuaded to have a softer Brexit, possibly even one where he takes longer to negotiate the trade terms.
Katharine; you live in Wales and unfortunately the Welsh NHS is controlled from Cardiff - the stories about it circulating in England are pretty horrendous. That is not to say that the English NHS is good - I wrote about this in detail a short time ago (actually in reply to one of your posts) indicating how inefficient it is but my post disappeared in the ether as usual
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Re: Politics

Post by Katharine »

David, it may surprise you to know that I do know that NHS is devolved, and that I care about more than just my community, or the country that I live in. The majority of the population of Britain live in England, and I have lots of friends who live there, and I have heard their horror stories of waiting lists.
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Re: Politics

Post by J.R. »

Maybe now we can move forward.
To be honest, comrade Corbyn won the election for Boris.
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Re: Politics

Post by loringa »

J.R. wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:23 pm
Maybe now we can move forward.
To be honest, comrade Corbyn won the election for Boris.
Let us all hope that we can. I think everyone has had enough of the whole Brexit issue and on that, at least, we can hopefully move forward. Mr Johnson's majority is so large that he can get legislation passed without relying on the wide-eyed loons of the European Reform Group so, in many ways, his majority is a good thing whatever we may think of the man himself and his morals, or lack of them.

The Labour Party has a massive problem right now and it needs to be sorted straightaway for the good of the country. Without an effective opposition, Mr Johnson (Like Mr Blair and Mrs Thatcher before him) has enough of a majority to govern in pretty much any way he wishes. Whilst this election was all about Brexit, and it is now clear that Brexit-supporting (normally) Labour voters pretty much universally voted Tory, Mr Corbyn's refusal to announce a clear position on Brexit cost him dear.

Unfortunately that is not the whole story. The Labour manifesto was like something that a Year 11 PHSE class would put together: lots of lovely ideas: 39 of them I believe, and absolutely no way of delivering it. To borrow from Lewis Carroll, I frequently believe 39 impossible things before breakfast but I (like the rest of the country it would seem) then wake up!

The last time the Labour Party lurched so far to the left was under Michael Foot and he too was roundly rejected by the electorate. The difference between Mr Foot and Mr Corbyn is that Mr Foot was a man of considerable intellect. Mr Corbyn, on the other hand, having been gifted an excellent education and a fully funded place at Polytechnic managed only to achieve 2 A Levels at Grade E and dropped out of Polytechnic after one year. He is probably the least intelligent leader the Labour Party has ever had and this is all part of the problem: he's a silly old Trot who is way out of his depth as a party leader.

I don't think the country rejected decency, fairness and equality in voting for Mr Johnson. It was faced with the dilemma of a man without morals offering something many of them wanted and which he could genuinely deliver, and a well-meaning twit who was promising the world and which everyone could see could never be delivered.

The Labour Party needs a new leader who can genuinely be for the many, not the few but she is not to be found in Islington. Any thoughts who it should be?

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Re: Politics

Post by loringa »

Katharine wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:17 pm
The majority of the population of Britain live in England, and I have lots of friends who live there, and I have heard their horror stories of waiting lists.
Waiting lists in England are undoubtedly a problem but the ills of the NHS go far deeper than simply this. On the one hand the population is aging and placing ever increasing demands on the service (which is also having to cover for a lack of non-medical care places for the elderly); on the other, non age-related health issues are increasing at a rate with which the service cannot cope. In part, this is due to what might be deemed self-inflicted illnesses caused by increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, and the abuse of substances, both legal and illegal. There has also been a massive increase in demand for mental health services. Whilst an increased awareness of mental health issues is clearly a good thing; what is less healthy is that for some people it is becoming an excuse for everything that isn't going well in their life. When there was an attempted burglary at my house, I was offered counselling (!!); anyone who is exposed to any unpleasantness of any sort is almost expected to suffer from PTSD, and almost everyone nowadays who appears in the criminal justice system claims to be suffering from one mental illness or another. Overall, an aging population, lack of elderly care outside the NHS, increasingly unhealthy lifestyles and a never-ending demand for mental health services is placing an intolerable strain on the service.

