Saturday, December 18, 2021

Our NHS - the envy of the world

Our new multi-million pound GP surgery in Broadway, Worcestershire, might be a marvellous new facility - as long as you don't want to see a GP. Getting a face-to-face appointment is impossible. 

As a result, I wrote a review on the NHS website about the New Barn Close Surgery:

If you want to see a doctor, go elsewhere. If you are thinking of being ill, go elsewhere. If you want to see a nice new building but no GPs, this is the place for you.

In case anyone might think reviews on a website run by the NHS might somehow be uncensored, I received the following email this morning:


Thank you for taking the time to leave a review for Barn Close Surgery  on the NHS website.

Unfortunately, we are unable to publish your review as it does not contain enough information regarding your experience at the service.

See our comments policy.

Please provide more details about what you liked or disliked about the service, including the reasons you have come to this conclusion. 

Consider adding as much information as possible to help assist others in making decisions about their choice of provider or allow the provider to take the feedback and use it in a constructive way.

Kind regards,

The NHS website ratings and reviews team


The ratings and reviews team are unable to offer health advice. For life threatening or emergency medical issues please dial 999. For other urgent medical concerns, please dial 111, or visit

Review reference number: 1190242 


Monday, November 01, 2021

The NHS is a national disgrace


‘Our’ National Health Service is a national disgrace.
Our overpaid, lazy, part-time doctors won’t see us face to face,
They prefer to fob you off with a random telephone call
Which takes place at a time of their choosing if it takes place at all.
In the queue at the supermarket when you’ve gone down the shops,
With a basket filled with baked beans, biscuits and lamb chops,
Your doctor will call you and make you explain
In front of an interested crowd of people where exactly you feel the pain,
Why you have these embarrassing lumps
And what is leaving you so down in the dumps.
When they have finished they’ll no doubt fob you off
With a pill and some tests and something for that cough,
Then they’ll get into their personal-registered four-by-four
While the BMA campaigns for more money, more, more more.

And this was written before it took an ambulance almost 24 hours to collect a friend who needed to go into hospital.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Planning for disaster?

Is Michael Gove going to row back on the Government’s plans to concrete over the countryside? He should do if he wants the Conservatives to win the next election.

The disco-dancing, nerdy new Secretary of State for Everything Important to Re-election has supposedly been told to do something to stop property developers decimating this green and pleasant land.

First off, he’ll have to abandon the Tories’ proposals to deny locals any say in what happens in their back yard and drop the idea that local councils are ordered to build X-thousand new homes whether they like it or not.

Sadly, even if the Government does trim its sails a bit and refuse to provide a blank cheque for property developers, not much will change because the planning system itself is in the hands of bureaucrats who will ensure it cannot change.

The local authority ‘experts’, the planning lawyers, the civil service command-and-control policy and the developers themselves will ensure nothing really puts the brakes on a rotten and corrupt system.

Yes, we need more homes (though we need fewer of them now most EU migrants have gone back home again). Yes, they need to be affordable for young people. And yes, they might as well be as environmentally-friendly as possible.

This can be achieved by re-purposing redundant town centres, unwanted office blocks and abandoned factories. It’s just a bit harder for the developers to do that and there may be a little less money to be made.

But the alternative of ploughing up the Green Belt is worse. And if Mr Gove does not realise that then he need only remember the Chesham and Amersham by-election when the seat was won by the Liberal Democrats with 57 per cent of the vote on a swing from the Conservatives of 25 per cent.


Monday, July 26, 2021

Sky rugby - the cliché of the Titans

 An idiot’s guide to commentating on the Lions tour if you work for Sky TV. All you need to do is repeat these meaningless and increasingly irritating phrases at irregular intervals throughout each game:

1.      The get-go
2.      Asking questions
3.      Set down markers
4.      Hard yards
5.      Worth the admission fee alone (especially when the stadium is empty)
6.      Hard-wired into the Springbok DNA
7.      Nobody said it was going to be easy
8.      Carry/carries
9.      Moving through the gears
10.  Grab the game by the scruff of the neck
11.  Sensing the scent of blood
12.  Half-time oranges
13.  It’s not rocket science
14.  Asking more questions
15.  The next score is absolutely crucial
16.  The game was always go to the wire (sic)
17.  His go-to man
18.  Arm-wrestle
19.  Questions being asked (again)
20.  Game of two halves
And here’s one comment almost worth the admission fee alone:
‘He’s absolutely hoofed that into the Sheriff of Carmarthen’s honker.’