Letters - November 27, 2018
We need to make social care a priority
Our home care service is in crisis, and many vulnerable people are struggling to find the care they most desperately need.
Carer visits are short, sometimes as little as 15 minutes.
The more usual 30-minute visits often last for only 20, as the carers’ travel time is not calculated into the working day and so, to avoid running very late, staff have to cut short visits, to avoid keeping the next person waiting for too long.
Workers in the care sector are often not allowed sick pay.
Therefore they may have to work when they are unwell.
Also, because of the shortage of staff in this service, many carers feel obliged to ‘just keep going’ because there is no one else and, if they took time off, their clients would not get care.
Unfortunately, this exposes sick people to infection and serious illness.
This crisis is not the fault of the carers, nor the fault of the agencies they work for, nor the fault of the county councils.
They are facing a serious funding crisis of their own because of savage cuts from central government.
Something as important as the care of our elderly and disabled people should never have been farmed out to the private sector.
It needs to be taken back into public ownership and councils should be able to employ their carers directly, as they used to.
We may all need a care service at some time in our lives, if not for ourselves, then for a loved one.
It is not someone else’s problem. It concerns all of us.
Miliband gets paid far too much
Recent revelations concerning the exceptional income of the former Labour MP David Miliband rising to £680,000 are currently in the public domain, and will leave many UK residents aghast!
Mr Miliband is employed by the American charity International Rescue Committee (IRC).
But why does he get paid so much? The IRC does humanitarian work in central Africa where average wages are £300 a year.
Why is Mr Miliband getting 2,000 times as much? He even gets over six times that of our Prime Minister, why?
Take car of your bags this season
I want to draw readers’ attention to the need to be vigilant with luggage when making rail journeys in the run-up to Christmas.
I saw at first hand recently the distress suffered by a fellow traveller when her suitcase was removed from a train, either accidentally or by a deliberate dishonest act, at an intermediate station during the course of her journey.
Start of a never-ending Brexit
While many people are exhausted by the arguments around Brexit they should be urged not to capitulate to so-called ‘Brexit Boredom’.
Much of the debate to date has been fuelled not by the national interest but rather by posturing and power struggles within the Tory party.
This political infighting has done nothing to assist the electorate understand the implications of the momentous decision that they made in 2016. Instead our much needed headspace to analyse, and process the complexity of Mrs May’s so called deal is now reduced to an ‘I know best!’ rhetorical stance reminiscent of the style adopted by Thatcher and Blair.
In reality this latest deal does little for either side of the Brexit divide. We now know, not least from the Electoral Commission, that the original referendum was tainted by lies, dodgy electoral processes and even foreign interference. It is thus not surprising that this so called latest deal is rightly likely to get voted down next month when it comes to Parliament on the grounds that it a bad deal for the country. A view that is even shared by Mrs May’s own Brexit advisor!
While some British people may feel that this deeply divisive and internationally embarrassing interlude in our history is finally over, sadly they need to think again. On examination May’s deal is nothing more than a prelude to a never-ending Brexit. Our future, and that go our children, is now basically on hold until this complex deal is “negotiated”.
Surely the answer has to be another vote. This is not undemocratic as some of your recent correspondents would suggest, given that we now have the evidence to know that the majority of the population want a People’s Vote then in the name of sanity and the need for a government that can focus on much needed domestic issues then this has to be the only way out of this messy quagmire.
Dawn B. Judd