Archive for June, 2011

The 17,500mph Rubbish Tip

Posted in Britain, Environment, Europe, Insanity, Life in the Universe, Modern World, Plastic Rubbish, USA with tags , , , , on 29/06/2011 by floroy1942

It amused me somewhat to read the other day about a supposed UFO sighting over the BBC building in London that was ‘filmed’ and put on YouTube. In my opinion, all UFO sightings can be discounted these days, and in fact for the last several decades, because no extraterrestrials could get near our planet because of all the garbage that is currently surrounding Earth.

Yuri Gagarin – The First Human In Space 1961

Ever since the first manned space flight by Russian Yuri Gagarin, in 1961, the level of debris floating around above our atmosphere has risen rapidly. In 1981 it was estimated there were about 5,000 items both large and small floating around the Earth. By 2011 this has increased to 22,000 known objects with a total mass of around 5,500 tonnes What will it be in 2050 – 100,000, a million? These figures do not take into account the hundreds of items that have burnt up in the atmosphere over this period.

It has become necessary for people like NASA and their Russian equivalent to use sophisticated radar to track the path of all objects in this gigantic garbage patch to avoid collisions when launching space missions.

We have already done quite a good job of turning our entire home into a waste dump (remember Plastic Island?), and have for the last four decades been equally successful with the space that surrounds it.

The International Space Station

This week the astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) had to retreat to their Soyuz rescue vehicles because of a near miss by a small object. It missed by only 250 metres. Had it hit the station, the results could have been catastrophic, and many billions of dollars would have ended up as more useless space junk.

News Report:

This is the first time such drastic action has been necessary, and it was undertaken because the piece of trash was seen too late for avoidance measures., On many occasions in the past the ISS has had to move to get it out of the trajectory of floating objects.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink!

Actually, the term ‘floating junk’ is a bit of a misnomer as the junk is not actually ‘floating’, but travelling at a speed of 17,500mph. Moving that fast, a small fleck of paint can dent a panel or crack a window on the ISS. Any astronaut on a space walk would be instantly killed by even such a small thing. Remember the old adage that a piece of straw will pass through a block of concrete if it is travelling fast enough?

 Space junk can be anything from a tool lost by an astronaut during a spacewalk to the burnt out sections of rocket boosters or dead satellites. They can vary in size from several millimetres to something the size of a small house.

Many are in low earth orbit (LEO) and eventually burn up on reentry into the atmosphere, but those further out like weather, communication, and GPS satellites in geosynchronous orbit, can be with us for years and even forever.

The Final Launch Phase – Adding To The Debris

Every time someone sends something into space we end up with burnt out rocket stages, shields, discarded satellites, Elton John’s old piano and many other bits left floating around out there and no-one seems to care. I suppose it will not be until an astronaut dies, or there is serious damage to the ISS that costs millions of dollars to repair, that someone will eventually decide to bring out the space vacuum cleaner.

Space Junk Tracking:

Some plans have already been put forward to clean up te mess, but we have yet to see one in action. One idea was to launch a satellite that carried a huge net capable of capturing  debris but so far nothing has come of it. While the idea may have some merit, it certainly hasn’t been thought through sufficiently because to cover anything like a reasonable area the net would have to be gigantic. The use of lasers has also been suggested, but to be honest, on the scale they would be required, they are still science fiction.

The Future Of ‘Taking Out The Trash’?

I wonder how long it will be before we are so swamped in trash that someone has the bright idea of sending it all to the Moon or Mars?

It seems clear to me that before Man can attain his long sought goal of reaching the stars, something will have to be done to solve the problem of all this space junk. For there can be little doubt that eventually we will seal ourselves in with an impenetrable layer of rubbish that will make space exploration a distant dream.

Roy.

Britain’s Education System – The Blind Leading The Blind!

Posted in Britain, Children, Conservative Party, David Cameron, England, English Schools, Government, Insanity, Liberal Party, Nick Clegg, Parliament, Primary Education, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27/06/2011 by floroy1942

“The truth will always out” and that has never been more amply demonstrated than today with the new literacy/numeracy tests for trainee teachers

Education, Education, Education

Education standards in British schools have been falling for decades, thanks in particular to the previous Labour government that made exams easier to improve pass statistics, and now we are ‘paying the piper’. We have long passed the stage where our ‘teachers’, responsible for the proper education of our next generation, are capable of the task.

