There's an election in the UK next year. As ever, one of the key issues will be the (overstretched) national health service (NHS). And, as usual, the main parties will posture and outright lie on what they've done and will do in respect of this paste jewel in Britain's crown. The key element will be one which hardly enters political discourse in other western European countries - how much involvement will be there be of private healthcare companies? Here in Spain, as in Germany, France, etc,. this is simply taken for granted and isn't seen as contentious. Back in the UK, the Labour Party regards itself as having sole proprietary rights to the world's first national health service and, with a weak leader, sees allegations of imminent Tory privatisation of the NHS as its trump electoral card. Truth, of course, is the first casualty of this quinquennial war of nonsense. In which the most laughable claim is that the NHS is still ´the envy of the world'. If they only knew. But, of course, they do. And they realise it would be political death to say otherwise. What a farce. In which the most amusing line is always - "When we get in, we'll completely reform the NHS and throw even more money at it than the other lot." I say 'amusing' but I mean 'depressing'.
A minute after writing that, I came across this article on the NHS by Janet Daley on the NHS monster. For only those with a keen interest in it.
Corruption: Reader Las Revenants has answered my question about other corrupt developed countries. Japan, it seems, may be even worse. Which I didn't know.
The new house below me has now been under construction for two and a half years. But nothing has happened there for at least 6 months. Yesterday I saw someone taking stuff from the site and naturally suspected theft. But I checked the name on his van and found it to be an engineering consultancy in town. So I guess they're trying to recoup their losses. The owners may or may not be worried by the Galician government's recent introduction of a fine of up to €25,000 for those who leave their houses unfinished. Of which there are an awful lot in the region, helping to account for the national reputation of feismo, or 'ugliness', I mentioned the other say.
A conversation with my cleaning lady tonight:
How much do I owe you, Teresa?
Nothing. You gave me 2 weeks' money last week and I owe you 2 euros.
Very honest of you, Teresa.
Well, we're not taking about thousands, are we? It's hardly worth being dishonest for 2 euros.
Just a question of degree, then.
Finally . . . Walking home today, I saw this Hyundai ad at the start of the bridge.
I don't know whether it's brilliant or daft. As Pensando en 5 means 'Thinking of 5', I guess it's a play on cinco, or 'five'. So, Cinking becomes 'Thinking', as the C is pronounced Th. Except it isn't in parts of Spain and all of South America, where it's an S. So Cinking is 'Sinking' there. But I'm sure it makes sense to some ad agency.