I found myself remembering old times as I read Facebook this morning. One of the NHS-related Facebook pages I follow was having the same tired old argument about the pay rates of NHS staff. Some were ranting about why NHS staff sit back and take it and were advocating wholesale strikes. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) working for the NHS doesn’t generally appeal to the sort of worker who goes on strike. Whenever there has been any talk of industrial action in the past, the first thing to be organised is cover for those going on strike, which rather defeats the object of the exercise, doesn’t it? I was part of an NHS strike nearly forty years ago. We staged a sit-in in the works canteen in the (now demolished) Royal East Sussex Hospital, and having been on strike for exactly one hour we all went back to work… and went home late having made up for all that we’d not done during the hour’s strike.
There were picket lines at the (now demolished) Royal East Sussex Hospital manned by nurses who all loudly advocated solidarity, and who all went back to work having accepted the (relatively) huge pay rise given to the nurses whilst the rest of us got sod all.
There was also once a picket line at the (now demolished) Ashford Hospital as well. I only remember the one. Everyone was standing around minding their own business when a coach load of miners turned up to “express their solidarity with the nurses”. Some of the miners then assaulted the bored policeman who had been watching the picket, and following that, everyone abandoned the picket line and all went home. I’ve often wondered if that coach really had been full of miners or if it had all been a set-up.
In any event, “solidarity” in the NHS is a bit of a joke. There are “doctors and nurses” and there is “all the other little people” and I know which camp I am in.
I sent out birthday wishes to two friends, then had a little look at my emails. Ironically the NHS Jobs Vacancy Service told me of quite a few openings and opportunities for blood testers.
Seeing the weather forecast had been wrong (again) I took Treacle up to the park. It was rather cold, and as we walked we saw a gaggle of schoolchildren out and about doing something or other. Whatever it was, they all had a worksheet to ensure that any fun was well and truly sucked out of whatever the outing was all about. Fifty years ago I used to have those. Whenever we went anywhere from school we had to complete an incredibly dull worksheet which (I am sure) was purely to keep us quiet.
With walk walked I scraped the mud off of “er indoors TM”’s walking boots, plungered the bath plug hole and played a round or two of “Worms” then set off on the business of the day.
I drove down to Folkestone to collect “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” and Pogo and, pausing only briefly to get her mother some flowers from Tesco, we went to the vet. Pogey’s allergy problem seems to have resolved itself, and his diet is going well; he’s lost a kilogram.
We then dropped flowers and Pogo at home (as he’s coming on holiday with us next week) and found ways to waste a couple of hours. We had a KFC lunch, then had a look at water features in Dobbies. I got some ideas for future projects, then we went round to Bybrook Barn where we made nuisances of ourselves in the shoe department before heading back to the Eureka park for McMilkShakes.
We then went up to the hospital for scans and seemingly endless waiting for midwives, then I drove the most recent fruit of my loins (and the granddaughter she is baking) back to Folkestone.
I came home via Sainsburys where I got some shopping and petrol, then came home where I set the washing machine going and did some more ironing whilst watching episodes of “Trailer Park Boys” in which Ricky was again having troubles with his brain. But being “a word of his man” he decided to “keep his friends close and his enemy’s toaster”.
I also watched a few minutes of channel 5’s “National Treasure, National Disgrace” which dished the dirt on disgraced celebrities Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and Gary Glitter. All sorts of people from the entertainment industry were wheeled on to say just how evil these celebrities had been…
I’m in no way defending them, but I can’t help but think that the main national disgrace here is why these people kept quiet about the criminal abuse for so many years.
“er indoors TM” came home rather late – she’d been talking to the kitchen people about our plans for a new kitchen. Being rather late she asked if I fancied KFC for dinner. Two helping of the stuff did for my diet today.