Social Comment – 2019

Social Comment for Year 2019.


        We were invited to see in the New Year at a neighbour’s house where we renewed our acquaintance with a number of people who we only normally wave to in passing. Nice.

       The Hornets managed to go two goals up and lead three two, before drawing at Bournemouth three all. 2nd Jan. All the goals came in the first half and the game had some very “iffy” refereeing decisions. They are now Eighth. Troy Deeny; the scorer of two of the goals, said as much in an after match interview. This has not gone down well with the FA.

       It is reported that 15 million patients did not turn up for their pre-booked appointments to see their GP; or visit their hospital, for consultation or treatment last year. With a service so strapped for cash and resources, this action must surely be considered on a par with fraud, as it denies others from having justified access to the facilities blocked. It has been suggested by some that a hefty fine be levied on those that do not inform their NHS facility when they cannot attend, or have changed their minds.

        It is further reported that less than 50% of under 60’s; and somewhat more for those over this age, took advantage of the free Flue jab. There was a shortage of vaccine in the Autumn, but since the supply situation has improved, few, apparently, have taken advantage of heading off this potentially killer disease.

       This last item is relevant to the forecast report that our weather is going to take a turn for the worst with low temperatures this week and the likelihood of snow for when the children go back to school next week. Apparently, similar conditions are lining up to those that gave us “The beast from the East” last year. It will be interesting to see if we are knee deep in snow and freezing our bits off in a fortnight or so, as is apparently, “likely”, say the Meteorological Office.

       The likelihood of a no deal Brexit has persuaded the government to take some cautionary actions to try to anticipate areas that will be most affected. The next few weeks are going to be very critical for UK.Co.

       Refugees continue to arrive by small boat from France. 3rd Jan. Despite the agreements that state asylum must be sought on entering the first country where safety from danger can be assured. These individuals; and families manage to go straight through France and aim for the UK. It is thought that a number of people are making a fortune from their transport. Some think that we owe them a place to live, and others that they not asylum seekers at all. One can only imagine the furore when a boat is run down by one of the numerous freighters that are constantly plying their way along the channel.

        The Hornets have pulled up to seventh place in the Premiership with an away win. 13th Jan. They are on the edge of doing really well this season.

       Watford is in the news again for less pleasant reasons. In fact they are in the traffic report on the radio every morning for the congestion and resultant delays at the A41 Dome roundabout.

This junction is a disaster. Basically, a simple cross roads with a roundabout. This should be self controlling on the basis of the “give way to the right” rule. But to it have been added numerous sets of traffic lights, some doubling up in series. The result being long queues in all directions, particularly from Hunton Bridge. The pedestrian crossing on the London side has lights that blocks all entries in no time at all.

It is noted that many of the apparently Radar controlled traffic lights are not working, or poorly adjusted. For instance; a long wait at the bottom of Sheepcot Lane when there is no traffic at all traveling along St Albans’ Road. The same applies at Garston Lane.

Despite the 20mph limit on Kingswood traffic, the intended resultant reduction in speed is not very evident. Parking, sometimes right on bends, still causes me some considerable concern.

       Next Tuesday sees the Parliamentary vote on the much argued offer made by the EU on a Brexit deal. With the government’s defeat a considerable possibility, the whole process of UK government is under threat. It would be nice to think that those making their choice on Tuesday had the country’s best interests at heart, and were not using the situation for their purely political ends. It would also be nice to see pigs fly!

       The news from France is perhaps a reminder of what can happen when the more militant of the people become completely disillusioned with their government, with street riots a regular occurrence. With anti Social Media used as a conduit to spread the direction and targets, it all becomes very worrying. Could it happen in the UK? Of course it could!



Alan Orchard