Ground control to Captain Tom

What an upside-down world we live in!

We have The Chancellor of The Exchequer of The United Kingdom, appearing on video on the State Broadcaster, extolling the achievement of an admirable man, Captain Tom Moore, who has raised over £23 Million walking around his back yard.  Captain Tom is 99 years old and was accompanied by his trusty Zimmer frame and the money is to go to “NHS Charities”.

What was predictably unedifying was this government spokesman trying to get in on the act, when the shortfall in funds for the NHS is almost entirely within its own purview.  It was this government and its immediate predecessors that have systematically deprived the Health Service of its very life blood through a policy of almost constant re-organisation, budget cuts, and piecemeal privatisations.  

Fortunately, the NHS charities will be kept well away from politicians and it looks as though it will make a real difference to the people that need it most.

Houston, we have a problem

At the same time, we have our vacuous “Health” Secretary, Hapless Hancock, sporting a nice new shiny “ Care” badge.  Twerp!

We have a system failure of epic proportions and have only just avoided (fingers crossed, counting chickens, and all that) a total meltdown because of extra-ordinary measures taken by staff, ex-staff, nearly-qualified staff, and any other bystanders with some level of medical expertise or administrative ability.   Not to mention legions of ancillary staff without whom the whole system would have collapsed a long time ago. These people in GP Surgeries, Care Homes, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Hospices, Health Centres, individual homes, deserve so much more that any charitable efforts can raise, even if they are magnificent.

Our Pilot says we are in for some minor difficulty.

Well, we all know what that means.   Maybe our deflector shield has failed, and we are approaching an asteroid belt.  Only those in Business Class and the Senior Flight Officers, (not the cabin Crew) have seats in the ejection module! 

The remaining passengers and crew should not be concerned however, because once the peak has passed things will quickly come back to normal.  Protective suits will, of course, be available to all passengers and crew, once they have been brought up from the hold. 

In line with expert scientific advice, seen only by the higher echelons of management, asteroids may be avoided by thoroughly wishing the problem away.  So, we’ll all be OK (apart from those unfortunate enough to perish).

As Billy Cotton used to say: “Wakey Wakey!


Captain Tom is certainly old enough to remember an old BBC Light Programme Wireless show called the Billy Cotton Band Show, where, for some inexplicable reason the eponymous band leader had that very catchphrase. He bellowed “Wakey Wakey!” during each show, and as it aired around lunchtime every Sunday, I never really understood its relevance.  I do recall that I was always pleased to hear it, because it meant that something much more interesting would be coming along within the next half hour or so.     

It does seem that we are working our way through such a wake-up call in these troubled times. 

There is a huge desire to get through this, and to do whatever we can to get through it safely.   In this context, no matter how amazing and admirable Captain Tom’s efforts are, along with the staggering outpouring of support from the public, it will all come to nothing in the longer term unless we follow it through.    We owe it to those who are risking their lives for us day in day out to sustain this effort.

Sorry to Pontificate but…

We have to ensure that the people that WE ALL rely on to get us through hard times are not in perpetual hard times themselves.   I’m not just talking about the Health and Care Sector here either.   We have to take a long hard look at how we treat “The low paid”, because we are being shown now that we simply can’t function without them.

If we ever come out into clear clean space again, maybe we should spend some of our time rethinking what we want our blue planet to look like and act accordingly.

We need a new order, a new way of deciding what our planet and our society needs, not just one based upon personal greed and what the privileged want.

2 thoughts on “Ground control to Captain Tom

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