The Plastic Hippo

February 24, 2015

Give my regards

Filed under: Health,Politics,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 12:00 am
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The relief at returning home after a few days away to find that the house has not actually been burgled is usually tempered by having to force open a front door barricaded by a mountain of junk mail. The urge to sift through the pizza delivery leaflets would be a treat for later once the kettle was on, the washing machine loaded and the children safely back on their tablets.

On this occasion, however, the sorting of the privatised Royal Mail unearthed some treasure. Firstly, the bank had admitted to making a mistake in debiting an account (surprise surprise) and a long overdue invoice for a lucrative if difficult commission was finally paid. This good fortune covered the cost of parking in York for the day and still left change to rent the holiday cottage for five days. Mr Micawber knows more about economics that George Osborne.

But aside from the greed of financial gain and irrefutable proof that the banking system is corrupt and incompetent in equal measure, the accumulated post turned up something more important. A glossy flyer with reassuring block capitals announced:
At last someone is defending a facility for Walsall residents in crisis and rather than just opposing the closure of the superb place, the petitioner demands that care should be expanded into a Community Health Centre. Yes – yes (as in When Harry Met Sally) – yes – where do I sign? Turning over the flyer was something of a disappointment as it seems the notion of social care and compassion is a total fake. The clue was in the invitation:
“Petitioning Walsall Labour Council”; in the bottom right corner was a logo with the strap line “Conservatives – working for you” and an address for a serving Conservative councillor.

The serving Conservative councillor is Rose Martin of Paddock Ward who presumably voted for the closure of the Broadway North Centre in 2013 when the Conservatives controlled Walsall Council. Supported by fellow Paddock Conservative councillor Gurmeet Singh Sohal who looks great in a beard and turban on diversity photo opportunities, the troika of Conservative Paddock councillors lacked the holy ghost of Councillor Barbara McCracken, formerly of St Matthews who legged it to Paddock at the prospect of electoral defeat. Councillor McCracken as portfolio holder for Social Care and Health approved the closure of Broadway North. For the purposes of accuracy, it is worth pointing out that rats don`t actually smell and prefer to make their living by opportunistic scavenging and deserting sinking ships.

But hang on – who is that elegant lady in the expensive brown coat standing shoulder to shoulder with the forgetful Rose Martin? It is not the ghost of Deidre Barlow but the self-proclaimed “media mogul” and a “local girl” Conservative parliamentary candidate for Walsall South Sue Arnold. Clearly an expert in mental health issues after coming into contact with Walsall councillors, the fragrant Sue now desires to represent some of the poorest wards in the country from her gated mansion set in its own grounds somewhere near a charming rural village, miles away from Walsall South.

It would be unfair to suggest that the removal of funding for social care has anything to do with a failing Conservative government intent on destroying “society” in favour of an “economy”. It might be unfair, but it is true. Council funding from central government is being reduced not through pragmatism but by ideology. Vote Labour and be punished but vote Conservative and be rewarded. Take a look at the capital grants awarded to local authorities who happen to return Conservative MPs.

Social care and health are pretty important in communities and so it`s rather confusing to be offered a say in local facilities that are being removed by the politicians that are actively involved in removing them. Rose Martin and Sue Arnold are obviously lovely people in wishing to protect Broadway North but they need to consider the reasons why it is likely to close.

Only a nasty Marxist terrorist would dare to suggest that a cynical, opportunist and bogus campaign for election is happy to ignore the failure of both national and local government. Blaming the current administration in Walsall for the failings of the previous administration will not win many votes but that will not stop some rather unpleasant people going for it anyway. Just ask Sue Arnold`s dad who she describes as “lazy” after the poor sod found himself unable to work. Filial piety is not a consideration when it comes to delusional ambition. The government is quite deliberately dismantling health and social care and the good folks organising a Conservative petition to save it put themselves at odds with the party they support. I wonder if these people will become kippers after they are defeated in May.

The chances of the Broadway North Centre continuing to provide a vital service are remote which allows opportunists like Rose Martin and Sue Arnold the chance to blame everybody else apart from themselves for their vindictive party and woeful government. Wishing to ease the pressure on local hospitals by provision of social care sounds dangerously socialist and might possibly result in de-selection for any candidate crossing the line into decency. Perhaps the ladies who lunch should ask themselves why local hospitals are under such pressure in the first place. “Say No to Development” is not the best slogan a media mogul and PR executive has ever conjured. To add your signature to the Conservative petition that opposes Tory cuts, you need to affix a postage stamp to the glossy flyer. The cost of the stamp goes to hedge funds and middle-eastern potentates.

As lovely as these Conservative ladies are, I think I will decline ordering whatever they had in the diner featured in When Harry Met Sally as they enthusiastically howl fake outrage brought about by their own complicity. So sign the petition that blames a local council for the nastiness of national government and give your support to hypocrites desperate for attention.

A fake is a fake even if the fake can boast a gated mansion in the countryside.

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