Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Over the Top

That was quite a thunderstorm we had this morning and I ended-up with two frightened dogs sitting on top of me!

Given the sultry conditions, I wouldn't be surprised if we had another series of thunderclaps overnight but we need it to clear the air, as the smog layer is really quite visible over the south of the country after this last week's heat wave.

I've a piece of paper in front of me that tells me that I'm properly authorised to photo survey nuclear power stations tomorrow but that I must not forget to inform the security chain what time I will be over the top. On a previous occasion, there were problems with the chain of command passing the message on and I really don't want a Eurofighter appearing on my tail and firmly instructing me to land or else!

It's far too sticky to discuss politics this evening which will come as a relief to many readers I'm sure. I will leave that until next week. However and following last week's BBC Radio Kent report, I have kicked the fuss about the terrible delay in processing X-Ray result times at QEQM and Canterbury, up to Sir Roger Gale and suggested that unless the software problems are remedied very quickly indeed, that the Minister should become involved. I think this is my fifth week now waiting for the results of a routine X-Ray and if any readers have similar stories to share, do let me know.

Perhaps I should have mentioned 'Cambridge minor' today but then the press and the TV are doing a far better job than me and there's no shortage of Americans outside Buckingham Palace to interview either. I'm showing my age in clearly remembering the marriage of Charles and Diana and I wish this new Royal Prince and future King, every good fortune, in what is likely to be a very difficult world to grow up in.


Anonymous said...

It will probably be an easier world to grow up in for him than most others!

William Epps said...

Depends what you mean by easy. I would much prefer the freedom of choice I have enjoyed in my life, which this young person will never know. We have people complaining about rising retirement ages yet the Queen is still working in her eighties.

It may be a privileged life in some respects, but it is also very demanding with little choice or privacy.

AndrewB said...

My wife had an x-ray on her knee at qeqm around same time as you after referral by westgate surgery. She got her results Friday. But she had to return to GP because she was worried by continuing pain ..GP suspected x-ray wouldn't show anything and was proven right but it was a concern as for all we knew she could have been walking around on a damaged knee for weeks! Probably would have been better off going to A&E but it's strongly discouraged by them. We were led to believe they have now solved the issues of transferring to a new system and playing catchup whilst emergency cases take priority over routine referrals.

Anonymous said...

Yes William. The critic would not have wanted the Queen's life for quids.

There is a story about a German Coroners Officer in 1939. Hitler wanted bodies of men who had died in custody. To dress in Polish army Unions to fabricate a border incursion incident and thus accuse Poland of aggression.

The officer refused. It was against the law and the sanctity of the bodies his duty.

Hitler backed off and requisitioned some living prisoners for release then killed them to be used in the border incident fabrication.

Could Hitler have got away with that in UK. No. Because constables, judges, justices and coroners are independent officers of the Crown who serve the sole fount of justice independent of govt. The monarch. And derive their authority from the people and monarchy together (The Crown)

It was Churchill who said that in extremis the British people turn to Magna Carta (The Monarchs Contract) and in history never without success.

Every person has the right to petition the Queen free of consequence. It was Churchill too who warned that one day Labour would try to poach the constables from the Crown and create of them a Gestapo.

The monarchy may be a basis for privilege but overall don't throw out the nurse because the replacement will be worse.

Anonymous said...

RE: Sir Roger Gale's article in the paper asking for a pay increase.

I have 2 points or queries about this article.

1. According to this pdf document


MP's have already received a pay increase in April 2013, from £66,396 upto £67.060. So MP's are now asking for another pay increase on top of this one earlier this year.

2. Basically reading through Sir Roger's article, he is saying MP's in general, need a pay increase to cover hidden expenses.

MP's the same as Sir Roger are given budgets for Expenses each year as follows.

.Additional Costs Allowance = £24,000
.Communications Allowance = £10,400
.Incidental Expenses Provision = £22,193

What exactly are MP's like Sir Roger doing to spend £56,593 worth of expenses every year, and are claiming they have to dip into their own wages to cover additional expenses.

Anonymous said...

Considering all MP's, and their wives and families enjoy the luxury of private health care as part of their MP package. Quite what an MP would know about waiting times for x-rays, consultancies or A&E treatment could be written on the back of a very small NHS prescription. They do not suffer delays in the way Joe Public does, yet they make all the decisions concerning the NHS, a service they are not ever likely to become victims of ! But.....we are all in this together - yeah right !

Anonymous said...

The same could be said about the royal family 12:36! At least Roger Gale hasn't always led a life of relative privilege.

Anonymous said...

I was a contracting electrician. The Joint Industry Board (JIB) is part trades union part electrical contractors assn (Employers)

I thought it was an excellent scheme. With a JIB card you could be, subject to a security check, wiring nuclear submarines on a contract. Then maybe on a steelworks for a while. Then maybe an MOD manufacturer. But you are moving from contract to contract employer to employer.

Part of the scheme was BUPA. Do you remember how the TUC played up about the electricians having BUPA?

Bemused of Birchington said...

Bob Crow, RMT head honcho, council house tenant, who is paid at least £145,000, was paying £150 a week rent in 2011 for a house worth twice that rental amount in London.

I think that puts an MPs' lifestyle into perspective.

Anonymous said...

Yes Bemused of Birchington.

As an electrical contractor with JIB I liked the idea that the harder I worked the more money I brought in.

But you could encounter a variation on the block vote. I was earning not short of a grand a week on a steelworks contract late 80s. The Steelworks employees, who had the security of PAYE employ, did not like this. And the site security would ensure that contractors were stopped and their cars searched every shift as you were driving out.

The contractor does not have security of employ. He works a contract on a site that is subject to penalty clauses if it overruns. But then he is at the mercy of the market in getting another contract.

It was unions who pressed to get external audits on site to limit the income of contractors. Audits blah blah blah and projects overrun. The main contractor (like GEC) is supposed to sit back for penalty clauses because of the unions who aren't even working on the project ?

One night we had enough being stopped by security so basically I knocked the guard out the way then drove off.

But what emerges ? Their "Power" to stop and search contractors was signed over to them en bloc by the union part of the JIB !! None of us remembered being consulted.

I don't know if you know how big a roll of steel is but be told it won't fit in the boot of a Triumph Acclaim.

If you look recently at the Blacklist scandal exposed by a Mr Wainwright. The JIB had a Health and Safety Cttee part union part employer and you could report to it without fear. As far as I know no one who used the system ever got problems like blacklisting.

There were stirrers who worked pedantically at site level never fighting their cause as an individual but expecting every one else to rally to them. Frankly I preferred a grand a week in the 80s and any health and safety probs I sorted out right away with the foreman. Poor health and safety is poor business. You can get probs sorted in an instant without a picket line and a song and dance.