Friday, March 10, 2006

Have you heard the one about the NHS budgets?

HOSPITAL WARDS are closing and operations are being cancelled. Health trusts across the country are in debt to the tune of over £1billion and the bloke in charge has been booted out by his former government cronies for being unable to sort it out.

And meanwhile, the Department of Health places an advert in the Turkey Army recruitment section of the publicly-funded Guardian seeking a part-time speechwriter, 18 hours a week, salary up to £56,543. Nice work if you can get it.

Now that might work out to an eye-watering £68 an hour, but it is “a pivotal role” requiring “some expertise in health policy” and “impressive interpersonal skills”. A few doctor, doctor jokes might come in handy as well.

Now I’m not pretending that sticking that £56,543 back in the petty cash tin would help solve the NHS debt mountain, but appointments like these are indicative of where the problem lies. NuLabour twonks will waffle on for hours about how many zillions they’ve pumped into our health services, but all that matters for nothing if the extra cash gets frittered away on more layers of management and bureaucracy.

The other telling thing is the nature of the job. It’s not a vacancy for a brain surgeon or a heart specialist, but for a doctor of a very different kind – a spin-doctor; another soldier in the army of deception this government employs to mislead and confuse those would lay bare their inadequacies.

AS THE 10-year ban on the export of British beef and live cattle comes to an end, out rush the bunny-huggers to start whining about the transportation of animals.

You may remember the protests about the so-called barbaric cruelty of exporting veal calves in crates. Personally, I never saw a problem with it.

The wood from the crates gave the meat a nice oaky flavour and all those baby cow tears kept it tender as well. Still, if it stops the animal rights nutters digging up people’s grandmothers, I suppose we’ll just have to put up with them blockading seaports instead.

NANNY STATE update: The Royal Artillery is having to test “quieter” cannon rounds after fears that 21-gun salutes and the like might breach EU noise regulations. Loud bangs from guns? Let’s face it, it’s not a problem the French are ever going to have, is it?

In North Wales, that barmy chief constable who put a speed camera on every street corner has turned his attention to a much more serious threat to life – snowball fights. No, really. Apparently it’s anti-social behaviour, particularly if you put your snowballs in the freezer overnight.

Not to be outdone, a leather-elbowed headteacher from Devon has ruled that pupils can only throw snowballs at pals if they have first gained the permission of the victim. So before you clobber Jenkinson of 3B with a half brick hidden in a frosted veneer, be sure to make him sign his teeth away first.

This idea of “prior consent” is spreading into dangerous areas. After some sensible judges threw out a few dodgy rape cases, the government now wants legislation to make men prove that a woman isn’t too drunk to give her consent to sexual congress. Now that’s just daft. Where are you supposed to find a lawyer at 2.30am down a back alley behind a night club?

And finally, a shopkeeper in Herefordshire was dragged away from his Sunday lunch by an urgent call from the police. Fearing that his shop had been burgled, he hurried round only to find that the police wanted him to remove three golliwogs – sorry, gollies – that were on display in his shop window. The offending toys were then taken into custody.

West Mercia police said that they were acting under Section 5 of the Public Order Act after a complaint from “a member of the public”. (It’s funny how these readily-available “members of the public” are never actually identified, isn’t it?) Anyway, after a two-week investigation and consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, no charges are to be brought. The toys have since been released and will no doubt be lodging a compensation claim any day soon.

GORDON BROWN (have a tenner on him being Prime Minister by the end of May) has announced another one of those madcap schemes that should be filed under “It’ll Never Happen” alongside marching yobs to cashpoints and jailing parents for taking their children on holiday in term time.

Teenagers are to be rewarded for good behaviour with up to £300 a year in vouchers to spend on sport and leisure activities. This is supposed to keep them off the streets and prevent anti-social behaviour, as youngsters who repeatedly misbehave will have their £25 a month payments withdrawn.

Asked what the vouchers might be used for, Mr Brown mentioned “midnight football games and setting up their own radio stations”. Right. So kicking a ball against someone’s gable end in the small hours isn’t anti-social? So blocking emergency service wavelengths with pirate radio broadcasts of rap music (with a silent "c") isn't anti-social? The man’s a lunatic.

Anyway, I think we all know where this is heading. The bad kids will simply mug the good kids and then trade the vouchers in at a dodgy off licence for glue, drugs and alcopops. Nice one, Gordon.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone wasting their money on that Fairtrade coffee that tastes like caramelised creosote (no wonder those farmers are so fucking poor if they turn out rubbish like that), of anyone who can't afford the traffic jam-busting helicopter flight into Cheltenham racecourse next week, or of anyone not wanting to throw the radio through the window when The Archers' token poofs start arguing about who's going to do the washing up. I tell you now, if they decide to get married, then I'm off to Radio 2.


Blogger Dr John Crippen said...

Ah yes, good post.

We have been covering this on NHS BLOG DOC.

To see where the money is going, and how much of it is being wasted, have a look here:

to see how GPs are coining it for meaningless QoF data


4:18 AM  
Anonymous gmc insider said...

dr john crippen (nhs blog doctor) is a gmc (general medical council) spy who freely shares information about medical bloggers with the gmc , so please be very wary of him.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous jeffery said...

no doubt in my mind they will be logging a compensation claim

8:18 AM  

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