TB has been in the public eye for decades. It is nasty, unnecessary and could be eradicated if the country had the will to do so.
What is it about Tony Blair that allows him to keep popping up, when a person with a track record such as his should never be heard of again, let alone consulted on anything of importance.
His administration was popular at the time because he loosened the reins on austerity and spent billions on hospitals and schools which gave the populace the feel good factor. Unfortunately to achieve this he allowed Gordon Brown to goose away our gold reserves, he denuded the Treasury of any cash reserves and he watched as those hospitals and schools were built with public finance initiatives (PFIs) on contracts that are still allowing the providers to gobble up vast profits for years to come.
Whoever signed off those contracts was obviously a blithering idiot and in my opinion quite possibly in receipt of enormous backhanders. Small wonder the NHS and Department of Education are running out of money when for example a school in Bristol had a blind installed at a cost of £8,154 when a local shop could have provided for £175.
One hospital trust took the bull by the horns and bought out the contract which was not due to end until 2033 and actually saves £3.5 million annually on its finance charges. That’s nearly enough to pay for seven very average council leaders. Roll out just these examples over the whole of the country and it is obvious why our public services are creaking at the joints. Given that the providers of PFIs have already earned a fortune for doing nothing, it is high time they were named and shamed, topped and tailed. Many PFI hospital contracts have been sold on within a few years of being struck and yielded for the financiers profits averaging 66.7%. To put that into context, a more conventional profit margin for an FTSE 100 company is closer to three per cent.
The shadow finance secretary – a nasty piece of work – has the gall to remind us that the Tories are making a mess of our economy. Well if he ever gets into Number 11 Downing Street, watch out, we are all doomed apart from anybody with an affiliation to a union.
A reader sent me the following article recently spotted in The Sun and I promise you that it was not on April 1st:
“LEG UP FOR LAMB. British lamb is flavour of the month after a Brexit boost. The tumbling value of the pound means that other countries pay less for our meat. As a result demand for British lamb has soared in Europe, pushing prices up and bringing in more profit for farmers. Peter Hardwick, head of exports at industry body AHDB said: “The drop in the pound certainly helped bolster our export position.” But most lamb eaten by Brits this weekend will be from New Zealand as British lamb is not yet in season.”
I don’t think I have read or heard such a load of ill informed twaddle in all my life and this from an industry board that is meant to be on our side. The AHDB have obviously forgotten that the supermarkets have hijacked the retail meat trade and only treat the product as a loss leader. They have also forgotten to tell the consumer that if they want a bit of quality British lamb, they have to go to their local butcher.
I do hope Theresa May has made the right decision, and she gains a majority large enough to silence the baying crowds. The SNP when viewed at prime minister’s questions look like a pack of out of control half bred terriers, the Labour Party look like a small platoon of soldiers walking behind a leader with a dodgy grenade in his pocket and the Lib Dems look like a gaggle of kids outside a sweet shop, but with no money in their pockets. If only everybody in the House of Commons accepted the fact that article 50 has been triggered instead of wasting time being negative about it, those involved in getting a deal would feel a whole lot more bullish and confident with the rest of the country behind them.
Management is feeling a lot better now that she is no longer receiving calls enquiring of my health following last month’s leave of absence, but I must confess that the little bit of grey matter I have retained was a touch scrambled at the time!
PS: I hope by the time this article is published someone will have had success with a rain dance. In common with most in the South East things are getting pretty desperate up here on the chalk and I note that spring crops in most places are taking a hammering. As in all matters agricultural – fingers crossed. The Lord may be on our side, but very few others are.