Welcome home

Confident of a scoreless draw, but hopeful of an occasion, it’s taken watching the full match coverage on tv to realise that it wasn’t much of an occasion except for the Salop fans who were there. We were engrossed for the first three-quarters.


Highlights from watching the game –
– pleased as punch to welcome Joe Hart back;
– delighted too that Dean Henderson was allowed to play by Manchester United;
– Salop were strongest in the second quarter and the pressing was excellent;
– our centre-halves Toto and Sadler were brilliant;
– When Sadler went off for five minutes, we actually kept the ball in their half.
WP_20180107_14_11_55_Pro (2) Salop shoot against West Ham
Didn’t appreciate until seeing the tv coverage –
– West Ham had played their strongest available team,
– West Ham only had 4 touches in our box;
– we’d booed a West Ham player who’d had a front tooth kicked out
(our scepticism kinda kicked off with Hernandez kneeling at kick-off and then hamming up a knock).


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NHS Crisis

Time for people to reflect on what, with 3 General Elections, we have allowed to slip with regards to our health care and our NHS.


I received 2 tweets in quick succession from Theresa May boasting about a scheme that they claim will help a few thousand people onto the property ladder.
That evening, a BBC tv East Midlands political journalist lists the kind of conditions that warrant a visit to A&E (and I didn’t hear broken bones included).
Whatever was said, on top of the cancellation of non-urgent operations, this is a pretty shocking statement. And it’s the BBC announcing it! (Not someone from the NHS.)
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, comes on national tele to say they’re trying to do it a different way this year – expressed in a way that makes it sound like he deserves some sympathy at least.
Another spokesperson has said that a range of factors have come together – including the cold weather. (Maybe it’s true that we didn’t have snow in Tony Blair’s era.)

Time to remember, the factors of growing demand (including more people, an older population, more cures (with greater expense) and more people surviving with challenging conditions) existed before 2010 when (after 13 years), New Labour more than trebled the spend on the NHS including the launch of the largest hospital building programme in our history. Targets for getting a GP appointment, being tended to in A&E and for operations, were set and were being met.

We deserve better. We used to get better.

Scary announcements

** Time for people to reflect on what, with 3 General Elections, we have allowed to slip with regards to our health care and our NHS.

I received 2 tweets today from Theresa May boasting about a scheme that they claim will help a few thousand people onto the property ladder.
This evening, a BBC tv East Midlands political journalist lists the kind of conditions that warrant a visit to A&E (and I didn’t hear broken bones included).
Whatever was said, on top of the cancellation of non-urgent operations, this is a pretty shocking statement. And it’s the BBC making it!
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, comes on tele to say they’re trying to do it a different way this year – expressed in a way that makes it sound like he deserves some sympathy at least.
Another spokesperson has said that a range of factors have come together – including the cold weather. (Maybe it’s true that we didn’t have snow in Tony Blair’s era.)

Time to remember, the factors of growing demand (including more people, an older population, more cures (with greater expense) and more people surviving with challenging conditions) existed before 2010 when (after 13 years), New Labour more than trebled the spend on the NHS including the launch of the largest hospital building programme in our history. Targets for getting a GP appointment, being tended to in A&E and for operations, were set and were being met.

We deserve better. We used to get better.

The Death of Stalin

I could laugh at “In the Thick of it” cos having met Alastair Campbell, I could always see it as one step away from reality.
The trailer makes the “The Death of Stalin” look and sound like a great laugh, but the actual fully movie is not so jolly stuff cos it all looks and feels too real and the early scenes show people being taken away and show people being shot.
Not saying it shouldn’t have been made (unlike Peter Hitchens) or that the film is wrong; just saying it’s harder to laugh – not so much a black comedy as just black (or even bleak).
Now I’ve had to read up about what happened (and watched a 60’s American documentary on YouTube).  Yes, the story is different in significant parts from the actual history (takes place in a week instead of months), but it still felt real.
Maybe when I see it a second time, I’ll be able to laugh with the film more.

T. Rex was not what we were taught

Recommend “The Real T Rex with Chris Packham”, on BBC2 tv.
Main point – many dinosaurs were much more like birds that we’ve previously imagined.
He announced the making of this programme at the opening of the Chinasaurs exhibition (at Wollaton Hall in June), explaining that our popular perceptions of dinosaurs were wrong.

I must have remembered what he told me was wrong cos I’ve since being telling people the T. Rex was covered in feathers and only had a high-pitched squeak.
Perhaps they’ve learnt more since.
I told hom the public might not accept a new T. Rex.  He told me quite clearly – it was the truth!

Rail fares protest

Joined the nationwide RMT protest on rail fares increases at Nottingham Midland station.
Rail fares have gone up on average by 3.4% when wages haven’t.
Did 4 media interviews and concentrated on the £2,000 million bail-out given to Richard Branson and David Soutar – multi-millionaires who wanted a better deal on a franchise already agreed on East Coast Main Line – which has been run by the public sector for a surplus.
Repeated Tom Watson MP’s complaints about the Conservative Transport Secretary staying low and silent, who it turns out wasn’t available until late in the day (for interviews by mobile phone from Qatar).
Thatcher’s promise on cheaper fares has not been upheld – nowhere close in fact – but when privatisation started, weird things happened like a big step increase in investment and drivers wages.  All to be overshadowed by the collapse in the network when “corner guage cracking was rediscovered.
In calling for a return to public owenership, have got to watch out for railways being starved by central government again.