Saturday, October 28, 2006


Testing .... this is to see if it works.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004



Friday, July 16, 2004

A post-election thought

Politicians are like nappies... they should be changed frequently - for much the same reason.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Quote of the day

"Your government may be the most expensive thing you'll ever purchase".

From a Canadian election website.

Says it all...

As troops go short of kit, even having to buy their own boots, we find that the MoD is forking out on £1,000 office chairs for each of its 3,150 Whitehall civil servants. That's over £3 million smackers!

I think I spent £60 on my office chair, some ten years ago - but then I'm self-employed.

What more can you say?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Quote of the Week

"Neither the Conservatives nor Labour are trusted. People do not know how to vote or who to support. Who'd be a politician?"

Sir Terence Conran, cited in today's Sunday Times

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Causes of 'sickies' among NHS staff

Culled from today's Times


I am a senior staff nurse in the NHS who is on a "sickie" at present (report, July 5) — not one of those short absences after the weekend, but certified by my GP as suffering from "work-related stress and reactive depression".


Because I work in one of the frontline units where the Government's four-hour maximum waiting time targets for patients apply. Because the relentless pressure on nurses in the unit means that we often have to complete our shifts without any break.

Because so many of our colleagues have left that we receive telephone calls on our rare days off to come to work, calls from managers desperate to achieve the Government’s targets.

Because we are daily forced to admit that the chasm between the standard of care we were trained and want to give and the level that we are actually able to deliver is ever widening.

Because entering statistics is more relevant than actually looking after the sick. Because we work on a three-shift rotation that leads to detrimental effects on our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Because it is seldom that we get a weekend or bank holiday off.

Most people can do a short sprint. Few could run a marathon every day. I have been trying to take part in this marathon for 24 years.

I continue to think that nursing brings out the best in me as a person and that my work is a privilege. Tragically, the environment of care has become so hostile that sick leave is the only option for survival.

Yours faithfully,
Holly Tree Cottage,
Kiln Lane, Lacey Green,
Buckinghamshire HP27 0PT.

An everyday tale...

Take pity on Mr J B Bloxham, who writes in The Daily Telegraph today in his capacity as Chairman of the Trull Parish Party in the Park Committee.

Attempting to perform this admirable civic function, he like others before him has fallen foul of the health 'n' safety culture.

His insurers would not cover "It's a knockabout", archery, tug of war, bouncy castle of "any dangerous activity".

"Eventually we were able to secure liability cover for £5 million, plus a small amount of equipment cover, at a cost of £325, excluding fireworks.

"The barn dance required the grant of a public entertainment license (£145) plus a statutory notice in the local paper (£45) and a certificate from a suitably qualified electrician (£90). So before we had raised a penny on the day we had some £605 to find.

"There were times when I questioned whether it was worth the cost, the hassle and the possibility that I might be putting my personal assets at risk."

Rather forlornly, he concludes, "I hope there will be no further legislation making inroads into the fabric of rural community life".

Dream on, Mr Bloxham. Dream on.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Time not of the essence

Am I the only one to tire of the Lab-Con obsession with "schools 'n' hospitals". OK, both health and education are important, but they are not the only issues in the world.

Furthermore, certainly when it comes to hospitals, choice is hardly the issue when you're bleeding like a stuck pig because you've just put your hand through a window and want someone to do some running repairs. All you want is a casualty hospital nearby, which works with a modicum of efficency.

Last time I tried that game, it was a drive clear across town - luckily not in rush hour or I would have bled to death. They were reasonably efficient though - which is not what one could say for the outpatients later, when I attended for the check-up.

You turn up for an appointment at 10 am and find the waiting room crammed with what looks like 200 other people - all with 10 o' clock appointments. It was three o'clock in the afternoon before I got to see a doctor, who took less than two minutes to discharge me.

That is another delightful characteristic of state "services". Your time is of absolutely no value. You are just supposed to be grateful that you get a service at all.