Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Politics, Politics and more Politics!

I've been on holiday for a few weeks and as my lap-top decided to die, I haven't been able to write anything. But has there actually been anything worth writing about? Has anyone actually come up with anything new? The main parties all want to spend more money without visibly increasing taxes, whilst at the same time reducing the deficit. The Tories claim that the money will come about as a result of growth, which is questionable, whilst Labour propose mansion taxes, bank taxes and landlord taxes, the last two of which will simply be extra indirect taxes on those renting or using banks. The LibDems are delightfully vague, trying to be all things to all people, whilst the SNP are hoping to tax the English.
UKIP at least suggests that the money for their proposals will come from the saving in not paying huge sums to the EU from which we get little return and also by reducing foreign aid which at least appears to be feasible, but there is no clue what withdrawal from the EU would cost us in other areas. Nevertheless, I'm optimistic that there would be a net financial gain from leaving.

Meanwhile, the parties are being forced to indirectly respond to UKIP. Would any have suggested possible restrictions on the NHS treatment of visitors and immigrants to this country had Farrage not brutally raised the cost of HIV treatment for immigrants in the TV debate?

An interesting snippet today: Guido reveals that since the beginning of the year, 291 LibDem, Labour or Tory councillors/candidates have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, yet received nowhere near the same level of outrage dished out over Ukippers misdemeanours. Research by ‘Nope No Hope’ reveals 21 paedos, 2 rapists, 1 terrorist, 13 racists, 6 sexists or homophobes, 1 drug fiend, 8 expenses cheats, 4 benefit fraudsters, and 28 thieves!
To that we must add the news from Bloggers4UKIP that the Labour parliamentary candidate for Banff & Buchan has been suspended after being charged with drink driving, driving without a licence and driving without an MOT and the the Lib Dem candidate for South West Surrey, has been accused of election fraud in relation to his nomination papers to stand for Waverley Borough Council.

Looking at the real news, the only item of any importance seems to be the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the home of the Gurkhas, one of the worlds finest fighting forces. This is where we should be spending our foreign aid, giving help to these victims of a totally unpredictable event. This is aid that can be fully justified, unlike the bulk of our foreign aid which merely props up incompetent corrupt governments.

Tomorrow, providing that it's raining and I have an excuse for not mowing the lawn, I hope to try to see if I can get the lap-top working using the recovery disc,  the course of action recommended by the supplier. Time will tell whether this works; If it doesn't I'll be looking at tablets - Friends have suggested the I consider the Samsung Galaxy range as offering better value and greater compatibility than the iPad.

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Leaders' Debate - Farage on Health

In last night's debate, Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader was the only one of those present to question whether non-British citizens should be treated by the NHS. All the others present, and seemingly much of the audience, seemed to feel that it was quite all right to treat all and sundry who happened to manage to make their way to a GP or NHS hospital.
Possibly Farage made a mistake in highlighting the cost of HIV treatment which seems to be, for some, a rather emotive issue, but even so, it is a very expensive issue which needs to be addressed.

However, I simply can't understand why people are apparently upset by Farage's desire to restrict the use of the NHS to our own citizens; they complain about inability to get GP appointments, they complain about waiting times in A&E, they complain about the time to get an operation, they complain about the shortage of doctors and nurses, yet, it would seem, they are happy about foreigners being treated here at our expense.

Farage highlighted HIV because it is one of the most expensive illnesses to treat, some £25,000 pa per person. And as they are probably unfit to work, benefits come on top of that!  There are millions of cases of HIV in Africa, any of those individuals who can manage to get to Britain gets treatment and manages to stay here because it is "against his human rights to send him somewhere where he can't get the necessary medical care".

Is this what we want? At at time when people who have paid taxes all their life are being declined certain drugs for cancer, at a time when we can't afford proper care for our elderly who are being treated worse than animals in some so-called care homes. Do we really want to provide drugs at £25K pa for life to any HIV sufferer who manages to get into this country? If the individual survives for 40 years, that's a million pounds for drugs alone, it doesn't count the cost of the doctors, hospitals, tests and any other treatment needed as in indirect result of the disease.

That's just the HIV sufferers, but what about our maternity services? This country seems the destination of choice for pregnant females; it's also another way of staying here. The child becomes a British citizen, so you can't deport its mother! When our grandson was born in the local hospital, there was only one other mother on the ward who's native tongue was English. My daughter was pushed out of the hospital the following day as she had a home to go to and her bed was needed.

But it's not only the third world we are treating. A friend working at a hospital near Heathrow tells me that they often get US citizens, particularly ones with heart problems such as the need for by-pass surgery. Apparently they don't have the necessary health insurance at home and the airfare is a cheaper option!

Farage is right; we should not spend taxpayers' money on treating non-citizens except in an emergency. All legal incomers should be required to have suitable insurance, proof of which should be provided for Border Control. Illegals, should be detained as a minimum until they have been checked for contagious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and if infected should be deported.

Our own citizens must come first, there is a limit on both money and facilities, and our own citizens should get the treatment and care that they need, whether is is cancer treatment, hip replacements or just simple GPs appointments.

An afterthought!
Perhaps the cost of all the non-citizens being treated here should be charged to the Foreign Aid budget, after all, that is what it is!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Part Time and "Zero Hours" Work

Our politicians, as usual, don't seem to know what they are taking about when it comes to part time or so-called zero-hours work.
Labour, in particular, seems to believe that everybody who wants to work should be in full time employment and that anything else is bad.
But why? These working arrangements suit many people. Both of my married daughters are working part time as they prefer it that way; in fact they had considerable difficulty finding suitable part time work as their employers would have preferred them to work full time. I've "retired" friends who work part time or zero hours, not so much for the money but in order to do something useful where their knowledge is appreciated.
I've worked a zero hour contact, although it wasn't called that at the time. It was as a stand-by paper boy; if one of the regulars didn't turn up, one of the others came banging at the door with the message that I was wanted. As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with this concept as long as the contract does not tie you to a single employer, something that this government has already stopped. I'm aware of several ladies who "help out" in local shops; that is they are occasionally called in when needed. It suits both them and the shopkeepers.
I know one could not earn a living wage on this basis and clearly any government should aim to ensure that full time work is available for those who want it. But even so, my reaction is that the Labour party is currently making a mountain out of a molehill; companies will find it harder to find people for such work as employment prospects improve.

But when politicians talk of work being available for all those who want to work what exactly do they mean?  I read in the Mail today about the man who has fathered forty children by 20 women, all living at the expense of the taxpayers,  obviously he doesn't come into the category of those who want to work. No doubt the Mail is seeking out such individuals, because only a few days previously they reported on another man, aged just 29, who had managed to father something like 15 children by various women who, together with their "families", are all living on benefits. Then we have the grossly obese woman who could hardly move from her armchair and who requires two carers to get her in and out of bed and presumably feed her, all paid for by the taxpayer as she is "disabled". These may be extreme examples, they may be few and far between, but nevertheless, few of our politicians are willing to address the issue of what to do about those who don't wish to work even when work is available.

No doubt in the course of the election campaign other "new" problems will be brought to the fore, mainly, I suspect, to try to hide the fact that our politicians of all parties have no real idea what to do about so many of the existing problems.