Monday, 18 January 2016

Monday Snippets

With the junior doctors’ strike in the news, I came across this on Facebook from a UK friend, and I totally concur. A number of Junior Doctors have already left the medical profession to work as bankers and consultants in the City; others are considering emigrating to work as doctors in Australia or New Zealand.

At present also hours are monitored, and hospitals fined for breaches. This system is to be scrapped. Also to note is that people are not just a junior doctor for a fleeting period after qualifying; this makes up a substantial chunk of their career – sometimes a decade, and often stretching late into their 30s, with student loan debts to repay.

It's Sunday morning and I am preaching to the choir but why can't we be the country that pays our doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, mental health workers, our teachers, our fire-fighters, police officers and paramedics a decent wage and treats that them like the decent human beings that they are?

Why can't we train young men and women to travel the world, meet interesting and different people, and get them to build clean water and sanitation systems rather than bombing their hospitals?

Why can't we re-open the sort of art schools that David Bowie and Alan Rickman went to and send a new generation of under-privileged kids to them and wait to witness the wonders they will produce?

This is not party political. Governments of both hues have shown no interest in the above. We know what their agenda is. The pursuit of the mighty dollar, and a dollar that they will somehow excuse the corporations from paying tax on.

We’re still one of the richest countries in the world. Can’t we be a better one?

Looking at Guernsey now - and have we heard something similar in Jersey to this letter by Rod Hamon? It certainly rings a lot of bells with me! Lack of money to help pensioners - and how soon before our States members get a pay rise like their Guernsey counterparts? Cut the States members to 20 and pay them double? Didn't we hear that the other week in Jersey? And as for "nodding dog" syndrome, we've seen a lot of that among States members newly elected!

There are some exceptions - and I have been impressed by Rod Bryans ability to listen and create consensus with the public, and with Peter Mac following his conscience even when it seems to disagree with the Council of Minister's line on the matter.

But for every Peter Mac, there is a Murray Norton, taking the Council line on TV licences, means tested Christmas bonuses etc. And for every Rod Bryans, there is an Andrew Green, whose ability to engage with the public is non-existent - witness the mess on the closure of the Limes, and the antagonistic stance on the People's Park as a proposed site for the hospital.

So we have no money in the pot to help any needy people on the island. We have no extra money to give to pensioners, and we have to make cutbacks everywhere to balance the books. Yet the States deputies can look at giving themselves another rise in pay.

I am sorry to say that most, and by that I mean at least 95% of the deputies who came into the States four years ago, have reneged on the people who voted them in.

They have jumped on the bandwagon and become a load of vultures with not a lot of (if any) interest in correcting the mess the island is in.

No government in the world is totally open and transparent, and ours falls a long way down the ladder when it comes to transparency. Why not be honest and open from the start?

Why not make the rule now that any person wishing to stand for election to the States has to declare their business interests. We would then know who is speaking to push and gain for their own ends.

It would be interesting if the Press printed the manifestos of each deputy currently in the States (say a couple a week) and we could see how much these individuals have stuck to their word. No – you guys do not deserve any rises in pay, you take more than enough now.

And to cut the number of deputies and split the extra wages split between the rest does not cut any ice with anyone who has an ounce of common sense. I am afraid the pattern has been set. As long as there are people who have never lived hand-to-mouth voted into politics the poor will suffer.

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