The horrifying impact of this situation is that it perpetuates. As standards drop generation by generation, so does the competence of succeeding generations of teachers, and thereby the education of each new generation declines. To put it bluntly, how can a semi-literate person teach literacy or numeracy to a child?

This is the vicious circle we are now in as a nation. In my opinion, we are rapidly reaching a point where British children will no longer be able to apply for skilled jobs, and this is already happening. We will eventually see that born and bred British youth will only be able to get jobs as cleaners and road sweepers because their level of education precludes all else. 

See also:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/young-people-today-unemployable/

It is a well known fact that four out of five youngsters leaving school today cannot read and write properly, and don’t even try mental arithmetic!

Teacher Training

Until now, candidates for Teaching Colleges have been allowed to take assessment tests while they train as often as they wish, so if they ‘got lucky’ on their sixth attempt they would be allowed to continue training as teachers! The news item states that candidates will now only be allowed three attempts, but I have to ask; if they need three attempts, are they fit to teach the next generation, especially considering how ‘hard’ the test is? I think not!

The report gave the following examples of questions that appear in the exam given to those attending teacher training:

  • Q1: Teachers organised activities for three classes of 24 pupils and four classes of 28 pupils. What was the total number of pupils involved?

  • Q2: There were no ” ” remarks at the parents’ evening. Is the missing word:

  • a) dissaproving

  • b) disaproveing

  • c) dissapproving

  • d) disapproving?

  • Q3: For a science experiment a teacher needed 95 cubic centimetres of vinegar for each pupil. There were 20 pupils in the class. Vinegar comes in 1,000 cubic centimetre bottles. How many bottles of vinegar were needed?

  • Q4: The children enjoyed the ” ” nature of the task. Is the correct word:

  • a) mathmatical

  • b) mathematical

  • c) mathemmatical

  • d) mathematicall

Answers at the end of this post for those who don’t know!

 Even the questions (faithfully reproduced) have missing punctuation and spelling mistakes, but that may be down to the reporter more than the real exam paper.

While I am on the subject, mistakes are now very common in articles written for news bulletins and newspapers. Whether this is because the writers cannot be bothered to check their work before handing it in, or is the emergence of the level of illiteracy spreading to reporters today I do not know, but its worrying.

A Time When Teachers Knew How To Teach!

When I first saw the above questions, I realised very quickly that they were like the ones I had to answer in school when I was ten years old! That was of course hrrmmm years ago when school was school, and teachers knew what they were doing. In those days teaching was a calling, much like nursing. People did it because they loved the idea of educating the next generation. They knew their subject inside out and woe betide you if you didn’t learn.

The Department of Education calls this exercise ‘toughening up’ on education, and Ed Gove, the Education Secretary is quoted as saying  the proposals would “emphasise our commitment to boosting the status of the profession by toughening up the recruitment process and ensuring that all new teachers have a real depth of knowledge in their subject”. That was the ‘norm’ fifty years ago for cryin’ out loud!!! I know my old teachers would be spinning in their graves if they could see what is happening today!

The tests taken are for literacy and numeracy, both essential if you wish to embark on a career educating others. To date, 10% of all applicants take the numeracy test more then three times, and 7%  do the same for the literacy test. Although the news rules may well help, I still do not see the need for candidates to be given three attempts at a test. Would you get three attempts at a GCSE? No!

Hmmm!

So what do we have now? For the most part, teachers who can only stand in front of a class and recite a lesson from a book, and why? Because they themselves have little or no knowledge of the subject they are ‘teaching’. In some cases their literacy and numeracy are no better than a twelve-year-olds, which lets face it, is considered ‘normal’ these days.

The reaction to this report from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is predictable. In their opinion the tests are ‘superfluous’. That just about sums them up too! According to them the students requiring more than one shot at these test were either dyslexic, had English as a second language or were unfamiliar with on-line testing. My Goodness! How can a dyslexic person, or a foreigner with insufficient understanding of english, be allowed to teach our young????? It boggles the mind!

Christine Blower

NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said: “The NUT has always argued that the entry requirements for initial teacher education, which include GCSE passes grade C or above in English and maths, should be sufficient and make the additional skills tests superfluous,”

If that is the case, why do so many have to take the test more than once to pass it! Especially when you consider how simple the questions are. GCSE’s have been dumbed down by Labour over the past decade to such an extent I am surprised everyone doesn’t have at least ten! So Christine, You can blow…never mind!

