We have been here before. In 1997, the Blair government took over an NHS widely seen as being in a mess. Their decision to involve the private sector through Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) and independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) was far from a success. The contracts were, with hindsight, often over-priced, feeding the notion that private healthcare is only ever a rip-off. But state control of hospitals isn’t working either.
A right royal time of transition
At the end of a seventy-year reign, few people have anything but praise for the late Queen. It wasn’t always so. But now is not the time to remember the occasional lapses in concentration that brought criticism. Overall, she played a blinder.
Some would say the accession of the new King has gone without a hitch. But has it?
Eurovision sends a lesson to tennis
Compare the Eurovision audience’s delight at the banning of Russia with the behaviour of the two tennis bodies, ATP (men) and WTA (women). Both organisations currently adorn their websites with ribbons in the colours of Ukraine, but they have chosen to take action against Wimbledon for excluding Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament.
War averted, but that’s not important
I’m a big tennis fan. Back in January, I was glued to coverage of Djokovic’s thrilling on-court tussle with the Australian government. I even downloaded several of the legal documents to get a better understanding of the evolving scoreline. (I do stuff like that.) But what on earth did the Beeb think was the breaking news story yesterday?
There is a lot of hot air in this energy crisis
Much has been written and spoken about the price of energy in recent months, reaching something of a crescendo a week ago when a new price cap was announced by the energy regulator, Ofgem. But much of the coverage seems to be based on baloney.
A conversation with my doctor
The medication was giving me side effects so uncomfortable that I felt the pills were just protecting me in order that I could be miserable. I wanted to stop taking them and the GP agreed. “But first”, he said, “let’s just take a look at the numbers.”
Two sides of the same story
A mathematical postscript to the fairy tale in New York that tells me I need to learn to relax more when I watch tennis. 😧
The audacity of youth
Shortly before 3 am today (UK time), a beaming teenager became the youngest woman this century to get to the final of the US Open tennis. Less than two hours later, she had lost that record to Emma Raducanu.
Raducanu is now the first qualifier ever to reach the final of a grand slam. That could quite plausibly be a record that is never beaten – unless there is another pandemic.
This is not a scam – but it might as well be
In the past few weeks, a couple of reputable companies have telephoned me, posing as scammers. Yes, you read that correctly. Both calls were from reputable companies and yet the callers behaved in a manner that seemed designed to give me the impression that they were out to scam me.
Is Covid-19 making us irrational?
I don’t want to start a panic, but I do wonder whether Covid is making people less able to think properly. I’m not talking about those poor individuals who have actually had the disease. I’m talking about (almost) everyone.