NO SOONER had Tony Blair been re-elected than my neighbour
got a letter from the hospital saying they were ready to do something about his
I didn't know people still got verrucas, actually.
I thought they were something you used to get in your foot when you were little
if you stood on the wooden duckboards at the swimming baths.
Victor's has been troubling him throughout the life of New Labour and all those
promises about reforming the health service have been on his mind. And his foot.
It had crossed my mind to wonder why he was hobbling about, but he didn't seem
to want to talk about it.
So I asked him about the election
instead. "The trouble with politicians," he started, and just then the
postman came up the path.
It was the morning of the long
brown envelope and there was Victor's appointment card to see the foot doctor
next month about his wart.
"I only voted last night,"
he tailed off and limped indoors.
I couldn't help but notice
that all the politicians who had been up all night still didn't look as though
they'd had a drink the morning after. Tony Blair looked fresh as a red rose as
he popped to see the Queen for a cup of tea. People were swigging champagne all
around Charles Kennedy and he seemed completely sober. William Haig's hands were
steady as a rock bun as he read his resignation letter.
I'd been them I'd have found an excuse for a drink.
trouble with the English
Wow, that's a bit like starting a sentence with
"Never since the death of Jesus Christ"
the trouble with the English is that they are descended from what was once a great
nation, controlling half the world, and they still think they are special.
like Victor, they expect their verrucas to be dealt with straight away, as befits
someone who inherited an Empire.
You wouldn't expect there
to be a world-class hospital on Ibiza, would you?
one where they could do transplants or separate Siamese twins.
know their place in the hospital pecking order. My neighbour up a mountain outside
San Jose went to Barcelona when he needed something serious for his heart.
in England we expect the hospital to be within a couple of miles and just waiting
for our gammy foot.
What we want are hospitals that operate
like McDonald's. Always open, always comforting and always the same.
one now at the Ibiza-Figueretas roundabout and I bet they're doing the same portion-controlled
boxes of chips as the one in Wigan.
I went there last week
and they were doing banana and mango milkshakes, lamb rogan josh in naan bread
and vegetable samosas and it still tasted exactly like the regular burgers and
Vegetable samosas from McDonalds! What is Tony Blair's
brave new world coming to?
I worry about him. He must know
he's never going to make everyone happy about anything to do with hospitals.
McDonald's must know that people don't want these new fangled fry-ups.
think he should get out of Number 10 as soon as possible. Only one out of four
people here have voted for him and he needs to distance himself from all those
promises within a couple of years at the most.
not convinced he had anything to do with Victor's verruca.