For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!


Friday, 16 September 2016

Bits and pieces

This is not a political rant, just the ramblings of a politically naive OAP. It seems obvious that the NHS has become untenable based on the amount of money the government can see fit to provide, whatever they say about cost savings, increased efficiency and other dubious claims and plans. The government can only allocate OUR money that it has collected from taxes as it sees fit. WE, and I include, at a guess, ninetty-nine percent of the population, would like to see our country (whatever that may turn out to be as Brexit unfolds) with a state-of-the-art health service. With an ageing population this dream is rapidly receding. So, if the majority of the population want something so badly that is anyway a priority, surely they would be prepared to chip in a bit more money in the form of a modest increase in Income Tax? I haven’t the slightest idea how much, say 1p or 2p. on the existing rates would raise, and if it was applied I would hope that it was legally binding that the additional proceeds would only go to support the NHS. Surely public opinion would not be sufficiently adverse to frighten the life out of the government of the day?

I know there will be replies along the lines of: It's  not as simple as that...


Daughter arrived at 7:00 am as usual on Wednesday with granddaughter Katie for me to drop her off at nursery at 8:45am. Daughter and I were talking and Katie had gone into the living room; she has been taught not to interrupt unless it is something important, which sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t. Anyway, she came in and urged us,  “come and look, it’s important”.

The blood red sun was rising above successive horizons and trying to burn through a purplish haze. I took the photo below, but the sun is overexposed, it was much redder - it’s still a reasonable photo, but only if you enlarge it.


Unbelievable- she will be 5 next month

I have found that I no longer need to prove I’m human by ticking the Captcha gadget in “comments”, I just go straight to publish, but I’m not sure if this will work for other commenters rather than just for me as the host?


I’m off to walk the Northumberland Coast Path for six days tomorrow (Saturday) and hope to post along the way, although it now seems impossible to include photos - Googling seems to tell me that it can only be done using Picassa and there is no way on Earth that I’m going down that route again after loosing all my photographs as also expereinced by many others. Mine were very luckily retrieved by a miracle by my local computer guru, Pete Walker in Arnside.


I have now found that in Blogger Dashboard, writing a post, I cannot see my cursor and I can't scroll. If I go into full-screen things work normally. What with the photo thing, and now this, Google is both falling apart and trying to rule the world all at the same time.

I have now met and socialesd with six fellow bloggers over the years, some of them on sevral occasions and made good friends. This was further enhanced when Ruth Livingstone (Coastal Walker) and her husband arrived in my part of the world and I was invited out for a very pleasant meal and evening's chat on Wednesday. Thanks very much R and J. Long live blogging.


Roderick Robinson said...

Ah, so simple. The NHS needs more money, so raise taxes. Next task please. Britain has signed up to a global anti-pollution deal which means carbon-free power; simply order a nuclear power station and raise taxes to pay for it. Our roads are crumbling so repair them; pay for the work with raised taxes. Quite a lot of people now seem to be flooded out and better flood defences are necessary; you probably know the answer to that one too. Etc, etc, etc.

Guarantee that the taxes raised for all these and many more extra tasks are used specifically for those reasons. It's never going to happen. Why? Consider the UK's history. When you get old you receive a pension paid for - you're told - out of social services deductions taken from your salary during your working life. Obviously, as with commercial models, that specifically designated cash goes into an investment pot which makes interest in order to meet the much greater outgoings that pensions represent. I mean it would have to, wouldn't it? The deductions are tiny compared with the money paid out.

I've news for you. There is no interest-generating pot. Pensions are in effect paid out of the UK's current account. How can that be? By cutting government expenditure elsewhere. After all, not everyone gets flooded out.

In Germany there is such a pot, bound by laws that prevent politicians from touching that money or changing those laws. Seems a sensible idea and Britain's a sensible place. But it's too late to create a pot now. Luckily Brexit will ensure our greater sovereignty to pass our own laws. Almost all of them short-term and intended to get the government out of fixes

Meanwhile, remember the NHS, the carbon-free power, the crumbling roads? They've all been addressed and the basic rate of income tax has risen from (about) 20% to let's say 30%. People have less disposable income and the economy is sagging. Unemployment rises and the government has less income. More cuts. Hey a brilliant idea! Let's close half the schools and keep the remainder open round-the-clock. Lots of teachers join the unemployed.

