From where I stand
Let me share a few thoughts, mainly from the news, one week in December 2011, but the theme is constantly relevant at the present time.
The overall impression is that the government can find money when it wishes. It talks of cutbacks – but these only affect those who have little to start with, as the wealthy have the protection of having plenty of money. Increase in food or fuel to them means very little. The same may mean hunger or cold to those on a pension.
There is also plenty of money around. At the football matches there are thousands, each paying £40-60 per ticket regularly. People eat out at restaurants paying £100+ for dinner. Millions have bought expensive Olympic tickets. In one day, ready for Christmas, there were millions of pounds worth of goods bought per hour over the internet. So, many people appear totally unaffected by the recession. Yet others, struggle to keep a roof over their heads and clothe and feed their children.
The prime minister announced, as though giving an amazing deal, that OAPs could expect an increase in £5 per week to add to their £150. Millionaires have no concept of what £5 won’t buy or how to live on £150 a week and keep warm, clothed and fed, with no extras to enjoy.
Only this week the government has proposed spending £750,000,000 on giving old people with lung or heart disease, or arthritis monitors in their homes. Why? So that GPs can spend more time – or employ another person out of their limited budgets – looking at the computer screen? I doubt whether the old and frail will bother using them and I question the value of the chosen criteria as isolated facts do not make a diagnosis. A pulse counter gives a number. Does it distinguish or diagnose atrial fibrillation, where the problem is with the rhythm of the pulse! My husband had surgery and afterwards, during a severe post operative infection developed atrial fibrillation – diagnosed by myself ( a doctor) and our doctor son. It can be diagnosed by an ECG but also by simply feeling the pulse. When we reported this, no one on the ward was either interested or appeared to know what it was. The main risk from atrial fibrillation is a stroke! So, it was rather important. The problem with relying on machines is that the skill of observation and variations to the touch can so easily be lost. I personally think that a health minister, who takes the final decisions, should have studied medicine rather than management. A good doctor would not waste money on unnecessary equipment or drugs, as he/she would know the value of what is being used or proposed.
I have a peak flow meter, that measures my lung function. I nearly died five years ago when inflamed lungs and asthma resulted in a tension pneumothorax. I was actually sent home from intensive care, after nearly dying, with a peak flow of 140 ( my normal should be around 400) – a reading which should require hospitalisation not discharge, but no one was at all concerned, either in hospital, the one outpatient appointment I was given, or, subsequently. So I rarely use it now. I know how well or how bad I can breathe and it only depresses me and achieves no benefit. I am now 74 yrs of age. Is this significant in the lack of interest which I have experienced by the medical profession despite (or maybe because) being a doctor?
At one time, a nurse (when my grandmother was old, it used to be a doctor) would visit old people about once a month, have a chat, take the blood pressure and pulse. In doing so, they gave encouragement and support and let the old person know that they were not forgotten. What will these machines do, other than gather dust or cause worry, particularly if it is used and no one responds?
Then, they are proposing 500 millions for a tunnel to hide a ‘x’ billion pound fast train to from London to Birmingham so that passengers can arrive in Birmingham 35 mins sooner. Then they can go for coffee or become stuck in traffic instead of sitting on a train. Are people so efficient in their use of time, that they will use the 35 minutes, gained at enormous expense to taxpayers, to the maximum? No, of course not. People do not function like that!
The final nonsense – the government have found another 41 millions for fireworks etc at the 2012 Olympic games, trying to compete with China’s last show. A friend was threatened by the bailiff as she owed £250 council tax (while MPs fiddling expenses were let off). £250 is worth worrying a young woman who works all hours she can to keep a roof over her and her family’s head when 41 million pounds can go up in light and smoke. In the shadow of those fireworks will be many who are hungry. The New Year display of fireworks in London was truly amazing. But, why, when we are in austerity times.
The list goes on and on. Money found, money wasted.
Why do people in business or in councils up and down the country etc have to go away to discuss issues and dine and have accommodation costing hundreds of thousands? Where I worked were many large rooms and a canteen, but ‘important’ policy meetings would be held elsewhere, with no accountability. The habit of corporate wining, dining and entertaining at the ‘company’s expence’, has just been assimilated into business and public life.
But, like adolescent thinking, many decisions are made with lack of knowledge and understanding, and can be changed at a whim or popular discontent.
But, the latest proposal from the deputy leader is that old age pensioners(OAPs) -remember, they lived through the Second World War and they endured hardship and scarcity for years- should be means tested regarding their free TV licence! Also the same re the free bus passes. The bankers have been allowed massive bonuses (rewards) for their incompetence and greed while the income from interest of OAPs who have saved and scrimped for the rainy day of old age has disappeared overnight. They are left realising that they may as well have spent it as its value is now diminishing day by day.
Could I, sarcastically, suggest that the government has forgotten that OAPs eat – maybe a return of the ration book, just for OAPs could help the economy? Am I tempting fate?
I was a psychiatrist and studied, amongst other issues, how groups function. It is generally accepted that the final decisions of a group are made at the level of the lowest common denominator. When you have people with little understanding of the lives of the ‘ordinary’ people, i.e. not the rich, powerful or privileged, then the crass decisions reflect this lack. The level of decision making shows little intelligence and lack of deep historical knowledge or common sense, which are amongst the most important criteria needed in running a country.
The country and its government will be ultimately judged, not on its Olympic ‘show’, its fast trains or its virtual medical involvement in patient care, but on the actual treatment of its OAPs, its children and its adolescents. On all fronts, the most worrying fact is that, because so called ‘advisory consultants’ come up with ideas, the government think they are doing well and that these ideas are both logical and sound.
A world of ideas, which are led primarily by profit and greed, is slowly taking over, but it doesn’t stop OAPs, children or adolescents suffering, it simple means that no one actually cares. The governments ‘caring talk’ is a lot of hot air and no one will believe them while bankers get bonuses and vast sums of money are wasted on irrelevancies.
From my perspective, it is like watching a dark mist gradually engulfing the country, slowly trying to destroy its soul, targeting the weakest and the most vulnerable. It is being generated by people who say one thing but, in reality or by other’s subterfuge, are actually working to a completely different agenda.
And, no one can or is willing to stop it happening.
But, I am an optimist and I am sure that one day in the not too distant future, everything will change and everyone will ‘reap what they sow’.
Why do I say or believe that?
Read my book, Beyond Mercy, written without any research and which is about a past life. I belief the middle section of the book, which I called ‘Justice’ will be proven to be true , proving a communication between the past and the present, I.e. that there is a spiritual dimension which, though largely discounted and different from religious beliefs, is, nevertheless, reality. That dimension, the spirit world, knows everything that causes hardship or suffering, of whatever nature, on this earth.
That, my friends, is quite a thought!
Copyright ACoatesworth 2012