Keith Harrison on Trump's America, a long wait and reporting crime
It’s that time again when Sir Peter of Rhodes disappears on his ocean-going yacht and the baton of filling his deck shoes passes to us lesser mortals, bereft of reader correspondence, Victor Meldrew outlook . . . and razor-sharp writing ability. We can but try.
I’m just back from Trump’s America, where I expected to find the place in rack and ruin, given what a terrible and beastly President he is (copyright all media everywhere). Strangely, the streets were clean, the shops buzzed, traffic moved and there were friendly police everywhere. I couldn’t find any of those ‘Make America Great Again’ hats . . . but it seems to be doing OK (copyright no media anywhere).
In terms of The Donald, I did see quite a few middle-aged women in ‘Resist’ t-shirts. ‘Resist’ what exactly? Democracy?
We were also taken aback by huge digital roadside billboards advertising the waiting times in local hospital A&E departments. The longest we saw was nine – yes, NINE – minutes. Worth remembering when we lecture other countries about our glorious National Health Service.
If you’re offended by that (and I know criticism of the NHS is verboten) and fancy beating me up, bear in mind that 61 Staffordshire A&E patients waited for 12 HOURS in March. Therefore, it could be quicker for me to fly to New York and be treated there than in the local hospital I can see from my bedroom window.
A few years ago, I took part in a march to ‘resist’ this sort of NHS. Maybe I should have tried a ‘Make the NHS Great Again’ hat instead.
Back home, I discovered that some friend of society had stolen my lad’s saddle off his pushbike in broad daylight (and probably on CCTV) outside our local railway station. In a telling sign of the times, he didn’t think for a moment about reporting it to the police. And even if he had, what would they do? Ask him his sexual preference and gender this week? It will be just another unreported theft in our increasingly lawless society. Again, worth remembering when the police trot out the latest crime figures, is that what they call crime and what we call crime are two increasingly different things.
Is that it? Phew. Got to the end without going the full Meldrew. Surprised? Yep, I don’t believe it either.
*Peter Rhodes is away