I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

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Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:50 am

I always maintain that people should be able to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes but I wouldn't mention it if you ever have to have a psychiatric evaluation, Jeff.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:18 pm

Delia’s roasted parsnips with Parmesan cheese are my favourites. In Greece there are other delicious cheeses you can use as a substitute for Parmesan. Sprouts are delicious with just a knob of butter.

Maybe we won’t be allowed to eat Brussel Sprouts after Brexit! (Joke.....just in case anyone doesn’t realise it!).

Jeffstclair
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Jeffstclair » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:43 pm

Kilkis wrote:I always maintain that people should be able to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes but I wouldn't mention it if you ever have to have a psychiatric evaluation, Jeff.

Warwick

Ha ha .. Yes I love all vegetables ..but not a great fan of sweet stuff ..when my neighbours make me Greek coffee and I say" no sugar" they put two spoons in anyway because they think I must have made a mistake ...so I politely drink some of it ....erghhh

altohb
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby altohb » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:49 pm

Jeffstclair wrote:
Kilkis wrote:I always maintain that people should be able to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes but I wouldn't mention it if you ever have to have a psychiatric evaluation, Jeff.

Warwick

Ha ha .. Yes I love all vegetables ..but not a great fan of sweet stuff ..when my neighbours make me Greek coffee and I say" no sugar" they put two spoons in anyway because they think I must have made a mistake ...so I politely drink some of it ....erghhh


With you there, Jeff. Just keeping an eye out for when Halkiadakis or Lidl start selling sprouts! Can do without parsnips, as the only place to buy them is the British shop in Ag Nik, but not giving up on sprouts. I tried to grow them here once, but failed dismally!

GlennB
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby GlennB » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:39 pm

For reasons that are unclear our local greengrocer sells sprouts every Xmas (we're in The Peloponnese, mind) even though there are not many non-Greeks in permanent residence around here.

We've tried to grow parsnips but the growing season seems all wrong. Much too hot for their 'natural' main growth season. Sow them later and it gets too cold too soon.

Swedes do superbly in our back garden though. They're happy to jog along slowly in winter then accelerate in spring. Harvest around April.

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:21 am

GlennB wrote:For reasons that are unclear our local greengrocer sells sprouts every Xmas (we're in The Peloponnese, mind) even though there are not many non-Greeks in permanent residence around here...


Although I live in the Chania prefecture I am not close to the main centre of UK ex-pats, i.e. Apokoronas. I think there are 5 all year round UK ex-pats in the village with a similar number in each of the surrounding villages so well short of the 5,000 reputed to live in Apokoronas. Our local supermarket, which is not one of the big chains, is always happy to get stuff in if we ask. They now sell Schweppes tonic water as well as that Tuborg muck. Parsnips and sprouts around Christmas. If they can get it they will. All we have to do is ask.

Warwick

Keltz
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Keltz » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:21 pm

Anyone worrying about the current availabliity of free healthcare in Greece via reciprocal arrangement with the UK NHS post Brexit is making a big assumption that free healthcare in the UK will continue. Brexit or no Brexit the Tories already have plans going back to at least 2011 to dispose of this and many other social services.

Dominic Raab was caught out live on air trying to suggest that it was only the coffee shops and newsagents in hospitals that would be privatised. Really!

https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/ ... l-the-nhs/

Quote of the day from this gem is that "Thatcherism was too left-wing".

Another gem is that the NHS has problems because it employs more managers than doctors, totally ignoring that it was the last Tory reorganisation of the NHS that stuffed the NHS full of managers in the first place and created that problem. I wonder why.

Kamisiana
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kamisiana » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:34 pm

The Canary pro Corbyn website like Bella Caledonia is a pro Scottish independence website :wink:

Guy M
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Guy M » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:21 pm

There’s a lot of confusion over the NHS ‘privatisation’ claims. The NHS isn’t going to be sold off like BT or the water companies - no one in their right mind would buy it. So the ‘hands off our NHS’ claims are a not very accurate sound bite, typical of the low level of debate in this election.