The National Association of Head Teachers has, as you can expect, a more professional attitude to the current problem saying: “it was right to have demanding expectations of recruits to the profession”. Now that sounds more like it!

The Associations General Secretary, Russell Hobby, said: “We should not fall into the trap of thinking, however, that academic excellence necessarily makes someone a great teacher. We want smart people, but we also want visionary, caring, energetic, creative and thoughtful people.” Quite right Sir, up to a point! Without the basic knowledge of the subject they are to teach, the rest is meaningless. All potential candidates should be properly examined for their level of general education and long before they enter the system, not while they are in the midst of training.

Let Me Check That In My Notes

Unless the government makes severe changes to the level of competence of our new teachers, and makes it compulsory for them to have a full understanding and knowledge of any subject they wish to teach, things will never improve and we will end up a with a workforce capable of performing menial tasks only. Whenever companies need skilled workers they will have to be imported. Not a happy thought.

Answers to the test questions: 1. 184     2. d     3. 2     4. b     Just in case you may have had some difficulty.

Associated post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/its-not-mi-falt-i-carnt-spel/

Roy.

Yet Another Debacle With English Law!

Posted in Britain, England, Hacker, Hackers, Insanity, Justice, Prison, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 26/06/2011 by floroy1942

Are many court doctors in the pay of the defence lawyers or what?!!!

I could not believe my eyes when I read that the lastest towrag to be caught for computer hacking, this time into the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, has Asperger’s Syndrom! Now where have I heard that before?????

That is the same defence used by the other s.o.b. Gary Mckinnon, who has been successfully evading extradition to the USA for hacking into US Military systems for nine years!

Please Don’t Send Me To Jail – I Have ‘Asparagus’ (sic)

Apparently this latest git, Ryan Cleary, who is said to be highly intelligent, is supposed to be a member of the LulzSec group that has been creating chaos on the web over the past few weeks. He has it seems been evaluated by a ‘psychiatrist’ who has diagnosed him with Aspergers Syndrome. It makes me wonder how long this ‘psychiatrist’ has been practicing, and if he is competent to diagnose a raving lunatic!

I have to ask: In the eyes of the Law are all hackers autistic?

Fooled Them Again Did You Gary?

I simply cannot believe this to be true. Gary McKinnon has been in and out of court since his arrest in 2002 and still hasn’t been handed over to the US Authorities for trial. It’s got to the stage where people are actually feeling sorry for him. If this sort of thing doesn’t make a complete ass of British Law I don’t know what does! You can bet your life this Cleary character is going to do his best to squirm out of the clutches of our justice system just like McKinnon.

I don’t really care if this pair of lowlifes  have two heads or half a brain between them, they broke the law and created misery and chaos with their actions, and should pay the price. It doesn’t interest me if they have Asperger Syndrome, don’t tell me they didn’t know what they were doing. You do not learn to use all the sophisticated equipment necessary to hack into government programmes without a great deal of intelligence. You do not learn how to get past sophisticated security systems that protect such sites unless you have a considerable amount of know-how.

Thanks A Bunch – Bastards!

These are things British Law should be taking into account when dealing with this scum. This autism defence is in my opinion for the birds, and no court in the land should take any notice. Such a thing is so easy to simulate after you have done a little reading on the internet. Its just like all those slackers who cheat the Benefits System by complaining of back pain! Get them in court and throw the book at them, and as for Mckinnon, send him to America and let it be a warning to all of his kind that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated. End of rant!

Roy.

Crazy! You Couldn’t Make It Up – Series 1 Episode 11

Posted in Britain, Children, England, Germany, Insanity, Modern World, Police, Spain, Traffic, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 25/06/2011 by floroy1942

Its been a while since the nonsense post appeared so now its  time for an update. Looking through our local Marbella English newspaper, I came across a few snippets that fit right in with this series of posts on crazy news reports and so I thought to share them with you.

Not To Worry - Your Local Council Has Everything Under Control

In Leicester England someone apparantly walked in to the local town hall and asked how the council’s emergency plan would deal with a ‘Zombie’ invasion. Hmmm! However, a town hall spokesman, sorry spokesperson, has assured citizens that the current emergency measures would be sufficient to cover such a situation should it occur, and that any zombies running amok through the streets would be severely dealt with. I guess the people of Leicester can at least sleep soundly in their beds, knowing that should any ‘undead’ ever attack the city, the council has the whole situation in hand. Nice to know!

