Well, it has been nearly two days since Britain finally broke its links with the EU.
Contrary to many peoples’ fears, the sky has not collapsed on top of us, and the major concern is the Corona Virus which I really doubt could be clamed on Brexit.
There are now eleven months for our politicians to sort out what our relationship with the EU countries will look like, and more importantly, can a trade deal be brokered that satisfies everybody.
Well maybe not everyone, as I am sure the BBC and much of the British Press will find fault in anything agreed.
What I worry about, is just how urgently our politicians will be to get around the table with the EU, and begin negotiations. I suspect there will be a long period of acrimony and both sides blaming each other, before someone notices that the summer has ended and time is running out.
Hopefully I am wrong.
In the meantime, the government has no excuse not to begin addressing the pressing needs of our country. The Health Service is creaking, our rail industry needs a major workover, and care for the elderly is hidden under the carpet.
Sadly, I think the health service needs major change. The stupid decision to get rid of Cottage Hospitals and smaller hospitals was all about cost. Building larger central hospitals seemed a good idea, but they should only be for A&E and emergency surgery. We still need other places for routine/planned surgery, and more importantly a way of diagnosing and caring for sick people who a generation ago would have been looked after by their GP and nurses.
There shouldn’t be flu victims, mental patients, and elderly infirmed people using beds in the major hospitals.
Of course that also highlights the care for the elderly. We used to have infirmaries, but they were little more than Victorian Workhouses. Unfortunately rather than upgrading the buildings, they became expensive housing, or worses still, car parks.
The politicians will say there are no doctors or nurses to staff such institutions, and no money to employ them. Well, it appears we are employing hundred (thousands?) of agency staff at a greater cost than full time workers.
If Boris really wants to sort things out, he deeds to be honest and really attack the problem. Healthcare agencies should not be allowed to offer disgruntled nurses part time work at a higher cost than if they were working in the NHS. That way they might reconsider leaving NHS jobs.
… and agencies should not be allowed to make profit in times when the A&E hospitals have corridors full of sick and elderly patients.
Yes this is a radical view, but it is an emergency situation, and the country needs everyone to share the burden.
And finally the care homes.
Here is a simple piece of mathematics.
The state pension is not enough to pay for old people to have a place in a care home.
Currently these elderly gents and ladies grew up without the need to worry about who will look after them if they become unable to look after themselves.
They shouldn’t have to sell their homes to pay for care, and in most cases the money from their house won’t be enough to keep them comfortable for long.
Care home charges are between £25,000 and £50,000 per year. The state pension is less than £10,000. With a very good company pension, my wife and I live on less than £30,000 a year. Where does that leave us if we need care?
Once again, the rich have no worries, and can afford the best if it is needed. Worse still, some of these richer people are probably making their money from running care homes.
OK Boris, lets see what you are made of!