Don’t Believe a word they say dear!’ was something my grandmother said to me regularly. She was a tough old bird with the heart of a Raspberry Ruffle – you would have liked her. Yet, clearly not new, I still am taken off guard by the sheer level of current deception, Take waiting times for hospital services. The government’s new strategy enables it to lie through its teeth. A friend of mine, in his 80s, suffering from severe arthritis, finds sleeping in one position extremely uncomfortable. Painful. skin cancer of the ear has resulted in him only being able to lay his head on a pillow on one side, and so must sleep in one position. In January he discovered the cancer, in mid-February he was referred to the hospital, in March he was re-assessed, and told he would have to wait two months. He thought he would go private, but a waiting list of nearly 2 months made him see no point in the extra expense. He wrote to the hospital explaining his loss of sleep and asked if he could be seen earlier Instead he received his appointment for operation which was three-month hence, not two. He decided to stick it out, only to discover that the date given had again been increased for reasons unspecified, by another three weeks. Out old curiosity, I telephoned a doctor friend in Scotland and ask him what the waiting time was there, he said four weeks, rarely more. I give this to make the point that waiting times are far more protracted than the government pretends. Logically, from the day the GP has written requesting a surgical appointment, the period until that is met is the waiting time. A second assessment implies the doctor’s diagnosis is inadequate, perhaps occasionally, but putting in an additional assessment could be a ruse to enable a waiting time of a maximum of three months to be increased to seven months – in my friend’s case, seven months of painful discomfort – it clearly also adds to the overall cost. I realise the surgeon wishies to allocate times related to seriousness, but surely the doctor using a simple grading system would generally be adequate.
Untrustworthiness is prevalent in all walks of life. Bush and Blair telling lies, television quiz shows being fake, and I have it on got good authority that where a member of the panel doesn’t know the answer to a question, the filming can stop, he is given the answer, and the filming reinstated, and this is common. How often have you been short changed, or found the bill is inaccurate? There’s a growing culture that some women are buying clothes on approval, wearing them for an evening, and then returning, allegedly unsuitable, only for some other person to discover smears of makeup and the smell of antiperspirant having made a purchase. There are thousands of pensioners who have last their pension, which should have been stamped on by government legislation, on the very first occasion.
Recently I have been watching films made in the 60s, to 80s, and those made after 2000. The difference in quality, quality of sound, speech, clarity of speech, and attention to detail is incredible. A lot of the techniques induced by electronic simulation, cross-cutting in the editing room, and cost-cutting are producing films that are mudled and confusing, and I believe the public is paying for a cheaper and poorer article. I looked at two films recently, Becket made 30 years ago and a cowboy made about 2000. Becket was beautiful in every way, The cowboy was allegedly a comedy film, but if having between 30 to 40 people shot dead is comedy, without a laugh in the whole film, there must be something wrong. John Cleese was given a very weak and simple role, totally out of context, and even he was as boring as ditchwater. Incidentally, the protagonists were supposed to be using Winchester rifles, but I think the technicians rather than the producer had became overzealous because certainly the Winchesters were firing like an Uzi. I find it unsurprising that there is so much aggression among young people today, the films themselves carry aggression, vicious wounding and murder to extremes that would never have been permitted in the past. I also find today that so many films have to incorporate sexual encounters, more like rape even than lust. Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons and many others could impart love, attraction and fulfilment in the old days, without sexual callisthenics, and nudity in the most uncomfortable surroundings such as on a grand piano or the back of a hired car. Why can the act of love not be portrayed as a gentle, loving and delicate experience, as it should be, and not a brutal attack on the senses.
We should vote with our feet instead of being ripped off, even though it might costs a little extra. If we’re not getting value for money we should complain. There must be a web site where we could all write what we feel and name and shame. The problem of course is if you are wrong, you can be pouring money into the pockets of the legal profession. On second thoughts I will just tell my friends what I think, and not risk being sued for slander.