In part the solution is more funding but the whole system needs reforming. A culture of target-setting drives bad behaviours as trusts seek to meet often arbitrary targets rather than concentrating on delivering what really matters. We also need to get rid of the current postcode lottery where the service you get depends on where you live. What is required is a list of services that the NHS provides universally regardless of who you are and where you live but this promise must be realistic. There is no reason why the NHS should, for example, offer any cosmetic procedures other than those that are medically necessary. Similarly, why should the state pay for things like IVF? Some things have to be an individual responsibility; the state can't pay for everything.

Like most people I am a massive fan of the NHS but I am not sure it can go on as it is. The only real way to pay for improvements is to increase taxes and no political party seems willing to grip this particular issue. I am not talking just about increasing taxes on the better off but it needs to run through the whole system, possibly one per cent on the basic rate and two per cent on the higher rate or something similarly progressive but universal.

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Re: Politics

Post by J.R. »

I am rather surprised that there hasn't been anything from Freaky on this subject !
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Re: Politics

Post by Katharine »

Andrew I agree with everything you have said about the NHS, and the need for a higher income from taxes. I’m not sure how that reform should be achieved, whether higher income tax or increases in other taxes.
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Re: Politics

Post by Ajarn Philip »

loringa wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:41 am
Like most people I am a massive fan of the NHS but I am not sure it can go on as it is. The only real way to pay for improvements is to increase taxes and no political party seems willing to grip this particular issue. I am not talking just about increasing taxes on the better off but it needs to run through the whole system, possibly one per cent on the basic rate and two per cent on the higher rate or something similarly progressive but universal.
And what better time to grasp this nettle than immediately after an election, at the beginning of a 5-year term, with a healthy majority? Oh, hang on a sec...
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Re: Politics

Post by sejintenej »

loringa wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:41 am
Katharine wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:17 pm
The majority of the population of Britain live in England, and I have lots of friends who live there, and I have heard their horror stories of waiting lists.
In part the solution is more funding but the whole system needs reforming. A culture of target-setting drives bad behaviours as trusts seek to meet often arbitrary targets rather than concentrating on delivering what really matters. We also need to get rid of the current postcode lottery where the service you get depends on where you live. What is required is a list of services that the NHS provides universally regardless of who you are and where you live but this promise must be realistic. There is no reason why the NHS should, for example, offer any cosmetic procedures other than those that are medically necessary. Similarly, why should the state pay for things like IVF? Some things have to be an individual responsibility; the state can't pay for everything.

Like most people I am a massive fan of the NHS but I am not sure it can go on as it is. The only real way to pay for improvements is to increase taxes and no political party seems willing to grip this particular issue. I am not talking just about increasing taxes on the better off but it needs to run through the whole system, possibly one per cent on the basic rate and two per cent on the higher rate or something similarly progressive but universal.
Without copying your entire post I am very mu ch in agreement with your contribution.
As for the list of services; where do you draw a line? some might say no more transplants, some may say no treatments devised after 1st January 2019; the entire concept is a minefield. New conditions are constantly being "discovered" and large sums set aside for research. New methods of treatment are being devised for long understood conditions (such as keyhole surgery)....... I don't have an answer and I suspect that the courts might start ordering treatments not otherwise available.
Stop cosmetic treatments? big problem there - think of severely injured burns patients - when do you stop trying to make them look normal? What about those otherwise normal people who decide that their nose shape is making them mentally ill unless it is reshaped?
.
Within the NHS over 50% of staff are not involved in patient care. I can understand having cleaners and even handymen but how are those judged?; The Royal Free Hospital went from dozens of maintenance personnel to a solitary one - who was in his sixties; all the jobs got done on time. Even the appointments system is multi-tiered - the doctor talks to his/her secretary who talks to the unit admissions department who talk to the hospital admissions who talk to the regional HQ. Prior to a recent (minor) operation I discovered that one of my routine inhalers affects anesthesia and must be discussed in advance; it took a week to get two stages up the line ....and no answer!

Lack of competent organisation. What I would suggest is a rule that nobody can get more than say 10 times as much a the lowest paid staff member - on an hourly basis. Thus if one person gets £8 per hour then the head of the NHS Trust cannot receive more than £80 for each hour that he/she is at his/her desk. I would also require every management person who is not patient-facing must work on the wards for 2 weeks every year.
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