What is more likely is that in any trade deal with the US there will be pressure to increase the cost of American medicines from the pharmaceutical companies - they already think they are underpaid for medicines they have invented; indeed there are videos circulating of pharmaceutical companies making exactly this point in committee sessions in Congress. Also, there will be pressure to sell the data of individuals- a very valuable resource as Facebook has proved.

No party wants to really face up to the huge, escalating costs of the NHS and the greater pressure on stretched resources that comes from an ageing population plus the understaffing that will get worse after Brexit. An example - I get complaints about my snoring (bet I’m not the only one on this website!) - the GP suggested I go to the snoring clinic in the local hospital (there really is one); the next appointment is in 94 days.

The U.K. has to find a way of paying for this amazing resource, and no political party is brave enough to say so.

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:37 pm

No disrespect to you and your snoring Guy, but surely the NHS has more important things to spend its money on than something that is neither a life threatening, nor a painful condition?

People are waiting too long for cancer appointments. They are waiting 6 months plus to have painful hip and knee replacements, yet it can spend money on a snoring appointment in 94 days. - I know someone who has waited longer than that to see a physio for a very painful foot problem!

What is happening in the NHS?

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:35 am

You are correct, Guy, that nobody is talking of selling the NHS as a business. Saying "the NHS is not on the table" is meaningless. Basically you need to deconstruct every single sentence letter by letter to have any idea what people are really saying. You cannot rely on the normal meaning of words any more. The Austrian economist Hayek warned about this during the second world war in his book "The Road to Serfdom". That was written as a treatise against socialism but what he described pervades all politics today.

The NHS has been partly private ever since it was established. The only way the government of the day could get GPs to sign up to the NHS was to allow them to continue as independent private businesses offering a service to the NHS for a fee. It has carried on in that fashion ever since. In the case of hospitals, John Major introduced the concept of PFI contracts and the Blair-Brown regime continued it in spades. It has been a disaster escalating costs massively compared with what they would have been if the government had simply built the hospitals themselves with borrowed money. Even where the hospital is not subject to a PFI contract many services are contracted out to private companies

There are several big worries when it comes to a US trade deal:

    1 They are structured on the basis that everything that is not explicitly excluded is included. With something like healthcare, where new treatments are being developed every day, all those new treatments would be included in the trade deal. They can't be excluded at the beginning because they don't exist when the deal is agreed.
    2 The USA operates a patent system that gives pharmaceutical companies much longer patents than we do in the EU and the UK allowing them to sell drugs at a higher price for longer. The USA will certainly push for that extended patent rule to be adopted in the UK once we are outside the EU. If you do not think this is a significant issue be aware that the so called Obama Care Bill in the USA contains clauses that forbids the government from negotiating lower prices with pharmaceutical companies. When you hear politicians saying, "Do you imagine the government would pay more for drugs from the USA than it does now" the correct answer is "Yes".
    3 It is highly likely that any deal will contain dispute resolution provisions that will work massively to the advantage of private US companies and to the detriment of UK citizens. That was a major problem with TTIP.

Politicians say that if they don't like the deal they will just walk away but what does that mean? Without the UK the EU is a market of 446 million people, i.e. consumers, with a GDP of about $14.6 trillion. The US is a market of about 330 million people with a GDP of about $21.4 trillion. The UK is a market of around 67 million people with a GDP of about $2.7 trillion. If the UK loses GDP because of a Canada style trade deal with the EU the government will be desperate to recoup that loss through a trade deal with the USA. Given the imbalances and possible desperation who do you think wields the whip hand in that negotiation? A clue - it ain't the UK.

Warwick

bobscott
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby bobscott » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:24 am

Whichever way one looks at it, 'negotiations' are just that. Either side is free to 'blackmail' (for want of a better description) the other into accepting what is on offer, regardless of initial stances. So we threaten to walk away from a trade deal that includes higher pharma costs etc. In retaliation, the US threatens another action which we simply cannot (in the UK) contemplate accepting. Who has the bigger hand? Like Kilkis says, 'it ain't the UK.'