Ever Get The Feeling Its Too Late?

On the Isle of Lewis in Scotland a businessman tore up a handful of £20 notes and flushed them down the toilet thinking they were forgeries. He later found out they were real and you can only imagine what must have gone through his mind. Scots are well known for being, shall I say, thrifty, and for one to lose a lot of money in this way must have brought him close to suicide. Ah well! It’s only money – Boo Hoo!

Just Don't Take My Ear Off!

A London barber has set a new record for the number of haircuts in twentyfour hours. He managed to crop a total of 526 clients within the period, which averages out at one every three minutes. Speed is one thing, but I hope his competance matched his speed for I don’t think I would have wanted to be in the last fifty – “Ouch! You Bugger. That’s my ear!!”

Where Did You Get Your Licence?

You wouldn’t believe it unless you heard it here first of course, but a Bavarian (German) woman was picked up by police. She was driving on a Hungarian driving licence which she obtained using a fake Filipino licence. She has never had a driving test in her life, but the crazy thing is, the police can do nothing about it because of a loophole in the law. She escaped prosecution and was allowed to go her merry way. “Drive carefully ye hear, and ya’ll have a nice day!”

Its All Tax!

Without a doubt, the Danes are a strange race. The people of Denmark are among the highest taxed in the EU and it shows. Their social services and other state run services are among the best on the continent. What is strange however, is that a huge 64% of them are against lowering the taxes after the election due to take place later this year. I have to admit I have never heard that before in my life, and it is unusual because life in Denmark is very expensive. Ah Well! So long as everyone is happy and I am sure the future government will be glad to hear no-one will be going on strike against high taxes!

Come On Dad! Bring It On! I'll Smash Yer Face In!

In Malaga, which is just up the road aways from us, the Public Prosecutor has informed everyone that incidences of parents being beaten up by their small children is on the rise. He said that the number of minors attacking their parents had risen to 214 in the year ending last December. Policeman: “Yes Sir. What can I do for you? – My My! How did you get all those bruises on your face, and who broke your arm?” Father: “You think this is bad, you should see my wife”. Policeman: OK Sir! Who did this to you and your wife? Father: “It was our son”. Policeman: “OK! Name?” Father: “Jose” Policeman: “And how old is your son?” Father: “Three!”!!!!

You Have To Respect Them - They Carry Guns!

One the hardest things to imagine is a stressed out Spanish policeman, but in Alhaurin de la Torre, a moutain town near Torremolinos, almost half the local force is currently off work due to stress. From what I see of Spanish police they seem the most laid back I have ever seen anywhere. They never appear to do very much except cruise around in their cars or on their motorcycles. Driving around you see the most ridiculous behaviour from some drivers, but the police seem content to ignore it all. So I can’t for the life of me imagine what they have to get stressed about. Maybe its the wife? Grrrr!

Whichever way you look at it, its a crazy world! Until next time.
Roy.

Inadequate Testing Of Medicines?

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Germany, Old Age Pensioner, Senior Citizen, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 24/06/2011 by floroy1942

I have long been of the opinion that many of the medicines we regularly throw down our throats are not always as safe as the makers will have us believe. A new report out today indicates this may well be true.

A study which has appeared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports that many drugs taken by the over 65’s, which let’s face it, are when we most need them, can in fact be harmful and lead to reduced brain function and even death. Many of the 80 drugs tested are ‘over-the-counter’ medicines like codeine, while others are prescription only.

Many older people take drugs for heart disease, depression and allergies among other things but the most significant danger was for those taking certain ‘high risk’ medication or a ‘cocktail’ of medicines on a daily basis.

Brain Cell Activity

The research team was concentrating on drugs that affected the working of a particular chemical in the brain, namely acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter that passes messages between the the nerve cells in the brain, but the working of this chemical is often interrupted by side-affects from many modern medicines.

Among 13,000 old timers surveyed from 1991 to 1993, of those taking drugs that affected brain cell activity the most, 20% died. From another group taking no anticholinergic drugs that did not affect brain function, only 4 % died. The report does stress that anyone taking medicines should not under any circumstances stop taking them without first consulting with their doctor.

The researchers say that the results are not conclusive and in no way indicate that taking them will kill you, but they do indicate there is ‘an association’. In the meanwhile the research will continue.

Urticaria - It Can Itch Like Hell!

