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Friday, 12 July 2013

He who dares...

Privatisation is a wonderful thing - for some. Perhaps not if you cannot afford to buy the shares or for example if you are a regular rail traveller sweltering in the heat while facing further delays, or even if you are an occasional traveller trying to negotiate your way around the fares/timetable jungle. Maybe not when being ripped-off by utilities with their many tariff traps, a matter of considerable pain particularly for the elderly but privatisation marches on regardless as if all were bliss.

Of course not all private contracting goes according to plan. In the news yet again is G4S for 'overcharging millions on government contracts' adding to their Olympics security debacle and the more recent unlawful killing inquest verdict but that will not deter the Government from its policy of private gain so there is soon to be another opportunity for the few to benefit at the expense of the many.

People with spare cash and not having to struggle to make ends meet will be looking forward to the Royal Mail sell-off now that the debts have been loaded onto the taxpayer to leave a profitable company ripe for plucking. There will be the inevitable questions about profit versus service, particularly in remote areas but assurances will be given about regular deliveries - just as 'regular' church goers turn up regularly once or twice a year at Easter and at midnight Mass every Christmas, weather permitting! 

Earlier in the week I was dumbstruck by the usual self-confident sales pitch on BBC Breakfast time TV of Michael Fallon, the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise. He posed the rhetorical question. - Would anyone waiting for a telephone connection want to return to the days before BT was privatized? Obviously he hasn't a clue how difficult it is to get connected by this favoured organisation. Recently I have heard of three 'customers', all in utter despair of BT. One, a new business hoping to employ 40 people; it has taken two months to make telephone and broadband connections in an existing serviced building followed by a further two weeks delay before an engineer makes the 'switch'. Another customer has had an important number reallocated while awaiting re-connection, no doubt resulting in the new customer receiving unwanted calls day and night. The third is still awaiting resolution after BT has failed to turn up when promised on at least two occasions causing considerable disruption. Many more frustrations can be found on-line. Not the best recommendation for privatisation Mr Fallon.

Also I see in the news that the NHS is about to run out of cash facing a £30 billion funding gap by 2020, a problem exacerbated, according to the Express, by the NHS 'forking out £435m on redundancies only to re-employ 2,200 staff that it let go'. Remember the message: "NHS safe in my hands says Cameron"? And what about the patients? It has been revealed that patients are increasingly reliant on unsupervised, often inadequately trained assistants to care for their needs. Of course there are centres of excellence in the NHS as I know only too well but I also know of wards where some of the patients could have performed services better than the care assistants on duty. The reason is now clear. 'Nursing' as we knew it is performed by unregulated staff with a minimum of training, often unsupervised. I don't blame those put in the unenviable position they have found themselves but I do blame the politicians and managers who have tinkered endlessly with the NHS resulting in the absence of traditional nursing care and the need to train another layer of staff to provide the services previous trainee nurses provided instead of sitting in universities.

In the meantime politicians are busying themselves redefining marriage and considering how to respond to the awkwardly timed award of a huge pay rise, upped to £74,000 pa. - Perhaps they are worth it but many MPs had their fingers caught in the till while supplementing their pay with imaginatively crafted expenses claims. Perhaps if we threw money at pickpockets they would become law abiding citizens! That everyone else, excluding bankers and senior managers, has seen their standard of living fall must be a terrible inconvenience for honourable members at this time. No matter that over the years they have messed up just about everything from the economy, the NHS, education, human rights, immigration, the list goes on. MPs have dared and won often ignoring public opinion as illustrated by the same-sex marriage farce about to complete its passage through parliament without protection for teachers and other vulnerable workers. Voters will remember that we have been the losers in these political games.

'He who dares, wins' is of course the motto of the SAS, among the bravest of the brave who undertake dangerous missions in defence of our country. A country where pistols and other deadly weapons are brandished by street gangs in furtherance of their criminal activity. By contrast Sgt Danny Nightingale, who has been putting his own life at risk protecting his fellow countrymen has had the full weight of the law thrown at him. As his solicitor said, "There is no public interest in prosecuting Danny Nightingale. It's deeply worrying." Regardless of the technicalities of any offence, he deserves better than to be treated as a common criminal.  He has been found guilty even though he is to be medically discharged from the Army because of his mental health. It is to be hoped that when he is sentenced the court will decide that he and his family have suffered enough, demonstrating that there is still some semblance of decency left in this country.


  1. Mr Rant, Rant, Rant goes Ranting Along! This blog site is so negative. Do you do anything other than ranting about women priests, gays, Islam and the government? Is there no joy in your life?

    1. Thank you for your interest but reading this blog is not compulsory. If you approve of women priests, same-sex marriage, militant Islam and government ineptitude it is clearly not for you.

  2. Mr Briton I am Orthodox and find your writings from links on other web pages. I am sorry for you for all your negativeness. Orthodox are teached that the goodness of God is in all created things. You have much pain and lots of anger eating you up and can only see bad in things. Your faith is like vine planted in poisoned soil it grows small dry bitter grapes bad to eat. As old Christian man your faith should be like vine planted in very good soil giving big lush colourful grapes of faith to give to your children and childs children and friends and readers. Ask question do my words make readers want to be Christian or do I give them small bad fruits with bad taste? I think you need help from Starets a good spiritual father to make your soil of faith good before your vine gets cutted because it only gives bad grapes.

    1. An interesting analysis from a secure Orthodox position Kallistos. To follow your advice suggests that Christians in a less secure position should meekly accept attacks on their faith and give credence to false prophets. That is not my purpose and I shall be judged accordingly if I am wrong but I understand what you are trying to say thank you.

  3. Mr Anonymous, perhaps Mr Ancient Briton, like me, feels that the things which brought joy to his life have been snatched away.

    1. Spot on as ever thank you Flossie.

    2. The jaunty comments of Kallistos remind me that you need to bring a long spoon when dining with the devil.

      Sadly, Kallistos displays a familiar trend which fools the vulnerable.