Cojones-up!

September 21, 2021 Leave a comment

I have nothing but time for the medical practice that has looked after my family and me for half a century. Sad then that it seems NHS Scotland doesn’t trust it any more.

The annual flu’ jab programme has never been more important and yet it has been taken out of GPs’ hands, to be run through regional vaccination hubs. Already, 80-year-olds are receiving appointment letters. One that I have seen tells the patient to report to a centre 30 miles away at 9am on a given date. Does that person drive? No. How will he get to the venue? That appears to be his problem. in theory he can change the location on line. In practice he can’t but in any event not all the target group use the internet. In theory he can do it by phone, if he is prepared to waste one of his precious remaining hours waiting for his call to be answered.

My wife is housebound. Her vaccinations are done by district nurses. How will she be fitted into the system? They. Don’t. Know!

It’s clear that the letters have been sent out far too early. This essential project is a shambles: people are confused and alarmed. God save us from Professor Leitch.

Categories: General, Politics

Own goal?

September 15, 2021 Leave a comment

Gove has responsibility for the Union?

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Categories: Politics

Shame, shame.

September 2, 2021 Leave a comment

On Sunday I put a specific question to the Scottish Government Central Enquiry Unit. I was expecting visitors from an amber list country, one not fully vaccinated the other 11 years old. Their visit was for seven days. Each was required to take a PCR test on Day 2. The adult was required to quarantine , the child was exempt.

Like all arrivals in the U.K. they were required to buy test kits from Corporate Travel Management, the outfit commissioned by HMG to run the portal. However, the portal only sells kits with two tests, the second being for Day 8. There is no alternative offered to minors or to those who are staying for less than eight days.

My question addressed this anomaly. It took the Scottish Government four days to respond and then the reply was automated and did not answer the question. The truth is that there is no option. My visitors were forced to buy four tests at £68 a time, even though two of them will never be used.

There are two issues here. One is the basic principle of the government designing a shoddy system and the handing it over to a commercial organisation that will profit from the rip-off. The other is the contempt shown by the Scottish Government by its obvious lack of concern for those who put it in place.

Categories: General, Politics

Back

The game isn’t the same without crowds.

Categories: Sport

Nero

August 14, 2021 1 comment
Categories: Politics

Crowing

I am one track into Butter Miracle and already I am smiling. Only Adam Duritz would use ‘ossifies’ in a lyric. Adam Duritz is and always has been more than just a songwriter. He’s a poet. He’s a genius.

Categories: General

Not before time

August 11, 2021 2 comments
Categories: General

New balls

August 8, 2021 3 comments

Simon Holmes, my least favourite Sky pundit, has a new phrase: ‘unforced error’. If his studio companion has any mischief about her, maybe she’ll ask him how an error in golf can be anything other than unforced.

Categories: Sport

No!!!

August 7, 2021 1 comment

I have just seen what I reckon to be the pole-sitter in any contest to choose the worst TV ad ever. It’s for a product called Manscape and it was shown on Eurosport. Possibly because ITV and Sky refused it?

Categories: General

Doctor, No.

August 2, 2021 7 comments

When Irene, AJ, Susie and I arrived in Gullane, 50 years ago last May, Spud Bennett was the primary school headmaster, Doctors Barr and Blackett were the GPs, and it was a question of who arrived on your doorstep first, The Welcome Wagon or Doc Whiteford, the minister. The WW led on to The Housewives’ Register, which brought people of a similar age together, the main purpose being to have parties and get very pished. Today we have Facebook, Gullane News Group, the fledgling GVA, a few hundred new high-end houses, a medical centre with more doctors than I could name, a primary school that is growing exponentially, and the same unspeakable and inaccessible beach toilets. Knowing what I know now, if we were back in 1971 and a Time Lord offered to take us 50 years into the future, would I accept? Not a chance, because I would lose out on all the friends I made then and who are still with me today, physically or in my heart. If today’s twenty and thirty somethings are half as lucky, they’ll have done alright.

Categories: General

Stephen Sondheim

This is clear. The Holyrood Committee into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond affair has voted along party lines, which makes its findings utterly useless, and all the time and money that has been diverted from public service has been shamefully wasted. The opposition parties saw it as an opportunity to embarrass, even remove, Nippy, and the SNP members rallied behind her.

It’s all been electioneering; for every pound spent there’s a child with special needs who could have had more help or a hole in the road that could have been filled.

Send in the clowns: don’t bother, they’re here.

Categories: Politics

Nuanced.

This is a quote from a reputable news outlet, one that’s always up with the times.

