Thursday, September 30, 2010

Each to His Own

Again a shorter blog has have today an early appointment for my annual 'free' chiropody session. This gives me a chance to reply to LizBeth about our 'free' medical care, as the money for this has to come from somewhere, and people who earn a wage/salary have reductions taken before they receive the money. A percentage is taken to pay tax, a set amount to pay National Insurance. Possibly another (set) amount if opting to pay for an extra pension over and above the state pension when retiring.

It is the National Insurance that pays for our free medical treatment (although now money has now to be paid for dental treatment and eye tests etc). Doctors, clinics and hospitals are free, and at one time so was prescribed medication, although now there is a set amount to be paid for that (but the elderly get this free).

However, even if people have never been paid a wage in this country - such as some mothers who have always stayed at home to bring up their children, and the ever-growing population of non-working asylum seekers - all get free health care.
With high unemployment and more people coming into this country, there is less money to go round and cuts keep being made. Hospitals have to work to a budget, and in sometimes a ward hase had to to be closed. This causes a delay in appointments, surgery and other hospital treatment.
Anyone can pay for private medical insurance, and this usually entitles them to speedy medical attention and surgery, although usually this would usually be in an NHS hospital, with a private room, and the surgeons would also work for the NHS. Although it can cost thousands of pounds (paid by the private insurance if the need is necessary - but don't think this covers cosmetic surgery) this means a queue is jumped, taking the place of someone who can't afford private insurance, and so has to wait longer for their own NHS treatment.

Perhaps - being a woman - feel that politicians never do seem to get the 'housekeeping' of our country right. At one time it seemed we were far better off when a lot of companies were nationalised. As soon as these were sold back to private companies, prices increased and keep being increased just so that the shareholders would get more money I suppose. Although think there were more strikes when an industry was nationalised. I can't keep track.

Believe also (like you LizBeth), that the old way - men working, women the home-makers, is the natural order of things, and perhaps this did work well as long as we women 'knew our place'. It was the Suffragettes in the early 19th century who wanted women to be allowed to vote, the two World Wars getting women out from the home into factories and on the land etc. Once finding they could still be individuals in their own right (called by name and not just 'mum') this gave a good feeling. Even now women still prefer to go out to work after having a baby, even though it costs more than they earn on child minders or a creche. Burning our bras was another of or female revolutions. Whether for good or bad - going out to work has led to a bit of a chain reaction - the need for convenience foods to save time, fast-food outlets for the same reason - credit cards to pay for everything when there isn't enough cash in hand - this itself leading to (probable) health problems and obesity. Not to mention debt. All could have been avoided if we had stayed at home. Who is to say what is right and what is wrong. Each to his own.

Some few years ago Donna, there was a programme on TV about plump schoolchildren going to one of the universities in Leeds, to stay for a week or so to learn about diets and also take more exercise. Wishing to find out more about this I type in 'overweight camps' in Google Search yesterday and was surprised to find out how many 'fat camps' there are running in this country. All voluntary - and a fairly large fee has to be paid. But further down that first page there is a website about the above mentioned TV programme, and it is worth reading. Towards the bottom of the page there is another about the Labour government in 2009 thinking about sending children to something similar (probably free this time) - but only with the consent of the parents. I would be almost unheard of to make a parent do something they don't wish to - although children have been taken in to care if they are not cared for properly.

How I agree with you Frugal Life UK, that we should leave other countries alone to do their own thing. Maybe I shouldn't even have mentioned the Jamie Oliver experiments. Do remember in this country when he first tried to get a school cooking something other than Turkey Twizzlers, the children's mothers used to buy fish and chips and hand them to the children over the school fence at lunch time.
Yesterday, on local (Lancashire) TV news, there was a bit about how a mother had included something 'unhealthy' to the very healthy packed lunch she had given to her son. A teacher had told the child he shouldn't eat this (it was something like crisps but forgotten the name), so he didn't. The mother was rightly annoyed as the rest of his meal was very good and this was just his 'occasional' treat.

However much we are interested individually about other countries - what they do right and what they do wrong (and this only in our own eyes), why is the larger nations seem to always want to interfere? If a nation has problems - then let them sort it out for themselves, unless directly asked for help, or at least 'interfere' in a different way other than sending in soldiers and killing civilians.
Perhaps this too is a naive way of looking at it. But often the 'help' given, leads to worse atrocities, and continuing fighting even today. It does seem the nations of the world are best run by rules set by Western politicians, even if these don't fit into the culture.

But enough of politics, obesity and the like. They really have no place on my blog, even though I like to vent my spleen from time to time. If we wish to improve things at all, then we have to start with our own country, and this is best done by starting with our own selves. Stop moaning about all the cuts that are necessary because the government has spent too much in the first place. To get ourselves back on track then money has to be found from somewhere - just as with a domestic budget. Grin and bear it I say. Going on strike during this credit crunch will never help - make things worse probably.

Let us get back some of the war-time spirit and all pull together. Those who have returned to more domestic duties (home-cooking, growing produce, recycling etc) are all 'doing their bit' for the nation's economy, and teaching themselves a lot on the way. We still have a very good life here.

Finally - thought for the day. We are now being encouraged to spend the little money we have so the various industries don't fall by the wayside. There is sense behind this - for here in Morecambe, lots of small shops have closed down, and more closing this autumn once the season is over. Driving along the front the other day noticed that the only shops now open seem the fast-food shops. Shows what we consider important in our lives.
But it's not just seaside towns, lots of High Streets now have only a few of their original shops open. Many still boarded up. Local shopping parades have lost their greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers, sweetshops, drapers, toyshops, grocers, bakers, being replaced by building societies, bookies, travel agents, estate agents, fast-food outlets, and Starbucks. Nothing really 'useful' (on a day to day basis) at all.

Must go now and promise tomorrow to be a good girl and not stick my beak into other countries affairs. We have enough problems in our own for me to fret about.
Keep commenting, and join me again tomorrow.