I myself had a few months of fairly mild urticaria (similar to nettle rash) which was caused by the unfortunate combination of two medicines prescribed by my doctor. I had been taking one drug for about six years (and no its not on the list) with no ill effects at all. It did the job it was supposed to do and everything was fine. Last year I had another small problem, nothing significant, but my doctor prescribed me a drug to solve it. The combination of the two in my system was sufficient to cause the skin sickness. Since that time I no longer take the second medicine and have changed the older one. Now after many months I am free of it again (touch wood!).

New advances are being made on drug therapy on a daily basis and most are ‘fit for purpose’. The drug companies test them first on rats and mice and then proceed to ‘clinical trials’, which if successful will lead to it being submitted to the relevant government department for approval before being released for general use.

The Result Of Thalidomide Not Being Properly Tested!

For sure, these companies do not want a repeat of the thalidomide disaster of the sixties, for that caused horrific birth defects in children in which an entire generation suffered. This episode has haunted the pharmaceutical industry for forty years,  so they have to be careful.

They always point out that you should read the accompanying leaflet that comes with all medicines these days, and some people do while others don’t bother. I must admit that after my little escapade I pay much more attention than I used to.

A New Wonder Drug In The Making?

My concern however is that pharmaceutical companies and doctors should pay more attention to testing. It is not sufficient to grab ten people off the street, ram them full of your new ‘wonder drug’ and hope for the best. Yes! I know its not that simple but you know what I mean.

I know it is a big headache for the drug companies because everyone’s physiology is different, and what may be good for one is no good for the other, but that doesn’t release them from their basic responsibility.

If, as in the case of the drugs mentioned in this report, certain medicines can interfere with brain function, then more thorough testing should have been done in this area, even if it involved a long term study. You cannot sell medicines that will eventually cause dementia or even death in patients.

A Pensioner's Lottery Ticket?

The trouble is of course, these days everything is driven by profit, and among pharmaceutical companies like all others, competition is fierce. They are constantly striving to be the first to bring out a new wonder drug, and I will be the first to admit they have changed the lives of a great many people. We live longer, even with deadly diseases like cancer because of this industry and naturally enough we are all thankful. In general they do a good job, but I have to say this new research leaves room for thought.

Roy.

The NHS – National Hospital Shambles

Posted in Britain, Budget Cuts, Conservative Party, David Cameron, England, Government, Government Spending, Health, Immigrants, Insanity, Liberal Party, Nick Clegg, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on 17/06/2011 by floroy1942

Says It All!

The British National Health Service (NHS) is without doubt the most disgusting, inefficient and money wasting enterprise in the UK. It is in too many areas badly managed, badly staffed and badly equipped for the times. In an ideal situation the whole edifice would be torn down and reorganized from the top down. Unfortunately, this is not possible.

There are of course good hospitals, and there are good doctors and nurses who do their best to provide care, comfort and relief, and by no means do I wish to belittle these people’s efforts, but the system is so broken their actions go mostly unnoticed.

The Numbers Don’t Lie!

We have tens of thousands of patients who go for treatment only to catch deadly diseases (MRSA) while in the hospital, more than two thousand of whom die (See graph). There are never enough nursing staff, and many of those that are there can barely speak english. Patients in pain, or who even just need a bedpan for example are ignored, and when a patient requests help staff are often rude.

Patients are left unattended for hours on end sometimes resulting in deaths. Mistakes are made during operations, equipment doesn’t work or is incorrectly calibrated, and as for dirt, its everywhere. Cleaning staff are among the most inefficient in the entire enterprise. The list goes on and on and no-one, not even the politicians, seems capable of fixing it.

Cameron Flogging A Dead Horse

David Cameron has been laying forth his plan for the NHS this last week but it will not fix any of the problems. When it comes to finding a cure for what ails our health serevice all governments (from both sides of the house) can come up with is; Let’s privatize!

Cameron on NHS reforms:

In the old days (Oh no, here he goes again) they didn’t have all the fancy instruments and machines they have today, they didn’t even have the level of knowledge, but patients didn’t die from hospital borne diseases, a nurse was always there when you needed one and the wards, operating theaters etc were so clean you could eat off the floor. Why was this? What has changed the system so drastically?

Matron And Her Charges

Well, for a start, if you were a nurse it was like being in the military because the old style Matron was ‘The General’! If she said “Jump” a nurse asked “How high”! In those days Matrons ruled their entire ward with a rod of iron, and woe betide any cleaner who missed a spot or a nurse who didn’t answer a patients call within 30 seconds. Mind you, they knew how to get troublesome patients back in line too so it wasn’t all rosy.

Sadly, these cornerstones on which the NHS rested were done away with when in 1967 the Salmon Report, which initiated restructuring of the NHS, was put into practice.

So what prompted this rant about the NHS? Well, I have to say it was a report I read in the news about a young mother and her baby who died in hospital due to neglect by the staff.

Queen’s Hospital Romford

The hospital in question is Queens Hospital in Romford east London. The young mother, Tebussem Ali (known as Serena) died in the maternity unit when staff failed to recognise she had a ruptured womb. When she complained to nurses about great pain, staff were rude and sarcastic to her, telling her to “stop being a drama queen” and to stop “behaving like a child”.

Serena And Her Husband Shortly Before She Died

Once it was discovered by medics she had a serious problem they could not find her notes. Resuscitation was attempted with an oxygen mask that was not even connected to a supply and it was Serena’a husband, Usman Javed, who noticed the error, but by then it was too late.

Of course the hospital issued the standard apology with the usual promises  (probably pre-printed) to improve the situation and now expect business as usual and the whole mess to go away, but it shouldn’t be allowed to just “Go Away”. Those to blame  should be fired, and others should have severe disciplinary action taken against them for the death of this young woman and her baby. It just isn’t good enough to say “Oh! We’re sorry” and everything gets flushed down the toilet. A young woman and her child are dead!

Saira And Daughter – A Close Call For Mother And Child At Queens

Saira And Daughter – A Close Call For Mother And Child At Queens

In 2010 Saira Chaudhri went to Queen’s maternity ward only to be told she was not in labour. After pleading with staff she was still told to go home but only reached the car park when someone noticed blood on her trousers. She was immediately rushed back in. It seems the machine they had used to measure her contractions had been faulty.

Earlier this year two midwives from the same hospital were ‘suspended’ after the death of a mother and her new born baby. Suspended? Not fired! The hospital administration should have ensured these two people never worked as midwives ever again!

These are just two cases and are far from isolated. This sort of thing  happens every day in our hospitals and sometimes its much worse.

A sample video of hospital errors:

Cleaning By Private Companies

Patients have left hospital, thankful they survived the experience, complaining of filthy wards, dirty beds and patients bed sheets not being changed when required, as well as disgraceful rudeness from nursing staff and many who cannot even speak english.

This language problem is the fault of the previous government who trolled the world, and in particular ex-colonies, for nursing staff to fill the yawning gap in NHS needs. Those recruiting these foreign nurses didn’t seem to attach much importance to the candidates being able to speak english. “You have a dodgy qualification as a nurse? Right, here’s your plane ticket!”

The Sharp End

The general situation has gotten so bad with the NHS, that the ‘sticking plaster’ approach of fixing the problems so favoured by politicians, just ain’t gonna work!

Probably the most important answer to these difficulties would be to bring back the Matrons, but sadly, they are all pensioners or have already passed on. I don’t think for one minute there is anyone around at the present time who could match up to the Matrons of old.

Looks Complicated Doesn’t It

But one essential move that could be made by Cameron and his crew is to get rid of all these bloody managers that infest the system  like a cancer (waste). Secondly, privatisation in all its forms should be done away with, especially in regard to hospital cleaning services (cleanliness). Thirdly, mandatory language training must begin for all foreign nationals working in the NHS (communication), and lastly, we need to start training our own people, doctors and nurses, to be the next generation of hospital staff (staff levels).

To me these actions will help solve many of our most pressing problems in the NHS, and I can’t see for the life of me why our stupid politicians cannot see it too.

For example, if you need an administrator, why not recruit from older nursing staff who know the system inside out. Why must it be someone who may be a good manager, but has never worked in a medical environment and therefore does not understand the problems.

Time For A Real Change

Other countries don’t have the problems in the health profession that we do, the only reason we must suffer this chaos is firstly the politicians make a balls-up whenever they get involved, and standards in our health institutions have dropped so low as to have left a hole in floor.

What to do? Find a government that will act responsibly in sorting out the problems by making the correct decisions! Well, its either that or some Whitehall chappie had better shove my post under the P.M’s nose! Huh! Some hopes!

Roy.

Falklands To Be Handed Over To Argentina?

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, Budget Cuts, Conservative Party, David Cameron, England, Government, Liberal Party, Nick Clegg, Obama, Parliament, President, Relationships, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 15/06/2011 by floroy1942

Not a pretty thought, but its coming unless the Argentinians are asleep!