Who to blame? Obviously the government that raised the taxes. There’s a general election on the cards and the other party (notice I don’t identify either party; it doesn’t really matter) is promising to CUT taxes. More money in your pocket and your grandchildren’s life expectancy drops due to increased likelihood of (a) pulmonary afflictions, and (b) being drowned as a result of living in a house on a flood plain.

All because someone went to A&E and got pissed off that they weren’t able to treat an ingrowing toenail. Moral: don’t wish too hard for something, chances are you may get it.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - Why the heck would anybody want to be prime minister? The only cynical reason I reckon is that you can end up with a shed-load of money (e.g. TB).

Roderick Robinson said...

Stop being both naïve and over-simplistic. Remind yourself that TB brought about peace in Northern Ireland. That Harold Macmillan was rich when he became PM; as minister for whatever, earlier on, he was responsible for encouraging the building of over 300,000 houses in one year. That John Major initiated the Cone Line. That Attlee, in just five short years when cash was non-existent, ushered in the Welfare State. That Neville Chamberlain tried terribly hard to bring about peace in Europe. That Harold Wilson introduced the Open University. That Churchill achieved at least one thing even if he failed at several others. And how about Thatcher? She didn't like grammar schools - does that raise any echoes?

The aphorism is: all political lives end in failure. But that too is naïve and over-simplistic. All political lives require the perspective of time before a half-reasonable conclusion can be arrived at. And, alas, it depends on who's doing the concluding.

Public service is an honourable aspiration but it requires the aspirant to play politics. Politics is based on compromise. Successful politics depends on well-disguised compromise. And hiding things is getting harder and harder.

If you already believe your supposition to be cynical why should anyone listen? Cynicism is a form of prejudice. That last sentence of yours deserves serious attention.

Ruth Livingstone said...

It was lovely to meet you in real life Conrad, and we very much enjoyed the evening. Now waiting for your regular updates as you walk the coast next week. :)

P.S. I still had to tick the 'Please prove you're not a robot' box below and choose pictures with palm trees! For what it's worth, I abandoned Blogger a few years ago and switched to WordPress, because I was fed up with the interface not working properly.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - Ok, you are right of course and I agree that was a thoughtless comment.

afootinthehills said...

I have to agree totally with RR but did not wish to comment on 'your' NHS. Not that the issues are any different up here Conrad.

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - yes, that was a bit of a silly post and I deserved what I got from big brother. I'm posting this from my pub prior to starting my Northumberland Coadt Path tomorrow - see the latest post.

AlanR said...

Have fun in Northumberland, don't forget your phrase book and translator.
My Google - blogger is also playing up. Cannot see a curser, cannot log in on my front page, cannot scroll down. On the other hand I am glad it's not just me and now I won't try and resolve it by trying changing settings etc.

I won't bore your post about the NHS but my opinion is " if you have never paid into it then you should pay the same as private sector". We shouldn't have to send our kids to America for cancer treatment because we can't afford it. It's not right.
We should also cut overseas aid. We need it here now.

Gayle said...

I'll gloss over the political stuff, and go straight to the 'I'm not a robot' thing. The first time I ever saw that, I accidentally clicked 'Publish Your Comment' before I ticked the box, and my comment published. Therefore, I've never bothered ticking the box, no matter upon whose blog I'm commenting, and it's never yet failed to publish my comment. (I do hope making such a bold statement hasn't been the kiss of death on my ease of commenting!)

Regarding photos on Google and Picasa, my understanding is that if, when out walking, you send photos to your blog either via a blogging app or via a emailed blog post, then Google stores those photos in an online Picasa album. When you go home, you'll then download those photos to your Mac. You will then have two copies of those photos (one online, the other on your Mac), which will not be related to each other. You don't need to have the Picasa software on your Mac, and thus you shouldn't be in the position of repeating the awful deletion of all photos incident.

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R - that makes sense, but I suppose, as I surmised originally, and as was so emphatically pointed out by big brother, such things are not so simple.

Interesting to head others are having the same problem with Google. It has happened before with me then cured itself for a while. BUT now Google is asking me to sign in every time I want to post a comment, or open my blog - very irritating.


Gayle - thanks for the explanation. If it has anything whatsoever to do with Picasa I'm going nowhere near it, both from a practical and a principle viewpoint.