Sunday, 29 August 2010

Diana Watch

“So when is Margaret's funeral, I will definitely come?”
“It's on the 14th,”
“Oh that's my birthday,”
“I'm sorry about that,”
“Oh no, it's nice to have something to do on your birthday.”

Oh thank the lord, all will be well, Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams are friends again and the original Take That (the campest sounding band name ever, except for Gay Bikers on Acid, maybe) are back together again!

 It seems that Labour really did have a bit of an idea of what they were doing with the economy after all.
 Revised figures from the Office for National Statistics released on Friday show that the UK economy grew by 1.2% in the second quarter of this year. Now I believe the second quarter is April, May and June. So Gordon Brown in charge April and some of May and then the coalition took over but only tinkered.
 What is encouraging is the fact that most of the growth came from the construction sector, which grew 8.5%. Building is usually one the first sectors to suffer in a recession but one of the first to recover.
 As you can see from the graph this is the 3 quarter of growth in a row and this growth includes an 11% drop in air travel mostly down to ash cloud based delays.

(I may have stolen this from the BBC website)

 So when the Tories and the LibDems took over all was coming along nicely, let’s hope that they don’t mess it up to much with this recent wave of privatisations.
The Government is pretending that the cuts in spending are for “Austerity” reasons but I don’t think anyone is really buying that any more. This has become ideological.
 Many of their ideas won't save any money but they have handed control over to private companies.
 For instance, the scrapping of NHS Primary Care Trusts and the handing of commissioning services directly to GP's.
 Well that's not privatisation, GP's are the NHS you might say.  Well that is sort of true. GP's surgeries are commissioned by the PCT's to work for the NHS but they are privately run companies who make profits for the shareholders in that company, usually the Partners in the practise.
 There is also an interesting new development is the Partnership Collective, basically a company that is run by GP's that manages lots of Surgeries. Usually they start in one small geographical area but they soon start bidding for services nation wide.  They do the managing, centrally, and local Doctors and Nurse do the work. Much like a big company because they are a big company.
 I work, on Friday afternoon, for one such company called The Practise. I think that their choice of company name does sound like a Dr Who baddies organisation (the computer system is called System One, even more sinister if you ask me) but an OK employer. Again, private company making money for the owners of that private company.
 Very shortly after the Governments announcement of the PCT scrapage scheme, The Practise organised a meeting with other local GP surgeries and offered to do their commissioning for them, for a little bit of cash obviously.
 So which ever way you look at it the money for buying services from the NHS will go to private companies, which is privatisation isn't it?

 The Government's attitude was also laid out in an interview on Radio 4's PM program when they were discussing the scrapping of the Audit Commission.
 The Government spokesman brought up many anecdotes about waste with the Quango such as hiring conference space, in which they held a conference by the way, and the excessive use of pot plants (I have no idea what the excessive use of pot plants is but the BBC sent a reporter to this spokespersons office and it was filled with pot plants). He also bought up a contract that the Audit Commission had with a bagel shop. When they had a meeting that clashed with lunch they got some bagels in, OMG the waste! I'm pretty sure that that is a nice thing to do and quite usual but I digress. These were all examples of waste within an organisation that was described by Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, as bloated. Really, a man with as many chins as him really should choose his hyperbole a little more carefully, again digression, sorry.
 When it was pointed out by Eddie Mare that “isn't that the sort thing that the companies the Government will use to carry out the duties of the Audit Commission will do and do do”, the reply was well “yes that is true but I don't care what they do with the money that we give them, they are a private company” Ok, I might be paraphrasing but that was the jist.
 So nothing will actually change except to introduce profit as a motive.

 So on to the awards,

 The Award for Being A Massively Twatty Company of the Week,

 So you will have heard about the 33 Chilean miners who are trapped underground.  It seems that they are going stuck there for quite a while as, in order to rescue them, a whole new mine shaft has to be drilled. They may be not be rescued until Christmas. Trapped in the dark at 36 degrees C, everything they need has to be slide down a tiny tube.
 Because the mine is not working, the company that runs it is facing some financial difficulties, the Government will be paying for the rescue and THE WORKERS MAY NOT BE GETTING PAID!

The Award for Super Twat of the Week (and pretty much every week to be honest),

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Axl Rose. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has even a passing knowledge of his history with Guns N Roses but Friday night at the Reading Festival he gave one of more Divaish performances.
 He and his band of hired hands came on stage on hour late, at 22:30, despite being told that they had a curfew of 23:30. Because of their late arrival, no apology to the thousands of paying fans, they were allowed to play until Midnight. They left the stage after playing “Night Train” and then the power to the stage was cut as the 23:30 curfew was part of the licensing agreement but Twaxl wanted to play on.
 He returned to the stage, no power remember, and the drums began the intro to “Paradise City” which Mariah Wannabe Axl tried to sing through a megaphone. After about 5 minutes of this pantomime he left the stage.
 So elements of the crowd were less then friendly to him and booed after ever song and began chants of “what a twat” (see it's not just me)
 He then threatened not to play at the Leeds end of the festival tonight (Sunday) saying “ Unfortunately due to tonight we will not be at Leeds...” no mention that it was his own fault that Friday night's show was a bit rubbish.

I think that will do for today, a bit negative, sorry. I hope you all have a great week.

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