Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

MODERN TIMES: the Dinosaur Column

In Dinosaur on January 30, 2015 at 12:51 pm


I read with some interest the claim made in The Times newspaper that David Cameron “failed to understand” what the Tory’s Health and Social Care legislation was all about. A little electric light bulb went on in my head. Ah, indeed, I thought. That explains a lot.

It explains, for example, why Gove managed to get away with wrecking the education system. Or even why Ian Duncan Smith has managed to wreak havoc with so many people’s lives. Basically we have a Prime Minister who’s not fit to be in charge. Cameron not only appoints zealots to posts where they can do most damage, but is also incapable of managing joined up thinking. As PMs go he shows a degree of ineptitude that’s staggering.

Cameron made a pre-election pledge not to mess about with our NHS.  It was safe in his hands, he declared. And then what did he do? He put Andrew Rawnsley in charge of Health who had his own half-baked agenda.  As for putting Michael Gove in charge of education, that was like giving a bull responsibility for a china shop.

Meanwhile, Ian Duncan Smith runs his own little fiefdom – euphemistically labelled as dealing with “social welfare”.  He’s responsible for cutting and slicing away at the living standards of the most vulnerable people in our society. He’s responsible, directly or indirectly, for the rise in homelessness and the arrival in Britain of Food Banks.

It’s true that Cameron finally sacked both Rawnsley and Gove but only after the damage had been done. And their policies live on. But not Duncan Smith. After all, who is there to stand up for the poor and needy?  Only a few “bleeding heart” pressure groups and compassionate clergymen. Nothing for the Tory faithful to worry about.


There may be a band of strident Asda supporters up in Cinderford who’d dearly love to have an Asda store perched balefully on the edge of their town – but there are those who work for this US-owned giant who have different opinions.

I came across one news item recently about Asda facing “mass legal action” from thousands of women workers at the store who claim they’re facing pay discrimination.

Women working in Asda supermarkets declare that they’ve been paid less than their male colleagues working in the company’s distribution centres. The women claim that they do work of a similar value. What it boils down to is that men take produce off shelves in warehouses and put them into delivery lorries, whilst those working in the supermarkets do the reverse.

Asda management, of course, deny any discrimination.


Nuclear energy, it seems, is costly in more ways than one.

Our Government has been criticised by the European Commission for failing to disclose all the costs involved in the building of our first new nuclear power station since the 1990s.  That’s the monster that’s been given the go-ahead at Hinkley Point down on the Somerset coast.

It’s being built by the French energy giant EDF, at an estimated cost (so far) of £16 billion. It’s so costly that the Government have promised a minimum fee for the electricity that will be generated, to ensure that EDF manage to make a nice little profit. And that, it seems, is a fixed deal.

But the European Commission believes that there are other hidden costs involved. For example, what about the ongoing cost of storing nuclear waste? That doesn’t come cheap.  Or the expense of dismantling the plant when it comes to the end of its productive life? On past reckoning, that could be as little as thirty years.

But never mind, eh? Someone else will have to deal with that problem, won’t they?



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