Elderly Careless

A colleague on fb writes about the following issue and I can't help but have mixed feelings about it, namely:

  • Having had years to plan all this why have the elderly not been planning for retirement? I'm willing to believe this is down to innumerable socialist governments writing cheques with their mouth that the electorate refused to cash or that they simply felt they would be dead before they lived to need their arse wiping by someone else.
  • Is this the last 2-fingered victory salute of the post-war babyboomers? Having picked the cupboard clean for future generations are they now trying to bloc-vote a government into sticking us for more cash? In which case I have little sympathy for their "plight".
But all that aside their is an element of sympathy; having paid in for years and had the rug pulled out from under them and the deal changed on retirement funding and resources I can't help but feel for their upset and that of future generations who won't be treated quite so well, given the young to old ratio is dropping, prices are rising and sympathy for the elderly is dropping. 

But why is elderly care so expensive?

My mother, after her divorce and not young herself (bad side of 50), got a job as an estate manager of a private, high-end retirement home; one where a small flat in sheltered accomadation went to rich southerners for £100k or more with top up "fees" for "care" services of around £10k a year, and that was before nursing costs and similar, which was all bought in externally.

These flats were state of the art; solar panelling, hyper-efficient ground boilers and similar to reduce the overall cost of these flats to practically nothing, at least in comparison to the other fees levied.

And this is what bothers me: the company that ran these flats went bust; about 18 months before my mother left they went into administration and were bought up by another company - the reason my mum left was because this company cut services to the bone (not prices though, of course) and tried to put her in charge of 3 sites across Leeds; a 50 year old woman traversing Leeds, putting site wheelie bins out because they've cut the janitorial staff and fixing blockages because the company plumber is on reduced hours resulted in her being injured and bounced out.

Myself I temped as an admin at a home management centre for people with learning and physical disabilities; my boss ran the centre and was nearly in tears by the end of it due to the complete ineptitude of staff and there complete lack of dedication, their constant calling in sick and complete lack of concern for their charges.

So this is what I know: care, no matter which way you play it, public or private, care is badly managed or badly resourced or both; you can't square this circle in this country for some reason and perhaps this is down to our panic at frailty and vulnerability. Who knows.

What to do? I have a cunning plan: outsource the whole lot; I reckon there would be an awful lot of money to be made and jobs to be offered just simply moving elderly care to Portugal, Greece or Spain in sheltered, guarded estates given how cheap properly and how high unemployment is currently; a few years on a med diet to see out your twilight years and happy relatives using the opportunity to get a few grappas and relax in the sun while visiting their granny. Heck I reckon you could leverage greek or spanish debt to annex a coastal island for them.


Addressing the constitutional clusterf**k to come

A friend on facebook decries a turkey objecting to Christmas:

Ed Miliband has rejected David Cameron’s call to prevent Scottish MPs voting on English-only issues in Parliament, despite appearing to accept that the current system is unfair.
That friend describes this call for an English parliament and the erosion of responsibilities to English-only MEPs as a thing we should celebrate as it will mean fewer Labour governments and that this is the means to that end.

On this point I disagree with the principle.

Elsewhere Norman Tebbit, a man who is coming into his credit more and and more each year in my opinion writes the following:

It is extraordinary that after 300 years of successful constitutional political development during which the United Kingdom achieved unparallelled military, scientific, industrial, social and political progress (including the world's finest civil service), it has almost all been vandalised in a few decades of "progressive" politics and modernisation.
Which, again, I disagree with on principle, for similar reasons.

Following 11 years of Margaret Thatcher and tory government we had the odious Major years which were, lets call it what is was, a generation-busting event for the Bory party, ultimately responsible for Blair's "popularity" - less Blair being popular (not as much as his ego led him to believe) but about the Bory's being more unpopular; the giant douche being a better option to an increasingly stinky and corn-filled turd sandwich as Southpark so expertly put it (I think any political cheerleader of any colour needs to watch this episode before making any kind of defence of the current establishment).

In the latter years of the Brown government we saw just how potent this effect was when a blair-lite Cameron failed to win a majority against the worst prime minister in history (couldn't win on "popular" terms, couldn't win on "cuddly-Bory" ones either).

Any constitutional convention can be bent to the will of the strongest political pressure or mob rule; what separates the better ones is how labile and flexible they are and how irresistibly even-handed they are; doing unto others as the constitution says you'd have done to yourself is difficult to argue against.

So no I don't believe this is a means to a Labour government-end in England - Lord knows the Major years and our current "Bory" lot are proof that it largely doesn't matter which turd is in charge; putting this down as a way of installing a conservative autocracy is wrong headed in the highest and will probably mean whatever constitutional convention we ultimately get will be skewed.

We need to reassert the kracy (power) of the demos (people) as a whole through this and that means ignoring such calls for Bory english rule.

Why not try pushing our representatives to adopt this?


And it comes to pass; the wife is back.

So the choice is made and the wife is back on her terms and the husband is left a hollow version of himself.

And the commentary is  palpably vitriolic.

" Gordon Brown, who has never ceased to regard himself as the rightful Prime Minister of Britain, scribbled a revolution on the back of a fag packet and decreed its implementation. How many people voted No because of the seductive dog's dinner of half-baked pledges offered as "The Vow"? Perhaps 100,000? Be generous and suppose it was 200,000. Possibly it was hardly anyone."

None of which I can disagree with; sadly, none of this matters and I'll tell you why.

We are a country served by minority government, returned on a minority mandate in league with a foreign invasionary force from Brussels; it does not care about the electorates thoughts or concerns, only for whatever its focus groups and the media tells it, insulated in its own little bubble and protected against a defanged and divided public by an increasingly unresponsive but violent police state.

And noone you select at the next GE will do anything about this state of affairs.

The choice is between:
- A turd with a blue rosette,
- A turd with a red rosette,
- A turd with a yellow rosette,
- The narky teaboy farage who couldn't find his are with both hands and will be establishmentised before the end of his first week in power.

Any way you play it you are voting for the continuity party of the civil service; an EU Corp. Puppet organisation with a now transparently thin veneer of democracy covering it.

Come the general election the only logical choice on the ballot is to spoil it; we won't get real change by selecting the anachronistic bubble dwellers repeatedly.

Then, with any luck, we can push for real change for the better.


Scotland, the Wife

Imagine your married.

You've been married for a long time; you cannot remember a time before it, though you have books and photos telling you such a time existed, and you can't imagine the situation ever changing.

Then one day you arrive home and your wife says she wants a separation, "to find herself". You reluctantly concede, and she moves out.

Years pass with occasional hopeful meetings, longing glances from both parties and even occasional brushes of affection.

Then she tells you she is considering a divorce, to go her own way wholeheartedly.

You, stricken, tell her you don't want that, that whatever your problems, your history, we can work it out.

Again she says she is considering divorce but hasn't made up her mind.

In despair you ask her has there been someone else; she tells you she has had several flings but nothing lasting

In desperation you tell her you don't care about the others, that you love her and want things to work.

She says she can't go on on what you give her to live on.

You promise her more.

That she wants to be free to see other people.

You eagerly agree.

That she wants to have a say on who you see and what you spend money on.

Confused, but hysterical with grief and anxiety you agree.

You both return home to separate rooms.

She's home, but somewhere on that road back you lost something important.

Your self respect.

And you can barely look your children, your friends or your colleagues in the eye.


Forget #indyref; what does this mean for the EU?

Why are people surprised at our political establishment and it's army of civil servants failing to create a Plan Y? Accounting for every eventuality and possible outcome requires a certain finesse and creativity that is sorely lacking in the Bubble.

Still it is fun to see this all play out, with an almost chronic failing of attention on the EU implications.

Taking the lead from this Breitbart article we see a potentially devastating vision presented on a scale of soviet disintegration - but this isn't just of the UK but of the EU.

Say Scotland does leave and immediately applies to join the EU; that whole process takes several years of worming through the bureaucratic miasma in Brussels.

Then in the interim we see Catalonia and Basque regions in Spain opt for independence.

Then parts of Germany.

And Hungary.

And Islamic State(tm) annexes part of Turkey, scuppering further integration completely.

Then it becomes necessary to set up border controls with a non-covered Shengen-agreement non-EU state on our northern border.

Then in the offshoot Spanish territories.

This all rolls into an even bigger trade miasma with non-EU or even EEC-recognised states within central Europe.

Let's assume Cameron is still there (ha!)- do you really think his "renegotiation" ploy will get very far?

Me neither.

Scotland marks the beginning of the end for the EU as is; events are rapidly out-competing procedure and crisis management for it to survive.

Interesting days.