24 hours of privatised culture, Olympic London, and private health.

New Health Secretary Mr Fug Schmucker arrives at Downing Street to receive his bonus

So I bought our privatised, more-choice, off-peak super-value return rail tickets which came to £130. On the train, we drank two drinks and munched a pack of crisps that came to £7.10. Two 1-day Tube travel cards, £14.80, one MRI scan £1,785, one hamburger + nachos + sandwich + a litre of bottled water £28.70. We weren’t even at the hotel yet.

One standard twin double room £178.50, breakfast not included, one white-wine spritzer £11.30, 24 hours of Internet £15.00. Pint of beer and pack of Nobby’s Nuts, £5.60

Thirty minutes with a neurological consultant £175. He helped us take the decision to spend £7,000 on an epidural fluid procedure.

Ten minutes on a packed*, noisy Tube system at 7.30 am on a Saturday – with bellowing robots telling us every 3 minutes there was a good service on all Tube lines, £8.60.

Sandwiches and soft drinks at Waterloo for the journey home, £18.90.

Grand total over 24 hours for getting about, getting well, and getting a decent night’s sleep: £9,378.50

*Trust me, the occupants weren’t going on holiday: the absence of luggage and profusion of designer workwear (‘Mayfair Construction Ltd’, ‘Arbrand Hotels’, ‘G4S’) seemed to me evidence of the fact that they were all off to work. At that time on a Saturday forty years ago, the Tubes were empty. With or without its help, the Troika’s 13-day week is rapidly coming true.

Suggested Ed Miliband queries for the next PMQs session.

1. Could the Prime Minister run to a set of teeth for the Rail travel watchdog?

2. Does the Government have any research about what impression was gained of London by visitors both during the Olympics and over the summer as a whole? If not, why not?

3. Once all the NHS Trusts have gone bust due to funds starvation, does the Government have a plan as to how uninsurable 55+ patients with chronic conditions will be able to afford healthcare?

4. Can the Prime Minister explain why ordinary British citizens are taking 7% less of the national wealth than they were twelve years ago, but at the lowest end are working longer hours for less money? Then when he’s finished on that, Ed will have a go at explaining why most of it happened on his boss Gordon Brown’s watch.

5. Could we see some definitive statistics – now all the final, last-minute cock-up Olympic costs are in, and the London economy is returning to some form of normality – to show how many if any of the wild claims for uplift and payback made by Kulturistassar Hunt and Gauleiter Johannson bear any relationship to the truth? In short, how much did it cost and how much will we get back?

6. When will the new Health Warning Secretary come before this House and explain, alongside his colleague the Home Secretary, (a) what their strategy for controlling the corrosive spread of Class A drugs in our Brave New Society might be, and (b) how the NHS will cope with a UK population in excess of seventy million?

If we just for one day cancelled the arse-licking, back-biting, time-wasting format of PMQs, and concentrated instead on these and other simple, damning queries, things would perhaps get more interesting for the 2 in 5 Brits who currently don’t bother to vote.

And if the Prime Minister was forced to answer every question with a direct answer or a don’t know, we could wrap up the whole thing in half the time with twice the effectiveness.

Earlier: Invasion of the body-politic snatchers

27 thoughts on “24 hours of privatised culture, Olympic London, and private health.

  1. Without wanting to make light of what are obviously serious medical concerns, I would just note that HM Treasury should award you the good citizen of the day gong on account of the £1,560 you contributed to their VAT coffers and a truly herculial effort to stimulate the GOROB (Good old rip-off Britain) economy with no expense spared.

    I hope the medical costs are money well spent. You have our good wishes.


  2. Thank you, John, for expressing what it is like to use the tube and rail system. It’s simply state-sponsoered theft and the experience is always awful.

    I have heard it said that Labour is simply thinking of playing one flagship card at the next election: re-nationalise rail.

    I don’t know if it is doable, if it would bring prices down or if it would take years to do because of the length of the contracts, but I really do think it would carry Milibrain into Downing Street, becuase it is such a huge and awful part of people’s everyday lives.

    It really would be worth a lot of votes in the south east with people who don’t even like Labour. They are simply being bled white through rail and tube costs and I think they would do anything to stop the financial bleeding, even if it meant voting for DreadEd.

    As to the Health Service, it seems only interested in foreign mothers and health tourists.

    QE and the NHS should kill off the upstart pensioners.


  3. And when will the PM (or whoever wants to get his teeth into the task) decalre the use common sense legal again. I only mention this because the majority of so called authorities I come across (and totally ignore) deem it to be anarchy.


  4. Could equally be GOROF (France). Earlier this year at the 6 nations England v France match in Paris we paid €54 for 2 beers and 2 croque monsieur (aka cheese toastie) and €17 for a pint of Guinness. Obviously, as observed here ad nauseum, greed knows no boundaries be, they moral or geographical.


  5. Whilst I have a considerable amount of empathy with your views there are times when you should put aside the Pernod and have a little sleep.


  6. One of the points here – our new NHS minister and the move to there from culture…………that is it, when the figures come in then the ‘new’ minister will be able to blame his predesessor (nothing to do with me gov) for the whole problem and therefore not have to resign. The predesessor will have been busy getting to grips with his new role and it will be inappropriate to move (or sack) him……….full confidence in etc etc etc ad nauseum, once again !


  7. Sweet sister sadie. I suspect you could have paid roundtrip airfare to Thailand, gone to the best hospital here, and actually saved money. Especially on the snacks.

    My mom had a night in the hospital, an MRI, minor cosmetic surgery, several consults with a neurologist, and was doted on by a flock of nurses. ER wait time: two minutes. Total cost less than $800 US. Something to think about perhaps.


  8. Sadly, OAH, I never feel money is wellspent when it tells me something I knew already, the consultant arrives forty minutes late, and I don’t get any of my questions answered.
    The fundamentalists on each side of the NHS debate always fail to spot the flaw in both systems: doctors.


  9. And when the unions or workers strike to pay for all of this,they will shout uncompetitive,when they are forced to pay higher insurance premiums they will lay people off,ho ho ho
    they keep shooting themselves in the foot
    John why little about the strikers shot in British interest,but a great deal about a couple shot in the Alps( in no way belittling the act)


  10. ‘The fundamentalists on each side of the NHS debate always fail to spot the flaw in both systems: doctors.’
    Indeed they do. At our cost unfortunately. Both in healthcare and in monetary cost.


  11. So many points could be made here: first brief one on a comment above – isn’t health treatment (apart from cosmetic surgery for personal vanity) zero-rate?

    If you strip out the £8960 for the scan, epidural and consultant, I don’t think you did too badly at £400 for a return trip to London and overnight stay. What’s wrong with the good old NHS – don’t they do MRI scans any more where you live? Some place in York is advertising them for £200 anyway.

    I’ve just arranged to have one done privately, mindst. My GP made a referral to the neuro-surgical consultant on the NHS which was a farce: (await ‘choose and book’ letter to arrive, then find you can only ring, not do it by internet, email, SMS, etc and there is actually no ‘choice’, so after I give her the secret ‘password’, the departmental secretary says they will send me an appointment letter in due course but waiting for appointments was currently three months anyway); I then got a letter a few weeks later saying they would NOT make an appointment because new policy is that they only make appointments for people who have already had an MRI scan. Return to GP – “can you organise an MRI scan?” GP: “Have you got Private Health Insurance?”

    If it doesn’t get sorted soon, I’m going to turn up at the local A&E wearing a burka and demand immediate treatment. If they ask for proof of entitlement, I’ll flash some left-over foreign currency at them. That should do it, don’t you think?


  12. Oh, forgot to post this (from a similar link on the DT website this morning):

    Now, does this sound familiar, at all ???? The first name that sprung to mind was Mandelson, followed swiftly by Bliar, but in truth there are probably many thousands of bureaucrats, most in local authorities, quangos and government-contracted companies (think A4e and G4s) who are doing exactly this.


  13. The ECB may have only 500 tons of gold but the EU members hold 12,000 tons compared with the US ‘s 8,000 tons, supposedly. China is headed for 10,000 tons by 2020 or so when its currency will become convertible under Article 8 of the IMF..


  14. JW What a depressing scenario- assume the NHS waiting list for the scan is prohibitively long?

    I suppose you have exhausted “alternative’ things such as cranial chiropractic (which gets the CSF pump working efficiently), or they aren’t felt to be appropriate. Let’s hope the MRI settles it.

    All the very best to you and Mrs Slog.


  15. @MM know the problem well. The only thing to be said for it is that your condition is unlikely to be life-threatening else they’d have you in like a shot. (That of course, is not to say that it wouldnt have become life-threatening by the time you got to the front of the NHS queue).


  16. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Hunt forces ‘lobbied for Health appointment three months ago’. | A diary of deception and distortion

  17. So that’s their dastardly plan eh? Get it so 4 out of 5 brits don’t bother to vote [roughly the UK indigenous population in 5 years] then keep the immigrants happy enough to vote them in each time.

    Clever stuff, it will work as well………


  18. When people refuse to pay such stupid prices then they will go down. But while people just moan and pay they’ll keep charging. Isn’t that a consumer led market or something?

    I would not have paid that, no fricking way.


  19. Pingback: John Ward – Exclusive – Hunt Forces ‘Lobbied For Health Appointment Three Months Ago’ – 9 September 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  20. Pingback: Sleaze is dead. Long live ‘Open for business’. | A diary of deception and distortion

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