Tuesday, April 07, 2015

President Rajoy; UK driving; Taps; Driving again;The NHS again; & Selfies.

I suppose it's no great surprise that Spain's president - Mariano Rajoy - says he'll re-seek election later this year - despite the hiding his party got in the recent Andalucian regional elections and despite the way he and his party are perceived both inside and outside corrupter-than-ever Spain. Safe in his own little bubble, President Rajoy is doing a great job.

I drove down from Merseyside to Bicester, near Oxford this morning. Pronounced Bister, I believe. A pretty little high street, marred by the same shopfronts, banks, charity shops and betting establishments you see in every other British town. And, of course, by the drabness of the Brits walking up and down it in the sun.

Talking of things British that are substandard, our Spanish friend over at Guirilandia is having another go at the absence of mixer taps in most British bathrooms. Like every other Spaniard - and forgetting that 2 generations ago most Spanish households didn't even have a bathroom - he thinks this is quaint, inexplicable and a bloody nuisance. So he's provided advice on a bit of DIY with which his despairing compatriots can change their separate taps to a mixer system at low cost.

Back to the trip down to Portsmouth . . . As ever, when you drive in daylight in the UK, the motorways were clogged and delays inescapable. So I'm quite looking forward to driving 5 hours on Spain's empty Autovía de Cantabría tomorrow evening. Meanwhile, I offer that as an excuse for making the check-in with only 5 minutes to spare.

And still on things British that are inadequate . . . There was a recent report on the British National Health Service, comparing it with those of France and Germany. It concluded that it had failed to deliver a system fit for the 21st century and that in key areas, including life expectancy, cancer survival and infant mortality, Britain is the sick man of Europe. In addition, the German and French systems (and the Spanish) are unencumbered, it said, by the division between private and public sectors that exists in the UK. The European model, the report stressed, keeps these boundaries flexible. Fat chance of this evolving in the UK, where politicians of all stamps will continue to lie and talk nonsense about healthcare and the NHS sacred cow, just in case someone accuses them of 'privatising' it. Contrast the USA, where the criticism is the 'socialisation' of healthcare.

Finally . . . I took my first and last selfie at the weekend, just before I read that the selfie is "stuck in the past" and "we're all streaming ourselves now." So, good job I always intended it to be my last one as well.

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