Add to the mix the fact that both the US and the UK are both being led by pathological liars and God only know where we will end up! Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:13 am

There are some quite interesting numbers on this Wikipedia entry.

I think there are also other hidden costs not listed in the article. For example a significant number of nurses have left the NHS and are employed by private companies who provide contract nurses to the NHS. The nurse typically gets paid more and does not have to work extended hours for no extra pay as nurses in the NHS often do. On the downside the contract nurse doesn't have guaranteed work but, with the current shortage of nursing staff, in reality they can usually get as much work as they want. Obviously the private companies offering these services have operational costs and exist to make a profit so the NHS is paying more for these services than they would if they employed the nurses directly.

A similar problem exists in Social Services. I know of one local authority that has lost virtually all its social workers to private contracting companies. They have been replaced with foreign social workers mainly from India and Africa. They are all highly trained competent people capable of doing a good job but they know absolutely nothing about how the UK social protection system operates. These are people charged with protecting some of the most vulnerable in society. I make no criticism of them as individuals but the system as a whole is deteriorating and that puts people, often very young people, at risk.

I think social care, mainly of the elderly, is now totally privatised and virtually on the point of collapse. That has a massive impact on NHS costs as people who have completed treatment but need support for a period of time cannot be discharged unless there is somewhere where they can get that support.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:05 pm

Re your first paragraph above Warwick, you are correct. We were away with family a few weekends ago. One is a GP and and a partner In a practice. He was taking a week off over half term to go away with his young family. I asked him how easy it was to get ‘cover’ during his absence? He said his surgery never has a problem - They have an agency they use for doctors and nurses and never have a shortage of people to fill in gaps in their own staffing. Over the years they have also built up relationships with doctors and nurses who don’t work for agencies and are also happy to fill in during absences. They are slightly cheaper to employ, as there is no agency taking a fee. They use these as often as they can. - However......the surgery can only carry on paying these higher costs for agency nurses and doctors for another two to three years.

These medics don’t want to work full time in the NHS any longer. They can earn more money for less work outside of the system. Extra money promised by politicians is not enough to tempt them back in to the NHS. It infuriates me when I hear the Conservative Party state they are putting 50,000 more nurses back in to the system. I do not believe they will be able to retain the 19,000 nurses they claim they are going to do. Neither do I believe they will make up the ‘short fall’ by recruiting nurses from overseas. Portuguese and Spanish nurses are already departing the U.K. in huge numbers. The uncertainty of Brexit and the weaker £ makes working in the U.K. less a appealing to them. What guarantee is there that nurses from elsewhere in the world will want to work in the U.K? I have not seen any figures suggesting the world has a surfeit of nurses all wishing to work in the U.K!

This is about more than drugs from America, or ‘selling off the NHS.’ It is about truthful staffing numbers, and the problem of making the NHS system more attractive to work in.....including more hospitals, better working hours and making the whole ‘package’ more attractive to ‘home grown’ medics.

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:52 pm

Maud wrote:... It infuriates me when I hear the Conservative Party state they are putting 50,000 more nurses back in to the system...


This claim is a classic example of my comment that "You cannot rely on the normal meaning of words any more." This Sky News page has a recording of Johnson making the promise in his manifesto launch. Play it. The statement is right at the beginning. It is very straightforward. He states, "We pledge 50,000 more nurses". He does not qualify that in any way. In my opinion I think anybody would interpret that as, "There are going to be 50,000 more nurses than there are now". Is it really open to any other interpretation? More means more? Apparently not. It means 31,000 more than we have at present. He could have easily said, "We are going to recruit 31,000 more nurses and implement changes to retain 19,000 that would have otherwise have left by...". He chose to phrase the statement the way he did. Could his intent have been anything but to mislead?

Politicians are leaning from the print media. For a long time newspapers have realised that if you say something in a headline and then say something very different or even the exact opposite in the article it is the message in the headline that sticks.

Warwick


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