LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
2 June 2018
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Cash on Delivery

Hmm. Been tricked/fooled/mislead/deceived/duped/conned/seduced lately? Let
me help here. Well, yes you have been. Now who could have done this devious
ploy? Why it’s the government. Quelle surprise. And what is it this time? Oh, just
the NHS naturally. The Tories have a plan for you to pay just a tiny bit to fund
the chronically, intentionally underfunded health service. Not enough to ‘save’ it
though. And what did you respond? A resounding “Yes”! Quelle idiotes! Listen to
Peter Stefanovic - who clearly isn’t.

He is a campaigning lawyer who revealed how ludicrous the proposal that
households in Britain need to hand over an extra £2000 a year in tax is. He
called the policy “idiotic” scaremongering and he said it in English.

He noticed that some households earn more than others. Oh really. No need to
say ‘quelle surprise’ is there? Those humanitarian “Tories have spent eight
years relaxing taxes on the rich & we’re losing billions to tax havens is one of the
most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard”, he tweeted. Indeed.

Radically Stefanovic has better ideas: the government could fund the service.
Shock. By supporting themselves and their friends, “the Tory-led changes to
corporation tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and the bank levy will have lost
the government about £70bn by 2022. Or what about the billions the UK is losing
every year to tax havens? Let’s do something about that.” Let’s. Close that wallet.
Don’t be an idiot.

Other realists have joined in and suggested: “When it needs money for a ‘bung’,
weapons it’ll never use or a space programme, it finds enough. Now it’s time for
the government to fund our vital services properly, without screwing over
ordinary working people in the process.” Since you asked.

A few statistics. I know, I know. Yawn. £7bn a year is the amount of extra
funding required to bring down waiting lists and deliver improvements to mental
health care. A three percent annual budget increase is needed according to the
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. And what is Theresa most proud of? 1,518
visa bids for doctor roles were turned down in four months. 400 in the latest
round. 125 Indian doctors were refused three times. 93,000 vacancies in the
NHS.

See, those numbers annoyed you didn’t they? Do you suppose any Tory
politician ever uses the NHS? Oh surely rarely as they always go private. As we
will soon, won’t we? And that means inferior health service with corporate
shareholders celebrating good health – and wealth.

At Death’s Door

You are not invited. Don’t bring flowers. No tissues. No tears. Councils are
refusing to give details of burials or allow ashes of beloved dead ones to be
collected. Not joking.

An underground, I mean undercover investigation by The Sunday Times
uncovered “no invites” to so-called ‘paupers funerals’ for the poorest residents of
Bracknell Forest. Their council refuses to provide details of when the bereaved
family funeral will take place and taking the ashes is forbidden. Really. How
caring. No “sorry for your loss” then. Instead: “they’re dead…get over it.”

A council official suggested families must pay for a private ceremony if they
wished to attend. She advised those with no money to negotiate with the funeral
director. Oh right. Better to apply for government aid  which is available only
after a funeral takes place. After? How does that work exactly? And you can
only imagine how long that would take. By then, several more family members
could have succumbed to the council’s unrecognised passing. Three down,
eight to go. Their objective other than saving money is to make any information
obscure.

Bad enough, right? Not quite. Councils in England and Scotland have buried
children in unmarked mass graves. Do you suppose they are familiar with the
term ‘Dickensian’ or at least Fagan?

Bracknell Forest’s wish list – or should it be bucket list?

£286 Fine if the funeral service runs late
£133 Cost of week’s body refrigeration storage
£55 “Mercury emissions” charge post-cremation
£40 Memory stick or CD audio recording of the funeral service
£125 Sending cremated remains to a UK address

Cashing In

Now that the media is unable to manipulate us into loving the royals with their
truly endless coverage of THAT – sigh – wedding, it has been noticed we
secretly didn’t watch it. Goodness gracious me. Traitors.

Only 18 million British TV viewers, while Charles and Diana’s drew 28.4 million.
Gosh. So what were we doing? Not street parties or celebrations at the pub. We
were having a life presumably.

So we handed over our cash to the BBC for them to show every nanosecond?
Yes we did and yes they did. Evidently, we serfs are not happy about it. There
have been ‘complaints’. A lot of them. Everything from “Did I pay for that rather
lovely but uninspired £387,000 dress?” “I want a refund.” “How dare they not
show any proper news – at all.” “I’m off the BBC now.” “I want my licence fee
returned.” Ditto.

The BBC clearly operates in its own private, not public, reality. Coverage of the
wedding à la Daily Mail, repeats repeated ad nauseum, US telly shoved down
our little protesting throats; rubbish shows and their history as told by them,
noticeable right-wing news bias is already enough to avoid it.

Evidently nothing happened in the world for days. Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe
is their only saving grace and with only three episodes. Curiously, I’ve only
heard MM’s name four or five times a day. Oh don’t be fooled. Still incredibly
irritating. Much more to drive us to drink.

‘Meghan the Menace’ (not my idea – remember, this latest sobriquet from the
staff at Buckingham Palace) will have to undergo six months of "Duchess
training" at the behest of the Queen. A result of M the M being considered
“difficult” by the staff then? Now what exactly could they be?

Back to the BBC. Just when you’ve given up on it, they hand you another nail
for the coffin. I know. Stupid but the point. Oh stop me now. If you love, all right,
loved the Proms before it went all Broadway, you may not like their latest plan.
Classical music? What? Huh? It’s time for a bidding war. Not over American
musicals, they can all be included God knows. Let’s bid to fund the service, you
know, “to open up more of the BBC’s TV programmes to competition” - or
contracting out. Translation: independent TV crews will film the Proms for
example. WTF! FGS! Your choice.

Au Revoir Brexit

Hmm. A leading Brexit campaigning coward, who just happens to live – where?
Why south-west France, naturally. As you do when you are entitled, rich and
privileged – oh, and British. Le vantard is applying for his official French
residency card. No, really, he is.

Ex-chancellor hypocrite, Nigel Lawson has applied for French residency. This is
the same climate change denier Lord Lawson who was also chair of the pro-
Brexit Vote Leave campaign.

Let’s just call him Nige: “I see no purpose in the EU”, who has been living in
France forever. Hmm. Funny that. “I see no purpose in the EU now at all. I think
that if it ceases to exist we’ll have better relationships. If you look now, there is
far more hostility among the different countries of Europe than there has been at
any time since the war.” Such a dreadful man. Oh, excuse moi – ‘lord’. The
war? Really?

Put before the Court of Justice of the European Union about whether EU
citizenship can be revoked: “[Brits living in Europe] would be in a unique
position, where the state whose nationality they hold withdraws from the
European Union and consequently strips its citizens of their European Union
citizenship, including all of the rights attached to it.” Quelle relief. Nige is safe.
Au revoir, Nige… à bientôt – oh, perhaps not.
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