In the news today I noticed so many things that make living in Britain today what it is...a pain in the ass.
First story to catch my eye was about the committee of MPs who have looked at government plans for the railways, which will, at least in part, affect Scotland (not that we have that many trains). The findings are that trains will become more crowded, more expensive and that there will be fewer of them. Just what we wanted to encourage us out of our cars and on to the public transport.
An early day motion from MPs has noted that the cuts to funding the railways will "worsen passenger services through the loss of thousands of frontline workers from trains, stations, ticket offices, safety-critical infrastructure and operational roles", and "will result in higher fares, cuts in services and more crowded trains". So good news for us then!
Then I noticed that while the rest of the country's workers are getting rises of around 1%, the FTSE chief executives, most of whose companies have lost a vast amount in the past few years, are hauling in rises of around 11%. With inflation at around 4-5% (at least officially), they seem to do rather well out of their failure.
The next story that I read won't affect me personally, but it will affect friends of mine. It is that the cabinet of the UK government, operating as the English government (and therefore I hope that Scottish MPs didn't vote), have decided that they will NOT publish the risk assessments involved in their semi-privatization plans for the English Health Service.
Lansley's excuse for the veto, after a 19 month campaign by the public to be told, is something to do with allowing officials to give ministers candid opinions, but of course the real reason is that in making vast amounts of money for the companies that will bid for this business, there are going to be huge risks to people's health. When cutting a corner can result in turning in a bit better profit, let's not be in much doubt as to which the private sector will chose. God help the poor English under the Tories. Still, I imagine it will cut the number of people making it to pension age. So that should please them.
It was depressing reading about the incompetence and insensitivity of the DWP writing to families with disabled children warning them that their benefit would be reduced, when it won't.... and I was about to give up on the news when I saw a few cracking good laugh stories...
It seems that Dave and Nick decided to relaunch the coalition today. And they chose as their theme, the economy... you know...creating more jobs and that sort of stuff... unfortunately they chose to do it in a company which is outsourcing jobs to China, from whence executives had to rush in order to meet up with the prime ministers. Nobs or what?
And then there was yet another community leader saying that the good old Big Society, better known by most of us as BS, was a complete shambles. And this was reportedly the reason that Cameron came into politics. Struth, don't you wish he'd not bothered.
So it wasn't all doom and gloom after all.