‘The unrivalled queen of the celebrity sit-down, who has, over the past three decades, extracted raw and revelatory intimacies from Michael Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Whitney Houston, among many others, said yesterday, in the wake of the Sussexes’ incendiary interview, that she “could not believe” the things the couple were telling her.’

Change just one word and that’s what Piers Morgan said.

Categories: General

Rigged

February 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Having watched most of the Trump prosecution evidence on CNN, I reckoned that his lawyers were going to have to up their game from their opening statement.

Then I realised it doesn’t matter. The jury is rigged.

Categories: Politics

Excuse me?

February 3, 2021 1 comment

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55910874

Is the word ‘Vanilla’ racist in this context? Or am I not allowed to ask that question?

At a time when we are striving to build a diverse and multi-cultural society, I am not certain that Sir Trevor is helping.

Categories: General, Politics

Come on Eileen

January 26, 2021 2 comments

I’m starting to get a wee bit hacked off.

While I am very happy for my 70+ friends as the white vaccination envelopes come through the letter box (even if some of the locations display a lack of joined up thinking) I am increasingly annoyed that my 80+ vulnerable wife has heard nothing at all from the NHS.

I do not deal in assurances, or even promises. Only delivery matters.

Categories: General

The grownups are back

January 21, 2021 Leave a comment
Categories: General, Politics

Home truth

January 12, 2021 Leave a comment

I have a confession. I have been watching #SHOTY, (How did we exist in the pre-hashtag pre-history?) Scotland’s Home of the Year.

However, I’ve tended to watch it with the sound turned down. There have been some spectacular properties on show, and some ‘are they serious?’ entries too. The show is fine in concept, but for me it falls flat because of the judges. (One in particular gets on my tits. I’m not saying who, but there may be a clue in there.)

Each is offered as an expert in the home-making field, but ultimately what they wind up judging is other people’s taste. Why pick a winner? Why not let each home speak for itself? Or better still, why not allow the viewers to make the choice, with a weekly phone-in vote?

Categories: General

Patience, patient?

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Nippy’ to her opponents, hasn’t got too much wrong over the last ten months. The pandemic has been prudently managed in Scotland.

That said, I have reservations about the way the vaccine programme is being rolled out. We’ve all had a leaflet, at significant cost, that’s a bit of a chocolate fireguard. Its core message is ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ Not unnaturally, most of us want to know when that will happen. We’re not being told; worse, we’re being told not to ask.

I know two people, both in their eighties, one in England, one in Scotland. The former will be vaccinated this week, the latter has been told that there are many people ahead of him in the queue.

The information gap is frustrating, and it contrasts with the English situation. Implementation north of the border has been handed, we are told, to individual health boards. To me, that builds in potential inequalities across the country, a postcode lottery, to resort to a phrase I dislike. I would prefer to see an individual tasked with personal responsibility for delivery. The Health Secretary might argue that it’s her. If it is, she should be front and centre giving much more specific information.

My wife is in group one. I have been told that she’ll be contacted by our medical practice, but nobody is quite sure how. It’s most likely, it seems, to be a letter. That begs a question. How are GPs equipped to issue dozens, maybe hundreds of letters to their elderly patients? And another. In the case of the most vulnerable, who might still be living alone but in need of support, what means are in place to ensure these letters are understood?

Lots of questions but no apparent will to answer them. Come on Nippy, step up.

Categories: General, Politics

Selling her book already

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Like all of you, I have reflected on the past year and how the invisible enemy, Covid-19, swept across our beautiful country. All Nations have experienced
— Read on www.whitehouse.gov/articles/first-lady-melania-trump-path-forward/

Categories: General, Politics

Level up the playing field?

I am indebted to my friend John for pointing out something that should have been obvious to me … or maybe I simply ignored it.

At my suggestion he has started watching Aussie Big Bash cricket on BT Sport. Last time we spoke he had a rant about the amount of advertising that’s jammed into the coverage, and he’s right. They seem to slot an add in after each over, two when a wicket falls, and as many as they can during other breaks. This has an impact on the coverage, as BT is taking the Australian output, but cutting off the expert commentators in mid sentence. There must be close on 100 commercials in a single match broadcast.

That’s further evidence to me of the mendacity of BT. We all have to live with that, but there is one way in which it and Sky might be opened up to really serious competition. What if the BBC was allowed to enter the subscription TV market, in a way that didn’t compete with its core entertainment services, concentrating on sport and premium cinema services? With its customer base, which still dwarfs the satellite operators, it could afford to outbid any competitor. As a bonus, the profit this would generate could go towards reducing or even eliminating the Broadcasting Tax.

Categories: General, Sport