Reasons to be grateful

Flame on.

So. NHS bill passed. Pointless privatisation of various other things on the way. I choose the word “pointless” carefully. I firmly believe some things should be privatised and believe in enterprise and competition. Sod right and left. How about some pragmatism?  Health Care? Railways? Police? Roads? How dumb can you get ? Government should provide an infrastucture that allows enterprise to flourish on top, not artificially slice up an infrastructure so that it can be milked by people who wouldn’t know competition if it bit them in the arse.

Flame off.

Time to cheer myself up. As I travel the globe, I found there is some wondrous thing to be grateful for in every land I visit. Below are some things various cultures have donated to the world. I dare say you have your own list.

  • USA : turning right on red. Genius.
  • France : the gamine. From Jeanne D’Arc to Audrey Tautou
  • Germany : Scwheinhaxe. Could eat this all week.
  • England : Cricket. Totally weird sport, but strangely fascinating.
  • New York : Woody Allen movies. Yes I know I already did USA, but New York is a separate country.
  • Italy : Motherhood. Definitely invented in Napoli.
  • Armenia : the Markarian Survey. Changed my life, squire.
  • Wales : Eve Myles. Is there anything else ?
  • Spain : Churros and chocolate. Addicted.
  • Japan : Kobe Beef. Its SO expensive there is no danger of me wasting my money
  • Netherlands : Bicycle lanes
  • Scotland : Uisgeagh

OK. Time for some proper work.

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5 Responses to Reasons to be grateful

  1. Tony says:

    I like a challenge.

    USA:
    Italy: Venice, most beautiful city in the world.
    Germany: Xmas markets.
    France: looking out over the city from Sacre Coeur.
    Spain: summer in Madrid.
    England: the huge variety of its regions.
    Wales: little railways for when daughter was young.
    Scotland: yep, Uisgeagh.
    Australia: Aussie Rules, the Coorong, driving through the country, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, indigenous art, … oh okay, all of it really, except the politicians.
    USA: still thinking…

  2. Germany : Scwheinhaxe. Could eat this all week.

    bet you couldn’t….

    Anyway – you missed Germany’s great contribution wrt your main flame – public/private partnership done right – The Munich public transport system has private buses working within it, yet you would never know as a commuter – single tarif system, coordinated timetable etc. – basically the public tells the private exactly what they are allowed to do (and manages those rules strongly) – unlike in our cities….

  3. England: 1) a real living tradition of traditional music, 2) pubs where almost everyone feels comfortable

    Sweden: 1) pizza (yes, really the best in the world, cheap and plentiful as well), 2) take a number for a queue almost everywhere (the mark of true civilization), 3) a separate knife for the butter and a separate spoon for jam as well as a sensible cheese knife, 4) removing shoes indoors (another mark of true civilization)

    Denmark: beaches

    Germany: proper saunas, Autobahn without speed limit

    Netherlands: kaassouffle

    Croatia and Montenegro: the Adriatic in late summer

    and now for the gripes:

    England: 1) lack of PR (voting system), 2) separate schools for boys and girls

    Germany: too much dubbing and two few subtitles

    almost everywhere but Germany: lack of proper bread

    There is of course the old joke: Heaven is where the police are English, the mechanics German, the lovers French, the cooks Italian and it is all organized by the Swiss. In Hell the cooks are English, the police German, the lovers Swiss, the mechanics French and it is all organized by the Italians. (I do have to disagree about the Germans and Swiss in the second bit, though.)

  4. Clive Page says:

    Just a comment on the planned NHS privatisation and all the criticism it has received. I wonder if we shouldn’t try out the idea somewhere else first. The railways seems an excellent candidate.

    Most people agree that the benefits of the botched semi-privatisation of 20 years ago have never been realised: the taxpayer subsidy is at a record level, while our rail ticket prices per unit distance are still pretty much the highest in the world.

    Here’s how it could work. The commissioning groups would be the staff of each railway station (ticket clerks, platform staff, supervisors, station manager) – after all they surely know better than anyone else the rail travel needs of their local community? They would be given all the ticket receipts from “their” station (plus net online receipts from journeys starting there) and an appropriate share of the taxpayer subsidy currently given to the entire railway system. With this they would negotiate with one or more train operating companies to provide the best possible service patterns for those using that station. The train operating companies would then negotiate with Network Rail and the rolling stock leasing companies (much as they do at present) to set up an optimum timetable with appropriate rolling stock.

    Since the number of railway stations in the country is only a fraction of the number of GP practices, and there are only a score of railway operators compared to thousands of hospitals and other health providers, this is a vastly simpler system on which to try the commissioner – provider split. What could possibly go wrong? :-)

  5. apartamente fundeni…

    [...]Reasons to be grateful « The e-Astronomer[...]…

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