Happy Days


Social Don’t Care Bill.

Nine words of nothing. That is the sum total of what the Government had to say in last weeks Queens speech about social care. A shameful betrayal of frail older people, but, no different to what has been going on for years. Nor is it just the fault of this Government or this political party.

The rising cost of care for the rapidly rising population of older people has been foreseen and ignored for decades. It is social problem which nobody will face up to. Not just the politicians, but also the institutions, the regulators, the media and ultimately old people themselves and their relatives.

There are plenty of solutions put forward :- more training for careers; better pay for care staff; tougher regulation of poor quality standards; the list is endless. The big but, is that they all amount to a lot more money and nobody can agree who pays !

The starting position of most discussion begins with the assumption that older people who need care should not have to sell their homes to pay for care. That is precisely the wrong place to start and only guarantees there will be no solution. The fact is that there are trillions of pounds locked up in older peoples homes, which could easily pay for good quality home care or residential care.
That is not to advocate the current forms of equity release, which I believe are restrictive and ridiculously expensive. However, the Government could facilitate payment for care and retrospectively charge for care secured against an older persons house.

It would take a bold leader to suggest this and I doubt we have politicians of that standing any more. It would be a move as significant as the setting up of the NHS

Posted in Care Funding | 9 Comments

Milk and Less

We have had our milk delivered to the doorstep every day for the last forty years. A reliable faithful service provided without any fuss or hesitation. Also trust that you would pay at the end of the week. A socially distanced service before anyone had heard of Coronapop. A short handwritten note left in the evening could amend the order and have it on your doorstep, before you are awake the next day. Even better than Amazon Prime and no flurry of Emails or extra delivery costs !

Of course the middle of the night deliverers have changed over the years. Mr. Robinson – our original milkman – retired after a long career never seeing his customers, but trusted and valued by all of them. Since then we have had a steady succession of milkmen still with the same everyday service. A few things have changed – Mr Robinson’s silent, electric milk float was ahead of its time, tip- toeing through the night with no carbon footprint, later it was replaced by a diesel version. We didn’t know about climate change back then, but the cows have a lot to answer for.
The service was enhanced with orange juice and eggs …. and bottled water……….and bread ….. and even more things at Christmas. Every house got a Christmas card and the milkman got a tip.
Sadly it’s a fairytale without a happy ending. Along came a corporate business with great ambitions – Why not take over all the small milkmen? – and create a UK-wide milk empire. Call it “ Milk and More”. Economies of scale; bulk purchase of goods; widen the product offer; centralise the back office administration. I’m not sure Mr. Robinson ever had a back office.
It all went well for a while – there were printed colour glossy brochures of the enhanced product range; the occasional free gift to introduce new lines and even TV adverts ! The administration of all this became more complex and much less personal. The back office was a long way from the front line.

The somebody in the back office had an idea of how to simplify the payment system and get rid of all the small change and notes on the door step. Go on-line with orders a get customers to pay by direct debit. Just one problem – the back office staff had never ever met any customers, so they didn’t know that lots of them were elderly and didn’t trust computers, even if they were on-line in the first place; nor did they like the remoteness of direct debits.
Cancel the milk today was the final note on the doorstep.

That is how “Milk and More” became “Milk and Less”.


Spring back to life.

It appears that Coronapop has got into WordPress, because somehow I have whole new new and different publishing system and no explanation of where it came from or how to use it.

This cartoon about sums up where I am right now with WordPress.

Where did these different font sizes come from?    One minute the fonts are big, next they are little, then without me touching anything they have gone back to normal.    Grrrr!

Coronapop has got into the algorithm gubbins,  I know it has !    Wordpress needs a vaccination against bugs.    Where do I stick the needle in my IPad.  I could happily do it ! 

All I need is to get back to my old publishing system. I understood that !



The New Rules

We have all got so used to the Coronapop rules these days.    Therefore, to keep society in order and free from viruses forever, it would be a good idea to continue with them for the foreseeable future or longer.       Of course they should be simplified and harmonised across all nations of the UK.

  • To make Scotland feel more part of the Union, everybody throughout the UK should wear tartan kilts from now on.     Upkilting will be strictly banned !    
  • To include the  Northern Irish community everyone will be required to parade up and down their local streets every Friday waving banners and shouting ( quietly).   Rock throwing will only be allowed after 5 o’clock.    Only diesel cars can be set alight.
  • To appease the Welsh nationalists, Welsh will become the adopted language throughout the UK.    Road signs throughout the UK will be re-languaged and all towns will begin with  “Llan”.   Travel will still be limited to 12 miles a day until every single person agrees to be vaccinated against Coronapop.

In honour of this momentous declaration of national unity, Prime Minister Bodj has decided to re name himself as Paddy Jock Taff Bodj. Although this will be shortened to PJT in cabinet meetings. Just using initials seems to be catching on.

