I also had a sneak preview of the entries in the Steampunk art competition. If I was surprised at the talent of the 4 and 5 year olds, I was astonished at the talent shown by the entries in this competition. There are some seriously talented young artists in this town – I hope that they will continue to produce such extraordinary work as they grow older. If they do, Damien Hirst will have to watch out for his crown as the top artist in Ilfracombe.
I never dreamed, however, that Barnstaple hospital would be endangered. However, it obviously is. According to statements from the Healthcare Trust (and never was the word “trust” so misused), all options are being considered to save £400million, which is the sum by which the Trust will have over-spent by 2020 if everything continues as it is. Our MP, Peter Heaton-Jones, has urged us all to write to the Health Minister and tell him how important the hospitals are to us. Peter gives us the following link:
That link leads you to a page on the government website from which you can then link to a contact form which will get through to some civil servants, not the minister directly. I imagine a letter addressed to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, The Houses of Parliament, London, would reach the Secretary of State for Health, or one of his minions. Make sure you spell his name correctly – it begins with an “H”.
I said last week, that what is happening is that the cost of health care is being passed from the state to the individual. This is short-sighted and stupid. If it goes on, we will end up like the United States, housing a substantial underclass of people suffering curable deformities and diseases and having a life span substantially less than that of their wealthier neighbours. Is this what we want? It is not the Britain that I want to live in.
I am not a great fan of increasing taxation. But I would happily pay whatever extra taxes it took to give us an efficient health service, free to all our citizens, provided I could be sure the money was properly spent and was not paying for pen-pushers, bean-counters or management consultants!
The “Infamy” quote often also springs to mind when contemplating politicians, especially those taking part in the current EU debate. The following is taken from the BBC News website:
“Both sides in the EU referendum campaign have been accused of peddling "misleading" figures and "implausible assumptions" by a committee of MPs.” Too right! The problem is knowing which side contains the bigger liars.
I have thought of one argument in favour of staying in the EU, which the Remainders do not appear to have used, possibly because it is based on fact and makes sense. Assuming the EU gets its act together (and they appear to be doing so, in this respect, at least), it should make it much more difficult for international companies to play one nation off against the others and dodge tax.
But then I see a clip of Jean-Claude Juncker, that failed politician from a state so small that it barely deserves to be called a state, yet who has somehow managed to become the unelected president of the European Commission, calling those who want to leave the corrupt institution, the EU, “deserters”, and I think “the sooner out, the better”.
Another line from a film that I particularly like is “That's just what this country needs: a cock in a frock on a rock.” It’s from “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. As you can see, my taste in films is pretty highbrow. Would you like to suggest any particularly memorable one-liners?