Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

Archive for March, 2017|Monthly archive page

Modern Times: The Dinosaur Column

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

dinosaur Trump’s northern neighbours:

It seems that since the results of the US presidential election were confirmed, Canada has been overwhelmed by Americans applying for entry permits. There’s been quite a back log building up. Like wild geese in the Spring time, they want to head north. But in their case they want to do it permanently.

I can’t say that I blame them. As one dinosaur who’s managed to make many visits to the land of the maple leaf, I can confirm that Canadians are (on the whole) affable, helpful and hospitable.  After a somewhat mixed history, the country has blended in to a homogeneous whole, where many different cultures and indigenous languages rub shoulders in mutual tolerance.

Another approach that’s currently being suggested by some Canadians on social media is that US states that voted against Trump (such as California, Oregon and Washington) should secede from the union and become Canadian provinces.  Well, it’s a thought to play with!

Corbyn…  “dragged off the street”??

In case any readers fancied having a love-in with any member of the Clinton family, it’s worth noting the remarks made recently by former president (and Hillary’s husband) Bill Clinton.

He was talking about the left wing surge we witnessed in Bernie Sanders’ campaign for  the US presidency, plus the election of a left-wing party in Greece. Turning to Britain, he declared that Labour had just “got a guy off the street” to run the party.

“When people feel they’ve been shafted, they just want the maddest person in the room to represent them,” he concluded.

As they say, no comment.

Making money on the after dinner speeches circuit:

In case any readers were wondering what had happened to David Cameron since he packed his bags and left Downing Street, it’s now been revealed.

It wasn’t that he had nowhere to go – or indeed needed a little extra cash.  But it seems he’s topping up his financial reserves with a spot of public speaking  – and those who come along to listen to our former PM pay through the nose for the privilege.

Anyone who’d like to hear about his experiences as PM, or alternatively his views on Brexit, may find that he’s charging up to £120,000 for an hour’s speech.  It works out at roughly two thousand quid a minute.

He’s not the only ex-politician to go in for this kind of thing, of course. The best known to do the circuits was Tony Blair. Along with his so-called consultancy and advisory work he’s managed to build up a nice little nest egg of several million.

Have you got your passport?

I spotted a headline in the Daily Mail the other day, quoting a “mandarin” who was proposing that in future all patients seeking hospital treatment should have to present their passports before being allowed entry (let alone treatment).

This, we’re told, would cut down on “health tourism” from all the Johnny Foreigners who’re flocking to the UK to make use of our National Health Service.

It’s of course a typical Daily Mail story. And like many others from that august source it does beg a number of questions. First, what would happen if you didn’t have a passport? Not everyone in our neck of the woods has one tucked away. And, secondly, why would all these “foreigners” want to flock to Britain to use our hospitals?  Since 2010 the NHS has been facing a steady drain on its resources, which have resulted in a devastating impact on hospital front line services. Many overseas visitors would benefit from better treatment back in their own countries (despite the hard work and dedication of hospital doctors and nurses in Britain).

And, lastly, where’s the milk of human kindness in all this? Don’t we have a duty to help others in their hour of medical need?