On his travels around the RE-UNITED KINGDOM the Prime Minister will use the name “Jock Bodj” in Scotland, “Paddy Bodj” in Ireland and “Taff Bodj” in Wales. Bodj is sure this will go down well. He is still thinking about England, maybe he will stick to “Boris”?

To keep things simple, the only other rule is that there will be more rules.




Tagged | 8 Comments

LLLP Daft Ideas for Scotland

The local election season is nearly upon us and all sorts of aspiring politicians will be putting forward their thoughts on how they will change the world.   So the Last Laugh Looney Party is  floating a few random proposals to see if any might be taken up.    Starting with Bonny Scotland.

Since the establishment of regional Governments, the Scottish Parliament has been a persistent irritation in the UK.      What’s more they have had the benefits of the Barmy formula, which gives them more money per person than the rest of the UK.      And yet they still bang on about leaving the Union and joining the European Disunion.       How ungrateful can you get !

So the Last Laugh Looney Party proposes we have a trial separation for one year and let them pretend to be independent to see how they get on.   With a few conditions :-

  • All Scottish Nationalist Politicians must change their name by deed poll so they can be clearly identified.  They must all have a fishy surname like their leaders — Cod …  Herring … Hake … Mullet  ….. Snapper …. Flounder …. Trout …. Carp  …… Barrcuda.  …. Eel …. Grouper ….
  • All those elected should always wear kilts.
  • All unemployed Scots, which will be most of them if they leave the UK for good, should start rebuilding Hadrian’s wall —— by hand  just like the Romans.   We will need a hard border if they vote for independence.
  • And they had better have wind farms everywhere once the oil runs out.

Tagged | 4 Comments

Flower Power !

Long after Coronapop is over there will still be flowers.
My garden provides free therapy every day rain or shine.

 Instead of fearfulness the daffodils are floweringall they are worth bring a smile to the world.
They are called “ Cheerfulness”.

Primroses too bring a happy smile all around the garden in a more modest way.


Posted in SMILES | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Covid Lens.

After a year of lockdown we have become a nation driven by distant opinion.    We are no longer able to observe things for ourselves.     Our views are formed through the media.    Sometimes it’s the headline grabbing press.    Or the ever hungry 24 hour television news channels.   Or Bodj with his PR managed,  economically truthful sound bites.     Or increasingly, the angry knee jerks of social media.

Over the last twelve months we have all developed a Covid Lens.    A new way of observing things in our locked down age.

Through this lens all issues simplified :-

Everything is black or white.
You’r on one side or the other.
Discussions are arguments.
Listening is not required.
Facts are selective.
Phrases are repeated endlessly.
Experts are everywhere  and nowhere.
Opinions are instantly formed.
Every view is polarised.

Reasoned discussion and debate has gone out of the window.      In this soundbite, lockdown world, you only see through a Covid lens or you just stop listening.

But, who do you believe ?

Posted in SMILES | Tagged , | 3 Comments

What’s Question 17 ?

Three weeks ago a letter about the 2021 Census dropped through our letter box.   The Census comes around every ten years, but this one is a bit different from how I remember it in the past.   For a start it was telling us to fill it in “on-line” and reminding us that failure to complete it could bring a £1,000 fine or at least a visit from an official, probably dressed in full Covid protective gear.    Further failure to comply might lead to imprisonment.     At worst deportation as an illegal immigrant could be on the cards in a few years time !     This from your friendly CIVIL service.

I imagine that many older people are not on-line, or even if they are, would not be happy or confident enough to fill in such an important form.     It will be interesting to see the response rate and how many people end up getting fined, imprisoned or deported.      Reading carefully further down the letter, there was an option to request a paper copy of the form.     So on behalf of elderly technophobes everywhere, I sent off for one.   Today, the demanding form arrived.

Addressed to the ‘householder’, because they didn’t know my name,  I was just a sixteen digit number at this point.    How are they going to fine me if I don’t send in the form ???

I don’t want to be difficult, or imprisoned, so I set about filling in the form.    It is only 32 pages and about 1600 questions !     The first few were easy, just your name and address, no hair colour, birthmarks, tattoos,  not even your height or weight.    How are they ever going to recognise me ?

I was getting on alright with all the other questions …… until I came to Question 17. It says it was intensionally left blank, so how do you know what to put in ?    Do you leave it blank and risk a fine ?    Or do you fill it in with an answer that you want to tell them about that they haven’t asked ?
For instance under the section on qualifications :-

  •  where do I put all my scout badges ?
  • or my Blue Peter Award ?
  • or my driving test certificate ?
  • and my swimming certificates?

Strange that in these lockdown times there is nothing about COVID.   Perhaps this census is a last ditch effort to prove that the Test, Track and Trace system actually works.   If you admit to having visitors in you house you  could  be landed with yet another hefty fine and be quarantined indefinitely.

Posted in GRUMBLES | 6 Comments