Admiral ‘Sandy’ Woodward

In January I wrote about the affect the current defence review will have on the future of the Falklands, and this week my view has been vindicated by none other than Admiral Sandy Woodward, who led the task force that recaptured the islands after the Argentinian invasion in 1982.

Related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/will-the-current-defence-review-cost-britain-the-falklands/

The Harrier – Even Able To Operate from a Merchant Ship

That he and I are of a similar mind comes as no surprise when you look at what the defence review has done to the Royal Navy. The loss of our aircraft carriers and its fleet of Harrier jets must have caused jubilation in the halls of power in Buenos Aires.

With the substantial weakening of the navy the sole means of defence for the Falklands depends on approximately 1,000 RAF personnel and between 500 and 1.000 Army troops stationed at Mount Pleasant. There were until recently only four aging Tornado aircraft at the airfield, but according to politicians in Whitehall the islands can quickly be reinforced by air from the UK at short notice.

Bombers View of Port Stanley Airfield

Any idiot can see that one Argentine aircraft loaded with bombs could put the runway, and therefore the airfield, at Stanley out of commission, and these ‘reinforcements’ would be ditching in the sea, or crashing on land, when they ran out of fuel. Admiral Woodward made this point clearly. There can be little doubt that without the Royal Navy carrier force the islands are lost.

The most worrying, and sinister development, is that the American government now clearly backs the Argentine claim to the islands. This has nothing to do with the so-called ‘Special Relationship’ the politicians are always crowing about between the United States and Britain, which in my view is now just a sham and only exists for as long as it serves America’s interests. I think the American government look upon Britain as a pet puppy these days, good for a laugh, and occasionally useful re: Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Thatcher/Reagan Special Relationship

Even in 1982 their was much sympathy for the Argentine position in America, but the special relationship (which was then real) between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Regan overruled the general consensus of opinion and top politicians adopted a neutral stance over the issue.

Today we have the Obama administration, and their idea of ‘the relationship’ is different.

At last weeks meeting of the Organisation of American States the USA representative signed a statement supporting Argentine’s claim to the islands calling them ‘The Malvina’s’, which is the Argentine name for the islands. So it is clear which way America will vote.

Clinton at the OAS Conference:

The Falklands Supply Chain

This is a major problem if (read when) Argentina invade again because the Ascension Islands, halfway between Britain and the Falklands, are a vital resupply and fuelling point for any task force, and its an American base. Obviously, refusal by the American’s to allow use of their base would effectively cut off completely any attempt by Britain to regain the islands if we see a repeat of the 1982 invasion. And naturally, that is not counting the fact that we no longer have a carrier force. To put it bluntly, the Royal Navy no longer has the capacity to defend the Falklands !

True, there are plans to build a new force of modern carriers, but the first is not due to be commissioned until 2020, so Argentina has the next nine years in which to invade and consolidate their position in the Falklands. It is fairly certain that should this happen the USA will back the action.

But why? The answer is oil!

Where the black gold is concerned no-one, especially the American’s, have little consideration for anything else, let alone United Nations Resolution 2065 from 1965 which still stands. Item 1 (paraphrased) reads: “bearing in mind……. the interests of the population of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas);”

Read it for yourself if you wish:

http://www.falklands.info/history/resolution2065.html

I was happy to hear the Prime Minister confirm in the House of Commons that the Falklands would remain British so long as the islanders wished it. Needless to say, this statement did not go down too well in Argentina.

It was discovered some time ago that there are massive oil and natural gas reserves  under the ocean close to the islands. There can be little doubt that America wants a piece of the ‘pie’, and what better way to get it than be ‘buddy’s’ with Argentina who for sure will be happy to hand over drilling rights in return for the islands. The USA will get the oil and gas and the Argentinians will also get rich from the revenue’s.

British Falklanders – And Proud Of It!

So you see, now the Argentinians have the backing of the USA, they will have nothing to fear on the world stage when they invade again, so  everyone will be happy, except that is for Britain, and the Falkland islanders.

All nice and neat, well, for everyone except us that is! For not only will our country have been humiliated on the world stage, but the Falklanders will have lost their identity, and we will have lost our share of the wealth lying under the southern atlantic ocean. What price the ‘special relationship then’?

I sincerely hope someone points all this out to our present coalition government!

 Roy.

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