Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

DINOSAUR: Modern Times

In Dinosaur on April 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm


Stuck precariously as we are on the border between Wales and England, I was intrigued to read an item recently on the appeal of moving across the Wye into the county of Monmouth. Or, indeed, even further afield in Wales if that takes your fancy.

According to a piece in the “i” newspaper, one attraction is the health care system. The pernicious Health & Social Care Act, introduced by the ConDem Government, doesn’t apply over the border. The Welsh NHS spends (on average) £100 more per person than it does in England. Prescriptions are free – and there’s even free hospital car parking.

It seems that it was this that persuaded the folks who live in the English village of Audlem (nine miles from the Welsh border) to hold an online referendum on whether to join Wales. 60 per cent of those taking part voted yes.

Of course, the NHS in Wales still has its problems, but it’s a system enjoyed by many Clarion readers who live on the other side of the Wye valley. And none of them so far have contacted the Clarion to tell us that they’d prefer the English health care system.

Gun law – US style

Somewhere that I really wouldn’t want to move to, though, is the town of Nelson, in the state of Georgia, USA. The council there recently approved a proposal weirdly called “the Family Protection Act”. This would make it compulsory for every household in the community to own a gun.

I kid you not. It seems that it may not be enforced – but what kind of message does this send in the wake of that tragic school massacre that took place in the US only a few months ago? Already there’s another town in the state of Georgia that forces residents to own firearms – a place called Kennesaw. It seems that in certain parts of America (particularly the deep south), the right not to bear arms just doesn’t apply.

Finding Cameron:

I was interested in a letter in one newspaper recently, bemoaning the state of the roads in the rural county of Oxfordshire. Potholes it seems are proliferating and many motorists are suffering a bumpy ride. And they don’t like it.

It goes on to point out that David Cameron has a house in the county. “the road that goes past it is a quiet country lane. It has been resurfaced from end to end.”

So, if anyone wants to find out where our PM lives, follow the one pristine rural road in the county!

Incidentally, I wonder how many spare bedrooms there are in Cameron’s country home?

Suffer the children…

Do you remember a recent piece in the Clarion about the number of schools offering breakfasts to kids who were turning up with empty stomachs – because their parents couldn’t give them any sustenance to start the day?

Well, sadly, because of spending cuts, over twenty schools have now had to abandon their “breakfast clubs”. According to a survey of teachers, it was thought that many cash-strapped parents were relying on the school to feed their children at the start of the day.

The “slash and burn” policies being pursued by Cameron and Osborne are in danger of blighting the future of an entire generation.

Public opinion – by telephone poll

According to a new poll reported in the newspapers, the ConDem government is still “more trusted to handle the economy” than Labour.

My first reaction when I read that was to wonder, “what planet do some people live on? Have we become a nation of masochists?!” And then I thought, no. It’s based on one of these unsolicited phone calls that so many of us suffer from. You know, the ones that are trying to sell us something like double glazing, or ask “have you got time to answer a few questions…?”

If you’re anything like me, you may well say, “not today thanks”, and put the receiver down. Or make up some excuse off the top of your head, like, “I’m sorry, I’m just going out” or “No, I can’t, the cat’s just been sick all over the carpet.”

No, I don’t trust polls over the phone. And I’d never regard them as representative of what people are really thinking.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: